Who is Jesus?
Over 2 billion people, one third of the world’s population, identify themselves as Christians, followers of Jesus Christ (Pew Research Centre, 2011). That’s way more than any other religion. So who is this Christ whose name they take? We discover who he is mainly from four biographies written about him (the gospels). Mark’s gospel starts with, “The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God…” and it ends with the centurion who, on seeing how Jesus died, declared, “Surely this man was the Son of God” (despite having pledged allegiance to another divine ruler, Caesar).
The question, “Who is Jesus?” is our theme both for the month of prayer and fasting we’re about to start and It is also our main teaching theme for the year. The gospel of Mark is going to be our core text and the reference point for both the month of prayer & fasting and for the year’s theme. It’s an easy book to read, quite short too. You could probably read it in an evening! I commend it to you. You can pick up a free copy of the book on Sunday.
Fasting means to forego those things that bring us some comfort. This month you are invited to join in a month of fasting your screen! Click here and open the pdf at the bottom of the page to find out more.
This Sunday is our chance to reflect a little on what went on in 2016 and what we can look forward to in 2017. Here’s a heads-up on one or two key events to look out for in 2017:
Ben & Kate, Sam & Joseph will be heading North to Edinburgh before the summer. The long journey will be over and they will start gathering people to the new Edinburgh Vineyard. How exciting!
Ian & Hannah, Sam & Joy will be formally launching Bradford Vineyard during 2017 too. In the meantime do check out their local events such as the curry evening this Saturday (do go and join in, they’d love your support).
Our next Baptism service will be on 11 June. If you would like to be baptised or want to find out more please talk to your small group leader in the first instance.
The excellent Alpha Course starts again on 6 February at the Costa Coffee shop in Headingley. Are you wanting to know more about Jesus or do you have a friend who is asking questions – Alpha is a great way of finding out more.
Current leaders are invited to the Leaders’ Mini-weekend on the 17/18 March.
A huge favourite for many of us is the Ashburnham holiday in the summer. If you are planning your holidays – check it out!
A year ago, on Vision Sunday, I shared with you my expectation that we would buy a building in 2016. I was wrong about the date but right about the building and we are currently in the process of negotiating a purchase. This is a hidden treasure, a precious pearl and I’ll share more about it on Sunday!
This Sunday, as we start our month of prayer and fasting and as we look back and look forward, we will share communion - which seems most apt.
Next week, all of the Leadership Group, some of the staff team and some others will be heading to Nottingham for the National Leaders’ Conference. We’ll tell you about it the week after but much of it is available online too.
Finally, some rather sad news. Many of you will know Karen Davidson whom we knew when we were at South West London Vineyard and who was part of Leeds Vineyard for a while. She suffered bravely with various serious illnesses whilst holding down a senior job at Leeds Girls High School and contributing wonderfully to the church. Latterly, she and Mike have been living in her Irish homeland and last Sunday afternoon she died there peacefully. We feel her loss deeply but celebrate her life and know that she is now in a far better place: whole and well and worshipping at the feet of the Jesus she loved and served.