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.
Check us out!
 
 
 
 
  
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

August 2022

JesusStories 17c; Aug 9th

“JesusStories 17c; Aug 9th”.


JesusStories 17c; Aug 9th

“JesusStories 17c; Aug 9th”.


JesusStories 17b; Aug 8th

“JesusStories 17b; Aug 8th”.


JesusStories 17; Aug 5th

“JesusStories 17; Aug 5th”.


JesusStories 16b; Aug 4th

“JesusStories 16b; Aug 4th”.


JesusStories 17; Aug 5th

“JesusStories 17; Aug 5th”.


JesusStories 16a; Aug 3rd

“JesusStories 16a; Aug 3rd”.


JesusStories 15c; Aug 2nd

“JesusStories 15c; Aug 2nd”.


JesusStories 15b; Aug 1st

“JesusStories 15b; Aug 1st”.


July 2022

JesusStories 15a; July 29th

“JesusStories 15a; July 29th”.




 
 
 
 
 
F R O M   T H E   B L O G

Recent Posts

SAVE THE DATE: AUGUST 21ST: “We’re having a “Divine Dinner” together again!”

         

CALL THE FLOCK <>< SPREAD THE WORD <>< MAKE PLANS NOW

 

So much has happened since we last got together for a potluck/fellowship meal together. And yet, here we are! Ready to move forward again as a church family. We’re inviting all our former and current members, friends, acquaintances, and neighbors to come celebrate with us.      

        

CALL THE FLOCK <>< SPREAD THE WORD <>< MAKE PLANS NOW

 

So much has happened since we last got together for a potluck/fellowship meal together. And yet, here we are! Ready to move forward again as a church family. We’re inviting all our former and current members, friends, acquaintances, and neighbors to come celebrate with us.      

 

The VSCC Trustees are calling all persons of the Vine Street Christian Church family and friends to an All-Church Potluck on August 21, 2022 immediately after church.

 

Let’s face it; Church isn’t the same these days as it was just a few years ago. Still, Vine Street CC keeps “Movin’ On” and Sunday, August 21st is the day we will rally together with each other and celebrate the many blessings we all share through our church.

  • It’s our first all-church gathering since the onset of COVID.
  • It’s back-to-school time for our students, teachers and administrators. We will lift them all up in prayer August 21st.
  • It’s a great time to gather the flock for a good old fashioned church homecoming.
  • And, it’s the end of summer and the beginning of harvest time – a time to look at the future of our church and envision what God has in store for us.

 

ALL OF THESE ARE GOOD REASONS TO JOIN US ON AUGUST 21ST.

 

But even better – the Reverend Michael Johnson will be delivering the message that Sunday in church! Let’s fill the church for him.

 

                             

 

The VSCC Worship Team will be providing the main course (pulled pork sandwiches), the beverages and table service. Everyone else will provide the side dishes, the salads, and the desserts.

 

I hope to see all of you on August 21st. Save the date. Make your plans. Spread the word!

 

Amen <>< Alleluia <>< Amen,

Pastor Bob

 

From the office:

Three ways to let me know that you are planning to attend.

  1. Call the church office at 217-543-2292
  2. Email the church at vscc@mchsi.com
  3. Sign up on the signup sheet at the back of the sanctuary.

Please let me know if you are planning to attend. We really need a head count by August 15. Thank you.

 

The VSCC Trustees are calling all persons of the Vine Street Christian Church family and friends to an All-Church Potluck on August 21, 2022 immediately after church.

 

Let’s face it; Church isn’t the same these days as it was just a few years ago. Still, Vine Street CC keeps “Movin’ On” and Sunday, August 21st is the day we will rally together with each other and celebrate the many blessings we all share through our church.

  • It’s our first all-church gathering since the onset of COVID.
  • It’s back-to-school time for our students, teachers and administrators. We will lift them all up in prayer August 21st.
  • It’s a great time to gather the flock for a good old fashioned church homecoming.
  • And, it’s the end of summer and the beginning of harvest time – a time to look at the future of our church and envision what God has in store for us.

 

ALL OF THESE ARE GOOD REASONS TO JOIN US ON AUGUST 21ST.

