V I N E   S T R E E T 
 
 
A Village Of Unconditional, All Forgiving,
Never Ending LOVE.
 
 
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H O W   W E   W O R S H I P

Join Us Sunday Mornings

9:00 A.M. Village

Start your Sunday off in a casual, low-key gathering where we share breakfast and chat about Jesus and life. Small groups for all ages – Nursery Available!
 
 
This ain’t your old fashioned
Sunday School!
 
Join us September – May!
 
 
 

10:00 A.M. Worship

“A little something for everyone and a lot of Jesus” is how we worship. Come as you are and experience our energetic, spirit filled service with moving messages and music ranging from contemporary Christian to traditional hymns.
 
 
This service is geared for all
generations!
 
 

Teaching & Preachings

We teach and preach a Jesus that is real and authentic … Taken straight from the gospels with no biased or politics attached. Whether you’re an active participant or a “fly on the wall” listener, we have something for you.
 
 
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interests you!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
B I G  I D E A 
 
“The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:15).
 
Pastor Bob
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
C H U R C H   M E D I A

Recent Messages

April 2020

Middle Sabbath Service – April 29 ( Wednesday)

“Middle Sabbath Service – April 29 ( Wednesday)”.


Middle Sabbath Service — April 22 ( Wednesday)



Middle Sabbath Service — 1st week of Eastertide



Maundy Thursday Evening Service

“Maundy Thursday Evening Service”.


Sabbath Sunday Service — Palm Sunday

“Sabbath Sunday Service — Palm Sunday”.


Middle Sabbath Service – April 1

“Middle Sabbath Service – April 1”.


March 2020

Sunday Sabbath Service – 5th Sunday

“Sunday Sabbath Service – 5th Sunday”.


Middle Sabbath Service 2 — March 25th

“Middle Sabbath Service 2 — March 25th”.


Sunday Sabbath Service – 4th Sunday

“Sunday Sabbath Service – 4th Sunday”.


Middle Sabbath 1 — March 18 (Wednesday)

“Middle Sabbath 1 — March 18 (Wednesday)”.




 
 
 
 
 
F R O M   T H E   B L O G

Recent Posts

SOME OTHER VOICES … COMMENTING ON THESE TIMES

I spent some time this week looking around social media for what others were saying about these crazy times we’re living in right now.  

Here are a few of my favorites from the week:   

1) A poem by Leslie Dwight 

“What if 2020 isn’t cancelled?”                                                                                                                                                    By Leslie Dwight

What if 2020 is the year we’ve been waiting for?

A year so uncomfortable, so painful, so scary, so raw — that it finally forces us to grow.

A year that screams so loud, finally awakening us from our ignorant slumber.

A year we finally accept the need for change.

Declare change. Work for change. Become the change. A year we finally band together, instead of

pushing each other further apart.

2020 isn’t cancelled, but rather

the most important year of them all.

2) A TWEET posted by Cassidy Hall, quoting “How to Be an Antiracist”

A Tweet … Posted by Cassidy Hall at 2:53 PM on Mon, Jun 22, 2020:

“Like fighting an addiction, being an antiracist requires persistent self-awareness, constant self-criticism, and regular self-examination.”

From @DrIbram, “How to Be an Antiracist”

3) A FACEBOOK post by Serena Williams that was tweeted by Jerry Tipton

4) Another FACEBOOK post by Cathy Cox from Bishop-elect Deon K. Johnson of the Episcopal Church of Missouri. 

5) A Lao Tzu proverb from the book “The Little Voice” by Joss Sheldon

6) Finally, from your pastor, an answer to the question: “Why aren’t we back in church yet? Why are we still wearing masks? Why are we still sheltering?”

Answer: Look in the mirror. It’s for YOU! 

We are still in the midst of a virus that we know very little about. But we do know this: 1) it is highly contagious; 2) it is potentially deadly; 3) there is no treatment or vaccine; and 4) despite what we would like to believe, the case numbers and deaths continue to go up.  

