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Missional Family Church Model June 2022
Do more together.

That's what got Darcy & Liz Dueck at Citizens Church in Elmira, ON thinking about doing church differently. Less programs, less separating everyone into different age groups - but instead a church designed around the model of a missional family. In April 2020 (that's right - right after the beginning of the pandemic!), this new church plant with a vision team of 7 people launched their first gathering. Riding the waves of restrictions, their small but flexible church has gathered indoors, outdoors, and in small groups.

People have been drawn to this different way of discipleship. There's more doing than just talking about church. In their missional families of about 20 people, encompassing all ages and stages, they meet twice a month for a meal, worship, and mission. Pastoral care and celebration also take place within the missional families. The families discern a common mission, while encouraging and supporting individual mission in their own particular contexts. Citizens Church keeps a simple calendar: Sunday gatherings, missional families twice a month, sacred communities (for prayer and Scripture), and monthly youth gatherings.

Darcy Dueck has a particular love for the local church and a keen desire to move the church forward. Inspired by his own missionary experience in Africa, stories of the early church in Acts, and conversations with VMC staff, he is appreciating more and more the missional family church model.

Keep reading for a congregant's personal experience with the missional family church model and for a few resources to get you thinking, along with someone to call for help!

Nicole Bauman shares an inspiring account of her personal experience of being part of a missional family. It has strengthened and sweetened her family's life beyond what they expected!

Matt Pamplin is a great guy to talk to about missional families. As pastor of St. Clair Community Church and VMC staff (along with being someone who teaches about this way of doing church at Wycliffe College in Toronto and coaches interested church leaders,) Matt is willing to share his experience
and learning with you.

Feel free to email him at Matt Pamplin
Answered Prayer!
After being trapped in Myanmar/Burma for over two years during the pandemic, our dear friend Indy Cungcin (leader of the Chin Christian Fellowship of Canada) is now safe in India.

He is receiving medical care right now and
we pray that he will be reunited with his family in Canada very soon.

Thank you for your faithful prayers -
God is good!
Thinking Shrewdly 2022 Events Recap

We love to bring leaders together! So our hopes were high as we planned to host one day events in 6 regional cities across the country this Spring. The response from leaders was mixed resulting in 3 events (Waterloo, Halifax and Calgary) going ahead and 3 events (Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal) being postponed.
But what a blessing to bring pastors, elders and other leaders together again! 
Our focus was titled “Keening for the Dawn: Lament, Hope & Yearning for God” and participants were encouraged to create space for lament as well as renew personal habits of soul care for spiritual vitality and sustained ministry. It was exciting to hear the lively discussions these topics produced as we spent time in smaller groups. 
At the end of each event, we were reminded of the essence of Christian leadership and that we not called to lead all on our own. We have the Holy Spirit leading us and we co-labour with our brothers and sisters together!
We ask you to pray with us that God will provide more opportunities like this to gather together as leaders to be refreshed and encouraged.

TS Regional Gathering 2022: Calgary

Hey Jay, I just want to say a big thank you to you and to Vision Ministries for the fantastic day you provided for us as ministry leaders. You correctly identified that it has been a long and tiring two years as we’ve worked through the pandemic. To be able to come and be ministered to, built into, and encouraged (in a context in which I was responsible for absolutely nothing except just being there) was gift to my soul. Every part of it was done with excellence. It felt Spirit-full and it touched a deep place inside of me. Each speaker said exactly the right things.

I find myself going back to the ideas and thoughts presented during the day. And I loved the story you told, Jay. It caught my imagination. “I hope our disagreements will not hinder our ability to love each other.” The right words for this cultural moment! The band was masterful and the lead-in to communion was probably one of the most thought-provoking invitations to the Table I’ve ever heard. I left on Saturday so grateful I’d been there and so grateful we are part of this association of churches. 

I would be amiss if I didn’t say thank you. You are doing good and important work!
Susan Thiessen, Varsity Bible Church
Photo Credit: Kazuki Tomoda (Unsplash)
TS Regional Gathering 2022: Halifax

The TS gathering in Halifax was a great encouragement to all. There were over 30 people present from Halifax and Dartmouth churches. Mike's talk on "Lament" was embraced, and we processed the disruption of the last years.

