At our upcoming AGM (Nov 30 at 7pm) we will be recommending the following people for the Leadership Team as either Lay Elders or members of the Board. We asked each of them to share (in 3-4 mins) a little about themselves, what they love about WCV and why they’re excited to serve in this position.
We are having some transitions in leadership occurring this year. Lay Elders and BOD members each have a three-year term with the possibilities of extension. We have a few Elders and one BOD member who have completed their terms (most with some extensions along the way).
We’d like to extend our deepest gratitude to Cliff & Krista Heide, Rod & Elisa Jersak, and Stephen Fligg for their wise and dedicated service to WCV these past number of years. The Heides and Jersaks have served on the Elder team and Stephen has been a BOD member for a number of years.
Meanwhile, Lindsay & Lois Ward, Rick & Luanne Hill, Cornelius & Tania Martens, and Christy Chan (pictures below) are going to be functioning as our Elder Team, recognizing that they are still prospective elders until they are ratified by the membership at our next AGM. This is yet to be scheduled.
We want to give you an update on a few developments that are underway in the community. We know that many of you have been praying. Thanks for the prayers! We also know that some of you have been wondering what is going on regarding Jodi’s position. We hope this communication will answer some of what you may be wondering!
As you know, Jodi has resigned from her position as Generations Pastor. Her last day with us will be July 27, after which she’ll be moving to Kelowna with Mike and a few of their kids. Obviously this is a major transition both for the Labun family and for WCV. Jodi has faithfully and tenaciously served as our Generations pastor overseeing our Children, Youth and Family ministries, for the past number of years. Thanks Jodi!
Any time of transition is also an opportunity to evaluate and restructure as needed. To this end we are doing an extensive review along with Jodi of everything she has carried as our Generations Pastor. Some of what she has done is quite quantifiable – Children’s activities via Kid’s church, as well as overseeing the various youth groups is a lot of work, but also fairly straightforward. What isn’t as easy to quantify, but no less important, is the amount of pastoral care she has carried. We are prayerfully and carefully considering what kind of situation would best serve WCV in this next season, as well as what scenario we can afford. We don’t know what the complete picture will look like yet, but there are a few pieces already coming into place.
Jodi, along with a few members of the Leadership Team, are working hard to secure teams and individual volunteers to be in place so our children and youth ministries can continue with as little disruption as possible as we head into the Fall. This is applies to both Youth and Children’s ministries. So many people are involved in this effort – it really does take a village to raise a child. We want to see these teams confirmed and equipped in whatever ways they need in order to see our Children and Youth thrive into the future.
We are also carefully evaluating the pastoral load that the reduced pastoral team will be carrying. This past season has seen tremendous upheaval in this regard, and we are considering possibilities for help. These include looking for a part-time interim pastor and / or other coordinator level roles. If you have a desire to volunteer in any capacity, please let us know.
We will continue to keep you informed as opportunities and information is available. Thank you for your faithful support and prayers. Good things are in store for our community!
We’ve been mentioning for awhile now that David Ruis (our National Director and WCV founding pastor – both roles shared with Anita) will be with us the weekend of May 11 – 12. We now have a few more details for you to put in your calendar and hopefully stir you up.
We’ve had David and Anita, as well as a few other National and Regional Vineyard leaders (Joyce Rees, Ruth Rousu, Nathan Rousu, Rik Berry) be with us over this past season. These visits have infused life in our community and have been very helpful for the leadership team. While their times in Winnipeg have been super helpful in encouraging and advising the leadership, we know that the rest of the community gets limited interaction with these guests on Sunday mornings. This time around we want to maximize community time with David. To that end, we want to invite you to an afternoon with David, Saturday, May 11 from 2 – 5pm. This will be an intentionally curated time together during which members of the Leadership Team (Pastoral & Lay Elders and BOD) alongside David will be able to address issues, answer questions, provide feedback and offer support as needed. We will be holding space address topics like building trust, leadership, WCV health, forward vision, and others, with lots of opportunity to give and receive feedback. Additionally, David will share some exciting perspectives on Vineyard Canada, what God is up to among our wider Vineyard family, and some foundational stories of WCV.
