December 30, 2022
Hello Grace Vineyard and Friends of Grace!
It’s the last Friday of 2022 and the last weekly update of the year. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas celebration and I hope you’re ready to hear, “HAPPY NEW YEAR!” I’ve had a great week so far. It really started last Saturday with our Christmas Eve Candlelight Service. What a wonderful time we all had together, worshiping Jesus, and hearing a fresh retelling of the Christmas story.
Here’s a view from the stage when we were singing “Silent Night” by candlelight. A huge Thank You to Ammee and Jay Huzil, the actors, the singers, the band, the tech crew, the cookie bakers, the Hot Cider makers, the set up crew, and anyone else who had a hand in putting this evening together. It was a beautiful way to start our Christmas celebration.
My family had our airplane tickets in hand Christmas Day morning, as we drove to the airport, only to discover we were caught up in the airline kerfuffle that left hundreds of thousands of Christmas travelers stranded. Our flights to Florida were canceled, but we were eventually able to find flights on another airline that got us to Kim’s parent’s home around 5am on Tuesday morning. We’re still here in Tampa and having a wonderful time enjoying Christmas vacation and family. We will be flying back to San Diego (hopefully!) on New Year’s Day.
Loving What Jesus Loves
We’ve been working and planning for a special month of Sundays starting January 1st. You probably know that the long story of the Gospel has its beginnings in the early chapters of Genesis. Just after the incident at the “Tower of Babel” where God confused the languages and scattered the people into the nations, we hear the first hints of the Gospel that will eventually be fulfilled through Jesus and His disciples. You can read about it starting in Genesis chapters 11 and 12. It’s no coincidence that immediately after we read of the creation of multiple languages and the scattering of people around the world, we read of God’s choosing of one man, Abraham, through whose offspring will come the Messiah to be a blessing to the all these new nations. The message becomes more and more clear as the Bible story progresses, but the first words of the promise are these:
2 “I will make you into a great nation
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.
3 I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you.”
Over and over we hear the message that God loves all the people of the earth, culminating in those famous words from John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that He sent His one and only Son…” And that brings me to our focus at Grace Vineyard for the month of January – “Cherishing the Nations: the beauty of the Gospel across cultures”. Here’s my heart: it’s very clear to anybody that has been around our church that we value Missions — making disciples locally and around the world, joining Jesus in “The Great Commission”. But there is a difference in doing something because we know God wants us to do it, and doing something not only out of obedience but also out of hearts that have been captured by God such that we find ourselves loving what God loves. And God loves the nations – every tribe, every tongue, every culture. Over the course of the month we’ll have several guest speakers join me in exploring this subject, and I am praying that all of us will find ourselves cherishing the nations more than ever. We’re also planning our January all church potluck to have an international flair. Our first speaker will be our own Sharon Mitchell. You’ve all heard her lead us in prayer from time to time on Sunday mornings, but I can’t wait for you all to hear her share much more of her heart of love for the people of the world. I’ll let her introduce herself on Sunday morning, but just know that we have another hidden treasure in our midst, with wonderfully exciting experiences sharing Jesus’ Good News in some really interesting nations and cultures. You’re in for a treat.
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). You can use the donate button at the bottom of this email to give online. Putting checks in our mailbox by December 31st is also alright. I do want to say a big 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.
For the rest of this email, I’ll remind of a few things coming up in January. 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.
And that about does it for this email. May the Lord bless each of you abundantly with His Peace, Love, and Joy as we close out 2022 together and prepare for a New Year. HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Yours in Christ,
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.