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

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

July 2020

Journey Through James; Episode 3 — July 22nd

“Journey Through James; Episode 3 — July 22nd”.

Journey Through James; Episode 2 — July 21st

“Journey Through James; Episode 2 — July 21st”.

Journey Through James; Episode 1 — July 20th

“Journey Through James; Episode 1 — July 20th”.

June 2020

John in June; Episode 26 — June 30th

“John in June; Episode 26 — June 30th”.

John in June; Episode 25 — June 29th

“John in June; Episode 25 — June 29th”.

John in June; Episode 24 — June 28th

“John in June; Episode 24 — June 28th”.

John in June; Episode 23 — June 27th

“John in June; Episode 23 — June 27th”.

John in June; Episode 22 — June 26th

“John in June; Episode 22 — June 26th”.

John in June; Episode 21 – June 25th

“John in June; Episode 21 – June 25th”.

John in June; Episode 20 — June 24th

“John in June; Episode 20 — June 24th”.

F R O M   T H E   B L O G

Recent Posts

JESUS ASKS VINE STREET: “Where’s the Love?”

Ouch! Talk about some “in your face” preaching! These words of Jesus come from the last book in the Bible: Revelation. Chapters 2 and 3 of Revelation are the visions of Jesus delivered to the 7 churches of the world by a prophet named John. In Chapter 2, Jesus says to the church in Ephesus: “But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.” Interestingly enough, the church at Ephesus was one of Paul’s most significant Jesus communities, and his letter to this church is in the New Testament as “Ephesians.” It’s clear that Paul treasured this church and that it had important standing in the secular world as a powerful voice for the Jesus movement. In that sense, it probably wasn’t much unlike our little Jesus community at Vine Street. Both churches have a legacy of strong faith and service to the needy in their communities. Both churches have solid institutional structures and strong lay leadership. They are both pillars in their communities and respected for their devotion to the way of Jesus. But, alas, both the church at Ephesus and the church at Vine Street are lacking in the one most important quality of a Jesus community: the unconditional, all-forgiving, never-ending love of Jesus Christ. These churches, like so many others, begin to look more like a good civic club rather than a school of the love of Jesus. Jesus knew well this danger. Jesus never started an institutional church movement. He never built a church building. He never made decisions by committee and he never ever called a board meeting. He could have. But he didn’t. Jesus knows what happens when a church loses that one most important quality that distinguishes it from all the other “do-good” clubs and organizations in secular society ~ the love! You might be wondering what I’m doing reading the Book of Revelation. Every other Thursday at the Eberhard Village assisted living center, I help lead a group of wise and faithful ladies in Bible study. This Thursday we started studying the Book of Revelation. Ironically, perhaps, they call themselves the “Circle of Love.” And it’s a good name! For certainly, they love each other with the same divine agape love that Jesus loves them with. But the truth is, ladies, Jesus wants more than that. And from all of us! Jesus came into the world and spread his love across all the earth so that somebody (anybody?) would decide to live like him. Jesus’s plan rests on the hope that some small community of devoted and faithful followers would actually decide to throw the world’s ways aside … leave judgment for God and others, and make their default response to every single child of God on the planet ~ unconditional, all-forgiving, and never-ending love. That’s why, in the 2nd chapter of the Book of Revelation, Jesus praises the church at Ephesus for being patient, for enduring, for calling out heresy, and for claiming the truth of Jesus. He does the exact same for this little church at Vine Street. But it’s also why he has something against us.

  • Let us not pretend that we are everything that Jesus calls us to be.
  • Let us not deny that we still lack the love that Jesus calls us to.
  • Let us not settle for anything less than giving to all people the love the Jesus gives to us.
  • Let us not be content with looking like a “do-good” secular club or organization.
  • Let us not put this off any longer!
What if we had one chance to live a life? What if we knew that our one life was redeemed by the love of Christ? What if we also knew that our Creator wanted nothing less than for us to take that love that we received from the Son and to share it with everyone else? Well, church, we know all of that! So today … let’s love. Let’s make a choice to turn from the ways of the world that teach us to make an entitlement out of our propensity to judge others and to determine their worth. Let’s throw all that in the rubbish heap where it belongs. Just for today, let us make love our default response to every person and situation. And let it all start right here at Vine Street … a little “mustard seed” of a church that Jesus is calling to more love. Let us begin by loving each other unconditionally, all-forgiving, and never-ending. And then, let’s share that love with the whole world!    
Not only will it bless others, but it will bless us most of all.  And then, there will be one less thing that Jesus can hold against us!
One life ~ One love ~ One chance
Casting the ways of the world aside and taking up the call to love like Jesus,                                                                 
I am, in His name, Pastor Bob

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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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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