No Women Bishops For The Church of England

No Women Bishops For The Church of England

Today marks the end of a 12-year debate within the Church of England on whether or not to open up the bishopry to the female gender. Sadly, while the motion to allow female bishops past in both the House of Bishops (97%) and the House of Clergy  (64%), it failed in the House of Laity by six votes…. Current church law states that this issue can be brought back for another vote in the “same form” during the present general synod’s term – meaning that the issue is now off the table until after 2015 (unless the top six leaders in the church decided to allow an exception, which would be a rare move). It should be noted that women have been allowed to serve as priests within the Church of England since 1994 (there are even some female bishops currently serving within the larger Anglican Communion). The main debate with female bishops is what to do with those parishes who do believe that a women should be in leadership. Should those parishes be allowed to ‘shift’ leaders and have a male bishops? If so, what does that mean to the historical boundaries and geographical areas of the bishopry?  As you can imagine, this is a very heated topic that I doubt will go away… Interestingly enough, the Vineyard had to make a similar choice in the not so distant past. Being an family of independent churches (i.e. each local church ordains and chooses their own pastors), we had some church with women pastors – who, naturally, wanted to be included in the national conversation on the direction of...
Church Planting: An Interview With Ed Stetzer

Church Planting: An Interview With Ed Stetzer

Ed Stetzer has a long and very impressive resume full of planting, revitalizing and pastoring churches across the USA. He has also taught and mentored tons of pastors over the years as well as spend many a hour researching and surveying in state of the local church. Currently he is the President of LifeWay Research and a member of the International Mission Board’s Church Services Team. Accordingly, his comments on church planting in North America have some weight… as in, they are worth listening too and thinking about. Which is why I recommend reading this article detailing a recent interview with Vineyard USA. To help spur you on in reading the interview, I have posted some quotes from Ed along with some of my thoughts below. Reflections on the Church Planting Scene in North America “I think church planting is exploding. But I think it’s also important to note that the focus of many of these movements, and even the methods that they have used, have been influenced by the gifts that the Vineyard gave us all: a heart for church planting, new network approaches and strategies, and a passion for reaching the lost.” Yeah…I couldn’t pass up quoting this piece as it is nice to see such favorable press for one’s tribe. Granted, Ed is talking to the Vineyard USA so it could be a simple ‘don’t bite the hand that is feeding you’ statement…but I seriously doubt that as Ed, who is not part of the Vineyard, doesn’t have a motivation to suck up to the Vineyard. If he didn’t like us, he could simply say so...
A Heritage of Leadership: Vineyard USA History Overview

A Heritage of Leadership: Vineyard USA History Overview

A few days ago I mentioned that the Vineyard USA had recently installed a new National Director; well today, I have discovered (via Jason Clark) an amazing article on the Vineyard USA homesite giving a short history of the movement and the previous five USA national directors. Some of the highlights of the article – which I encourage everyone to read in full – as listed below: The Five Kenn Gulliksen (late 1970’s-1982) John Wimber (1982-1995) Todd Hunter (1995-2000) Bert Waggoner (2000-2012) Phil Strout (2012-Present) As a side note, I love the fact that they mentioned Kenn as he was very foundational in starting the Vineyard Movement. Yet, sadly enough, his leadership is sometimes forgot due to the huge shadow cast by John Wimber. Todd Hunter’s Leadership Years The late 1990’s were a turbulent time full of controversial prophetic and renewal meetings and shifting worldviews, not to mention the fact that John Wimber died in 1997, causing more uneasiness… Talk about getting handed a hornets nest! Having not been there (I joined in 2003), I can’t comment on how well or not-so-well Todd navigating these waters…Yet, what I can tell you is that Todd was on the forefront of the shifting worldview in the USA. This came to light for me a few years ago when I was studying the emerging church. His name (along with some others in the Vineyard) kept popping up time and time again from different sources and denominations. God really used him to spark a worldwide movement that goes beyond the Vineyard; we were just blessed enough to have him journey with us for...
It’s Official!!

It’s Official!!

Six days ago on September 12, 2012 the leadership mantle of the Vineyard USA was officially passed from Bert and Evelyn Waggoner to Phil and Jan Strout. [cue the applause and rejoicing] While there are many things on Phil’s heart as he starts this journey, he took some time today to remind the Vineyard family of his top three priorities: Presence of God Proclamation of the Gospel Practical hands on living Everything will fit in and around these three items – which I think are good anchors to have.  🙂 Phil also asked the Vineyard family if they could pray for him and Jan to have wisdom, courage and kindness. May the Lord granted those prayers and bless them both as they start a new adventure as National Director of the Vineyard...
Reflections on the 2012 Vineyard Northwest Regional Conference

Reflections on the 2012 Vineyard Northwest Regional Conference

I’m back and wiping the cobwebs off my keyboard as I have not touched a computer in a week and a half. Scary, I know…but it was also very refreshing as I attended the Vineyard Northwest Regional Conference in Vancouver, Washington, at the end of June before enjoying a week at the Oregon coast with the family (a much needed vacation and soul rest). Now that I’m back, I would like to take a few days and post some reflections on the conference and the Vineyard Movement as a whole. The theme of the 2012 Vineyard Northwest Regional Conference was “Convergence: For Such a Time As This” as everything is changing this month. The Northwest Region has effetely been split into two separate regions as of this month with Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, South and North Dakota becoming the “Big Sky Region.” The theme of convergence also points to the changes on the national front as Phil Strout takes over as National Director on September 13th. As one could expect, all of the main sessions (and some of the workshops) were focused on this theme. Below is a quick summary of the five main sessions: Main Session 1 “Celebrate the Past” – Bert Waggoner Current Vineyard USA National Director and Acting NW Region Overseer Bert Waggoner kicked off the conference with a look back at the landmarks in our history. Pulling from Joshua 4:1-9 where the Lord tells the Israelites to take twelve stones from out of the Jordan River and create a memorial for the people, Bert listed eleven ‘stones’ that God has given to us as a Vineyard...