A New Way to Give (E-transfers)

We are so excited to announce that WCV is¬†now accepting e-transfers! ūüėÄ This is a much cheaper option to give¬†than PayPal and we encourage givers to explore this option! If you do online banking, simply set up an e-transfer as normal, and send it¬†to the email address: admin(at)vineyard.ca. Please send us a separate¬†email with the answer to your security question of your choosing. If you are unsure how to do an e-transfer, please contact your bank and they will¬†be able to help you.

Also, CCRA regulation to the Income Tax Act (Canada) sets out exactly what has to be included in an official donation receipt issued by a Canadian registered charity. Vineyard Christian Fellowship Winnipeg Centre Inc. (our legal name) is required to have the full name, including the middle initial and address of the donor. Basically, how your name is filed on your taxes is how WCV is required to make your tax receipt.

Please provide us with this information to update our records.

Thank you!

Streams of Living Water: Get the book, follow along

This Spring and Summer we’re going to be embarking on a new series called “Streams of Living Water: exploring unity and diversity in the church”. ¬†We’re going to be exploring the wondrous and varied expressions of the body of Christ – streams, if you will. ¬†There are many streams that comprise the whole body of Christ. ¬†We hope to place ourselves in a position in which we can be challenged by and learn from other streams¬†and, ultimately, come to love Jesus more through the beautiful expressions of his Bride. ¬†In John 4, Jesus offered the Samaritan woman a drink from a stream of “living water” that he promised if we drank from we’d never thirst again. ¬†In John 7:37-38 Jesus said,¬†‚ÄúAnyone who is thirsty may come to me!¬†¬†Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‚ÄėRivers of living water will flow from his heart.” ¬†This is what we want for each of us and we believe that this¬†will happen through the¬†exploration of these streams of the church.

This series will be based on a classic book by Richard Foster called “Streams of Living Water”. ¬†Perhaps you want to grab a copy and follow along. ¬†We’ve heard from many of you that this would be a good idea – so let’s make it happen! ¬†We’ll be starting June 4.

Rhythms of Rest: Andy’s Sabbatical

We all need rest and rest always produces life. ¬†It’s a natural law that applies to¬†us humans as much as any other living thing. ¬†This is especially obvious during this time of year when we see dormant trees slowly waking up after a long period of “rest”. ¬†When we notice the first tulips and prairie crocuses pushing their way through the freshly thawed soil we’re reminded not only of the beauty of new life but also the bulbs and various seeds that were “resting” in the ground before they germinated. ¬†Our Winter rest is over and spring has burst on the scene calling all living things to¬†display their wondrous and varied life. ¬†We humans are the same, and we can surmise from the Genesis narrative, so is God (who rested on the 7th day). ¬†We’re made to live in rhythms of work and relaxation.

With these rhythms¬†in mind we want to let you know we’re sending Andy on a sabbatical. ¬†It’s not that he’s in a desperate need of it. ¬†Rather, this sabbatical is more proactive in nature. ¬†We want to give him¬†time and space for¬†extended rest, refreshment and rejuvenation. ¬†The intertwining of pastoral and personal life is a delicate mix and¬†sabbaticals are¬†a normal part of staying fresh in pastoral life. ¬†His sabbatical will be from April 30 – July 31.

Minutes with Raymond around the Cross

Here, Raymond Funk shares his perspective on Jesus, the Cross and forgiveness.  This was recorded a few years ago before Ray died.  Thanks to Stephan Recksiedler for the movie.

This is a good way to enter Good Friday.

NOTE: The Walk of the Cross starts at 6pm and our Good Friday Service begins at 7pm.

Minutes with Raymond from WCV on Vimeo.

Himalayan Travel Update: Subsidy & Other Details

We’ve got a team of about 13 people interested in going to the Himalayan Region Vineyard Church’s anniversary celebration in Siliguri, India this September! ¬†This is exciting – it’s going to be a great time. ¬†We’ve had to move the travel subsidy deadline to May 1 due to the need to firm up tickets, visas, etc. ¬†If you’ve been holding off letting us know if you’re interested, please hold off no longer. ¬†Contact the office right away.

