ROOO Poster


Rev. Dr. Matthew Anderson

Gatto Chair in Christian Studies at St Francis Xavier in Religious Studies

September 15–17, 2023

Kuriakos, Sylvan Lake, AB

Drinking Deeply of Scripture: An Expansion on the Book Pairings


  1. The Garden of Eden (Apple Cider)
  2. Joshua and the Conquest (Tea)
  3. Ruth and Belonging (Wine)
  4. The Psalms and a Taste of Home (Coffee)
ROOO Poster


Rev. Dr. Kristine Ruffatto

Retired Professor of Old Testament Studies at LTS

September 9–11, 2022

Kuriakos, Sylvan Lake, AB

Kristine & Scot in Africa

An Adult Look at Sunday School Stories


  1. Noah’s Ark
  2. Moses & the Exodus
  3. David: The Shepherd Boy Who Became King
  4. Joshua, the Battle of Jericho, and the Conquest of Canaan


When we are children, we learn the stories of the Bible and get out of them what we can. But the biblical narratives are highly literary, theological works — they are sophisticated and complex!

The biblical writers used stories to teach, to edify, and to make a theological point. The deeper we dig, the more richness we discover.

St. Augustine wrote that the Bible is “shallow enough for a child not to drown, yet deep enough for an elephant to swim.”

An in-depth look at well-known Old Testament stories enhances our understanding of their meaning and message, for ancient Israel and for us today.

2021 poster


Rev. Dr. Tim Wray

Pastor at Lutheran Church of the Master, Airdrie

September 10–12, 2021

Kuriakos, Sylvan Lake, AB

Valuing Creation:

The Economics of Saving


  1. Creation 1: Beyond a Command Economy
  2. Creation 2: Labour and Labour Pains
  3. Session III. A New Creation: Walking through the Dust Cloud


Christians have long wrestled with the question, “What must I do to be saved?” In 2020, concern for personal salvation also includes more concrete concerns about saving our planet.

We may be alarmed by cries that a global movement could have saved the earth if we had acted yesterday. We may be soothed by promises that the markets and technology will save us if prioritized. What do the resources of Christianity have to offer this contemporary crisis? Where is our hope?

Science is a discipline of observation. As a farmer I ask, “What is science teaching us about the resilience of nature?”
Theology is the discipline of the study of God. We approach theology with the humility of mere humanity. We will explore Bible stories, seeking wisdom to answer these questions:

  • What is creation for?
  • What are people for?
  • What must we do to be saved?
    From this discussion, a vision of the salvation of creation and humanity may germinate. As a facilitator, a farmer and a person of faith, my expectation is that “our hearts will burn within us as [the Word] opens to us the Scriptures.” (Luke 24:32)

Photo Highlights:

2019 ROOO Poster


Dr. Faith Nostbakken

Spiritual Director, Ecumenical Officer, ABT Synod (ELCIC)

September 13–15, 2019

Kuriakos, Sylvan Lake, AB

A Tapestry of Sacred Stories:

Yours, Mine, God’s


  1. Introducing Sacred Story: Call and Blessing
  2. Spiritual Encounters: Personal Relationships
  3. Tests/Challenges/Eclipses


We began by considering how our lives can be seen as threads of a story and what makes them sacred. Then we explored the first avenue into sacred story through the biblical theme of call and blessing. Two more threads of the sacred tapestry were drawn from our spiritual encounters and our many and diverse relationships: this is the warp and woof of divine and human experiences interwoven.

In the last session, we asked how the darker threads of the unbidden and unasked-for challenges also add texture and meaning to our sacred stories. What, then, is the unique fabric of each of our lives, still unfinished, still becoming?

Photo Highlights:

Poster 2018

2018 OLD

Rev. Dr. Anna Madsen

OMG Centre for Theological Conversation


September 14–16, 2018

Kuriakos, Sylvan Lake, AB

Anna Speaking

Justice, Grace, Hope:

Making Sense in a Mixed-Up World


  1. We Are Justified
  2. Radical Grace
  3. Loss, Grief, & Hope


These loosely connected sessions centered around practical issues of how we can live, as Christians, in a world that continually challenges us.

We considered the factors that have led to a tendency toward quietude in the church. We also learned of theological traditions and resources that help anchor and expand our grasp of the implications of the Gospel.

We considered grace in terms of our interpersonal relations, our approach to public

policies, and our ultimate salvation.

Elements of the Christian tradition, partnered with research and expertise from the disciplines of neurology and psychology, offered tremendous possibilities for framing and attending to the experience of grief, mental illness, and despair. We came away with resources and reasons for hope.

