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Dear friends,

I am writing from a hotel room in Jasper. Anida and I are most grateful to be seeing parts of Canada again that remind us how overawed we were at the beauty of this country when we first arrived. We have ‘upped our game’ as it relates to being real Canadians, as this is our first winter drive Southwards.

We had done the trip by road twice in summer previously but feel that this drive was a rite of passage to Canadian identity. I felt God speaking to me all the way down. The message I heard was ‘vigilance.’ The road was used as a physical illustration, but the message was spiritual. We need in this season to be on our guard and vigilant to what surrounds us.

On Saturday 15 January, the Pastoral Leadership Team met and a number of issues that have ‘snuck up on us’ without us necessarily noticing were raised. Yellowknife has always been a transitional city and there is a cyclical pattern that tends to repeat itself every two or three years. It is a pattern that necessitates rebuilding ‘from the bottom up’ every few years. As someone in the meeting said to me when I raised some of these issues: ‘Welcome to Yellowknife!’ However, the past two years has exaggerated this normal pattern quite substantially and there are things we need to address. The plan is that I will do this in a series of blogs over the next two months. Some of the changes that have happened and some of the things that will be addressed include, but are not limited to:

  • Having a congregation that looks quite different now, from what it did two years back. We have lost about forty to fifty people and have gained about twenty people. We do not know the new people well and they do not know us well. This means we will be introducing ourselves to them. We also hope that in time when full in person gathering resumes, they will be able to introduce themselves to us.
  • Our leadership team has also changed over the same period, and we need to introduce the leaders to you over a few blogs. New ministries have been added to our offering.
  • Our long-term vision of having a 24/7 type multi-purpose church center is on hold for now, since this is not a season in which we are able to envision, nor is it wise to do so. More immediate missional needs have become apparent. A ‘new home’ is still there on the distant horizon but has been moved to the back burner for now. I need to share by blog, what some more immediate opportunities and possibilities are. Our exploratory journey with Calvary Community Church continues.
  • For many of the newcomers the Vineyard is a new tribe. This means I will have to write into some Vineyard 101 teachings in these blogs. What our spiritual DNA is. How we gather. What our leadership and accountability structures look like etc. For some of you this might be old hat, but we need to revisit these things for the sake of new family and for the sake of building on the solid foundation that is Jesus.
  • In 2021, lockdown meant we were unable to have a public meeting as an AGM. In April or May of 2022, we need to correct this situation and re-address how the AGM functions in Vineyard churches.

These are some of the things I will be addressing in a series of blogs for the next month or two. Please do take the time to read and to process. As always questions are welcomed. It is helpful for me to address and muse into these things while being away. Being out of the church loop allows the Spirit to give me clarity of thought. Please pray with me as we rebuild and repurpose our church from the bottom up, listening intently to the Spirit as we do this.

Grace and peace to you