IN THIS ISSUE #TWO AUTUMN/WINTER2015
Rest LEARNING TO
COMING UP AT CENTRAL VINEYARD PAGE 03 WELCOME FROM STEVE & TAMMY PAGE 04 GETTING INVOLVED PAGE 06
WHO’S WHO PAGE 07
THE YARD YOUTH PAGE 14
ROOTED: DAILY RHYTHMS OF BEING WITH GOD, TOGETHER. PAGE 12
CONNECT GROUPS & HUDDLES PAGE 15
CENTRAL VINEYARD KIDS PAGE 13
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WE LOVE STUDENTS PAGE 19
COMING UP AT CENTRAL VINEYARD 25
Alpha Launch Party
Christmas Carol service
SEPTEMBER Alpha is a series of interactive sessions to discuss the Christian faith in an informal, fun and friendly environment.
SEPTEMBER Newcomers’ Lunch
Please ask anyone at the information point for more details.
OCTOBER Street Church is a joint Northampton churches event serving some of the town’s homeless and most vulnerable people. Street Church happens every Sunday as a drop-in service from 1.00pm to about 3.15pm at the Salvation Army Church on Tower Street, Northampton. Sunday 18th October is our turn to provide food and practical assistance. Please speak to Ken Willis for details.
Team from Mansfield Vineyard visiting Join us as we welcome our friends from Mansfield Vineyard to our sunday service.
6:00pm - 7:30pm at Northampton High School, Newport Pagnell Road, Northampton NN4 6UU
Christmas Celebration 10:15am - 12:00pm at Northampton High School, Newport Pagnell Road, Northampton NN4 6UU
NOVEMBER Newcomers’ Lunch
Please ask anyone at the information point for more details.
VK’s Christmas Party 4:00pm - 6:00pm at Riverside Hub
No Sunday service. See you in the New Year! AUTUMN/WINTER 2015 CONNECT | 03
WELCOME TO CENTRAL VINEYARD
A very warm welcome to Central Vineyard church, we are thrilled that you are either visiting us on Sunday or interested in joining us. 04 | CONNECT AUTUMN/WINTER 2015
If you are visiting for the first time, please introduce yourself to the Host team. If you would like to get more involved, please visit the Information Point. We are very much looking forward to getting to know you.
Steve & Tammy Gee Lead Pastors
It can be daunting coming to a Sunday service for the first time, so we aim to make your visit as simple and enjoyable as possible by letting you know exactly what is going to happen. Fresh coffee, a selection of teas and other refreshments along with doughnuts and snacks are served from 10.15am in the main lobby of the school. If you have children and youth they can be registered for Vineyard Kids too. The service will start with a time of worship, which lasts for about 20 minutes. Feel free to stand, sing and join in with our worship or you are welcome to sit, relax and enjoy the atmosphere. After worship, the children and youth will go to their groups, at this time there will then be a very short break, during which bowls of chocolates are passed round and our
offering taken. This is then followed by a few announcements, and a chance to hear some news from the life of the church. After this, someone will give a bible-related talk, which is followed by more worship and an opportunity for everyone to respond and receive prayer if they would like to. After the service, please make your way over to the Information Point, where you can chat to some of our team. Ask any questions you might have and discover other helpful information. Youâ€™ll also have time to grab another drink from the Refreshments point if you wish.
............................... Communion is held on the first Sunday of each month. We serve an open table, that means if youâ€™re on a journey towards Jesus, you are very welcome to partake!
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GETTING INVOLVED There are a few things that we would really encourage you to do in order to feel at home at Central Vineyard, but also to find your place and connect with other people in the church.
TURN UP ON SUNDAY The first way you can get involved in the life of Central Vineyard is just turning up to our 10:15am Sunday morning service.
You can sign up for our next newcomers lunch online. Just ask for details.
Our Connect Groups run on a termly basis. We also encourage people to form Huddles with two other people. See page 10 for more info.
There are many ways you can give of your time, talents and treasure. Please speak to a member of the Leadership team (page 12) to find out how you can serve.
We want to be a generous people, providing the church with the resources to do things well, whilst also demonstrating God’s generosity outside this church in what we give away. More details on giving can be found at the Information Point.
