Becoming a people of Hope. Healing. Hospitality.

David Ruis, Jun 12, 2024, 8:30 PM
David Ruis National Director
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The continuing work of the Spirit's renovating, rejuvenating, and accompanying call to repentance, is a recommence that we are calling our Vineyard Communities across Canada to be patient with and faithful to. We are well aware that this brooding work of the Third Person of the Trinity extends far beyond who we are as an Association. Indeed, the whole Church seems to be in a season of receiving some pretty intense "letters from home." Just as Jesus sent multiple letters to His Church scattered across Asia Minor at the beginning of the Book of Revelation, it most certainly seems that He is once again not only writing mail, but most definitely "reading our mail" as well, and calling us out. Though just as in Revelation, there is not one word that fits all - Seven Letters to seven different Churches - there is a relentless question and call that bleeds through them all - back then, and indeed now - where you have drifted, get back on course.

It reminds me of the statement that John Wimber felt the Lord speak to him at the onset of his tenure of leadership within the Vineyard Movement, "I want my Church back!"

This can practically play out in different ways throughout the journey of any expression of the Church when drift has occurred and the metanoiaing work of repentance required to re-calibrate and get back on course.

For us in Vineyard Canada, we have been leaning into the re-thinking and re-engagement of what it means to have the mission of Christ at our core. You may have heard us using the phrase in various communications and Regional settings, "restoring our missional centre."

Where have we drifted from this centre? If and how we have done so, why has this happened? How does our call to missional engagement as a people called to "seek first the kingdom of God and His justice on the earth - the Jesus Way" flesh out in our local, regional and national spaces?

As we have prayed, dialogued and discerned in various and sundry ways over the past year or so, three key elements have surfaced that we feel shape and inform our understanding of who we are to be as we engage missionally within the Canadian context:

Becoming a people of Hope.

Becoming a people of Healing.

Becoming a people of Hospitality.

Be watching for more information regarding gathering places that we'll be hosting throughout the country to come together around these themes. We will engage in some teaching, reflection, repentance, conversation, worship and prayer around responding to this invitation that we believe is from the Holy Spirit.

Some key texts we will be using to guide our journey of discovery are:

Hope.

We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It's an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God where Jesus, running on ahead of us, has taken up his permanent post as high priest for us.
Hebrews 6:18-20 MSG

Healing.

The reason the Son of Godappeared was to destroy (λύω - untangle) the devil's work.
1 John 3:8

Then Jesus made a circuit of all the towns and villages. He taught in their meeting places, reported kingdom news, and healed their diseased bodies, healed their bruised and hurt lives. When he looked out over the crowds, his heart broke. So confused and aimless they were, like sheep with no shepherd. "What a huge harvest!" he said to his disciples. "How few workers! On your knees and pray for harvest hands!"

The prayer was no sooner prayed than it was answered. Jesus called twelve of his followers and sent them into the ripe fields. He gave them power to kick out the evil spirits and to tenderly care for the bruised and hurt lives, (drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.)
Matthew 9:35-38; 10:1-3 MSG (NIV)

Hospitality

Don't burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don't quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.
Romans 12:11-13 MSG

Our National Listening Team is on deck culling and gleaning the things we're hearing from the Spirit from coast to coast. As you carry Vineyard Canada in your prayers and help us saturate these gatherings and the strategic decisions that come from them in prayer, please forward on any things that you're hearing from the Lord and pass it on to [Please enable JavaScript to see this content]. Also, let us know any stories and insights from the grass roots of who we are together that highlight some of your experiences of being, and becoming, a people of Hope; Healing; and Hospitality. You can pass these on to us via [Please enable JavaScript to see this content].

Here's to the journey. Step by step.

David Ruis