Linwood House is a Victorian home in Roberts Creek: a place of refuge, renewal and reconnection with the self, community and Spirit, where everyone experiences "radical hospitality" according to the executive director.
"Journeying with women into the hope of their story" is the new vision statement for Linwood House ministry and executive director Gwen McVicker said the community is welcome to share in the journey this Sunday at their annual art exhibition.
"We realized for years it's what we're doing. We hear a lot of sad, sad stories," she said. "Journeying with them to that hopeful place we believe that there's real hope in sacred spaces. We value everyone's story, not just women from the Downtown Eastside." Though Linwood is a Christian ministry, staff work with women of all faiths. A woman's choice of faith "does not determine at all whether we journey with them," said McVicker.
July 19 is the third annual Linwood Art Experience with works by Brian Romer, Yzabelle Delisle-Milton, Donna Stewart, Douglas Rae and newcomers to the show Ed Hill and Todd Clark.
"The whole concept of art and beauty is somehow a part of who we are. The artists believe enough in what we're doing to share a portion of their profits with us," said McVicker.
There will be a silent auction of Rae's work and he is donating 100 per cent of the profits to Linwood House missions.
Trudy Diening and Miles Black will provide music.
Also for sale, will be photography by a group of women from the Downtown Eastside who were hosted at Linwood House for a week.
"Some women were invited specifically for photography," said Sherri Coulthard, development officer for Linwood House. "Each was given a camera for two days and the theme was 'I am a woman who creates change' and then they were asked, 'Where are you in your journey today?' and 'What would change look like on your journey?'"
Coulthard spoke about the women who participate in Linwood House retreats.
"Poverty is the biggest thing. Not all are drug addicted. Not all are prostitutes," she said. "We're a different sort of ministry. It's not about handouts. We build relationships."
Coulthard said money raised during the art show will go toward programs at Linwood House and at their site The Great Room on the Downtown Eastside. She also said they are starting to look at prevention as a way to lessen the number of girls who end up in poverty and or using drugs and prostituting themselves.
In August, she said the ministry will host its first group of "morally strong" teen girls and use the retreat time to bolster their self-confidence and sense of connection to community both local and global.
Admission to the art show is free and an art purchase is not expected. Coulthard and McVicker said they hope the community will come and enjoy the fine art, music and refreshments at Linwood House from 1 to 5 p.m. Donations will be accepted.