August 28, 2021
Hello Grace Vineyard and Friends!
Welcome to the last weekend of August. I know, I know — it feels like time is flying to by too fast! But you know what: I think God has designed time to fly by at exactly the perfect pace. Seasons come and seasons go. The difficult seasons seem too slow, the enjoyable seasons seem to go by too fast. But the truth is, our times are in His hands, and that gives me security and peace.
We had such a wonderful time last Sunday at the BBQ and Baptism. Thank you for investing in relationship! It has been said that a healthy congregation makes sure to prioritize each of these areas — Worship, Evangelism, Ministry, Discipleship, and Fellowship. When you invest your life (measured in time, talent, and treasure) in these priorities, you are sowing seeds that will always reap a harvest.
The Gospel of Grace – Sowing and Reaping
Speaking of sowing and reaping, that is exactly what we will be talking about on Sunday morning, as we learn from the final sentences of Paul’s letter to the churches in Galatia. Check out his words:
7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
We have been emphasizing the Gospel of Grace — Jesus + nothing = everything — as opposed to the false gospel of human effort or “works-righteousness” throughout this study. It’s the wonderful news that our relationship with God is by Grace through Faith in Jesus alone. We can’t earn our right relationship with God, we can only receive by Grace as a free gift. But that does not imply that what we do is without consequence. The law can’t save us, the law is powerless to change us, Jesus alone can give us a new heart and His righteousness, but that doesn’t mean the commands of God don’t matter. I hope you’ll join me for another encouraging time in God’s Word this Sunday. We’ll be in person in our beautiful theater, and also broadcasting online via zoom – Zoom Meeting ID 153 112 432, Passcode 684814. You may also join us on Facebook Live at facebook.com/gracevcf.
Sunday Nights at Grace
This would be a great week to check out Sunday Nights at Grace, this Sunday night at 6pm. This is a more intimate gathering for sharing in Worship, The Word, Fellowship, and Spirit Empowered prayer ministry. Pastor Steve Rogers is leading this service, so if you’d like to know more about it, or find out how you can serve, please contact Steve at 760-500-4324 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This coming Friday we’ll have more opportunities for ministry and fellowship.
Loving our Neighbors at Bread of Life
On the first Friday of every month, Grace Vineyard serves a the Bread of Life Rescue Mission. We need volunteers to show up at 1919 Apple Street in Oceanside at 5pm on Friday, September 3. We’ll serve our neighbors a hot dinner, welcome and pray for those with needs, and help clean up after dinner. You’ll be done somewhere near 6:30. We also need donations – it costs about $80 to provide a complete meal for all our guests. Call or Text Nancy Beck at 760-696-2078 for more info. Nancy will also be in the lobby this Sunday after church to answer all your questions and get you signed up to help.
Youth Game Night
Right after we serve at Bread of Life, our youth group will be having a game night in the Upper Room. If you have Jr High or High School students, tell them about it! If you know a student – make sure to let them know. And, if you’d like a practice “sowing and reaping”, think about joining our team that serves the youth of Oceanside with Generation Grace. Contact our youth pastor, Lisa Rogers, at email@example.com, or 760.696.1994 for more info.
Only 2 Weeks Away – Texas BBQ for the Men
Men – our Regional Men’s gathering with a Big Texas BBQ (they’re telling me it’s all-you-can-eat!) is just a couple weeks away. If you can come, please send a quick note to Ron Hartnett at firstname.lastname@example.org to let him know you’re coming. He’d also appreciate your name and mobile number in that email so he can let you know about future regional men’s ministry events. Men, while I have your attention, please remember that we are making plans for a return to Palomar Mountain for our Men of Grace Retreat, March 18-20. It’s still some months away, but we need to know soon if you’ll be going so we can reserve your space at the conference center. Contact Snake (Richard) Ertel for more info at 760-622-4572 or email@example.com for all the details. Note that if you send the church $20 every month starting now, when you get to March you’ll have the retreat registration already paid for! Just mention “Men’s Retreat” in the memo line of a check, or in the notes area of an online donation.
Taking Care of Orphans
Finally, one of the missions that is very close to our hearts at Grace is Breath of Heaven Children’s Ministries in Zambia, Africa. We have partnered with this organization since it’s beginning, and have watched through the years as little children were rescued from abject poverty and given a hope and a future. Those first kids are now in college! What a joy it has been to see this ministry flourish. Coming up on Saturday, September 18th, we are having our annual fundraising event. I hope many of you will come. You’ll hear amazing stories of what is happening at Breath of Heaven, and be given an opportunity to support this ministry.
As I sign off, I just want to remind you all how much your partnership means. Our church family is built from each of us partnering with our time, energy, and money. And as most of you know, this last year we have been working to complete some long overdue renovations in our building, with flooring being our current focus. We’re close to the finish line, but not quite there, and still need funds to finish the job. And in case you weren’t aware, summers are often difficult months financially for organizations like churches that depend entirely on donations to pay the bills. We still have a mortgage, salaries, utilities, insurance, etc. To you who have been such faithful tithers, we say a huge Thank You. To those who have joined our church family, but haven’t yet partnered with us, please consider it. When each of us gives the portion that God has entrusted to our stewardship, the load is light for everyone, and the results are amazing! (But conversely, when some of us withhold our part, the load becomes heavy for the rest of us.) If you’d like to partner with us financially, just click on the donate button below. If you’d like to partner with us with your time and energy, check out this graphic, and contact the person who oversees a ministry you might be interested in serving in.
See you all on Sunday Morning at 9:30!
Blessings and love to each of you,