Hot Button Topics Survey (we need your input)

We are going to explore our top three “Hot Button Topics” during Part 3 of our Fixed on Jesus series. Together we’ll explore the “in non-essentials, liberty” part of our series. Having determined that Jesus (his Kingdom and activity as described in the Creed) is our centre – “in essentials, unity” – and having explored how to do “in all things charity”, we’re going to step forward bravely and with great amounts of humility and tenderness, into whatever topics YOU choose! We will model GYVE (how to love each other in diversity) with each of those topics in a combination of Sunday mornings and a few special Sunday evening gatherings.

We invite you to pray. The Pastoral and Lay Elders have been praying for some time about this. We’ve sensed God’s guidance, received some significant prophetic nudges and encouragement from other churches. However, we must love well in the process. Hot Buttons are by nature feisty. Emotions can run high and disagreements can run deep. We’ve been holding the centre for 20+ years. We’ve done this already – we’ve just not been so explicit about it. Even so, let’s move forward with prayer and love.

  • And now I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. (John 13:34)
  • …love your neighbors as you love yourself. I am the Lord. (Leviticus 19:18)
  • Above everything, love one another earnestly, because love covers over many sins. (1 Peter 4:8)
  • …the only obligation you have is to love one another. (Romans 13:8)
  • My children, our love should not be just words and talk; it must be true love, which shows itself in action. (1 John 3:18)
  • No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God lives in union with us, and his love is made perfect in us. (1 John 4:12)
  • Do all your work in love. (1 Corinthians 16:14)
  • Be always humble, gentle, and patient. Show your love by being tolerant with one another. Do your best to preserve the unity which the Spirit gives by means of the peace that binds you together. (Ephesians 4:2-3)

>>Thank you to everyone who submitted to our survey! We will compile the results and explore the top three in January and February.

If you have any more Hot Button Topic suggestions, our survey is now closed, but you can still email the pastors with your suggestion!

Thank you dear church!

 

GYVE: How to Love Well (Part 1)

In November we explored what it looks like to love well. We used the acronym GYVE (explained below) as one tested way to do this. We also explored how Jesus modelled this movement for us throughout his ministry. This is all part of our “Fixed on Jesus” series which has been framed by the saying:

“In essentials, unity. In non-essentials, liberty. In all things, charity.”


GYVE is our model for doing the third part of that saying, “in all things, charity”. In the New Year we’re going to do this together with our top three “Hot Button topics” – three “non-essentials”. Before then, we must understand the ground rules. GYVE is our attempt at that.

How To Love Well (Part 1)

“We.”  It’s a simple word, apparently.

When you can use it authentically, it means there is honest agreement. We need… we feel… we think; a sameness of circumstances, emotions and beliefs. There is a pleasantness to be able to say it and know that there is true unity. So pleasant, in fact, that even when it’s no longer true, we’re tempted to want to keep thinking of ourselves as a “we” anyways, and don’t talk about the differences. If we keep on using “we” language then, we no longer use it authentically, we use it presumptuously.

Those moments come when people become too complicated to fit inside that simple word. For those of us who thrive on a sense of togetherness, this can be terrifying. Even for those of us that don’t mind some conflict, it’s hard work to name the new realities, identifying and speaking out about the ways we’ve grown different. Despite the fact that differences can be either neutral, a result of compromise, or from increasing maturity, they can give us the same dread. And it’s never certain whether or not these differences will dramatically affect the way the group has been. Unspoken questions lurk in our minds:

“Will they be able to love me if I disagree with them? Will they try to control and change me, maybe with great pressure? What about our ability to work together closely for a common purpose?”

Differences are not in themselves bad, but many of us do not have positive memories of differences bringing anything good when they surface. Memories of conflict that brought devastation shout inside us, “don’t do that again!” Some of us have felt abandoned when our parents or leaders in the past couldn’t resolve their differences. Much has been lost by conflict that surfaced and never resolved, and the grief of these things remains in some of us. Sometimes, too, leaders see the potential of loss of momentum that disagreement has often produced, and they can be reluctant to pay the cost of honesty.

The “Presumptuous We”

If we go on saying ‘we” even if it does not represent the new situation, it can smooth over our fear of splitting up, of rejection, or of unending conflict. And so, despite the fact that it is presumptuous to say “we” anymore, we continue to generalize, one side speaking for the other without it being accurate. It becomes taboo to tell the truth about the differences, out of these fears. So when one side says “we”, the other side falls silent. At times, the side doing the speaking does not even know that their voice has become inauthentic to the others – but maybe they don’t really want to know, or bother ask about it. Both sides can lack courage to say that “we” is no longer completely true.

