Getting to Know our New Leaders

 

As we mentioned in our last post, we have invited two new pastors and two new prospective elder couples to join us in leading WCV for this upcoming season! To help us get to know one another, we invited each of them to share a bit about themselves.

Let’s continue to pray for these new leaders, as well as the existing Leadership team of Winnipeg Centre Vineyard.

 

Mauritz & Estelle van den Heever

Mauritz will join our community as  lead pastor, as soon as immigration gives them the green light to come to Winnipeg!

Mauritz has been involved with the Vineyard in South Africa since 1996.

Throughout the years, he has served as a youth pastor, administrator, lead pastor and itinerant preacher within the Vineyard South Africa movement .

Estelle is a teacher, who served with Mercy Ships in West Africa, shortly before meeting Mauritz and serving alongside him. They share a passion for missions,  both having been part of mission work within Africa and abroad.

Throughout the years they have found themselves involved with ministry to the poor and vulnerable.

As a family they value hospitality, friendship and lots of laughter. With their son, Benjamin, they look forward to being part of the Winnipeg Centre Vineyard church family.

 

Krista & Cliff Heide

Krista and Cliff have been part of the Winnipeg Centre Vineyard since 2003, and have raised their three kids in this community.

Over the past many years Krista has served in various ministry roles inside and outside of WCV, including worship leading, creative arts, preaching, eldering, house group and mission work. She carries a deep love for involving creativity and trauma informed care into pastoral care and spiritual formation.

Krista is a spiritual director and is completing her last course of her Masters of Ministry Program.

Krista is currently serving as our Interim Pastor, and will step into a more focused pastoral role once Mauritz arrives.

 

Barb & Dave Johns

Dave and Barb are new prospective elders and have enjoyed being with the Vineyard tribe since 1999.  They’ve loved the heart and cry to call the kingdom to come right in our midst both through worship and engaging each other and those in our neighbourhood.

Dave was drawn to the Vineyard initially through the music and finds a place some Sundays playing the harmonica. But it was also a place that had a refreshing view of Jesus that kept him coming back. He has a deep heart to see the first Nations served in a culturally relevant way and has been a part of the community outreach.

Barb’s heart rests solidly in the desire to see people engage more deeply with God.  She has served broadly through the prayer ministry and prophetic avenues.  She is a spiritual director and is currently apprenticing to guide others in the Ignatian exercises.

 

Deanna & Deyan Momtchilov

Deyan and Deanna have been part of the Winnipeg Centre Vineyard for over 20 years and continue to consider it home. They first met through one of the church’s house groups and got to know each other while serving the community together.

 

Over the years, they have completed the church’s internship program, helped out in kids’ ministry and led a house group. Deyan has enjoyed contributing to the creative community and Deanna has loved being involved for many years in Breathe, our mom’s group. 

 

On top of being prospective elders, Deyan is currently serving on the BOD and Deanna is looking forward to continuing to find ways to lend her support to the women and families in our community. 

 

Deyan and Deanna have four children, Simeon, Esther, Kaloyana and Gavrail, and live in the Scotia Heights neighbourhood of the city.

Fall Sermon Series: Life In The Kingdom Part III – Kingdom Devotion

This Fall we’ll continue our exploration of the Sermon on the Mount – the foundational bedrock of Jesus’ teaching. We will be picking up in chapter 6, Part 3 of our outline which we’ve called “Kingdom Devotion”.

Jesus shifts gears in this portion of the Sermon. He begins to focus more on application – putting into practice what he’s just taught in previous sections. In this section he covers three key areas in the lives of his followers: giving, prayer and fasting. He expects his followers to be tending to their relationships with others (giving), their relationship with God (prayer), and the state of their inner lives (fasting). Jesus assumes his followers are active in these three areas. He says, “when you give” (6:1), “when you prayer” (6:5) and “when you fast” (6:16). He cautions his followers against publicity and doing these things to be seen. He cautions us to not babble on and on searching for the right prayer formula or combination of words that will produce the desired results. Jesus says to his disciples, “pray like this”, and then proceeds to teach them the prayer that has come be known as “The Lord’s Prayer” or the “Our Father”. As we will see, this is a prayer we must learn to live. It is a prayer that has power to form us.

The Investigators: Learning to see what the Spirit is doing

This summer we’re going to be sharpening our discernment muscles. We’ve felt a specific nudge to lean into discernment and so we’ve developed a fun and exciting plan for our Sunday Gatherings this summer called, “The Investigators: learning to see what the Spirit is doing”. We are going to be bringing kids church downstairs for the summer because this is something that we can all benefit from, no matter our age. Not only will this make our gatherings more family friendly, it will be an opportunity to learn and experience together across all ages.

Rooted in the John 5:19 scripture in which Jesus says he only does what he sees the Father doing, we’re going to be like detectives on a search to see what the Spirit is up to amongst us. On Sundays we’ll be looking at various Jesus stories – you know, the kind of stories in which Jesus did something dramatic, impactful or loving. Each Sunday we’ll be asking:

  1. What did Jesus see his Father doing in this story?
  2. What do we see Jesus doing in this story?
  3. What is the Spirit inviting me to do?

Each week we’re going to make space to hear how we answered the Spirit’s invitation to us over the past week and we’ll hear a short teaching about the story we’re exploring. There will be object lessons, group activities and options to engage in group discussion around tables. It will be a great summer to bring the whole family.

Let’s get good at seeing what the Spirit is up to together!

 

 

 

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

 

What if Jesus was Serious?

What would happen

if we actually lived as if Jesus was serious in his famous Sermon on the Mount? How would our lives change if we actually lived out Jesus’ teachings in those three chapters in Matthew? What kind of impact would the church have if we learned to “go the extra mile”, or “turn the other cheek”, or practice “enemy love” (Matt 5:39, 41, 44)?

