Outer Circle & Spiritual Formation

Our next instalment of the upgraded version of the Outer Circle (OC 2.0) is Monday, April 30, 7 – 9pm.

The Outer Circle has become a time to focus on training for spiritual transformation together. This means that after beginning with coffee and dessert there will be a short teaching on the spiritual exercise we’re exploring that evening, then we’ll practice it right there together. The purpose is to give practical tools and experiences that we can use to create space for God to meet us.

The purpose of the Outer Circle is to focus on spiritual transformation so that we can become the kind of people – the kind of community – that God is calling us to become.

Transformation isn’t something that results from our own efforts. Neither does Christlikeness just happen. Rather, if we create spaces in our lives – rhythms and practices – that give room for God, transformation will result. A caterpillar does not become a butterfly on their own effort. Rather they submit to the process of metamorphosis. In other words, they set up the necessary conditions for the mystery of transformation then they simply give themselves over to the process. In us, it is a work of divine love that causes change. The practices we’ll be exploring this year are similar to the necessary ingredients that are needed for a caterpillar to create their cocoon. What you do with these tools is between you and God. History proves that if you take them up and learn to use them, great things will happen in your life and in the lives of those around you.

This Monday, Beckie Wood will share how engaging in a few spiritual practices has impacted her life. Then Suhail Stephen will lead us in a short teaching and experience of a way of reading scripture called Lectio Divina. As will become usual, there will be tools you can take home to add to your toolkit.

The Dates and Topics of the Outer Circles for the year are:

  • March 10: Scripture (Gospel Contemplation)
  • April 30: Scripture (Lectio Divina)
  • May 28: Rest (Sabbath)
  • October 1: Prayer (Silence)
  • November 5: Discernment (Examen)

If you missed the first Outer Circle in March, you can access the resource (Gospel Contemplation) here.

>>Mark your calendars.

>>Everyone’s welcome!

Monday, April 30, 7pm


>>What’s Changed in OC 2.0?

  • Less involved gatherings (no more meals with childcare).
  • More focussed gatherings emphasizing transformation & training.
  • No more “Prayer, People, Plan process”.
  • No more annual renewal.
  • Don’t have to commit to an annual process.
  • The purpose of Triads is connection and support – not to keep track of each other’s plans.
  • The time (7pm – 9pm).

>>What stays the same in OC 2.0?:

  • Triads are still an essential and live-giving way to find connection and support in the Vineyard.
  • Triads and House Groups are still primary ways of belonging in the Vineyard (but not the only ways).
  • The basic vision of encouraging growth remains the same.

A Word about Membership at the Vineyard

Membership at the Vineyard is spelled out here. In short it means “Belong, Serve, Give”. Participation in a Triad in the Outer Circle process is one of the markers of belonging (as is being part of a House Group). This isn’t changing.