But why can’t we just be positive, silently forgive each other, keeping these things from disturbing us and threatening so many good things?

Because the alternative – accepting the pressure to conform – is also devastating, in different ways. In the long run, worse ways.

When we outwardly conform, continuing to say “we” when we have a feeling we are betraying our true thoughts, we no longer trust that we have permission to be real. We don’t know if we are being loved for ourselves anymore, or just being used. There is no sense of unconditional love, because agreement has become the condition of being together. And now, we don’t know if the conflict that we’ve smoothed over would be handled with great forcefulness, indifference, or worse. We have chosen not to know. In the meantime, no one grows or learns from the other viewpoint, and so positions harden, and become strident in the silence. And throughout the community, trust decreases. Low trust becomes normal.

The end of that path is almost surely the same disintegration that comes down the first path. Only now, the differences have corroded both our hearts and our relationships. And how much more violent the war, or severe the withdrawal!

Is there a way to let differences emerge that can be both loving and productive?

When differences are faced at high trust, there are very different outcomes than when those same differences emerge at low trust.

There is no guarantee that the differences won’t prove too much to stay together in the old way. Certainty must be let go of; it is an idol. Change can be severe, but it will be more severe if it is left too long, and then conflict comes at low trust. What we can be certain about however, is the one thing that we have control of: our own willingness to let differences emerge without trying to control or marginalize the other side. When this is done, in the three ways outlined below, trust and compassion have the best chance of growing. When differences are faced at high trust, there are very different outcomes than when those same differences emerge at low trust.

At low trust, there is war or withdrawal.

At high trust, two sides can hear each other deeply. Then they can decide how closely they can continue to live and work together without the threat of rejection or contempt hanging overhead. They can also find creative ways to make room for each other to be different. These “third way” possibilities never reveal themselves at low trust. Following Jesus’ teaching to love those who are different than ourselves, a community can often go beyond just managing to make room for each other; they can actually serve the purposes of those different than themselves. In the teaching of Jesus, both in the Sermon on the Mount and the Unity Prayer he prayed before his death in John 17, this love that crosses the great divides, serving even its enemies, is seen as the greatest sign of the Kingdom of God.

But to get to this place of unity without suppressing differences, there are four courageous things that must be done:

  1. Press pause on generalizing.
  2. Make it safe for differences to come to light.
  3. Find the heart values behind these different positions.
  4. Hear the stories of how these values were formed.

We’ve summed up these four stages in the acronym GYVE:

  • G (Generalizing)
  • Y (Yours and Mine)
  • V (Values)
  • E (Experiences)

>>Read Part 2 here.

>> Missed the teaching on Part 1: Our Essentials, or on Part 2: In all Things Charity (GYVE)? You can listen to the audio here.

Christmas at the Vineyard, 2017

Hey folks! So the Christmas season is upon us once again! (Hold on as I pour myself another mug of eggnog).

Below are a few events I’d like to highlight that will be happening at the Vineyard for this 2017 Christmas season:

  • Our kids and youth will be leading us in worship and throughout the morning on December 10th for our annual Kids Service Sunday.
  • On December 17th right after the service we want to celebrate and feast together as a family and community for the annual Christmas Feast!
  • On December 24th, as it is both a Sunday and Christmas Eve, we will gather in the morning for a shortened Christmas Eve Service from 10-11:15 a.m. Please note there will be no evening service on this day.
  • We will also have a shortened service on December 31st from 10-11:15 a.m. for a New Year’s Eve Service.

Through all the hustle and bustle that the Christmas season brings, let’s remember our Centre, whom we are celebrating.

Blessings!

Metanoia Reflections

I had the privilege to be involved in Vineyard Canada’s Metanoia West gathering in Langley about a month ago. It was a great time of coming together with other Vineyard friends from across the Prairies, the North and BC. We gathered in the historic Friends Langley Vineyard. It seemed significant that we were there in the first Vineyard in Canada, which birthed so much. Yet, we weren’t nostalgic, nor caught in sentiment. There was a palpable sense not only of God’s presence with us, but his passion, excitement and vision for us as a Vineyard family in Canada for the future. Building on a wonderful foundation – and continuing. How do we continue well? What is he inviting us into? Who has he specifically called us to become? How might God be inviting us to reimagine our future? Who are we becoming as we practice following the way of Jesus? – all questions that were asked and that I’m left asking. Answers will come as we continue to follow Jesus and pursue his Kingdom.

