A reflection on the recent Canadian Vineyard’s National Celebration by Natasha Boone.
I remember the alarm seeming more obnoxious than usual that morning. Or perhaps I should say that night, as, when the beep-beep-beep of the alarm sounded, our room was still enclosed in night’s deep darkness. We stumbled around at the ungodly hour of 3:45am, in order to catch our early-bird flight out to Kitchener ON.
(The irony of getting up at an ungodly hour in order to catch a flight out to Enlive Vineyard family camp, where we would worship God with many other fellow Vineyardites was not lost on us).
Considering the time of day and likewise having a wiggly 14 month old sitting on our respective laps dropping Cheerios both over us and the person sitting next to us, we did alright.
So we arrive in Toronto, grab our luggage, stuff some food into Jude (14 month old of a wiggly disposition) and set out to Kitchener (about an hour commute). It is about half an hour into the drive and I suddenly had the thought ‘the playpen is missing’. Now, I do not know where this thought came from, as Sean was the one who took care to load the luggage into the car at the rental office. But the thought came floating into my brain, as if sent from above.
Sure enough, the playpen was not in the car.
With the car (eventually) turned around, we silently headed back to the airport. It was discouraging, as we thought that we had been going the right way (to Kitchener) with all the gear that we needed, when in fact, we had been driving for at least half an hour without something that we really needed – Jude’s playpen.
So long story short, we got back the airport, Sean re-traced his steps to the luggage pick-up area, and retrieved our neglected playpen from the nearly empty carousel. We got back on the (now familiar) road and were on our way again, a little dis-heartened, but glad to be moving forward.
So why tell you these details about getting up early, flying to Kitchener with wiggly baby in tow, driving for a bit, realizing that we missed a piece of luggage and so turning around, retrieving said luggage and getting back on track?
Because sometimes it is okay to acknowledge that something vital has been forgotten and steps are need to be taken to go back and ‘get’ that which was left behind.
One of the highlights of the Enlive Vineyard Family camp was hearing the guest speaker Cheryl Bear, a woman from the Nadleh Whut’en First Nation in British Columbia, who, alongside her husband, Randy Barnetson, happens to also pastor a Foursquare church in Vancouver. As the Vineyard movement, we have done a lot of things well. Generally speaking, we have followed God’s voice and been submissive to his leading. As Ms. Bear pointed out in her talk, however, we have not given due honour to the Native peoples and culture in our midst. We have not been adequately inclusive and inviting. And this, along with a detailed and thought-provoking teaching on First Nation’s culture itself, is what Ms. Bear brought to the table.
It quieted the room, as conviction usually does.
I, for one, don’t like realizing that I have to do a u-turn. Or, as Ms. Bear, so eloquently said in reference to how the Vineyard movement in general has excluded First Nations (as well as women and Francophones, but that mention came later, during a speech by David and Anita Ruis) “it is ok to change tracks’.
It is okay to change tracks. Much like the realization that the playpen was left on the carousel, waiting to get picked up, it is ok, if not imperative, to turn back and get what is needed. What is missed.
The Vineyard movement needs the First Nations. Women are needed. Francophones are needed. All these, along with who the Vineyard movement is currently being comprised of, are needed.
It is okay to change tracks. It is necessary to go back and get that playpen.