The Vineyard has a model for Prayer ministry that is called the “5-Step Prayer Model”
As you are likely aware, on Feb 12, 2021 some of the current Covid-19 restrictions are changing regarding church gatherings. The new orders will allow churches to gather to 10% capacity to a maximum of 50 people – while adhering to the normal protocols (hand-sanitizing, physical distancing, staying home of you’re sick, etc).
We are making a few changes that will begin Feb 21, 2021.
We will be opening up the building for a limited number of people to participate by joining the live-streaming service in-person on Sunday mornings. We will give priority to those who have no access to technology to watch the livestream from home. We will be in touch with those people to specifically invite them (since they most likely won’t be reading this post!). Additionally, those who are involved in the Mercy Boot Camp (either recipients or volunteers) will be able to join in the service in-person. We will keep a strict cap on the number of people in the building. Even though restrictions allow 50 people, we won’t be able to accommodate that many due to the updates with our live-streaming equipment. We are in the process of making changes to permanently install all our equipment, which will then allow more participants in our gatherings at 782 Main St and maintain the quality of our livestream.
Our general posture towards resuming in-person gatherings will be a gradual “ramp-up”. In the future we will have a registration process for those who want to gather in-person instead of participating online. This will be to ensure we always have enough space for the street community and others who don’t have livestream access.
These changes will begin Feb 21.
This year we are inviting the whole community to set aside every Monday in Lent (starting Feb 22) for Prayer and Fasting.
“Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of love. Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and shower righteousness upon you.”Hosea 10:12
Fasting is a form of prayer. When we fast we voluntarily set aside something for a time in order to intensify our attention to and awareness of God – this attention and awareness is prayer. The things we are most reluctant to set aside are the very things that probably get in the way of our life with God. It is a practical discipline that helps us realize that God – not food, Facebook friends, (fill in the blank) – is the real source of all pleasure, goodness and life.
The invitation during this season of prayer and fasting is to prepare for the new growth that God has planted in us. This means creating a welcoming space for the work of God amongst us and in our own hearts. We cannot do the work ourselves – this is the task of God’s Spirit. However, we do have a part to play by readying ourselves and welcoming the growth God wants to bring.
At the beginning of each week, we will be emailing the reflection and invitation for that Monday. You can follow along as you are led. If you’d prefer to see it all at once you can download all the weekly reflections in the link below. Also, there is a booklet entitled “Fasting Basics” which offers a thorough overview of everything fasting related.
Here is a sermon entitled “Why We Fast: an invitation to fasting & feasting” which provides more insight into the spiritual discipline of fasting.
Vineyard Canada National Call to Prayer Jan 20 – 30, 2021
“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful”Colossians 4:2
If ever there has been a moment in the history of our Canadian Vineyard Family that we are critically aware of our need for God’s wisdom, it’s now… (more on Vineyard Canada website)
We are excited to be hosting an event that will help provide some good foundation for our Activation towards those who are poor. Several WCVers participated in this workshop during the Belong Symposium in November and were impressed by the content high quality interactive delivery.
We have a long history of engaging in issues of poverty, working alongside the marginalized, and actively pursing justice in our community. We’re praying that this workshop will help rekindle this Core Practice of WCV.
Workshop facilitators from Food for the Hungry Canada will be leading us in this engaging and highly interactive workshop.
About this Event:
Have you ever been in this situation? A commercial shows you an image of a starving child in Africa and petitions that only you can help. Or someone living in homelessness approaches you on the sidewalk and asks for money. Or you suspect your neighbour is going into debt because of job loss during this COVID-19 pandemic.
What do I do? Can I really make a difference?
We invite you to join with others to explore the big questions about poverty and discuss tangible solutions.
Join us for a 3.5 hour interactive online workshop on Saturday, March 13th, 2021. 12:30pm – 4pm.
This online workshop will be interactive through a zoom link. Materials will be emailed to you for most effective participation.
Space will be limited.
We are going to be hosting four evenings of storytelling and teaching designed to connect you with the heart, vision and practices of WCV. Sometimes we all need a reminder of why we’re here, what God wants to do among us and through us, and what kind of community we are becoming. These evenings will do just that.
They are for newcomers to the community, old-timers who’ve been around forever, and anyone in between.
- Our Vision,
- WCV’s Core Practices & Vineyard Values,
- Where we’ve come from and where we’re going,
- The kind of community God is calling us to become,
- Each other!
Four Thursday Evenings at 7pm.
Feb 11, 18, 25 & Mar 4.
Via Zoom (register to get the link).
Register here. Registered participants will receive a package in the mail. Be sure to register early to allow time for snail mail!
