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A Vision Runs Through It: The Cornerstone-Watershed Story

A Book Proposal
By Lyle Penner

Proposal and Scope

THE PROPOSAL IS to build upon our tenth anniversary video, The Spirit in Watershed: The First Ten Years, to consolidate the legacy of Winnipeg’s Watershed Community (1992–Present), and its two earlier incarnations, the Christian Resource Centre (1977–1983) and Cornerstone Christian Fellowship (1983–1991), into a single volume in print.

The book will be self-published in the hope that the story of Cornerstone-Watershed will not be lost, and that its lessons - in particular its guiding vision - will be of encouragement to others. Its overarching dedication would be to offer a lasting tribute to the work of Spirit in Learning at Cornerstone-Watershed.

pull-out quotationAs in every spiritual community of faith, there has been much pain and joy experienced over the years at Cornerstone-Watershed. The community’s history has been eventful and fruitful, at least in our particular context, towards engendering a life-affirming faith in the Spirit’s presence and work among us.

Perhaps something significant can be gained by looking back and capturing, if we can, what the Spirit has brought to bear in our history. Indeed, how can we move forward with any sense of integrity if we have forgotten what has been forged in our past? How could it be that some former members have remarked years later that their time in Cornerstone-Watershed was their most spiritually formative? Or, how is it possible that several of those who are locally committed to the vision have stated that they believe their commitment is life-long? What is the continuing attraction? And how has this “something” been lived out, and shared with others?

The Cornerstone-Watershed story, from the outset, it seems, has been about real life education, and the possibility of transformation. Who knows what a book telling the community story and its lessons will reveal?

The perspective into the subject material will not be simple chronology but narration around and through “touchstone” or “kairos” moments, specific times of change - shifts in the stream imagedirection of the community’s formation. These period images, as defined by Ira Progoff, if reflected upon, may well capture the essential spirit underlying the external events of Cornerstone-Watershed’s history. Each chapter will seek to flesh out the circumstances that brought these period images into play along with the lessons to be learned from these pivotal events.

Issues that may be addressed, either directly or indirectly, include:

a) What has been the driving vision of Cornerstone - Watershed through its over 20-year history? What are its essential components? Has the vision remained the same, or has it evolved?

b) What has been the relationship between the group’s vision and the personality of the community’s founder?

c) What has been the relationship between Cornerstone-Watershed and its surrounding communities over time?

d) How has spiritual developmental theory been lived out in the Cornerstone-Watershed experience?

e) Given the decline of institutional religion’s influence in today’s culture, to what extent is Watershed a model for “post-Christian” social contexts that strengthen and deepen individuals in community?

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