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.

 

Community Catalyst Training

 

Our next Community Catalyst Training is coming up November 24, 7 – 9pm. 

The goal of these Community Catalyst events (there are three a year) is to create a space for the WCV community to be encouraged, equipped and envisioned.

To put a finer point on it, we want those involved in the Community Catalyst meetings:

    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

Our first training event was held back in May when we had Brady Wilson lead us in some brilliant interactive training around energy. Sherry and Andy reinforced what we learned at that first event on Sunday June 13 (you can review that sermon here.) We learned about our core driving needs and about how in Jesus we have true belonging, freedom, significance, meaning and security.

For this next training we will continue to lean on Brady’s wisdom and input. We are going to continue to look at how to unlock energy in ourselves and those we serve. We will dig deeper on how to connect with others on what matters most in order to accomplish the mission God has given us. We will learn how to apply what we’ve learned in our everyday lives.

Some of the content will be review from our first training session, but we will primarily focus on taking it deeper and application. You can take this training even if you missed the first one. If you were at the first one, this training won’t be redundant (there will be some review).

We are planning on this being an in-person training event. If restrictions change, we will adapt as necessary.

To get a taste of some of Brady’s teaching, you can watch his Ted Talk entitled “How to Fix the Exhausted Brain”:

Sign up now!

(this takes you to an Eventbrite sign up page – this will help us plan accordingly)

This training series is made possible by the generosity of Vineyard Canada’s leadership development initiative (Sherry is on this team).

>>Wednesday, November 24, 7 – 9pm<<

 

Managing the New Health Orders

Most of us are aware by now that there are new public health orders that came into effect Oct 5 and will remain in effect at least until Oct 26.

The new orders will not impact our regular Sunday gatherings because the number of people we can accommodate is well within the limits set out by Manitoba Health – even with the extra space requirements due to physical distancing.

So for our Sunday Gatherings we will continue to welcome everyone who is able to come and we will continue to require mask usage and physical distancing between households.

The new orders will have a more direct impact on our Home Groups. Please be in touch with your Home Group leader to determine how your group will be following the guidelines.

For our Baptism Sunday (October 10) we are expecting more people than normal because those who are getting baptised will have friends and family coming to support them. We will have an overflow section on the second floor available in case there is no more room in the main sanctuary. It will be a good morning to show up early. 😉 It will also be a Sunday you won’t want to miss!

With these new orders, and with Covid in general, there is a huge potential for division, distrust and dissension. At the same time, there is tremendous opportunity for grace, listening and active loving one another across differences. We will continue to follow the provincial guidelines as required – and we will continue to care for the most vulnerable amongst us. We will continue to try to foster an atmosphere that is respectful and loving of all people – a safe place. We really want to put into action what the apostle John encouraged – that we follow the example of Jesus who laid down his life for us (John 13:34, 1 John 3:16). What does it look like for us to prefer each other, to offer our lives to one another in this time? Can we be the kind of community that is like Jesus who gave up his divine privileges to become human (Philippians 2:7)? Can we be the kind of people who hold our rights loosely with the primary goal of loving each other as we love God? This seems like our great opportunity in these times of division, discord and virus.

 

Photo by Hannah Busing on Unsplash

Home Group Resource for “That You May Know” series

As we’re getting into our new sermon series “That You May Know: finding and following Jesus in John’s letters”, we hope you’re beginning to follow along as individuals, in Home Groups or Triads. We’ve compiled a few resources to help with this.

Here is a great overview from the Bible Project:

Here is the schedule and corresponding scriptures:

  • Sept 19: John’s World, an introduction. 1 John 1:1-4
  • Sept 26: 1 John reading
  • Oct 3: God’s Light and Our Darkness. 1 John 1:5-2:2
  • Oct 11: Thanksgivng & Baptism
  • Oct 17: God’s New Commandment. 1 John 2:3-14
  • Oct 24: People of the Lie. 1 John 2:15-29
  • Oct 31: Born of God / Pirates & Pumpkins. 1 John 2:1-10
  • Nov 7: The Challenge of Love. 1 John 3:11-4:6
  • Nov 14: God’s Love. 1 John 4:7-5:5
  • Nov 21: The True God. 1 John 5:6-21

We encourage you to use a simple too for reflection. In most Home Group settings the goal isn’t so much inductive bible study or deep exegesis but rather encounter. We’re aiming to be present to the Holy Spirit as the Holy Spirit is present to us. This happens as we look at the text together. One simple tool that helps facilitate this is Lectio Divina. All of the passages are short enough to do this well (you could shorten them further if you choose). A number of Home Groups have used this tool effectively for a long time.

