About Gabriola Ecumenical Society

established in 2004

We warmly invite you to join us in the spiritual quest.

Mission Statement

The purpose of the Gabriola Ecumenical Society is to encourage and nurture spiritual questing.

Our programs  invite exploration of traditional and contemporary ideas found in the wisdom of religious traditions, spiritual paths and the sciences.

The Gabriola Ecumenical Society fosters inclusive community where all people explore challenges of our times with imagination, creativity, and with respect and compassion for all creation.

Gabriola Ecumenical Society  is an open, grassroots spiritual organization that welcomes like-minded people to participate as we reflect upon the traditional and contemplate the unknown.

  • We are an evolving community, respectful about our diversified spiritual experiences and quests.
  • We are an inclusive community seeking to encourage and enrich spiritual life on Gabriola.
  • We are open to new ways of seeing and being and we welcome and invite others who also seek new visions.
  • We are characterized by our desire to foster a safe and flourishing environment to nourish one’s spiritual quest.

“We are not human beings on a spiritual journey but rather we are spiritual beings on a human journey”
~ Teilard de Chardin


Through our programming we strive to

  • evolve into community respectful of our diversified spiritual experiences
  • welcome and be open to new ways of seeing and being
  • foster a safe and enriching environment that nourishes each person’s spiritual quest

Monthly Events

Through our monthly events we hope and  strive to:

  • nurture our connectedness through spirit and community.
  • provide opportunities for people to broaden and deepen their spiritual and faith experiences.
  • strengthen compassion and empathy for the world we live in.

Input for new programs comes from the interests of our members.


We currently embrace the following definition of Ecumenism:
Universal, whole, spiritually inclusive, open and collective

Our programming includes

musical events, celebrations, workshops, a yearly forum, book studies, film discussions and social events

Reports of our programming throughout the years can be found on the  Past Events page.

Since 2004 we have

  •  explored different faith traditions, including Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, First Nations, Jewish, Unitarian and others, through presentations by members of these faiths.
  •  held discussion groups that poke and prod the challenges presented in selected books and films
  • delved into different practices of meditation and spiritual paths
  • held vibrant and joyful communion through the experience of Taize, chanting, music, drumming, sing-a-longs, shared food and invigorating conversation.
  • nourished the creation of living ritual inspired by the contemporary and the traditional.
  • gratefully developed and expressed our reverence for our natural world

Annual Themes


Embracing One Truth… Many Paths


Nurturing Spiritual Awareness in times such as these


Spirit in Action in times such as these


Spirit in Action: Healing Ourselves, our Community, and our Earth


Spirit Flows Freely


Lifting the Spirit … living in ceremony


Fire of Transformation … and the greatest of these is love


Walking on the Mystical Side


Bridges for the Spirit


Spirituality without Borders


Searching Spirituality


A New Beginning


Founders of GES at a board meeting in 2004

Lynn Holden, Shelagh Huston, David Soy, Del McCarthy, Anne Sims, Vic Wiebe, Alex McConnell, Imelda Cuthbertson (missing from photo)

The Gabriola Ecumenical Society emerged from an Ecumenical Roman Catholic and Anglican worshiping community. When this community was dissolved in 2004 many wished to continue the ecumenical encounter that they had been gifted with for 13 years.

In April 2004 our status as a Society was approved and the Gabriola Ecumenical Society was formed.

By 2007 we recognized that we were expanding to include many other faith traditions.  Our mission statement became Spirituality Without Borders.  Unity in Diversity.

In 2013, after a decade of working and growing together, the Gabriola Ecumenical Society formed a Visioning Committee to review our past and consider our future. We recognized that what we want to achieve and who we want to be have changed over the years. To express our discernment the new Mission Statement was adopted.

Our Society continues to evolve and has become more than we could have dreamed of initially.  This is manifested by a rich and diverse program which includes themes for each year.

We are a registered non-profit society run by volunteers

Table of Officers

Del McCarthy
Lisa Millard

Board Members
Catherine Woodward
Del McCarthy
Jennie Shillingford

Board Members
Kes Arends
Lynette Jackson
Sally Bullas

Questing Committee

Lynette Jackson

John Bloomstrand

John Gooding


Jennie Shillingford


Debra Trca


Catherine Woodward

Come volunteer with us!

Annual General Meetings – Minutes