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Symposium Retreat

(18–21 July 2019)

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Christian Perspectives on the

Inner Transformation of a Peacemaker

A Symposium Retreat on Contemplation, Asceticism, and Practical Peacebuilding

IRPJ-OPF Symposium Retreat (Thursday to Sunday, July 18–21, 2019)

All Saints of North America Orthodox Monastery (Dewdney, BC)


Join us for the annual IRPJ-OPF Symposium Retreat 2019 on the theme of Christian perspectives on the inner transformation of a peacemaker. This Symposium Retreat will provide the opportunity for intellectual engagement with a variety of topics related to the interior foundation for practical peacemaking or how the transfiguration of our being and essence encourages an intuitive life of nonviolence (or less violence), loving our enemies, and repaying evil with good. The gathering will also set aside sacred space for engaging our inner life and transformation through the various ascetic and contemplative sessions of the retreat portion of this event.


Fr. Philip LeMasters

Parish Priest of St. Luke's Orthodox Church (Abilene, TX), author and speaker, Professor of Religion at McMurry University


For more on Fr. Philip, click here.

Brian Zahnd

Lead Pastor of Word of Life Church (St. Joseph, MO), author, teacher, and speaker


For more on Brian, click here.

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Fr. Philip LeMasters and Brian Zahnd will provide the keynote addresses throughout the weekend, while scholars, practitioners, clergy, lay theologians, and contemplatives will give additional talks and present papers on the themes of the Symposium Retreat. The event is deliberately ecumenical in nature to allow for meaningful dialogue on these important subjects and the opportunity to practice mutual hospitality by drawing from the many rich textures of our eclectic yet common past for application in the present.

Set at All Saints of North American Orthodox Monastery in Dewdney, British Columbia, Canada, the IRPJ-OPF Symposium Retreat will draw inspiration from the beauty and serenity of the landscape.

The Institute for Religion, Peace and Justice is an initiative of St. Stephen's University and operates in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia, Canada. Its mission is to be a teaching, research, and resource institute of St. Stephen’s University that provides students, scholars, practitioners, and any thoughtful person with a robust education and experience that integrate attentiveness to one's inner transformation, peace theology and social justice, an understanding of the role of religion in peace and violence, and practical peacemaking as a vocation and way of life.

The Orthodox Peace Fellowship is a pan-Orthodox organization dedicated to the active pursuit of peace as taught in the Gospel of Jesus Christ from an Orthodox Christian perspective. In Communion is the name of the educational and publishing arm of the Orthodox Peace Fellowship. Several book series, a podcast, blog, university courses, this website, and an occasional journal are among the many initiatives of In Communion. Our mission is to promote the fullness of the faith through research and education.

A gathering of pilgrims on the path toward peacemaking who want to explore and participate in the ascetic and contemplative foundation and practices that encourage peace and justice.


All Saints of North America Orthodox Monastery in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia, Canada (see map below)


Thursday to Sunday, July 18–21, 2019 (see schedule below)


Because the inner transformation of a peacemaker is an extremely important dynamic of the peacemaking vocation that has been woefully neglected but is fast becoming accepted as an integral consideration.


Our speakers, retreat facilitators ... and you!














Thursday, July 18, 2019 (All Saints Monastery):


  • Registration (3pm – 4:45pm)


  • Dinner (5pm – 6:30pm)


  • Keynote Address: Fr. Philip LeMasters (7pm – 8:30pm)


Friday, July 19, 2019 (All Saints Monastery):


  • Breakfast (7:45am – 9:15am)


  • Session #1 – Context and Importance of Inner Transformation for Peacemakers: Theological, Scriptural, Psychological Basis (9:30am – 10:45am)


  • IRPJ debrief with students / free time for all others (11am – 12:15pm)


  • Lunch (12:30pm – 1:45pm)


  • Session #2 – Ascetic and Contemplative Practices for Peacemakers (2pm – 3:30pm)


  • Session #3 – Application of Ascetic and Contemplative Practices in Practical Peacebuilding Settings (3:45pm – 5:15pm)


  • Dinner (5:30pm – 7pm)


  • Keynote Speaker + Q&A: Brian Zahnd and Fr. Philip LeMasters (7:30pm – 9:30pm)

Saturday, July 20, 2019 (Retreat at Woodside):


  • Breakfast at the Monastery (8am – 9:30am)


  • drive to Woodside (9:30am – 10:15am)


  • Session #1 + free time (10:30am – 12:15am)


  • Lunch (12:30pm – 1:45pm)


  • Session #2 + free time (2pm – 3:45pm)


  • Session #3 + free time (4pm – 4:45pm)


  • Light Dinner (6pm – 7pm)


  • Vespers at Woodside (7:15pm – 8pm)


  • Free Time (8pm ff.)


Sunday, July 21, 2019 (All Saints Monastery):


  • Orthros and Divine Liturgy (9am – 11:15am)


  • Agape Meal (11:30am – 12:45pm)


  • Final Keynote Address: Fr. Philip LeMasters               (1pm – 2:30pm)


  • Disembark for home



The IRPJ-OPF Symposium Retreat 2019 will take place between the towns of Mission and Agassiz, BC, where most accommodations and amenities are located for those who will be traveling from a distance.

Please use the map below to locate appropriate accommodations near the location of the symposium retreat.

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