Hearers and Doers: Vision for Loveland Vineyard in the next season

Your religion is worthless if you do not bridle your tongue and you deceive your heart. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. We must be hearers and doers, not one without the other.
– James 1:22-27

At the Loveland Vineyard, we aim to simply:

Love God, and Love People.

As a church, we engage in three different kinds of activities:

  • Worship (Love God)
  • Community (Love People through relationship)
  • Service (Love People through action)

We are so blessed to have such a strong legacy of authentic, Spirit-filled worship and small-group based communities as well as a tangible impact on our community through our Food Pantry and other programs. We believe God is leading us to build on this foundation and focus our service activities in three key areas:

Serve the Needy

Correct Oppression

Unite Communities

Serve Day 2020

Serve Day July 11, 2020

Join us for Serve Day July 11, as we join thousands of Christians around the world in loving our communities. We will meet at the Loveland Vineyard at 7:15 AM before walking over to House of Neighborly Services. There is still times to sign up to volunteer below!

June COVID-19 Update

As we navigate this unprecedented time, our mission remains the same: Love God and Love People. With so much still unknown about COVID-19 we believe the most loving thing we can do for our community is to be cautious, follow health guidelines, and provide options. We don’t anyone to feel excluded or left out because of concerns of getting sick or spreading the virus to others. Here’s our current plan:

Sunday Morning Service

  • Option 1: Host or join a home church group
    The church as a whole has a rich and diverse history, going all the way back to the disciples meeting within homes. We want to revisit our roots, and put a spin on home church. With modern technology, we have the ability to be a part of a home church while still being connected with the larger church body. This style of meeting won’t be necessary forever, so let us not miss out on the opportunity to try something new!Who do you miss getting to see? Who do you want to “do the stuff” with? Invite your friends over on Sunday morning, and join in on our Zoom service together.
  • Option 2: Join via Zoom on your computer or phone
    See this link for setup and dial in information. We are working to make the online experience as good as possible and will be maintaining this option as long as we need to.
  • Option 3: In person at the church building
    Please help us keep in person attendance low. If you are able to watch on Zoom from your own home, we ask that you continue to do so to make the building available to those serving on Sunday morning (eg. sound and media crew, band members, speakers etc.). We also want to give first priority to those that can only participate in person. Many people are in the high risk category that also don’t have access to a computer or internet. As per county guidelines, masks are required for your protection and the protection of others. If you are unable to wear a mask due to medical reasons and cannot join via zoom, the family room will be available.
  • Option 4: Listen to recorded messages
    We would love to see your smiling face on Sunday! However, if you are unable to make it, you can stay up to date with what’s happening by listening to the messages and through the weekly newsletter.

Food Pantry and Clothes Closet

  • Hours: Tuesday through Thursday from 9:00am -12:00noon.
  • Pre-packaged groceries.
    • Now all of our food will be pre-sorted and packaged, including our produce section. If you are unable to use an item from your box or bag, offer it to someone else you know that may be in need. We are unable to re-use items from opened boxes at this time.
  • Verbal Questionnaire
    • We already keep our forms to a minimum, but will be making small changes to keep everyone safe. Everyone coming in will be asked to verbally answer answer our questioner, and our volunteers will write it down for our records. This is to reduce contact with shared surfaces like pens and clipboards.
  • Social Distancing Conducive Layout
    • We are now monitoring the number of people let inside the building at a time. We have also rearranged our lobby, maximizing the distance between people.  We ask that everyone be respectful of space and keep the recommended distance from each other.

Small Groups

Larimer County is now permitting gatherings of up to ten people. This is a great time to join or start a small group. We do suggest considering outdoor activities as these are lower risk (and the weather is so nice!). Even if you don’t have a formal small group, this is a great opportunity to build relationships with others by inviting them over for a cookout.

Prayer and Other Ministry Needs

Email office@lovelandvineyard.org or call 970-667-8668 (leave a message after hours) with your prayer requests and our prayer team will pray for you throughout the week. You can also email or call to set up a prayer appointment (which can be in-person or over Zoom).

