Vineyard Metanoia – National gatherings and you’re invited

Here are a few National gatherings that you may want to participate in this Fall.  We hosted the first Metanoia gathering a few years back and they are wonderful times of engagement, worship and encouragement in a unique format (they’re not typical conferences).  Jared Boyd (our friend who taught in the first School of Spiritual Direction we hosted) will be a special guest leading us through a series of experiences (and the first 50 people to register get a free copy of his new book).

If you’re interested in going to the Metanoia West, let Andy know (he’s going).

Go here for more info.

Men’s Lake Getaway – the Contemplative Life

We experience an overdose of activity because of all the things expected of us. Life is often characterized by doing and busyness. It’s difficult to dial down into quietness; to rest, reflect, and simply be. This kind of contemplative life seems to evade us.  This year we want to consider the benefits of cultivating an inner life that we may know God and ourselves more deeply. We will hear from those who live this well. It will be a time of listening, sharing, and deciding what might click for us going forward.

Of course, we will enjoy all the fun things at the lake while we hang loose and relax. Food by Peter the Great will exceed our expectations and appetites. We want this to be a watershed time for us all that enriches our lives for days to come. Don’t miss it!

Due to demolition of a cabin, the number of beds is reduced this year and we expect a need for a lot more mats and tents. We recommend that your registration is completed and the fee be paid by August 15th for your best chance for a bed.

Where & When:

  • September 8 – 10. Starts Friday night at 7:30 p.m. and ends at noon on Sunday.
  • Rademaker Cabins on Lindsay Rd., Clearwater Bay, Ontario
  • 20 minutes (30 km) East of Ontario-Manitoba border just 2 kms East of Clearwater Bay. Right on Lindsay Rd., drive straight into Fire Rd. 5 or 6.

Register:

  • Cost $50 (partial subsidy available if needed).  Payment due with registration.
  • Cash or cheque to church office or Cornelius, or via e-transfer (email Lillian for instructions).  Make cheques payable to WCV and indicate “Men’s Getaway” in the memo line.
  • Bring sleeping bag /bedding /tent if required
  • We have limited inside beds (first registered basis) but lots of decks for tenting or mats!

 

 

September 8 – 10, 2017

 

The School of Mercy and Justice

Over the last year, we have spent much time in conversation about our Vineyard School of Justice (VSOJ), and about what God may be inviting us into this next season. In short, we sense his pleasure over the VSOJ these past four years – that it has accomplished what it was intended to – and that God is doing something new.

Today, in partnership with Sustainable Faith (the organization that facilitates the School of Spiritual Direction), we are very excited to announce a new school: The School of Mercy and Justice (SOMJ)! Our first cohorts will be this October in Winnipeg and Montreal.

Below, you’ll find a reflection on the VSOJ, the vision of the SOMJ, an overview of the new school curriculum, and tuition and registration information.

APPLY FOR THE SCHOOL OF MERCY AND JUSTICE


Reflection: The Vineyard School of Justice

The end of March, 2017 marked the completion of our fourth school since rebooting the VSOJ in the fall of 2013. As people have set aside six months to pursue what it means to love God and their neighbour in the contexts of poverty and injustice, God has done remarkable things. Here are a few highlights over the last four years (Video Reviews of Each School):

  • 21 total students
  • 12 women & 9 men
  • 2 students from the Vineyard in Montreal
  • 11 students who were street-involved / at risk of homelessness
  • All 5 students in the 2014-2015 school year were street-involved / at risk of homelessness
  • 7 Indigenous students
  • 18 – 63 years: student age range
  • 2 trips to the Himalayan Region Vineyards in Nepal (including visits to every Vineyard church; 1 Nepali VSOJ; and several gatherings/meetings with leaders)
  • 1 intern (Natalie Hamm) who served for a year, then became a leader the next year
  • 1 practicum student last year (Tara Glowacki)
  • 569 “likes” (and counting!) on Facebook
  • We established an articulation agreement with Vineyard Institute (VI) whereby our students could receive credit towards VI programs and certificates

The SOJ’s exposure has grown over the last years. As director of the school, Suhail has been invited to speak about the program / justice / compassion at various gatherings including:

As a result of CauseCon, 7 people (5 students and 2 leaders) from the Heroic Leadership Institute in Duluth came to spend a week with us.