 

But even better – the Reverend Michael Johnson will be delivering the message that Sunday in church! Let’s fill the church for him.

 

                             

 

The VSCC Worship Team will be providing the main course (pulled pork sandwiches), the beverages and table service. Everyone else will provide the side dishes, the salads, and the desserts.

 

I hope to see all of you on August 21st. Save the date. Make your plans. Spread the word!

 

Amen <>< Alleluia <>< Amen,

Pastor Bob

 

From the office:

Three ways to let me know that you are planning to attend.

  1. Call the church office at 217-543-2292
  2. Email the church at vscc@mchsi.com
  3. Sign up on the signup sheet at the back of the sanctuary.

Please let me know if you are planning to attend. We really need a head count by August 15. Thank you.

 


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4 Years Ago: “DEAR VINE STREET CHRISTIAN CHURCH”

Just about 4 years ago, I wrote about an article I had read by Carey Nieuwhof, a former lawyer and the founding pastor of Connexus Church in Barrie, Ontario, one of the most influential churches in North America. He has a blog and podcast about the future of the “church” in North America.

 

Cary had determined what the “hallmarks” will be of the churches that will make an impact in the next decade. Back then – and pre-COVID – we were having our own conversation about the future of Vine Street Christian Church. Now … today … we can look back and see how we’re doing, at least according to Carey’s list.

Here, according to Carey, are the hallmarks of the churches that will make an impact in the next decade:

 

  1. The ability to say no. One of the reasons churches don’t change is because leaders are unwilling to say no to current members who prefer things the way they were.

 

  1. Outsider focus. Churches that become passionate about people outside their walls will be far more effective than churches that are passionate about keeping the few people they have inside their walls.

 

  1. Quick decision making. If you have a decision-making process that’s slow and complicated, you will not be able to keep up with the pace of change needed. If you can’t make a decision within 24 hours, your process is too slow.

 

  1. Flexibility. Flexible and adaptable churches that can innovate around strategy and different initiatives will have the freedom to make the changes they need to make an impact moving forward.

 

  1. A willingness to embrace smaller to become bigger. When small churches stop trying to be mega-churches, good things can happen. In fact, more and more larger churches will start embracing smaller venues, locations and partnerships to keep growing.

 

  1. A quicker, lighter footprint. If you’re waiting for millions to build your building, you might wait forever. Get innovative and start looking at portable and non-traditional ways of growing your ministry.

 

  1. Valuing online relationships as real relationships. Churches that aren’t online beyond a website are going to miss the boat. Real interaction with real people online is…well…real.

 

  1. An openness to questions. Churches that understand that embracing questions is as important as providing immediate answers will make an impact in the future. We’re discovering that if you embrace questions, the answers eventually find their way into people’s lives. The Holy Spirit actually does move in people’s lives.

 

  1. A high value on experimentation. The more traditional you are, the less you will value experimentation. The churches that connect with their community will be the churches willing enough to try a variety of things, and who also have the courage to kill them as soon as they stop producing results.

 

  1. Prioritizing a “for you not from you” culture. Churches in decline often think in terms of what they can get from people – money, time, growth etc. Churches that will make an impact on the future will be passionate about what they want for people – financial balance, generosity, the joy of serving, better families, and of course, Christ at the center of everyone’s life.

 

  1. A tailored experience, not a tailored message. Churches that decide they will hold the message sacred but tailor the experience to an ever-shifting culture will be more effective.

 

          I know we have a lot of work and prayer to do as we move forward together into this uncharted territory. But it’s good to stop and take a pause and see how much progress we’ve made. And I think we’ve made a lot!

 

What about you? How do you think we’re doing in these post-COVID times? What should we be doing that we’re not? What are we missing? And who are we missing?  

 

Praying our church into the future,

Pastor Bob <><


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Do We Really Have to Choose: Church OR Jesus?

There’s been a whole bunch of talk in recent years about Jesus and the modern-day mainstream churches. The hypothesis goes something like this: To meet, or even learn about the “real” Jesus, the Jesus of the Gospels, one had to seek him out somewhere other then “the Christian Church.”

