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)

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!


Project Timothy Prayer Requests

After a year of fundraising, the youth are finally heading out to Project Timothy! Below are a few prayer requests from Jodi Labun:

“Hey folks, nine of us this week are heading out to Landenberg, PA where Project Timothy (youth discipleship bootcamp) is being held from July 29-Aug 6.

Please pray for our youth as they prepare this week and as they go.  Please pray for smooth travels as this group is travelling by air on three different dates on the weekend beginning on Friday.  Pray for safety for James as he drives to and from the church and airport over the weekend.

Pray for our youth that the Lord will stir new things and move in ways in our youth that we can’t ask or imagine.  Pray that as they are immersed in this environment their love for the Lord would deepen, and the desire and invitation to head into what God has called them to would increase.  Pray that this wouldn’t just be an event, but it would be a space where transformation would happen as we are challenged to be great lovers of Jesus and others.

It’s breathtaking to be in an atmosphere where teens are hungry for God.  Thanks to all of you at WCV who have supported us on this adventure.  There’s been enormous financial support through our fundraising efforts;  for this we are so grateful.

Thanks for joining us in prayer over this next week,
~Jodi ~”


The Word Made Fresh

The real Jesus – the one we read about in the bible and not the one whose name is commonly invoked to justify all manner of violence, exclusion and judgement – the real Jesus is winsome.  There is something about him that surprises, challenges, comforts and wins people.  Even non-religious people love him and more often than not, are surprised by him and what he stood for.

Jdashboard Jesusesus showed us the way to the Father.  John records “the Word was made flesh and dwelled among us” (John 1:14).  Later in John’s gospel, Jesus himself says that if we’ve seen him, we’ve seen the Father (14:9).  This was his primary mission on earth.  As his followers, we are to walk in his footsteps.  We are to emulate him.  His mission is to become ours.  Yet, in general, the church has a bad reputation.  If relevant at all, followers of Jesus are typically known for who or what we are against, which may or may not have anything to do with what Jesus stood for.

There is a tremendous disconnect at work.  How do we repair the breach between Jesus and our neighbours?  How do we introduce our friends to the real Jesus – not the one who hates “the gays”, or bombs “the Muslims”.  How do we shed the negative stereotypes of the church?  How do we become winsome without being weird?  How do we remain faithful to scripture and be relevant to our culture?  What does the way Jesus lived his life say to our contemporary situations?

Jesus signIn this series, “The Word Made Fresh”, we will explore these questions and, together, we’ll discover how to connect the dots between the real world’s biggest needs and the real Jesus.  We will unpack some of the best known and most misunderstood stories about Jesus and some of the ones he told.  By the end of this series, we will fall in love with a Jesus that perhaps we’ve never known before and, in the process, we’ll discover a loving Father through the revelation of the Holy Spirit.  As we learn the ins and outs of Jesus’ life, we will get to know him better and we’ll be able to talk about him naturally in the places we go.

We are praying that as we do this, Jesus will come alive to us and our neighbours in new and exciting ways.  Jesus – the Word – will become fresh!

LeafCheck the website or your email for “The Word for the Week” – our weekly scripture challenge.  At the beginning of each week we will send out the Jesus story we will be studying the following Sunday.  We will encourage us all to read and meditate on these scriptures.  We want to read the stories, live them and be able to share them with those around us!

Read it – Live it – Share it!

You can also listen to the introductory sermons in this series here (March 8th & 22nd).



Baptism – could it be you?

It’s time to haul out the old metal dunk tank again!  On Easter Sunday, April 5, we are going to witness the baptisms of a number of people as they make a public confession of their faith in Jesus.  If you believe in Jesus and haven’t yet taken this step, we invite you to think and pray about it.

Jesus said, “believe and be baptized” (Mark 16:16).  In other words, believing is never just an internal reality – it always finds expression and is made practical, in our real lives.  Baptism is an outward expression of an inward reality and one that followers of Jesus have participated in ever since Jesus himself was baptized by his cousin, John the Baptist.

Please contact the office or one of the Pastors if you are interested or want to know more about baptism.

School of Justice Info Night

We are hosting a public information night for anyone who is interested in finding out more about the Vineyard School of Justice and about our upcoming school (Oct. 2015 – Apr. 2016).

We’ll share the who, what, where, why, and how of the school, have former and current students share their experiences, and facilitate a time of questions and answers.

Vineyard School of JusticeTea, coffee, and baked goods will also be available on a payment-by-donation basis with proceeds going toward future student sponsorships.  All are invited!

Thursday, March 26, 7pm at 782 Main St.

Outer Circle – a journey towards Jesus

Right now in kid’s church, they are learning about God’s Big Story.  They are learning how sin entered the world, and completely distorted a perfect, and in fact “very good” creation.  More than distorting it, sin has really messed things up and if left unchallenged leads to death and total destruction.  Adam and Eve, who once walked openly with God, now hid from him, their Father.  They once walked in complete openness and vulnerability – after sin, they hid themselves from each other.  Even the earth itself seemed to reel with the effects of this rebellion.

Outer Circle Logo 2013 copyHowever, God immediately hatched a plan of redemption and restoration (you can read Gen 3:15 for the first glimpse of a plan).  He wouldn’t allow sin to have the final say in his creation.  Jesus, as our children are learning, is God’s response to sin.  Our journey as followers and imitators of Jesus, is towards Christ-likeness.  It’s really a journey back to the beginning.  We were created in God’s very image, sin distorted that image, and Christ came to make a way for us to live into that again.  To walk and talk once again with God our loving creator.

In a big sense, this is what the Outer Circle is all about.  It’s our attempt to create just enough structure while leaving room for plenty of flexibility to help us on our journey towards being like Jesus.  It’s the task of discipleship.  It’s the joy and the work of submitting our wills, habits, desires, our very lives to God, who takes them and forms us into the likeness of his son.

If you are interested in joining the Outer Circle process, now is the time, but you have to commit to the process.  Read more about it here or pick up a copy of the Outer Circle manual at the info table.

If you are currently in a Triad, now is the time to make your plan for the coming year.

The first Outer Circle gathering of the new year is Saturday, January 17 at 5:30pm.  At this time all Triads need to be formed and everyone needs to have gone through their own discernment process.


30 Day Prayer Challenge

Windows OpenThe 30-Day Prayer Challenge is a practical application of our “Windows Open: how to pray like Daniel” series.  Since we’ve been exploring prayer in the life of Daniel, we’d like to challenge all of us to make it real in our lives.


It’s a call to pray three times a day for 30 days.


King Darius commanded that everyone in the whole empire should pray only to him for 30 days.  It was during this time that Daniel defiantly opened his windows to Jerusalem and prayed, as was his habit, three times a day.  These actions landed Daniel in the lion’s den, which set the stage for an amazing miracle.  As we devote ourselves to walking and talking with God, we too will experience his presence in profound ways.

Next Sunday (Nov 2), we will provide info and daily prayer activities for this challenge.  There will also be daily notifications here on the Vineyard website and email list.

Are you up for it?  Let’s do it and see how God responds!


3 times a day 30 days