December 23, 2022
Hello, Grace Vineyard and Friends of Grace.
Since today is the 23rd, I suppose it is Christmas Eve Eve. I hope you’re enjoying the Hope, Joy, Peace, and Love of the Christmas Season. Last Sunday I spoke on the Advent theme of Love with a message that said it’s ALL about love. This week I ran into a short Advent devotional on Advent Love by Rich Nathan, founding pastor of the Columbus Vineyard, and I thought it was definitely worth sharing. If you’ve got 5 minutes give it a listen:
After studying for last week’s sermon and hearing Rich’s synopsis here I really think we have a simple and foundational truth that has revolutionary potential – Love God and Love People. At all times. In every situation. In every circumstance. Simple, but impossible, apart from a miracle. Of course, that’s what we celebrate at Christmas: a miracle. God became a man, fully remaining God, fully becoming human, lived and died in our place, conquered death and the grave in His resurrection, and now lives by His Spirit in every person who puts their faith in Him, giving us the miraculous potential to love like Jesus. This Christmas can you join me in praying for ourselves that the Love of God will flow through each of us; for the church communities of San Diego county that we will be couriers and carriers of the Love of Jesus to the people of our cities; and even for the followers of Jesus world wide, that we will exemplify the love of Jesus until the earth is filled with the knowledge of the Glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea?! May it be so, Lord!
Here’s some things to note as we enter this Christmas weekend.
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 for some sweet fellowship time. We’ll start at 5pm and plan on being finished with the service by about 6pm. Be sure to invite friends and family to join you. It’s going to be a beautiful evening.
Year End Donations Deadline is December 31.
Our administrator wanted me to be sure to remind you that for your year end donations to be recorded in the 2022 calendar year, they must be received by our office before January 1st (even if they are postmarked before January 1st, we are not allowed to record them for 2022 unless we have possession of them by December 31st). Putting checks in our mailbox by December 31st is alright. And I want to say THANK YOU to all of you who have generously given financially to Grace Vineyard this year. It takes a lot of time, energy, and money to do what we do together week after week, and it simply wouldn’t be happening without you who faithfully bring your tithes and offerings. If you feel inspired to give an extra gift here at year’s end to help us start 2023 out in a healthy financial state, we would greatly appreciate it.
A Praise – together we were able to give away just under $5,500 to families in Pakistan, 2 different cities in Africa, in Haiti, an Iranian refugee family living here in San Diego, and several families from our own church. Your generosity is impacting lives around the world with the love of Jesus. Thank you!
As we prepare to start a new year together, our Women’s Ministry is launching a couple new Bible Studies for women, and planning a fun event for the whole church. Here’s the details…
Soul Line Dancing & Chili Cook-Off
Come and join the fun as we line dance to soul music and eat yummy chili on Saturday, January 21st from 5:30-8:30pm. We’ll have a 70s costume contest, Chili competition, kids activities, photo booth and more. Tickets are $10/person. Kids under 13 are free. Call Kim Ohst for details 760.519.4558.
Stories in the Garden Saturday Morning Group
The first Saturday of the Month beginning January 7th we’ll meet at the church 9-10:30 am to share the truth of who God is in our individual stories. We’ll have a short devotional, one woman will tell her story and we’ll have a chance to interact with and encourage the storyteller. Please sign up in the church lobby so we know who will attend. For more information, please call Michele Goane 619.952.6100.
Mysteries of the Messiah Monday Night Zoom Group
We’re offering Mysteries of the Messiah by a Messianic Rabbi on Zoom with Robin Spillman 6:30-8:30pm. Study Guides are $15. For more information, please call Robin at 760.583.3677.
The Chosen Season 2 Study on Mondays
We’ll also offer the Chosen Season 2 Women’s Bible Study in person at Kim Ohst’s home (4965 Calle Sobrado, Oceanside) Monday nights 6:30-8:30pm. For more info or to sign up please contact Kim at firstname.lastname@example.org or 760.519.4558.
Looks like a wonderful start to another wonderful year at Grace Vineyard. I love being part of it all with you. I’ll see you at 5pm on Saturday. I encourage you to have some Jesus time with someone you love on Sunday morning. My family will be heading off to Tampa, Florida to be with Kim’s parents and brother for a week. I’ll try to send you an update email while I’m there next week.
Love and richest 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.