December 15, 2023

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!  What a joyful time of year this is.  Both my kids are now on Christmas Break, so I get to spend more time with them.  The church is filled with decorations and lights, our home is decorated, there’s music about the birth of Jesus playing everywhere, Christmas baking is underway…what’s not to love?!   Today is Friday, and it’s time for another Grace Vineyard Weekly Update.  Let’s get started…

I’ve been really enjoying diving into the themes of Advent with you.  This week our theme is Joy!   Did you know that JOY is a very important theme in the Bible?  Do you know who the most joyful person in the universe is?  This week we’ll explore the theme of Joy from the perspective of “Advent – A Season of Expectation”, and I think we’ll all be encouraged.  I hope to see you at 9:30 on Sunday morning.  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.

If you’d like to see/hear the first two messages in this Advent series, we got you covered:

Christmas Eve Candlelight Service

Christmas Eve at Grace Vineyard has become a beautiful tradition in Oceanside.  You can see from this photo what it looks like when we sing “Silent Night” by candle light at the end of our service every year.  We begin at 5pm, and try to finish by 6pm, so everyone has plenty of time to enjoy their own Christmas Eve traditions. At the end of the service we’ll have hot apple cider and homemade Christmas cookies to enjoy in the lobby. We’ll See you there.

HOMEMADE CHRISTMAS COOKIES

Did you catch that last part?  Homemade Christmas cookies come from our homes.  That means we need volunteers to bring a dozen or two or three cookies on Christmas Eve.  If you’d like to volunteer, could you send an email to info@gracevcf.org, or send a text to 760-754-2974 letting us know how many cookies you’ll be bringing?  THANKS!  You can also sign up on the clipboards that we’ll pass around in church this Sunday.

Small Groups on Break Until January

Most of us have busier than usual schedules in the Christmas season, so our small groups are taking a break until the new year.  Groups will begin meeting again the 1st week of January.

End of Year Donations

Every year generous people give extra end of the year donations to their favorite favorite charities, ministries, and church.  For those of you who want to make sure your donation is tax deductible for the 2023 tax year, just make sure your donation arrives at our offices (either online, or via cash or check) by December 31st.  If we receive a donation on January 1st or later, even if it’s a check with a 2023 date, we are required to record it for 2024.

With end of year generosity in mind, I’d like to mention that our Missions Fund could really use an end of the year boost.  Everyone knows that Missions are very important to us because we talk and pray about international missions every Sunday morning.  Newer folks might not realize that we fund our missions work with a “faith pledge” system.  Every year in January we invite every member of our congregation to pledge to give a dollar amount every month for the next year. This is a pledge above the tithe (the “tithe” is 10% of our income that we believe Christians are called to give to support the ministry of their local church). We then take those pledges and build the budget for how much we will send to the missionaries we support in the upcoming 12 months. We always keep some money in reserve in case some people aren’t able keep up with their pledge, and at this point in our year that reserve account is getting pretty low.  So, whether or not you regularly give to our missions program please prayerfully consider giving an end of the year gift to support our missionaries (for online giving, just put “missions” when it asks you what this gift is for; with checks, write “missions” on the memo line, and with cash, put it in an envelope and write “Missions” on the envelope in the Sunday morning offering).  The same goes for our Benevolence fund.  A big THANK YOU to all who are being faithful with your tithes and offerings.

Have a great rest of your weekend, and I look forward to worshiping with you on Sunday morning.

With love and blessings,

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.