VSOJ class of 2015.

Vision: The School of Mercy and Justice

The SOMJ involves three main changes from the VSOJ.

  • The school will be modular (5 modules, each 2 days, with a particular theme) as opposed to the format of the VSOJ (which was 5 days a week, for 6 months). Modular learning is more in line with trends in modern education and will also allow those who are working or studying to access the program and participate more easily.
  • The school will more intentionally focus on joining the contemplative and active life. The SOMJ offers participants an immersive, integrated, and robust spiritual formation for those who desire to cultivate a deep life with God and engage in the work of mercy and justice in the world. To use Ignatian language, we envision the school as training for those who desire to live as “contemplatives in action.” We want to facilitate joy, purpose, and wholeness in people and churches as they seek to embody mercy and justice in the manner and Spirit of Jesus; that the beauty and good news of the Kingdom may increasingly come to those our world considers “poor.”
  • The school will be an official Sustainable Faith school; it will not be a WCV ministry as the VSOJ was. Sustainable Faith’s Schools of Spiritual Direction comprise the largest spiritual direction training in North America (26 locations, 23 teachers, around 250 students / year, and around 800 students in the last eight to nine years). The organization is increasingly well-known and trusted. Being connected to and overseen by Sustainable Faith will:
    • give the SOMJ greater exposure and credibility. This will likely encourage greater engagement (more students), which will likely precipitate greater breadth (more schools).
    • allow possibilities for the SOMJ to scale and expand beyond WCV, thereby contributing to the spiritual formation of a broader scope of people and churches.
    • relieve WCV of significant administrative responsibilities. Sustainable Faith will administrate all details related to web presence, student applications, and tuition payments.

Who is Involved?

The Winnipeg cohort will be led by Suhail Stephen and Natalie Hamm; the Montreal cohort will be led by Erin O’Neill and Matte Downey.

From left to right: Natalie, Erin, Suhail

Matte

Natalie grew up in Steinbach, Manitoba. She has been a part of the Vineyard since moving to Winnipeg in 2013 where she lived at Flatlanders Inn (a ministry of Winnipeg Centre Vineyard that is an intentional community and place for those at risk of homelessness to get their feet back under them) for one year while also attending the Vineyard School of Justice. Upon completing the school, she spent nine months working with the Himalayan Region Vineyard churches in Nepal and IndiaSince returning to Winnipeg she has lived and worked at House of Hesed (a transitional community for those living with HIV/AIDS), spent two years interning and leading the Vineyard School of Justice, and completed Sustainable Faith’s School of Spiritual Direction. Natalie loves to run, read, bake, and always has at least one knitting project on the go.

Erin is from Quebec and currently lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba, where she is part of the Winnipeg Centre Vineyard. She graduated from the Vineyard School of Justice in 2016, and completed her first year of Sustainable Faith’s School of Spiritual Direction in 2017. She resides and has interned at Flatlanders Inn. She has a Master of Occupational Therapy from the Université de Sherbrooke, and presently works with seniors in long-term care.

Suhail is from India, grew up as a missionary kid, and has lived in a total of seven countries. He currently serves on staff at the Winnipeg Centre Vineyard (WCV) as pastor of the Drop-In (street parish ministry), directed the Vineyard School of Justice for four years, and now directs the School of Mercy and Justice. He has been part of the Vineyard since 2001 and prior to WCV, was part of and led worship at Trinity Vineyard Christian Fellowship in St. Charles, Illinois, and at Kowloon City Vineyard in Hong Kong. He has a B.A in English Literature and Philosophy from Wheaton College and an M.A in Community Leadership and Philanthropy Studies from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He recently completed Sustainable Faith’s School of Spiritual Direction. He and his wife, Jennifer, met at WCV, have been married almost three years, and are expecting their first child this September!

Matte lives in Montreal, Quebec where being an English-speaking, Protestant, white female makes her a minority (and she is good with that). She has a B.Th. in Biblical Studies, an M.A. in Theological Studies, and a Ph.D. in Humanities (Theology/Theatre). She has taught in the Theological Studies Department at Concordia University and is currently an adjunct lecturer at Threshold School of Ministry in Saint John, New Brunswick. She co-hosts The Imaginators Podcast which features conversations on creativity and faith and has presented her work (both theological and theatrical) in conferences near and far. She and her husband, Dean, pastor the Vineyard Montreal Church, and you can find her blog at outword.blogspot.ca.


