June 9, 2023
Hello Grace Vineyard Family and Friends of Grace Vineyard,
This has been another great week! Better than usual, in fact. Last Sunday I wasn’t able to be with you because Kim and I were up at UC Santa Barbara where our daughter, away at college, got baptized with the incredible church family that she is part of up there. It was a beautiful day and experience in every possible way. I LOVE the body of Christ. There is nothing that comes close to the blessing of being part of a healthy, Christ Centered body of believers. The love and support you get, and the personal growth you experience in the community of believers just can’t be found anywhere else. Conversely, when Jesus Followers become isolated from the body of Christ, it is almost inevitable that their emotional and spiritual health will suffer for it. I’m so thankful to be in our Grace Vineyard family with you all.
While I was gone last Sunday, Steve Rogers brought a message on Finding Strength, and I’ve heard nothing but great reviews. We just put the message up on our YouTube channel, so I’ll link in a copy right here for your convenience:
We had another high point in our week – our son graduated from High School on Wednesday. What a joy it was to see all the hundreds of graduates and their families celebrating this great milestone in their lives. Such a diversity of people and experiences and hopes and dreams were on display on the field – I marvel that the Lord is intimately acquainted with each of these lives, overflowing with love for each one, and rich with His own dreams for their flourishing in relationship with Him. I hope you join me in worshipful wonder at the magnificence of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.
New Series from the book of Acts
We’ll be starting a new teaching series this coming Sunday morning. Having just completed a series leading up to the day of Pentecost called “Empowered”, I felt we would do well to read some accounts from the book of Acts to see what we can learn from the 1st Jesus Followers and their experiences after being baptized with the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. I’m calling the series “Witness – Stories from the 1st Jesus Followers”, and I got this title from those first Jesus Follower’s many and varied experiences of being witnesses for Jesus as a result of being filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit. For example, look at this passage:
Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” (Luke 24:45-49)
Jesus spoke these words to the disciples on the night of His resurrection, and repeated similar words before He ascended to the Father in heaven. As we read through the book of Acts, we see this reality of being witnesses, both in word and deed, repeated over and over again. And of course it’s one of our primary callings to continue being witnesses of Jesus and His Gospel of the Kingdom in our world today. We’ll mostly be reading stories from the book of Acts and drawing principles for our lives as we study the scriptures together in the coming weeks. This week I plan on reading Acts 2:42-47 together as we look at the first story following the day of Pentecost.
Celebrating our Graduates
This Sunday, right after church, we’re having another lunch together – this time in honor of our 2023 graduates. We’ll have a few people grilling hot dogs and hamburgers, and a bunch of you have signed up to bring picnic-style sides (salads, chips, desserts, etc.). If you didn’t sign up last week, you can still join us of course! (Just consider bringing something to share like a salad, chips, or dessert). Our volunteer teams are going to do their best to have everything ready right after our service is done on Sunday. These fellowship lunches are always great, so don’t miss it!
Talking about graduates reminds me of our new Prayer for Grace Vineyard Youth and America’s Youth – Wednesday evenings 6 – 6:30pm by Zoom. We are seeing the Lord moving among the youth in Oceanside and in other areas of America like Asbury and we want to pray into what the Lord is doing. Irene Archer is leading the prayer. If you have any questions, please call her at 760.672.6460. Here’s the Zoom link: https://us04web.zoom.
This weekend we also have a couple more fellowship opportunities:
Ladies Beach Walk & Men’s Breakfast This Saturday
Saturday morning (June 10), we have our monthly Women of Grace walk/hike. This month Kathy Green is leading the ladies on a Carlsbad Beach Walk. Please join the ladies at the grassy area at Pine Ave. and Carlsbad Blvd at 9am. If you would like to go, please let Kathy know – call/text Kathy at 760.583.1779.
Also this Saturday, we have our monthly Men’s Breakfast at Ty’s Burgerhouse at 515 Mission Ave (around the corner from the church). We have a great breakfast with eggs, bacon, potatoes, and biscuits and gravy. So Good! After some great fellowship over breakfast with our brothers from Grace, we worship together and enjoy an inspiring message. This month we have a guest speaker named Bob Nealon. I’ve spent time getting to know Bob and the ministry work he does around North County, so I can tell you I’m sure you’re going to be inspired. Join us at 8am Saturday!
New Men’s Group Begins Wednesday, June 14
Next Wednesday 06/14/23 at 7pm, we kick-off another year of discipling men in Biblical truths with the following subjects:
1. A Man and His Design
2. A Man and His Story
3. A Man and His Traps
4. A Man and His Work
5. A Man and His Marriage
6. A Man and His Children
This is for all men in the church from 16-106 (+) years of age! It’s the Authentic Manhood series, and the guys that have gone through it not only benefited greatly, they usually want to go through it a second time, it was so good the first time. He’s a little intro video about the series:
Steve Pittman will be hosting this group, and you can talk to him after church for more information, or contact him at 760-525-0748. Contact Steve to get the address for the first meeting this coming Wednesday, June 14th at 7pm.
Finally I want to remind you to register for Golf For Hope.
Register for “Golf For Hope”
The “Golf For Hope” golf tournament fundraiser is coming up in July for Convicted for Christ. Most of you will remember that Richard “Snake” Ertel and Michael Aplikowsky lead a nonprofit organization in Oceanside called Convicted for Christ. You can check out https://www.convicted4christ.org to learn some more about their great work here in North County (or just ask Snake or Michael after church on Sunday, and I’m sure they’ll be happy to tell you lots of great stories). They currently run one sober living home where men are working on recovery from addiction, and they are looking for their next home to purchase so they can minister to more men. They also do a ton of street ministry among the homeless in North County and are constantly seeing transformation in the lives of the people they are encountering. In fact, several people from our congregation regularly join the team from Convicted for Christ during the week, and I would encourage you to join them if at all possible. Please sign up for “Golf For Hope” by emailing Snake at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by going to the website https://www.convicted4christ.org.
Note that if you don’t golf, you can come to the dinner portion of the event for only $25. Let’s support this great ministry birthed right out of our own Grace Vineyard Family!
And that’s it for this week’s weekly update. Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and I’ll see you Sunday morning.
With love and blessings,
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.
Don’t forget we’re needing to build up our building fund for some important improvements around our Grace Vineyard home. If you’d like to give a special offering, just make sure to mention “building fund” in the “what’s this donation for” section of the online giving system. Thanks!