Phil McIntyre-Paul: 21st century pilgrims - walking on sacred ground: 

“Walk as if your life depended on it . . . .” ~ Barbara Brown Taylor   

 Now a 21-year tradition at Sorrento Centre! Four day hikes—four little pilgrimages—draw wisdom from naturalists, poets, rascals, and saints as we consider our relationship within the natural world and a viable place within God’s ecology. Each day’s hike explores a new location in the Shuswap and is framed along the trail in the simple form of contemplative prayer, reflection, and sharing that has come to mark the 21st Century Pilgrims series.

Difficulty/Prerequisites: Moderate. Good walking shoes are a must. Participants must be in good physical fitness, prepared to be outdoors for the full day, and able to walk with a small daypack for periods between 3 and 5 hours. Expect trails to include sections of sustained uphill hiking. 

Details: All walks are full day, off-site field trips. Daily trips depart from Sorrento Centre each morning at 9:45 am (with option for an earlier start on one of the days), and return to the Centre by 4:30 pm.  A shorter trip is planned for Wednesday to provide R&R time in the afternoon. Evenings are left open for rest and free time.   Transportation to the trailhead each day will be organized by carpool. Participants are expected to provide their own personal gear. Contact Sorrento Centre for the recommended equipment list. (Participants with children may need to organize extended afternoon childcare options independently.)

Due to the nature of these programs, participation is dependent on completing a liability waiver. Program leaders reserve the right to change trip itinerary and destinations as a result of changing weather, water levels, snow pack, trail and road access, and other difficulties that may arise. Participation in these programs is subject to the discretion of the program leadership.  

Course Fee: $400

PHIL McINTYRE-PAUL is the Executive Director of the Shuswap Trail Alliance, a former program associate with the Canadian Adventure and Education Centre, a former instructor with Thompson Rivers University’s Tourism Management faculty, and creator of "Living on a Paddle and a Prayer: Wilderness Journeys”.  His company, Luminous Experiential Event Designs, works to build healthy human connections within the wider natural environment. He lives, walks, paddles, and plays in Salmon Arm, BC with his partner Kathy and their two sons.


Wild Church Leaders

Wild Church Sorrento - with Rev. LeAnn Blackert, Lesly Comrie, Michele Walker

Wild Church is a sacred nature-based experience to awaken deep love for self, earth and all living beings for the survival and healing of the planet. It is a new expression of church where Mystery is experienced, not explained. Our programming and worship each day will follow the four directions. Our goal is for participants to experience the Wisdom of the Creator through creation using all senses, to learn to love the land and its occupants as neighbours, and to help change the perspective from “this land belongs to us” to “we belong with this land.” Starting in the mornings, each ninety minute meeting includes a time of centering, readings from a variety of authors, time for quiet reflection on the land, and concludes with a time of sharing our experiences with one another. We will offer two afternoon hiking adventures to enjoy the beauty and gift of the land as well. One of the outings will be accessible to all ability levels.

Course Fee: $400

Rev LeAnn Blackert is in ministry with Wild Church plants in Kamloops, Sorrento and the Okanagan area. Originally ordained and serving in the United Church of Christ/USA, love and a call nudged LeAnn over the border and ultimately into ministry with the United Church in this area. She also serves as a member of the steering committee for the Wild Church Network, a coalition of Wild Churches across the US and Canada. She is a student of the Seminary of the Wild, and spends as much time as possible in the natural world seeking the Wild Christ.

Lesly Comrie has lived and worked in Kamloops for the past eighteen years. Her spiritual roots were first nurtured in the Anglican Church, later in the United Church and over time in the beautiful wild ecology of places lived and visited. Now retired, she leans into her longing for a deeper connection with the land, the wisdom held in the natural world and the community of others answering the call to Wild Mystery. She currently volunteers with Wild Church BC and is enrolled in Seminary of the Wild leading to a Certificate in Eco-Ministry in the spring of 2021.

Michele Walker grew up playing in the mountains of the West Kootenays and has come to love the valley, grasslands and blue skies of Kamloops. Michele’s faith life has been rooted in the Christian tradition in the Lutheran and United Churches. Her longing to connect her expression of faith with the natural world and the land she loves has led her to be part of Wild Church BC. She continues to deepen her connection to Mystery and the natural world through Seminary of the Wild and Wild Church communities.

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