Advent & Christmas

Wait a minute… We’re talking about Advent and Christmas already?! Wasn’t it just yesterday we were walking around in sandals? In this year of incredible disruptions, we now find ourselves at the front end of the season of Advent. Of all the things we don’t know, one thing we know for sure is that this season won’t be like any of the other Christmases we’ve experienced. Yet, the core reason we celebrate remains unchanged. The challenge is to find ways to root ourselves in the beauty of the CHRISTmas season while living in the times we do.

What does it mean for us to wait for the Messiah in this season with many of our regular traditions stripped back? There will be no huge parties, no group celebrations or traditional fanfare and, most likely, no large extended family gatherings. That’s a lot of “no”s! What does it look like for us to say “yes” to Jesus and still prepare to celebrate his coming in a time like this? This year our guiding idea for Advent is “Getting Ready to Celebrate”.

Each Sunday there will be a theme leading us in progression to Christmas Eve – all aimed at helping us get ready to celebrate Jesus’ coming and presence among us: Invitation > Preparation > Waiting > Arrival. Along with each Sunday’s theme there will be an “engagement activity”. These will be fun and simple opportunities to explore the topic in a practical and creative way. Advent packages explaining these activities will be delivered before advent to every household with a child or youth – but this does’t preclude others from participating. As everyone does participate in the activity, we’re encouraging us all to take pictures and post to our Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag: #WCVadvent2020. Instructions will be given online every Sunday morning.

A Ham for everyone: Sadly, we’re not going to be able to gather together as we have in years past to enjoy each other’s company at our annual feast. However… we have purchased a whole hog-load of hams (say that fast 10 times!) and we’d like everyone in WCV to get one. The idea is simple: to bless everyone in the community and provide opportunities for connection. We are going to package up the hams along with some extra supplies for our Christmas Eve service this year. You can watch for these deliveries mid December.

Speaking of Christmas Eve, we’re working on plans and will update you as they are firmed up.

Lastly, if find yourself struggling this season, please don’t do so alone… reach out to your Home Group leader, a member of the Leadership Team, Andy at the office, or a trusted friend. If you know of someone who could use some extra groceries, please contact the office and we can make arrangements to share some food (we will give you an extra ham and you can add to it to make a meal). We are here to help.

Cover Photo by Cristian Escobar on Unsplash

Advent Package Deliveries

Good Thursday WCV,

In the next two days (Nov 27-28) someone will be delivering an Advent Engagement Package to your door! So glad that deliveries are A-okay during Covid! We hope that this will be a fun way for our whole community to engage in Advent activities as we prepare together, while we’re apart.

The theme for this year is ‘Getting Ready for a Party’. We want to engage in all the activities that you normally do as you anticipate gathering together, except that our focus is preparing for Jesus’ arrival. You can expect to engage in some party planning activities throughout the season. 

We hope that you’ll enter into the spirit of the season and enjoy the activities that we’ve put together for you. Please post your pictures on FB or Insta with the hashtag #WCVadvent2020

– Lani (Kids & Youth Ministries Director)

Cover Photo by Kira auf der Heide on Unsplash

Calling all “Yarners” and “Rockers” for Advent

Hi everyone, as part our creative initiative around Advent this year Beckie Wood is spearheading a community art project and is inviting all ‘yarners’ to come together on Sunday, Dec. 23.

2018 WCV CHRISTMAS ART PROJECT
Sunday, Dec. 23 during our worship gathering.

BEING TOGETHER: Sharing, listening, hearing, grieving, discovering hope

The civil rights movement in 1950’s was started by people sitting around in rocking chairs.
God among us and working as we gather and talk, share experiences, listen, hear reality, grieve together and discover hope.
It’s no hype.
No official meeting or prayer service.
It’s simply showing up for one another and gathering with each other; with our community.
God is in this.
Rocking chairs are art. They’re rhythmic, soothing, beautiful, and good ones are noteworthy – usually simple designs but difficult to build.

During the service on Sunday Dec. 23rd, yarners will be sitting in chairs around the room (and some in rocking chairs) crocheting and knitting. They will make squares about the size of a hand.
It is a symbol of gathering together.
Being together in the waiting.
In a calm and soothing posture.

(We will have a basket of yarn and needles, but please bring your own if you have.)

At the end of the service, as we come together at the communion table, we can take the squares we have created and pin them up as a bunting. On this Sunday, we will attach the squares to a string with clothes pins. Later, Beckie will attach them together with a simple crochet chain. It will hang in our space as a visual reminder of our collective waiting.

We’d love to have you participate. And please – invite a fellow crocheter or knitter! We are in this all together.

(If you won’t be at church this particular Sunday, you can still participate. Create a square on your own and give it to Beckie and she will make sure it is added to the bunting).

Humble King – Royalty meets Humility

We are now into the season of Advent – the beginning of the Christian calendar. This year we are going to be exploring humility in Jesus’ incarnation. The astounding wonder that God chose to reveal himself as a baby, a working class carpenter, a Saviour who washed his disciple’s feet, as the Lord who was obedient, even obedient to death on a cross… this is an amazing picture of humility. The Almighty God becoming an all-vulnerable human.

