December 16, 2022
Hello Grace Vineyard and Friends!
It is Friday, and time for our weekly Grace Vineyard email update. We are quickly approaching Christmas Day! I hope you’re feeling the love and expectation in the air. It’s a beautiful time of year, isn’t it?!
On Sundays we’ve been following the Advent calendar, and this coming Sunday our theme will be Love. The most well known Bible verse begins with these words: “For God so loved the world…”. That’s really what Christmas is all about, so I’ve called this coming Sunday’s sermon, “Advent: It’s all about love”.
When God created our world and created every living being, it was all about love. After we humans used our free will to bring sin into this perfect world, God sent His own Son to redeem us and save us from our sin, and it was all about love. When Jesus died on the cross, it was all about love. “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) When Jesus was raised from the dead as the first fruits of all who will be raised up, it was an act of love. “But because of his great love for us, God who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:4-7). When Jesus sits on his glorious throne at the renewal of all things, bringing heaven and earth together as one, it will be an experience of ultimate love. It’s all about love! I’m looking forward to exploring God’s love together with you on Sunday morning at 9:30. See you then!
Ladies Walk at Guajome Park Saturday December 17th
Ladies, our next Saturday walk is at Guajome Park, tomorrow, 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.
Christmas Benevolence Offering
We are at the last moments for our 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. One of our Grace Vineyard folks asked me this week how we were doing with the Christmas Offering. I let them know that we had hoped to raise $5,000, but though we are very thankful for every gift, we were still under $1500. So, our friend made some calls to their friends outside of our church, and very quickly another $3100 came in! Isn’t that amazing?! As of today, we’ve raised about $4600. 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 we plan to start distributing that money this weekend. If you’d like to donate, click on this Christmas donate button:
Christmas Party Potluck This Coming Sunday
We’ve been really enjoying our monthly potlucks this year. The time has arrived for our December Christmas Party and Potluck – this coming Sunday, December 18th, at 5pm. It’s always fun to be together, sharing a meal, and especially during Christmas time. We’ll plan on singing some Christmas carols together and just enjoying each other’s company and great food. I hope you plan on joining us too!
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 (this Sunday we’ll pass around a sign-up clipboard for you to bring Christmas cookies) for some sweet fellowship time. We’ll start at 5pm and plan on being finished with the service by about 6pm.
Merry Christmas to you all!
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.