New Travel Subsidy Deadline:

May 1 is the deadline if you require subsidy (it was previously May 31). ¬†After May 1¬†we will determine the exact subsidy for each person. ¬†We will also reserve a group of tickets through one travel agent. ¬†If you decide to join later, you may or may not be able to get the same flight path, so it’s best to sign up together so we can travel together. ¬†It’s more fun that way! ¬†The office will organize the flight details through a travel agent, but each individual will be required to contact the travel agent to pay¬†whatever is owing after the subsidy is applied.


Possible Itinerary:

  • Sun, Sept 24: Leave Winnipeg
  • Tues, Sept 26: Arrive in Siliguri, India
  • Wed, Sept 27, 3pm – Friday, Sept 29, evening: Conference in Siliguri, India.
  • Sat, Sept 30: Fly¬†to Kathmandu, Nepal
  • Sat, Sept 30 – Tues, Oct 3: Visit Kathmandu Vineyard & Village¬†churches (Kothgaon and/or Chhampi), see the sights of Kathmandu (temples, Thamel district, etc).
  • Wed, Oct 4: Leave Kathmandu
  • Thurs, Oct 5: Arrive in Winnipeg

NOTE: This itinerary is subject to change based on available flights.

Planning Ahead:

  • You need to have a valid Passport that doesn’t expire within 6 months of travel.
  • Canadians need to apply for an Indian Visa ahead of time (you send your passport in to the Indian consulate and they issue a visa – this takes time). ¬†Canadians can apply for a Nepali visa in the airport upon arrival.
  • Check with your physician or the travel health clinic regarding recommended immunizations.
  • India and Nepal are nearly 12 hours ahead of us. ¬†This means that it takes a long time to get there and that jet-lag is a significant factor in recovery. ¬†Plan for a few days of recovery¬†when you return to Winnipeg (don’t go back to work right away).

Approximate Costs:

  • Wpg – KTM – Wpg Flights: $1,500 – $1,900 (fluctuates depending on options and routing)
  • KTM – Siliguri – KTM Flight: $300 – $400 (flights purchased from Nepal)
  • Accommodations & Food: $500
  • Incidentals: $100 (ground transportation, tourist fees, etc)
  • Visas: $200

Approximate Total: $2,600 Р$3,100 

NOTE: Total does not include personal gifts, etc.

NOTE: These costs are all approximate.  Fluctuations occur because of changes in flight schedules, exchange rates (some costs are always in USD), changes in itinerary, etc.  We will get more accurate numbers after we purchase tickets.


In Siliguri:

  • Visit Metanoia Vineyard. ¬†Visit people living on the Riverbed and distribute hampers.
  • During the conference, there will be amazing cultural worship, international Vineyard leaders will be speaking, and there will be plenty of time to connect and party with people from all across the Himalayan Region. ¬†There will also be great food and rice‚Ķ lots of rice.

In Kathmandu:

  • Visit Kathmandu Vineyard.
  • Connect with our family there.
  • Visit outlying village churches (Kothgaon & Chhampi).
  • See some of the sights of Kathmandu (Thamel district, Pashupatinath, Durbar Square, etc).
  • See the recovery and rebuilding efforts.



In Siliguri:

  • The conference will be held at a conference centre and hotel. ¬†All accommodations, meals and conference activities will be there.

In Kathmandu:

  • We will stay at a guesthouse (kind of like a¬†cross between a bed and breakfast and hotel ‚Äď Nepali style!)
  • We would be within walking distance (20 minutes) of Kathmandu Vineyard.


>>NOTE: Updated Subsidy application deadline: May 31, 2017. May 1, 2017.

Please contact the Office¬†if you’re interested in this trip.


The Joy that is Immense and Good

Suhail has released¬†a ten-song worship album of original songs! The album is called “The Joy that is Immense and Good” and the CD is available¬†for purchase at church for $10.¬†You can hear, read about, and also purchase the album digitally here. All proceeds will go to our WCV poor fund and the Himalayan Region Vineyard Churches.

The Joy that is Immense and Good

01. The Lord’s Prayer
02. Holy are You Lord
03. Immanuel
04. We Praise the Name of the Lord
05. Song for Baptism
06. This I Ask
07. Hallelujah
08. Where Can I Go
09. You are the Rock Beneath Me
10. Yesu Mero Prem (Jesus My Love)

How to Describe an Organism?: Org charts & leadership

It’s been said that the church is more of a living organism than an organization. ¬†Considering that the church is a¬†complex mix of all kinds of people, this observation is a quite¬†apt. ¬†However, it is also necessary for every body to have¬†some amount¬†of organization to keep it from becoming a random collection of cells at best or, at worst, a destructive¬†tumour. ¬†This is true of every physical organism and it’s also true of¬†the body of Christ.

