New National Team Leaders (psst… we kinda know them)

At the recent Enlive National Celebration in Kitchener, Ontario, our good friends and founding pastors David and Anita Ruis were commissioned to lead the Vineyard Canada national team.  Here’s a little video from them.

Recap from Vineyard Canada on Vimeo.

Also, here is a letter with more of a reflection on the gathering, their leadership and where they see the Vineyard in Canada going.

You can meet the rest of the Vineyard Canada national team, and the Canadian Vineyard as a whole, here.

Changing Tracks – a reflection on Enlive

A reflection on the recent Canadian Vineyard’s National Celebration by Natasha Boone.

I remember the alarm seeming more obnoxious than usual that morning. Or perhaps I should say that night, as, when the beep-beep-beep of the alarm sounded, our room was still enclosed in night’s deep darkness. We stumbled around at the ungodly hour of 3:45am, in order to catch our early-bird flight out to Kitchener ON.

(The irony of getting up at an ungodly hour in order to catch a flight out to Enlive Vineyard family camp, where we would worship God with many other fellow Vineyardites was not lost on us).

Considering the time of day and likewise having a wiggly 14 month old sitting on our respective laps dropping Cheerios both over us and the person sitting next to us, we did alright.

So we arrive in Toronto, grab our luggage, stuff some food into Jude (14 month old of a wiggly disposition) and set out to Kitchener (about an hour commute). It is about half an hour into the drive and I suddenly had the thought ‘the playpen is missing’. Now, I do not know where this thought came from, as Sean was the one who took care to load the luggage into the car at the rental office. But the thought came floating into my brain, as if sent from above.

Sure enough, the playpen was not in the car.

With the car (eventually) turned around, we silently headed back to the airport. It was discouraging, as we thought that we had been going the right way (to Kitchener) with all the gear that we needed, when in fact, we had been driving for at least half an hour without something that we really needed – Jude’s playpen.

So long story short, we got back the airport, Sean re-traced his steps to the luggage pick-up area, and retrieved our neglected playpen from the nearly empty carousel. We got back on the (now familiar) road and were on our way again, a little dis-heartened, but glad to be moving forward.

So why tell you these details about getting up early, flying to Kitchener with wiggly baby in tow, driving for a bit, realizing that we missed a piece of luggage and so turning around, retrieving said luggage and getting back on track?

Because sometimes it is okay to acknowledge that something vital has been forgotten and steps are need to be taken to go back and ‘get’ that which was left behind.

Cheryl Bear offers a song.

Cheryl Bear offers a song.

One of the highlights of the Enlive Vineyard Family camp was hearing the guest speaker Cheryl Bear, a woman from the Nadleh Whut’en First Nation in British Columbia, who, alongside her husband, Randy Barnetson, happens to also pastor a Foursquare church in Vancouver.   As the Vineyard movement, we have done a lot of things well. Generally speaking, we have followed God’s voice and been submissive to his leading. As Ms. Bear pointed out in her talk, however, we have not given due honour to the Native peoples and culture in our midst. We have not been adequately inclusive and inviting. And this, along with a detailed and thought-provoking teaching on First Nation’s culture itself, is what Ms. Bear brought to the table.

It quieted the room, as conviction usually does.

I, for one, don’t like realizing that I have to do a u-turn. Or, as Ms. Bear, so eloquently said in reference to how the Vineyard movement in general has excluded First Nations (as well as women and Francophones, but that mention came later, during a speech by David and Anita Ruis) “it is ok to change tracks’.

It is okay to change tracks. Much like the realization that the playpen was left on the carousel, waiting to get picked up, it is ok, if not imperative, to turn back and get what is needed. What is missed.

The Vineyard movement needs the First Nations. Women are needed. Francophones are needed. All these, along with who the Vineyard movement is currently being comprised of, are needed.

It is okay to change tracks. It is necessary to go back and get that playpen.



Thoughts from Enlive – Vineyard National Celebration

At the end of July, the tribe gathered.  Vineyard people from east to west and north to south, from all across our nation came together in what felt like a family reunion (without any of the weird uncle, or the bickering aunt stuff).  It was an amazing time of worship, connection, fun, teaching, encouragement and challenge. There were 21 people (ranging in age from 14 months to, well, we won’t say) from WCV who made the trek.

Below are some of the highlights from our organized times together (not to mention paint-ball, pulled pork and water balloons):
Robby Dawkins (Vineyard pastor from Chicago), spoke passionately about healing. He walked us through a powerful time of praying for the sick – many were healed, many were better than before, and others were the same but felt loved.  It was great.  “We have authority to heal!”

Cheryl Bear (pastor, musician, theologian from Vancouver) shared profoundly on First Nations inclusion in the Vineyard and First Nations ministry issues.  Go here for a reflection on this element by Natasha Boone.  Cheryl spoke eloquently offering both challenge and explanation towards inclusion of the marginalized voices among us.  It was great that her strong voice was heard because the Holy Spirit was certainly speaking through her.  “Hope involves work!”

David and Anita Ruis (WCV church planters) were installed as National Team Leaders of Vineyard Canada.  They shared their hearts, and encouraged us to “hold on to the centre”.  They laid out a track that they and the rest of the National Team feel is the direction God’s calling us as we move into the future.  They called us as a movement in Canada to:

  • “hit the deck in prayer and unplug our prophetic ear”
  • re-align our hearts for optimal obedience to the Holy Spirit
  • re-shape the way we think so that we can move forward
  • re-engage with the international Vineyard family, especially the American Vineyard Family (not that we’ve been disengaged but it seems like now is a time to deepen relationship)  “We come together because we can’t make it alone”
  • listen to the voices of the marginalized – particularly First Nations, those who are poor, Francophones and youth.  “The voices of the marginalized must have a voice in the conversation”

Ellie Mumford (Mumford and Son’s mom and the co-director of the Vineyards in the UK and Ireland) roused us saying, “brothers and sisters in the Canadian Vineyard, in my humble opinion Aslan is on the move…!” and that “this is supposed to be fun!” – and it was.

Additionally, Andy led two workshops and Suhail spoke about our very own School of Justice and Noel & Dona shared on the Himalayan Region Vineyards!  It truly was a rich time.  The next one will be in 2018 in Alberta.