Overview: The School of Mercy and Justice

Through the combined experience of learning together through teaching and discussion, reading superb literature, film, engaging in individual and group activities and reflection, receiving spiritual direction, and practicing spiritual disciplines — all in a communal setting — students will grow in embodying the contemplative, missional life.

Module Themes and Dates

There are five modules, each two days, with a particular theme:

  • Module 1: The Story of Our Life and The Life of Christ
    • Sharing “sacred stories” of personal experiences with mercy and justice; an overview of the life of Jesus through the lens of action and contemplation.
  • Module 2: Compassion and Grief
    • Encountering the God who sees, feels, and responds to our suffering; grieving loss and the power of lament in sustaining a soul’s work in mercy and justice.
  • Module 3: Humility and Power
    • Encountering the God who “empties himself” and welcoming his upside-down Kingdom; invitations to poverty and simplicity.
  • Module 4: Mercy and Justice
    • Responding to people’s immediate needs and addressing systemic/structural issues; discerning vocation in mercy and justice.
  • Module 5: Rhythm and Rule
    • Arranging life for wholeness and spiritual transformation; crafting a rule of life that embodies the rhythms of action and contemplation.

Each module is from 9:00am – 5:00pm, Fridays and Saturdays.   

  • Winnipeg, Canada (location TBD)
    Oct. 27- 28, 2017
    Dec. 8 – 9, 2017
    Feb. 9 – 10, 2018
    Apr. 13 – 14, 2018
    June 8 – 9, 2018
  • Montreal, Canada (location TBD)
    Nov. 10 – 11, 2017
    Dec. 15 – 16, 2017
    Feb. 16 – 17, 2018
    Apr. 20 – 21, 2018
    June 15 – 16, 2018

Requirements

  • Readings (12)
    • Approximately two books per module, with a pace of about a book a month.
  • Activities (8)
    • We are not solely or even primarily thinking beings; much of what actually forms us are the activities with which we engage our bodies. As such, participants will undertake certain activities with a view to more fully encountering God and his heart of mercy and justice in and amongst those who are considered “poor.”
  • Receiving spiritual direction (minimum 6 sessions)
    • Spiritual direction encourages you to rest from doing, and be reflective; to notice, savour, and respond to the presence, voice, and activity of God. This is especially important in mercy and justice work, where needs and issues always seem urgent, ubiquitous, and inexhaustible.
    • Introducing Spiritual Direction [PDF]
  • Practicing spiritual disciplines
    • Each participant selects one to two spiritual disciplines to engage in more deeply over the course of each module.
  • General reports (4)
    • Before each module, you’ll post a one to two page report in which you:
      • share the current circumstances of your own life and spiritual journey
      • reflect on your experience of the readings and activities, receiving direction, and practicing spiritual disciplines
      • answer one or two specific questions related to the module
      • submit any question(s) you’d like to discuss in the upcoming module

Tuition

    • $900 USD (CAD ~ $1,211.40)
    • Note: The above figure does not include books or meals (lunches).
    • A $200 USD (CAD ~ $269.20) deposit secures your place.
    • You can either pay the remaining $700 USD (CAD ~$ 942.20) up front or in monthly instalments throughout the duration of the school.
    • You will be invoiced directly from Sustainable Faith.
    • There is an additional US $40 (CAD ~ $93) fee to cover debit/credit card charges incurred by the school. This charge can be avoided by using Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT); tuition invoices will provide details regarding this.
    • Note: Given that Sustainable Faith establishes tuition in US$, all above fees in CAD$ are approximate. Amounts in CAD$ may fluctuate based on currency exchange rates with the US$.

Who is the School for?

You do not have to be part of the Vineyard to be part of the school. The SOMJ is open to pastors, church leaders, and laypeople alike, and is geared to serve not just one denomination or church tradition, but the larger body of Christ. The training is Christocentric and guides people to embrace the entirety of the life of Christ in terms of his priorities of solitude and prayer, and of engagement and ministry.

    • Note: Each school will typically have no more than 12 students.