Over the past year we’ve done some work on the organizational end of this spectrum¬†hoping¬†to¬†bring a little more clarity and definition to the¬†“organism” we call WCV. ¬†The aim is simply to help keep us healthy, growing in good ways, and ultimately reproducing – all trademarks of every living thing, whether single-celled organisms, or the body of Christ.

Here are a few diagrams that we hope will help bring clarity to this organizational work, specifically regarding leadership relationships in WCV. ¬†While any two-dimensional diagram of a living entity will fail to represent the organism perfectly, we think this does not a bad job. ¬†Unlike many organizational charts, this one is¬†tipped over. ¬†In other words, while we do have leadership, it’s not a top-down but rather movement oriented. ¬†Leadership is meant to help the body¬†follow Jesus more closely and to become more like him in the process as we are led together by the Holy Spirit.


Click on the image to zoom in.

Click on the images to zoom in.

For more specifics on who functions in the various areas, see our About Us page.



Into the Shadows & Darkness to Light: Easter Experiences

Easter is the number one celebration for followers of Jesus. ¬†In terms of importance it ranks higher than Christmas – a fact that is lost on most of our children, and, let’s face it, many of us¬†adults too. ¬†We just like the cradle more than the cross. ¬†In a similar way, we typically skip over the discomfort and pain of Good Friday preferring to jump straight to Easter Sunday – joyfully imbibing all the excitement and energy of the resurrection. ¬†We are right to be excited and energized by Jesus’ resurrection (and our eventual resurrection too, by the way!). ¬†However, in our excitement for Sunday, we miss the gifts offered in Good Friday and Holy Saturday. ¬†If we resist the urge to short-circuit and if we linger in the way of the cross on Good Friday, and the nothingness of Holy Saturday, our celebration on Sunday will take on a whole other quality. ¬†It will be enriched in a beautiful way. ¬†Light is most brilliant when juxtaposed with¬†darkness.

Good Friday: Into the Shadows

Walk of the Cross, 6pm – 7pm

To that end, we want to invite you to participate in our Good Friday: Into the Shadows experiences. ¬†We will have a Walk of the Cross like we haven’t done before. ¬†We will journey with Jesus as we consider his final supper in Jerusalem, the agony of the knowledge of what was to come¬†in Gethsemane, his betrayal on the Mount of Olives and his Trial in Jerusalem. ¬†As we walk with the physical cross we will stop at various points throughout the neighbourhood to consider our own crosses – find our own ways to connect with Jesus on this guided journey. ¬†Wear appropriate attire and walking shoes.

Up “The Hill of the Skull”: A Good Friday service, 7pm – 8pm

Then we’ll come back to the church for our Good Friday Service (first one ever) and consider and experience his journey to what they called Golgotha, the “place of the skull”, where he was crucified. ¬†We will also be with him as they laid his body¬†in the tomb. ¬†This service will employ all the senses. ¬†It will be a ¬†visceral experience. ¬†We encourage everyone to participate in both the Walk of the Cross and this service, however if you can’t make it on the walk, you’re still welcome to join this Good Friday service. ¬†Children are welcome (we will talk about death and the crucification and will nail our own stuff to the cross, literally, but it won’t be gratuitous).

Fasting: Friday – Sunday

Our Fasting will begin on Friday continue through Saturday – a day of apparent nothingness, and be broken on Sunday. ¬†The seed placed in the ground. ¬†Waiting. ¬†Our fasting echoes this “giving up” that Jesus did. ¬†You can fast for the whole weekend, or part of it. ¬†You can choose to fast from food, or anything else you feel God may be inviting you to give up. ¬†Ask him. ¬†This small sacrifice isn’t to earn favour, nor is it some attempt to somehow twist God’s arm into getting something you want. ¬†Rather, it’s a physical act of solidarity with Jesus. ¬†It’s a discipline and it’s a pain. ¬†Every time your stomach reminds you that you’re hungry (or every time you go to check your phone – if you’re fasting from social media), etc, you can recall what Jesus did and is doing and you can offer a prayer of solidarity to Jesus. ¬†When we break the fast on Sunday morning, we are rising with him – emerging from darkness to the glorious light of his resurrection – feasting on the new life he has for us and the whole world!

