September 23, 2023
Hello Grace Vineyard and Friends of Grace Vineyard,
I’m writing this on Saturday afternoon, and it has turned out to be a beautiful day! I wasn’t so sure that we’d be having nice weather when it was sprinkling on me yesterday, but it is definitely a bright, sunny, September afternoon. I hope you’re enjoying it. I’m still not back to my normal rhythm of life even though it’s been over a week since I got back from Africa, so I’m writing my weekly update a day late. Hopefully I’ll be back on my normal schedule by next week.
A Personal Update
I’ll start this week’s update with a personal update. Most of you know that I left for a ministry trip to Africa on August 29, and our team began our journey back to the states on September 12th. And most of you know that on September 3rd, while I was at Breath of Heaven Children’s Village in Zambia, I received a text message from my brother that my dad had just passed away. When I face challenges in life like this, the Grace of God always shines bright. I am SO THANKFUL to be in God’s Kingdom and in particular in a beautiful church family with all of you. We have been loved and cared for wonderfully. Thank you for the cards and notes and flowers and food and prayer. I have had my hands very full taking care of practical things as I am the trustee for my dad, and Kim and the kids and I are the only family who still live in California, so we’ve been taking turns staying with mom most of the last 10 days. We now have a memorial on the calendar scheduled for a few weeks from now on October 14th, and we’ll be moving mom to live with her daughter in Pueblo, Colorado a couple days after that. We’re all doing really well, especially mom who is genuinely experiencing what the Bible calls “peace that passes understanding”, and is very excited to return to the home town she loves, where her twin brothers, children, and grandchildren live. Your prayers have carried us well. We are so grateful to you and the many people who through the years have surrounded us with love when we’ve face difficult seasons. In case any of you knew my dad and would like to know about the memorial, here’s link with all the info and a place to RSVP – https://pp.events/aaNdWyLq.
A Very Special Guest Speaker…Matt Evans
A big thank you to Christian Twombly for bringing the message last Sunday. If you missed it, or just want to hear it again, you can listen right here on our podcast at gracetalks.org:
We are so blessed to have a bunch of gifted teachers and preachers in our congregation. And this Sunday we have another one: it’s been a while since our own Matt Evans has spoken on a Sunday morning, so it’s possible that his teaching gift will be new to some of you. Get ready to be blessed! Matt actually was a teacher for a while in his professional life, and he’s one of the best. “You could hear a pin drop…” is one of the phrases I’ve heard used to describe the way the Lord uses Matt to capture our attention and hearts when he brings a teaching. Matt’s talk tomorrow is simply called, “Come, Follow Me”. We’ll be mostly in the gospel of Matthew as we discover how Jesus is calling us to follow Him into wholeness as we surrender to His merciful kingship. I know it’s going to be an inspiring morning. I’m planning on being there in person this week, so I’ll hope you’ll all be able to join us. But if you have to be away for some reason, you can join us online via zoom with this info: Zoom Meeting ID 153 112 432, Passcode 684814. You may also join us on Facebook Live at facebook.com/gracevcf.
Missions Moment – Stories from Zambia
Here’s a selfie of Traci Blagg, Alyssa Schoonmaker, and myself from August 29th as we were getting getting ready for take-off. They are both joining us tomorrow for our weekly Missions Moment to tell you just a little bit about our trip to Africa. I’ll be sharing a short video message to you from Damas Kamfwa, the national director of the Vineyard in Zambia. (We promise to try to keep it short so Matt will have plenty of time to bring the message!)
Last Chance to Sign Up for “When God’s Spirit Moves” Study
Our women’s ministry is launching another great study this Tuesday, so this Sunday is the last opportunity to sign up. This is an in-person, 6 week DVD study by Jim Cymbala, founding pastor of the Brooklyn Tabernacle church in NYC, home of the award winning Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. Their story is amazing, and I’m just a little jealous that this is a women’s study this time. (We’ll have the DVDs, so maybe we’ll repeat this group for men too in the future.) Debby Gidley will be facilitating the group, and it will be meeting at Daria and Brandi’s home on Tuesdays nights from 6:30-8:30. Participant books for this study cost $15. You can sign up and get all the details in the lobby this coming Sunday. You can also call Debby at 760-637-9286 for more information.
Daughters of Destiny Women’s Retreat
We’ll be hosting our Daughters of Destiny Women’s Retreat at Pine Valley October 20-22. Our Speaker is Dianne Leman and I’m very excited to see what the Lord will be depositing in our ladies through her teaching. She co-pastored a Vineyard church with her husband for over 40 years and has been a part of the Vineyard USA executive team. The cost will be $230 for private bath lodge rooms, $210 for shared bath lodge rooms and $180 for dorm rooms. If you pay online www.gracevcf.org or in person, please note that it’s for the women’s retreat. Please email email@example.com or text Kim Ohst at 760.519.4558 to let her know what type of room you are reserving. We have limited availability.
Make & Bake Sale October 1, For Women’s Retreat
On Sunday, October 1st, right after church, we’ll be having another “Make & Bake” sale to raise funds for the women’s retreat. We’ll be selling much more than your typical Bake Sale stuff to raise money for retreat scholarships and other retreat costs. We do need people to sign up to bring something. If you need a retreat scholarship, please sign up to help with set-up, selling and clean-up. Call Kim Ohst for more details 760.519.4558.
After Church Prayer for the Retreat
Beginning this Sunday, all the women are invited to come together to pray for the retreat after church on the terrace at 11:30. You know, prayer is absolutely powerful, and one of the reasons our women’s retreats are so impactful is that they are under-girded with much prayer. We’d love all the women to get to be a part of this prayer team, so please join your sisters this Sunday! We plan on continuing this prayer meeting every Sunday until the retreat on October 20.
May the Lord’s richest blessings rest on each of you as we prepare our hearts to join together in worship, ministry, and fellowship tomorrow morning.
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.