These retreats will be offered to Christians of any denomination. No affiliation with St. Thomas Summerland is expected. Whether or not the retreats are being facilitated by experts, all levels of study and experience are welcome in an atmosphere of mutual enrichment and encouragement. The retreats are non-residential. They will begin on Friday evening, and end on Sunday morning - organised around times of contemplative prayer, lecture, discussion, time for personal reflection, and intentional social conversation.
Note: On Sundays all members of STS are engaged in the same substantial study of the Bible through the ancient lectionary of the western Church and are encouraged to pray and to study God’s word daily as able. These retreats, along with our Sunday gatherings, are meant to augment and support (not replace), a growing habit of personal prayer and Bible Study.
These are offered without charge, though free will contribution is appreciated and helpful.
Join us as we journey through C.S. Lewis’ classic fictional work about the afterlife, and consider how it may inform our own journeys through the wilderness of this world during Lent.
Trinity (summer) 2022 – Bible In A Day
An overview of the message of the whole Bible by studying the Kingdom of God in the Old and New testaments.
Trinity (autumn) 2022 – Introduction to Christianity & Philosophy
Philosophy is simply "the love of wisdom." In terms of our lives, this means that we endeavour to understand the world in which we live as it really is. Also, as Christians, philosophy is the way by which we consider and understand how to communicate the message of the Gospel and the Kingdom of God to our world. In order to understand our world accurately, we need to think in a clear and accurate way about what sort of world we live in. How does this act of engagement begin? What is the ultimate end or purpose for it? How does the act of philosophy differ for someone who is a Christian and someone who isn't a Christian?
Advent 2022 – Paradise – what is the goal of the Christian life?
Advent has historically been as much (if not more) focused upon preparation for Jesus’ second coming as it is focused upon celebrating his first coming. What does this mean? What was human life (all life) intended for? This will be a devotional and theological exploration of Dante’s classic work, Paradiso.
Lent 2023 – Hell – What are we being saved from?
During Lent, Christians are called to engage in open warfare against sin in our lives. This will be a devotional and theological exploration of Dante’s classic work, Inferno. In this work Dante vividly and profoundly reveals the true nature and horror of the sins with which we all struggle, and from which we all need to be saved, by the mercy and grace of God through Christ.
Future Retreat themes:
Purgation - the Holy Ghost and the joyful battle towards a holy life.
Science vs Christianity?
The “Five Proofs” for God’s existence and their relevance for today.
What does it mean to be human? Trinitarian anthropology in dialogue with the current conceptions of self in North American society.
The poetry of George Herbert
Despair, Anger, and Christian hope
The Confessions of St. Augustine
The imagination and the redemption of culture