Nationwide Sunday Gathering on Pentecost (May 31)

Vineyard Canada will be hosting an online gathering on May 31 at 11:00 A.M. CDT. Gather with us to worship together from coast to coast and to hear from voices from across the country.

The live video stream will be available on Vineyard Canada’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.

Also available are two series of colouring pages and visio divina exercises for kids and adults created by Krista Heide and Stephanie Jayne. You can download them for print from Vineyard Canada’s website.

Participate on Facebook.

Participate on YouTube.

Advent & Anticipation – Catching the VTribe Spirit

Here’s an update and a reflection from our National Team Leaders, David and Anita Ruis:

Hey VTribe,

Over the last several months there has been significant dialogue across our movement, in local, regional and virtual settings. We have a great deal to ponder and to pray through as we all re-imagine what we should look like heading into 2015. The interaction has been vibrant and the resulting input invaluable. Our future is ripe with challenge, but anticipation about where we are heading is palpable as we see a fresh sense of collaboration, community and common vision spring up from coast to coast.

Something is up – for real.

Advent has been defined as  “the coming or arrival, especially of something extremely important.” and this sense of anticipation is alive, not only because of the liturgical calendar, but because the Spirit is measurably at work within our tribe. As Eleanor Mumford so winsomely quoted C.S. Lewis at our EnLive gathering in the summer, “Aslan is on the move!”

Gordie Lagore and David recently attended he Evangelical Fellowship of Canada’s National Leaders gathering in Toronto. Geoff Tunnicliffe, the head of the World Evangelical Association and fellow Canadian, gave a fascinating presentation about what is trending from a global vantage point within communities of faith across the world.

Three of the key things that he identified shaping the current trajectory of where the Spirit is working among followers of Jesus are:

  1. a growing integration of faith with business, media and government – seeing the kingdom beyond the walls of the church in entrepreneurial innovation
  2. changing dynamics within “inter-christian” relationships – most particularly between Protestants and Catholics
  3. engagement in “peace building” and (social) justice initiatives in not just project based efforts, but in addressing systemic issues through policy engagement

We were thrilled to hear this articulated, for many within our Vineyard family have already been engaged in exploring these types of initiatives.

Fresh innovation and a ground swell of people engaging entrepreneurially, thinking about “business as mission” has been developing across our tribe. From our Christ Church crew in Vancouver, under Naomi Lippett’s oversight, to the Epic Community in Calgary with Merlin Bartel and our ice-cream shack in Halifax, the last years have seen many Canadian Vineyardites exploring the integration of faith and business. Terry Black’s cutting edge work in film of the Cambridge Vineyard, and the Berry’s in Annapolis, NS cultivation of art and music, are just a couple of examples of the VTribe exploring faith and culture beyond the walls of the institution. The last years of posturing ourselves for “out of the box” thinking and seeing the community of faith as much more than a Sunday meeting has given us a good head start in some of things the Lord is doing in this time.

Something’s up.

Over the last several months, many within our family have experienced a fresh measure of God’s restoration and healing. remarkable! Right across denominational lines, our Vineyard community has been experiencing a re-connect with the church at large, people returning to our local expressions of faith and a general sense of relational healing. Many have expressed their excitement about our national Vineyard’s growing comradery again with the US Vineyard and the Global Vineyard Community. John and Eleanor Mumford being with us in Kitchener, as well as at our BC Regional gathering has had a significant impact. David has participated with John and Carol Arnott in several initiatives this past year as well, which has been so kingdom, so right and so healing on many levels given our Canadian Vineyard’s unique story with renewal. Next August the Ruis’ and the Arnott’s will be involved together in a gathering in Ottawa with the Catholic church – who would’ve thought? Such is the mysterious workings of the Spirit as He glorifies Christ in His church. As Wimber once said, “love the whole church”, a call that seems to be re-awakened in this time.

Something’s up.