Application and Deadlines

October 1, 2017: Registration due
October 8, 2017: $200 USD (CAD ~ $269.20) deposit due to secure your place

    • We encourage you to apply as soon as you can as spaces may fill up.
    • Once we receive your application, we will get in touch with you for an interview and provide deposit/payment information.
    • The link below will take you to Sustainable Faith’s website. Please select the appropriate location (Winnipeg or Montreal), and then fill in your personal information.
    • APPLY FOR THE SCHOOL OF MERCY AND JUSTICE

Mid-Summer Financial Update

WCV family,

This short report will bring you the latest update on WCV’s financial situation.

As we enjoy the summer we are seeing our deficit increase to a level that needs attention.  At July 31, we had an operating deficit of $35,699 which is at the maximum level that we can manage our cash flow comfortably.  The operations effect of this amount is somewhat reduced by the $18,646 surplus that we carried forward from previous years.  But the reality is that we must replace that amount before year-end.

We want to bring this situation to everyone’s attention so that all are aware.  Our income must now increase significantly to make up this deficit and carry us through to the end of the year.

We are thankful for all the generous support from many in the community, and continue to pray for God’s provision for all our needs.

Thank you,

Your Board of Directors

Himalayan Region Conference and Trip Postponed

As many of you may already be aware, the Himalayan Region Vineyard’s AVC release party and conference which was planned  for this Fall has been postponed due to political unrest.

There have been ongoing strikes in the Darjeeling area of the Himalayan Region of India.  The massive movement of people, foreigners and locals alike, would have attracted undue attention and likely would have had negative consequences.  So, the HRV leadership team decided it best to postpone the conference.  In the meantime we will pray for a peaceful resolution to the conflict and that our brothers and sisters would be safe and be able to access all the supplies they need during this indefinite shutdown.  The aim of the protests is to secure statehood for “Gorkhaland” – so far eight people have been shot dead and the economic repercussions of the strike threatens many with hunger and violence.

The leadership team says:

“We ask the Global  Vineyard  Family to stand with us in prayer for a peaceful resolve of the conflict and the safety of all peoples on the region. We need your ongoing support for all the opportunities that God has given us to reach the lost for the Kingdom.”

Hebrew 2:8,9 God left nothing that is not subject to them. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to them. But we do see Jesus Our passion for Jesus remains.
 

Project Timothy Update

We’ve had an incredible week in Landenburg, PA @ Project Timothy.  We’ve grown together with over 100 youth.  We’ve worshipped together, absorbed teaching, allowed for personal formational time with God, participated in prayer ministry, small group and outreach.  We’ve discovered more about ourselves and become more aware of God’s movement in our lives.  We’ve created friendships from all over the US Vineyard to help us forge ahead on this journey we are called to as we go our own ways…until next year!

Thank-you WCV’ers for supporting our youth this year and investing in these young lives.  We could not have done this without you!

Jodi

Youth Leaving for Project Timothy

The apostle Paul met Timothy when Timothy was very young.  Paul saw his potential and spent years investing in Timothy’s gifts, training him as a leader, and releasing him into meaningful ministry.  Project Timothy’s goal is to inspire, motivate, train, and release a group of young leaders in the Vineyard!

We are so excited to send seven of our youth to PT to be in this environment and have God continue His work of transformation in their lives.

Pray for our team as 7 youth and 2 leaders fly to PA. Seven of us are flying out on Friday morning, and the other two on Monday.

We will be in PA from July 28-Aug 5.

Thanks for your prayers!

Women’s Retreat Reflections 2017

Every year, we are pleasantly surprised with the way God moves in the hearts of the ladies at the Women’s Retreat. Here are a few reflections from the weekend by a few ladies:

Life is busy. As a mum of little ones, I’ve never been so busy in my life. There’s never enough time, and always too much to do. That’s why I went to the women’s retreat. It’s a way to make space for God in my life, and connect with my community. 

“I didn’t have big expectations for the weekend. In fact, my entire thoughts could be summed up as “Time without kids!!!” This year’s theme was “Come as you are”, and that sounded pretty awesome to me, especially without much mental space to prepare myself for time with God. I’m very thankful for the team who did the planning and preparation for me! 

