Honest Advent

It seems like this Christmas season, perhaps more than any other in recent memory, God is inviting us to peel back the layers of glittery seasonal branding and get honest and gritty about what God-with-us means in our hurting, broken and beautiful world.

This Advent season join us as we explore the shocking nature of the Creator of the universe showing up in the womb of a 1st century young woman. We will ponder this wondrous act of vulnerability. We will marvel at this brazen act of love. We will place ourselves in the story of redemption that began in a climate of tension, upheaval and uprising.

We will allow a young peasant woman’s simple shaky “yes” to point the way forward amidst our own confusing and disorienting times.

Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” 

Luke 1:38

Let’s awaken to the wonder of God-with-us as we follow Mary’s lead and say:

  • Yes to God…
  • Yes to Mystery…
  • Yes to Love…

This is gritty and real. And powerful. 

It’s what our world needs. 

It’s what we need.

 

Join us Sundays as we explore an Honest Advent. 

  • Nov 28 – Andy will explore Mary’s “yes”.
  • Dec 5 – Celebration Service
  • Dec 12 – Krista will help us pay attention like the Magi.
  • Dec 19 – We will engage the wonder of the incarnation through music, art and interactive stations.
  • Dec 24, 6pm – Christmas Eve Service – “A Light is Given”
  • Dec 26 & Jan 2 – We will have shortened services (no Kid’s Church)

The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. 

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it. 

John 1:4-5

You might want to include this new release from Vineyard Worship in your Christmas soundtrack this year. Enjoy it on Spotify, Apple Music or Youtube. You can get it here.

Sundays, 10am

  • In person at 782 Main St. (masks and physical distancing required)
  • Streamed live on Facebook
  • Viewed afterwards on Facebook or on our Sermon page.

 

This series is based on the book “Honest Advent” and on art by Scott Erickson.

www.scottericksonart.com

@scottthepainter

 

Community Catalyst Invitation – Nov 24

We’re coming up to our second Community Catalyst event (Wed, Nov 24, 7 – 9pm). It’s been awhile since our last (and first) gathering back in May. That pesky little virus has certainly hindered our momentum in building these into a regular rhythm in our community. So, allow me remind you why we’re doing this, and how we see these Community Catalyst events being key in our unfolding WCV 2.0.

You might recall that these events are designed to Encourage, Equip and Envision catalysts in our WCV community. Catalysts are people who make stuff happen – leaders, influencers, servers, volunteers. In other words, they are people who have said, “I’m in” and are keen to pursue the mission God has given the WCV community to live out.

Everyone’s invited but especially leaders and those curious about leadership and service. 

Once we get into a rhythm these will be times of re-articulating the mission God’s called us to pursue. They will be times of equipping and teaching. They will be places in which different ministries of WCV will be able to cross-pollinate and work together. They will be times of prayer and encouragement. 

Speaking of equipping and encouraging, we’ve chosen to start these events with a series of teachings from Brady Wilson (author, speaker, innovator, leader of Juice Inc, Vineyard Canada National Team member). This is a gift to our community from Vineyard Canada.

The goal of this teaching is to bring a level of understanding and revelation around what makes us tickwhat makes and keeps us energizedhow God uses the way each of us has been uniquely wired to influence those around us in positive, Kingdom centred ways – how to love each other well. This teaching has the potential to dramatically shift they way we live our lives, how we operate in the teams we are part of as well as in our church community. 

You may recall from our previous gathering in May with Brady, as well as when Sherry and Andy spoke a few weeks later (Sunday June 13) about the 5 Core Driving Needs and how God meets us in them:

  • In God we are Secure.

  • In God we find Belonging.

  • In God we are Free.

  • In God we find true Meaning.

  • In God we have Significance. 

We hope to see you there on Wednesday evening. There will be some review and some new material – focussing especially on application. Bring your House Group if you regularly meet on that day. 

We will be in person in the sanctuary.

Wednesday, November 24, 7-9pm

For planning purposes, please take a moment to register on Eventbrite here.

