V I N E   S T R E E T 
 
 
A Village Of Unconditional, All Forgiving,
Never Ending LOVE.
 
 
Feeling unchurched? Over-churched? Anti-churched?
 
So are we.
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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.
 
 
Check out our calendar and see what
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 Devotionals

November 2021

Job_ Day 22 — Nov 11th

“Job_ Day 22 — Nov 11th”.


Job_ Day 21 — Nov 10th

“Job_ Day 21 — Nov 10th”.


Job_ Day 20 — Nov 9th

“Job_ Day 20 — Nov 9th”.


Job_ Day 19 — Nov 8th

“Job_ Day 19 — Nov 8th”.


Job_ Day 18 — Nov 6th

“Job_ Day 18 — Nov 6th”.


Job_ Day 17 — Nov 5th

“Job_ Day 17 — Nov 5th”.


Job_ Day 16 — Nov 4th

“Job_ Day 16 — Nov 4th”.


Job_ Day 15 — Nov 3rd

“Job_ Day 15 — Nov 3rd”.


Job_ Day 14 — Nov 2nd

“Job_ Day 14 — Nov 2nd”.


Job_ Day 13 — Nov 1st

“Job_ Day 13 — Nov 1st”.




 
 
 
 
 
F R O M   T H E   B L O G

Recent Posts

SUMMER OF LOVE AT VINE STREET

No, it’s not 1967. And we’re not at the corner of Haight & Ashbury in the hippie district of San Francisco. That’s where the term “Summer of Love” was first coined during the peak of the “Hippie Movement” in the 60’s.

On the other hand; Yes, it is 2022. And yes, we are at the corner of Park & Vine in the downtown business district of Arthur. And we are about to embark on our own “Summer of Love” this year, getting everyone to participate in one of our community missions.

Many of you have been a part of some of these. But think what could happen if the whole congregation worked together on the four ministrires below. And all of these ministries reach the people that Jesus calls to us. And then we are doubly blessed by showing them Christ-like love, and then seeing Jesus in their faces.

Indeed! Let’s make that our summertime mission: to show the love of Christ to all we meet and serve, and to see the face of Jesus in all those around us.

 

Here are 4 specific Vine Street ministries that need your help and will bless your summer!

 

  • Vacation Bible School comes to Vine Street!

That’s right. We will be hosting the Junior High component of VBS at Vine Street Christian Church. That’s so awesme. But we will need help. Volunteers will be needed for a variety of activities. This Sunday, look for the VSCC VBS Sign-up sheet and explore the days that you may be able to pitch in. VBS will be in the mornings from June 13th through 17th.  

 

  • Free Friday Market Opening on Friday, June 3rd in Blessing Alley!

 

In just a couple of weeks we will have the grand opening of our Free Friday Market. What a joyous way to serve the community and be blessed by the church. We are looking to put together a team of about 10 folks who can rotate working the Market on Friday afternoons from 4pm – 6pm. This Sunday, look for the Sign-up sheet to join the team. We will put together a schedule once we have the team together.

  • The Blessing Box that Changes Lives!

Have you seen the Vine Street Blessing Box on Blessing Alley behind the church? If you haven’t, go check it out. Many folks from Arthur and our surroundings have come to the Blessing Box for help and assistance with a variety of needs. This is a great way to serve without having to be there. The Blessing Box relies on donations of goods or money to stay functioning. We need your help! This Sunday, look for the Blessing Box Donation List and make the Box part of your regular gracey shopping experience.

 

  • Vine Street Blessing Bags have Hit the Streets!

As summer cmes upon us, we will beign to see many of our homeless and struggling brothers and sisters on the streets. The Blessing Bag is our love gift to those in need. Simply keep a couple Blessing Bags in the back seat of your car, and when God shows you a need, then it’s quick and easy to offer help. The Blessing Bags rely on our donations, both monetary and in-kind. And, if you haven’t picked up your Blessing Bag(s) yet, be sure to pick one up this Sunday at church.

 

          These “summer” ministries offer us a way to serve together, either in person or in spirit. And that’s when the magic happens! I really can’t explain it. So, as Jesus said, “Come and see.”

 

Relic of the Summer of Peace & Love,

Pastor Bob <>< 

 

 

 

 


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Losing Our Patience & Where to Find It

I barely remember our family trip to the New York World’s Fair in 1964. It’s one of my earliest memories. And although I can’t remember many specifics, I do remember that the message of the fair was that “our lives are going to get real easier real fast!” The miracle of technology is uopn us!