Justice. Enough said. One thing deep in our Canadian Vineyard’s dna has been peace keeping and social justice. From our earliest years of the Langley Vineyard serving Jackie Pullinger’s emerging work in Hong Kong, to the Jacob’s Well and Strathcona crew in Vancouver, to East Van’s work in Lower Post, to the Winnipeg Centre Vineyard’s moving into the North End of Winnipeg and the current School of Justice, to the Esser’s and the Sarnia Vineyard fighting for justice within the civic nightmare of by-laws and zoning that marginalize the poor, to Beth Wood’s engagement within NAIIT and labour on behalf of our First Nations and her work in Brazil – far too many more initiatives than we can mention here – we have been faithful. But we’ve only begun, and there is a fresh surge of faith to see us engage with the margins in even more and better ways.

Something’s up.

So – Merry Christmas!  Walk into this Advent Season and the New Year with anticipation for what is coming in ’15. Here’s to a fresh encounter with Jesus as He calls us into the next chapter of the story He is writing with us as we continue to discover how to live out our common language, common liturgy and common call together. Let the kingdom come.

Here’s to the journey,
David and Anita Ruis
National Team Leaders

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Changing Tracks – a reflection on Enlive

A reflection on the recent Canadian Vineyard’s National Celebration by Natasha Boone.

I remember the alarm seeming more obnoxious than usual that morning. Or perhaps I should say that night, as, when the beep-beep-beep of the alarm sounded, our room was still enclosed in night’s deep darkness. We stumbled around at the ungodly hour of 3:45am, in order to catch our early-bird flight out to Kitchener ON.

(The irony of getting up at an ungodly hour in order to catch a flight out to Enlive Vineyard family camp, where we would worship God with many other fellow Vineyardites was not lost on us).

Considering the time of day and likewise having a wiggly 14 month old sitting on our respective laps dropping Cheerios both over us and the person sitting next to us, we did alright.

So we arrive in Toronto, grab our luggage, stuff some food into Jude (14 month old of a wiggly disposition) and set out to Kitchener (about an hour commute). It is about half an hour into the drive and I suddenly had the thought ‘the playpen is missing’. Now, I do not know where this thought came from, as Sean was the one who took care to load the luggage into the car at the rental office. But the thought came floating into my brain, as if sent from above.

Sure enough, the playpen was not in the car.

With the car (eventually) turned around, we silently headed back to the airport. It was discouraging, as we thought that we had been going the right way (to Kitchener) with all the gear that we needed, when in fact, we had been driving for at least half an hour without something that we really needed – Jude’s playpen.

So long story short, we got back the airport, Sean re-traced his steps to the luggage pick-up area, and retrieved our neglected playpen from the nearly empty carousel. We got back on the (now familiar) road and were on our way again, a little dis-heartened, but glad to be moving forward.

So why tell you these details about getting up early, flying to Kitchener with wiggly baby in tow, driving for a bit, realizing that we missed a piece of luggage and so turning around, retrieving said luggage and getting back on track?

Because sometimes it is okay to acknowledge that something vital has been forgotten and steps are need to be taken to go back and ‘get’ that which was left behind.

Cheryl Bear offers a song.

Cheryl Bear offers a song.

One of the highlights of the Enlive Vineyard Family camp was hearing the guest speaker Cheryl Bear, a woman from the Nadleh Whut’en First Nation in British Columbia, who, alongside her husband, Randy Barnetson, happens to also pastor a Foursquare church in Vancouver.   As the Vineyard movement, we have done a lot of things well. Generally speaking, we have followed God’s voice and been submissive to his leading. As Ms. Bear pointed out in her talk, however, we have not given due honour to the Native peoples and culture in our midst. We have not been adequately inclusive and inviting. And this, along with a detailed and thought-provoking teaching on First Nation’s culture itself, is what Ms. Bear brought to the table.

It quieted the room, as conviction usually does.

I, for one, don’t like realizing that I have to do a u-turn. Or, as Ms. Bear, so eloquently said in reference to how the Vineyard movement in general has excluded First Nations (as well as women and Francophones, but that mention came later, during a speech by David and Anita Ruis) “it is ok to change tracks’.

It is okay to change tracks. Much like the realization that the playpen was left on the carousel, waiting to get picked up, it is ok, if not imperative, to turn back and get what is needed. What is missed.

The Vineyard movement needs the First Nations. Women are needed. Francophones are needed. All these, along with who the Vineyard movement is currently being comprised of, are needed.

It is okay to change tracks. It is necessary to go back and get that playpen.