Planning Meeting for Kid’s and Youth Ministries

Parents, guardians, and those who are passionate about kids and youth:

Please join us Sunday evening September 13th at 7:00 pm at 782 Main St. We would like to consider together how to best come alongside our kids and youth in their walks with God and we need you!

Kids are not the future church, they are the church of today. These years are critical. The majority of people who follow the Lord make a decision at some point between 4 and 14 years of age.  The next decade of their lives is the season where they deepen that faith and make a decision whether to continue this faith into the rest of their lives.

We have put a great deal of thought into the kids and youth ministries. Please consider the following questions that we explore
further on Sunday.

  • What are you longing for in regard to your children’s and/or youth’s spiritual formation?
  • Would you be comfortable bringing your kids or youth to an in-person ministry if chairs were set up to maintain physical distancing? What measures would you feel are important to ensure safety?
  • Are you comfortable with you kids/youth attending an in-person small group? If so, how many people or families would be a reasonable size for you?
  • What priorities would you have for kids and youth ministry in this next season?
  • What do you/does your family have to offer to join in or volunteer in the area of kids and youth?

We look forward to connecting on Sunday.  If for some reason you are
not able to attend, we would still love to hear from you
You can send in your responses to the questions above to the office. You can also let us know if you’d like to speak to someone in leadership directly. Thank you!

Photo by Anna Kolosyuk on Unsplash

Fall Sermon Series: the good news according to JOHN

We’re excited to be delving into John’s gospel – the good news about Jesus as John sees it. This book is beautiful, rich and multi-layered and will be an amazing companion for the Fall and beyond. Get ready to have your own discipleship – in other words your journey towards Christlikeness – get an infusion of life and wonder!

“But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name.” John 20:31 (NLT)

House Groups are encouraged to follow along in this series and will be provided with study guides with questions for each week.

For now, check out these amazing overviews of John’s book by the Bible Project.

Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Group

One of our House Groups this year will be doing the Emotionally Health Spirituality course in October and November. If you missed it last Fall, perhaps this is a time you can participate in the life-changing concepts and practices explored in this course.

Check out these short stories of transformation:

Here’s an intro to the course:

If you are interested, please fill out the form on this post.

Need a House Group?

This Fall we’re encouraging everyone to participate in a House Group. Following Jesus is never a lone-ranger deal. We need each other. The care, companionship, support, encouragement, challenge and joy that comes in life-on-life situations is key to becoming more Christlike.

A short survey of the New Testament indicates the priority the early church had on meeting together in homes. Here’s a quick summary: Acts 2:46, 5:42 and 20:20 they went “house to house”. In Acts 8:3, “house after house”. They met in Cornelius’ house (Acts 10:2), Mary’s house (Acts 12:12), the Jailor’s house (Acts 16:32), Lydia’s house (Acts 16:40) and Titius Justus’ house (Acts 18:7). Elsewhere in the New Testament they met in Priscila & Aquila’s home (Rom 16:5), Nympha’s house (Col 4:15), and Philemon’s house (Phil 1:2).

In a time when many of us have been more isolated than we would like, now is a time to press in to House Groups. There will be some old ones continuing on, some will rearrange, and a few new groups will be starting as well!

Also, one of the House Groups this year will be running the Emotionally Healthy Spirituality course. If you missed it last Fall, this is an opportunity for you. It is a commitment, but well worth it. You can find out more about it here.

If you are currently in a group, please reach out to your House Group leader / facilitator and see if there are plans for this Fall.

If you are not currently part of a House Group, or if you want to mix up your current group and meet new people, please let us know. We are collecting names and a few details that will help us create new groups for this Fall – including the Emotionally Healthy Spirituality group. We are asking new House Groups to commit to a 3-month Fall schedule. Some will meet weekly, others bi-weekly. Some will meet in person, others online.

For those groups that will be meeting in person, Covid-19 protocols will be in place. Those experiencing any symptoms should stay home. Those gathering in person will practice physical distancing and hand sanitization. Of course we will update requirements if and when restrictions change.

If you want to be in a Regular House Group this Fall, or if you would like to participate in the Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Group, please fill out this form:

Create your own user feedback survey

Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

Kenny & Edna’s Funeral

We have been able to secure a date for the funeral of both Kenny Lacquette and Edna Sinclair. Because they are both from the same family (Edna is Kenny’s mother) we are going to celebrate both of their lives together at the same time – honouring each separately, but during the same service.

