December 31, 2021
Happy New Year, Grace Vineyard and Friends!
I’m writing to you from Tampa, Florida this New Year’s Eve. My family flew here early Christmas Morning to spend the holidays with Kim’s parents and brother. Tomorrow, on New Year’s day, we will board another flight back to San Diego and plan to be with you Sunday morning as we bring in the new year with worship together.
New Year’s Eve is an exciting time. Although things don’t really change just because the calendar turns from one year to the next at Midnight tonight, the moment does move us to think about new hopes for future days, and of course Hope is one of the “big three” – Love, Hope, and Faith. Hope is the anticipation of good that is still unseen (credit to Dallas Willard for that definition). I’ve often said that Hope is the fuel for perseverance; without hope, it’s hard to keep going through difficult times. With hope, empowered by faith – faith is the ability to “see” the thing we hope for before it is actually visible – we can endure pretty much anything. Hope is that powerful. With that in mind, let me start this email with a word of blessing from the Bible:
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)
Those words carry a lot of power, whether you are facing a ton of difficulty, or whether you are in one of those peaceful moments where everything seems to be going well. Yes, Lord! May hope, joy, and peace be our portion as we enter a new year together.
The Bible has much to say about old endings and new beginnings. Consider this quote from the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 43:18-10):
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. “
For our first Sunday together in 2022, I’ve invited Richard (“Snake”) Ertel to bring the message, and his topic is “Old Endings and New Beginnings”. For those of you who have heard Snake preach before, I have no need to tell you that you don’t want to miss this one! He’s so inspiring and full of passion. This would definitely be a great Sunday to invite your friends who need hope in their lives. In fact, here’s a faith challenge for you – why don’t you stop right now and ask the Lord who He’d like you to invite. When that person comes to mind, send them a text right now inviting them to join you for Sunday morning and then offer to take them out to lunch after church!
Here’s some other things that are coming up around Grace Vineyard:
Next Friday is the first Friday of the month, and that means it’s our opportunity to love our neighbors at Bread of Life Rescue Mission. We need volunteers to show up at 1919 Apple Street in Oceanside at 5pm on Friday, January 7th. We’ll serve our neighbors a hot dinner, welcome and pray for those with needs, and help clean up after dinner. You’ll be done somewhere near 6:30. We also need donations – it costs about $100 to provide a complete meal for all our guests. Call or Text Nancy Beck at 760-696-2078 for more info. Nancy will also be in the lobby this Sunday after church to answer all your questions and get you signed up to help.
Christmas Cleanup Event Next Sunday
I have really enjoyed the beautiful Christmas decorations so many of you put up around our building. It is just beautiful! I loved being able to welcome our guests on Christmas Eve into such a warm and beautiful atmosphere. We’ll enjoy it for a little while longer, but then it’s time to put away the Christmas decorations. The current plans are to have a cleanup party after church next Sunday, January 9th. Please mark your calendars to join us – many hands make light work – and also let us know you’re hoping to join us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or texting or calling 760-764-2974.
Last Chance for 2021 Donations
Let me say once again how thankful we are for all of you who give your time, talent, and treasure to strengthen and sustain the ministries of Grace Vineyard. Thank you! For you those of you who are into the details of tax deductible donations, remember that this is your last chance to make a tax deductible donation to Grace Vineyard for the 2021 calendar year – we must receive your donation before the end of December 31st for it to count for 2021. You can make an electronic donation using the donate button at the bottom of this message.
Happy New Year to each of you. May you be filled with hope, joy, love, and peace as we venture together into 2022.
with blessings and love,
Tithes and Offerings Online
THANKS for taking ownership in the life and ministry of Grace Vineyard – it takes all of us! If you’d like to give your tithe or offering online, click the donate button below. Please remember we are “getting our house ready for guests” and have several thousand dollars worth of important improvements waiting on our offerings. If your offering is for a specific purpose such as building or benevolence, please note that where it will prompt you with “what’s this donation for?” Thanks!