“You didn’t choose me, remember; I chose you, and put you in the world to bear fruit, fruit that won’t spoil. As fruit bearers, whatever you ask the Father in relation to me, he gives you.John 15:16 (Msg)
Hey WCV family – we’re going to be having a games night on Jan 1, 2021.
We are going to play a game called, “Who Said That?” It’s a Bible trivia game for players to identify the speaker, and for more points, the book, chapter and verse – making it fun for a wide variety of Bible scholarship. It would be great if we could have families sign up as a team so we can create a round-robin play, since it will work best if we have one team facing off against another team for a series of questions and then move on to another two teams, etc.
FAMILY GAME NIGHT
Game: Who (in the Bible) Said That?
Friday, January 1 at 6:30 PM
Zoom link will be shared beforehand.
Register your team (family) to play this fun game and test your Bible chat skills!
All family sizes and ages are welcome to join in!
We’re excited to be doing Christmas Eve online via Zoom this year. We’ve got some fun for all ages planned. We hope you can join us with your warm drink in hand, a candle ready to be lit, and hearts full of anticipation for the arrival of Jesus!
December 24, 6pm via Zoom.
Watch your email for the link to the Zoom meeting which will be sent out within 48 hours beforehand. If you don’t get emails from WCV, please contact the office to receive the Zoom link.
Vineyard Canada is hosting another National Worship Gathering on December 27th, 11am our time. Various Vineyard churches across the country will participate as we worship, reflect on 2020, and prepare to enter the New Year together. This gathering will be live on Vineyard Canada’s Facebook page as well as well as posted on VC’s Youtube channel.
God is neither confused nor disoriented in these troubled times. If there’s one thing we’ve learned during these last few years it is that God is both faithful and trustworthy. It just might be true that the Holy Spirit is most active in rough times – bringing comfort and strength to the weak and overwhelmed, offering wisdom to those who ask, guiding and nudging, speaking and empowering. God is here – with each of us wherever we are – even right now as you read this. God’s Kingdom is here – at hand – coming – delayed. All of it wrapped up and enacted by feeble hands and knocking knees (Isa 35:3). We’re praying that this reality would be planted deep down in each of our hearts and would produce a rich harvest of hope in due course. We are in this together and God is with us.
Colossians 1:9-12 is a good picture of what the Holy Spirit has been nudging us towards, namely: transformation, connection and activation.
“Since we first heard about you, we’ve kept you always in our prayers that you would receive the perfect knowledge of God’s pleasure over your lives, making you reservoirs of every kind of wisdom and spiritual understanding. We pray that you would walk in the ways of true righteousness, pleasing God in every good thing you do. Then you’ll become fruit-bearing branches, yielding to his life, and maturing in the rich experience of knowing God in his fullness! And we pray that you would be energized with all his explosive power from the realm of his magnificent glory, filling you with great hope.”– Col 1:9-12 (TPT)
The primary calling of being a disciple of Jesus is to become more and more like Him in our thoughts, habits, and actions – learning to be like Him in every way. Paul says, “all the while you will grow as you learn to know God better and better” (Col 1:10). This is a life-long process of maturing into Christlikeness – of living more fully into our image-of-God-ness (Gen 1). This must be kept in the forefront. The paradox here is that when we strive for transformation, it becomes elusive. However, when we focus on Jesus – his life, relationships, thoughts, actions, etc. – we become more like Him. We become like what we worship and we reflect what we worship.
Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.1 John 2:6
“When human beings give their heartfelt allegiance to and worship that which is not God, they progressively cease to reflect the image of God. One of the primary laws of human life is that you become like what you worship; what’s more, you reflect what you worship not only to the object itself but also outward to the world around. Those who worship money increasingly define themselves in terms of it and increasingly treat other people as creditors, debtors, partners, or customers rather than as human beings. Those who worship sex define themselves in terms of it (their preferences, their practices, their past histories) and increasingly treat other people as actual or potential sex objects. Those who worship power define themselves in terms of it and treat other people as either collaborators, competitors, or pawns. These and many other forms of idolatry combine in a thousand ways, all of them damaging to the image-bearing quality of the people concerned and of those whose lives they touch.”N.T. Wright in Surprised by Hope
Being together releases energy. Encouragement happens in community. Covid-19 has restricted relationships and thrust many into survival mode. We’re praying that the varied moments of connection that we do have will be like life-lines that will not just keep us afloat, but actually pull to safety those who feel overwhelmed. This is not a solitary activity. In the Colossian passage above Paul uses a plural “you” (Col 1:9-12). A simple text message to someone can be huge. A phone call, a hand-written note, a hot meal – small gestures like these communicate love and plant seeds of hope. Like Paul, we’re praying that we would all be strengthened with God’s power, have patience to endure, and be filled with energizing joy (selections of Colossians 1:9-12 NLT). The best path to this? Connection.
