Happy New Year, Grace Vineyard and friends!  Welcome to 2024!!

We made another trip around the sun.  Here’s an interesting scientific tidbit -we’re traveling around the sun at 67,100 miles per hour.  That’s equivalent to traveling from London to New York in about 3 minutes.  So, if you ever feel like you are moving just too fast, now you know you really are!  🙂

2024 marks an important 20 year anniversary for Kim and me – 20 years ago in 2004, the leadership of Grace Chapel of the Coast asked me to become our church’s senior pastor.  It would be another 11 years before we would hear the Lord’s call to bring our church into the Vineyard movement.  It’s been a great journey with you all, and it continues to be wonderful.

 

One of the first and most important initiatives I pressed into at that time was to get serious about international missions.  I felt a burden that our church must take to heart the last words of Jesus recorded in Matthew’s Gospel (see Matthew 28:18-20), often called “The Great Commission”. He gave them an assignment so profoundly simple, and so far-reaching that it would touch every people group on the entire planet, and would continue to be in force until He returns at His second coming.  The purpose of the plan was for those original 11 disciples to duplicate what Jesus had done in them in the lives of new disciples, including these instructions of duplication as well as everything else he taught those original disciples, so that every new disciple would also make disciples who themselves would make new disciples, and so on, until the entire planet would be filled with people who know and worship Jesus, and learn to live their lives like Jesus would if He were living their lives. They were specifically instructed to do this disciple-duplication mission not only among the people in their immediate circle of influence, but in every people group in the entire world. It’s a spiritual implementation of what we see in nature: reproduction where DNA is passed from generation to generation.   (We recently saw this process take place in the natural world in a negative way when a novel virus – the Corona Virus called COVID19  – duplicated itself from person to person rapidly until it filled the entire planet.)  So, we commissioned a task force to pray and study about the best way to establish a local church missions program, and after many months they proposed a policy for implementing our Grace Missions ministry that remains to this day very close to our current program.  Grace Vineyard Missions was born.

Jesus Says, “Go!”

For the Sundays in January, we are going to turn our emphasis toward understanding and obeying the words of Jesus in the “Great Commission” that I just described.  Our theme for the month is, “Jesus says, ‘Go!'”  Here are the words from Matthew’s Gospel:

Matthew 28:18-20 (English Standard Version)

18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  19  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

This is so important for us to understand and assimilate!  I’m very excited that we have invited some excellent communicators who have extensive life experience in implementing The Great Commission to join us this month.  You are going to be blessed!

This Sunday, Brooke Cerny will be joining us.  Brooke and her husband Sam recently planted a new Vineyard church in Orange County called Vineyard Yorba Linda (in Yorba Linda, of course).  They have a special connection with our church because Sam and Brooke worked with our own Sharon Mitchell when they were doing international missions work in Asia.  You’re going to love her! In addition to her ministry with Vineyard Yorba Linda, she is serving as the area leader for Vineyard churches in Orange County and San Diego County. I can’t wait to hear her unique perspective on the Great Commission.  I hope to see all of you on Sunday morning at 9:30.  If you have to be away for any reason you can still join us online via zoom with this info:  Zoom Meeting ID  153 112 432, Passcode 684814. You may also join us on Facebook Live at facebook.com/gracevcf.

We have a couple other events coming up this next week:

Monthly Ladies Walk/Hike

Next Saturday, January 13th, our ladies will be meeting at 9am to walk in the Oak Riparian Park at 4625 Lake Blvd in Oceanside.  Enjoy a sweet time of fellowship along with some light exercise.  If you plan on coming, please call/text Kathy Green at 760-583-1779.

Men’s Breakfast Next Saturday

While the ladies are walking the men will be feasting.  Next Saturday is the first men’s breakfast of 2024.  We meet at Ty’s Burgerhouse at 515 Mission Avenue,  just around the corner from the church.  We’ll enjoy a delicious breakfast including an egg scramble with onions, peppers, sausage, bacon, potatoes, and, of course, biscuits and gravy.  We’ll worship together, and Steve Rogers will be bringing an encouraging word.   We’ll reserve some time to pray for each other, for the guys that want to participate.

After Church Prayer Next Sunday

Next Sunday, January 14, please plan on staying after church for our all church prayer meeting.  We started this 2 months ago in November, and will continue on the 2nd Sunday of every month.  Sharon Evans leads this prayer meeting, and she has put together a really cool set up for us.  She has a bunch of prayer stations set up around the terrace, and we each make a circuit around the stations, spending 5 minutes or so at each one.  The prayer stations each have a prayer focus.  This is an excellent way to stay engaged in prayer that is really helpful if you’re like me and find your mind wandering when you try to pray for an extended period of time.  Prayer is powerful!  Prayer is the strength and energy that is essential to making effective everything we do for the Lord.  Please join us!

Superbowl Party, Chili & Cornbread Cook-off

You’ll hear more about this on Sunday morning, but we’re getting ready to have a giant Super Bowl Party on February 11.  We’ve recently installed new bulbs in our big screen projector and it looks great.  We’ll be showing the Super Bowl on the giant screen, and snacking on Super Bowl party food.  We’re gonna have a Chili Cook-off, Cornbread Cook-off, and I think maybe one more item.  There are prizes for each of the winners, so dust off your favorite recipes, get your chili pots ready,  and may the odds be ever in your favor (quoting Effie Trinket, for those of you who got the reference).

And that’s it for our first email update of 2024.  Enjoy your weekend, and I’ll see you on Sunday!

with love and blessings to each of you,

Ron Ohst


Tithes and Offerings Online

THANKS for taking ownership in the life and ministry of Grace Vineyard!  And thanks to all of you who are stepping into a lifestyle of generosity with your tithes and offerings.  It really does take all of us doing our part with the income God has entrusted to us for His church. If you’d like to give your tithe or offering online, click the donate button below.