ATTEND OUR NEXT NEWCOMERS’ LUNCH
FIND A PLACE TO SERVE
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GET CONNECTED TO OTHERS
WHOâ€™S WHO AT CENTRAL VINEYARD STEVE & TAMMY GEE
PETE & ANYA WILLIS
Oversee: vision & direction, newcomers, teaching, church planting, worship, pastoral care, staff team & ministry resources
Oversee: community life & discipleship, students, communications & Re:store Northampton
MIKE & KATE ADAMS
Oversees: overseas mission, homeless outreach, Re:store Northampton, events & benevolence
Oversee: Vineyard Kids & prayer life
COMMUNITY & CLUSTER LEADERS
Our community and cluster leaders offer oversight and support to both Connect Group leaders and the various communities within the life of the church.
As a registered charity, Central Vineyard has a board of trustees whose task is to ensure the church remains within the legislative framework for charities.
DAVID TAYLOR email@example.com
STEVE GEE firstname.lastname@example.org
TOM & ASH NICHOLSON
KEN & ANN WILLIS
PAUL & ESTHER VEAL
Students / 20s leaders
PHILIP EVANS email@example.com
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BOLIVIA PARTNERSHIP SAM RAJAGOPAL In March 2015, I had the opportunity to travel to Bolivia for 4 days and attend the Bolivian Vineyard National Leaders conference. As there are only four Vineyard churches in Bolivia it wasnâ€™t a big affair but I had the chance to meet all the leaders. The purpose of the trip was to see if Central Vineyard should join the Bolivian Mission partnership.
AT THE CORE OF THE PARTNERSHIP IS RELATIONSHIP
So what does this mean for us at Central Vineyard? Firstly we would like you to keep the churches in Bolivia in your prayers. The names of the leaders and locations are:
BOLIVIA IS A COUNTRY OF GREAT DIVERSITY, BOTH IN ITS GEOGRAPHY AND ITS PEOPLE.
Santa Cruz Paul and Kristin Hoffman, missionaries Arturo and Fabiola Vespa Hebert Vargas and Karen Arcos
There are currently 4 Vineyard churches (in the USA) that are in partnership with the Bolivian Vineyard, and we have now agreed to become the 5th. At the core of the partnership is relationship. As we connect with the church in Bolivia, we have the opportunity to equip, strengthen and encourage them, so they can be catalysts for change in their country.
Cochabamba Remberto Sejas and Esther Gonzales La Paz Antonio and Evelin Barrero Hilton Morales and Susana Monrroy As a church we will be supporting the partnership financially. We are also hoping to make a trip out to Bolivia in 2016 with a few people, with a longer, larger trip planned for 2017. For more information please speak to Sam Rajagopal
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Rest LEARNING TO
BY STEVE GEE @stevegee78
BEING ON SABBATICAL WAS A REAL PRIVILEGE, NOT MANY OF US HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO RELINQUISH OURSELVES FROM OUR DAY TO DAY DUTIES AND TAKE SOME EXTENDED TIME TO RELAX, RECHARGE AND RECALIBRATE. FOR OUR FAMILY AND FOR OUR CONTINUED SENSE OF CALLING TO THE MINISTRY GOD HAS GIVEN US, THIS HAS BEEN A VALUABLE TIME AND SOMETHING THAT WILL CONTINUE TO FUEL US IN THIS NEXT SEASON.
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LEARNING TO Rest ...CONTINUED
One things I learnt early on in our time away was that resting is a discipline and skill to be learnt. We live in a culture where busyness and hurry is seen as our badge of honour, where we compete with each other on how tired we feel and where the god of productivity becomes our new taskmaster. In 1960’s labor experts predicted that advancements in technology would make us more productive, we would only need to work three day weeks because we’d get so much done quicker and more efficiently. Instead technology has actually had the opposite affect, we’ve ended up working more hours than ever before. And so with the rise of the personal computer, email, the internet and smart phones we’ve given birth a to an ‘always switched on’ work ethic. The net result may mean we are doing more and getting more done, but it’s also having a dramatic affect on our heath, leading to things like depression, stress and even burn out. The journey of a disciple of Jesus in the 21st century is often a journey of counter-formation… in our pursuit of Christ we are to be formed by a new set of habits, to live by the rhythm of a different Kingdom and to worship at the feet of a new taskmaster. As one author puts it, ‘If we want to live a wholehearted life, we have to become intentional about cultivating sleep and play, and about letting go of exhaustion as a status symbol and productivity as self worth’ or as Dallas Willard writes: ‘The most important factor for spiritual growth - is to ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life’.
