2 Gatherings – 1 Church

The Upstairs Gathering rebooted this past week.  Until Advent it will be in a season of experimenting with a more liturgical flavour.  In the past few years there has been quite a bit of community jam for exploring the gifts of the contemplative life – good things have been happening. The Men’s retreat and the Schools of Spiritual Direction are prime examples of people connecting with God in deeper and more intentional ways. This focus for the Upstairs Gathering is another way we can continue to explore this as a community. While liturgy and contemplation are not the same, they can mutually reinforce each other. What we pray, the words we sing, the importance we place on certain elements of our gatherings – these all form us
whether we realize it or not.

In this experiment, we want to intentionally and carefully infuse our gathering with elements that are rooted in scripture, part of the historical understanding of what it means to follow Jesus, and central to Christian worship. It’s not that downstairs is devoid of any of these elements – it’s not!  We just want to use the Upstairs Gathering as a venue to intentionally explore these things with a little more attention to detail than we may be used to.  For example, each week we will have a specific prayer to lead us through a process of affirming what we believe and a specific prayer of confession in order to ready ourselves to receive communion. This central act of Christian worship has a sacramental power that is very rich if given time and space to do what it should in us. Ultimately, we want to place ourselves in the best possible position to both worship God and be formed, transformed and renewed by him.

The prayers that are used upstairs have been compiled from a wide variety of sources (scripture, Book of Common Prayer, early Christian creeds, ancient prayers, etc). and have been modified to suit modern sensibilities… in other words, they’ve been “Vineyardized”. We will tweak them as we go along.  There will still be a condensed sermon on the same topic as the Downstairs Gathering, and we’ll always make room for discussion, interaction and group dialogue.  Also, there is always coffee served right after the kid’s are released!

In the end, we’re one church with two gatherings.  Feel free to try it out – and then let us know what you think. Bear in mind we don’t really want to know whether you like it or not – as if church were some kind of product to be consumed. Rather, let us know if it helps you to encounter Jesus – enhances your worship – opens up space for God to do something in you. In the end it’s all about worshiping God regardless of form and irrespective of our preferences!

 

Imaginative Prayer Launch in Kids Church

Parents, we are so excited as we launch into Imaginative Prayer with the Grade 1-7 this fall and winter!

Jared Patrick Boyd is the author.  Jared was my spiritual direction teacher in my first year at the School of Spiritual Direction.  He is a pastor and a father to four children.  His heart is amazing and you can read all about his vision in his introduction to Imaginative Prayer or hear Jared here.

In Kids Church we will be going through a lesson per week.  You can follow along as parents and follow-up with your child.  As Jared states on page 25-26 “ This book is not a guide for busy parents.  It’s an invitation for busy parents to slow down, take some deep breaths, and recognize that you are the most important person in your child’s life and spiritual formation.  There is no environment your church can create to compete with the kind of connection that you are able to nurture with your child.”  You’ll find if you give yourselves to this process (even if you can’t do all the exercises), you will experience growth.

Here’s what our fall calendar will look like.  Feel free to follow along!

  • Sept 10 – Week 1
  • Sept 17 – Week 2
  • Sept 24- Week 3
  • Oct 1 – Week 4
  • Oct 8 – Thanksgiving – No Kids Church
  • Oct 15 – Week 5
  • Oct 22 – Week 6
  • Break for Gifts4God until the New Year . . .

There are also some new changes to our structure.  Grades 1-4 will continue to meet upstairs in Kids Church with our AMAZING team. Grades 5-7 will have a new youth team meeting with them in the youth room.  Grades 8-12 will meet in the Comfy Couch Room.

This book is about connection because of the way Jesus asks us to imagine our life with him – he is the vine, his Father is the gardener, and we are connected to him.  This is how we bear fruit.  This is the image he give us.  This is what he asks us to imagine.”  (13, Imaginative Prayer)

WCV is providing one copy per family.  (More copies of this book are on order and will be here the week of Oct 13)

Filled with hope at what’s ahead . . .

~ Jodi Labun

Flatlanders Studio Show: Selcouth

Flatlanders Studio is hosting a new art show Selcouth: A Look Into the Upbringing of Winnipeg’s Metal Musicians by Amy Lee Zinn.

Selcouth traces 20 individuals who are active members of the metal community at large in Winnipeg, representing many different sub-genres, roles, personalities and backgrounds, while still remaining just a small snapshot of the much larger metal family in our city. More than just contradicting stereotypes, Selcouth looks to explore the individual people who make up and help create the metal scene to which they belong, and discover who they are as a person, their journey into the scene, and what surprisingly common threads tie each person together in a “scary” subculture that relies on community, cooperation and support to keep itself together.

All profits will be donated to The Manitoba Conservatory of Music & Arts.

For more, see the Flatlanders Studio page.