The primary purpose of this time is to create a non-hurried space for dialogue as a community and with David. We hope to see you there!
He will be sharing with us on Sunday morning as well (May 12).
>>Saturday, May 11, 2pm – 5pm
>>782 Main St.
The Role of the Elders at WCV
In the Vineyard, Elders function as overseers who tend to the spiritual health and vision of the community. They are a small group of seasoned leaders and followers of Jesus who gather regularly to prayerfully seek God’s direction and counsel for all visionary matters relating to church life. There are two kinds of elders in Winnipeg Centre Vineyard – Pastoral Elders (typically paid staff members)* and Lay Elders (volunteers from the church community).
There are a number of examples of Elders’ roles in scripture including: leading the church [1 Tim 5:17; Titus 1:7; 1 Peter 5:1–2], teaching and preaching [1 Timothy 3:2; 2 Timothy 4:2; Titus 1:9], encouraging, challenging and protecting the church according to scripture [1 Timothy 4:13; 2 Timothy 3:13–17; Titus 1:9], visiting the sick and praying [James 5:14; Acts 6:4], and weighing issues of doctrine [Acts 15:6]. They are charged with the care of the community – to help, equip and lead.
In WCV, the Pastoral and Lay Elders work together, however the Pastoral Elders have the added responsibility of implementing the daily tasks associated with our vision. Currently the Elders are led by our Pastoral Executive who is accountable to the whole leadership team.
The Pastoral and Lay Elders have the authority to tend to the needs and spiritual affairs arising from the vision of the church community. However, if their proposed actions will have an effect on the legal, managerial or financial affairs of the church community, they must obtain the approval of the Board of Directors before moving forward.
In order to create a sense of cohesion between all Leadership Teams at WCV, we recently have begun Joint Leadership Team meetings where the BOD and Elders (pastoral and lay) gather together to pray and discuss macro plans, goals and objectives. This way we can be moving forward together.
Current Pastoral Elders:
- Andy (Pastoral Executive) and Beckie Wood
- Jodi and Mike Labun (stepping down Summer 2019)
- John and Violet Rademaker (non-paid)
Current Lay Elders:
- Paul and Sherry Ansloos (stepping down Summer 2019)
- Krista (Elder Point Person) and Cliff Heide (started March 2015)
- Rod and Elisa Jersak (started March 2016)
- Theresa and Jason Eheler (Stepping down end of April 2019)
*Note: Not all WCV staff members are automatically Pastoral Elders.
What we look for in Elders:
1. Biblical requirements for Eldership as explained in 1 Timothy 3 & Titus 1.
2. Walking out and dialoguing with our 15 Core Practices. Of particular note are: Devotion to Jesus (elders should be devoted to their walk with God), Circles of Sharing (a hallmark of eldership is hospitality) and Generosity (elders should be tithing to the local church).
3. A good fit with the current team and the season the Vineyard is in. While there are many people who generally qualify as elders, the current elders must prayerfully discern who is the best fit for right now. What skills and gift mix will best suit the team already? Do we have a good representation of the voices of our community in our leadership (young, old, male, female, married, single, etc. )? This is not a popularity contest – it is a serious process to discern who God has prepared and gifted to serve the whole community at this time.
4. Already serving in ministry in some form in the church (worship, children, youth, house group, hospitality, etc.). Elders carry a pastoral heart for the community which must find expression.
5. Elders, while not always older, are all seasoned leaders and followers of Jesus.
6. Elders can be married couples, singles, or one partner in a marriage.
A few points to keep in mind:
- Leadership is servanthood. It’s not about ordering others around, but rather serving others (Luke 22:25-27). Being an elder isn’t a promotion. Rather, it’s a recognition of the way a person is currently serving and influencing our community.
- Leadership is action. It’s not about position or titles. While specific roles can be very helpful, true leadership is never about titles. If someone has a position of leadership, but doesn’t have anyone following, then they’re just going for a walk.