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So how do we step into the discipline of Rest? By learning to switch off An important lesson for me to learn over our time away was the process of switching off and disengaging from the noise. For me that meant turning off my emails, not feeling the compulsion to respond to text messages there and then and giving my attention to other things, the things I enjoy and the things that help me to feel replenished. As I’ve come back to work post sabbatical I realised I need to maintain some similar standards; on my days off it needs to be email off and phone left at home. It means activating this wonder feature called ‘Do Not Disturb’ past a certain time of day and learning to unplug from a always switched on world.
By learning new rhythms Mike Breen says ‘We need a biblical framework for a rhythm of life that allows us to be fruitful in balance with being at rest’. The opening chapters of the book Genesis make it clear that God didn’t intend for humans to be overworked and stressed. God created humans on the sixth day, giving them work to do in a garden. But on the seventh day, which the first day on the job for those first humans, it started with a day of rest. Though humans are created to work, God intended rest to receive a priority in our lives. God created humans for work, but it started with a day of rest. We are called to work from a place of rest, not rest from our work! One reason we should rest is because rest is productive. This is often difficult to accept, after all, those of us with long to-do lists get restless when even going to bed early - it feels counterintuitive for most of us. But the reality is we cannot function at our highest capacities
Pruning without adequate rest. And most of us severely underestimate how much sleep we really need. We get more accomplished when we are physically, mentally, and spiritually well-rested than we do when avoiding rest altogether. ‘Imagine a pendulum swinging in rhythm–back and forth, to and fro. The shape created by this swinging pendulum is a Semi-Circle. At one end of the pendulum’s arc is fruitfulness. At the other end is abiding. We can’t have one without the other. We abide in Christ, then go forth to bear fruit. We bear fruit; then we are pruned back and enter a time of abiding. Rest, work, work, rest. It is a rhythm we see in nature as well’. - Mike Breen This semi-circle idea teaches us that we need to live out of the overflow of our relationship with God. When we rest from our activities; daily, weekly, monthly, and seasonally and we devote that time to prayer, the study of Scripture and rest, our work will then flow from these moments. As Mike Breen goes on to say ‘This will involve at least one day for rest and others for work. Our weekly routines should make way for special family members, church and the neighbours God calls us to love as ourselves’. Maybe you could break your day down into different portions; eight hours of sleep, eight hours of work, four hours engaging, and four hours disengaging. These guidelines are helpful, but they can’t be seen as a strict rule. Many of us work differently patterns and depending on what that looks like, then each of us will need to discern what would best offer a really healthy work-rest balance. So think through your schedule and your habits and start to set some boundaries.
By learning intentional rest Now intentionality has the potential of becoming the next buzzword, but so often we have a tendency of spend a lot of time in pointless pursuits and fail to spend time resting. How we rest requires just as much discipline as how we work. And we need to be honest with ourselves about the things that are draining and should be more limited. Speaking as someone who often skips sleep to do things, I know it is easy to convince ourselves that what we are doing is restful when it is actually draining. Intentional rest mean finding activities that “fill you up” spiritually, mentally, physically, and emotionally, then learning to schedule those activities and ensuring you practice them. Be intentional about your being, so that when you are truly rested, you can be productive in your doing. So let me leave you with he words of Jesus: “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11: 28 - 30 (MSG)
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Daily rhythms of being with God, together.
Rooted, a daily rhythm of word, worship and prayer that we can do together! This autumn why not sign up to Rooted and everyday you’ll get some resources that will help you live a life deeply rooted and in rhythm with God. Rooted is a resource created to encourage you to live life with God and with others and our desire is it will help us develop a rhythm of being with God, together as a whole church family.
It’s a community based devotional Rooted works best when you’re living these rhythms with other people, so encourage those in your Connect Group, Huddles or friends to sign up with you.
What are the rhythms? MORNING
GREET THE DAY GOD MADE.
PREPARE TO BE INTERRUPTED.
STOP TO THINK.