Opening Reception:
Saturday 09 September | 7PM – 10PM

Nuit Blanche Venue:
Saturday 30 September | 7:00PM – 10PM

Exhibition:
09 September 2017 – 22 October 2017

Gallery Hours:
Wednesday’s | 7pm – 4pm & Saturday’s | 1PM – 4PM

VENUE
782 Main St, 3rd Floor
Free parking on site behind building

ADMISSION
Adult – $5
Children – FREE (Under the age of 16)

Together This Fall

We’re excited to be all together again this Fall.  We have a sense that as we attend to each other, our neighbours and Jesus, that God will be present to us in many special ways.  We’ve been called to worship, develop a safe community, and work to see his Kingdom of justice established.  Below are a few dates and opportunities you’ll want to make note of as we go about these amazing tasks.

  • Sept 8-10: Men’s Lake Getaway
  • Sept 10: Kid’s Church starts
  • Sept 21: Women’s Event
  • Sept 24: Upstairs Gathering reboots
  • Sept 24: Welcome Party
  • Oct 8: Celebration Service
  • Oct 15: Community Life Sunday
  • Oct 28: Outer Circle gathering

Here are a few other opportunities that will be rebooting this Fall.

  • House Groups – rebooting
  • Jr and Sr High Youth groups
  • Breathe
  • Drop-ins
  • Schools of Spiritual Direction
  • School of Mercy and Justice
  • Core Class – exploring WCV essentials
  • Triads – get together before our last Outer Circle gathering of the year

Parking Lot Movie Set

Our parking lot is becoming a movie set for one week in September.  Netflix will be filming a scene in a “post tsunami disaster in Seattle” movie called “How It Ends”.  The props will include numerous smashed vehicles which will be piled up against the building by the disaster (the cars won’t actually touch the building).  

We want to you know about this so you are not alarmed!  There will be 24/7 security outside and a fence to secure the set.  Access to the building will still be at the South doors during normal office hours.

The parking will be compromised for one Sunday, Sept 17.  Access will still be available at the South and West doors via established corridors.  However, a portion of the parking lot will be occupied by the set. However the city of Winnipeg has allowed parking on either side of the street of Sutherland Avenue between Main Street and Derby Street. That means for us that latecomers will have to walk slightly further! So make sure you arrive at 10 a.m.!
This is a major rental for WCV that will contribute significantly to our income budget.  We hope any inconvenience you experience will be minimal.  Please direct any questions or concerns to John (228-0042) or Jeff (295-2349).

While there may be a few Hollywood stars on set, Jesus is still our True North!

A New Season of Breathe – 2017

It’s almost that time of year again. A new season of Breathe is on the horizon, and anticipation is in the air! 

We are starting out with a Welcome Party, September 20th, followed by: Stories of Us, Worship, Skill Workshops, Special Guests, a Workshop Series facilitated by Naila Janzen, and more.

All women of all ages are welcome! Looking forward to seeing you there!

~ Naila Janzen

Kathmandu Rebuild Update – August 2017

The rebuilding of the KTM VINEYARD HUB is well underway. The old apartment is gone. Church meetings are still held in the old sanctuary. Access is difficult because the building materials can only be delivered by truck on Saturday / Sundays, which means the people need to single file along a narrow path to the sanctuary. There is no open space now. But the excitement of the new facility transcends all the inconvenience.

We have completed the second level floor slab called First Floor. The building is 45’x45′ with 12 column pillars and floor beams holding the structure. It is a solid building with only the best quality materials. The workmanship is top class. The main sewage pipe is buried, the elevator lift cavity and the stairwell area is in place. This has all been accomplished in 8 weeks. We have used excavation equipment and a cement lift to speed things up. The contractor is doing a great job and is easy to work with.

The HRV leadership team of Noel Isaacs, Ramesh Bisht and Raju Ragar have everything in hand with meticulous reporting and logistics management. Careful oversight is necessary to ensure no quality compromise or materials slippage.

The plan is to complete the Hotel’s 4 1/2 floors (we’ve added a half floor increasing our rooms to 28) by Dec 31. This will include the building exterior envelope and one floor left open for the church services while the new sanctuary is built. The old church and remaining buildings will then be demolished. The new church will be completed late 2018. Then the hotel will be completed and open in late 2019.

The WCV and HRV directors together will form the financial management team for the future Boutique Hotel Enterprise operations. We anticipate that finances from this will allow HRV Churches to move towards self-sustainability. We see this as a provision from God for the increasing needs of HRV.

THINGS TO PRAY FOR

  1. Safety and speedy construction logistics to continue
  2. Costs of construction to stay within our cost estimates.
  3. Provision of the remaining $500,000 CDN required to complete the project.

This is a mighty endeavour for the Kingdom of God to advance in the Himalayas. We know that God is leading us. The 20-year history of God’s presence is not lost on us and we continue call out to Him to lead.

The Leadership team of the KTM REBUILD PROJECT

>> See the KTM rebuild floor plans . . . 

 

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