PLEASE – keep wearing your masks; keep physical distancing; keep sheltering in place … and be very careful. Picture your most loved one in the mirror above … and do it for them.

Keep strong & stay healthy … 

Pastor <>< Bob

 

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LETTING PROPHETIC WORDS SPEAK TO US TODAY Bruce Springsteen – “Devils & Dust”

In 2005, “The Boss” penned these immortal words about the power of fear to change your heart, and thus change you, into the very thing you fear. I especially struggle with the line, “What if what you do to survive kills the things you love.” So often, it seems, we become the sin that we claim to condemn, and justify it because of our own fear.

Bruce speaks truth when he sings about the power of fear: Even if you‘ve got God on your side, fear will “take your God filled soul, and fill it with devils and dust.”  

I got God on my side

And I’m just trying to survive

What if what you do to survive

Kills the things you love

Fear’s a powerful thing, baby

It can turn your heart black you can trust

It’ll take your God filled soul

And fill it with devils and dust

<><

Bob Dylan – “The Times They are a-Changin’”

It’s almost as if this song could have been written this week. Dylan tells the universal story of social change and the struggle to move society from one paradigm to the next. I always play this song to my college political science classes to assure them that things do not have to stay the way they are. But it’s an even more important message for my generation. (See “Come mothers and fathers …”) We are the ones who generally hold up the movements for equality and justice because we don’t trust the new paradigm. As Dylan writes, we can’t admit that the waters around us have changed; we’re about to get drenched to the bone; and we better start swimmin’ or we’ll sink like a stone.” That could be what’s happening today!

Every single word of this masterpiece is prophetic, and gets right to the heart of the struggle for social change. I encourage you to take some time to read this very slowly, and reflect on it personally. What side are you on? 

And, of course, Dylan closes with the gospel! He tells us we are in the midst of a spiritual movement, and I love the way he uses Jesus’s words to compel us to get on board. For, “the first one now will later be last” Face it … “ … the times they are a-changin’”         

Come gather ’round, people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you is worth savin’
And you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who
That it’s namin’
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
The battle outside ragin’
Will soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don’t criticize
What you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is rapidly agin’
Please get out of the new one
If you can’t lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin’

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is rapidly fadin’
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin’

 

Sisters & Brothers ~ Let us heed the call of our prophetic voices: Keep your hearts pure and claim the change that is happening … and let it begin with you!

Pastor Bob <><

 


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PASTOR BOB’S NEIGHBORHOOD: “Owning My “White-tiousness”

A religion scholar comes to Jesus and wants to know how one attains eternal life. After Jesus gives the man his initial answer, including the command to love your neighbor as yourself, the man has one quick follow-up question for Jesus …   

Luke 10:29 — Looking for a loophole, he asked, “And just how would you define ‘neighbor’?”

Inadvertently, the religion scholar opens the door for Jesus to tell a story about the exact nature of the love that he expects from all of us. In short, Jesus teaches that there are no exceptions to this command, and that everybody is our neighbor. In trying to find a loophole, the religion scholar clarified exactly who and when Jesus expects us to love as He loves us: Everybody … Always! 

The time is now here for me in own my life to own this story, by owning my own story. It’s time for me to become a better neighbor to those who are not like me; to be Samaritan than priest or Levite. 

Luke 10: 36-37 — “What do you think? Which of the three became a neighbor to the man attacked by robbers?” “The one who treated him kindly,” the religion scholar responded. Jesus said, “Go and do the same.”

I did not know George Floyd, but I know many people who aren’t like me, and I know of many more that are like him. But even then, the “neighbor” in Jesus’s story didn’t know the man in the ditch. Which didn’t keep him from lifting him, carrying him to help, providing a safe place for nourishment and healing, and offering some extra help for the rest of the journey.  It seems that Jesus expects people of privilege and preference to be really good neighbors. 