What Serving as a Lay Elder Looks Like:
While we normally choose elders who are already eldering in our community in some sort of fashion, there are several added responsibilities for those serving on the Eldership Team.
- Communication and Minutes. Elders are put on the email thread for weekly staff minutes, BOD minutes, and other church leadership news items. Elders should be reading these forms of communication to keep a pulse on what the leadership is working on. They should also ask questions, and add input as needed, as well as regularly pray for the workings of the church.
- Monthly Elder Meetings. The Pastoral and Lay Elders gather together once a month. The purposes of these meetings are two fold: a) to spend an time in worship and prayer, listening for what God is doing in our midst, and discern what He is inviting us to. b) Talking through spiritual needs in our community, and making plans for extending care.
- Regular Joint Leadership Team Gatherings. New this year to our Leadership structure is regular Joint Leadership team Gatherings between the Elders, Pastoral staff, and Board of Directors. The purpose of these gatherings are for our various leadership spheres to be face to face with one another as we seek God’s vision and direction, and collaborate in aligning our strategies to walk forward together. We hope to develop a rhythm for these to happen 3-4 times a year. Though, in more complicated seasons, these gatherings will happen more frequently.
- Yearly Retreat. Once a year (typically May / June) the Elders go on a two day retreat with a focus of praying and seeking God together. During this time we reflect on the highs and lows of the last year, and begin to dream and envision the next year.
- Regular Connection with Community. Elders need to commit to being available to serve and extend care to the community. This involves welcoming newcomers, gathering to pray for those in need, showing hospitality, and meeting with congregants to listen to questions, concerns or suggestions.
New Lay Elder Process:
New Lay Elders are nominated and selected through a several month process. The suggested term for elders is three years, though at times this has been extended.* In the past WCV has engaged in the process of bringing in new lay elders every few years as current elders step down.
Here is a detailed look at what the new Lay Elder Process looks like:
- Nomination and Discernment . During this time the community and the elder team nominate those they see are currently functioning as elders (even if they don’t have the position). Prayerfully ask, “who do I naturally look to for counsel, support, care, etc?” Chances are, those are the people who are already functioning as elders. At the same time, the Pastoral and Lay Elders are prayerfully discerning if people qualify and are a good fit for the current team and season of life the church is in.
- Proposal & Mutual Consideration. The Pastoral Elders will contact potential new elders and invite them to prayerfully consider. This is a period in which we see if this “seems good to us and the Holy Spirit”.
- Prospective Elder Period. This is a three-month period during which prospective elders come to monthly elder meetings and are in communication with Pastoral Elders. At the end of this period it’s determined if it is a fit.
- Membership Vote. Those who are formal members of WCV are able to vote on the prospective new elders. If the new elder is ratified, this begins their 3-year term. Bear in mind that this is a vote, not on who should become elders, but on whether those who’ve been identified via the above process are the right decision for the Vineyard at this time.
*Changes to look for in the future:
After this strenuous season in our church where the demands on leadership have been heavy, we are more aware of the value of being diligent in both inviting in and rotating out those serving as lay elders. Though we do not have this all figured out, we are in the process of developing healthy and sustainable term lengths, evaluation and extension processes, and a yearly strategy to bring in new elders. Our community is full of so many gifted and capable leaders, we look forward to seeing a more regular rotation of this fresh life into our leadership.
We invite you to prayerfully consider who the Lord may be inviting to step into serving the community for the next season of our life together. We will be using the above criteria to prayerfully discern who to invite into this area of leadership and service. Please submit names to the office or Andy during the month of May, 2019.
We want to say thanks, again for hanging in there during this season. God is shaking things… but we know that times of shaking are inevitably both difficult and clarifying… Let’s keep pressing into Jesus, into community, into vulnerability, humility, grace and love, and we will continue to emerge from this Winter into Spring (despite the snow we see today!).