We will be centring our reading in the ancient hymn in Philippians 2:1-11. We encourage you to stew in it each week (we will help you with this because we’ll be praying it together each Sunday). We’ve also provided a booklet to help you follow along – just a little gift to you in this season. Also, we’d like to encourage you to invite a friend to church during this season! Perhaps they too, can encounter this astounding humble king who changes everything.

>>Get your gift booklet and follow along.

They’re available at the Info table.

>>December 2: The Humble King of Hope

>>December 9: The Humble King of Peace

David and Anita Ruis (Vineyard Canada National Directors, and WCV Founding pastors) will be with us.

>>December 16: The Humble King of Joy

Our Kids and Youth will be leading the service and we will have our annual WCV Community Feast after the service.

>> December 23: The Humble King of Love

>> December 24:  The Humble King of Heaven – Christmas Eve service (6pm – 7pm)

>> December 30: Living In Humility, Living In Christ

>> January 6: Celebration Service

 

 

An Invitation to Create

The Creative Team would like to invite you to participate in a series of artistic expressions that centre around Advent. The season of Advent provides an opportunity to slow down, to reflect, to consider and to give attention to the story at the centre of our faith. When art is shared communally it can be a powerful gift. We are looking for poets, songwriters, dancers, painters and makers of all kinds.

“When art is shared communally it can be a powerful gift.”

Our advent series will lead us into a time of contemplating the humility of Christ – The Humble King. We will spend time exploring Paul’s text found in Philippians 2:1-11 as we journey through the traditional advent themes of hope, peace, joy and love through this lens.

Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion,  make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 

“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus.”

 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Our goal is to nurture and celebrate the diversity of gifts within our community and we hope to highlight and incorporate creative art into our worship time at WCV. There are a variety of ways for this to be done. If you would like to participate in any way, please contact Krista Heide or Jessica Williams.

 

Advent & Christmas at the Vineyard

This year our theme for Advent is “The Heart Has A Home” – a series based in viewing the Christmas story through the gospel of John.  Make sure you pick up a copy of the accompanying booklet from the Info Table so you can follow along with the weekly devotional thoughts and scripture.  In fact, why not take two copies and invite someone to church with you this season!  A little gift and a welcome might just be what someone in your life needs in order to take the next step in their faith journey – you never know what can happen.

As is our tradition, our Christmas Eve service is on December 24 😉 and this year is no different!  It is one hour of beautiful, sublime singing – it’s always a special time.  It is 6pm – 7pm.

This year Christmas Day is on Sunday – so we’ll have a shortened service from 10am – 11:15am.  It will be special, so if you’re not busy with family plans, make sure you join us!

And, lastly, I encourage us all to immerse ourselves in John’s book this season.  Even planning to read a chapter a day from now until Christmas will give you the weekends off.  It’s a unique lens through which to view the Christmas story, and I think it will give life and light to those who who dare to enter.

PS: Thanks, Jessica Williams, for the creative decoration (and creative expression) in the main gathering area.

An Advent Gift

This Sunday, we’ll have a gift waiting for you! During this Advent and Christmas Season, we’re going to be looking to the Gospel of John for direction and inspiration. Admittedly, it’s an unusual choice, but as we’ll discover it contains one of the most epic Christmas stories every told! We’re going to be spending all four Sundays in Advent (starting Nov 27) as well as Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (it’s a Sunday this year) in John. The series is called “The Heart Has A Home” and there is an accompanying devotional booklet that is our gift to you. Use it weekly by yourself, with friends or family to follow along with each Sunday’s scripture and teaching. Our prayer for the whole WCV community is that we’d all come closer to our heart’s true home this season.

Enjoy!

heart-has-a-home_church-slide-standard-gift

A Gift: The Light That Leads Us Home

The first Sunday of the Advent season is November 29.  Advent is the official beginning of the “worship year” in the Christian calendar.  It is a season of preparation and waiting for the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah.  We celebrate his first coming – our Saviour, born in a manger.  We expectantly look for his appearance in our lives today.  And, our hearts are drawn to the future as we long for his final returning when he comes again.
TLTLUH Cover

There are many stories that compete for our attention and allegiance in this season.  There is only one Light, one real story, that has the power to transform our lives and our world.  This is what we’re reaching for.

This year we are going to enter the true story of Christmas together.  We have a small devotional gift for you!  It’s a little booklet entitled “The Light that Leads Us Home”.  It contains weekly scriptures and a short thought you can read by yourself, or with others.  We will be handing them out this Sunday, November 22.  You can get one from an usher or at the info table.  If you’re going to be in the kid’s area, Jodi will distribute them to you.  Our hope is that they will enrich this season of preparation for you and those you celebrate with.

Blessings as we enter this season of waiting, anticipation and preparation together!