Workshop and Activity Descriptions

Workshops

Workshops are interactive sessions facilitated by retreat leaders which help you explore different connections between your faith and your daily life. The list of workshops below will tell you who the leader is, where it will take place, and on which day(s) it will be offered. Check back often as this list will be updated regularly as we receive information from retreat leaders.

Saturday Morning Workshops

Science and Faith with Heather

Together we will draw parallels between science and faith through the process of questioning (a.k.a. the scientific method).

Harry Potter, Fair Trade and S.P.E.W.

In the world of Harry Potter, Hermione spends a lot of time trying to improve working conditions for house elves. This workshop will use S.P.E.W. (Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare)  as a window into the relationship between labour and justice in our Muggle world.

Gifts on the Journey with Kim and Lauren

In the Wizarding World, Harry is given many tools and gifts for the journey that aid him in his tasks. Through this workshop we will explore some of these tools and their symbolism, and then we will look to our own lives to see what tools and gifts we may have for our own journeys.

Unmasking the Powers: Defense Against the Dark Arts with Judy

So what is ‘darkness’?  And what are we defending against? Fear, despair, suspicion, loneliness – both internal and external? Sometimes that feels like it is in our control. Sometimes, it is inflicted by sources outside ourselves. What are the ‘Dementors’ that suck the life out of us, steal happiness, eat away at our souls?

Our cultural mythology (and human history) has countless examples of how we respond to violence with more aggressive violence. To be the stronger one. Or the louder one at a protest. Is it really ok to “punch a Nazi” or other harbingers of hatred?

We are part of a different story.  Martin Luther King Jr. described it like this:

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

So, does this mean ‘turn the other cheek’ and become a doormat? Are Christian people really meant to just let aggressors walk all over them? Or does this text – in its context – actually point at ways to actively subvert oppression and hatred?  Join us on a journey, along with Harry Potter, Batman, Ghandi, Jesus and others to discover the little known ‘third way’, and learn what Defence against Darkness looks like in real life.

 

Saturday Evening Workshops

Hogwarts Hospitality with Lauren and Kim

“Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home”, but what is it about Hogwarts that is so homelike, so welcoming and comforting? As a group we will breakdown through examples from the wizarding world, what it is that makes a home and how we can become more hospitable and show others that same love, care and acceptance that Harry was shown. In this workshop we will learn through experiencing by preparing and eating food together in a community setting, much like Harry Potter, We will be making treats from the wizarding world which we will be able to eat and take away from the workshop. Through these discussions and activities we will build relationships and explore what acceptance is, how we can meet people’s needs and what ‘welcome’ truly looks like. We will leave the session well fed, on a slight sugar high but filled with inspiration for how to practically love our neighbour as ourselves in our everyday life.

Magic and Theology with Heather

Come and discover the metaphor of magic and how it fits into the theological message of Christianity.

Churchy Bingo with Caitlin

Churches are full of special objects, furniture, clothes and words that you won’t find anywhere else. This life-size, interactive, cooperative bingo game will give you a chance to learn about some of these special churchy things from a certified Church nerd. If you like trivia, words with greek or latin roots, old things or have ever wondered what a priest’s hat has in common with a zucchini, this workshop is for you.

Labyrinth: The Walking Prayer with Clare

Have you heard about Labyrinth? Have you done Labyrinth? The labyrinth is a model or metaphor for life. The Christian life is often described as a pilgrimage or journey with God, a journey in which we can grow closer in relationship with God, and in turn, closer to others. Through the walking in silence on this map, we listen to ourselves and listen to God.

 

Sunday Workshops

Care of Magical Creatures with Lauren and Kim

What are magical creatures? Magical creatures are animals that walk or swim or fly or crawl on this earth, but they are also the very earth beneath our feet, our friends and families and our very selves. Everything has been fearfully and wonderfully made by God so in that way they are all marvelous and magical. This workshop will explore through examples from the wizarding world ways that we can care for ourselves, each other, creatures and the planet through reflective activity stations and crafts that will give you a chance to zone out and reflect on what you can take back from this retreat to inspire you in life back at home.

