Faithful Fools Vancouver: Street Retreats

May 27, 2007

image - Fool’s Hat - from www.cuc.ca

Vancouver Street Retreats:

Saturday, June 16
Saturday, July 21
Saturday, August 25

Faithful Fools is an interfaith street ministry dedicated to witnessing the spirituality and humanity within the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver.

[post sugggested by Lisa]

Faithful Fools Vancouver
Mission Statement
August 2006

Faithful Fools is an interfaith street ministry dedicated to witnessing the spirituality and humanity within the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver.

We are a patient presence to absurdity, despair and hope. With temperance and humour we deflate social myths of comfort and superiority and strive to reflect the creativity, openness, and interdependence of the streets.

We work for positive change. We don’t come with solutions, rather we live the questions.

Vancouver Street Retreat

The Street Retreat is a chance to bring our intentional presence to a day in the streets of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Based on a Zen Buddhist practice of walking meditation, we spend a day walking in non-judgment, bearing witness to the joy, suffering and absurdity of life on the streets.

The retreat starts with an orientation and a chance to focus our energy, excitement, fear or whatever else we may bring to this act of bearing witness. After our orientation we will head out onto the streets. You will be encouraged to go alone; though a person willing to shadow you may be available. We enter onto the streets with no guidance other than to listen to our hearts and trust that we will be led to encounter a unique experience during the day. We will practice being conscious to whatever may arise from within as we witness and become a part of the neighbourhood for a day. What is it we see and hear and feel as we have conversations with individuals, walk through the streets, sit on a bench in a park, or in a drop-in centre, stand in a food line waiting for a meal, become tired or have to go to the bathroom and confront signs that say, “washrooms for customers only”, or “no loitering”? At the end of the day we will reconvene and reflect on our experiences of homelessness, poverty and life lived in the streets of Vancouver.

Laura Friedman is a candidate for Unitarian Universalist ministry. She has been working for the last couple of years founding the Faithful Fools of Vancouver, an interfaith street ministry in the Downtown Eastside.

Vancouver Street Retreat dates:

June 16, Saturday
July 21, Saturday
and tentatively August 25th, Saturday.

For more information or to email Laura Friedman: mirrorsofhope [at] yahoo [dot] ca, or phone (604) 626-5922. For a day-long retreat there is a suggested donation of $50 or more. But scholarships are always available to those with a lack of funds.

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