Talking Circles

Sundays, in the Comfy Couch Room, 12 -1:30pm. Bring a bag lunch (check in about childcare).

>>What is a Talking Circle and what are we going to do?

In the first Talking Circle this past Sunday, we identified the topics those present felt are of greatest importance for healing and moving forward together as a church. These will be categorized and used as topics at subsequent circles. These Talking Circles are not decision making times. Rather their purpose is towards healing and moving forward together.

We will form separate talking circles for each topic – one per Sunday. We will assign different topics to different dates so that people are free to participate in the discussions that are of importance to them. For example, if there is a group who is concerned about the type of coffee we are brewing, they will meet on a different Sunday than the group who feels we should sing more hymns (silly examples but you get the idea!). In short, anyone is welcome to participate in the group/s that interest them. Our desire is that people will participate not just to be heard and validated, but to hear and validate others, even those whose questions and concerns may look and feel different from our own.

Each Talking Circle will have its own group facilitator whose interests will be in maintaining safety and a respectful discussion. We plan to continually rotate topics and allow each group to determine its own timeline, so there is no rush. We believe that listening to each other will be an antidote for the isolation and shame some people are experiencing not knowing who else (if anyone) feels the same. We believe that even if our wounds have different shapes and sizes, there will be a collective “me too”, which will be an opportunity to experience compassion and grow in empathy towards each other. This process is a way of getting unstuck, pursuing healing, and continuing to move forward together as a group. We know that there are people who are feeling fragmented and disconnected from each other. Our hope is that this experience will naturally rebuild a sense of community.

Brent and Stephanie Woelke
Jeff and Amanda Leighton

Creative Healing Talking Circle

In August our body was rocked and many of us have been reeling as we attempt to deal with the impact of that news. We recognize that there is a wide range of reaction to this, and we know that for many of us there is a need to continue to process all that has happened. We have had a few times of gathering together to lament, to worship, to talk and to pray. We know that many have continued to process in house groups, in triads, with close friends, with counsellors and in a variety of other ways. Here is another way of continuing the healing dialogue for those who feel they need it.

As a part of an ongoing process of recovery and healing we’re hosting a talking circle, looking at the August news through creative process. Anyone who identifies as creative or has been since August (1st time creatives are welcome) is invited to gather with us. It’s good to be together and to know what state we’re in. (1Cor 12:26)

“The talking circle platform provides a safe space for everyone to share and for every person’s voice to be heard.”

A Word on the Process:

The talking circle platform provides a safe space for everyone to share and for every person’s voice to be heard. The format will be quite simple. We will open in prayer. We will each be given an opportunity to share our creative processing or our inability to process the August news. (Sharing is not required.) During this time there will be no questions asked or feedback given to the person sharing – the rest of us will be listening. The person sharing is welcome to share as much or as little as they like. After everyone who wants to has shared once, we’ll go around the circle once more and reflect on how we’ve been impacted by what we’ve heard. The focus will centre on personal reaction, feelings evoked, your new perspective, etc., to what we’ve heard; not critique, disagreement or engagement with the details of what others have shared.

A Word on the Vision:

Why would we do this? Deep listening is important. Safe spaces need to be made for people to be real with each other. With the recent news many of us have been isolated in and because of our feelings.  Just as a community is made of individuals, so too individuals make the community. Each person connected to our community and who is impacted by this news needs space to process and heal as an individual who is a part of a complex web of relational ties. This is one way to seek healing: by being open about how we’ve been doing and to be moved by the pain (and potentially hope) of others. Paul suggests that “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it.” He also suggests that “if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.” We’re in this together. Let’s listen and honour each other.

-Jeff Leighton

The Talking Circle will take place on Tuesday, December 4th at 7pm at Winnipeg Centre Vineyard.

Vineyard Himalayas Stories and Vision Night

You are invited to join us on Wednesday, July 18th at 7:00pm for an evening with Pastor Noel Isaacs. Since it’s beginnings, Winnipeg Centre Vineyard has had a special connection with the Himalayan Region Vineyard (HRV) and the work that is happening there. Noel Isaacs planted the first Vineyard church in Kathmandu, Nepal in 1995 and he’s continued to serve and lead the HRV for the past 23 years. Over the years, many people from WCV have visited the HRV churches and meaningful relationships have developed between us.