Resurrection Celebration: Sunday, 10am

Of course, this brings us to Easter Sunday. ¬†We will party, worship and celebrate his accomplishment all morning – all of us (Downstairs &¬†Upstairs, children and youth all together). ¬†Emerging from the shadows of the weekend, and blinking from the dazzling, blinding light of the resurrection, we will celebrate¬†the first glimmers of the new creation – and we’ll invite more (and he’ll show up)!

Good Friday: Into the Shadows (April 14)

  • 7pm, Up “The Hill of the Skull”: a Good Friday Service
  • Fasting Begins

Sunday: Darkness to Light (April 16)

  • 10am, Resurrection Celebration
  • Fasting Ends

WCV Membership

On March 18, we affirmed a clarified definition of membership for WCV.  The Pastoral and Lay elders have been diligently working on this issue for a number of years.

We recognized that the working definition of membership was confusing, so we set about to bring some clarity and simplification to the definition of formal membership in WCV.  Over the years we’ve had a few working definitions.  What is currently reflected in our bylaws is quite different from what we’re actually doing.  So, our task was to revise the definition while maintaining a spirit of invitation and welcome to all (anyone can belong!), and at the same time have it actually mean something.

Bear in mind that anyone can be part of the Vineyard, whether or not they’re an official member.

>>What is a member of the Vineyard?

Members of the Vineyard are those who Belong, Serve and Give as defined below.



Members are part of a small group of other people in WCV that is focused on growth along the lines of WCV’s Core Practices.  Triads in the Outer Circle process and House Groups are the best organized examples of this.  However, there are other small groups that can accomplish similar goals.  The main point is that members are:

  • Intentionally and regularly gathering with a small group of people,
  • Knowing and being known by those people, and,
  • Actively engaging in spiritual growth as described in our Core Practices.

Core Practices that deal with Belonging: Relationship & Rhythm.


Members are actively engaged in God’s mission.  Each contributes in some personal and practical way in WCV and/or in the Kingdom of God at large.  We view service as a privilege and an opportunity to cultivate humility Рespecially those tasks nobody else wants to do.

There are times when we, like the Musk-ox, need to take some time in the centre and we’re just not able to serve for a season.  We also recognize that some people will be serving diligently and faithfully in areas not directly connected with WCV and may not have time or energy to contribute in this way to WCV.  We want to cultivate a generous and expansive scope in this regard and encourage all contributions to the Kingdom of God!  However, many hands are needed to accomplish the activities WCV has been called to do.
Core Practices that deal with Serving: Circles of Sharing & Gospel.


Members support WCV financially with generosity and joy (2 Cor. 9).  There are three reasons we give:

  • Giving money away is an act of resistance and a demonstration of trust. ¬†We resist the pull of self-sufficiency and materialism that our culture swims in and we demonstrate that any money we have is the Lord‚Äôs and that we are his stewards of it. ¬†It is a practical act of worship that indicates where our hearts are at. ¬†In short, financial generosity is a discipline that forms us spiritually in a good way.
  • WCV has practical operational needs. ¬†These are taken care of through gifts from members and others.
  • When we pool resources through giving, we are able to share a portion of what comes to WCV with those in need.

Core Practices that deal with Giving: Generosity, Devotion and Circles of Sharing.

Annual Renewal

Membership is renewed at the beginning of each year.  One Sunday in January all new members are welcomed and all previous members re-affirm their membership to WCV Рthat they belong, are serving and giving.

Members will be contacted at the beginning of the year during the renewal process.  The purpose of this is to determine who will be allowing their names to stand for another year.

The annual renewal is meant to encourage healthy self-reflection. ¬†We‚Äôve learned this from our Himalayan region family. ¬†Each year they pause in January and ask the questions: ‚ÄúAm I still in this?‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúWhat‚Äôs God‚Äôs invitation to me this year?‚ÄĚ ¬†It‚Äôs a moment in time they say, ‚Äúyes!‚ÄĚ again.