Below are videos of the first two sessions. The first is David and Anita Ruis orienting us around the theme “Health Begets Health”. The second is Jared Boyd unpacking the Sermon on the Mount. He does a great job taking a second look at these verses that are quoted so often, yet mostly misunderstood and misapplied. There are two other sessions available here.

I was there representing WCV, part of the Regional Leadership team, and as a national catalyst for Vineyard Engage.

Jesus: The Song of St. Perpetua

For my birthday last year, Jennifer (my wife) bought me a lovely edition of the 1954 volume called “Lives of Saints.” One of my favourite accounts is of St.Perpetua, a twenty-two-year-old who was martyred for her faith in the year 203. Perpetua was married and had an infant; she was one of five catechumens (those at the time who were being prepared to be received into the Church but had not yet been baptized) who were arrested for their faith and imprisoned.

During the subsequent trial, Perpetua’s father appeared with her child in his arms. He pleaded for Perpetua to deny the faith, imploring her to “have pity on the child.” Nonetheless, when the judge asked her “Are you a Christian?” Perpetua said “Yes, I am.” When the group was sentenced and led into the amphitheatre where they would eventually suffer death by wild animals and gladiators, Perpetua was singing.

In the last two weeks, the lectionary has featured several passages which resonate with our current sermon series (Fixed On Jesus: how to hold the centre in an age of diversity). In one particular passage, Jesus clarifies the practical (and radical) implications of having him as the centre of our lives:

Luke 14:26-27: “Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes even life itself, cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” Later, in verse 33: “None of you can become my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions.”

These days – without the threat of wild animals and gladiators, and given the prevalence of much cushy Christian pseudo-psychology that masquerades as authentic spirituality – many of us come to (or stay with) Jesus believing that our most cherished relationships, life, and possessions can remain happily uninterrogated. It’s especially tempting to minimize or altogether ignore the part about carrying the cross; to forget that the way of Christ is the via Dolorosa.

In the passage above, Jesus is straightforward and unapologetic: it’s impossible to follow him without cost, and the cost is everything. I love the great Catholic writer Flannery O’Connor’s take on this reality:

“What people don’t realize is how much religion costs. They think faith is a big electric blanket, when of course it is the cross. It is much harder to believe than not to believe.”

The “hate” of family and life itself that Jesus speaks of is comparative. The idea is that we’d love him so passionately that our attachment to everyone and everything (including all we own and all our cash) would, by comparison, seem like hate. Paul’s words in Philippians 3:8-9 convey the beauty and power of this movement: “What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him […].”

The real heart of Jesus’ words in Luke is an invitation for us to experience, over and above anything and everything, his “surpassing worth.” Experiencing him this way is the only thing that evokes the kind of love for and devotion that obscures everything else. If we shudder at the cost of being without the dearest people, things, or whatever-it-may-be in our lives, it’s likely because we have not yet fully experienced the immense, satisfying, and incomparable joy of Jesus. Gaining and being found in him is having everything, and more.

It’s entirely possible to accept Jesus’ invitation and centre our lives on him in this way. Perpetua’s family, possessions, and very life – significant though they were I’m sure – were negligible compared to the pricelessness of having Christ. I imagine that’s why, even as she “carried the cross” and was processed to her death, she was singing.

May it be that we too so thoroughly experience the unrivalled love, life, grace, and abundance found in the person of Jesus alone that following him – regardless of any and all cost – remains a perpetual song of joy. After all, if we have everything, there’s nothing else we need.

Fall Series – Fixed On Jesus

Diversity is Great but has Some Challenges

We live in a time of immense diversity. Every subject imaginable has a myriad of opposing viewpoints – from politics, economics and science, to arts, religion, sports and more. As if that weren’t enough, adherents to virtually any opinion can find facts and figures to back up their position, adding emotional horsepower to whatever position they hold. Of course, the church isn’t immune from this. Theology can be politicized to the point where it manifests itself in people doing ugly things in the name of truth. How should the church hold to what is true in times like this? What are we to believe? How are we to behave toward each other and toward those who are not yet following Jesus? What are we to do with diversity within the church?