“The HRV churches have been a steady source of healing and hope in their communities.”

Noel will share stories from the region and explain the heart and vision behind this work. He will also provide an update about the restoration and reconstruction of the churches and homes that were damaged or destroyed by the 8.0 earthquake Nepal suffered in April of 2015. This is a wonderful opportunity to hear first-hand about the ways in which the HRV churches have been a source of healing and hope in their communities throughout this time.

Prayer Ministry Training

God demonstrated his love to us by sending his son, Jesus.  Jesus demonstrated the Kingdom in very practical and real ways.  The Holy Spirit is in us to demonstrate the Father’s love to those around us – our neighbours.  We are invited and, if we follow Jesus, are commissioned to be agents of this love – to be people who expand the Kingdom of God where we live, work and play.  Praying for others is a huge part of this.

We want to invite you to consider taking our Prayer Ministry Training sessions.  There are three sessions which will happen during the teaching time in the Upstairs Gathering on Oct 2, 16 and 23. They will be interactive and will include a short teaching, a demonstration and then lots of practice on each other (praying for others and being prayed for).  We will be using the Vineyard’s 5-Step model as a guide.  We’ll be getting very practical and there will be lots of room for questions.

Topics will include, listening to God, following the prompting of the Holy Spirit, how to begin, when to end, checking in along the way, what not to say, the difference between prayer ministry and other forms of prayer (like more in-depth inner healing, etc), manifestations of the Holy Spirit, praying for healing, dealing with your own nervousness, etc.

We want to create a culture in which we quickly and easily ask “can I pray for you?” and “can you pray for me?”  We also want to be able to increase the level of training so that more of us know how to pray with skill and heart when someone asks.  This will make us more effective pray-ers, and it will also increase the sense of safety in the Vineyard.

NOTE: The goal of these sessions is not to train people for ministry time on Sunday mornings (although it will be very helpful for that).  Rather, these sessions are for anyone who wants to pray for others wherever they are!

Join us!

Prayer Ministry Training Poster


Healing in the Waves – a story from the Women’s retreat

This is a submission from Janet Blatz:

I love the water. I love sitting on the beach watching the waves form with such great gusto and roll in to meet the sand and then disappear like a whisper. Watching the waves come and then go over and over makes my soul very happy and at peace. However leading up to the Ladies retreat my soul felt like it wasn’t watching the waves from the shoreline but instead it was being crashed by the endless waves in the middle of the ocean; waves of stress, waves of worries and waves of grief and Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 2.49.36 PMI felt like I was drowning. Just like waves in an ocean, these waves of thoughts and emotions at times had more power than other times but the impact of them still can tire a person over time.

It was for this reason I was looking forward to the retreat – I thought maybe a change of setting and schedule could bring relief and rest to a tired soul. The soothing of the soul didn’t come from resting in nature like I thought.  It came in when I found myself painting during a session; it came when I was prayed for during the Saturday prayer time; it came while swimming in the lake late one night.

Has my soul been totally healed?  No.  I was reminded over the weekend that my circumstances may not ever change, however, if I change my focus from trying survive the waves (or even question why I am facing those waves) to the Creator of the waves, healing will happen. Letting go of old ways of dealing with stress, of worrying, of grieving is hard but trying to continue to embrace for the impact of those waves again and again is harder.  When I choose to seek the Creator, instead of embracing for the next wave, a little part of my soul finds itself on the shoreline, sitting and watching the waves that once caused so much pain and anguish, slowly roll in and disappears without disturbing the peace.

~ Janet

Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 2.50.10 PM


Healing Story: Mary’s Leg

This morning at drop-in, Mary told me she was looking for a new place to live. Given the lack of promising housing options before her and the uncertainty of the future, she wondered if God might be punishing her. In the same breath she told me that she often felt “warm” when she came to any church. When I asked her what she thought this meant, she said that she felt “welcomed” and – putting her hand on her heart – said that “God was right there.” We talked about how a God of warmth, welcome, and nearness – a God whom she readily sensed – seemed at odds with the God of punishment she feared.