Photo highlights from this retreat

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2017 OLD

Rev. Dr. Thom Johnson

Adjunct Professor at Claremont School of Theology


September 15–17, 2017

St. Michael's Anglican Church, Canmore, AB

Reformation and Resistance for Today:

Inspiration from the Reformers, Bonhoeffer, and the Interfaith Movement


  1. Luther & Bonhoeffer
  2. Reformation 500
  3. The Interfaith Movement Today


At the heart of the Reformation movement was the call to challenge that which needs to be changed for the sake of the gospel of grace and to resist theology, practices and institutions that promote injustice. We were inspired as we explored the question: what does the Reformation mean for us today?

  • What needs reform today?
  • How are we called to resist against injustice? Against oppressive theology and practices?
  • How do we live out the spirit of reformation today?

The format for these sessions was fairly interactive. In addition to lecture, participants enjoyed small discussion groups, tested their skill at a Reformation trivia game (prizes from Old Lutheran!), watch videos, and acted in a Luther-Bonhoeffer dialogue skit.

Photo highlights from this retreat

2016 Poster

2016 OLD

Rev. Dr. Matthew Anderson

Associate Professor, Theological Studies

Concordia University, Montréal

and ELCIC pastor


September 23–25, 2016

Kuriakos, Sylvan Lake, AB


A Western Canadian User's Guide


  1. Something Grand (film)
  2. Walking Pilgrimage: Five Elements
  3. Luther, 2017, and How Christian Pilgrimage Has Changed
  4. Indigenizing Pilgrimages


In a world in which so many pilgrims call themselves non-religious, and so many

voyages are called ‘pilgrimages’, we attempted to define Christian pilgrimage and

discover what makes a journey spiritual.

Through biblical and historical material and Matt’s own documentary films and experiences, we examined factors that make up spiritual mobility and how Luther changed the nature of pilgrimage.

Matt’s NW Mounted Police Patrol Trail walk through southern Saskatchewan last summer guided discussion of contemporary practices of journey, and especially ‘settler’ pilgrimage in Western Canada, as a meaningful, restorative and sacred voyage.

Photo highlights from this retreat

2015 Poster

2015 OLD

Rev. Dr. Cam Harder

Professor of Systematic Theology

Lutheran Theological Seminary Saskatoon


September 24–27, 2015

St. Michael's Anglican Church, Canmore, AB

Faith in the 21st Century:

Politics, Science & the Workplace


  1. Faith and Politics
  2. Faith and Science
  3. Faith and the Workplace


The sessions looked at the way in which faith reframes three contested areas of modern life.

Politics: Using Bonhoeffer’s struggle with the corruption of faith under the Nazis and his decision to participate in the plot to assassinate Hitler, we looked at some ways in which faith may inform and challenge political action.

Science: Science texts have been treated as antagonistic to sacred texts by many religious groups. We looked instead at some of the ways in which the Bible and science help each other to develop their full potential for human life.

The Workplace: Drawing on interviews with Christians working at various jobs in Alberta’s oilpatch, we reflected on the ways in which faith does and does not affect the culture of, and decisions made in, the workplace.

Photo highlights from this retreat

2014 Poster

2014 OLD

Dr. Harry O. Maier

Professor of New Testament & Early Christian Studies

Vancouver School of Theology


September 26–28, 2014

St. Michael's Anglican Church, Canmore, AB

photo by Dan Toulgoet for the Vancouver Courier

Houses of Living Stone:

Creating Space for Mission & Identity in a Secular Society


  1. Why Space Matters
  2. Spaces for Mission
  3. “You Are the Body of Christ”
  4. Houses of Living Stone Built on the Rejected Stone


Why Space Matters: What does it mean to be a Christian in a modern secular society? How are we used to thinking about our identity? This lecture introduced some important concepts in the study of space and place in contemporary society and ask us to consider what space we inhabit as Christians and as the church. How do we imagine ourselves as the people of God in the midst of a secular world?

Spaces for Mission: The New Testament is filled with images of what space the church occupies. We explored some of the New Testament’s leading conceptualizations

of space and identity: temple, city, bride, fruit. We explored how such language invites us to imagine ourselves and how it can shape our identity of mission and identity in the secular world.

“You are the Body of Christ”: The Body of Christ is Paul’s central image of the church. This session explored this image within the larger social and urban context of Paul’s world. We discovered how Paul takes a commonplace idea and turns it upside-down. What can Paul’s reformulation of a political concept teach us about

the people of God in a pluralistic secular society?