For us, membership is much more than just getting your name on a list.  It means actively engaging in the vision and mission of WCV.  In seasons of strength, this means being involved and offering that strength to others.  In seasons of weakness, this means being taken care of and receiving support, healing, etc.


>>Current Member Note:

If you are unsure if your name is on the current membership list for 2017 and you want to be, please check with Vanessa. ¬†Currently, if you are in the Outer Circle or are doing something similar (intentionally and regularly meeting with a small group of people to pursue spiritual growth), then you can be a member. ¬†Just let her know ‚Äď it‚Äôs really as easy as that!


A Few Shifts In Leadership

We’re excited about a few changes in leadership in the Vineyard. ¬†Some of these shifts are just a normal part of the ebb and flow in the community. ¬†Others have been worked on by the Pastoral and Lay elders for quite some time now. ¬†In either case our heart is to respond to what the Holy Spirit is inviting us to right now. ¬†At our Community Meeting (Annual General Meeting) on March 18, we affirmed these shifts. ¬†We can really say, like they did in the book of Acts, “it seems good to us and the Holy Spirit.”

These changes will serve to describe and clarify what is already happening, as well as posture the church for future growth as we engage in Jesus’ mission as he builds his church.

Pastoral Executive:

In the early days of WCV, it was very clear that we had a Lead Pastor. ¬†This language and reality was reflected in many practical ways. ¬†It is still written in our Bylaws. ¬†Since those days, we‚Äôve had a variety of teams which have had their strengths and weaknesses. ¬†Our current pastoral team (including Pastoral Elders and Ministry Staff) works very well together. ¬†However, we‚Äôve encountered a few areas in which we need more focus and delineation of roles. ¬†While we recognize that titles don‚Äôt mean much if they don‚Äôt match function, clear roles are important for any organization or organism to thrive. ¬†Giving someone a title won‚Äôt really do much if they‚Äôre not already functioning in some way in that position ‚Äď that‚Äôs just not how the Spirit usually works. ¬†However, clarifying roles and expectations is a very healthy endeavour.

>>On March 18 we changed the language in our Bylaws to reflect what is currently happening.  Specifically, we changed from Lead Pastor to Pastoral Executive, and affirmed Nathan and Andy in that role.


The title ‚ÄúPastoral Executive‚ÄĚ brings with it some expectations of what it means, but also remains flexible enough that we can fill it with our own meaning. ¬†Ideally, it will preserve our current strengths as a pastoral team and create room for future growth. ¬†It does not eliminate the possible future role of having one lead person, but creates room for other scenarios, like the one we have now with Andy and Nathan.

Partially, this is clarifying what is already happening Рjust not everyone knows it because it’s primarily behind-the-scenes.  However, it does address the gaps left in the absence of one commissioned Lead Pastor.

>>Why this shift?:

1) To Update the Bylaws

Our Bylaws have never been updated from the days of ‚ÄúLead Pastor‚ÄĚ. How we have been operating, is not what‚Äôs reflected in the Bylaws.

2) To Provide Clarification

It is a time of leadership clarification in general for WCV.  This work is mostly behind the scenes, but it will result in more adhesion to the vision, particularly amongst the various teams and leaders.

Specifically, this means clarifying where authority rests, how decisions are made, and the scope of the various groups of leaders.

3) To Posture WCV for Growth

When more / future people are added to the staff team and/or invited into other areas of leadership, there needs to be clarity regarding roles and decision making responsibilities.  It will help delineate limits of authority, responsibility and clarity of focus for all leaders.

It will¬†free the Pastoral Executive to care for the health and growth of staff team members and the leadership team as a whole. ¬†This is one part of the ‚ÄúLead Pastor‚ÄĚ role that has been functioning on an ad-hoc basis. ¬†This will lead to healthier teams and a healthier church.

4) To Increase Efficiency & Effectiveness

In order to be effective as a staff team, we need better division of labour. ¬†If the whole team is charged with caring for the ‚Äúbig picture‚ÄĚ, it disempowers individual members of the team to lead in their respective areas. ¬†This does not mean that we cease to function as a team and stop casting vision for the church together. ¬†Nor does it mean that the Pastoral Executive comes up with all the vision and direction. ¬†Rather, the Pastoral Executive is¬†responsible for attending to, and articulating vision via a collaborative process. ¬†The Spirit will speak and vision will come from a wide variety of sources. ¬†Vision is discerned in a communal process with the whole leadership team. ¬†It is¬†one of the responsibilities of the Pastoral Executive to attend to this process.

