Outer Circle – obeying our way to becoming more like Jesus

We’re quickly coming up to the last Outer Circle gathering of 2017 on October 28. If you’re in the OC this year, we trust your Triads have been meeting, sharing, supporting and praying for each other. This is, after all, the whole point of the Outer Circle process – relationship and growth.

None of us can study our way to become more like Jesus – rather we obey our way to become more like Jesus.

If there is one lesson I’ve learned the past few years, it’s that I can’t make myself more like Jesus. There’s nothing I can do to make growth happen inside me. I can set up the conditions, I can learn, I can posture myself for growth, but in the end it is a work of the Holy Spirit. None of us can study our way to become more like Jesus – rather we obey our way to become more like Jesus. In other words, the habits and practices we form in response to the teaching and leading of Jesus will create favourable conditions for becoming more like him. This is the whole point of Triads and the Outer Circle process. It’s simply a track – a way of opening yourself up to God’s leading in the midst of small pockets of community that will encourage, promote and stimulate growth. That work doesn’t happen in meetings (usually). Rather it happens in the coffee shops, pubs, living rooms and wherever else you meet up with your Triad to share areas of strength and growth and the actions (habits) you’ve formed in order to encourage growth and share strength.

If you’re not part of the Outer Circle this year, you’re still welcome to join. Each year begins a new cycle. Being an active participant in the Outer Circle process (not just the meetings but engaging in the process with your Triad) is also one concrete way Membership is expressed in WCV. We always eat together, share with each other and end by celebrating the Lord’s Supper together.

>>Please RSVP to the office regarding your attendance on Oct 28 and if you need childcare.

>>Here’s more info on the Outer Circle process.

>>Here’s more info on WCV Membership.

  • Childcare provided – but you have to sign up with the office.

  • October 28, 5:30pm – 8pm (supper provided)

A New Season of Creativity, Makers Nights & Writers Circle

As subcategory of worship, the arts is a Core Practice in our church. We can see this creativity in the artwork hanging on our walls, the ribbons and flags waving during our worship times together, the dancers, the painters, the poetic words shared in our services and in our songs, and more. These creative expressions are beautiful elements of our worship together. They inspire us, affect us, and draw us deeper.

Before beautiful art existed, there first was a person who embarked on a creative process.

This year we want to invite our community to engage with creativity even more. We know that seeing and receiving the beauty of art can be powerful. Yet before beautiful art existed, there first was a person who embarked on a creative process. This year we want to learn together the value of being creative people, and discover how the act of creating is powerfully formative as well.

If you feel that art isn’t your thing, or that you are the “logical type”, we would love to dialogue with you. We believe that creativity is a trait common to all human beings, and we would be happy to walk alongside you as you unlock this unexplored area of your potential.

As we begin to create, we are invited into a deeper encounter and relationship with God.

There are multiple benefits in being creative. In choosing to be creative, we become people who notice life around us with different eyes. We learn to take risks, we become better problem solvers, we notice people, nature, colours, words, melodies, and movements with a deeper awareness. We become more playful, grateful, and more joyful. Even more exciting is that as we begin to create, we are invited into a deeper encounter and relationship with God, the One who is the Creator and Source of all life around us.  We long for our community to engage with and experience this for themselves.

We have reconfigured the old arts team at church for this new season and going forward we are calling ourselves the WCV Creative Team.  Krista Heide will be coordinating this team, with Johanna Giesbrecht and Deyan Momtchilov serving as assistant Coordinators. Also on the team is Amanda Leighton, Jessica Williams, Cornelius Buhler, Blair Barkley and Brian James.

We are choosing to focus our efforts this year on making space for people to engage in creativity together. We want to grow in relationship with one another, grow in our artistic skills, and grow in our ability to engage with God in our creative process.

Over the course of the year we will be offering regular opportunities for the community to engage in creativity. Some will be offered on a regular basis, and some will be invitations to special events. You can find these opportunities in the bulletin, online, or by talking to one of us.

From October to June we will be offering two regularly scheduled creative opportunities each month:

Monthly Makers Night

Beginning October 19th (7:30-9:30pm) and the second Thursday of every month after that. Flatlanders Studio. 3rd Floor

These nights will be geared towards visual arts. Everyone is welcome! Painters, Drawers, Photographers, Quilters, Knitters, Creative experts, beginners, and everything in between.*

Bring something you are working on, or use some of the supplies we will have available (collage making, yarn, pencils and paper, etc.)

This night is a safe place to be creative, find community, and be inspired as we nurture the gifts growing within us.

Monthly Writers Circle

The last Friday of every month beginning October 27th7:30-9:30pm. Comfy Couch Room. Main Floor.

Everyone is welcome! New writers, old writers and everyone in between (these evenings are geared towards the older youth and adults in our community. You are welcome to bring a child if you take responsibility for engaging with them during the course of the evening).

Bring a short piece of written work to share, whether it is new or old. The circle will be a safe place to share, encourage and build each other up as we nurture the gifts growing within us.

We feel excited about this next season. We sense God’s invitation to go deeper in together, and hope you will come out to be a part of this.

If you’d like any more information please connect with anyone on the leadership team. Thanks!

~Krista

Nuit Blanche / Wall-to-Wall 2017

We are hosting a party in our parking lot again this year!  

Saturday, Sept 30, 6pm – 9:30pm.  

BBQ, musicians, arts and crafts, and artists working on a live collaborative graffiti piece – all at 782 Main St Parking Lot.

It’s the culmination of the Wall-to-Wall festival that has seen five new contemporary street art pieces emerge in the neighbourhood.  It’s also part of the North End Arts week and Nuit Blanche Winnipeg festivities.  And, as if that weren’t enough, our parking lot is the rendezvous point for the Rainbow Trout Music Festival Bike Jam.

Wall-to-Wall 2017 is a collaboration by Synonym Art Consultation, North End Community Renewal Corporation and Graffiti Art Programming (the same people who organized the murals on our building). The purpose of the Wall-to-Wall project is, in their own words, “to transform an under-utilized warehouse district and to provide platforms for under-represented voices to be heard.” We’re expecting 1,800 people this year.

Also, the Flatlanders Studio will be open all evening as an official venue of Nuit Blanche. It will be showcasing a show called “Selcouth: a look into the upbringing of Winnipeg’s metal musicians.”  The Bear Clan will be onsite for security in the Parking Lot.

Schedule:

    • 6pm – Free Hotdog BBQ

    • 6:30pm – Faouzia

  • 7:30pm – Super Duty Tough Work X Studio 393

  • 8:30pm – DJ Srub

  • 9:30pm – Rainbow Trout Music Festival Bike Jam Departs

 

Saturday, Sept 30, 6pm – 9:30pm.

 

 

 

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!

 

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

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!

Seven Offerings of Spiritual Direction

From left to right: Suhail, Andy, Barb, Cliff, Amanda, Danny (teacher), Natalie, Jodi.

This past June, seven people – all leaders in WCV – completed Sustainable Faith’s two-year School of Spiritual Direction. Alongside celebrating God’s transformative work in each of them, we are also excited for the ways in which their training will provide a wider expanse of pastoral care in our community and beyond.

Each of these graduates is equipped to offer spiritual direction; to accompany you as you seek to notice and respond to the presence, voice, and activity of God in your life. If you are interested in receiving spiritual direction, feel free to get in touch in person or click a name for contact information.