A Step Forward

Vineyard Canada, Nov 11, 2020, 11:48 PM
Vineyard Canada Global Moderator
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"When you go to the doctor you show him the bit of you that is wrong—say, a broken arm. It would be a mere waste of time to keep on explaining that your legs, and eyes, and throat are all right."

C.S. Lewis

It's been some time since we've communicated with any substance beyond some updates and general check ins. One stellar exception has been Cathy Grahams PULSE quarterlies which have had such positive impact and great feedback. Thanks Cathy! We have been busy behind the scenes however, reimagining and rebuilding our administrative and support structures since last fall after being somewhat rattled in '18. Our proposed National Coordinator role didn't play out like we'd hoped along with loosing a significant Regional Leader and National Team member through moral failure. Two pretty significant pivots during the year. We cannot express to you how much we appreciate your patience through these challenges as we realize that our communication hasn't really been up to par this last season. Your prayers and encouragement, along with thoughtful and needed critique and insights, have been so helpful. Kudos.

Here's a bit of a snapshot post our Montreal gathering. In September we gathered a think-tank of representatives from across the country who are in the trenches of ministry, business and the non-profit world, from both within the Vineyard movement and without, for the purpose of assessing our infrastructure, leadership development and care systems. The Board of Directors has also been doing very good work in regards to recalibrating our financial philosophy as a national non-profit entity as well as helping us navigate and implement some much needed restructuring. Their role as part of the National Team has been indispensable.

The two biggest take away's from all this processing was that we needed to not be in a rush to move past our "health begets health" focus across the country and that administrative systems and structures were critical to get in place before generating any more visionary aspects to what we're about.

Our biggest step forward in this regard is what we're calling our Foundations Team. We are confident that this is not just a good idea borne out of necessity, but a "good to us and the Holy Spirit" kind of win! After significant vetting, going back to the drawing board several times, and a lot of prayer, we're delighted to be introducing this team to you via this MailChimp. We are very excited about the chemistry of this troupe and the potential of what we can be strengthening throughout this next year. It is the next step of health for us. Along with this, we feel the Spirit has consistently been speaking to us about consolidation. Not generating anything "brand new" at this stage. We have plenty of work ahead of us in solidifying and strengthening what has been implemented this last four years. This can feel restraining in some ways, but without solid systems in place we could potentially loose the ground that we've gained, let alone have capacity to sustain new initiatives. The Foundations Team will be critical in assisting us accomplishing this goal.

In some ways in this last year and a half we've been on a bit of a Revelation 3 Laodicean quest. Our Portage. We're healthily assessing where we need healing, restoration, change and innovation from the grass roots right through every aspect of our organization. To bend our ear and hear Jesus' assessment of our deeds. Let those who have ears, hear.
The Lord has been knocking. And, we can say with a quiet growing confidence, that across the country, we have opened the door.

An undeniable passion is awakening. Take heart. The slumber of lukewarm mediocrity is loosing its grip and we are reaching for passion in spiritual formation, worship and mission again.

We are receiving eye salve to see. Clarity of sight is critical as we navigate being and making Jesus disciples in these next years of societal and cultural shifts, both inside and outside of the Church. He is healing our eyes.
We are learning to robe ourselves in the righteousness and the justice of Jesus and not our own constructs. The stir to a fresh wrestle with the Sermon on the Mount and the Beatitudes which began in Montreal, is evidence of this. This focus is rippling across our communities from coast to coast. Many of our local churches are working through various and sundry teaching and equipping series around this core teaching of Jesus and his articulation of being a kingdom people.

And the beauty of our Lord in it all, as disruptive as his work within and amongst us can be, is that He enters in and dines with us. Jesus is at the table. He's slowing us down, and calling us to come to His table and reason together with Him as our host. He's feeding us. We've been interceding for revelation and wisdom regarding what it looks like for "Jesus to get his church back" in 2018 and 2019. Step by step it is coming. So lets continue to lean into the courageous work of repentance. To listen well to the Spirit and to each other. To step towards all the aspects of cleaning house that God is about right now. Whether it is a relook at some of our constitutions and how our leadership teams are operating, or the need to take the painful steps of making adjustments where there's been moral failure or abusive leadership, or taking a deeper, more vulnerable look at our theology and practices and find our current path of obedience. He is with us. He is near.

Step by step we're making it. Be encouraged. Look up, and see Jesus dining with us in this hour. Let the kingdom come.

David and Anita Ruis