The Forecast predicts Spring is here to stay
That was the headline on Bling the other day – “Spring weather is on the way and forecasters predict it is here to stay.” I think there is a difference between a forecast and a prediction, one sounds less certain than the other. It’s funny because the other night I woke up thinking about the difference between forecasts and predictions (probably as a result of going to sleep with the help of the shipping forecast). And then as I was reading my bible I came across Jesus using the weather forecast as a metaphor with which to silence the religious leaders of his day (Matthew 16:1-4), “You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.”
I want to use the same metaphor to tell you that the weather is changing and I forecast a different climate coming up in the life of the Vineyard! It’s all good but the wind is changing direction and, if we extend the metaphor to sailing, we are going to be able to sail in a different direction and go faster than before and into coves and harbours that previously we couldn’t reach.
Last Sunday we heard from Ben and Kate and from Ian and Hannah about their plans to go and plant churches! I will be writing to you (Leeds Vineyard) about this in the next week or so along with news of some other bright and cheerful weather fronts approaching.
In the meantime can I remind you about some of the subjects we have launched on Sunday mornings – you can listen to the podcasts here (if you would like to read the text and it isn’t there, please let us know).
Vision: I have done several talks about our vision for this year. One called “Taking Stock - HHH” about our commitment to Headingley. Another called “Hey world, this is your church” in which I speak to the world outside our doors with the message that we are here for you. Another called “A culture of invitation – it’s not about you” which is the first main talk in a series which we will return to at different times over this year. These are important for understanding what we think God has called us to in the coming months.
I also addressed a couple of juicy topics in February: Firstly, Giving is good for you, particularly to address the questions of how much should we give and to whom? Secondly, Gender Equality, what the bible says and how it affects our church life. Although these don’t represent a “party line” (I always encourage you to read the scriptures, pray and work out what you think about these things) they do represent my convictions about these issues.
I commend the Vine to you. Here is their latest newsletter which makes encouraging and moving reading.
Our theme for Easter this year is Caterpillars and Butterflies and you can find out more about events here. On the Thursday evening there is a prayer and worship evening which is for Leeds Vineyard folk and then on Friday morning our traditional egg rolling and breakfast on Ilkley Moor – which is something to which you can invite anyone. Easter Sunday is weekly worship as normal and will be a great opportunity to invite people who want to hear the good news about Jesus’ resurrection victory.
The Caterpillar and Butterfly themes are based on Luke 19 and 24.
Sunday 20 March, Pete Sammons, the Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem – Palm Sunday, Luke 19:28-44
Sunday 27 March, David Flowers, the Resurrection – Easter Day, Luke 24:1-12
Sunday 3 April, Matt Button, the Emmaus Road, Luke 24:13-35
Sunday 10 April, Michele Goulding, the Ascension, Luke 24:36-53
Another date for your diary is 24 July when we would love to make our regular visit to Ilkley to baptise people in the river Wharfe!
Speaking of the weather, the climate around my life has changed considerably in the last few months. I have resigned from a couple of charity boards (Vineyard Churches UK&I and Stewardship - which took up quite a number of days each year) and our Area responsibilities for the Vineyard have halved as we split our Area in two. I have also resigned from my professional identity as a Financial Advisor (although I still work a few hours each week in my business).
Mysteriously, I remain as busy as ever but am trying to change that. I really am. I want to make time to read and write more and am focussed primarily on serving Leeds Vineyard now.
And here’s a new limerick from my current favourite collection (A lion was learning to ski by Ranjit Bolt):
A Buddhist from Burma opined
That suffering is all in the mind
But he altered this view
When he sat on a screw
And it punctured his ample behind
That’s another contribution to our understanding of the “already and not yet”!
11 March 2016