Cheryl Ann Beals is the Clergy Formation and Wellness pastor for the Baptist churches in the East. She started with Galatians 2:20...I live in this "earthly body" trusting in Jesus. "Soul Care in the Midst of Crisis" was her topic, and she delivered 6 practices of soul care...as we live in these imperfect bodies , trusting in Jesus. As we took time to process what the LORD was saying to us through each of the practices, many participants were deeply moved and encouraged. I spoke last (Doug Loveday) on shared leadership. We were never meant to go it alone, but to welcome more onto the team, yoked together with Jesus, and yoked together with one another. We closed with a powerful sense of Communion with the LORD Jesus,and with one another, as we took the bread and cup, celebrating our "perfectly imperfect " unity in our amazing Saviour. It was a wonderful day.

-Doug Loveday
Photo credit: Ferdinand Matos (Unsplash)
Photo credit: Dawson Lovell (Unsplash)
Regional Networks: Toronto & London
Toronto: We have launched a ten-part, Team Leadership Training program on zoom in cooperation with Viji Roberts of Biblical Eldership. I (Gord) taught the first two sessions on "Joining God in His Mission" and "How does a local church thrive?" There are about 15 participants. We have a brief lecture, break-out room dialogue - followed by homework for each of the participants.

We are preparing to have a prayer breakfast on July 2nd. Part of our agenda will focus on discussing the results of a Lifeway survey of 1000 + American pastors. They identified the top 17 things those pastors struggled with. The number one item was "Developing leaders and volunteers:" 77% identified this as their number one struggle. 

London: The group is now being hosted by Mosaic, an intercultural church. Their pastors, Andrew Karam and David Cottrill, are hosting a pastors group at their Wednesday morning staff prayer and Bible study meeting at 10:30. They are deliberately seeking to expand their group by reaching out to long time Canadian pastors as well as New Canadian pastors.

-Gord Martin
Gord Martin: Retirement
Our Founder and Associate Director, Gord Martin, is officially retiring on June 30th after 30 years with VMC.

Gord and his wife Heather have faithfully served in full-time ministry for over 50 years, beginning as missionaries in Ecuador and Columbia.

In 1992, Gord founded Vision Ministries Ontario with a passion to plant new churches in Ontario through a collaborative and supportive network of churches. Over many years and with the help of many others and through God’s provision, VMC and the network of churches in Canada have grown to where they are today.

Gord led VMC as Executive Director for 24 years before handing the reins to Mike Stone in 2016. Gord has remained a huge supportive presence for Mike and the staff team during the last 6 years. Now Gord and Heather look forward to a little more time to enjoy other pursuits while still helping VMC pursue its mission in a volunteer capacity.

For those that would like to know more about Gord’s story, we invite you to purchase a copy of his book, Doing It Afraid: Not Afraid to Be Afraid. Available on amazon!

The Board and Staff of VMC wish you, Gord and Heather, all the best in your retirement. It has been our privilege, along with so many others, to serve with you and be ministered by you. Thank you for your faithful service to the Lord!
To read Gord's own words...

Monthly VMC Prayer Meetings - Please join us!
Did you know that a prayer team gathers online monthly to praise God for the work he is doing among VMC churches and leaders and to intercede for the personal and ministry challenges they face. If you have prayer requests, please send them - we would be happy to pray for you!

Would you like to minister to others in prayer?  Send us your name and email and we’ll invite you to join us on Zoom for an hour of prayer, the first Thursday of each month.  Worried you won’t be able to make it every time?  Most of us can’t—just connect those months that you’re available.
To sign up or request further information contact Mike Stone at mike.stone@vision-ministries.org

The VMC prayer team gathers on the first Thursday of the month at the following times across the country:  1:00-2:00pm (Atlantic), Noon-1:00pm (Eastern), 11:00-Noon (Central), 10:00-11:00am (Mountain) and 9:00-10:00am (Pacific).
Click the link below for the full poster:

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All VMC churches have access to a pre-paid subscription, along with training, resources, and workshops from the Waybase team. Sign up today at www.waybase.com/vmc