Possibly works best with a cup of tea. You’ll receive daily reading and prayer. What is God saying and what are you going to do about it today?
At 12pm each day we stop wherever we are, and whatever we’re doing, to say the Lord’s prayer.
Switch the TV off and ask God a few things. What do I have to be thankful for today? Where did I experience God today? How could I have responded differently to the day?
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SIGN UP AT ROOTED.ORG.UK
We believe that children are a vital part of our church and therefore we want them to be actively involved in worship, reading the Bible, prayer, ministry, serving, giving and sharing God’s heart for the poor and those that don’t yet know Jesus. Each week we create a fun and exciting place for both the children and the team! Our team run children’s groups on Sunday morning for children aged 18 months - 11 years and and then every other Sunday afternoon there is a connect group for key stage 2 children. These are high quality, fun, interactive sessions which help the children and the leaders get to know Jesus better, and explore the amazing things He invites us to do.
We aim to lovingly disciple the children and pray that they will grow in their walk with Jesus – loving Him with all their hearts and following Him every day. If you are looking for a church and have children, then we would love you all to join us. There is also Connect Group for 7s to 11s every other Sunday during term time, email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details
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Our youth age group is for those in Year 7 upwards. We have a passion for building up young people who will worship God through the good times and the bad and who are excited about having a relationship with Jesus. The Yard is for those who desire to study their Bibles, pray and see things happen, and who have a heart to reach out to the community in which they live.
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Our youth get together in different environments throughout the month, firstly they gather every Sunday morning during the service, then most Sunday afternoons for the youth
Connect Group. They have plenty of time to hang out, play games, learn more about Jesus and pray for one another. We are serious about having lots of fun but also serious about passionately following Jesus.
CONNECT GROUPS & HUDDLES CONNECT GROUPS are an important part of being connected here at Central Vineyard. We want everyone who walks through our doors to have a really good opportunity to find some key friendships with people while they find places to develop their relationship with Jesus. This is what our Connect Groups are all about. They meet weekly in various homes and venues across Northampton and surrounding areas. They are places where we simply do life together. Each group is a bit different in scope, but they are all lead by passionate leaders, and are tied together with some key values, giving you a chance to choose a great group that suits your interests, needs and schedule.
HUDDLES are our smallest groups. They are organic and relational and can happen anywhere that fits in with your life. At home, the gym or in your lunch break. There is no leader for these so you need to form one yourself.
Each group exists to provide you with a fun place to meet and develop meaningful relationships with Jesus and others at your own pace. Our Connect Groups start and finish on a term by term basis. This allows everyone to sign-up for groups at the same time, three times a year. These are called our sign-up months, and will take place in January, May and September.
The best way to do that is to get into a Connect Group and when you feel at home, see if there are another two folk of the same gender and agree to form a Huddle. They are a simple way to look up, look in and look out with one or two other people.
If you would like to find out more about our Connect Groups or Huddles, please speak to Pete & Anya Willis email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org AUTUMN/WINTER 2015 CONNECT | 15
THIS IS WHAT THE LORD REQUIRES OF YOU, TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT, LOVE MERCY AND WALK HUMBLY WITH YOUR GOD. MICAH 6:8 Re:store Northampton is the compassion ministry of Central Vineyard, established as a separate charity for various reasons in 2013, it is still our greatest collective opportunity to be the hands, feet and heart of our church in this town. Northampton Food Bank started in 2009 with a few small food parcels to people in need, and has grown and developed into a town wide approach to feeding people in crisis, with over 9,000 adults and children receiving food parcels in 2014. However, there is much more to be done than just feeding the hungry. Jesus called us to ‘feed his sheep’, and that includes emotional, physical and spiritual nourishment. The HUB has developed into a safe space where people drop-in every Tuesday and Thursday, 11-1, for support, advice, a free meal and most often just for some company. Most are out of work, some have never worked but others have had good jobs and then something has just gone a bit wrong, whether it be illness, mental health issues, addictions or just a downturn in the economy. It is humbling to sit alongside these friends, listening to their stories, noticing their resilience and seeking opportunities to bless them as they bless us. Serving the ‘widows and