We are excited by the growth of Home Groups this year. There are also a number of Triads who are meeting regularly and sharing life together and a number of beautiful moments of connection have been catalyzed through CarePortal. These are all parts of the “fruit bearing branches” that comprise WCV. We believe God wants to increase these and actually infuse our community with energy through these growing relationships with each other, and those who are yet to be part of our church!
“So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.”1 Thessalonians 5:11
We believe this next year God will lead us into reaffirming who we are and why we are placed at 782 Main St. We don’t want to just do the same old things, but just a little better. There are new expressions of who we are that are going to find fresh legs in this next season. We want to find ways to notice the inner leadings of the Holy Spirit that will result in life and joy – not just another thing to do in an already busy life.
“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”Hebrews 10:24-25
As we lean into Jesus, we will be transformed. As we lean into each other, we will be energized and encouraged. As we follow the Spirit’s promptings we will be led outside of ourselves in service of others. Let hope be planted! Let your kingdom come!
Wait a minute… We’re talking about Advent and Christmas already?! Wasn’t it just yesterday we were walking around in sandals? In this year of incredible disruptions, we now find ourselves at the front end of the season of Advent. Of all the things we don’t know, one thing we know for sure is that this season won’t be like any of the other Christmases we’ve experienced. Yet, the core reason we celebrate remains unchanged. The challenge is to find ways to root ourselves in the beauty of the CHRISTmas season while living in the times we do.
What does it mean for us to wait for the Messiah in this season with many of our regular traditions stripped back? There will be no huge parties, no group celebrations or traditional fanfare and, most likely, no large extended family gatherings. That’s a lot of “no”s! What does it look like for us to say “yes” to Jesus and still prepare to celebrate his coming in a time like this? This year our guiding idea for Advent is “Getting Ready to Celebrate”.
Each Sunday there will be a theme leading us in progression to Christmas Eve – all aimed at helping us get ready to celebrate Jesus’ coming and presence among us: Invitation > Preparation > Waiting > Arrival. Along with each Sunday’s theme there will be an “engagement activity”. These will be fun and simple opportunities to explore the topic in a practical and creative way. Advent packages explaining these activities will be delivered before advent to every household with a child or youth – but this does’t preclude others from participating. As everyone does participate in the activity, we’re encouraging us all to take pictures and post to our Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag: #WCVadvent2020. Instructions will be given online every Sunday morning.
A Ham for everyone: Sadly, we’re not going to be able to gather together as we have in years past to enjoy each other’s company at our annual feast. However… we have purchased a whole hog-load of hams (say that fast 10 times!) and we’d like everyone in WCV to get one. The idea is simple: to bless everyone in the community and provide opportunities for connection. We are going to package up the hams along with some extra supplies for our Christmas Eve service this year. You can watch for these deliveries mid December.
Speaking of Christmas Eve, we’re working on plans and will update you as they are firmed up.
Lastly, if find yourself struggling this season, please don’t do so alone… reach out to your Home Group leader, a member of the Leadership Team, Andy at the office, or a trusted friend. If you know of someone who could use some extra groceries, please contact the office and we can make arrangements to share some food (we will give you an extra ham and you can add to it to make a meal). We are here to help.
At our upcoming AGM (Nov 30 at 7pm) we will be recommending the following people for the Leadership Team as either Lay Elders or members of the Board. We asked each of them to share (in 3-4 mins) a little about themselves, what they love about WCV and why they’re excited to serve in this position.
We are excited to announce that we have hired a new Kids and Youth Ministries Director. After receiving quite a number of applications and conducting interviews with a few very strong candidates, the hiring team felt a strong sense that Lani Wiens was the right choice for us. She brings with her a wealth of experience in both kids and youth ministry, is creative and is ready to go! We are excited to welcome her to the team, and to the community. You’ll be hearing more from her in the coming weeks but in the meantime below is a little bio.
Hi, I’m Lani Wiens. Kelly and I left our organic farm in Saskatchewan and moved to Winnipeg on my birthday, Aug 24 of this year (we still own the farm but that’s another story). We’re following God’s invitation to start a new ministry called Firerunner under the supervision and in partnership with Multiply through the Trek program, so we’ve been ‘upstairs’ every day for the last two months. The building feels very much like home. One of our fellow Trek participants posted your ad in our group chat and I felt like it might just be for me. I’ve been involved with children and youth ministry for close to 30 years in one way or another.
Kelly and I have six kids (4 boys and 2 girls), our oldest is married and presented us with our first grandbaby earlier this year. The two youngest (and our dog) are with us and the other three are in Saskatoon, Montreal and Hepburn. We are looking forward to getting to know you and serve you. We like swimming in the creative stream through music, writing, storytelling, fabric, paint, renovating things, decorating things and general mayhem. We’re always up for a good board game, too.