Thankfully, the church has always lived in diverse times.  It is true that today we may face some new challenges, but ever since the birth of the church there have been controversies they’ve had to work through. In fact, much of the New Testament contains stories, advice and even warnings to the early church regarding how to conduct themselves in the mist of differing ideas. Furthermore,  the New Testament church didn’t figure it all out and usher in a period of unity and uniformity (those aren’t the same, by the way!). The past 2,000 years of the church is full of all kinds of controversy. At times, this diversity has led to divisiveness – in the extreme it’s even become violent. In other instances, the church has managed to stay true to what its called to do: to love God and love each other like we love ourselves (Mark 12:30-31) and to make disciples of all nations, baptizing in the name of the Father, Son

the church has always lived in diverse times
and Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey all Jesus commanded (Matt 28:19). But how does one actually do this in such turbulence? What are the keys that the early church held that can help us through our times? What mistakes have been made that we can avoid? And, what authority does the Bible have in all of this?

This Fall we’ll be exploring how to hold the centre in the midst of tremendous diversity – we’ll be attempting to speak to these and other important questions for our time.

A Model:

In the 17th century a German Lutheran pastor named Peter Meiderlin lived during incredibly difficult times.  The infamous 30-Year War was raging and all of Europe (almost literally) was fighting (literally) over theology. Doctrine had become politicized to the point that Christians were killing each other over points that might seem ridiculous to us today. In the midst of this, and with the help of a God-dream, Meiderlin coined a catchy little phrase (well, it’s catchy in Latin) which reads: “In essentials, unity.  In non-essentials, liberty.  In all things, charity.” In other words, keep the main thing the main thing – everything else that is not essential to salvation, even though it’s important, should not be given central priority – and love each other through it all. While this rubric didn’t put an end to the fighting of his time, it has become helpful to many Christians since.

We’re going to use Medeirlin’s phrase (although mix up the original order) as an outline for this series.  

What are the essentials that we must hold on to?

What are the “essentials” that we must hold on to? Far from nailing down a set of theological ideas, our centre is a Person – Jesus – who is both fully God and fully human. We must always keep him at the centre, and anything or anyone who begins to displace him must be named and put back in its proper place. This means that good ideas, moral ideas, holy ideas, even good theology is not our centre. They are all good, but we are not to anchor ourselves in them. Like the writer of Hebrews says, we are to “fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith” (Heb 11:1-2). Next we’ll explore how to have charity in “all things”.  In other words, how do we listen well to those we may disagree with over non-essentials? How do we love each other as brothers and sisters in Christ amidst diverse opinions, theologies, experiences and values?  Lastly, in the new year, we will begin to explore some of the many ways our community is diverse – the “non-essentials” – which may still be important, but just not our centre – not what defines us. At our annual retreat in the Spring, the elders identified 12 issues (and there are likely more) in our church that people will deeply disagree with others about. However, before we get there, we must keep the centre in view and always posture ourselves in love.

Resources:

We will be compiling some additional resources for those who want to go deeper.  For now, here is an article by Gary Best (former director of Vineyard Canada) called “Unity and Truth – A Historical Reflection”. We’ve found Gary to be very helpful in setting the tone for this conversation. In this article, he articulates how one should be concerned with taking a good posture before taking a position on any given topic. Check it out and let us know what you think either in the comments below, or by contacting any of the pastors or elders.

Notes:

>> This series may bring up some anxiety in some of you. If this is the case, please, please, please find a healthy place to process. The Pastoral and Lay Elders have been praying for this process for some time now and are all prepared to provide support and care where needed.

>> Both the Upstairs Gatherings and Downstairs Gatherings will be exploring the same topics throughout this series.

“…And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith…” 

Hebrews 12:1-2

 

Two Psalms by Brent Woelke

The first Writer’s Circle happened last Friday. A lot of great material was shared. Here are two modern day psalms that Brent shared.

If you were to write and pray your own psalm to the Lord, what would you say?

The next Writer’s Circle is November 24th.

A Lament

The hand of the Lord is on me,

for I am still being broken.

Who can I call to for rescue?

Who can pull me from your grasp?

 

The Lord has humbled me,

The Lord has brought me low.

What more can be taken from me?

What more can be stripped away?

 

Everything I had hoped for in the Lord

is in cardboard boxes.

Everything I loved

is sold or is sitting in the back lane.

Everything I cherished

has walked away;

it mocks me, speaking lies and accusations.

 

But the Lord will be my judge.

He has weighed my actions

He has determined my punishment.

Who will come to defend me?

 

My friends gather around me,

they look upon me in silence.

They whisper about me,

for you have exposed my sins.

 

They say,

“Here is one who trusts in God,

here is one who calls on Jesus’ name.”

 

A Song of Ascent

My son, consider the path of God.

