December 2, 2023
Happy December, Grace Vineyard and Friends of Grace Vineyard!
I have to admit, I’m listening to some Gospel Christmas music right now, and it’s filling my heart with joy (if you’re curious, at the moment I’m listening to “A Very Maverick Christmas Special” on YouTube.com). I love the Christmas season. I love the decorations, and the music, and the baking, and the gift giving. When I was a boy, the beginning of December filled me with expectation – everything I just said about Christmas Season, PLUS my birthday is in December, PLUS I knew an extend break from school was coming…what’s not to love about all that?!
That’s what the Advent season is about, and that’s our theme for the month of December: “Advent – A Season of Expectation”.
Advent is the 4 Sunday season leading up to Christmas Day. The word “Advent” comes from a Latin word, “adventus”, which means “arrival” or “coming”. It means “the coming or arrival of something or someone that is important or worthy of note”. For Christians around the world, Advent is a season of spiritual preparation for celebrating the coming of the birth of Christ, and the variety of Christians around the world have a variety of expressions for this season with everything from Advent wreaths and Jesse Trees to the lighting of colored candles with each color representing a theme of Advent. We think about the arrival of Christ, celebrated at Christmas, and we think about the arrival of Christ at His second coming still in the future, and we think about the arrival of Christ as His Kingdom breaks into our lives here and now in our present. Whatever the various traditions, pretty much all of them share a focus on 4 themes during the season – Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love – and we’re going to follow that focus ourselves at Grace Vineyard. So this week our theme will be Hope. It’s a really important theme right now for our world, where especially among young people in our nation there is a famine of hope that seems to be spreading. But I’m here to tell you, in the Kingdom of God there is no lack of hope! We’ll be talking about the real, solid, dependable HOPE we can have in our lives as we Trust in Christ, and I think we’ll all be encouraged!
Here are some of upcoming activities we have to look forward to this month…
Decorating for Christmas
As I write these words, a team of volunteers is beginning to decorate the church for Christmas. We have a second phase of decorating tomorrow after church and we need many hands- male and female – to help. We will provide Pizza and salad tomorrow for all you volunteers. Please let Kim Ohst know if you plan to come so we have enough food (760.519.4558).
Ladies Christmas Luncheon, December 9
All the ladies are all invited to join us for our annual Christmas Luncheon, and this Sunday is the last Sunday to sign up and pay for our Christmas luncheon. It’s Saturday, December 9th at the church from 11am to 2pm. Michelle Wilson, pastor of Coast Vineyard in San Diego, will be speaking. We’ll also have Christmas worship and eat delicious soups, salad and desserts. Cost is $15. Sign up to bring a soup or dessert or set and host a table. Bring a $10 (or less) wrapped gift or ornament for the exchange. We’ll also be collecting money donations to bless our missionaries Eddie and Bethany and their kids for Christmas. Call Kim Ohst for more information 760.519.4558.
Christmas Luncheon Set Up: We’ll be setting up for the Christmas Luncheon on Friday, December 8th at 12pm. Please contact Kim Ohst if you plan to help.
Three “Story Teller” Groups
Check out this flyer:
We want to make sure you know about our 3 StoryTeller Groups — you can read the story, tell the story and write the story. The flyer above gives more details We meet the first Saturday of the month at the church from 9-10:30am to hear a woman tell her story. The third Saturday of the month at the church from 9-10:30am is a time to focus on writing. This group includes teaching, accountability, timed writing with a prompt and critique. Michele Goane’s contact information is on the flyer.
Men’s Breakfast Next Saturday
That’s right, men. It’s time for our last Men’s Breakfast of the year, and we’re very happy to have our own Christian Twombly as our speaker this month. We meet at Ty’s Burgerhouse at 8am on Saturday, December 9th. We’ll have a great breakfast, excellent fellowship with the guys, a time of worship, and an inspiring word from Christian. I hope to see you there!
And that’s a wrap for this week’s update email. Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow for worship at 9:30. If you have to be away you can 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.
With blessings and love, and hope and peace and joy this special season,
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.