A Word From the Executive Director
Greetings from Canterbury, I hope this finds you and your loved ones well in these challenging times. Since our June newsletter, much has taken place at Canterbury with a fresh new look throughout. For those who have visited in the past, you know what a special place Canterbury is, where you will feel God’s presence and know that this is indeed holy ground. As you depart Alafaya Trail, you will begin to see the many changes. No longer is there a residence at the entrance, rather flowers and plants. You will find convenient new parking near the guestrooms and new lamp posts along all the pathways. There is even an herb garden adjoining the kitchen, courtesy of our friends with the Rotary Club of Oviedo.
As you enter the Bishop Folwell Center, (the main building) you will find a new entrance with an expanded lobby and new reception desk. We have added the Bishop’s Study, a new boardroom style conference room complete with ergonomic leather chairs and a desk for guest use with a computer and printer. St. Paul’s meeting room and the Overlook dining room too have been upgraded, including a new room divider, and the food service area can now be closed off during meetings. There are big new picture windows and a covered terrace giving guests a beautiful view overlooking Lake Gem. The guest rooms have all been freshly painted, complete with new furniture, fixtures, drapes, bedspreads, and artwork.
Since our extensive summer renovations, we are beginning to see guests gradually return to Canterbury. However due to the pandemic, groups now tend to be smaller than in the past, observing social distancing and the use of masks. One of the first groups to return to Canterbury this fall which we were honored to host, was the annual Clergy Conference for the Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida October 19th through the 21st.
This year’s conference was titled “Living Under Lockdown”, with The Right Reverend Ric Thorpe, as the keynote speaker. Bishop Thorpe was appointed as Bishop of Islington in 2015 to oversee the Diocese of London’s church planting and church growth work. He also serves the Church of England nationally, supporting bishops, dioceses, church planters and pioneers, to develop church planting strategies and to plant new worshipping communities to reach new people in new places in new ways. He is the director of the Gregory Centre for Church Multiplication which offers church growth and church planting training and support for the full breadth of the church.
While work still remains to be done, Canterbury’s mission and ministry remains the same: being a center for spiritual growth, and equipping people with life and ministry skills. We offer hospitality in a sacred space where people can come to grow in their knowledge and love of the Lord through sanctuary, retreats, and conferences. Canterbury is now also available for corporate and social events, including Christmas parties, weddings, and family reunions. Whether coming to Canterbury for a conference or a personal retreat, we look forward to welcoming you. Experience firsthand the many improvements that have been made. Escape from the ordinary in a tranquil setting that is Canterbury.
Buffet Area Before & After
Dining Room Before & After
Lobby/Front Desk Before & After
Front Entrance Before & After
Join us December 4 – 6, for a Special Weekend Retreat
From the Canterbury Kitchen:
Canterbury’s Famous Chicken Stew (aka Coq Au Vin)
Time: 1.5 hours
Yield: 4-6 servings
· 3 lbs. bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and drumsticks
· Kosher salt
· Freshly ground black pepper
· 6 strips bacon, cut into 1″ pieces
· 8 oz. baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
· 8 oz. pearl onions, peeled
· 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
· 2 cloves garlic, minced
· 1 tbsp. tomato paste
· 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
· 2 cup red wine
· 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
· 1 tbsp. brandy
· 1 small bunch thyme
· 3 tbsp. butter
· Freshly chopped parsley, for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Season chicken with salt and pepper and rub all over.
2. In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, add bacon and cook until crispy, about 8 minutes, using a slotted spoon, remove bacon to a paper towel-lined plate.
3. Add chicken to the same pot, working in batches as necessary. Cook until skin is golden, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Remove chicken to a plate. Drain all but 3 tablespoons oil from pot.
4. To same pot, add mushrooms, onions, and carrots and cook until golden, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more. Add tomato paste and stir to coat vegetables, then add flour and stir until vegetables are coated. Slowly pour in wine, broth, and brandy. Return chicken and half the bacon to pot. Add thyme, season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
5. Once boiling, cover with lid and place in oven. Cook until chicken is cooked through and internal temperature reads 165°, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove chicken from pot and place on a plate to keep warm.
6. Return pot to stove over medium heat, add in butter, and simmer until sauce is thickened, about 10 minutes.
7. Serve chicken with sauce poured over and topped with remaining bacon and parsley.
From the Pulpit: The Reverend Tom Phillips, Canterbury Chaplain and Priest-in-Charge at The Church of the Incarnation
COVID, THE CHURCH, AND YOU
For many of us, our strong connection to Canterbury also comes with a strong connection to our local church. Going forward, Canterbury’s flourishing will in some way be tied to the flourishing of our home churches. With that in mind, I want to pass along a conversation taking place among Christian leaders, and that is “how will the COVID pandemic change the landscape of church, and what can be done about it?” In a recent article, Thom Rainer, writer and church researcher, remarked that at least 20% of regular church attendees before COVID will not return, even when the pandemic ends.
For many, the ties to their church community weren’t strong enough to endure the newly formed habits of Corona tide, which haven’t included church attendance. Carl Trueman, in an article entitled “The Protestant Apocalypse” puts that figure nearer to 30%, remarking that COVID has revealed the large percentage of regular attenders who were not meaningfully attached to the community life of their church, despite regular Sunday attendance. This is difficult news, but every challenge also presents opportunities. In Rainer’s piece, he remarks that churches will respond to this very real crisis with an increased emphasis on evangelism and conversion growth. Imagine that.
Additionally, I suspect many churches will get more serious than ever about fostering community connection outside of Sunday morning. Here’s my question for you: Does your church have a game plan for “post COVID” flourishing, and do you know your role within the plan? I’m convinced that churches that dig deep into evangelism and discipleship will still lose the same 20% as everyone else (that ship has already sailed), but for some, the double-down gains going forward will outpace the losses. If we get intentional, I think we’ll see God’s Kingdom grow through new conversions, and we’ll all grow through a renewed emphasis on community and discipleship.
New Improved Ropes Course!
Leadership Seminole Legacy Project was well underway raising funds to support Ties That Bind–the ropes course program at Canterbury Retreat & Conference Center when Covid-19 hit. The goal is to introduce more physical elements to the ropes course that will include handicapped accessible obstacles. This will allow those who have physical limitations to participate in the ropes course Team Building Program. Construction will take place after raising the needed funds in a variety of ways.
Sponsorship: Support the cause by being a sponsor, which includes a variety of benefits including marketing recognition through the Seminole County business community. There are six levels of sponsorship ranging from $750 to $10,000.
Recognition Walkway: A brick paver recognition walkway will be installed from Canterbury’s main building toward the Challenge Course. Your donation will be immortalized with a large or small engraved brick.
Please visit our Seminole Leadership Page for Sponsorship Info