I can remember driving through an exhibit of the future house in a big convertible car, and seeing for the first time all the new gadgets and devices that would be part of our lives in the next 20 years or so. Yes, I thought to myself – perfect timing for me!

Today, I can’t tell you where that easier, quicker, better life went. We sure do have a lot of gadgets and devices designed to offer us quicker better ways of doing everyday things. But how come our amount of free time didn’t dramatically increase. We got the gadgets – but what happened to our new freedom?

As I grew up, I kept waiting for the next newest device or gadget that will finally set us free from the captivity of time.

It never came. Each new thing created more speed and more complication in my life. Instead of getting easier with more free time, life got faster and faster as I crowded more and more things into an already full life. And then life became more and more difficult and demanding. And now there is never enough time.

What happened?

Though I often thought this to be the case, when I moved to Arthur it finally became clear to me that we’re not supposed to live our lives chasing time – doing things faster and quicker in order to create more money or more free time. That plan always seems to backfire.

Instead, the way to the calm, peaceful and quiet life is not to shake down time for more free time, but rather to fall into the harmony of time that God has already created for us.

In his new book, “What the Amish Teach Us,” Donald Kraybill asks us to consider this question: “Have you ever thought about all the time we have saved with the avalanche of our “time-saving” electronic gadgets?” Go ahead – try to add up all that time we have saved. It seems that most of the things that were supposed to free us up, instead strain our schedule even more. And our shcedules have just about reached the breaking point. Haven’t they?

And yet, as Kraybill notes, we still demand more and more – and still desire faster and faster. Think about it. We actually crave quick service and instant gratifcation. We are enticed by the notion of split-second profits. We want what we want and we want it now. Faster is never fast enough.

We cannot stand delays of any kind! We rage at long and sluggish checkout lines; at traffic bottlenecks; and at software glitiches. Instead of getting more control over time, we are actually losing control of it, as our lives become dominated by our constant seeking of more and more “time-saving” devices.

And amid all our rage – patience has vanished.

There’s an Old Amish saying: “the early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse get the cheese.” The Amish are more interested in the cheese than the worm. Kraybill says that “patience guides their journey” through life. Every buggy that plods along a street in Arthur is proclaiming to the world, including each of us, “patience is the way.”

One older Amish man explained it this way: “The horse is our pacer – We can’t speed up like you can in a car. Our horses set the pace for life and slow things down.” Isn’t that a great metaphor for the difference between our “English” ways and the Amish ways? Look at our cars … and trucks … and bells and whistles … and their costs. Not to mention the negative impact we are having on our environment with our gas guzzling vehicles. Compare that to a horse and buggy.     

When Amish go out for a ride, they are able to see the things of creation around them. They can even smell them. They observe the countryside … and experience the weather … and they nod or wave to all their friends along the way. It’s hard NOT to wave back.

There is something about that horse and buggy that calls to us in our soul. “Slow down” it says. “Take your foot off the gas pedal. Smell the roses. Look at the cloud formations. Look into the faces of other people, and smile. Sit a spell. Relax. Fall into the flow and harmony of God’s time. It’s already perfect.”

Because God is usually found in our moments of stillness, and not in our times of speeding and hurrying, the Amish stubbornly resist the modern culture around them with its “breakneck speed of hypermodernity.” The Amish way is to demonstrate uncommon patience; not supersonic speed.  

This resistance is reinforced by their spiritual practices. Their church services last about 3 hours. Kraybill calls it a “slow motion service where everyone sits in a quiet patience” that “harkens back to a medieval monastery.” There’s no need in ther faith for quick fixes to life’s problems; or for a “stop-and-go religion” that takes about an hour every week out of our schedules; or for an “instant gospel of prosperity”; or for a “well crafted mini-homily.” The Amish service serves to remind the faithful that “we are pilgrims plodding through a high speed world that’s not our final home.”

The more I reside here in Arthur, and the more I learn about and expereince the Amish way, the more I become convinced that the Amish may be so far behind us that they’re actually ahead of us.

There’s much to learn from a small band of Christ followers who take their faith so seriously that they are willing to stand out in their resistance to the ways of the world and in so doing, spread a gospel messsge of a new way to live – a way not so tied to modern times. I refer here to the 12 disciples, of course. But I could just as well have said the same about the Amish surrounding us.

