OUR CHAPEL THEOLOGIAN, Dr. Robert Barker
Roberta Barker is Associate Professor and Associate Director (Theatre) in the Fountain School of Performing Arts at Dalhousie University. She is a graduate of King’s and is the current coordinator of Section 3 of FYP. A practicing director and dramaturge of theatre and opera, she is also the author of a book on Early Modern theatre. Beloved by her students, for five consecutive years she was named Halifax’s Best Professor by The Coast Newspaper.
This retreat offers a contemplative setting for rest, refreshment, winter activities (hiking, snowshoeing, skating, etc.), and the presentation of four addresses by our guest speaker and Chapel Theologian, collectively entitled, The Old Flame: Virgil, Beatrice, and Love. We will explore the chain of reflection on human and divine love from the ancient world to the poetry of modernists like W.B. Yeats, T.S. Eliot, and Anna Akhmatova in the twentieth, with Dante’s 13th century Divine Comedy as the hinge between them. How has love been seen to be the answer to the restlessness of the human heart in the past, and can love really be the answer to our own contemporary seeking of meaning in this fractured world?
Unstructured time on Friday and Saturday afternoons allows retreatants to establish their own pace in the beautiful natural surroundings. One may opt to be in solitude and silence, gather in discussion, pray, read or study, or participate in outdoor activities (hiking, canoeing, nature walks, etc.) either at the Retreat Centre or in nearby Kejimkujik Park. The weekend will be organized around the singing of the ancient Benedictine Offices of Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, and Compline, along with the talks by our Chapel Theologian.
Mersey River Chalets Retreat Centre provides a comfortable and relaxing environment in the beauty of Nova Scotia’s back country. It offers shared bedrooms with shared bathroom and shower, living room, wood stove, and small kitchen. All indoor accommodations are heated with fireplaces, and bedding is provided. Tents are welcome! Visit www.merseyriverchalets.com for more details about our retreat centre.
The main meals of the day (lunch and dinner) are provided for and prepared by fellow retreatants who have volunteered their time to cook for the weekend. A light breakfast will be provided. Saturday we celebrate with a Dinner Feast. Bring a bottle of wine or sparkling juice to share for this special celebration.
WHAT TO BRING:
Warm clothes, rain gear, wool socks or slippers for inside the lodge. Knapsack, water bottle, appropriate footwear and clothing for any outdoor activities. Food for snacks, and wine or sparkling juice for Saturday Feast. Flashlights. Tent and sleeping bag if camping on site. Musical instruments!
Applications for the retreat may be found at the Reception Desk, University of King’s College, Arts & Academic Building and at the back of the Chapel, or here. Completed form with signed waiver and fees must be given to Stephanie Boudreau at the same location on or before 30 January at 5pm. Spaces are limited. Acceptance will be determined on a first come, first serve basis.
Transportation will be provided, or retreatants may bring their own vehicles. Please indicate on your registration form if you are able to drive a rental vehicle.
The suggested contribution to Retreat costs is $100 for students and $160 for the employed. Please only give what you are able and do not let finances be a barrier to participation. We carry one another. No one will be refused for financial reasons. Cheques can be made payable to the University of King’s College with a note in the memo line for “King’s Chapel Retreat”. For those not attending Retreat (for example, parents and community members who want to make this Retreat possible) receipts will be issued for charitable purposes. Thank you!