395 Lakeshore Dr., North Bay, ON, P1A 2C5 | Phone: 1-833-236-0281 Ext. 1 csrc@united-church.ca
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Canadian Shield regional council's logo for their ministers wellness program

Wisdom of the Snail 

A Retreat for Clergy on Patience and Trust


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Guest Speaker  |  Location  |   Registration  |  Staff Support

entrance of Fern Resort

Tuesday, September 24, 2024, starting at 4 p.m.

to Thursday, September 26, 2024, ending at 1 p.m.

at Fern Resort, 4432 Fern Resort Road

Ramara, Ontario  (10 minutes from Orillia)

Join Us!

Ministry personnel from Shining Waters and Canadian Shield Regional Councils are invited to gather in-person for a clergy retreat at Fern Resort, located 10 minutes from Orillia. It is an opportunity to come together and build a collegial relationship with peers from both regions. There will also be down time, with opportunities to socialize with each other.

This event is subsidized by Shining Waters Regional Council through our Flourish program and Canadian Shield Regional Council through their Minister Wellness program so this clergy retreat will only cost you $300 to attend.

Space is limited so see below and register early. Deadline for registration is September 9 by 12 Noon. We hope you can join us!

Wisdom of the Snail

“We get stuck in order to feel the soul’s presence rather than the flow of life.” – Thomas Moore

A snail’s pace is difficult to accept. We rush around, keep busy, get things done, set goals, make plans … our daily lives are full of constant activity. Add to this a culture that values change at break-neck speeds and our minds are forever trying and failing to keep up with what’s new. This way of life breeds control, fear and uncertainty.

The image of the snail invites playful reflection on antidotes to the challenges of our time.

During this retreat we’ll remember that the spiritual path is a slow unfolding. Through restful, gentle and meaningful practices we’ll explore the link between patience and our relationship with time itself. We’ll engage each other in deep conversation to cultivate wisdom and trust.  We’ll seek to come home to our own souls and to love.

“I felt in need of a great pilgrimage, so I sat still for three days and God came to me.” – Kabir

head and shoulder picture of Robin McGauley standing outside of a house with a blue door and green topiary potted shrub

Our Facilitator: Rev. Robin McGauley

The Rev. Robin McGauley (she/her) currently responds to the calling of the Spirit by dedicating herself to being a full-time artist and spiritual director. For 9 years she was the Program Director of Five Oaks Education and Retreat Centre where she designed and facilitated countless retreats, workshops and courses about spiritual practices and spiritual leadership. Her most recent position in the church was at the General Council Office as the staff person responsible for the policies and procedures for how someone becomes a minister in the denomination. Robin currently serves on the Indigenous Justice Advisory Committee of The United Church of Canada as a white settler who is committed to reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. She is also a certified labyrinth facilitator and a former faculty member of the Expressive Arts Program at the Haliburton School of Art and Design. To learn more please visit her website: www.robinmcgauley.com

Location: Fern Resort

Fern Resort is located on the eastern shores of picturesque Lake Couchiching, about a 10 minute drive from Orillia. Hidden amongst the willow trees is a relaxed lakeside retreat with everything you need enjoy this overnight retreat.

For more information on Fern Resort please see their website: https://fernresort.com/

Fern Resort (MAP)
4432 Fern Resort Road
Ramara, Ontario

We are a short drive from the GTA, and only 30 minutes from Barrie, ON. From Orillia, take Hwy 12 east and turn north on Rama Road (County Rd. 44). Turn West on Fern Resort Road.

We are a 20 minute drive from Lake Simcoe Regional Airport which is serviced by FlyGTA Airlines. The short-hop flight from downtown Toronto takes less than 20 minutes. Domestic and international charters can also be booked from most major cities at a reasonable price. Canada Customs Agents are onsite for international arrivals and rental cars and taxis are available. For guests flying into Pearson International Airport in Toronto, Simcoe County Airport Service runs a shuttle service directly to Fern Resort. Please contact the resort for more information.

Exterior of Fern Resort from lake
plate of food

Wisdom of the Snail Clergy Retreat Registration

  • What community of faith are you associated with? Please include a general location, like Knox Agincourt UC, Scarborough, or Knox UC, Sutton. If you are not currently affiliated with a church, just type not applicable.
  • Please let us know if you have any special dietary concerns or food allergies that we should be aware of.
  • Do you have any accommodation needs that the planners of this event need to be aware of?
  • $ 0.00 CAD

Staff Support for this event:

Robert Smith

Robert Smith

Pastoral Relations Minister

Phone: 1-833-236-0281 Ext. 3
Email: rsmith@united-church.ca

Serves in: Canadian Shield Regional Council

Location: Teleworks and works in the Thunder Bay Office.

Role: Rob encourages and supports ministry personnel toward health, joy, and excellence in ministry practice.

Contact Rob about: Conflict Resolution; Finding A New Minister; Licensed Lay Worship Leaders; Licenses To Administer Sacraments; Pastoral Relationships Policy; Resources for Transition Times; Retirement; Sabbaticals; Sick Leave; Short Term Supply Ministers; Visiting Minister Options.

More about Rob…





Phone: 416-231-7680  |  1-800-268-3781
Extension: 6147
Email: EPark@united-church.ca

Serves in: Shining Waters Regional Council

Location: Teleworks from home

Role: Eun-Joo encourages and supports both communities of faith and ministry personnel.