His laws are stones that ascend His mountain.

Study and search so that you may find your way.

 

For His path is not obvious or straight

and all who approach Him must toil and labor.

The path of His Son is a path of suffering.

See now that His blood lines the trail,

His precious blood shows the way.

Has He not placed every stone before you?

Every rock as a firm foundation under your feet

every boulder as an obstacle and trial to overcome.

 

Take heart in your time of need.

Call out so your strength is failing.

For all who seek Him, shall be found by Him.

All who look to Him, will be lifted up.

 

For the Lord is high above all the earth.

He sees all who travel upon His hill.

None escape his sight,

and all things are subject to Him.

The very roots of the mountain are in His hands.

The mountains rise and fall by his decree.

 

But those who trust in the Lord will not fall.

Those who fear Him shall behold His majesty.

New Elder Process & Invitation

In the Vineyard elders function as overseers who tend to the spiritual health and vision of the community.  At this juncture we’d like to add to our current Elder team and your input and prayer is critical.

There are two kinds of elders in Winnipeg Centre Vineyard – Pastoral Elders and Lay Elders.  The Lay Elders (Paul & Sherry Ansloos, Cliff & Krista Heide, Jason & Theresa Eheler, Rod & Elisa Jersak) keep the big picture in mind and prayerfully seek God for direction and counsel regarding all macro matters relating to church-life. The Pastoral Elders (Riegers, Woods, Rademakers & Labuns) also embrace this role with the added responsibility of implementing the daily tasks associated with the macro. The whole Elder team is lead by the Pastoral Executive (Nathan & Andy). More on leadership in WCV here.

A few points to keep in mind in this process:

  1. Leadership is servanthood. It’s not about ordering others around, but rather serving others (Luke 22:25-27). Being an elder isn’t a promotion. Rather, it’s a recognition of a person’s current influence in the community.
  2. Leadership is action. It’s not about position or titles. While specific roles can be very helpful, true leadership is never about titles. If a someone has a position of leadership, but doesn’t have anyone following, then they’re just going for a walk.
  3. The Elders, while not always older, are all seasoned leaders and followers of Jesus.
  4. While all the current elders are married couples, this is not a requirement for prospective elders, nor is it necessarily preferable.
  5. Lay Elders meet monthly, participate in one annual 2-day retreat, and commit to a 3-year term which is renewable based on mutual agreement by all current Pastoral and Lay Elders.

There are four steps in the process of adding new elders to our current team.  There are also a number of considerations and requirements for elders.

The New Elder Process is:

  1. Nomination and Discernment (November). During this time the community and the current elder team nominate those they think are currently functioning as elders (even if they don’t have the position). Prayerfully ask, “who do I naturally look to for counsel, support, care, etc?” Chances are, those are the people who are already functioning as elders. At the same time, the pastors and elders are prayerfully discerning if people qualify and are a good fit for the current team and season of life the church is in (see below for requirements and considerations).
  2. Proposal & Mutual Consideration (December). The staff will contact potential new elders and invite them to prayerfully consider.  This is a period in which we see if this “seems good to us and the Holy Spirit” (Acts 15:28).
  3. Prospective Elder Period (January – March).  This is a three-month period during which prospective elders are known to the community, come to monthly elder meetings, and are in communication with staff.  We “kick the tires” so to speak. At the end of this period it’s determined if it’s a fit.  If it is:
  4. Membership Vote (March).  Those who are formal members of WCV (those who “belong, serve and give” as described here) vote on the prospective new elders. If the new elder is ratified, this begins their 3-year term. Bear in mind that this is a vote, not on who should become elders, but on whether those who’ve been identified via the above process are the right decision for the Vineyard at this time.

Requirements for Elders are:

  1. All the biblical requirements outlined in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1.
  2. Be a current member of WCV (described here). Walking out and dialoguing with our 15 Core Practices. Of particular note are: Devotion to Jesus (elders should be devoted to their walk with God), Circles of Sharing (a hallmark of eldership is hospitality) and Generosity (elders should be giving to the local church).
  3. A good fit with the current team and the season the Vineyard is in. While there are many people who generally qualify as elders, the staff and current elders must prayerfully discern who is the best fit for right now. What skills and gift mix will best suit the team already? This is not a popularity contest – it is a serious process to discern who God has prepared and gifted to serve the whole community at this time.

>>Will you join us in this process?  We value both your prayer and input.  If you’d like to nominate someone please contact one of the pastors or email or call the office. Thanks!

