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.
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
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There seems to be an increasing emphasis on addressing injustice, at least in the circles I move in. Everywhere I turn, it seems that someone is talking about how we can become more just people. On a recent trip to Toronto for a conference, I was reading Bryan Stevenson's Just Mercy which tells about his work as a lawyer in Alabama, addressing systemic injustices... more
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Words. Words. Words.
Sometimes I tire of them.
Well... that's not exactly true.
I do not tire of them as much as I lose my grip on them.
And then they tumble down, untethered from significance and meaning and emotion.
They become husks without seeds.
Clothes without a warm body.
Balloons without breath.
Sounds without intelligibility.
I am... more
What does it mean to say that "health begets health?" This was the topic for our National webinar for Vineyard Canada on February 24, 2017. In a webinar co-led by David Ruis and me (Beth Stovell) with guests Michael Raburn and Caleb Maskell, leaders visiting with us from Vineyard USA, we unpacked and explored as a community the complexity, depth, and richness of this idea.
From the start our call... more