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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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

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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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

F R O M   T H E   B L O G

Recent Posts


The story in the 5th Chapter of John about the lame man who has sat by the healing waters of Bethesda for years (38 years!) waiting to be healed, offers us a ready-made metaphor for the American church in the 21st Century. whole time about having no help to get into the healing waters or always getting bullied away from the help that is available right in front of it. The only thing the church won’t do after all these years waiting to experience the renewal and revival that awaits it in the healing waters is to do the one thing that it refuses to do: CHANGE!                                                                                               Try something different. Stop being the victim! Or … as Jesus so bluntly puts it to the lame man: “Pick up your mat and walk!” Read the story for yourself and see how the lame man can be such an accurate metaphor for many churches today. John 5:1-10 The Message (MSG) Soon another Feast came around and Jesus was back in Jerusalem. Near the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem there was a pool, in Hebrew called Bethesda, with five alcoves. Hundreds of sick people—blind, crippled, paralyzed—were in these alcoves. One man had been an invalid there for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him stretched out by the pool and knew how long he had been there, he said, “Do you want to get well?” The sick man said, “Sir, when the water is stirred, I don’t have anybody to put me in the pool. By the time I get there, somebody else is already in.” Jesus said, “Get up, take your bedroll, start walking.” The man was healed on the spot. He picked up his bedroll and walked off. That day happened to be the Sabbath. The Jews stopped the healed man and said, “It’s the Sabbath. You can’t carry your bedroll around. It’s against the rules.” Have you noticed that Jesus has been asking our church if it wants to be made well? It’s an important question, because many churches today (most?) might answer in the affirmative but surely do not want to do anything different than what they’ve been doing for the last 38 years! Those churches still think that one day we’re all going to be transported back to the 1960’s and people will once again begin flooding into our buildings.                                                                             Folks … those days are gone and they ain’t comin’ back! What happens to churches that don’t change is probably the same thing that happened to the lame man by the pool – they become beggars. And frankly, becoming a beggar is not the end of the world. It can keep a church busy … and focused … and praying, for many years! Maybe even 38 more years! Like this lame man, the begging church has run out of options with friends and family. The man (the church) is forced to look outside itself just to get by. And so, it begs. PLEASE come to our church! PLEASE bring your children! PLEASE drop a pittance in the offering plate! Just tell us what you’d like us to do, and we will make it happen. We are willing to do anything that would appeal to you, if we can still be ourselves, and still be OUR church. And so, the time comes when someone asks the church … how’s that working for you? And usually, like a man who would sit by the waters for 38 years, the answer is … good enough for now. But the future may not be looking too good. Then, at some point, Jesus comes along and asks the church that one critical question: “Do you want to get well?”                                                                                              And most churches respond … “That depends … can we get well without changing?” Here at Vine Street, we did something different. We did just as Jesus said: 1) we got up; 2) we picked up our bedroll: and 3) we started walking. And ever since then, it’s been quite a spirit-led journey with Jesus into the 21st Century church. Keep on walkin’ – no turnin’ back, no turnin’ back,The church continues to sit and wait, whining the

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A Little Serving of Billy Graham for Your Soul. In the Gospel of John, after Jesus has left the tomb empty and has come back to the upper room to meet with his disciples, he says this to them: “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” I love those words! Jesus is essentially telling us that we have the exact same calling as He did. Like Him, and like His disciples, we too are called to be “little Christs” in the world we live in. But then I start thinking about it, and I begin to pause … and wonder … what do I have to offer the world that is “Christ-like”? I think that’s a fair question, don’t you? Well, did you know that we all have a light, a trumpet, a kindling for fire, a hammer, bread for the hungry, water for the famished … and more!