View or Download our guide to Lectio Divina here.

Lastly, RightNow Media has some great resources for more in depth study. Contact the office if you do not have login info for our church RightNow Media account. The “Mr. Phil Show” has some great content that is accessible for most kids, but also meaty enough that most adults will find it very helpful too!

 

Preparing for Kid’s and Youth in-person activities

We’re excited and getting geared up to be starting in-person Kid’s church on Sept 19. There’s a lot swirling to get this going. At the same time there’s a lot swirling in our world. A few words about that:

First, let’s hold on to love. This is our priority as a church. Please know that you are loved. Period.

Second, we’re not giving in to fear. That isn’t the kind of spirit that God gives.

Third, we’re really excited to open up the doors to kid’s church again.

In order to do all three, AND to respect the restrictions and protocols the government has put in place, we’re going to do our best to provide a safe environment by using the following measures for our in-person gatherings, particularly where we intersect with our more vulnerable sectors:

  1. Masking, social distancing, and sanitization will remain our standard for Sunday morning gatherings, Kids Church, Jouth, Youth, and any other in-person public events.
  2. Rapid tests for anyone unvaccinated 24 hrs prior to working with vulnerable sector individuals – (kids, youth, vulnerable adults). This includes any volunteer who will be serving in close proximity (<2m) to other individuals for a period of time likely exceeding 10 minutes.  Individuals exhibiting a positive result will be asked to refrain from coming to whatever event they were volunteering for and will be encouraged to seek out further testing.  Rapid tests will be supplied by the church.
  3. Temperature testing for kids and youth attending in-person events – anyone displaying a temperature over 38C will be asked to return home.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the above protocols please direct them to our office.

 

Feature image credit: Vultar Bahr on Unsplash

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

Manitoba Vineyard Gathering (POSTPONED)

Update (Sept 8, 2021)

Hello Manitoba Vineyard friends,

This is a short note to let you know we have decided to postpone the Manitoba Vineyard Gathering that was originally scheduled for Sept 25.

We are saddened to postpone this event but are hopeful that things will work out in the future. We feel this is the wisest course of action for a few reasons. There is significant sensitivity to gathering in-person which is reflected in lower-that-anticipated registration levels. Second, our out-of-province guests (Melt Van Der Spuy, David and Anita Ruis) are unable to join us. We will be working on an in-person get-together for a later date – watch for those details.

We hope you have an amazing Fall and look forward to when we can gather again.

Until then, grace, peace and wisdom to each of you as you seek first God’s kingdom and his justice in these times.

 

Original Post: 

This is an invite to everybody in all the Manitoba Vineyard communities (Brandon, Prairie, Cornerstone, West End Abby, WCV). Let’s get together this Fall!

Saturday, September 25, 10am-4pm.

In the morning we will worship together & pray for each other. We will also engage in a contemplative prayer exercise.

Lunch will be a time to connect and nurture friendships in various restaurants in the neighbourhood.

The afternoon will be a time of training. Brady Wilson and Sherry Ansloos will lead us through a series of engaging and interactive exercises and teaching designed to explore the question: “how do individuals and communities get and stay energized?” Brady is from Guelph Ontario and a long-time part of the Guelph Vineyard. He also serves on Vineyard Canada’s National team and is founder and thought leader of Juice Inc. Sherry is a worship leader, storyteller and trainer from Winnipeg Centre Vineyard.

David & Anita Ruis and Melt Van Der Spuy will also be joining us. David & Anita are Vineyard Canada National Directors from Kelowna, and Melt is our Regional Overseeer from Yellowknife.

We’re asking for advance registration so we can manage any restrictions that will be in place this September and so that we can send out more info closer to the date.