>>What will the Pastoral Executive do?

Well, a lot of what Nathan and Andy are already doing – it’s organic. ¬†However, there are a few areas that are not being done as well as they should be in the absence of someone commissioned to do them. ¬†The Pastoral Executive will¬†attend to each of these roles:

1) Vision Keepers

Overseeing and coordinating the collaborative development and implementation of vision.  This includes taking time to be inspired and tending to key relationships within and outside of WCV (Vineyard Canada, International Vineyard, etc.).

2) Team Leaders

Leading, caring for, and providing accountability to the leadership team (Pastoral & Lay Elders, Ministry Staff & Coordinators). ¬†Tending relationships with all core leaders in WCV (eg. BOD, coordinators). ¬†They will not function as “bosses”. ¬†In the context of the staff team they will maintain our posture of mutual respect and challenge of one to the other, including mutual accountability.

3) Focused on Growth & Equipping

Training and mentoring others to reproduce themselves. Development of discipleship and leadership strategies and tracks.


Pastoral Staff Changes:

Some of the other ebbs and flows of leadership are:

Jodi: from Children’s Pastor to Generations Pastor

Mike was brought on the team over 12 years ago as the ‚ÄúChildren‚Äôs Pastor‚ÄĚ. ¬†Jodi assumed this role over 7 years ago. ¬†At that time it was a half-time position. ¬†As our children have grown in numbers (yes, we‚Äôre quite the prolific crew!) her position has also increased incrementally to the point where last year (in 2016) Jodi was working ¬ĺ time for WCV.

During the same time period, our needs have increased in other areas as well. ¬†Jodi has been key in helping us think through what it means to disciple the next generations in a good way. ¬†In particular, she‚Äôs paid attention to those key transition times in a young person‚Äôs life: from being child to a pre-teen, a pre-teen into the teen-aged years, etc. ¬†Club 56, the various incarnations of Jr. and Sr. Youth groups, as well as activities like Project Timothy have all contributed positively to the overall growth of this important and growing area in WCV. ¬†We are also thinking about other key transitions ‚Äď like how do our youth find a place in the church when they become young adults?

Jodi is no longer overseeing only our Children‚Äôs ministries, but has become what we‚Äôre calling a ‚ÄúGenerations Pastor‚ÄĚ. ¬†We think this will more clearly reflect what we need in this season and will mean she oversees and will think through how to create a community that welcomes and empowers our next generations through their various transitions.


Suhail has grown into a key Ministry Staff person.  He is present at all staff meetings and contributes in a variety of wise and helpful ways.  His two primary areas of direct leadership are as the Drop-in Pastor and the Director of the School of Justice (see below for reports on both these areas).  Additionally, he coordinates the worship bands (see below) contributes to preaching and teaching, is on the Prayer Oversight team, and administers the School of Spiritual Direction (see below).  There are some exciting new developments for Suhail which are outlined in his reports below.

John & Violet

John has been phasing out of micro management for the last few years.¬† Today we he has been able to hand off some key areas to younger leaders, while remaining present for support, mentoring and advice. ¬†John’s continuing responsibilities are¬†macro financial oversight and resource for BOD and staff as well as¬†HRV Financial and asset management including KTM Rebuild Project.

Violet remains involved as she is able.  Currently this means actively mentoring the Prayer Oversight Leadership team.


New Board of Director Members:

The Board of Directors is responsible for all financial and asset related matters in WCV.  The current Board of Directors members are: Ben Kelly (chairperson), Stephen Fligg, Andrew Chan, Paul Ansloos and John Rademaker (ex-officio).

We are excited to announce that Marlese Hazeu and Cornelius Martens were ratified as members of the Board of Directors on March 18.  Both Marlese and Cornelius bring passion, expertise, unique perspectives and, above all, a love for the church that is contagious.  Board Members have a 3-year term, which is renewable.


WCV Leadership in a Picture:

Here’s what WCV looks like from an organizational perspective. ¬†This diagram is a tipped over pyramid. ¬†Unlike normal org charts this one is not top-down. ¬†We choose to be moving forward, following Jesus who is our centre, our goal and our guide.