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the orphans’ of this town is not a sacrifice, its an awesome opportunity which our team of staff and volunteers are thankful for each week. We want to offer a ‘hand up’ rather than just a ‘hand out’, so we have developed a range of projects where vulnerable adults and families can find community, develop skills and move into greater independence. The Allotment is in it’s second year, with 4 large plots at Weston Favell, and a teaching programme attended by men and women who may have been in refuge, used the food bank or have offending histories or in other ways needing additional support. We have some faithful volunteers from CV and the local area who get alongside these adults, teaching, listening and supporting for a few hours each week. From the Autumn, we will be starting a cookery course, equipping adults with the skills to shop on a budget, cook from scratch and make healthy family meals. God’s favour is upon this as we have been granted 100% funding, and a free brand new kitchen to run this. It will also be linked with healthy lifestyle workshops at the HUB. It also links in with our CAP Money course, helping people to manage their money effectively. Please pray for people to commit, attend, and benefit from these courses. Volunteers are the backbone of all we do at Re:store, with people from all walks of life and levels of commitment getting involved to share skills and support others in their own community. It has been a joy (and lets be honest, sometimes a challenge!) to welcome service users into the volunteer team, building their skills and confidence and for some, getting one step closer to employment. There are other ideas for the development of Re:store over the next 3-5 years, including mentor relationships with working professionals to link with those seeking employment; practical skills
workshops i.e. sewing; weekly parents & tot group; pamper sessions; alpha courses; advice & advocacy appointments; prayer/healing rooms… and more. You may well have skills to share, and ways that you can get involved around your current lifestyle! Our aim at Re:Store Northampton is to be obedient Jesus, who said in Matt 25: 35-40 “I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’… ‘Whatever you did for the least of my family, you did for me”. We are to seek justice and address issues of poverty in our communities. We want to live with open hearts and hands towards the poor, disadvantaged and broken, as we continually look for God-given opportunities to serve those most in need.
How can you get involved in this ministry of Central Vineyard?
for the team, for those needing God’s love, for people to come in, for us to reach out
use your skills to get involved in one of the projects, or develop new ones with us!
Re:store is 100% fundraising reliant. Central Vineyard contributes to some costs, but the majority has to be found through applications to trust funds and individual donations. Anya Willis e: email@example.com
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20 & 21 NOVEMBER 2015 TRENT VINEYARD, NOTTINGHAM THE CAUSE TO LIVE FOR IS A NETWORK OF STUDENTS, 20S AND 30S ACROSS THE VINEYARD MOVEMENT IN THE UK & IRELAND. WITH THE AIM TO INSPIRE, EQUIP AND PROPEL OUR GENERATION IN THE MINISTRY OF THE KINGDOM.
The main event happens every autumn in a blaze of worship, teaching and ministry. Buy your ticket today and join a gathering of your generation who are desperate to see a move of God’s Kingdom breakout across our nations. FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE SPEAK TO TOM NICHOLSON
SEE www.causetolivefor.org.uk 18 | CONNECT AUTUMN/WINTER 2015
WE STUDENTS As a student you face an amazing opportunity and a unique set of challenges. As a community within the church we are thoroughly committed to providing a ‘home’ for you, so you can feel supported, envisioned and equipped to live passionately for Jesus during this stage of life. We really want to help all our students get plugged in to church life here in Northampton. We offer everyone wanting to get more involved many different training opportunities, including leadership, discipleship, mentoring, worship and serving in the church. For more details speak to:
Tom & Ash Nicholson Students & 20s Leaders
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YOU CAN KEEP UP-TO-DATE WITH ALL THAT IS GOING ON AT CENTRAL VINEYARD IN THE FOLLOWING WAYS: FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA TWITTER @centralvineyard
SIGN-UP TO EMAIL NEWS ALERTS Give us your email address at the Information Point and we’ll add you to our mailing list. We won’t spam you, we promise!
VISIT MYCENTRALVINEYARD.COM Once we have your email address, you will be able to log in to www.mycentralvineyard.com. There, you can update your contact details, sign-up to our Connect Groups and events and even view your giving history.
OFFICE ADDRESS Central Vineyard Hub Unit G3, Nene Enterprise Centre Freehold Street | Northampton NN2 6EF
t 01604 211321 e firstname.lastname@example.org
Central Vineyard Northampton is a registered charity number: 1128417