Dear friends in Christ,


This week the clergy and lay incumbents of Algoma will be gathering at Laurentian Lodge just outside Elliot Lake for a retreat. I invite your prayers for them as they drive to the Lodge throughout the day from all points in Algoma. It begins this afternoon at 4pm and clergy and lay incumbents will be departing for home after breakfast on Friday 10th May. The costs of the retreat are borne by Diocese and the parishes jointly.


The purpose of this retreat is for the clergy and lay incumbents to have spiritual renewal and refreshment. It happens in May alternating with the Clergy Conference or Synod. Because of the pandemic, the last time the clergy met in retreat was in 2016 which makes this year’s time together important.  In the years that have gone by, Algoma has welcomed new clergy into the diocese and said goodbye to others. While clergy regularly meet together in deanery clericus gatherings, this retreat is an opportunity for all the colleagues in ministry to get to know one another as they spend time in prayer, worship, and fellowship. 


Some of the clergy who are unable to attend the retreat are taking this week as their personal study leave time. 


I am delighted that Br. James Koester, Superior for the Society of St. John the Evangelist, will be our spiritual guide this week. We have a long friendship with SSJE in Algoma and are so happy to be welcoming Br. James to the north. I have bought him a T-Shirt which says – “IT’S CAMP NOT COTTAGE.” I hope there will be some lively discussions about which it truly is in Algoma. 


As you hold your incumbent in prayer this week, pray that the retreat will be restorative for them. Every morning a traditional Jew recites this prayer: “The soul that you have given me, O God is pure. You fashioned it. You breathed it into me, you keep body and soul together. One day you will take it from me, only to restore it to me in the time to come. So long as I have my soul, I must acknowledge you as my God and the God of my ancestors, the God of all souls. Praised are you O Lord who restores the soul to a lifeless body.”


We sing the beautiful hymn “Shepherd of souls, refresh and bless your chosen pilgrim flock with manna in the wilderness, with water from the rock.” (Common Praise 85) and we say after Eucharist, And here we offer and present unto thee O Lord ourselves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy and living sacrifice unto thee. (BCP)


When a worshipper praises God for restoring the ‘soul to a lifeless body’ they are not referring to a future resurrection but to the miracle of waking up and the discovery that they are alive and well. In this we experience God’s faithfulness. My prayer is that you, too, will have an opportunity to avail yourselves of opportunities for rest and refreshment through quiet days and retreats. In the busyness of life this is vitally important. 


A reminder:

Unfortunately internet access at Laurentian Lodge is very spotty so participants will not easily be able to respond to emails or calls. If you do have an urgent matter that needs to be addressed please contact Liz Hamel at or Laurentian Lodge at 705.848.0423. Our contact is Melanie. 


With gratitude for your support of your incumbent.