Friday, September 4, 10am at the Vineyard Church, 782 Main St.

Interment to follow at Brookside Cemetery.

Please note that the funeral service will be live-streamed to WCV’s Facebook page for those who are not able to attend. Also take note that priority seating will be given to family.

Because of the health and safety guidelines associated with Covid-19, this funeral will adhere to all government and health authority regulations including physical distancing, hand sanitizing, masks, and limited capacity (70 people max – 30% of normal occupancy for the space). Please also note that there will be no meal or refreshments served due to health and safety restrictions.

Comments and condolences posted below are appreciated and will be shared with the family. Let’s remember to pray for all those who are grieving the loss of Edna and Kenny. It has been a difficult time to lose a loved one. Each will be missed and remain cherished.

Kenny Lacquette (Aug 29, 1963 – Feb 20, 2020)
Edna Sinclair (Mar 27, 1941 – Mar 24, 2020)

Thanks Vanessa!

This week marks the end of an era. Vanessa Koppanyi (Lewis) will be moving on to a new job and finishing as our Administrator and Bookkeeper on Friday. Vanessa has served in our office since 2015. She began as a receptionist and administrator and in 2018 bookkeeper was added to her portfolio. Over the past 5 years Vanessa has served faithfully, with integrity and a smile. She has worked diligently, learned quickly and has never shied away from extending grace, hospitality and prayer to the many who have walked through our doors.

Thank you Vanessa! We wish you all the best in your new venture!

Andrew Chan will be taking over Administration and Bookkeeping responsibilities officially starting August 31.

Photo by Courtney Hedger on Unsplash

Community Input for Fall Planning

Dear WCV Community,

At a recent Elder’s meeting there was a keen sense that WCV is about to turn a corner out of the turbulent waters of the past few years. “A new thing springing up” (Isaiah43:19) is a word for us in this season. This is super encouraging, but we still need to lead well, especially given the current Covid realities. So we need to know where you are at and how you are feeling regarding a few of the key elements of our regular community rhythms: specifically House Groups and Sunday Gatherings. 

The writer of Hebrews encourages “don’t give up gathering together.” (Hebrews 10:25). How do we not give up gathering given the corporate restrictions in place? What should we do given the broad spectrum of needs, requirements and experiences in our community? What should we do with our kids? These are all questions we’re wrestling with. This season requires us to be nimble, flexible and creative as we seek to follow Jesus as best we can. 

Would you take a moment to answer 5 survey questions (they can be as simple as yes or no answers)? Your responses will inform plans for the Fall. One thing we know for sure is that House Groups will be vital in order to continue to grow and pursue what Jesus has for us. Also, we are looking at starting up physical in-person gatherings again soon while both adhering to all the current protocols as well as continuing our online live-feed broadcasts. 

Thanks in advance for your feedback!

>>Complete the survey here (opens in a new tab)

“I am creating something new. There it is! Do you see it? I have put roads in deserts, streams in thirsty lands.”

Isaiah 43:19 (CEV)

Photos by Alexandre Grégoire on Unsplash, Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Summer Update

Dear WCV,

Happy summer to you all. I thought it would be good to give you a heads up on a few items as we head into the summer.

Connecting

Can we be making sure we are caring for each other in this time? For many in our community, these are disconnected times. I’d love for us to take initiative and reach out to one another. A visit in the park. A text or phone call. Any kind of expression of thought and care can go a long way to helping us feel connected and in this together. As Paul says in Galatians (6:9-10), let’s not weary of doing good to all, but especially to those in the community (my own paraphrase, but that is basically what he’s saying!).

I (Andy) will be on vacation for the next few weeks. If there are any pastoral needs that arise during this time please be in touch with your House Group leader (if you’re in a House Group) or anyone from the Leadership team (Elders & BOD) with whom you are familiar. They can initiate a response as needed. Violet is also around and will be available connect people with an appropriate response from one of the Elders should the need arise. If you’re not sure who to contact you can always reach out to the office and Vanessa will forward your message to the appropriate people.

Gathering

Throughout the summer we will continue to meet online on Sunday mornings. Can I encourage you to join and participate in whatever way works for you? Sunday mornings are live on Facebook, but can also be viewed after-the-fact either on Facebook or on our website.