Houses of Living Stone Built on the Rejected Stone: The New Testament calls Jesus the stone that the builders rejected. What does it mean to occupy a place built on a rejected stone? What does this mean for us as the people of God in our secular society? What particular space has God created for us in baptism? What place does the house built on the rejected stone have amidst the houses of steel and glass in modern society?

Photo highlights from this retreat

2004 – 2013 OLD

Earlier Speakers


September 20–22, 2013

St. Michael's Anglican Church, Canmore, AB

Rev. Dr. Kristine Ruffatto,

Lutheran Theological Seminary Saskatoon

Good News from Old Texts


  1. The Power of Poetry: The Psalms as Prayers of the Human Heart
  2. What Good Can Come from Sinai? The Biblical Witness for Changing Laws for Changing Times


The psalms form those who pray them. What can we gain from these ancient prayers of joy, sorrow, frustration, and even rage? What do these poems say about God and God’s people, and how does the speaking of them form faith and shape reality? We will explore the power of biblical poetic prayer for the life of faith and the richness of this evocative (and provocative) language.

The legal traditions of the Bible are living and dynamic. The Old Testament preserves a conversation about the relation between divinely revealed law and human interpretations of those laws. The New Testament proclaims Jesus as the One who both fulfills the law and overturns it, and it witnesses to the revising and even setting aside of older laws. We will explore what is the guiding principle behind biblical legal ethics.


September 28–30, 2012

St. Michael's Anglican Church, Canmore, AB

Samuel Torvend

Rev. Dr. Samuel Torvend

Pacific Lutheran University

Luther and the Hungry Poor


Martin Luther’s concern for the reform of society, as well as a reform of theology


September 16–18, 2011

Best Western Pocaterra Hotel, Canmore, AB

Rev. Dr. Gordon Jensen

Lutheran Theological Seminary Saskatoon

Luther, Scripture and the Word


Discussed what Luther meant when he spoke of the Word as both audible and visible, and what that means for Christian ethics and worship.


September 24–26, 2010

St. Michael's Anglican Church, Canmore, AB

Barbara Rossing

Rev. Dr. Barbara Rossing

Lutheran Theological Seminary at Chicago

Ecology, The Bible and Our Future:

Are We Living at the End of the World?


Rev. Dr. Barbara Rossing discussed scripture and the care of the earth.


September 25–27, 2009

St. Michael's Anglican Church, Canmore, AB

Rev. Dr. Kevin Ogilvie

Lutheran Theological Seminary Saskatoon

Christian Hospitality: Invited to Stay, Invited to Go


  1. Radical Hospitality
  2. Raw Mission
  3. Ministry as Leaving or Staying


October 3–5, 2008

St. Michael's Anglican Church, Canmore, AB

Volker Griefenhagen

Rev. Dr. Volker Greifenhagen

Assistant Dean and Professor of Religious Studies at Luther College in Regina

The Bible and Qur’an:

Competing or Cooperating Revelations?


  1. Ishmael and Isaak: The Fractured Family of Jews, Christians, and Muslims
  2. Ishmael Instructs Isaak I: The Bible and the Qur’an
  3. Ishmael Instructs Isaak II: The Bible Through the Qur’an


September 28–30, 2007

Ramada Hotel, Canmore, AB

Dr. Christian Eberhart

Lutheran Theological Seminary Saskatoon


New Perspectives on a Central Idea

in Christian Faith


  1. Discovering uncharted territory in the Old Testament: Worship and Sacrifices
  2. Understanding the Sacrifice of Jesus: Cultic Images of Atonement in the New Testament
  3. Understanding the Sacrifices of Jesus: Secular Images of Atonement in the New Testament.


September 30–October 1, 2006

Coast Canmore Hotel, Canmore, AB

Dr. Dittmar Mündel

Augustana Campus, University of Alberta

 Through the Eyes of the Prophets:

How Amos, Hosea and Isaiah Criticize and Energize Us in Our Lives in Society Today


  1. Amos, Justice Prophet
  2. Hosea – “She will pursue her lovers, but not overtake them…”
  3. Isaiah 45-55 – Prophetic energizing “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength”


September 23–25, 2005

Coast Canmore Hotel, Canmore, AB

Barbara Rossing

Rev. Dr. Barbara Rossing

Lutheran Theological Seminary at Chicago

Reading Paul Again for the Very First Time


  1. Romans from Back to Front: Meeting Paul’s Communities
  2. Koinonia and Economic Sharing: Early Christian Diversity
  3. Letters Paul Did Not Write: How Did Paul’s Legacy Continue?


September 23–25, 2014

Coast Canmore Hotel, Canmore, AB

Barbara Rossing

Rev. Dr. Barbara Rossing

Lutheran Theological Seminary at Chicago

The Rapture Exposed