Speaking of community, there are many good conversations being had. The Pastoral and Lay Elders had a great meeting last Monday discussing both where we’re at as a church and next steps moving forward. The BOD is engaged in a number of initiatives that will bring organizational, structural and financial health to WCV (more on that at our AGM Part 2). Many of you are engaged in dialogue and input via the Talking Circles, our community Survey, within House Groups, meetings with various leaders, etc. We are deeply appreciative of all the dialogue that helps us move in a positive and healing direction.
In the interest of keeping communication flowing, we want to let you know of a few plans on the horizon as we look forward:
April 19, 7pm: Good Friday Service & Stations of the Cross
This year we’ve acquired an amazing art exhibit that showcases the Stations of the Cross and creates an interactive atmosphere to engage with Jesus on his journey to the cross through scripture and art. Read more about it here. Fully engaging in Good Friday makes our celebration on Easter Sunday all the more amazing…
April 19 – 21: Prayer & Fasting
We are calling the community to a fast from Good Friday to Resurrection Sunday. Andy will be teaching on it this coming Sunday to help us prepare.
April 28 (Sunday morning): AGM Part 2
At our previous AGM we weren’t able to cover everything we needed to. In order to give maximum opportunity for our church family to attend and be involved we are going to have this AGM Part 2 on a Sunday morning during our regular gathering (after worship and kid’s are released).
May 11 – 12: David Ruis
David (Vineyard Canada National Director) will be sharing on the Sunday morning (May 12), as well as on the Saturday before (May 11). He will be speaking on recapturing the heart of the Kingdom. Mark your calendars.
There has been a recent initiative that is designed to hear from people directly in the Street Parish. We’ve been asking questions like “What do you want?”, “What do you feel is necessary in this part of WCV”, “What do you feel God is doing?” and other such questions. Watch for more on this.
The past season has been quite a season – an understatement perhaps, but good to acknowledge nonetheless. It has been complicated and difficult in many ways.
Throughout this time I’ve often been reminded of the passage in Hebrews that says of Jesus, “for the joy set before him, he endured the cross.” There was a grit to Jesus’ path to the cross – a dogged “just keep putting one foot in front of the other” kind of determination that I see in him. But there was also something beyond the cross that seemed to impel him forward – something that held his vision. He both worked with what was right in front of him – “one step at a time” as Alcoholics Anonymous wisdom recommends, and he kept his “eye on the prize”, so to speak. I believe the same is to be true of us in this complex time. We need to keep our eyes on Jesus, and be obedient to the small steps along the way – one step at a time – a “long obedience in the same direction” as Eugene Peterson famously put it.
We do have a few steps laid out for us in the coming months. These plans will simply help us be together as a community in a way that we haven’t been able to be for the past little while. This means, getting together, talking about where we’re at and where we’re going as well as hearing what is stirring amongst each other. It means praying together and asking questions of each other. We know there are many conversations happening amongst the community – working through the continued implications of Nathan’s arrest, trial, conviction and recent sentencing, questions about leadership in WCV, the 2019 budget, opinions about where we are heading, where we should be heading and what God is calling us to – these and others are all relevant topics for discussion and prayer. We need to hear each other, and in the midst of it, we need to hear God. This kind of conversation and dialogue together will be healing in many ways, and will also help us discern where we’re at, and where we need to be heading. But it begins, like Jesus, with one step at a time.
Here are a few of the next steps:
Our Annual General Meeting will be Monday, March 11, 7pm. At this meeting we will review our finances (as is required by the Charities Act) as well as provide lots of space for questions and dialogue. Additionally, we’ll have some clarity about leadership roles and responsibilities in WCV.
Secondly, we’re going to be having Community Meetings at which we can further our discussions as well as get some helpful input from you. These will be times to hear each other, hear God, and provide the leadership with a venue for community discernment. We are working on getting some input and inspiration from David and Anita Ruis who will help us unpack what leadership looks like in a Kingdom of God context. Watch for the exact dates of these Community Meetings but the first one will be during the last week in April, and we will likely have another in May.
