Times of Application, Times of Celebration
To Leeds Vineyard
There are times when life in the community of faith just bumbles along, moving happily from one regular event to another, experiencing some difficulties here and some merriment there but without any particular peaks or troughs. We see God at work among us, we continue to learn about growing as disciples but our story smooths out for a while. And then, all of a sudden, lots starts to happen – and we enter a season of excitement.
Well the last couple of weeks have given us some excitement with two causes for prayer and application and four causes for prayer and celebration!
The more challenging things have been getting on top of GDPR and closing in on the purchase of Vineyard House.
Whilst being, in my view, a GOOD thing, has caused us, along with everyone else, a deal of head-scratching, small-print reading, deep discussion and lots of extra communication. The fact that you are reading this means that you have responded to our requests to stay in touch. Thank you! It would be really helpful if you could ask around your friends and family within the Vineyard and check whether or not they received “News from David”. If they didn’t it means that either they haven’t responded or that they have - and they don’t want to hear from us ever again!
The team have been hard at work behind the scenes with last minute negotiations and the tying up of legal loose ends. I’d continue to value your prayers over this in the next few days and I’m looking forward to reporting back with good news very soon.
The matters of celebration have been many but here are FOUR:
We welcome Ezra James Button to planet earth. The family are doing well, learning the startling rhythms of life with child no.3 - each day bringing something new! Please pray for Anne, Matt, Reuben and Amy, as well as baby Ezra. If you’d like to support them by making meals please contact Sue or Sally at the office.
We welcomed Dave & Rachael into marital bliss at a wonderful wedding last Saturday. They were ministered to by 3 different denominations (Rachael’s father who is an Anglican minister conducted the wedding vows; Tim Boocock, the Methodist minister at HMC took charge of the signing of the register; and Alison and I led the service, preached and prayed - with help from Richard & Sally Pollard). Nevertheless, it was a wholly Vineyard wedding with many of you turning out to serve them in many ways throughout the day. We were so proud of the way in which the Vineyard community supported and celebrated with Mr & Dr Bratley.
The weekend before that the leaders had their annual retreat, this time at Ampleforth Abbey. Apart from being a gloriously beautiful weekend in a stunning setting, it was also a super- beneficial time away for the leaders to kick back a little, learn some really helpful stuff (from Tom and Helen Murphy of Derwent Valley Vineyard), worship and pray together. There were also reported sightings of Harry & Meghan late on Saturday night and dancing into the early hours. You’ll have to ask the people who were there but suffice to say there was lots of fun and laughter too. One of our best ever weekends. A BIG thank you for the team who stayed behind in Leeds to ensure that weekly worship went ahead as usual.
The talks have been recorded and we’ll issue a notice when they are ready to download or listen to. The theme was “Leading into a New Era” and if you’re a leader (or just interested) I commend Tom and Helen’s talks as inspirational preparation for Vineyard House and my final session when I explained about how buildings are sometimes very important to God as a way of providing an Epiphany – a demonstration of His presence – and what that means for us.
And then we also celebrated with Pie Chart Sunday last weekend – remembering what God had been doing with us in the last year and being grateful for the way He had provided for us in people, money and resources. As we looked at 1 Peter 2 I reminded you that this isn’t just a social club with therapeutic tendencies. No, you are a Chosen, Royal, Holy, Special people – not because of what you have done but because of what has been done for you. You have been given a new identity and it is time to let people know!
Lots to give thanks for,