What price, generosity?
We love to reap a harvest and so we love to sow as well. Although sowing sometimes seems sacrificial and pointless at the time, it’s great when there is a harvest later on. Those of you who have given money to the Leeds Vineyard during the last financial year will have received an email from us recently saying, “thankyou”, confirming the numbers and reporting on the church’s finances.
This Sunday is the longingly awaited Pie Chart Sunday when I will report back on last year’s finances, share some harvest stories with you and let you know about some exciting and important ways in which we can sow into the future.
The harvest fruit:
We are seeing a wonderful harvest amongst our young people (T4:12). Ian & Liz Harden are leading a thriving bunch with a wonderful team of leaders. They get to do music, art, prayer ministry, bible study and just have fun together. Some 30 of our young people joined 700 others from around the Vineyard at DtI (Dreaming the Impossible) last weekend. The theme was “FREE” and the youth were challenged to walk Freely and boldly for Jesus. Three of our young people gave their lives to Jesus for the first time and there was one recommitment. The young people took an offering for Nepal and raised £500 between them. They all took part in and witnessed many healings, bondages broken, baptisms in the Holy Spirit and revelation released. Apparently there was much music & dancing & singing in the rain! Thank you to Ian, Liz and Jos for giving up their time (and dryness) to look after the young people for the weekend. A bonza harvest.
Other fruit we are beginning to see is when we pray for people on the street (as well as in our own neighbourhoods). It has been slow progress but the team’s diligent and consistent presence plus the impetus from the Doing the Stuff weekend is beginning to bring about a harvest in Headingley. If you would like to learn more about this and learn how to pray for people please contact Jerry & Pauline Wild who will be leading the team out again this Saturday.
Another evidence of harvest is when we get the privilege of witnessing people getting baptised. Our next baptism service is on 31 May and if you would like to be baptised please let me know ASAP. All are welcome to come up to Ilkley with us and join in the picnic lunch, games and baptism ceremony.
Our inspiration for seeking a harvest and being willing to sow in expectation is because we know that “Jesus is the divine gift which inspires all gifts” (RVG Tasker). Let’s continue, first and foremost, to tell people about Jesus and offer to pray for them to know him. Bring your friends and family to church or to your housegroup to hear about Jesus and experience His presence.
If you are new to the Vineyard we ask you to attend the Discovering Vineyard Course. This takes place over four Tuesday evenings in June (9, 16, 23 and 30). Alison and I lead the course (venue to be confirmed) and we introduce you to our vision and values and some of the people who lead in the Vineyard. Our aim is to help you understand what the Vineyard is, how we try to follow Jesus and how you can join in if you wish to do so. You can join up online, by calling the office or signing up on Sunday.
A big thank you to all those of you who wrote in to me (or shared with me) their reflections and convictions about politics and the General Election. I found it really helpful and thought-provoking. Ben preached on how we are called to engage with our culture 10 days ago and last Sunday I sought to give a biblical framework for making political judgements. You can read and listen here.
After Pie Chart Sunday next week I will be returning to our studies in Romans for a few weeks and then we will be starting a major new series called “Lifecraft from God” which will explore the book of Proverbs.