Festival of Faith Workshops: Journey with us!

You don’t have to go anywhere other than the GC43 Festival of Faith for your next inspiring pilgrimage. The Festival is home to more than 20 workshops over two days. Here are three workshops that take you on a journey. Come walk with us!

We Are Pilgrims on a Journey

“I first led pilgrimages on the isle of Iona, often known as a "thin place," where the veil between heaven and earth is thin. But here's the thing: Christianity is an incarnational faith. God takes on flesh in Jesus, and the Resurrection of Jesus is a promise for all of Creation. The Holy Spirit dwells within us and between us. This means that the most ordinary places, people and situations can be "thin places." Come join the pilgrimage as we seek "thin places" together.” – workshop leader Natalie Istead

Workshop description: An ancient Irish manuscript says, “To go to Rome is much trouble, little profit. The King whom thou seekest there, Unless you bring him with you, You will not find him.”You are invited on a journey of faith. A pilgrimage is not about a holy destination, but about walking with Jesus and one another. Together, we will walk. We will stop for prayer, scripture, reflection, and joyful song. Long ago, Jesus called ordinary folks to walk with him. Through the sacred experience of pilgrimage, we will be attentive to God’s story and how it is alive in ordinary people and our everyday world.

Speaker: Natalie Istead

Walking with the Book of Nature

"All creation is the most beautiful book or Bible…" according to Martin Luther. We often equate wilderness with times of testing and struggle. Yet wilderness times can also be rich with revelation, healing, and connection. And we don’t have to go far (a city park, a garden, or other nearby nature spot) to step away from the stress of everyday life; to arrive in a place of contemplation and step into the Mystery with our senses fully alive.

Through mindful walking, we experience the gifts of Creation in a personal, felt sense, and nurture our relationship with the rest of Creation. In a culture increasingly disconnected from nature, finding ways to re-weave that connection is vital for our mental, physical, and spiritual wellbeing—and for the well-being of Creation.

Come on a gentle walk and experience the practice of forest therapy, inspired by the Japanese movement of Shinrin-Yoku, or “forest bathing.” You will be able to apply this approach back home, to reduce stress, quiet your mind, find inspiration, and deepen your connection with God's Creation. A hand-out will be provided, with further resources and suggestions for deepening this practice on your own and with others.

Speaker: Andrea Prazmowski is a forest therapy guide, certified by the Association of Nature & Forest Therapy Guides.

Faith-full and Purpose-full Travel

Journeying to new places and experiencing the unfamiliar has the incredible power to transform, provoke, and compel us to reconsider our space and place in this world. Are you ready to be transformed and make a difference? Are you looking for an opportunity to share your global initiatives and experiences? Join the People in Partnership team, recent YAYA participants, and global partners to consider and share ways for your home community to purpose-fully and faith-fully engage the global neighbourhood. 

Learn and dream about how your local community of faith can engage with global partners in new and exciting ways, both at home and abroad.

Speakers: Pat McDonald, Horacio Mesones, Necta Montes, and Wanda Stride

All workshops will be held on Saturday, July 21 and Sunday, July 22 at Durham College + University of Ontario Institute of Technology in Oshawa, ON.

The date, time, and room for each workshop was not determined when this news story was posted. Please visit the Festival page for updates on workshop information.