The English poet G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936) famously said, “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.” Many approach the Sermon on the Mount this way.  They understand it to be a list of ideals that that are impossible to attain. They think the incredibly high standards only serve to remind us how much we suck and need help – a way of God rubbing our noses in the fact that we really don’t measure up.

While we do need grace (lots of it these days!), my hunch is that Jesus was actually serious (besides the hyperbole and humour he clearly used) about his teaching. He intended for his followers to actually give it a go. The crowds who had gathered to listen to him seem to agree. Matthew records that they were amazed because Jesus taught with real authority – quite unlike the religious teachers among them (Matt 7:28-29). Jesus was articulating truth about the Kingdom of Heaven and our role in it as we follow and obey him.

So, what would happen if we took Jesus’ teaching seriously? My guess is that we would have remarkably different lives, we would be a remarkably different church, and we would have a remarkable impact on our neighbourhood(s). My suspicion is that this is exactly what our world needs right now – Jesus followers who actually take Jesus at his word.

This is exactly what our world needs right now.

Over the next year we’re going on a deep dive to discover just what life in the Kingdom of God looks like as Jesus laid out in the Sermon on the Mount. We’re going to gather with the crowds to hear Jesus teach. We’re going to pay special attention to the areas the Holy Spirit is nudging us. We’re going to follow Jesus more closely in our life together as we follow the Spirit’s lead. There will be good stories to tell as a result.

Are you ready?!

 

Getting Ready:

We’ve divided the Sermon on the Mount into four parts (using Charles E Moore’s categories in “Following the Call: Living the Sermon on the Mount Together“):

Part 1 – Kingdom Character. This section is all about the kind of people who are blessed in the Kingdom of God. Known as the Beattitudes, Jesus flips common understandings upside-down.

Part 2 – Kingdom Commands. This section outlines some of Jesus famous re-framing of the law. He attempts here to get to the heart of the matter.

Part 3 – Kingdom Devotion. This section is about three acts of worship: almsgiving, prayer and fasting. It contains the Lord’s Prayer.

Part 4 – Kingdom Priorities. This section is a collection of wisdom and warnings.

1. Read it – a lot.

Matthew chapters 5, 6 & 7. We will be using Matthew as our primary text, but Luke 6 also records what is referred to the “Sermon on the Plain”.

It will be helpful for you to read these passages regularly. Make them part of your regular devotional focus. Meditate on them. Chew them. Marinade. You get the idea.

2. Engage together.

I’d also like to encourage you to engage the scripture together. Whether that is in a weekly House Group, a Triad, or some other setting, this teaching is meant to be corporate. One resource that is particularly helpful and accessible is this book: What if Jesus was Serious?: a visual guide to the teachings of Jesus we love to ignore by Skye Jethani.

 

 

If you’re a House Group Leader, contact the office – we have a copy for you!

 

We begin Feb 2022.

Call to Prayer & Fasting: Jan 13 – 23

Reposted from Vineyard.ca:

The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ear attentive to their cries
Psalm 34:15  

“When we join as a family across the country to fast and pray, we collectively turn our hearts and minds towards His Spirit. It’s like a vast array of solar panels moving in unison as the sun arcs across the sky.  We soak up His light, His warmth and in turn receive the power to keep moving forward during uncertain and fearful times”.
Cathy Graham VC Spiritual Life Coordinator

Prayer allows us to be ready to cooperate with what the Spirit of God is initiating and where God is moving.  It helps to align us with His way, with His heart, with His purpose. It enables us to stay in sync with the wind of His Spirit, helping us navigate the winds of life, of culture, of change, even when we’ve hit the doldrums where our own sails can feel so empty. It’s in this place of prayer that we gain perspective and catch a fresh glimpse of the One who has called us His own, something which we so need now!

It is critical for us in the Vineyard that our engagement in prayer is from this deep place of rest. Hebrews 4 makes it clear that from this place we approach the Throne of Grace confident that we will receive all that we need. Charis Rousu, who with her husband Nathan are our National Catalysts in the area of prayer, which we lovingly call PULSE, reminds us as we enter this time that as we do this together, “we practice surrender and devotion to the One who fully knows and fully loves.”  This is so critical in shaping our perspective. Our prayers are not transactional, designed to get guaranteed results.  Neither are they formulaic.

Though prayer touches a variety of expressions, “petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving” as noted by Paul, it is born and sustained in the exchange of unabashed love and devotion. As Jesus told us, we are not engaged in empty repetition, nor are we to be hypocritical – as the Greek illumines, “play acting” – as we pray, but to be deeply authentic. Real. Relational.

As we all lean into this time of waiting and listening beginning the morning of the January 13th-23 contact your local Vineyard Canada church to find out how you can participate.

Grace & Peace
David & Anita Ruis

 

What are we doing at WCV?

There are two invitations:

1. Engage personally. We are inviting everyone to 10 days of personal prayer and fasting. Here are some resources to help you engage in fasting and prayer:

  • Fasting Basics
  • Here is a sermon entitled “Why We Fast: an invitation to fasting & feasting” which provides more insight into the spiritual discipline of fasting.

2. Engage together. We will be meeting together for corporate times of prayer and worship both online and in person at 782 Main St. (25 people max).

  • Thursday, Jan 13, 7pm
  • Sunday, Jan 16, 7pm
  • Thursday, Jan 20, 7pm

The Zoom link to participate online will be sent in the Here@ newsletter on Thursday Jan 13.

What are we praying for?

This season of prayer is primarily dedicated to bringing ourselves before the Lord to ask for a fresh and renewed sense of the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives and community. We pray, “Come, Holy Spirit!” in every area of our lives.

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.