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?
 
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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

BASEBALL DURING COVID

I’ll be at Junior High baseball practice today
Players and coaches masking up
But what are the young players really scared of?
That baseball is really hard!
Standing in the batter’s box, that’s all they can think of
It’s really hard!
It’s one thing to hit a ball off a tee
And it’s another thing to have a coach throw pitches to you
But … to have one of the other players … one of my buddies ….
Standing on the mound and preparing to launch one really hardball
Right at me …
Well now, that’s a whole new ball game
Even with the helmet, and elbow pad, and a bat in the hand
It still causes one to shiver to know that ball is heading at you
Because it’s a really hard ball! Heading at you
Now that’s scary
You know what else is scary?
A highly contagious but invisible virus is scary
It’s kind of like that hardball – only you can’t see it
And the helmet won’t protect you from it
Nor does the elbow pad
And even more so than those young pitchers firing that hardball –
This virus can come from any angle
And hit you without any feeling
So, it’s even scarier than a hardball coming straight at you
And the harm it can do could be worse than any bruise
So, here is how we practice
We keep 6 feet between us all the time
That’s like wearing a helmet into the batter’s box
And we wear masks whenever we need to
And that’s better than any elbow pad
We check our temps every day, use sanitizer, and wash our hands
We never let our guard down
Because we never know when or where the virus might come at us
And then, having taken all the necessary precautions
We take our place in the batter’s box
And watch that hardball being thrown toward us
And as soon as it reaches home plate
It’s time to swing
POW!
And the ball sails over the fence
And all is well on the ball diamond
So remember these 4 things
6 feet separation
Mask up
Wash hands, rinse, repeat
Knock a homer!
Let’s play ball!
Peace, Love & Baseball Pastor Bob
 

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WHAT COULD DRIVE A PERSON TO …? By Heather Ivery, Stewpot Community Services, Jackson, MS “I recently passed a man panhandling.”

Guest Article: 

This is one of my favorite little stories about what it might be like to walk in somebody else’s shoes. We are often quick to make assumptions and judge other people by the miniscule interaction or perception we have of them. The truth is, everyone has a story behind their lives. There are situations and circumstances, hardships and struggles, that we often know nothing about, that can help us understand better the reasons that some people live their lives very differently than we do. Usually – it all goes back to their story. 

Here is a short story about a panhandler I thought you might find interesting and thought provoking. 

I hope you enjoy … Pastor Bob

This is not necessarily an everyday thing in our city, but it’s not really a rare occurrence, either. The reason this man caught my attention was the location. He was at an extremely busy and rather dangerous intersection for pedestrians. He was not standing calmly beside the road with a sign hoping to receive some generosity from the cars that were unlucky enough to stop close to him. He was, in fact, working the crowd. 

When the light turned red he was walking up and down the rows of cars trying desperately to catch the eye of someone. His tactic seemed to be to guilt or shame them into giving him some money or hope they would be annoyed enough to give him something to just go away.

I was pretty far back in the line of cars impatiently waiting for the light to turn green. I must have seen the man walk up to 8 cars before the light changed with him in the middle of the road. He seemed oblivious to the light change even as cars began to move until horns started honking. 

His venture into the dangerous intersection yielded him no gain this time, but as I drove past I saw him take his place next to the road watching for the light to turn again.

What could drive a person to put themselves in harm’s way like that on the off chance that someone may give them a few dollars? I’ve had people tell me that panhandlers are just looking for easy money, or they are just trying to feed an addiction or they are too lazy to work a real job. People say these things from the comfort of their warm cars and comfortable houses, though. I don’t see what this man was doing as easy. 

What could cause a person to give up his dignity to beg at the windows of stranger’s cars as they try to avoid eye contact or pretend to be so involved in their music that they don’t even see him? What could cause a person to dart between traffic and risk serious injury or even death just for the possibility of help?

I don’t know the answer. I can only assume that it is an act of desperation. Maybe there is a family somewhere he is trying to support. Maybe the money he asks for is for food or an electric bill. Maybe he is so terribly addicted to something that he is willing to risk his life. Maybe at the end of a long day of begging he will get in a car parked across the street and drive away to someplace that won’t run him off when they see him sleeping in his car. 

What I do know is that this man was not doing something easy. He was standing outside in the cold, dodging cars, enduring rejection after rejection, trying to survive the only way he could, on the kindness of strangers.

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Isn’t that how we all get by … in our own little ways? Sometimes it feels like we’re all alone with our problems, dodging cars and feeling cold and desperate. And then … the kindness of a friend … or a stranger … comes forward to reach out and help us. And there is a little light in our world again. I guess we’re all like panhandlers in a way, we all need a little help from others to get through our day. 