Don Follis is a former minster from this area who now counsels other pastors and writes a column for the weekend edition of the News-Gazette. The column is called: “On Religion.” He is a very insightful and reflective writer and there is an angel in our congregation who makes sure I get a copy of his best work. Last week, my angel and several other angels, made sure I got a copy of Don’s latest column.

The title of the column: “Young people are leaving the church, staying with Jesus.” Yes, that got my attention! The headline seems to be saying that if “young people” are looking for Jesus, then they better look somewherre besides “the church.” I think if someone said that about Vine Street Christian Church, I would be heartbroken. And that’s because I think of our church, our commuity of beleivers, our family of faith, as enthusiastically centered around Jesus.

Isn’t it?

Don Follis quotes writer Scott McKnight in listing 9 reasons that the church is perceived as missing the one person that the whole church was created by and for – Jesus. Let’s see if you agree. Do you think these perceptions are accurate? Do you think the mainstream church has lost it’s focus on Jesus? And, if you’re willing, I’d love to see how you would rank VSCC on each of these perceptions. Are we peddling a false message and missing the point, or are we committed to learn about, meet, and follow Jesus?

Scott McKinght’s 9 areas of concern for young people about today’s church:

  • “The God of the Bible” that is primarily taught and lifted up in the church is the “Old Testament God.” That God is perceived as a wrathful and judgmental god who is willing to wipe out entire towns and villages, women and children included.
  • The church’s unwillingness to accept in any form the notion that science can help explain how our world works, and thus, how God has been working throughout history. Many of these “Creationists” believe that science is “patently wrong” and not compatible with the truth as articulated in the Bible.
  • Hell! It’s really that simple. The church has continuously and fervently used their notion of “hell” as a way to scare people into church. The church positioned itself as the gateway to heaven, so it really is very simple: “Church People” go to heaven, and EVERYONE else is wrong and burns in hell.
  • As more young people study and come to know about the Christian Church’s history of severe, indiscriminate and deadly violence through the ages; the oppression and condemnation of millions of people who weren’t “us”; and even today, the way that the modern church has failed to embrace, protect, and minister to those who are most marginalized in our society.
  • Promises of the church. Regrettably, scores of people throughout the centuries have been led into a dark valley by the church because the church’s promises do not stand up to daily life in this world. For example, rather than telling folks that they lost a loved one because of their lack of faith, the church should (always) be there to provide comfort and peace to those left behind.
  • The Christian Church claims to be the one and only interpreter of what the Bible means and how God (Jesus) calls us to live. For instance, when Jesus proclaims to his disciples that he is “the way, the truth, and the life,”, the church interprets that fiercly literal and thus concludes that they, the all-knowing all-powerful Christian church, (not Jesus) is the one and only way to God, and thus to heaven. So sorry for the billions who aren’t Christian. Unfortunatly, you were born in the wrong part of the world and practiced another form of religion, or no religion at all!
  • Christian churches often fail the “meek and humble” test. Ironically, that test refers to Jesus – the most powerful leader and force that the world has ever known. Jesus was meek. Jesus was humble. Jesus loved everyone. Jesus was a force for peace. Jesus comforted and healed. More often than not, the Christian Church is a power-hungry institution that that has “little tolerance” for differences and easily becomes coercive and manipulative.
  • Many young people want to completely enjoy their liberties and freedom, and live only according to how they themselves prefer to live. And after all, why would anyone give up their liberties and freedom to a bunch of power hungry people who have rarely said the words, “I (We) could be wrong.”
  • And finally, none of us like to be told how to live or how to love. But the church steps way over the line when it tells it’s congregants how to think. It’s one thing to tell people what to know, but it’s anopther when the church tells people what and how to think about religious and spiritual matters. Again, the church is guilty of putting itself between the individual and God.

I wonder … do you think Vine Street looks more like a Jesus church than what is described above? Is being a Jesus church what we should be striving for? If not, what should be the “main thing”? If so, how are we doing – what are some examples of “Jesus in our church”? in worship? In ministries? In our church life together? In our own life? And finally, do you consider VSCC a “Jesus Church?”

Hope to see you in church this Sunday. I’m hoping, and planning, that Jesus will be there too!

Pastor Bob <><


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L E A D E R S H I P

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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L O C A T I O N

Contact Info

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