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.
Christmas time can provide some great opportunities to explore the Christmas story. I encourage you, in whatever situation you’re in, to make some time to read through the events chronicled in scripture regarding Jesus’ incarnation. Here are some suggested readings. You’ll notice that we’ve been exploring a few of these passages in our Advent series this year. Enjoy!
(The Angel visits Mary, Mary’s response, the Magnificat – Mary’s song of worship)
Matthew 1:18-25 or Luke 2:1-7
(Matthew: The engagement, Joseph’s dream; Luke: Census and short birth narrative)
Our Christmas feast is less than two weeks away! Jessie Penner, who has in previous years helped organize and cook for our feast, is also helping organize the feast this year! As she shared this past Sunday, she is needing some pies donated for our dessert at the feast.
If you’re able and willing to donate a pie or two (or three, or more!) please contact Jessie to let her know of your plans. Any pies that you want to drop off at the church for Jessie to pick up can be done so tomorrow (Thursday the 5th) or on Sunday morning, December 8th, so Jessie can take them home to cook!
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
Hey folks! So the Christmas season is upon us once again! (Hold on as I pour myself another mug of eggnog).
Below are a few events I’d like to highlight that will be happening at the Vineyard for this 2017 Christmas season:
Our kids and youth will be leading us in worship and throughout the morning on December 10th for our annual Kids Service Sunday.
On December 17th right after the service we want to celebrate and feast together as a family and community for the annual Christmas Feast!
On December 24th, as it is both a Sunday and Christmas Eve, we will gather in the morning for a shortened Christmas Eve Service from 10-11:15 a.m. Please note there will be no evening service on this day.
We will also have a shortened service on December 31st from 10-11:15 a.m. for a New Year’s Eve Service.
Through all the hustle and bustle that the Christmas season brings, let’s remember our Centre, whom we are celebrating.
We’d like to catch you up with what we have been doing in Elementary kids church and to prepare you for the break as we launch into our Gifts4God season. You literally can “catch up” as we break until the regular program resumes on Jan 14th. We’d like to help you understand how the Imaginative Prayer book can power you up in spiritually leading your kid/youth/family.
What we’ve been doing: We are really excited about how we’ve been exploring the Imaginative Prayer book with the Grade 1-4 class @ WCV. The Grade 5-7 class are also following along! The first six weeks we’ve had various leaders lead in the Imaginative Prayer in the large group. All four of us who have led in some way so far, have been a part of Spiritual Direction in these last two years. What a delight it is to now be able to lead the kids in this. Jared Boyd, the author of Imaginative Prayer, was our teacher and is our friend! Thanks to Gloria Fligg and all of our small group leaders in Kids church; we’ve had a wonderful start this fall.
Using the “Imaginative Prayer” book to power your spiritual leadership:
The parent or mentor section: It can be easy to go through our week, not giving time or space for God to speak to us, especially with the busyness of our schedules, but the book can save you time by giving you something to build off of. We encourage you as parents to briefly/deeply look at the “parent or mentor” section of the chapter with your kids.
This past week: Cliff led us in Chapter 6. Dig in and find out how you can follow up and discuss with your child. See Jodi if you do not yet have a copy of Imaginative Prayer.
We’re in sync: If you have kids in elementary and youth (grade 1-7), you will be happy to know we are in sync with them, so we’re using the same chapter on the same week!
What’s coming up: Gifts4God starts this coming Sunday Oct 29th-Dec 3rd.
What is Gifts4God? Gifts4God is a time when we get to celebrate how God has made all of our kids and youth in a special way. When we read Psalm 139, we discover that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Kids get to choose what they love to do, whether it’s art, sports, dance, drama or cooking and they can sign up for what they love! We are so excited to begin this season again.
When? Gifts4God will be for the next 6 Sundays Oct 29-Dec 3. The Christmas Kids & Youth service will be on Dec 10th.
Why? “I was just getting into the Imaginative Prayer book with my child. Why the change?” Gifts4God is an annual rhythm at WCV. The kids and youth look forward every year to this special time. This break in the regular program will give you some space to check out the book more and discover how it can work for your family in the New Year. We will be on Week 7 on Jan 14and look forward to having families follow along. Please see Jodi for your free copy and read more about how to use the book.
Please note which class your child has signed up for, so when you are at the computers on Sunday am, you sign them up for the correct class. The list will also be available by the computers on Sunday. Any adjustments that need to be made, we will make them as we go! Please be aware of the various drop off rooms at WCV and pick up spots that will be new for these six weeks. The times remain the same as a regular Sunday with drop off at 10:45 and pick up at 11:45. (Please note that sports will start 5 minutes earlier due to the walk to YFC building. As well any kids or youth in sports must have a waiver signed by parents).
On behalf of the Nepali Women’s Co-op I would like to thank all the volunteers of WCV who participated in the Third + Bird Christmas Market this past weekend. These volunteers included:
Bakers, many bakers who went above and beyond what they committed to bake and baked more. Thank you for your creations… they were fully enjoyed.
Volunteers at the sale. You sold cookies, scarfs, raffle tickets…. you were a friendly face but you worked hard to make a sale and I am proud of all your assertiveness to raise money.
For those who helped with setup and take down. Hard work but so appreciated.
Jessie Penner and Mercy Au who committed their entire weekend to being at the sale.
Krista Heide for making great signs and helping with creative vision.
The WCV staff who faithfully support what we do.
Chandra Kremski and Charla Smeal (Third + Bird) who have the vision and have worked incredibly hard to make the sale what it is today. They have graciously invited Nepali Women’s Co-op to partner with them even when the market outgrew this church building. Their open heart, passion and generosity is truly appreciated. We look forward to partnering with you in many more sales.
Over $8, 300 was raised at the sale just through the three tables. The next tailoring school is planned for February 2017 in Gorhka.
The Nepali Women’s Co-op will be set up after next Sunday’s service (December 4/16) in the comfy couch room. If you didn’t make it to the Christmas market and want to peruse/shop, items will be for sale. Including scarves, mitts, and slippers. Come by and check it out!
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.
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.
Every Christmas Eve, as other families across the world gather around a Christmas tree, we, as a church body, gather together to celebrate Christ’s birth. We remember and celebrate The One who Came by singing Christmas carols and lighting the last advent candle. This service is a candle lit service, where every family is welcome, and everyone will get their own individual candle.
We encourage you to come and celebrate with us as one body. But if you can’t make it, take a step back from the busyness of Christmas and remember the One, Jesus Christ, who came down as an infant child to dwell with us.
The service will be on Thursday, December 24th, 2015, 6:00 – 7 p.m.
It’s coming! This Sunday, December 14th, right after our morning gathering (no upstairs service, and downstairs the kid’s will be sharing) we will party with our Vineyard community Christmas celebration. Make sure you plan to join us for food and togetherness. It’s a great time to enjoy a hot lunch together, and get to know some new people. Both the main gathering area and Flatlanders Studio (3rd floor) will be set up directly after the service. The Studio will be set up specifically for those with children. Join us!