Mission & Vision
Who We Are
As an affiliate of The United Church of Canada, Five Oaks celebrates its presence as an Education ad Retreat Centre with an all-embracing spirit where everyone is welcome.
To be a sacred place where peoples of all faiths as well as spiritual seekers can gather in community to live, work, learn, pray, play, heal and act for justice.
To be a sacred place where people, as individuals or in intentional community, come apart to look deeply into their own lives and the world in light of faith and values, and find their calling to participate in Spirit’s healing work in creation.
To provide a residential setting where people of different faiths (or no faith), cultures, Nations and spiritual seekers can explore new understandings of neighbour, faith and the earth and model communities of compassion for the sake of the world.
Community: The company of others invites us into the hospitality and wholeness of God.
- We are not alone.
- Face to face relationships foster in-depth conversations.
- Community is greater than the sum of its parts; we are stronger together.
Sense of “Place”: Our sacred setting is an integral part of the Centre.
- The land on which we sit, and the web of life of which we are a part, is a source of teaching and renewal that offers a glimpse of the Divine.
- Place is “sacramental,” a symbol that expresses sacred realities that are often hidden, where God is always and already doing a new thing.
Collaboration: We work in partnership with others with shared values
- We work within a diverse network of partners coming together for the greater good.
- Learning in community is an integral part of programs at Five Oaks.
Diversity: We welcome and honour all ages, abilities, cultures, economic and social circumstances, ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientations, and a broad spectrum of belief systems, including secular and multi-faith.
- We hold a deep respect for the experience and giftedness of each person who participates in programs at Five Oaks and for the wisdom which can arise from being in circle.
- We believe that there is much for us to learn with and from other communities of belief and perspective.
Integrity: We are honest, fair and just; what we say and how we act are congruent.
Resilience: We adapt in the presence of challenge and opportunity.
Learning: Programs at Five Oaks inspire connection to Spirit, to faith stories and traditions, to self, to others and to nature. They inspire action for compassion and justice while attending to the physical, emotional, spiritual and intellectual.
- Programs that are experiential and interactive provide time for integration of new learnings.
- Each learner needs opportunity to experiment, room to ponder, space to be on the land in a safe and welcoming environment.
Reverence and Action: We act with deep and courageous respect for the sacredness of life, in service to all creation, living with wonder and faith.
- Individual retreats, programs and gatherings include opportunities to offer gratitude for the land, and to acknowledge the Indigenous territory on which we gather.
- All events include opportunities to offer gratitude for the people with whom we gather in community.
Acknowledgment of the Land
We acknowledge that we gather on the traditional territory of a number of First Nations and acknowledge their stewardship of this land throughout the ages. We seek a new relationship with the Original Peoples of this land, one based in honour and deep respect.
Apr 17, 2017
Prepared By: Five Oaks’ Member Working Group
This document was prepared by the Five Oaks’ Member Working Group (MWG), which officially formed and mandate agreed upon at Five Oaks’ Annual General Meeting, June 29, 2016. After a strong membership response to the Board’s announced impending closure of Five Oaks, the Board put forth an alternative of providing time for the MWG to explore options and develop a future Business Plan for Five Oaks.
In the succeeding time, MWG worked tirelessly to seek out a new vision, and way forward for Five Oaks. Please find a copy of the full report by clicking on the image.