Listen closely to what the late great Billy Graham says about what we have to offer the world … We are holding a light. We are to let it shine!    Though it may seem but a twinkling candle in a world of blackness, it is our business to let it shine. Light dispels darkness, and it attracts people in darkness to it. We are blowing a trumpet. In the din and noise of battle the sound of our little trumpet may seem to be lost,    but we must keep sounding the alarm to those who are in danger. We are kindling a fire. In this cold world filled with hatred and selfishness, our little blaze may seem to be unavailing,   but we must keep our fire burning. We are striking with a hammer. The blows may seem only to jar our hands as we strike,   but we are to keep on hammering. Amy Carmichael of India once asked a stonecutter which blow broke the stone. “the first one and the last,” he replied, “and every one in between.” We have bread for a hungry world. The people may seem to be so busy feeding on other things that they will not accept the Bread of Life ,    but we must keep on giving it, offering it to the souls of men. We have water    for famishing people. We must keep standing and crying out, “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters.” (Isaiah 55:1) Sometimes they can’t come, and we must carry it to them. We must persevere. We must never give up. Keep using the Word! Jesus said that much of our seed will find good soil and spring up and bear fruit. We must be faithful witnesses. The Bible says, “he that winneth souls is wise.” (Proverbs 11:30) “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” (Daniel 12:3) “Ye are the salt of the earth” (Matthew 5:13).  Salt makes one thirsty. Does your life make others thirsty for the water of life? ~~ Billy Graham ~~ Thanks to Billy Graham … I’m out to share my thirst with others! Pastor Bob

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Did you catch the “offering meditation” this past Sunday in our 10am worship service. Our elder, Susan Bursa, shared a wonderful story about Barnabas, also known as the “Son of Encouragement.” Barnabas appears several times in the New Testament, and in virtually every story, he is committing his resources and possessions to helping spread the “good news” of Jesus to people all over the Holy Land. Here is one story, from the Book of Acts, that talks about his personal detachment from worldly possessions and his willingness to use what God has blessed him with for God’s purposes, and for supporting the work of the disciples. Acts 4:32-37—The Believers Share Their Possessions 32 Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common. 33 With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. 34 There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold. 35 They laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. 36 There was a Levite, a native of Cyprus, Joseph, to whom the apostles gave the name Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”). 37 He sold a field that belonged to him, then brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet. This is just one example of how the early followers of Jesus were able to overcome their need to possess things for themselves and instead to “hold everything in common.” On Sunday, Susan urged us to become more like this, more like Barnabas, in our own lives. Today, I issue a challenge to each one of us – starting with me! Let’s take an honest look at the things in our life that we have become so attached to that we keep accumulating them without regard for true need. For me, I’m going to start with clothes and attire. I have WAY more clothes than I need … but somehow I don’t seem to have as much as I want! I have begun to “idolize” my wardrobe in a way that distorts my perception of what I really need, and thus drives me to keep buying things when I really don’t need them. So I’m going to make a “Barnabas Plan” and implement a new practice of acquiring clothes. It’s not a “draconian” plan where I stop buying anything new. Rather, it’s a practical and realistic plan that helps me recognize the proper role of clothes in my life and keeps me from going overboard with accumulating new things. Here is my 3-step “Barnabas Plan” for buying new clothes:

  1. ADD/SUBTRACT – For every new clothes item that I add (including underwear, shoes & socks, coats and jackets), I will subtract something of equivalent use from my wardrobe. For everything that lands in my in-box – I will put something in the out-box. I can donate some of the outbox things, take them to a thrift store, or simply pitch them. But I will not “grow” my wardrobe from where it is today.
  2. NO NEW HANGERS OR DRAWERS – From this point forward, I will not buy any new hangers or add any new drawers or shelves to accommodate more clothes. I must make do with the capacity I currently have to hang and store my clothes.
  3. REDEFINE “DESIRE” AND “NEED” – I have reached a point in my consumeristic mind that enables me to change the meaning of “desire” to “need.” In fact, when I see some article of clothing that I really like – I discover that almost immediately, I need it! I gotta have it! In fact, now that I’ve seen it, I don’t think I can live without it! Can you relate? That my friends, is called IDOL WORSHIP! The truth is, that the only thing I gotta have, and the only thing I can’t live without, is my relationship with Jesus. When I substitute clothes ( or anything else) for Jesus, then I am worshiping a false god.

I’ll be curious to know what you think of my new “Barnabas Plan.” Perhaps there is an area in your life that you’ve started to “worship” in ways that replace “desire” with “need.” I wonder what your “Barnabas Plan” might look like for you. Please let me know if you’re ready to try this. And I will keep you updated on how my plan is proceeding. A son of the “Son of Encouragement” – Pastor Bob

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Meet Some Of Our Team

Bob Silvanik
Beth Jones
Office Manager
Ruth Ann Lowder
Ed Coller
Candi & Bryan Thomas
Cleaning Crew
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Address: 249 S. Vine Street Arthur, IL 61911