Rhythms of Renewal

 on May 30, 2024

As the children, youth and family coordinator for St. David’s, Welland, I was excited to take part in my first national youth leaders’ retreat. For the past few years, our focus at the parish has been on our growing children’s ministry. As our children age, our ministry needs are changing, and we are now providing programming for youth. I was excited to be given the opportunity to connect with other youth leaders from across Canada.

The Rhythms of Renewal Retreat was jointly hosted by the Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Canada and brought leaders from both churches together at the Sorrento Centre on the shores of beautiful Shuswap Lake in British Columbia for a week- end of learning, relaxing, and fellowship. The Sorrento Centre, founded in 1963, offers amazing scenic views and a welcoming environment for everyone to learn and grow. It truly is a place people can come to connect with nature and rejuvenate.

The retreat organizers worked to create a comfortable space for leaders to connect with one another, create friendships, and renew our spirits. One of the highlights of the weekend was being able to take the time to learn about ways to do creative journaling. The associate director of the Sorrento Centre, Kathy MacDuff, was generous with her time and energy as she shared her resources and knowledge teaching us ways to create art through our feelings. As someone who loves to be creative, the idea of writing my feelings on papers did leave me feeling a bit timid, but by being guided though the process it was a wonderful way to sort my thoughts and then change them into art.

The retreat also provided the opportunity to connect and learn from other leaders about what they are doing with their children and youth. For me, one of my highlights was connecting with another leader and her family who live in Kelowna. The Hardy family took me under their wing and provided transportation, local tours, great conversation and even a home cooked meal. They helped to remind me that our Church is much larger than St. David’s – as Anglicans we are a large body of people who strive to share the love God in our communities.

It is very easy for all of us to get caught up in the daily routines of our church lives and being able to take a moment to pause and reflect on the big picture and the larger church helps us to remember our calling and mission. I am so grateful for the opportunity to meet others, hear their stories, and help strengthen the wider community of youth leaders across Canada

  • Alison Steele

    Alison Steele is CYFM Coordinator at St. David’s, Welland.

Skip to content