Now I realize — I have a “me” problem. I cannot honestly read the story of the Good Samaritan without confessing that my role in this story is played by either the priest or the Levite, who both prudently moved to the other side of the street so as to avoid the man needing help. I wonder why I have been content to walk on the safe side of the street my whole life while so many of my neighbors continue to face hardships and danger from the same social structures that offer me such preference and privilege. 

This week I have been asking God to show me what I need to do to become a better neighbor. God immediately showed me, first of all, who I am. You see, I have learned the hard way that you can’t get God’s help, or anyone else’s, if you don’t admit to yourself that you have a problem. God revealed to me four problems I have: 1) I am white; 2) I am male; 3) I am straight; and 4) I am of European descent. 

Isn’t that interesting? I’ve never thought of those as problems for me. All along I have thought those were “good” things to be. I even preferred to be those things, because somehow I’ve been trained to think those four characteristics were indeed “better” than the alternatives. I felt fortunate that I was a white, male, straight, Euro-citizen of the U.S. It’s like I won the lottery! 

And then God showed me how “white-tious” I had become. Without even giving it a second thought, I accepted the false truth that those who weren’t like me were less than me, just because of who I was. But, now I look at myself and the situation our nation finds itself in from a different lens – from the eyes of Jesus … based on the story of the Good Samaritan. And this is what I have discovered:

  1. I have a white problem – not a black, brown, yellow or anybody else problem. They’re not the problem. I am. And I need to admit that so that God can help me change.
  2. I have a male problem – not a female problem. They’re not the problem. I am. And I need to admit that so that God can help me change.
  3. I have a straight problem – not a gay, lesbian, transgender, transsexual, or any other sexual orientation problem. They’re not the problem. I am. And I need to admit that so that God can help us change.
  4. I have a Euro-centric citizenship problem – not an immigrant. undocumented, illegal alien, or foreigner problem.  They’re not the problem. I am. And I need to admit that so that God can help me change.

In sum, I have a “me” problem. (And by the way, I think for those like me, our country has a “we” problem.) The truth of my story is that I have not been a good neighbor to people who aren’t like me. I have spent too much of my life crossing over to the safe side of the street where my preference and privilege protect me. And I have failed to understand that because of the power of my preference and privilege, I have a unique God-given calling to help my neighbors. 

Like you, I celebrate the principles and ideals that this country is founded on. I think that they give our nation the best chance in the world to see a great diversity of peoples live in peace and harmony with justice and freedom for all. But the time has come for me to understand that just because I can celebrate those ideals and principles in my heart, because I have experienced them directly and personally, that until my neighbors can also do that, then those ideals and principles are hollow promises and empty slogans. Now I can see how I have lived my life based on my self- “white-tiousness.”

I want to thank God for being so quick and clear (after all these years!) in showing me the truth of my life, compared to my neighbors, in such a compelling and convincing way. I now know that this new path of my spiritual journey has just begun. I now know that there are many more things that I don’t know about this journey than I do know. But I also now know that if I stick with God on this, and don’t rush to get out in front of God, then I too could someday be as “good” of a neighbor to others as the Samaritan was to the man in the story. 

Lastly, I can’t help but wonder if God has been trying to speak to your heart as well. My spiritual intuition tells me so. That’s good! I cannot walk this walk path alone. I know that God is walking with me … but I wonder if you would be willing to join me. I wonder what that path might look like, and what it would entail. I know that there will be a lot of learning to be done … but also some real action. Let’s pray about it. Let me know if you have any thoughts or ideas about this … and let us be led by the Holy Spirit, who can teach us everything we need to know if we are willing to listen.

No Jesus ~ No Peace                                                                                                                                          Know Jesus ~ Know Peace,

Pastor Bob


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Meet Some Of Our Team

 
Bob Silvanik
 Pastor
 
Beth Jones
Office Manager
 
Ruth Ann Lowder
Music
 
 
Ed Coller
Moderator
 
 
Candi & Bryan Thomas
Cleaning Crew
 
 
 
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Address: 249 S. Vine Street Arthur, IL 61911
Phone:217-543-2292