Unmasking the Powers: Defense Against the Dark Arts with Judy (repeated)

So what is ‘darkness’?  And what are we defending against? Fear, despair, suspicion, loneliness – both internal and external? Sometimes that feels like it is in our control. Sometimes, it is inflicted by sources outside ourselves. What are the ‘Dementors’ that suck the life out of us, steal happiness, eat away at our souls?

Our cultural mythology (and human history) has countless examples of how we respond to violence with more aggressive violence. To be the stronger one. Or the louder one at a protest. Is it really ok to “punch a Nazi” or other harbingers of hatred?

We are part of a different story.  Martin Luther King Jr. described it like this:

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

So, does this mean ‘turn the other cheek’ and become a doormat? Are Christian people really meant to just let aggressors walk all over them? Or does this text – in its context – actually point at ways to actively subvert oppression and hatred?  Join us on a journey, along with Harry Potter, Batman, Ghandi, Jesus and others to discover the little known ‘third way’, and learn what Defence against Darkness looks like in real life.

Literacy and Harry Potter

How do we take for granted that people are able to read and understand the symbols and words around us in everyday life? What is the relationship between literacy and justice? The Harry Potter books offer us a glimpse into the world of education and different kinds of literacy. This workshop will use this as a jumping off point for larger conversations about literacy and how to get involved in the work of literacy justice in your own community.

Arts, Games and Outdoor Activities

Different from workshops, these activities give you a chance to get moving or create something or just play (whether it is music or sports or games). The list of activities below gives you the who, what, where and when of each of these different activities. Check this space often as the list will be updated as we receive information from retreat leaders.

Saturday Activities

Prayer Stations with Kim

We invite you to come and pray. We will be offering a variety of prayer method stations. Some you may be familiar with, some may be new to you. And we will provide space for you to pray in your own way if you wish.  God is near. So take a moment to reflect and connect.

Baking with Chris

Do you like delicious baked delights? Why not try your hand at baking? No experience kneaded. Whether you’ve made an enjoyable birthday cake with your two hands or you’ve used your hands to enjoy a cake on your birthday, all are welcome. Passed hits have included: bagels and coffee cake. What will we whip up this year?

Board Games with Anika

Come play an old favourite, or try something new! Especially exciting are the collection of Harry Potter board games available just for this retreat!

Wand-making with Lauren

There will be no foolish wand-waving or silly incantations in this class. As such, I don’t expect many of you to appreciate the subtle science and exact art that is wand-making. However, for those select few… Who possess, the predisposition… I can teach you how to bewitch the mind and ensnare the senses. I can tell you how to cast fame, charm glory, and even put a stopper in death.

Building a Quinzhee with Judy and Hal

A quinzhee is a snow shelter that can be made for survival, winter camping, or just for fun.  Unlike an igloo that is made of blocks, a quinzhee uses the properties of snow when it is piled up to create a solid wall/ceiling, through a process called ‘sintering’.  So, yes, if the weather is right we’re going to make a very cool snow fort and then gather inside for hot chocolate when we’re done.  You’ll probably want mittens, and snow pants for this one, and a hoodie is helpful to prevent snow falling down your neck. This activity will take place over two days, so we won’t finish our fort until Sunday.

 

Sunday Activities

Building a Quinzhee with Judy, but not Hal this time (continued)

It is time to finish what we started. If you weren’t part of the group for the first session, don’t worry, we can use extra help so feel free to join us!

Potions with Heather

In this Potions Class we will make fluorescent Muggle Mud that you can take home and amaze your friends, baffle your family, and impress the Arthur Weasleyist of wizards.

Colouring Therapy with Kim

For our art lovers we bring you colouring time! We will have Harry Potter art pages to colour, blank paper for free expression, and Kimberly will be sharing with those who are interested an art colouring technique which was taught to her by Judy Steers.

Play time with Caitlin (and James and Emma)

Do you like to relax by building duplo towers and vehicles? Would you like to spend some time playing pretend with the experts? Want to practice making funny faces only a baby would enjoy? Then this activity is for you. Our youngest leaders and their support team will be hanging out and doing what they do best. Come and play with us!

Improv! with Hal

“Scripts are so overrated! Join Hal for some improv acting!”

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