Pastor Bob


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A PLAGUE OF BIBLICAL PROPORTIONS …

The COVID-19 virus has impacted people all across the globe in a powerful and devastating way. It has become an “unseen enemy” that spreads its deadly poison by humans passing it to each other unsuspectingly, and its contagious nature has made it virtually impossible to stop – at least until a vaccine is developed.

Back in the day, or perhaps even these days, the COVID-19 virus could be seen as a plague of biblical proportions. It reminds us of the plagues that God laid on Pharaoh when he refused to follow the commands brought to him by Moses. The final plague in that scenario was the death of all first born children in Egypt – including Pharaoh’s young son. Another example of a powerful and devastating plague. 

The Old Testament tells many a story about how God conjures up powerful natural occurrences across the globe in order to disrupt the “normal” ways of life of the people and bring them back to a godly way of life. Remember the flood and Noah’s Ark. But Old Testament times were times before God had come to earth and walked with God’s people. We had not yet met God in the flesh. It was a time that still believed in a god that was more or less like the gods of ancient days – the Roman or Greek gods for instance – in which each god took on some version of human characteristics and personality, and acted out in ways that would either favor (bless) or punish (curse) people according to how close to God they lived their lives. 

Thus, in the story of Noah’s Ark, we learn that God brought about a global flood in order to exterminate the entire population of people on earth, except for Noah and his family, because of the ungodly way that they all were living. God chose, we are told, to punish the people for their behaviors by killing them all in a flood, so that God could start over with Noah’s family and repopulate the earth with righteous people. Is that a god you would believe in?

Well, we see how that worked out! Turns out that people are people – that we live in knowledge of God but consistently stray from God’s ways. Only to return to God again, over and over, as we are led to for our redemption. Truth is, God already knew that about us, but we didn’t. So, when the flood story was told, and eventually put in writing, we described God as we thought we knew God – just as if God was like the ancient gods of old who responded to each whim of thought and behavior with either blessings or curses on our life. Turns out that everything in our life could be explained by this belief in god as a giant marionette that is always pulling the strings of consequences and fate in our lives based on the way we are living. 

This view of God is as false today as it was in the ancient days. We know that because we have met God in human form … and our God is not capricious with emotions and reactive in actions. Indeed, God is only loving, caring, and redeeming. We now know that the consequences and fate that we confront are brought on by ourselves, not by God. But we also know that God is always there with us to help us through, carry us over, and lift us out of the troubling situations that we get ourselves into.

Nevertheless, as we all situate our lives in the midst of a global pandemic … of biblical proportions … it might be worthy to consider what messages God may want us to hear as we continue to change the way we live because of the virus all around us. 

Here are some lessons God may be teaching us as we ponder what this COVID-19 virus is trying to teach us:

1) God is calling us back home, to a world where all people are one family – the family of God – and so, to have us break down all the walls of separation and exclusion that exist between peoples of the earth, so that we may begin to actually live as one family … just as God created us.

2) God is pleading with us to learn to love each other as sisters and brothers  — because in reality, that is how God created us to live on this earth.      

3) God is trying to teach us to detach ourselves from what has become our “normal” way of life – to let go of the daily grind; to let go of our attachments to material things; and to surrender to God’s way of life in the face of the selfish temptations that arise in our hearts. 

4) God wants us … to be still, and know God.

5) God is asking us to become willing to surrender the need to control the things in our life that are not for us to control.

6) God wants us to understand that “church” is not a building, but a community of faith, hope and love that centers its life on God and God’s Kingdom, not on worldly things. 

7) God is showing us that the Kingdom of God is not of this world – not based on continents or countries or states and provinces, or any other geographic area in the world. The Kingdom of God is God’s new plan for this world that comes from outside the world in order to transform the world. 

8) God is reminding us of the value of loving our neighbor as ourselves; of always putting others first; of developing a selfless and sacrificial heart; and of truly caring about other people … and all people. (e.g.: wear a mask!)

9) God is demonstrating for us the way of life God wants us to live through the words of the prophet Micah (Micah 6:8) “to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with our God.”

10) God is confirming for us the truth that our health and well-being … and indeed, our fate … is intertwined with everyone else’s; that we all have a common interest in how we live on this earth, for a single action somewhere affects other reactions everywhere; we cannot escape each other … we must learn to live with each other; justice denied to one person is justice denied to all of us; no person is an island – we are all in this together!    

If we could learn these 10 lessons in response to the COVID-19 pandemic … then (although the virus is not of God’s doing) the result of the virus on the people of the world could be biblical … even Godly! Perhaps that’s what God has planned for us as he turns this curse into blessings …

Stay safe – Mask Up – Love your neighbor –

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