Also there are some House Groups who are beginning to connect in person again. This is great and I’d like to encourage every House Group to be in touch about connecting in some way shape or form.

Praying

We will be meeting every other Wednesday for prayer throughout the summer. The remaining prayer meetings are July 22, Aug 5 & 19. If you want to participate here is the link. Watch your email for a reminder and the password to join before each meeting.

Kids & Youth

Dustin and Dynel Davidson stepped into the Kids and Youth Ministry director roles early this Spring on an interim basis. They have served in the midst of a very turbulent time – in fact Dustin only had one meeting with the Youth in person before Covid hit! Their interim service was completed June 30. We want to express our gratitude to both of them for doing such a great job in the midst of a difficult season! Thanks D&D!

We are working at assessing our needs and determining the best path forward for both our children and youth in the Fall. Will you pray with us for our younger generations? They need mentors, leaders, encouragers and role models. We will be having a few focus groups in August to pray and plan for our next steps. If you have an interest in being part of a possible youth leadership team, please contact the office.

Looking Forward

At this time we are looking to resume some form of in-person gatherings near the end of August. Of course there are many factors that need to come together for this to become a reality, but this is what we are currently aiming for. Even when we begin meeting in person again, we will continue to have an online live-streamed presence for those who are not able or not comfortable attending in-person gatherings.

At our latest Elder’s meeting (we met last Monday) there was a distinct sense of encouragement and leading of the Holy Spirit. We came away with a keen sense that God is leading us into a season of re-planting and renewal. Over the past year there have been some significant prophetic words given to the community which seem to indicate the same. We are excited as we seek to “turn the corner” so to speak. Even in the midst of the new Covid realities God is working and bringing something new to us.

“Behold, I am doing a new thing;
    now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
    and rivers in the desert.

Isaiah 43:19

Enjoy your summer!

Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

Millar College Update

We know some of you have been wondering about what’s happening with the proposal from Millar College to lease space in our building. Covid-19 has thrown some wrenches into the plans, but there are some new developments that we’d like to let you know about.

Beginning July 15, Millar College of the Bible will be moving forward with their Winnipeg Campus in some rented space in our building. For the next year, they will be using space in the 3rd floor Studio primarily for classes and a few offices. There won’t be students in residence located here due to Covid-19 realities. This is an option for next year.

This doesn’t mean that the 3rd Floor Studio won’t be available to WCV. Millar College is willing to work together so that the space could be available in the event that we would need it.

Flatlanders Inn – a closing

For the past 13 years, the community called Flatlanders Inn has welcomed over 130 people through its doors. People came for a variety of reasons but nearly all recognized their need for support, care, and help on their journey. We need each other… and we need God. This was a foundational reality on which Flatlanders was built. This was what made it all worthwhile.

As of June 30, 2020, Flatlanders Inn as we have known it is finished. The doors are closed. Since the decision was made to close Flatlanders and proceed with an offer from Millar College of the Bible we have been focussed on helping the last residents of Flatlanders transition into new places. This process is nearly complete. People have been moved, new places found, support offered and given.

This decision to close Flatlanders was a big one and the Leadership Team of WCV felt the weight of it. It was undertaken very carefully, circumspectly and prayerfully. Thank you to everyone who contributed their thoughts and prayers to this process. 

We believe that in the long-run this will be a positive move for WCV. We also recognize that it is a very difficult thing to close a ministry like Flatlanders and that the weight of the decision would be most keenly felt by those who were living there.

There are many factors that brought us to this point. For the past few years we had identified the critical need to get more leaders and support in Flatlanders in order for it to thrive. The difficult events of the past two years had left us in a very precarious situation. While we knew we needed more leaders, crisis management took precedence. Sadly, this meant that we weren’t able to put the time and energy into Flatlanders that it needed and deserved.

Our decision making process seriously considered other options (like getting an outside agency to manage the property, hire a director, and 6 other options). None of the other possibilities had the guarantee of financial stability and each of them would have required significant investment of leadership capital – which frankly, we just didn’t have.

We are incredibly grateful for the work, love and impact of Flatlanders over the past 13 years. There will be more detail to mark this important ministry later this summer. In the meantime, we simply say a big “thank you” to all those involved over the years.

A special Thank You to Jeff and Amanda Leighton

Below is a “thank you” given to Jeff and Amanda on July 2 at WCV’s online gathering.