She also told me she had pain in her right leg and toward the end of our conversation, I asked her if I could pray for her – for her housing situation as well as for her leg. Afterwards, I asked her how she felt and she said the pain in her shin was gone but that there was still pain in her ankle. We prayed again and this time it was gone! She wiggled her foot, tried walking (reporting no pain!), and looked at me and said “Are you a magician?” I assured her I was not and said rather, that Jesus had drawn near to her, touched her with the warmth of his Spirit, and healed her; that he cared deeply about her housing situation and her leg, and wasn’t in the slightest interested in punishing her. We both reveled in the joy of a God of lavish grace and mercy, and Mary wanted to share her experience of him today with you.

Healing Story: Brian’s Knee

One of our core practices at WCV is community, and part and parcel of expressing and demonstrating God’s love to one another (as well as inviting his kingdom to come, now) is healing prayer. To see God heal, you have to be attentive to people who need healing, and you have to be willing to respond by taking the risk to pray for them. This action of actually praying for healing, more than a sense of inward mental certainty or emotional enthusiasm about what will happen, is what constitutes faith. As John Wimber used to say, faith is spelt “R-I-S-K.”

Though of course there are many ways through which God heals, he often seems to do it through the laying on of hands (Mark 16:17-18; Luke 4:40, Acts 28:8, James 5:14). For some reason, people often sense the power and presence of the Holy Spirit when prayer is accompanied with the laying on of hands. Though we may not understand the why or how of it, we recognize, welcome, and cherish the supernatural aspect of this practice. In a natural sense, the laying on of hands also communicates care and concern for those for whom we pray. Placing your hands on a person you’re praying for says “I am in this with you and am making time to cry out to God about it for you.” Understandably, it is both comforting and encouraging for those receiving prayer to tangibly feel this sentiment and to be loved in this way; this often helps them discern God’s love for them. All in all, we long for people to both know and experience God through prayer whether it’s by supernatural or natural means, or by a mysterious mingling of the two.

Recently, Brian experienced God at our drop-in. After one particular occasion where we prayed for people who needed healing, Brian came to me to express his gratitude. Something about being in an environment where those who were sick were cared for in this manner moved him. As we were talking, I noticed that he had a cane and asked him what had happened. Afterwards, I asked him if I could pray for him. He heartily agreed, I placed my hand on his knee, and so began a truly wonderful story of God touching and healing him. My wife and I now have his cane hanging off a shelf in our apartment. He wanted us to have it as token of his gratitude to God for restoring him physically and giving him back his life (he’s working again). And, of course, because he has no need of it anymore. Hallelujah!

Geoff’s Toe – a healing story

Check out what happened in the Upstairs Gathering last Sunday.  Geoff Reimer shares about how God healed his toe.  I checked in with him a few days later and it’s at about 90%.  Don’t you love how God shows up when we ask?  It may not always be how we expect, but he really does love to come and be with his kids.  Do you have a healing story, or another example of how God has shown up for you lately?  Let us know!

Geoff from WCV on Vimeo.


Everyone Gets to Play

Nasira from WCV on Vimeo.

In the Vineyard we hold very dearly to the notion that ministry isn’t solely for a select group of “anointed” people. The fullness of the Spirit’s presence fills everyone who believes in Jesus! On the day of Pentecost, as recorded in Acts 2, the Spirit came with the sound of a violent wind and what seemed to be tongues of fire rested on each of the believers gathered together in the upper room.

Whereas in the Old Testament the Spirit filled people (usually leaders of some sort) for a specific time and purpose, Acts 2 marks the inauguration of the Holy Spirit’s abiding presence with all believers. It was this wonderful news that motivated Peter to address the crowd and proclaim the fact that God promised to pour His Spirit out on “all people,” including “sons and daughters, young men, old men, even on servants, and men and women.” In short, the Spirit doesn’t exclude anyone.

And if the fullness of the Spirit is for every believer, then so are all the hallmarks of Jesus’ ministry. So we’re really not that surprised that Nasira (a four year old) healed her sister Maiya’s arm in the name of Jesus. We’re filled with excitement and joy that kids get to participate in ministry, and that God has anointed them to do all of the works of the kingdom. After all, everyone gets to play!

Ace of Spades, Jesus!

Twice a week we gather together for drop-in, where those of us who are from the neighbourhood fellowship, share a meal, and turn to Jesus together. We’re starting a new series on the words of Jesus, where we’re exploring what he said in the gospel of Luke. Today, Jesus healed a lady who had back pain!

Ace of Spades, Jesus! from WCV on Vimeo.