Vineyard Formation cares about growing strong disciples of Jesus. We support and resource the Vineyard in Canada through continuing education, spiritual direction, children's and youth ministry, educational guidance & support, and more.
A significant portion of our gathering as a church community is spent in what we call worship. It is usually a time when we sing songs together. For the most part, we assume that people know what to do during these times of worship. We encourage people to engage, to be present, to participate, but we say very little about what that might look like. In some ways, worship is natural; we easily... more
Much of the thinking and writing I have been doing for the past year or so, especially in academic settings, has to do with how hierarchy is embedded in our theology and ways of structuring communities. To me, that's not a good thing. One of the papers I presented on the topic last year was titled, "Toppling the Divine Hierarchy: How Trinitarian Thinking Shapes our Communities." Essentially, I... more
You cannot see attachments on this board.
How are you doing? All good? I am doing pretty well, thanks for asking. Well, to be honest, I do have a bit of discomfort. Not so much externally, but inside. I am sitting at my desk, staring at a calendar mottled with deadlines, meetings, events, and tasks. None of that screams relaxation. Quite the opposite. Putting myself out there on a regular basis as... more
A group of us have been working through the fascinating book of Revelation. It has been enlightening in so many ways. I liken it to walking through an art gallery filled with images which, at first glance, seem bizarre and unrelated, but after spending some dedicated time with the works of art and taking in a guided tour with an art historian, you start to see how the pictures fit together... more
Of late, debates on any subject tend to leave a bad taste in my mouth. I have observed my share of debates (in academic, political, and online settings) and engaged in a few myself. Debating societies have been around for a few centuries and the form goes all the way back to Ancient Greece. The idea is that debating helps people develop rhetorical skills and sound reasoning. However, I wonder if... more
When I ask people what their favourite part of the Christmas story is, I get a variety of answers. Kids like the angels and the animals. Others mention the incarnation, the courage of Mary, the kindness of Joseph to a son who was not his own, the remarkable dreams which led the young family away from danger, or the excitement of the shepherds. Very seldom does anyone mention the genealogies. I am... more
We live in a context of stratification where much of society is ordered into separate layers or castes. We are identified as upper class, middle class, or lower class. Our language reflects this up/down (superior/inferior) paradigm. We want to be at the top of the heap, climb the ladder of success, break through the glass ceiling, be king of the hill. This same kind of thinking seeps into our... more
One of most prevalent names we have for God is Almighty. We find this designation appearing not only in the scriptures but in creeds. The Nicene Creed begins: "We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible..." In theological terms, we find this aspect represented by the word omnipotent (omni = in all ways, potent = powerful). All of... more
The Sustainable Faith School of Spiritual Direction is now growing at a phenomenal rate! What was once a small equipping ministry at Vineyard Central in Norwood (Cincinnati, Ohio) (USA) designed for raising up a handful of church leaders in spiritual direction has now become a multi-dimensional, cross-denominational ministry that rewards... more
This past week, I was sitting in a hospital waiting room while my mom had cataract surgery, a minor outpatient procedure. I watched people come and go and, after a few hours, it began to dawn on me that people who arrived after I did had already left the hospital. The nurse had informed me that it would take about an hour, but as the minutes ticked by, I knew something was amiss. That moment when... more
|Image by Sophie Gallo|
Think about a typical day in your life. What's the first thing you do when you wake up? What's your morning ritual? What do you do during your lunch hour? What's the last thing you do before you go to bed? We all have life rhythms. Every day, we do certain things at a certain time in a certain way. Most of the time, we don't even think about these habits; they are... more
Ever since I began graduate studies, I have presented at least one paper at an academic conference every year. Most years it is multiple papers at multiple conferences. Each paper represents weeks of research, writing, and editing as well as considerable time putting together a slide presentation and practicing the talk out loud to make sure it falls within the time limit. I have traveled as far as... more