December 9, 2022
Happy Friday, Grace Vineyard and Friends!
It’s time for another of my weekly update emails. I hope you all had a great week. I’m really looking forward to being with you all again this weekend, especially if our time together is anything like last Sunday. The Lord was so good to us, meeting us in our songs of worship, speaking to us with prophetic gifts, bringing physical healing, pouring out joy as one brother felt inspired to bring a rap, encouraging us with an inspiring word from our guest preacher, Nicko Ostby, empowering us during ministry time. Being with you definitely felt like what the Bible describes in 1 Corinthians 14:26 –“Well, my brothers and sisters, let’s summarize. When you meet together, one will sing, another will teach, another will tell some special revelation God has given, one will speak in tongues, and another will interpret what is said. But everything that is done must strengthen all of you.” (New Living Translation)
We have a video of the sermon portion if you’d like to see that again right here. It was a very inspiring message:
Sunday Morning – Advent Joy
This coming Sunday will be the 3rd Sunday of Advent, which has the theme of Joy! So I’ll be opening up the Scriptures that encourage and inspire us to Rejoice that Messiah has come! We have a source of joy that cannot be found anywhere else in the universe, and I feel compelled to press into the Joy that God has in His Kingdom. It will be great to worship with you. I hope you won’t mind a little exhortation about worship in this email…imagine if you invited some of us to a really nice dinner at your home; you prepare a delicious meal, you put out your best china and crystal, you let us know that dinner will be served at 6:30 so we should arrive by 6:15. At 6:30 everything is prepared, your perfectly cooked meal is piping hot as you set it on the table, but unfortunately only half of your dinner guests showed up on time. You go ahead and begin enjoying the meal with the friends that came on time, then 15 minutes later the rest of the guests start showing up when the dinner is already half over. As they come in it’s a little distracting for the people that are well into the meal, and you feel a little sad for those late guests, cuz they missed some really great food and some really great conversation. Sure, they get to eat too, but it’s just not the same as what the on-time guests enjoyed. Honestly, that’s a little bit how it feels to me on Sunday mornings when our worship band has worked hard to prepare to lead us in worship beginning at 9:30. We begin worshipping, entering into the Presence of the Lord, but about half of us start trickling in when our worship time is already half over. This Sunday, we will start to worship at 9:30AM. I’d love to see you in your seat at 9:25, already preparing your heart, perhaps meditating on a Psalm, perhaps praying, but definitely with hearts ready for the Lord. Believe me, you’ll be blessed if you do. We all will. Okay, I’ll get back to my normal email update now. Thanks for listening to a little exhortation. 🙂
By the way, a big thank you to all of you who decorated the church for Christmas. It looks beautiful! I can’t wait for all of you to see it this Sunday.
Christmas Benevolence Offering
For the Christmas season we’re receiving donations to help families locally and around the world. Some our Grace Families are facing financial challenges, plus we have some requests from friends both in Africa and Haiti to help provide food for needy families at Christmas, and we also have a local Iranian refugee family now living in our county that we want to bless. If you’re able, I’d encourage you to give a generous donation by clicking here – https://gracevcf.org/christmas-giving/ – or giving it in the offering on Sunday (write “Christmas Benevolence” on the envelope or on the memo field of a check). Do you think we could together come up with $5,000 for these families? That would be awesome. Whatever we come up with, know that 100% of it will go to families at Christmas. And please, don’t put off giving to this offering; we need to start giving to those families in the next week or so. THANK YOU!
Christmas Party Potluck
We’ve been really enjoying our monthly potlucks this year. For December we’re moving our potluck to Sunday evening, December 18th, at 5pm. Once again this Sunday we’ll have a little signup sheet for everybody to say what they’re bringing in case you missed it last week. Fill it out and drop it in the offering bucket. It’s always fun to be together, sharing a meal, and especially during Christmas time. We’ll enjoy each other’s great company and great food. We’ll plan on singing some Christmas carols together, and who knows what other fun things we’ll come up with. In any case, please put this down on your calendar so you can be sure to join us!
Christmas Eve is always a special time at Grace Vineyard for family and friends to gather. This year Christmas Day falls on Sunday, so we won’t be meeting Sunday morning, December 25; instead, our weekend service will be our Christmas Eve service on Saturday, December 24th at 5pm. We always keep the service short – about an hour – so people have the rest of their evening free to spend time with family and friends. We have a special program for Christmas Eve with some acting, singing, and the traditional lighting of candles while we sing Silent Night by candlelight. It’s always beautiful to see our theater lit by candlelight. After the service we’ll have hot apple cider and Christmas goodies (watch for an invite for you to bring your baked goods) for some sweet fellowship time. We’ll start at 5pm and plan on being finished with the service by about 6pm.
Men’s Breakfast This Saturday
I’m sending this out a little late on Friday, but if you read it in time, Men, our monthly men’s breakfast is tomorrow at Ty’s Burger house, 515 Mission Ave. Always a great time of delicious food, fellowship, worship, and inspiration. This week our own Mark Newell will be speaking, and I know it’s going to be great. I love hearing Mark share from his heart. See you guys at 8am.
Ladies Walk at Guajome Park Saturday December 17th
Ladies, our next Saturday walk is at Guajome Park on Saturday, December 17th, at 9am. We’ll meet at the main entrance on Guajome Lake Road (off Hwy 76). When you turn into the park, the entrance is the first right. Free parking is past the entrance on the left side and on Old Ranch Road. Please let Kathy Green know if you plan to attend 760.583.1779.
And that’s it for this week’s update email. Have a joy-filled weekend! Men, I’ll see you tomorrow morning for breakfast. Ladies, enjoy your Christmas Luncheon tomorrow. Everybody, I’ll see you for another great time worshiping Jesus Sunday morning.
With blessings and love,
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.