 

That You May Know: Fall Series

We’re excited to be jumping back into some of John’s writing. This Fall we’re going to be exploring his beautifully written letters – well actually, 1 John isn’t exactly a letter but that’s getting ahead of ourselves. This ancient Johannine Epistle is timely for us today – especially our current climate of tension, confusion, predictions, division, and temptations. John provides some sage advice in a beautiful way which we’re going to explore. We’re praying that we as a community will be formed and re-formed by the Holy Spirit us into the image of Christ which will help us love each other, our neighbours and God more fully.

If you’re in a Home Group or Triad, we encourage you to follow along. We will provide the passage of scripture we’re going to explore each week. Engaging with the specific scripture can be as simple as doing a Lectio Divina exercise together (Download our Lectio Divina resource guide).

To get into the mood, check out this overview video by the good folks at the Bible Project (you can access other Bible Project videos with our Right Now Media account – if you don’t have access, contact Andrew at the office and he’ll set you up).

 

Feature Image credit: Agnieszka Cymbalak on Unsplash

Light + Life: Summer Series

The sun, our galaxy’s star attraction, is amazing. Let’s reflect on this celestial ball of fire for a moment. 

Without the sun, our galaxy would simply cease to sustain life. Take away the sun and the source of all energy, heat and light is instantly removed. Extinguish the sun and a mass extinction would result leaving our green and blue planetary home a cold and and empty mass of rock hurdling through the universe without anchor or orbit. How’s that for comforting thoughts?! 

Clearly the sun is important.

Yet given the sun’s importance to our existence we spend remarkably little time considering our reliance on it. It doesn’t seem to mind, though. It continues to offer light and life to all – daily – without fail – whether or not we pay attention.

Kind of like someone else we know.

There are some remarkable comparisons of the sun to the Son. Perhaps this is why some biblical writers use this play on words so often – John employing it to near excess. Jesus is the light of the world. Jesus is the light in which there is no darkness. Jesus is the way the truth and the life. Jesus shines brighter (ok – John didn’t say this, but he sure could have!). 

This summer, as we enjoy the summer’s rays, let’s also tune our awareness to the Son.

Something as common as feeling the warmth of the sun on our cheek can be a reminder of God’s closeness. The beautiful colours of the setting sun can inspire gratitude to Jesus. The life-giving nature of the sun can be a window into the life-giving nature of the Son. 

Summer doesn’t have to be a time of distraction when our attention is far from God. We can be reminded of Jesus – our Light and Life – by the many ways the sun impacts our every day, sun-drenched lives this summer. 

Throughout July and August we will be hearing from a variety of our missionaries. They will tell stories of what got them on their path, what has sustained them along the way, and the transformation they’ve witnessed in themselves and others. They will be sharing their stories of Light and Life.

Our hope and prayer is that as we hear these stories of Light and Life we will find courage and be reminded to pause and pay attention to the dramatic effect Jesus has, and desires to have, on all our lives.

Community Catalysts: encourage, equip, envision

Community Catalysts is a new yearly rhythm of three gatherings for everyone who wants to or is leading, influencing or serving the WCV community in some way shape or form. We’re calling you “catalysts” because you initiate activity, events or change within the WCV community in a positive way. 

catalyst [ kat-l-ist ] “Something (or someone) that causes activity, an event or change.”

With this in mind, the goal of Community Catalysts is threefold: 

    1. to encourage each other with connection and fun
    2. to equip each other with relevant training
    3. to envision each other to what God is calling us to 

The first Community Catalyst event is Monday, May 17, 7 – 9pm and we have something special lined up… 

We have engaged Vineyard Canada’s Leadership Development Team (Sherry Ansloos is part of this team) who are providing us with some high quality experiences that will help us “connect on what matters most”. This interactive training will be guided by Brady Wilson (Vineyard Canada National Team and CEO of Juice Inc.). 

To get a taste of what Brady will offer us, you can watch his Ted Talk entitled “How to Fix the Exhausted Brain”: 

Here’s the summary of what we’ll explore: 

    • How do we call out the best in each other as a community? 
    • How do we unlock energy in ourselves and in those we serve and lead? 
    • How do we connect on what matters most to each other in order to accomplish the mission God has given us? 