…we fasten our gaze onto Jesus who birthed faith within us and who leads us forward into faith’s perfection. His example is this: Because his heart was focused on the joy of knowing that you would be his, he endured the agony of the cross and conquered its humiliation, and now sits exalted at the right hand of the throne of God!
Hebrews 12:2 (TPT)
The apostle Paul met Timothy when Timothy was very young. Paul saw his potential and spent years investing in Timothy’s gifts, training him as a leader, and releasing him into meaningful ministry. Project Timothy’s goal is to inspire, motivate, train, and release a group of young leaders in the Vineyard!
We are so excited to send seven of our youth to PT to be in this environment and have God continue His work of transformation in their lives.
Pray for our team as 7 youth and 2 leaders fly to PA. Seven of us are flying out on Friday morning, and the other two on Monday.
We will be in PA from July 28-Aug 5.
Thanks for your prayers!
It’s been said that the church is more of a living organism than an organization. Considering that the church is a complex mix of all kinds of people, this observation is a quite apt. However, it is also necessary for every body to have some amount of organization to keep it from becoming a random collection of cells at best or, at worst, a destructive tumour. This is true of every physical organism and it’s also true of the body of Christ.
Over the past year we’ve done some work on the organizational end of this spectrum hoping to bring a little more clarity and definition to the “organism” we call WCV. The aim is simply to help keep us healthy, growing in good ways, and ultimately reproducing – all trademarks of every living thing, whether single-celled organisms, or the body of Christ.
Here are a few diagrams that we hope will help bring clarity to this organizational work, specifically regarding leadership relationships in WCV. While any two-dimensional diagram of a living entity will fail to represent the organism perfectly, we think this does not a bad job. Unlike many organizational charts, this one is tipped over. In other words, while we do have leadership, it’s not a top-down but rather movement oriented. Leadership is meant to help the body follow Jesus more closely and to become more like him in the process as we are led together by the Holy Spirit.
Click on the images to zoom in.
For more specifics on who functions in the various areas, see our About Us page.
At the Outer Circle gathering on March 18, we’ll be doing some significant business as a church community. On Sunday March 12, we will have the specific proposals and other information available in a printed booklet. If you are on our newsletter email list, you will receive a digital copy on Thursday, March 9. Please review these booklets before the church meeting on March 18. We certainly welcome any comments or questions about anything in the booklet.
Here’s a quick rundown of what to expect:
- Supper – just like a normal Outer Circle Gathering. Starts at 5:30pm. Everyone’s welcome!
- Financial updates including a 2016 report and the budget for 2017.
- A few key Shifts in Leadership.
- Updating our Bylaws (which requires ratification by the members) including proposals for a new definition of Membership, Pastoral Executive, inclusion of gender neutral language and a few other tweaks.
- Two New BOD Members (Marlese Hazeu & Cornelius Martens).
- “Views from Here” which are updates from a number areas in WCV – including a few significant changes.
- We will try to wrap up by 8pm.
All these proposals, changes and updates are outlined in the booklet. Please pick one up and review it before the March 18 meeting. Some of these proposals require ratification by a vote of the membership.
Everyone is welcome to come – please do!
>>A Note about Membership:
- If you are unsure if your name is on the current membership list, please check with Vanessa Lewis (WCV Administrator) who will be set up at a table at the meeting. If you are in the Outer Circle, your name is automatically included. If you have indicated to the office that you’re doing something similar to meeting in a Triad, like what’s described here, then your name will be on the list. If your name isn’t on the list, just let Vanessa know and you’ll be added.
- Only current members will be able to participate in voting.
- We realize there is some confusion about formal membership in WCV. We’ve heard you and apologize for any hurt this confusion has caused. For this reason we’re proposing a new definition, which is described in the booklet.
>>If you require childcare, please sign-up up with the office. This is especially important if you do not normally come to the Outer Circle gatherings.
