We’re heading into Headingley. At the start of the year I shared two goals for 2016: one, that we would become an invitational church; and two, that we would invest in property in Headingley. We are beginning to learn about the former. By the look of the numbers of new people showing up on Sundays, someone, somewhere is doing some inviting! We are also keeping an eye on opportunities to invest in property around HMC (Headingley Methodist Church) although nothing has jumped out at us yet (keep sending me notes of anything that you see). We do have to sell the Vineyard Centre before we can buy somewhere else and the year started with the news that we had received offers to buy it. After a long period with no interest whatsoever this was super-encouraging. These offers have not yet produced a firm result so I would ask you to keep praying for a really good committed buyer to complete the deal very soon.
Nevertheless, we believe that God has told us that we are going to be moving so we are acting accordingly. The latest big move has been to relocate the Child Contact Centre to HMC. Elaine and her team had a good trial run last Saturday and are due to open for business again on 16 April - in Headingley. That is an exciting move. In addition, Anne has scoped out some new offices ready for when it is time to vacate the Vineyard Centre. And we are completing a long-awaited spring-clean of accumulated paraphernalia at the Vineyard Centre (if you’ve left anything there you’d better go and claim it quick quick).
We had what I thought were a special few days over the Easter weekend. The Passover worship on Thursday was very precious, the Lord ministering freedom to many of us. We had a lot of fun on Ilkley Moor for breakfast on Friday morning with loads of friends and family joining in. And then it was so encouraging to see people’s response to the message of the resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday morning. The following Sunday we were privileged to hear Jeffery’s testimony of being set free from a lifetime’s blight as a result of cruel words spoken over him as a schoolboy. Freedom!
Ways to belong
We probably don’t talk about it enough so can I remind you about the characteristics of belonging at the Vineyard? We don’t have a membership so, in order to answer the question, “How do I know that I belong in this family?” we talk about the 7 ways. You can read about them on the “Join In” page of the website.
We have two dates for baptisms in the next few months: 22 May and 24 July. If you would like to be baptised please talk with your small group leader as soon as possible. Baptism isn’t a requirement for being part of the Vineyard but it is an important part of making a decision to follow Jesus (just as Jesus was baptised himself and commanded us to baptise all who wish to be His disciples). If you are new to the Vineyard we ask you to join the Discovering Vineyard Small Group for a term before being baptised.
The winter/spring term for small groups has just come to an end. Alison and I once again had a marvellous time with our latest Discovering Vineyard group. The new term’s groups will be launched in the next couple of weeks to begin at the end of April. Look out for the brochure. There will be some of the familiar groups but also a few new ones (for example a Marriage Course and a Parenting Course).
If you are leading a ministry in the Vineyard you are invited to the next Current Leaders’ meeting which will be held on 26 April (venue TBA).
We have been blessed by more babies arriving safely in recent weeks: Esme Eliza Molyneux arrived on 25 March (Good Friday) and baby daughter Ripping on Saturday 2 April. Wonderful news. Welcome girls and congratulations to your parents and brothers!
In case you missed it Rob is sending us occasional articles from his mission trip in South Africa. Here’s the latest: http://leedsvineyard.org/Articles/463872/Leeds_Vineyard/Join_in/Action/Rob_in_LIV.aspx
Finally, this newsmail/blog will continue to be posted from time to time and will mainly contain updates, news and advanced notice about what is happening in the life of Leeds Vineyard. I (David) will be authoring a separate blog with my thoughts on the “Signs of the times” – written through a biblical lens. You can read it at pastorflowers.