July 14, 2023
Hello Grace Vineyard and Friends of Grace Vineyard!
It’s another beautiful summer weekend in Oceanside. I think I’m back to full health and ready to worship with you all on Sunday. A big thank you to Steve Rogers for stepping in at the last minute last week and bringing that great message from Ecclesiastes. I have to admit, the word “Hevel” was new to me, but after hearing him preach last Sunday I’ve actually used it once or twice in conversation! If you missed it, or would like to hear it again, we’ve just posted it on our Grace Vineyard youtube channel. Here it is for your convenience:
This coming week I’ll be continuing in our series “Witness: Stories from the First Jesus Followers”, and this week we’re going to continue looking at the story we’ve been talking about from Acts 3-4. After Peter and John’s first brush with persecution, the brand new church in Jerusalem begins to call out to the Lord in prayer, which makes me want to interrupt myself for a minute and remind you of the ongoing prayer opportunities we have right here at Grace Vineyard. Check it out:
Tuesday-Thursday, 7am Zoom Prayer
Every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday morning a group of us meet on zoom for a 1 hour prayer meeting at 7am. We read a chapter of the Bible together, talk about it for a few minutes, share prayer needs, pray, and we’re done by 8am. Here’s the zoom info for this meeting: Meeting ID: 812 2225 0027, Password: 006314. And I gotta say, it’s pretty amazing how many times God has answered the requests we offer to him at this prayer meeting. Prayer is powerful!
Tuesday City Prayer Oceanside 7pm
On Tuesdays at 7PM Roy Lopez leads prayer for the city of Oceanside and all the Oceanside churches. The prayer meeting is in the Lobby of Grace Vineyard (102 N. Freeman Street), and begins with an exhortation from the Word of God. Roy has a personal calling from the Lord in the area of intercession and his enthusiastic passion to see revival in our city is contagious.
Wednesday Prayer for Youth, 6:00-6:30PM on Zoom
On Wednesdays from 6:00-6:30PM we meet on zoom to pray for our Grace Vineyard Youth and the Youth of America. You can click on this zoom link: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/74823945518?pwd=ffeZAzVvE642Jn7j6b38fqIa558DWx.1, or use zoom Meeting ID: 748 2394 5518, Password: G6H22R
If you have any questions about the youth prayer meeting, please text/call Irene Archer at 760-672-6460.
Sunday Morning Pre-service Prayer at 8:30
This prayer meeting is a little less structured than the other ones. I play keyboards with the worship band about once per month (sometimes twice), so on the Sundays that I am playing, I am on the stage doing sound check and rehearsal before the service. But when I’m not with the worship band, you can find me in the lobby at 8:30 praying with whoever wants to join me. And when I am on the stage behind my keyboard, there’s usually some other folks praying together in the lobby. We call out to the Lord for a fresh outpouring of His Spirit on that morning’s gathering. I would love it if some of you are there every Sunday morning, whether or not I can make it. Prayer is really effective!
Witness – the Culture of a Witnessing Community
Okay, back to this Sunday’s topic. The story told in Acts 3 and 4 has many components as we’ve already seen in our last 2 times together, and this week I’m planning on completing this 3 part episode. You’ll recall that Peter and John bump into a man crippled from birth (he’s about 40, and never walked), and the Kingdom of God breaks in and the man gets healed. Peter sees a crowd gathering and seizes the opportunity to be a witness for Jesus. In the middle of this great moment, he and John get arrested by the temple police and spend the night in Jail. The next day Peter is freshly filled with the Spirit and empowered to boldly be a witness for Jesus to all the heavy hitters in the Jewish religious leadership, the very people that had Jesus crucified. His message couldn’t have been better, but sadly not even one of the people hearing him responds to his witness (while the day before 2,000 people were added to the number of believers). This Sunday we’ll talk about what happens when Peter and John are released from custody under strict orders to stop telling people about Jesus. They return to the community of believers, who I believe have largely understood their calling to be a witnessing community. Perhaps the most powerful prayer meeting in all of the Bible is described as this young church, probably pretty shaken by the threats of persecution, calls out to God. We’ll be looking at the culture of this community to learn principles for our community. I’m being challenged in my studies, and I think you will too. You would do well to do a fresh reading of Acts 4 in preparation.
Here’s some other happenings that I want to make sure you’re aware of…
Face to Face Women’s Home Group is July 21st
Face to Face is our women’s home group where we worship together, share a time of teaching, pray for each other and EAT. Our July meeting will be on the 21st, and will be hosted by Daria at her home (3248 Roberta Ln, Oceanside) from 6:30-9pm. Call Kim Ohst for more info 760.519.4558.
Get Ready for Make & Bake Sale July 23
To raise money for women’s retreat scholarships and Bible study curriculum, we’ll be doing a Make and Bake Sale right after church on Sunday, July 23. We need Makers and Bakers to pull this off – you can bring food or other items for us to sell. These sales are much more than your traditional bake sale; we often have clothing, pottery, handmade cards and other homemade items. Sign up to bring something or to help with the set up, selling or clean-up. For more information, please call/text Kim Ohst 760-519-4558.
Start Saving For the Women’s Retreat in October
We’ll be doing our Women’s Retreat at Pine Valley October 20-22. The cost will be $230 for private bath lodge rooms, $210 for shared bath lodge rooms and $180 for dorm rooms. You can begin to pay for this retreat and we’ll keep track of it for you. If you pay online www.gracevcf.org/online-giving or in person, please note that it’s for the women’s retreat. If you end up not attending, we will refund your money. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or text Kim Ohst at 760-519-4558 to let her know what type of room you are reserving. We have limited availability. Just this week we got confirmation of the availability of a REALLY GREAT guest speaker. I’m gonna keep you in suspense until all the details are set in stone, but lemme just say that Kim and I are very excited about the woman we think is going to be able to come and minister. She’s kind of a big deal and will be a huge blessing to our women if she’s able to come. Stay tuned for more.
And with that, I’ll sign off. Stay cool; it’s looking to be a hot one this weekend (but honestly, having grown up in Phoenix I have a slightly different perspective on what hot weather really feels like :-).
With love and blessings to each of you,
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!