Saturday, March 18, 5:30pm – 8pm
We’re excited to report that our New Elder process has resulted in four new elders joining the team! Rod & Elisa Jersak and Jason & Theresa Eheler are now Lay Elders and will bring valuable insight and unique perspective to the team as it attempts to follow Jesus and tend to the mission and vision of WCV. The elder team is comprised of both Lay Elders (Paul & Sherry Ansloos and Cliff & Krista Heide) and the Pastoral Elders (John & Violet Rademaker, Nathan & Kendra Rieger, Jodi & Mike Labun and Andy & Beckie Wood). The Elder team (both Lay and Pastoral elders) are the only leadership positions which require a membership vote. This happened at the last Outer Circle gathering where the Ehelers and the Jersaks were enthusiastically endorsed. If you want to know more about being a voting member at WCV, go here.
It may be important to note that this is not a promotion or a position of prestige as the world may view it. We’ve simply recognized that the Lord has put these four people in our midst, and has called them into serving the body in this way for this season. We also want to note that being a couple is not a requirement for being either a Lay Elder or a Pastoral Elder at WCV.
Thanks to everyone who contributed to this process whether it was through submitting names back in the Fall, talking with us about who you perceived to be elders, praying along the way or voting on Saturday.
Recognizing what the Father is doing and blessing it, is our primary strategy for identifying new leaders in the Vineyard. Like the old proverb says, “one who thinks he is a leader but has no followers, is merely taking a walk.” We recognize leaders amongst us precisely because they are already leading. It’s first about the function, then about the position. I was a pastor in WCV long before I was called a Pastor (and long before I realized I was being a pastor!).
There are a few people in whom we’ve recently recognized varying expressions of leadership. Here are those who have newly made commitments towards exercising their leadership gift in the community.
Cliff and Krista Heide have recently joined the Elder team. They are now lay elders in the Vineyard and will bring valuable insight and unique perspective to the team as it attempts to follow Jesus and tend to the mission and vision of WCV. The elder team is comprised of both Lay Elders (Ben & Debra Kelly, Paul & Sherry Ansloos and Cliff & Krista Heide) and the Pastoral Elders (John & Violet Rademaker, Nathan & Kendra Rieger, Jodi & Mike Labun and Andy & Beckie Wood). The Elder team (both Lay and Pastoral elders) are the only leadership positions which require a membership vote. This happened at the last Outer Circle gathering where Krista & Cliff were enthusiastically endorsed.
Suhail Stephen is another whom we are recognizing is leading in a unique way. He will be stepping from a coordinator role with Drop-in, to a pastoral role. We recognize that God is doing great things in Drop-in lately through Suhail’s leadership and we’re excited about the future in this regard. He will be the Drop-in Pastor (he’ll still be directing the School of Justice). This role is a Pastoral Support Staff role (not a Pastoral elder) and it does have remuneration in the budget (which you can view here).
James Ryan has been leading the youth for awhile, but we’ve recently made room in the budget to subsidize his work with our youth. He will be stepping into a Youth Leader role. We’re excited about the passion and leadership he brings to our youth! James and Lynelle have opened up their home and their hearts to our youth. Ian Williams will continue to provide youth mentoring and leadership to our Senior Youth.
And finally, Adam Closs has recently made a commitment to the Flatlanders Inn Leadership Team. We’re excited about the roles and responsibilities Adam will inhabit as part of the Flatlanders community. The whole team is: Jeff & Amanda Leighton (Amanda is taking a Maternal break), Kelly & Brendan Dvorak, Andy Wood, Adam Closs and Julie Kettle (who is the Flatlanders Administrator +!)
We will be laying hands on, and praying for all these people on Sunday, March 29th.
Hey Parents and Youth,
- Let Jodi know if you can come! So far I have interest from a handful of youth. We are prepared for 9 youth and more if possible.
- Apply in spring to Project Timothy in Landenburg, Pennsylvania (Vineyard at the Barn). More info will be sent when it is available.
- Continue to fundraise whenever possible. Begin now to write letters of support to family and friends. Let me know if you need help with this and I will help via email. Also, participate in WCV lunch fundraisers (next one is March 15th).