Loveland Vineyard Stands Against Racial Injustice

I have a confession to make. These last two weeks I have been really scared. Scared of saying the wrong thing, scared of making others feel uncomfortable, scared of people leaving. Now Marshall and I understand that we won’t always be perfect; but we can promise to do our best, pursue love and seek truth. I’ve had conversations with many of you where you said that we could expect to make mistakes, and that that was okay. Mistakes are learning opportunities and we have a loving and supportive community to help us grow. But I think an important part of making mistakes is taking responsibility and acknowledging any resulting hurt. So, this morning I am standing here before you and I am owning my mistakes. These last two weeks I was scared and I was silent which prevented me from fulfilling my role as an ambassador of Christ. But I promised you that I would pursue love and seek truth. I didn’t speak up last week, but I will today. I promised to learn from my mistakes; this is what I learned.-Marissa Smith 

  1. In the words of the Vineyards National Leader Phil Strout; “Being against racism and being anti-racist are two different things.” (you can read the full letter here.) It is not enough to not cause harm, or not be part of the problem. Instead we are called to be a healing and reconciling community. We must learn to be welcoming to others, not just open; there is a difference. As a church we don’t want to only speak out against tragedy, mistreatment and death, instead we want to be a body built to uplift minority life. 
  2. We must make listening a priority. Our heart hurts this week as we hear hundreds of people’s stories. Stories of hurt, pain and suffering. Stories of loss. Stories of injustice. People are tired, people are discouraged. It feels like everyone has something to say, but no one to listen to them say it. Isn’t it our job as Christians to listen, to hear other’s stories? Isn’t the point of the gospel to become a part of other’s people stories, people that we normally wouldn’t associate with?  Rachel Conner, a vineyard pastor, writes; “Jesus’ gospel was an inclusive one as we see in Acts 10. Jesus’ gospel calls us to solidarity, peacemaking and partnership with each other. This is where the message of the gospel could change the world. Let’s remember Ephesians 2:14-16 “Christ is our peace. He made both Jews and Gentiles into one group. With his body, he broke down the barrier of hatred that divided us. He cancelled the detailed rules of the Law so that he could create one new person out of the two groups, making peace. He reconciled them both as one body to God by the cross, which ended the hostility to God.” (you can ready the full letter here.) 

    It’s hard to listen. It’s easy to tune out, to ignore, to construct a simple, tidy narrative that puts everything in a neat little box that we can file away. We just wanto shut it all off and go back to my quiet life. But the family of George Floyd can’t shut it off. The family of De’von Bailey can’t tune it out. The family of Michael Marshall can’t ignore it. Do you know those names? Have you listened to their stories? 

    Listening to each other matters. We need to be a reconciled reconciling community. This is a Core Value we spoken just a couple months ago; it is hanging up in our front lobby. We are a people of the Kingdom of God who Reconcile others with God and all of creation. Therefore, we are committed to becoming healing communities engaged in the work of reconciliation wherever sin and evil hold sway. We seek to be diverse communities of hope that realize the power of the cross to reconcile what has been separated by sin. 

  3. As ambassadors of Christ, our words matter. Rich Nathan writes “After all, we claim to believe in Jesus who is the Word of God. And we claim to believe in the Bible, the Word of God written. It matters what we call things… Injustice always mislabels things. We perpetuate injustice whenever we call things by the wrong names.” (you can read the full letter here.) It is an injustice when we call all Muslims terrorists or all people of color thugs or all protesters rioters. Words matter. To quote Phil Strout again, as he sums this idea up so well, “So let us continue to hold high the words of Scripture in our churches, serving our communities as leaders actively modeling what it means to see God’s image in everyone (Gen. 1:27), love our enemies (Matt. 5:44), consider others better than ourselves (Phil. 2:3), live as peacemakers between people (Matthew 5:9) and to stand in the gap (Ezek. 22:30) as intercessors for our towns, cities, and nation” (you can read the full letter here.)
  4. Unity is crucial. Everything and I mean everything today is viewed through the lens of partisan politics. Let us be clear. We are not pushing for either a republican or democratic agenda; we do not identify as republican or democratic. We are on the side of Jesus, the side of compassion, forgiveness, reconciliation and love. The only agenda we have is the truth of the gospel. We hope that we can focus more on what we have in common than the things that try to tear us apart. Let us not be so distracted by our political identities that we lose sight of our true identity in Christ. We might not all agree on exactly what to do, but I hope we can agree on the goodness of the heart of GodSo for now, we partner with Him in wiping away tears and working to heal the woundof our brothers and sisters across the nation. Let us be quick to listen to the voiceless, and let every word we speak be that of love and compassion.