Slow is the way, and steady is the pace,

Pastor Bob <><


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Pastor Bob’s Eastertide Lessons

Each Sunday of Eastertide I have introduced a new foundational lesson for moving forward in our faith lives. Below is a summary of each Sunday’s key points.

WEEK 1: The 3 legs of your faith stool – these time-tested practices, since ancient days and across faith traditions, have proven to be the most effective way for human beings to “get closer to God.”

  • Prayer: Not the “normal” prayers that you may be used to praying (blessings at meals; Lord’s Prayer at church; spontaneous prayers for things to go your way; etc.), but instead a real life open and honest ongoing conversation with God about your life and how God can become a bigger part of it. And be sure to “keep it real.”

 

  • Word: Immersing yourself in the holy words of God, contained in our Christian Bible, on a daily basis. Coming to God through the Words of the Bible brings your life into sync with the ways of scripture, Jesus, and his disciples. You will find your life in the living words of the Bible.

 

  • Worship: Not just every Sunday at 10:00am, but through the assistance of the Holy Spirit, your life can become one continuous worship for God, giving God all praise and glory for each and every minute of the day.  

WEEK 2: 3 truths about living for Jesus that you may never have been told. These are fundamental aspects of a Christ-like life that often get lost in all the church teaching about do’s and don’ts. 

  • It’s not how “good” you are; it’s how close to God you are. First of all, you can never be “good enough” for God. God is perfect. You’re not. But God isn’t asking you to be perfect. God wants a close personal relationship with you. That’s all. If you have that, the “good enough” stuff will take care of itself.

   

  • You don’t have to like somebody to love them. For our entire lives we’ve been taught how love works. It comes after you’ve “liked” someone for a while, and they have proven themselves to be worthy of your love. Jesus proposes just the opposite. Like he did, Jesus calls us to love everyone first. Make love your initial response to anyone you encounter throughout the day. Let the “liking” stuff take care of itself.

 

  • The Peace of Christ is the true desire of your heart. Despite what we are taught to believe by the peddlers of worldly cures, the only thing that’s really lacking in the lives of seekers is the “peace of Christ.” All humans are longing for this, whether they know it or not. And, it is the remedy for whatever ails us on any particular day.

 

WEEK 3: 4 aspects of living a life for Christ that you may never have been told about.

  • You may never have been taught that the sacrificial life of Jesus, resulting in his own crucifixion, is one that followers of Jesus today are called to model. Jesus calls all of his followers to be selfless servants of God and others. It’s a simple plan for living, and it’s the key to our happiness, but living a sacrificial life like Jesus did is hardly ever taught in our churches.

 

  • You may never have been taught that Jesus actually meant what he said. The teachings and life of Jesus is our model for living and our source for all truth. Thus, the things that Jesus says to us are the most important messages in the Bible. But too often we turn these messages into nice and comfortable suggestions for living, when it may be convenient. On the other hand, Jesus calls us to love our enemies (for example) all the time – especially when it’s very hard and inconvenient to do.

 

  • You may never have been taught that God doesn’t want to leave us unchanged. Living a stagnant safe life of comfort and ease is not what Jesus came for. He came to set us in motion, to be led by the Holy Spirit daily, and to be ready and willing to adapt to any and all circumstances we may encounter. Change is the reality of God. God is revelation, a constant revealing of who God is and how God is moving in our lives. We are always called to change with God. Everyday.

 

  • You may never have been taught that God calls us to a simple, quiet, God-centered spiritual life. In the heyday of the social church in America, Christians were taught that a “good citizen” means a good Christian. Thus, in middle-class churches across America, Christians strove to look good and act good in their daily lives. Jesus teaches the opposite. Being “good” and looking good have nothing to do with the life of Christ. Instead, Jesus calls us to a simpler, quieter, God-centered life based on the life that Jesus led.  

 

Eastertide is a “decision-making time” for us. We have walked with Jesus all over the Holy Land; we have accompanied him to Jerusalem; we have seen what the world’s authorities have done to him; and we have experienced the Christ who rose from the dead.

If we keep our focus on Jesus instead of other things in the world, including religion, we will discover the power of God’s spirit working in our lives, and in the life of our church.

Let’s do this!

Keeping the focus on Christ, I am,

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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Contact Info

Address: 249 S. Vine Street Arthur, IL 61911
Phone:217-543-2292