March 19, 2021
Hello Grace Vineyard and Friends, and welcome to a new weekend.
I hope you’ve had a good week. For me, this has been one of those weeks lived in the tension between being in this present world with its all-too-common pain on the one hand, and living as a people on whom the future age has broken in by the power or the Holy Spirit on the other. A lady who has come to our gatherings for decades, Lorraine Leeds, finished her race this week after a very prolonged illness. We are lifting up our prayers in support of Lorraine’s husband, Dennis. And, my own father is in the hospital right now. Yet, at the very time I received word that my dad was in an ambulance, I was with a group of North County pastors enjoying the sweet fellowship afforded by the Spirit, and they immediately went into prayer for him. (He is stable, by the way, but dealing with some serious issues, so we keep pressing on in prayer). I honestly don’t know how people can go through this life without Jesus and the presence of His Spirit! It is so good to experience His Presence, especially in the community of His loving church. That’s just one more reason why I love our times together as a church family! If you, like me, are experiencing the tension of the already and the not-yet, make sure to invite some of us brothers and sisters to pray for and with you. It’ll make all the difference in the world.
This Sunday once again will be looking into the scriptures to continue learning about the Presence of the Spirit in our lives. This time we’ll be learning more about how when we are together in community He leads and empowers our prayers to be effective, and how He orchestrates our worship in a beautiful exchange of giving and receiving. I’m encouraged as I read and study. I think we all will be. We are thankful to be able to meet in person in our building AND online via zoom and Facebook live. I’m looking forward to seeing you all either way. Here’s the zoom info for your convenience:
One tap mobile
We’ll be streaming the Zoom meeting on Facebook live for those who can’t join our zoom meeting; just go to our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/gracevcf.
The Third Option Small Group
Back in October a group of us met for 6 weeks to go through Miles McPherson’s “The Third Option” study. I found it to be very insightful and helpful, and it gave us tools that have continued to empower us to honor the image of God in all people, especially those with whom we don’t always agree. The group does deal with racial issues, but actually goes a lot deeper by helping to uncover biases that transcend race, and of which we are often unaware, providing powerful ways to overcome them. I’d love it if more people in our congregation would experience this training.
Greg Hudgens and Sheri Winter will be facilitating the group this time. It will be on Tuesday nights at 7-9pm beginning April 13th, and will be on zoom. Each week you’ll watch a teaching from Miles McPherson, and then do some interesting exercises and guided discussions about the themes that were taught that week. If you haven’t had the opportunity to get to know Greg and Sheri yet, I’d join this group just for the opportunity to hang out with them! They are a delightful couple, and have their own experiences with racial issues that will really help you to understand more deeply and personally this very important topic.
There is a $20 materials fee for which you’ll get a hardcopy of Mile’s McPherson’s “The Third Option” book, and a print copy of the workbook that you’ll need for the group. If the $20 is a hardship, just let us know, as we have scholarships available, and we want to make sure there are no barriers for anyone who wants to attend.
If you have questions, or if you are ready to sign up, please send an email to email@example.com.
We still have room for 12 more participants, so sign up right away!
Here’s a 1 minute promo video from Miles:
And if you’d like even more info, check out https://milesmcpherson.com/unity/ where you’ll find more videos of Miles.
2021 Marriage Getaway September 24-26
We are so excited to announce that the annual marriage retreat is going to happen this year again, September 24-26 at the Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa. The Marriage Getaway has been a highlight of the year to many of us for the last decade. This year’s speakers are Bill and Pam Farrel. All the info and registration is at this link. Check out this promotional video:
These Marriage Getaways are extremely popular and could sell out very quickly, so register as soon as you can.
Please Remember Our Building Fund
We are still chipping away at our $20,000 building fund goal. Thank you to all who have donated – we have raised about $8,700 so far! If your family is like my family, this week you may have had a deposit made to your bank account with $1,400 for each member of your family; I’m referring, of course, to the federal covid relief/stimulus money. Those of us who practice tithing will be giving at least 10% of that money to our church. Would you also pray to see if the Lord would like you to donate any of it to our building refurbishing? What a blessing we have been given with this beautiful house of worship, and with that blessing comes the responsibility to care for it. We’re also still fine tuning our plans with our flooring contractor and will let you know as soon as we’re ready to get to work. Most of you know we’re saving money by doing the non-skilled labor of pulling up our old carpets ourselves, so we’re building a volunteer team and need your help – let Steve Rogers know if you are interested in helping – contact him at 760-500-4324 or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’d like to donate to the building fund, we’d really appreciate it, cuz there’s no source of funding other than each of us! We are definitely in this together. Here’s a button for donating on line: building-fund donation.
See you Sunday! Come prayed up and ready to worship our living God in Spirit and in Truth, as Jesus said. I can’t wait!
Blessings and love to each of you,
Tithes and Offerings Online
Thank you for your generosity and faithfulness! We could not do what we do without you. We believe God has chosen to meet the material needs of His church through the tithes and offerings of His people. (Tithe means literally 1/10 or 10% of our income). We encourage everybody to be committed to a church family, and if Grace Vineyard is where you are committed, we’ve provided this online tool for you; click on the “donate” button below to get started. (Note: if you’re giving an offering for the building fund or the benevolence fund in addition to your tithe, please mention that in the notes section after you land on our paypal page). THANKS for taking ownership in the life and ministry of Grace Vineyard – it takes all of us!