The Loveland Vineyard stands with victims of racial injustice. Please prayerfully consider what loving actions God is calling you to do moving forward.

You can find more resources here.

I AM: Who are you? – A series from the Gospel of John

I Am: who are you?

This summer, we’re focusing on the Gospel of John. I would invite you to read through it this month to get a sense for the themes and flow. John is one of the most eloquent books in the Bible. The other three Gospels are largely chronological and are focused on the events and teachings of Jesus. John, however, focuses mostly on a handful of themes. Pay special attention anytime you read “light” and “word” for instance. John writes to answer the question: who is Jesus? And he records seven (or eight depending on how you count) statements Jesus makes about himself that have the words, “I Am”. Each one reveals a different characteristic. Each gives us a clearer picture of who Jesus is.

But that’s not all! Jesus tells us that he shows us the Father and he does what the Father teaches him. John 1:12 tells us that “to all who did receive [Jesus], who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,” (ESV). As children of the Father, we become more like him the more time we abide in his word and allow him to teach us. Knowing the Father shows us who we are. And we can know the Father because Jesus shows us who he is. Follow along with us as we answer the questions: who is Jesus? and who are 

Kingdom Community – A Message Series

Be sure to catch up on any messages you missed of this series exploring where God wants to take us as a church in these uncertain times.

In the Vineyard, we sometimes say that we are a community of communities. We believe that Jesus didn’t just save us, but brought us into His family. The book of 1 Peter says that when we are made alive in Christ we become part of a royal priesthood and a holy nation. We have a new place to belong. We are in a partnership together. We share a purpose. We do things together. We help each other grow and we collectively act in love toward God and the people around us.

So much of scripture only makes sense in the context of community–just read Romans 12 for instance. In this era of “social distancing”, I believe that it’s more important than ever to focus on being the community that Jesus desires us to be. A community that is not just a social club but is the citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven coming together to love and restore the world. This series will explore the ways Kingdom Communities are distinctive.

We are a:

  • Healthy Community – We are committed to being churches who practice emotional health through strong relationships.  
  • Healing Community – We have always prayed faithfully for the sick – in our church services and in the everyday workplaces and neighborhoods we inhabit.
  • Biblical Community – We are committed to the careful study and interpretation of the Bible, and to the faithful preaching of its message. 
  • Outward-Focused Community – We aim to be outposts of the kingdom of God, bringing hope and help from Jesus to anyone who wants it.
  • Worshiping Community – Worship is an environment in which we experience God – so we make it a priority in our gatherings. 
  • Multiplying Community – As a church planted by a church planted by a church, we aim to continue to grow one small group at a time.
  • Pentecost Driven Community – We have a rich heritage of spiritual wisdom summarized in such phrases as “Do What The Father Is Doing” and “Faith Is Spelled R-I-S-K”.

Loveland Vineyard Community COVID-19 Update

In accordance with the Larimer Country Stay-at-Home Order, we will no longer host a formal service at our church building. Instead we will meet virtually using Zoom, a video conference service. For more information, check out our blog post here.

The Loveland Vineyard Food Pantry and Kids Cloths Closet will continue to be available during the Larimer County Stay-at-Home Order. Essential business that stay open include “businesses that provide necessities of life for economically disadvantaged individuals and shelter facilities.” We have already seen an increased need, and will continue operating for as long as there are people to help. We have already begun implementing changes to ensure a healthy and safe environment. Here is what you can expect to be different.

  • New Hours.
    • To keep up with the increased need we will be open on Tuesday. Our hours are now: Tuesday through Thursday from 9:00am -12:00noon.
  • Pre-packaged groceries.
    • Now all of our food will be pre-sorted and packaged, including our produce section. If you are unable to use an item from your box or bag, offer it to someone else you know that may be in need. We are unable to re-use items from opened boxes at this time.
  • Verbal Questioner
    • We already keep our forms to a minimum, but will be making small changes to keep everyone safe. Everyone coming in will be asked to verbally answer answer our questioner, and our volunteers will write it down for our records. This is to reduce contact with shared surfaces like pens and clipboards.
  • Social Distancing Conducive Layout
    • We are now monitoring the number of people let inside the building at a time. We have also rearranged our lobby, maximizing the distance between people.  We ask that everyone be respectful of space and keep the recommended distance from each other.