For a further explanation of this Organizational Diagram go here.

Our current Elder team (both lay and pastoral elders):

 

 

 

Woven Together: The Art of Textiles

Flatlanders Studio is proud to present Woven Together: The Art of Textiles, by Naila Janzen and Johanna Giebrecht. Woven Together is a celebration of art that can be found in everyday lives; from the items that are daily utilized to the relationships forged.

We find ourselves in a society that has devalued traditional crafts. We have lost the ability to see and appreciate the artistry of well crafted items. “We would like the world to see that just because a work of skill can be put to a purpose does not diminish its artistry.”

Two perspectives brought together by two friends. “As we share our lives together, and our love for our craft, the threads of our lives find overlapping themes and we are woven together.”

Nov. 3 – Dec. 30, 2017 in the Flatlanders Studio. Free Admission!

Gifts 4 God & Imaginative Prayer

Hey parents of kids Grades 1-12!

We’d like to catch you up with what we have been doing in Elementary kids church and to prepare you for the break as we launch into our Gifts4God season. You literally can “catch up” as we break until the regular program resumes on Jan 14th. We’d like to help you understand how the Imaginative Prayer book can power you up in spiritually leading your kid/youth/family.

What we’ve been doing: We are really excited about how we’ve been exploring the Imaginative Prayer book with the Grade 1-4 class @ WCV. The Grade 5-7 class are also following along! The first six weeks we’ve had various leaders lead in the Imaginative Prayer in the large group. All four of us who have led in some way so far, have been a part of Spiritual Direction in these last two years. What a delight it is to now be able to lead the kids in this. Jared Boyd, the author of Imaginative Prayer, was our teacher and is our friend! Thanks to Gloria Fligg and all of our small group leaders in Kids church; we’ve had a wonderful start this fall.

Using the “Imaginative Prayer” book to power your spiritual leadership:

  1. The parent or mentor section: It can be easy to go through our week, not giving time or space for God to speak to us, especially with the busyness of our schedules, but the book can save you time by giving you something to build off of. We encourage you as parents to briefly/deeply look at the “parent or mentor” section of the chapter with your kids.
  2. This past week: Cliff led us in Chapter 6.  Dig in and find out how you can follow up and discuss with your child. See Jodi if you do not yet have a copy of Imaginative Prayer.
  3. We’re in sync: If you have kids in elementary and youth (grade 1-7), you will be happy to know we are in sync with them, so we’re using the same chapter on the same week!

 

What’s coming up: Gifts4God starts this coming Sunday Oct 29th-Dec 3rd.

What is Gifts4God?   Gifts4God is a time when we get to celebrate how God has made all of our kids and youth in a special way. When we read Psalm 139, we discover that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Kids get to choose what they love to do, whether it’s art, sports, dance, drama or cooking and they can sign up for what they love! We are so excited to begin this season again.

When?  Gifts4God will be for the next 6 Sundays Oct 29-Dec 3.  The Christmas Kids & Youth service will be on Dec 10th.

Why?  “I was just getting into the Imaginative Prayer book with my child. Why the change?” Gifts4God is an annual rhythm at WCV. The kids and youth look forward every year to this special time. This break in the regular program will give you some space to check out the book more and discover how it can work for your family in the New Year. We will be on Week 7 on Jan 14 and look forward to having families follow along. Please see Jodi for your free copy and read more about how to use the book.

Please note which class your child has signed up for, so when you are at the computers on Sunday am, you sign them up for the correct class. The list will also be available by the computers on Sunday. Any adjustments that need to be made, we will make them as we go! Please be aware of the various drop off rooms at WCV and pick up spots that will be new for these six weeks. The times remain the same as a regular Sunday with drop off at 10:45 and pick up at 11:45. (Please note that sports will start 5 minutes earlier due to the walk to YFC building. As well any kids or youth in sports must have a waiver signed by parents).

>>WCV Youth Waiver

~ Jodi Labun

Welcome Party

If you’re new to the Vineyard, one of the ways we try to make you feel welcome and to help you navigate your next steps in our community is through what we call a “Welcome Party.” Very simply, these are informal gatherings in the Comfy Couch Room right after the Sunday services during which you can

  • meet a few Pastors and Elders,
  • enjoy a light lunch together, and
  • receive a little gift from us.

If you are new to the Vineyard, we’d love for you to join us at our next Welcome Party. Please contact the office to find out when the next one will be – we’ll make sure you know and are invited.

>>For more info on our newcomer process go here.

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)