November 5, 2021
Hello Grace Vineyard and Friends!
Welcome to November. Are you ready for the “Holiday Season”?! Yup, it’s here. Soon we’ll be carving turkeys and singing Christmas carols. I gotta be honest, I’m one of those people who loves this time of year and I love Christmas music! So I’m ready. I hope you’re enjoying the latest changes. Here’s a fun one – we get to sleep in an extra hour on Sunday, cuz Daylight Saving Time ends this Sunday morning at 2am, when we set our clocks back one hour. You’re body’s gonna feel like it’s 7am, but the clock’s gonna say 6am and you’ll get to stay in bed that wonderful extra hour!
Missions in Our Own Backyard
I’m thinking about 2 of Jesus’ famous sayings as we get ready for this Sunday: the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37), and the instructions to the disciples that we call “The Great Commission” (Matthew 28:18-20). In what may be a first in world history, those stories are converging on us to form a unique opportunity in bringing the Gospel to the nations without ever leaving San Diego. Due to major crises in our world, such as the recent crisis in Afghanistan with the takeover of the Talilban, literally millions of people are being forced from their homes, and having to make new lives in foreign nations (not just from Afghanistan, but from troubled areas all over the world). Tens of thousands are coming to California. These are people, commonly called “refugees” (though they really prefer we don’t call them that) who will almost definitely be killed or seriously persecuted if they try to return to their own country. They are to us like the wounded traveler in Jesus’ story about the Good Samaritan, and we are like the Samaritan who bandaged the man’s wounds. What’s unique, is that in something like a reversal of the persecution of Acts 8 which scattered the disciples to the nations, this persecution is sending the nations to our backyard. Some (I hope many) of these refugees will receive love and biblical hospitality from Christians, will hear the good news about Jesus in the process, and some of them will in turn share the gospel with family and friends from their home nations. Amazingly, we are being presented with the opportunity to be cross-cultural missionaries in our backyard, just by being loving people and showing compassionate hospitality. Grace Vineyard is developing some projects by which we can offer practical help to families moving to San Diego county. I’ve invited an expert in all of this, who just happens be a close friend, and married to our former youth pastor – Jane Register who works for World Relief – to speak to us this Sunday. I think it’s going to be fascinating, informative, inspiring, and full of the Word of God. I hope you’ll all join us this Sunday for “Missions in Our Own Backyard”.
We’ll be kicking off 4 weeks of missions focus and we’ll be inviting everyone who calls Grace Vineyard their home to either renew their annual commitment to our global missions work, or make a new commitment. I believe this is a very important part of what I was called to lead us into when I was called to become the pastor of our church. Fulfilling the Great Commission is very near to my heart because I belive it is very near to God’s heart. Listen to those amazing words Jesus shared with his disciples once again:
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
Refresh! Worship and Ministry Night November 14
A week from Sunday we have a very special guest in the morning and back in the evening on Sunday, November 14th. Bubba Justice has served the Vineyard USA as our National Coordinator for several years, and has recently accepted the role of Missions Coordinator. Previously he served for 23 years as the senior pastof or the Inverness Vineyard in Birmingham, Alabama. He’ll be speaking in our morning service, and in the evening at 6pm we’ve invited him to lead us in an evening of Holy Spirit empowered ministry. Ammee Huzil will lead an extended time of worship, and from there we’ll move into a ministry time. Please join me in praying for a powerful refreshing in the Spirit. We are praying for empowerment, impartation of gifts, healing, refreshing, and renewal. If you’ve never experienced what the Bible calls a baptism in the Holy Spirit, if you are feeling spiritually dry, if you need physical healing, or if you are experiencing none of those but want to be encouraged in the Presence of the Holy Spirit, this evening is for you. You might began inviting friends who need a touch from the Lord. Please make plans to join us at 6pm on November 14th for Refresh!
Men’s Breakfast November 13
Men, next Saturday, November 13th, is the 2nd Saturday of the month, and that means its time for Biscuits and Gravy! Our monthly men’s breakfast is at Ty’s Burgerhouse, 515 Mission Avenue (just around the corner from our church). This month we are blessed to welcome our dear friend Bill McLeod. Bill has been a worship leader and mentor to many of us in North County for the past 30 years! It’s always good to spend time with Bill, and he always has some great insights to share. Men, I hope you’ll join us…we are incomplete without you, and so much better together!
Praying for Steve Rogers in Honduras
Speaking of a focus on global missions, Steve Rogers has landed in Honduras where he is serving with our Vineyard Honduras partners, especially with a local pastor named Cezar, and helping him minister to the Lenca (indiginous people). Please keep Steve and this trip before the Lord in your prayers. Steve returns on November 16th.
And I believe that’s it for this week’s update. Blessings to all of you, and especially to our ladies on Saturday while at their “Created for Community” one day retreat.
With much love,
Tithes and Offerings Online
THANKS for taking ownership in the life and ministry of Grace Vineyard – it takes all of us! If you’d like to give your tithe or offering online, click the donate button below. Please remember we are “getting our house ready for guests” and have several thousand dollars worth of important improvements waiting on our offerings. If your offering is for a specific purpose such as building or benevolence, please note that where it will prompt you with “what’s this donation for?” Thanks!