We have an amazing group of volunteers working hard to keep the space as clean and inviting as possible. If you would like to volunteer or are interesting in learning more about our volunteer opportunities please call our office at (970) 667-8668. We are also accepting financial donations to replenish our food and cleaning supplies. If you would like to contribute to this ministry you can give through the Givelify app and choose the “Food Pantry” envelope.

 

HOW TO HELP VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE DURING THE COVID-19 OUTBREAK

Here are some great tips from Alternatives to Violence on how to support victims of violence during quarantine.

Victims of violence are some of the most vulnerable members in our community right now. Being at home isn’t a safe haven for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Here are just a few ways to help someone in need right now.

  • Don’t text–call. A voice often offers much more comfort than a text. Plus, a friend in need may be more likely to express concerns and emotions in an actual verbal conversation. You may even be able to detect if there is something wrong talking or Face Timing a friend.
  • Encourage them to act fast: For victims who are still healthy or not yet in quarantine status, encourage them to move while they can–either to a friend’s house or shelter. Staying at home may become more violent as time goes by.
  • Practice self-care: Initiate a little shared girl time, even if it’s online. Encourage your friend to think about their well being, whether that’s doing a free online yoga class or a facial. Keeping occupied and maintaining good wellness habits is important.
  • Drop off necessities: It is very likely that an abusive partner will withhold necessities like hand sanitizer as a form of power or control. Offer to pick up essentials for your friend and personally deliver them to ensure they’ve been received.

SUPPORT VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE BY SUPPORTING ATV! As we try to navigate the challenges we have been faced with during the COVID-19 outbreak, ATV is doing all we can to be there for those who need us most right now. The cancellation of the Purple Ribbon Breakfast is a great loss of revenue. We are uncertain on how to plan for even the next few weeks ahead. If you are able, please make a donation to ATV. However small, every bit of help is needed right now. It is so important that we maintain our shelter and 24-hour crisis hotline. So many people are looking to us for guidance and support. We are grateful for your consideration and generosity.

A Virtual Church Experiment

Updated March 21, 2020 with new Zoom links

The Vineyard is known for finding the “radical middle.” We strive to find a balance between reading the Bible, and doing the stuff; between learning about the Holy Spirit and engaging with the Holy Spirit. Looking at the vast reactions surrounding COVID-19 shutdowns, how can we find balance in our responses? We want to find the radical middle moving forward; honoring our local leaders and the guidelines given to us, but also honoring God and walking in His confidence. We hope to find the balance between safety and community.

Zoom video conferencingThis Sunday, we would like to try using Zoom, a video conference service, to hold our weekly gathering. This is different from live streaming or podcasts because it is interactive and community oriented. If you are comfortable, consider inviting a couple close friends over to watch together. If you aren’t able to, or are uncomfortable meeting in person with others, you can still follow along and participate from the comfort of your own home.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Here are the details for the Zoom service, please read everything carefully. If you are unfamiliar with how to use Zoom, watch this short instructional video.

Sunday Service

Sunday, April 5 at 10:00am (join at 9:45 to say hi before the service)
For video, click this link: https://zoom.us/j/738076515
If you don’t have a smart phone or computer with a camera, you can call in using this number: +1 669 900 6833 Meeting ID: 738 076 515

Service Cancellation Due To COVID-19

With schools and churches across the state closing in response to the Coronavirus pandemic we felt it wise to cancel our formal service this Sunday. We will be there at 10am with a pot of coffee for anyone who wishes to show up for a time of prayer. Check with your small group leader to see if they are meeting this week as well.

I encourage you not to give in to fear while still taking reasonable precautions as directed by health professionals. As you find yourself at home more in the next few weeks, look for the opportunities to grow closer to God. It’s easier to binge Netflix but I believe that Jesus is faithful to work good out of every circumstance. So during this time let’s do what we always do: Love God and Love People.

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