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Central Vineyard

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Christmas Mission 2016

To play our part in serving the city of Auckland this Christmas, we are gathering non-perishable food items for the Auckland City Mission as they head into their very busy lead up to Christmas. These food parcels go "to the homeless, families who are desperately struggling on very low incomes, and isolated elderly with little or no family support."

We're doing one collection date: Sunday, December 13th. We'll keep reminding you, but mark it in your dairies and put a reminder on your phone.

You can bring the good ol' baked beans, tinned tomatoes etc, but what the Mission have told us they run low on is canned meat/fish, toiletries like soap/shampoo/toilet rolls etc and just some niceties.

So add an item or two to your groceries and come ready with your contribution to serve those in need this Christmas on Sunday, December 13th.

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Winter Update

Last week we were in the middle of our fourth monthly gathering at Crave cafe, when one of our team led us all through a prayer time after the worship. James invited us all to get into small groups around our tables and to either pray for a) each other, or b) our church plant.

For the next five minutes I was blown away. I listened gratefully as the room buzzed with the prayers and petitions of people praying for us and/or each other. It's sometimes hard to know how "planting a church" is going, it can be quite immeasurable. But in this moment of planting Central Vineyard, this moment of a room buzzing with prayers, I was overwhelmed with gratitude. We are witnesses to a great thing; Christ is building this church and there is no turning back now.

At times we're feeling like grown-ups already. We've had great things to celebrate such as a couple in our leadership team having their first baby and friends who have been in a season of being prodigals who have given their lives back to Christ. We've also had some hard and painful things to go through already as well. What was it that Paul said in Romans 12? "Be happy with those who are happy, weep with those who are weeping." Yeah, we are getting that one.

Now, a word on what's next. On July 5th we are being released and sent from our sending church, Shore Vineyard. On that Sunday we will be prayed out and commissioned as a team, and from that Sunday onwards we'll be looking to turn up the heat on Central Vineyard church plant and get it ready for the spring months of 2015 to launch it publicly and properly. We'll be planning to start gathering regularly together (rather than just our once-a-month) and making our preparations to become a fully-operating commissioned Vineyard church. It's all very, very exciting.

And now, a word of thanks to some people. For those who are praying with and for us, thank you. We are feeling very loved and led by the Father, Son and Spirit in all of this, and we know it's because of people like yourselves who are praying. For those who are financially giving to us, thank you. You gift is helping us to do church and bless people around us as we need to. For those who are inviting people and sending people our way, thank you for believing in us and what we are doing to trust your friends and family with us.

We look forward to what is going to happen over the winter as we take the steps of planning for the spring – the season of new life, quite literally. Our new life being the intended launch of our church community and playing our part in the loving and serving of Auckland city.

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First gathering wrap-up

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The last time we gathered last year, it filled up our lounge and we had a hunch that we wouldn't be able to keep meeting there due to size. So this week we gathered at Crave Cafe on Wednesday evening and it turned out we were right: we wouldn't have been able to fit this in our lounge anymore.

We had 30+ people come to our "taste-and-see" styled night where we just wanted to be ourselves as a church expression and see who might find a place that feels like "home". Together we enjoyed some great coffee (thanks Heather, the great Crave barista who hosted us!), our team led us all wonderfully as we worshipped together, prayed and listened to the Spirit for a while. I spoke on "learning to walk: community and Kingdom" and to finish we came to the communion table.

It was pretty amazing to see something that has lived for so many months inside our hearts, minds and journals start to come out and become tangible, and it feels like the start of something good.

We want to say a big "thank you" to our growing team who are making all of this happen, and to those who are supporting us. We are so grateful.

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And so it begins, with fire.

Today I woke up grateful for two things:

Number one, the grease fire that started in our BBQ as we cooked steaks for dinner didn't burn our house down.

Number two, we have started. Last night we began our church plant journey with the first gathering at our house of core team members and people who are interested. A dozen people came to our house to eat, chat and pray, and there were a few apologies from people who would have liked to have been there and couldn't make it.

The night started with a fire on the BBQ, and it ended with one of those Acts 2 moments of “fire” settling on people as we sought the gifts of God’s Spirit together in a relaxed and informal manner, seeing what God was speaking to each of us.

And so we ate, we talked and we prayed. There was a joy in our lounge as we laughed at things together, heard each others stories and the way God had brought us together. But the highlight for me was that we had invited a guest from our sending church to join us for the night who spoke prophetically over us all.

The night started with a fire on the BBQ, and it ended with one of those Acts 2 moments of "fire" settling on people as we sought the gifts of God's Spirit together in a relaxed and informal manner, seeing what God was speaking to each of us. 

Our hope is that these monthly gatherings will steadily keep growing over the coming months, that they will become too big for our lounge and we will have to find another location, but for now we are enjoying the moment. God is leading people to this mission of planting this church in our city, and moving in peoples lives already.

Today I pray that the fire never goes out.

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