Writing the Soul Story – Writing Your Spiritual Journey – Retreat

David Guiliano is in Sudbury to lead a weekend retreat on writing your spiritual journey.

September 20-22, 2019

Villa Loyola, 4951 Long Lake Rd., Sudbury, ON

Writing the Soul Story is for those interested in exploring their spiritual journey in a supportive retreat community. Whether you are interested in spiritual memoir for pleasure or for publication the willingness to courageously plumb your life through writing is the only prerequisite.  No previous experience is necessary.  There will be group time for giving and receiving aesthetic feedback and for individual contemplative writing.  Participants will engage in writing exercises, take some emotional risks, and stand authentically at the crossroads of creative writing and personal spirituality.

Location:  The weekend retreat takes place at Villa Loyola in Sudbury.  Participants may choose to stay at Villa Loyola in a lake front setting, easily accessible from Highway 69 and Highway 17.

For more information about Villa Loyola click here.


Full cost:  $300

**Full cost of the retreat includes the price of the workshop, overnight accommodation Friday and Saturday night in a single room with on-suite bathroom, all meals from Friday dinner to Sunday lunch, as well as, snacks.

Participants may also register for the workshops without overnight accommodation.

Commuter cost: $150

**Commuter cost includes the price of the workshop, Friday dinner, Saturday lunch and dinner and Sunday lunch, as well as, snacks.


David Giuliano is a Pastor, Spiritual Guide and Expressive Arts Facilitator.  He is an award-winning writer of more than 100 articles, essays, and poems.  David has published two illustrated children’s books: The Alligator in Naomi’s Pillow and Jeremiah and the Letter e.  His Postcards from the Valley: Encounters with Fear, Faith and God was a Canadian Best seller/  His latest book, It’s Good to Be Here: Stories We Tell about Cancer, is a spiritual memoir about his own journey.  Find out more about David Giuliano at https://davidgiulianoca.wordpress.com/

For more information or questions about the retreat, contact Gillian Schell at manitouintentionallearning@gmail.com

Register online using the form below.

Registration and a deposit of $50 is due by Friday, September 6th, 2019.

Make cheques out to Manitou Intentional Learning Community. Send cheques to the following address:

St. Peter’s United Church, attention Gillian Schell

203 York St, Sudbury, ON P3E 2A2

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We Are All Treaty People

10 AM – 3 PM

Learn about the history and significance of Treaties and through a variety of presentations and hands on activities, explore why they matter to all Canadians and specifically to people of faith.

Guest Speakers:

Maurice Switzer                                                                             Rev. Teresa Jones



$20 for individuals
$50 for groups of 3
$10 for students

Financial assistance available on request

For more information or to register, please contact Gillian Schell: gillian.schell@sympatico.ca

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World Labyrinth Day

World Labyrinth Day this year is May 4th, 2019.

Join with us in a Labyrinth walk midday at the  outdoor labyrinth site at Lourdes Grotto, Van Horne St.

From 12:30 to 1:30pm we join people around the world enjoying labyrinths as “we walk as one.”


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Deepening Diversity: Understanding Racism

Deepening Diversity: Understanding Racism

Do you have questions about race and racism?

How do we respond to racism?

How do we have difficult conversations?

How will we make our spaces more racially just?

How do we welcome people of all racial identities?

In a series of engaging and interactive workshops

Explore these challenging questions

Explore power and privilege

Gather practical tools and strategies


Beth Baskin, Program Coordinator, Social Analysis and Congregational Engagement, United Church of Canada

Carmen Ramirez, Intercultural Coordinator and anti-racism planner, United Church of Canada 

When: Saturday, April 6th, 2019   10am- 3pm

Where: St. Peter’s United Church

Cost: $20 or $50 for groups of 3 or more (includes lunch)

To register:

Contact Gillian Schell       gillian.schell @sympatico.ca

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Forgiveness by Mark Sakamoto – a book study

MILC hosted a book study on Forgiveness by Mark Sakamoto.

The word forgiveness has made headlines in recent days as people respond to the trial of the driver in the Bronco’s bus crash. It is a timely topic.

Winner of Canada Reads 2018, Mark Sakamoto’s memoir Forgiveness: A Gift from My Grandparents tells the story of his grandfather, a Canadian soldier who, during the Second World War, spent years as a prisoner of war in a Japanese camp, while at the same time his grandmother, a Japanese Canadian, was interned by the Canadian government.

But this story is far more than a moving family memoir. Described as both “devastating and uplifting” (Ottawa Review of Books, 2018), the book confronts many of our assumptions about Canadian multiculturalism, and challenges us to explore the nature of forgiveness from both a personal and national perspective. Sakamoto states: I sort of thought forgiveness was a transaction…but in fact forgiveness really is a way of life. It has nothing to do with the past, in many ways. It has everything to do with the future.”

The Manitou Intentional Learning Community hosted a tea and talk on Sunday, March 3rd from 2:00 to 4:00 at St. Peter’s United Church. Rev. Dawn Vaneyk lead the discussion and afternoon tea was served.  Donations to cover costs were accepted.


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Reflections on Lenten Scripture

Clergy and lay worship leaders met Thursday, February 14, 2019 at St. Peter’s United Church for reflections and planning worship during the period of Lent.

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MILC AGM: Reflections on God Amidst the Chaos

Manitou Intentional Learning Community

The 2018 Annual General Meeting  was held November 14, 2019 at Grace United Church.

The evening involved a dinner and general membership meeting at 5:30 pm.  Reflections from our guest speakers and discussion began at 6:30pm.

We had the pleasure of being joined by

Rev. David Legrand talking on the theme of

“Speaking Truth to Power” and

Rev. Dawn Vaneyk discussing

“Leadership in Times of Chaos and Change”


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Living Well, Dying Well

On October 11th, 2018 at St. Peter’s United Church, Kathy Dahmer offered a workshop for clergy discussing Medical Assistance in Dying in Ministry.

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Building Strong Congregations in a Changing Church

On Saturday, September 22nd, St. Peter’s United Church hosted a panel discussion about upcoming changes to the structure of the United Church.


Topics included:

  • General Council 43: Reports and reflections
  • Our Church: New structure, new vision
  • Recruiting and retaining volunteers
  • Developing sustainable stewardship
  • Creating connections, working together




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Labyrinth Day

World Labyrinth Day: A Global Celebration of the Labyrinth





Taking Steps for Peace took place Saturday, May 5, 2018 on World Labyrinth Day organized by MILC.

The day included a workshop at St. Peter’s United Church.  Participants learned to lead labyrinth walks with the indoor labyrinth available, from Amy Hallman Grout, Rev. Linda Saffrey, Rev. Dawn Vaneyk, Faye Moffatt.


The labyrinth walk took place at 1p.m. at the  outdoor labyrinth site at Lourdes Grotto, Van Horne St.


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