These are the kind of questions Brady will discuss in this highly engaging and interactive time together. You won’t want to miss it! This first gathering will provide the foundation on which we will build subsequent Community Catalyst events in the Fall of 2021 and Winter 2022 with Brady and the Vineyard Canada Leadership Development team.

Who is this for?: 

Everyone who wants to or is leading or serving in WCV in some way is welcome to participate. If you’re in high school now or those school days are ancient history, you are welcome to come! 

Sign up now!

(this takes you to an Eventbrite sign up page)

>>Monday, May 17, 7 – 9pm<<

 

What is a catalyst?:

 

 

Photo by Yaoqi LAI on Unsplash

Good Friday Stations – Fasting & Prayer – Resurrection Sunday

The events celebrated during Holy Week are epic. Jesus’ passion, crucifixion, burial and resurrection are not only central to the Christian calendar, they are the central events of all of history. However, most of us skip over the discomfort and pain of Good Friday preferring to jump straight to Easter Sunday – joyfully imbibing all the excitement and energy of the resurrection. We are right to be excited and energized by Jesus’ resurrection (and our eventual resurrection too, by the way!). However, in our excitement for Sunday, we miss the gifts offered in Good Friday and Holy Saturday. If we resist the urge to short-circuit, and if we linger in the way of the cross on Good Friday, and the nothingness of Holy Saturday, our celebration on Sunday will take on a whole other quality. Light is most brilliant when juxtaposed with darkness.

Here’s what’s up this Easter at the Vineyard:

Palm Sunday (April 14, 10am):

Andy will be teaching about Fasting in order to prepare us for our community fast from Good Friday to Resurrection Sunday.

Good Friday (April 19, 7pm)

Stations of the Cross Service & Exhibit

This year we will be worshipping together, and considering the Stations of the Cross through the eyes of one particular artist along with meditations from Scripture. Here’s what he writes about the images like the one above:

“The Stations of the Cross began as a practice of pilgrims going to Jerusalem who would retrace the final journey of Jesus to the hill where He was crucified. For the many who wanted to pass along the same route, but couldn’t make the trip to Jerusalem, a practice developed that eventually took the form of the Stations of the Cross that you can find in many churches today.

This journey to the cross is not only a meditation of Jesus accomplishing what He came to do – the redemption of humanity through His own willful sacrifice – but its also a contemplation of Jesus silently participating in some of the worst aspects of being human. Being tempted. Being betrayed by a friend. Being convicted in an unjust system. Physical pain. Mockery. Broken family relationships. Public humiliation. And a lot of our greatest fears… having to die. These are all aspects of human life that he was not insulated from. In fact on the cross he quotes King David saying “My God My God, Why have you forsaken me?”… as if to say ”Why is it like this?” He was one who was not separate from our own pain.

I don’t think our deepest question is “Is there a God?”
I think our deepest question is “Is there a God that’s with us in all this?”

These stations are a cross-section of elements, ideas, and objects from Jesus’ journey of being with us. As you work through these stations, may you see the that we are not troubled guests in this world… that we are not forgotten… and that the good news of this season was expressed best by Jesus when he said “in this world you’ll experience many trials. But take heart…. I have overcome the world.”

~ Scott Erickson

Fasting & Prayer: Friday – Sunday

Our Fasting will begin on Friday continue through Holy Saturday, a day of apparent nothingness, and be broken on Sunday.  The seed placed in the ground. Waiting. Our fasting echoes this “giving up” that Jesus did. This discipline isn’t to earn favour, nor is it an attempt to twist God’s arm into getting something you want. Rather, it’s a physical act of solidarity with Jesus. It’s a discipline and it’s a pain. Every time your stomach reminds you that you’re hungry you can recall what Jesus did and is doing, and you can offer a prayer – you can be reminded that ultimately we rely on Jesus for sustenance. When we break the fast on Sunday morning, we are rising with him – emerging from darkness to the glorious light of his resurrection – feasting on the new life He has for us and the whole world!

 

Resurrection Sunday (April 21, 10am)

Of course, this brings us to Easter Sunday. We will party, worship and celebrate God’s accomplishment all morning. Emerging from the shadows of the weekend, and blinking from the dazzling, blinding light of the resurrection, we will celebrate the first stunning glimmers of the new creation – and we’ll invite more (and He’ll show up)!