“But the thing about God is that if you give Him an inch, sometimes He waltzes in and grabs a mile. That’s what happened to me. In His infinitely gentle and patient way, God took the time and space we all created at the retreat, and broke some of the walls I created between myself and my pain. It started with another’s loss, and a hug from a friend, and moved into ugly messy tears. The awkward, noisy kind. (And I don’t like making any sort of a scene!) But when I looked up, I was surprised and humbled to see a circle of friends surrounding me, in love and prayer – and Kleenex. I’ve never felt so enfolded in compassion. As I calmed somewhat, these dear women prayed for and over me, and then tendered God’s invitation for me: “you have to feel it”. I had more to grieve. And so, surrounded, supported, and held up, in the midst of my circle, I was safe enough to let God excavate pockets of hurt in my life that I hadn’t been able to expose and remove before. 

“For those of you who surrounded me, thank you. 

“For those who quietly prayed outside the circle, thank you. 

“For those who talked to me after, and told me I was noticed, thank you. 

“For those who simply sat near and made space for me, for the awkward, uncomfortable, ugly crying, thank you. 

“I was asked that night where Jesus was in this, and I didn’t know. I couldn’t see him. But I see him there now. He was in each of the women present, over and above us all, orchestrating healing and grace. I came as I was, but I didn’t leave the same as I came. Thanks be to God!

~ Sara Epp

I would like to share with you a few images I took of the weekend. Photography is such a healing thing for me. When I have no words, I seem to be able to express my thoughts or the awe of God through capturing images. I call it the ministry of photography.

This weekend I was really blown away with God’s beauty in His creation. Not meaning only nature, but His daughters and His precious ones in whom He delights as well. 

Thank you to the Rademakers for making available the platform with which I was able to see and experience God.

~ Vanessa Lewis

2017 Community Camp-Out Reflections

The annual Community Camp-out was a wonderful success. We had a huge range of folk come out, ranging from young to older, singles to families, and even dogs to poison ivy (oh yes, tonnes of that). The weather was very favourable, and there were plenty of opportunities for organic connection, not only with each other, but with nature and with God!

Sunday morning we had a smaller service in Birds Hill at our Group Use Area, led by Nathan Rieger, and Jeff & Amanda Leighton. A beautiful moment during worship occurred. Some of our youth (and one mom!) engaged in some play with a volleyball, reminding us that we can worship with our bodies while we play too!

After a wonderful feast provided by Bill Feniuk & Katherine Peters that fed everyone to overflowing, some trekked and some drove down to the beach where we gathered for the baptisms. We drew many eyes and curious glances as we witnessed two lovely ladies, Georgette and Ramona, confess their faith and Jesus Christ, and be baptized in the chilling lake. And as is our custom, we surrounded these two individuals and lifted them up in prayer and blessing for their new path set before them.

Did you miss the camp-out? There are more opportunities to connect in fun ways this summer! July 19th is our Community Potluck, and July 30th is our Farm Day out at the LBE farm! Hope you can join us!

Women’s Retreat Survey & Reflections

While the weekend at Clearwater Bay is still fresh on your memories, please share with us any exciting stories, or God moments, or any reflections you may have had from the Women’s Retreat. Whether it be a sweet moment during a session, any revelation from our Father, even a goofy moment with friends.

We’d love to hear your stories!

Grief & Joy – Needs of the Community

There are a few families in our community that are going through immense grief and great joy. Please keep these families in your prayers.

Joe & Michelle Saunders – are mourning the passing of Joe’s mother, Eileen Saunders. She passed away last week. Her funeral will be at the Vineyard, 782 Main Street, on Thursday June 29th at 1 p.m. Joe & Michelle are also celebrating the birth of their daughter, Lovely Eileen Faith Saunders, who was born during the same week. To celebrate and mourn at the same time is immensely difficult. Please pray for this family and consider blessing them with a meal by signing up for their meal train.

AJ & Ang Falk – are celebrating the birth of their newborn son, Oliver Solomon Falk, born on Friday, June 23rd! Please consider signing up for their meal train to bless this family.

Ian & Jessica Williams – are mourning the death of Jessica’s father, Gary Knight, who passed away this past week. The funeral is in California. Please contact Ian & Jessica if you want to bless them in any way or to help them travelling to California.