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Showing posts from October, 2009

Circle of the Musk Ox

Message by Nathan Riegeras interpreted by Debbie Haughland Chan
It was at an elders’ meeting several years ago that someone received a picture of the musk ox circle.When danger approaches, the musk oxen form a circle, enclosing the weak and vulnerable and face outwards as a solid wall of protection.Nothing but a mouse can get past the power of their horns.Society today gathers around the beautiful and successful, paying homage to those who’ve had the lucky breaks.But what would it be like if, instead of the “best” in the centre and the weaker, less successful crowding around them, the weak and vulnerable were in the centre with the strong and confident encircling them—not in obeisance but as a strong wall, facing away from the centre in solidarity against those on the outside who would destroy?Loneliness.Abandonment.These are places of terror for those living on the fringes of society but what if, as a church, we lived as the musk ox?Not long after the elders’ meeting, the church held …

What Love Does

Children, adults and teens came to Winnipeg Centre Vineyard (WCV) from across Canada to learn What Love Does.Situated in the core of Winnipeg’s toughest, most hurting neighbourhood, WCV has a long track record of reaching out to the poor, the homeless, prostitutes, drug addicts and dealers, the disenfranchised, the marginalised and the weak.How can we cross the forbidden lines in our neighbourhoods?How can the weak and vulnerable be protected from those who would use, abuse and discard them?How can we from the suburbs become one with those from whom we are so different?How can those who have every advantage in life identify with those who have been treated as detritus since white men first stepped foot on this land? Who is my neighbour?We examined these questions through six main sessions punctuated by generous times of singing and dance, workshops, and forays into the community.Speaking were Nathan Rieger, pastor of WCV, Beth Wood from Halifax, Mark Tavener from Langley, B.C. and Dav…

Prime Minister Harper Performs with Yo-Yo Ma at Gala

What fun! And what a great sport our prime minister is!

Harper performed with a little help from his wife

Jessica Leeder and Jane Taber
From Monday's Globe and Mail Sunday, Oct. 04, 2009 10:02PM EDT
The architect of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's surprise concert performance with superstar cellist Yo-Yo Ma at an Ottawa gala Saturday was not a Conservative spin doctor, campaign strategist or image consultant.
The executive producer credit goes to his wife, Laureen, who was the honorary chair of the event and says there was “no big strategic thinking” behind his vocal rendition of the Beatles' anthem, With a Little Help from My Friends.
“I just thought it would be a fun surprise. When was the last time you were shocked? I wanted people to be surprised,” she said. Continue reading here. View video of performance here.

A Corner Turned?--Part Two

Continued from September 27, 2009
Recap: Friday night, two weeks ago, I did something I shouldn’t have even while knowing I shouldn’t. Filled with remorse, the next evening I called one of the elders from church and asked her to come over. She led me to the throne of God and figuratively held my hand while I spoke the whole matter out with God. Then she encouraged me to know that having been forgiven, I can put it all behind me as if it never happened but my sense of guilt and remorse wouldn’t leave.
Sunday morning I went to church, still feeling numb from the previous 36 hours. Forty-five minutes before the service begins, a number of us meet in the Comfy Couch Room to pray—for the service, the speaker, the message, those who will be there and anything else God leads us to. I make a point to be there each week.
As I walked toward the room for prayer, Gloria, an elder involved in prayer oversight, looked up and asked me how I was. I didn’t want to tell her all that had happened th…