You are encouraged to contribute to the festive atmosphere in any number of the following ways:

>>Bring an acoustic instrument (drums, rattles, guitars, etc) or any other tool of worship.

>>Bring plants or flowers to decorate the space with signs of life.

>>Bring your Dancing Shoes (literally and figuratively).

 

Vineyard Himalayas Stories and Vision Night

You are invited to join us on Wednesday, July 18th at 7:00pm for an evening with Pastor Noel Isaacs. Since it’s beginnings, Winnipeg Centre Vineyard has had a special connection with the Himalayan Region Vineyard (HRV) and the work that is happening there. Noel Isaacs planted the first Vineyard church in Kathmandu, Nepal in 1995 and he’s continued to serve and lead the HRV for the past 23 years. Over the years, many people from WCV have visited the HRV churches and meaningful relationships have developed between us.

“The HRV churches have been a steady source of healing and hope in their communities.”

Noel will share stories from the region and explain the heart and vision behind this work. He will also provide an update about the restoration and reconstruction of the churches and homes that were damaged or destroyed by the 8.0 earthquake Nepal suffered in April of 2015. This is a wonderful opportunity to hear first-hand about the ways in which the HRV churches have been a source of healing and hope in their communities throughout this time.

The Holy Spirit and the Road to Pentecost (Spring Series)

Jesus’ resurrection was and is just the beginning. After Easter comes Pentecost, but those forty days is a journey. For Jesus’ disciples the time between the upper rooms was confusing, exhilarating, surprising and empowering. You remember both upper rooms, right? In one they gathered to hear Jesus talk about his betrayal and death. In the other they experienced something so mind boggling that Luke, who records the whole incident, can only say the “blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house” and something that “seemed like tongues of fire came and rested on each of them” (Acts 2)! Whoah…

This Spring, we’re going to explore the person and work of the Holy Spirit on the road to this remarkable day called Pentecost. Far from leaving our Hot Buttons behind, we’re going to explore what gifts God has for us, how we may be empowered and encouraged to live our lives between the upper rooms, so to speak.

Each Sunday there will be supplemental material to the sermon which you can take home for personal use or group study. Make sure you collect them all – One per household.

 

Baptisms – Apostle’s Creed

We’re going to be celebrating baptisms July 3 in the Greenspace (weather permitScreen Shot 2016-06-29 at 5.49.46 PMting).  In case you want to know beforehand what we’re going to be doing, below are the call and responses of those getting baptized.  Also, together we will publicly declare our trust in Jesus by saying the Apostle’s Creed – an old statement that has been affirmed by the vast majority of the church throughout the centuries.  Let’s use this time to re-affirm our own trust in God as we witness and participate in this sacrament which speaks to the reality of dying to our sin, being raised to new life, and joining the community represented in the church.

PS. Afterwards, we’re going to have a BBQ, and set up the Bouncy Castle and have a few other fun activities as well!  If it’s nice the children may want to bring a swimming suit for the slip-n-slide.

 

Elder:        Do you reject Satan?

Person:   I do.

Elder:        And all his works?

Person:   I do.

Elder:        And all his empty promises?

Person:   I do.

Elder:        Do you repent of the sins that separate us from God and neighbour?

Person:   I do.

Elder:        Do you turn to Jesus as Saviour?

Person:   I turn to Jesus.

Elder:        Do you submit to Jesus as Lord?

Person:   I submit to Jesus.

Elder:        Do you come to Jesus, the way, the truth and the life?

Person:   I come to Jesus Christ.

 

 

The Apostle’s Creed

Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 5.52.21 PMI believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.  He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.  He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.  He descended to the dead.  On the third day he rose again.  He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father.  He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy universal Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.

Amen!

 

Elder: Will you continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayer?

Person: I will, with God’s help.

Elder:      Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?

Person: I will, with God’s help.

Elder: Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?

Person: I will, with God’s help.

Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 5.50.42 PM

 

 

 

Vineyard Metanoia: Dwelling in the Borderlands

June 16 – 18, we’re hosting a National Metanoia event.  Make sure you sign up soon, since space is limited.  All are welcome (including children and youth)!

Here’s an invite from Brian Doerksen, who will be joining us:

Join Michael Raburn, David & Anita Ruis and many other Vineyardites from across our family as we set our hearts to “Think Again”.

Besides prayer & worship we’ll explore together:

  • Lectio Divina – rhythm of lectio divina (Colossians 4) centering around the Eucharist
  • Academic engagement – with Michael Raburn, a theologian and Vineyard pastor from North Carolina
  • Interview sessions – fun and engaging interview sessions with our National Catalysts with Michael responding in “TED talk” style presentations we describe as “here’s what I heard you say, and here’s what I think
  • Connection – great opportunities to connect share pray/listen with one another

Schedule:

JUN 16 Thursday: 6:30 PM (doors open at 5:30)
JUN 17 Friday: 9:30 AM / 2 PM / 6:30 PM
JUN 18 Saturday: 9:30 AM

JUN 18 Saturday: 6:30 PM
Saturday nite worship (open to public – no registration required)

Register:

Make sure you register soon, because space is limited.  Children and youth are welcome!

Register here: Vineyard Metanoia.

Vineyard Metanoia

 

 

 

Nepal Sunday

April 25 marks one year since the first big earthquake rocked Nepal.  The nation was shaken – our friends and family were among the thousands displaced.  This coming Sunday, we are going to look back and see what has been accomplished in the relief, recovery and rebuilding efforts and we will look forward to what still needs to be done.  We are going to host a special screening of a documentary jointly produced by World Vision Canada and Vineyard Canada which features many of our Vineyard people in Nepal.  And, we are going to pray for them as they continue to rebuild their country, their homes and their lives.

After worship and the kids are released, the Upstairs Gathering will join the Downstairs Gathering in the Main sanctuary to watch the documentary.  Here’s a trailer:

Rebuilding Nepal // Trailer from SJ Finlay on Vimeo.

Lent – Becoming Fully Alive

Today is Ash Wednesday. It marks the beginning of the Lenten season in the Western Christian calendar. These 40 days (excluding Sundays) culminate in the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection on Easter Sunday. Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 11.09.16 AMLent is about preparation, self examination and meditation on Jesus’ life and suffering. It’s about journeying with him to become like him. It’s about taking up our cross prior to being raised with him.  Before being raised to life on Sunday, Jesus was lifted up on Friday.

Our culture shuns anything that remotely hints of denial. “Why should I have to give up anything?” we ask, if not with words then through how we conduct our lives.  Examining the deep inner contours of our hearts is not something we do naturally – yet it is what followers of Jesus have done for centuries during this season and have found deep life in the process. This, of course, is the point.  Lent is about finding life – finding the true source of life – the very author of life himself.  In Lent we give up other embraces to make room to be more fully be embraced by Jesus.

Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 11.23.07 AMThis season, you may want to embark on a journey asking the question, “what in my life is crowding out the very source of life?” This is the essence of fasting – another practical marker of Lent.  Jesus wants to bring us to a place of being more fully alive and yet he won’t do it without our partnership.  As we posture ourselves toward him, the Holy Spirit will transform our self-centred lives into new lives of community and justice. Lent prepares us to live worshipful lives of compassion, generosity and all embracing love.  This sounds like a good definition of being fully alive to me – how about you?

 

Here are a few resources that may help you on the journey:

Lent: the road to the Cross  – a booklet prepared by the Vineyard UK.

Pray As You Go – a daily contemplative podcast that leads the listener through a series of meditative prayers and scripture readings.  Each episode is about 10 – 13 minutes long.  You can listen right from their website or subscribe to it via iTunes podcasts.

Lent for Everyone – this is an online devotional created by N.T. Wright.  It includes daily scripture and a well crafted and thoughtful devotion by one of the foremost New Testament scholars of our time.  (You have to sign up to view it)

Living Lent Daily – features prayers, thoughts and more each day to inspire you throughout your Lenten journey. A new article will become available daily throughout Lent.  These are quite short.