Jeff moved into the building at 782 Main St. before there was a Flatlanders. But there was a dream – a God-shaped opportunity. Then in Mar 2007 Flatlanders opened and Jeff was right there, in the middle – helping envision and then putting legs and heart to that vision. 

Amanda, was there too, at the beginning – also captivated by the vision. Soon afterwards, they were captivated by each other. 

I think they were Flatlanders Inn’s first romance getting married and moving out for one year to the Bunkhouse at The Farm. They moved back a year later with a conviction that they would build their life here, in this space, with whomever would enter these doors. Over the past 13 years, they have done just that. While they have built their own family (James & Merrick), they’ve followed God into community with over 130 people. Jeff & Amanda, along with others, would welcome, guide, care for, organize and lead these strangers become friends along the way. Building a home.

By home, I mean, of course, the relationships more than the space. It is this way because FL is a God-breathed idea, enfleshed by people like Jeff & Amanda. These timber and brick walls will begin to house a new idea, but Flatlanders will continue in some way shape or form in the way people like Amanda & Jeff live their lives. This happens through the ways they welcome the stranger, those who need a lift, a friend, an ear. It is Rhizomatic in that way… like Kingdom quack grass sending out roots wherever it goes – spread as people come and go. 

This is the work the Jesus commissioned us to do. It is true we all need saving and Jesus provides the way for this to happen. But that salvation is discovered, lived out, activated and multiplied through real lives. Never in a stagnant individualized only save my soul kind of context. Jesus lived a real life in a real place in Palestine 2000 years ago and his life and salvation is walked out in countless followers throughout the millennia, including in faithful followers who are captivated by his mission and what he does in the lives of those who encounter him – lives like those Jeff and Amanda have lived in these 4 walls for the past 13 years or so, and will continue to live in their own place now. 

So, thanks for living a Kingdom life in this place. Thank you for tending the relationships God has sprouted here. Thank you for being good neighbours. Thank you for being faithful witnesses of Christ’s hospitality to the stranger, the wanderer, the lonely. Thanks for modelling a Flatland life. We know there have been tremendous joys and pains along the way. We are really grateful to you both and we know that in some small but important ways the rough has become smooth, the crooked has become straight and the mountains and valleys have become a Flatland on which God’s glory resides because of you and your faithfulness. 

Summer Series: Salt + Light

This summer we’re going to hear from a broad cross-section of people in our community as they explore what it means for them to be salt and light in the places they go. What impact does being a Jesus follower have on their work life? What are the implications of seeking God’s Kingdom in their normal everyday activities? Together we will be encouraged, inspired and challenged to find big and small ways to live out the Jesus way in the places we go and with the people we see on a regular basis.

“You are the salt of the earthYou are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.  No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. – Jesus (quoted in Matthew 5:13-16)

Raw Conversation: Racism, Reconciliation & the Church

This is a raw and honest conversation about racism and the church that Sherry, Niels and I (Andy) had recently. It touches on personal experiences of racism, thoughts on the recent events sparked by George Floyd’s murder, perspectives on the Canadian experience, systemic racism as well as opportunities for the church in the midst of it all. ReconciliACTION, racial diversity via the Good Samaritan and the question the Spirit is asking the church through the statement “I can’t breathe” are all featured… and Sherry shares part of an amazing poem she wrote!

The purpose of “Raw Conversations” is to create space for dialogue and a platform to listen. They are by no means conclusive nor comprehensive. Rather, they are intended to spur dialogue, thought, prayer and informed action.

Leadership Transitions

We are having some transitions in leadership occurring this year. Lay Elders and BOD members each have a three-year term with the possibilities of extension. We have a few Elders and one BOD member who have completed their terms (most with some extensions along the way).

We’d like to extend our deepest gratitude to Cliff & Krista Heide, Rod & Elisa Jersak, and Stephen Fligg for their wise and dedicated service to WCV these past number of years. The Heides and Jersaks have served on the Elder team and Stephen has been a BOD member for a number of years.

Meanwhile, Lindsay & Lois Ward, Rick & Luanne Hill, Cornelius & Tania Martens, and Christy Chan (pictures below) are going to be functioning as our Elder Team, recognizing that they are still prospective elders until they are ratified by the membership at our next AGM. This is yet to be scheduled.