P.S. If you are from WCV and missed the Juice training in May, this is your chance to get in on the action. For those who already did the training, you can use this as a refresher!

 

 

 

 

 

Photo by A K on Unsplash

Covid-19 Sunday Update – Effective July 18, 2021

On July 18, 2021 some of the current Covid-19 restrictions are changing regarding church gatherings. The new orders will allow churches to gather to 50% capacity to a maximum of 150 people – while adhering to the normal WCV protocols (hand-sanitizing, physical distancing, wearing masks at all time indoors, staying home if you’re sick, etc).

We are making a few changes effective Sunday July 18, 2021.

Due to ongoing renovation work and the need for physical distancing, the current capacity will be approximately 50 people.  As gatherings have generally been smaller in the summer, we will wait and see if there will be a need to pre-register at all.

 

 

 

Covid-19 Sunday Update – Effective June 27, 2021

On June 26, 2021 some of the current Covid-19 restrictions are changing regarding church gatherings. The new orders will allow churches to gather to 25% capacity to a maximum of 25 people – while adhering to the normal WCV protocols (hand-sanitizing, physical distancing, wearing masks at all time indoors, staying home if you’re sick, etc).

We are making a few changes effective June 27, 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.

As day camp allowances open up (20 persons allowed as of June 26), we look forward to planning in-person opportunities for the kids & youth – so watch your email for possible get-togethers over the summer.

 

 

Every Child Matters

This is an opportunity we’re making available to people who come to our doors – many of whom are deeply shaken by the news of the children being found buried next to Residential Schools. We encourage you to participate. This is one small way to show solidarity, support, care and concern.

Every Child Matters

The Vineyard Community is heartbroken by the discoveries of the remains of children at the Residential schools – something which survivors have known all along. We are grieved at the loss of these children. We are grieved at the pain this has caused the families. We are grieved that this happened at the hands of the church and that it happened in God’s name. We are grieved that this evil continues.

We stand with the survivors of Residential schools. We stand with those who have suffered generational trauma because of these instruments of cultural genocide towards the First Nation, Inuit and Métis peoples. We mourn with those who mourn.

We invite you to tie a ribbon on our fence as a way to show support to the many generations of survivors – as a way to process your own grief – as a prayer. 

If you need to talk through your sadness, if you need someone to pray with you, if you need some kindness of any sort, please let us know. The church office is open most weekdays. Sunday mornings at 10am are also a time to connect. 

The Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line is available 24-hours a day for anyone experiencing pain or distress as a result of their Residential school experience. 1-866-925-4419

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;  he rescues those whose  spirits are crushed.”  Psalm 34:18

Here is a copy of the Handout.

There are copies of it at the church office along with ribbons available.

You are welcome to come and tie a ribbon on the fence and offer a prayer – of comfort, of repentance, of justice.

This is one small step in the long journey of reconciliation.

 

National Indigenous Peoples Day

Happy National Indigenous Peoples Day!

This year it feels like some of the celebration of this day has been displaced by the devastating news of 215 children who passed away at the residential school in Kamloops. Appropriately, there are calls to thoroughly investigate other residential school sites for what survivors already know – more bodies of children.

Below are some resources for comfort, learning and prayer. While it is important to mourn with those who mourn, the journey doesn’t stop there. Truth must be told. Reconciliation must move forward in action.

Prayer:

Here is the National Indigenous Peoples Day prayer Andy used in our service on June 20, 2021.

Comfort & Lament:

Here is a Lament for Comfort that Sherry Ansloos recently recorded:

 

Story & Learning:

Here is an interview with Dr. Ray Aldred who discusses the impact of the 215 children found in Kamloops and what it is like growing up indigenous in Canada. Dr. Aldred also gives some historical context to treaty, and what it means to be an indigenous follower of Jesus in light of the evil perpetrated toward Indigenous people by Canada and the church. This interview is from Tenth Church in Vancouver (25 mins).

Support:

If you need support, or know of an indigenous brother or sister who needs support, the Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line is available 24-hours a day for anyone experiencing pain or distress as a result of his or her Residential school experience. 1-866-925-4419