(Click on the graphic to expand it)

Darren Sawchuk Funeral

We’re saddened by the passing of Darren Sawchuk early Saturday morning. ¬†Our deepest condolences and love to Loralie, their families and all his many friends.

His funeral is¬†on Thursday, March 23, 1pm at Immanuel Pentecostal church at 955 Wilkes Ave. ¬†It will be a celebration of Darren’s colourful personality – and as such, people are encouraged to wear colourful attire.

There is a meal train available.  Please consider contributing a meal by signing up here.

Second Annual Youth Coffee House

The youth are fundraising again for Project Timothy! Please consider joining them at their Second Annual Coffee House Fundraiser on April 29th at Winnipeg Centre Vineyard. All the great things from last year are back! That includes live music, coffee, great eats and treats, raffle prizes and a 50/50 draw!

Tickets are only $10 if you buy them in advance!

We would love to have some amazing dessert donations or prizes for the raffle gift baskets! Please contact Jodi Labun if you are able to donate to support our youth.

Calling: thoughts behind the art (by Deyan)

Deyan Momtchilov recently created this piece during the wrap-up of our “Why On Earth?” series. ¬†Below are his reflections.

This piece was inspired by a series of sermons on the topic of calling, illustrated by the life of the biblical figure, David. It summarizes some of my thoughts on the subject, while highlighting pivotal questions, which I have left partially unanswered in order to allow room for contemplation on the part of the viewer.

Similar to previous works of mine, ‚ÄúCalling‚ÄĚ revolves around a specific physical force, which I use as a metaphor to explore an abstract concept and make it more accessible.

The choice of materials becomes important, as I am trying to capture dynamic constructs, which seem to be more easily conveyed by media that can absorb and store the energy I put into them. And I mean this quite literally. ¬†While the pieces appear static at first glance, each of them is ‚Äúloaded‚ÄĚ with a charge of potential energy, which is deposited into the system by the physical interaction between me and the materials.

For this particular piece I used magnetism. It depicts calling as a draw in a specified direction and highlights the importance of proximity, which has direct impact on the magnitude of the force exercised on an object.

The steel needles represent individuals answering the call, while the threads outline their unique paths.

The arrangement was informed by several questions; I will name some of the more prominent ones in order to give my creative process some context.

One way of thinking about calling is as a synonym of destiny. It comes to fruition one way or another, and our oblivion or resistance only delay the inevitable. This view seems to be supported by the story of Jonah, who despite his rejection of a call to Nineveh, still ends up there.  His journey includes unusual circumstances, which change his attitude along the way.

Another, perhaps less palatable example is Judas Iscariot. He fulfills a prophecy by betraying Jesus, which leads to the crucifixion and subsequently to the resurrection. Without this betrayal the most pivotal event in the gospel would not have occurred.

But was this Judas’ calling, his assigned role in the play we call life?

Or is calling, like the root of the word suggests, a call, an invitation that can be accepted or declined? Perhaps like Esau’s birthright, which he chose to trade in for some food in a moment of weakness?

Lastly, is a calling one specific mission, or is it a lifestyle?

David was clearly called to be king, even though his destiny did not come to fruition for many years after he was anointed. But what was the calling of the poor widow, who gave her last two copper coins as an offering? Even though we don’t know much else about her, the widow’s actions on that day were likely a window into a lifestyle of generosity.

This opens the possibility of looking at calling as a journey rather than a destination.

A movie by the name of ‚ÄúThe Fourth Wiseman‚ÄĚ comes to mind. It outlines the storey of a supposed forth Wiseman on his way to Bethlehem to bring a gift to the newborn King. Along his trip, he encounters people in need and spends the rest of his life and the monetary value of the gift he carries in their service.

If we view calling as a gift, service or contribution that we can make, did the fourth Wiseman miss his? Or was this a case of what Jesus describes in the parable of the Sheep and the Goats in Matthew 25, when he draws a parallel between ‚Äúthe least of his brothers and sisters‚ÄĚ and himself personally?

Returning to the art piece, I think it is helpful to think of it as a visual aid or a meditative device that invites the viewers to engage with the topic and questions like the ones above.  My hope is that this leads to contemplation and exploratory dialogue, which would draw the participants closer to each other and God in their pursuit of truth and meaning.