Find our Sunday Live Stream and details about what church will look like as we move online here: York Vineyard Online Church.
NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER
On Sunday, 22nd of March, there is a call for the church to join together in a National Day of Prayer. At 7pm on Sunday, Christians everywhere will be lighting candles in the windows of their homes as a visible symbol of Jesus, the light of the world.
During this uncertain season, our vision remains constant. However, we have an opportunity to learn how to live out our vision in new, innovative, Holy Spirit-inspired ways.
We have prayerfully been considering the question: how should York Vineyard express its priorities over the next few months while we are not able to meet together in the usual ways?
Here are some PRIORITIES:
Bible: regular Bible teaching (streamed) and a weekly scripture to meditate on and perhaps memorise. WhatsApp groups to encourage daily Bible reading and reading the Bible in One Year.
Worship: learning how to maintain a heart posture of worship and express that day by day. Finding new ways of expressing worship as a community online: with cross-platform playlists (http://bit.ly/2F2nDDD) and live-streaming worship from our regular worship leaders.
Prayer: using the spiritual practices we’ve been learning about: The Daily Examen, Lectio Divina, prayers of presence etc. Sharing regular prayer points with the church. Setting up smaller prayer groups online via Whatsapp or video calls.
Ministry of the Holy Spirit: praying for people on the telephone; times of prayer ministry in online group meetings; sharing words of knowledge and prophecies.
Fellowship: weekly worship online; sharing stories; many telephone calls; posting cards (with stamps!); learning to use technology to connect with people; encouraging everyone to be connected to a small group. Also being neighbourly and looking out for those nearby, and those struggling due to self-isolation.
Equipping & Training: we’ll focus on digital training for those that need it; provide videos, encouragement and resources for families to disciple their children; set up one-to-one coaching.
Sending: we will share ideas, resources and encouragement to become good neighbours on our streets. A good place to start: https://www.vineyardchurches.org.uk/resources/viral-kindness/
PRACTICAL: how are we going to do this?
For the time being, we are faced with an uncertain future and all sorts of questions around church community and what this looks like. An important question to ask: how would Jesus respond in a time like ours? We know that He would reach out to the lonely and sick and that He would seek to protect the vulnerable.
We haven’t got the full picture yet, but it starts with weekly worship online this Sunday. Thereafter, we will put in place a whole series of new events and structures through which we will re-imagine and re-experience our life together as York Vineyard. Please be patient with us as we try new things and work out how to do this well. Some things might not work and we’ll make mistakes as we go. We are excited by what the Holy Spirit will do through us in new and surprising ways.
We aim to live-stream a Sunday morning service each week at 11am, which can be watched on Youtube via a link which will be sent out to the church, or can be found on the website. We will start this Sunday by live-streaming some worship, and hope to add to this in the following weeks.
We have loved being part of the journey our kids have been on over the last year as we have started Kids Worship and created new groups, allowing our children to deepen their relationships with God and build new friendships. Children will likely become increasingly familiar with remote working as schools close. We plan to provide teaching resources, weekly worship, prayer activities and opportunities to connect with one another digitally. The idea is to help equip our parents to continue nurturing a Spirit-filled, fun and life-giving time together on a Sunday and throughout the week with their children.
We will try many different activities and resources over the coming weeks. Eventually, with your feedback, we hope to settle into a routine which works for everyone. I believe we will grow spiritually as we learn to follow Jesus in unusual circumstances, and I believe we will grow in numbers as neighbours and friends are able to engage in the family life of York Vineyard.
Our pastoral care will have to adapt, both as we learn how to care for people remotely and to ensure that people don't slip through the gaps, particularly those who are not internet-enabled. We aim to ensure that everyone is connected in some way and ask that every member of the church partners with us in this. If you’re not connected with a small group, now would be a great time to do that. You can sign up to a small group online through the website – or be in touch with us (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we’ll make a connection for you. We are also beginning to be aware of people who are self-isolating. If this is you, today and in the coming weeks, your small group is a vital link to help you stay connected and not feel alone during this extraordinary time. Do let your small group leader know – and reach out to people as you are able. Small group leaders will keep us informed of how people are doing, and let us know if there are bigger needs that we might be able to help with.
Let us pray that we, the people of God, thrive in revealing the goodness of God and in growing the Kingdom at a time of anxiety, crisis and uncertainty in our country. Pray that we may be a non-anxious, peaceful presence in our neighbourhoods and workplaces (virtually or in reality).
Philippians 4:6-7, Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
We encourage you to stop and reflect on these verses and ask the Holy Spirit to show you how to be an instrument of His peace in your neighbourhood.
Jonathan & Nicki
COVID-19 LATEST UPDATE
Wednesday 18th March 2020
As a church we want to respond appropriately to the events surrounding the Covid-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. We are committed to protecting the health of our church family and especially the most vulnerable in our community.
Following the latest government guidance we acknowledge that it is no longer possible to gather in person. Therefore we have made the difficult decision to suspend all church services and midweek gatherings until further notice. This includes Sunday services, small groups, connect groups etc.
Church has never been about a building, but about a people. During these unprecedented times it is important we continue to be church family together,
We are working hard to develop some creative ways to stay connected while we are not able to meet together in person. We will keep you updated here on our website, as well as via email and social media as we move forward with those plans.
Please join us in praying for our church, our city, our country and our world. And know that we are praying for you – that you would know the peace, power and presence of Jesus. There may be difficult and unsettling times ahead, but God never changes, Jesus is always with us and the Holy Spirit continues to fill us as we draw near.
As you are aware, this is a fast moving situation and there will be further updates to follow. Love and blessings from York Vineyard Church.