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A Review of Holy Week

PRAISE GOD !!
It was a busy but BLESSING FILLED week at VBC !  Let’s CELEBRATE all of God’s BLESSINGS this past week !!
Here’s an overview of PRAISES:
At Thursday’s Seder Communion Service we had 42 people learn about Jesus in the Passover meal.
At the Good Friday Service four churches came together to share what was “Good” about Good Friday.  It was an enriching night with 72 people present.
On Easter Sunday morning at 6:15am 41 people joined us on Walnut Mountain to see a beautiful sunrise and to worship and celebrate the SON-rise !!  We returned to VBC for a wonderful “Chef Mark” French-toast breakfast.
Finally – our Easter Worship Service was an incredible celebration with many visitors – 129 people in all – and 4 new commitments to Jesus !!!
THANK YOU to ALL the hands that helped make this incredible week possible.  For the “grounds crew” who helped make the outside more welcoming, to the greeters and ushers who made the inside more welcoming, to the many skilled musicians who put in much “overtime”  this week, to the nursery and Children’s Church leaders, and of course to all the “extra hands” that chipped in as needed to move chairs, make food, PRAY for us, and cheer others on through the week – you all are a BLESSING from God in many ways !!!!      Praise the Lord – He is SOOOO Good !!!
Pastor Ed Sostak

Easter Sunrise Service 2017

On Resurrection Sunday 41 people gathered at Walnut Mountain for a service at 6:17 AM to celebrate Jesus’s victory over death. The temperature was pushing into the low 50’s as the first rays of the sun peaked over the trees. The worship team sang “I Will Rise” as a prelude and Ralph Bressler sang “Grave Robber” by Petra. The worship team also lead the congregation in “lo, in the Grave He Lay” and “Because He Lives”. Pastor Ed presented a short message that reminded those present that when Jesus rose from the dead it was not only His resurrection but it was also ours. When Jesus rose from the dead He showed us that death has no grip on us and that we can have eternal life if we believe in Him. After the service, those present returned to the church for a breakfast. The preparation was supervised by Mark Markowski with help from other church members.

Mission to Kenya: Presentation and Tea

On Sunday, May 7, the members of the missionary team that went to Kenya will present a video and discussion of their trip at 9:00 a.m. during the Sunday School hour. This will be a more in-depth discussion than was initially presented in during a recent church service. As a part of the presentation, the group will prepare a traditional Kenyan tea. Make sure you mark this on your calendar and invite others to attend.

Equipping for Excellence and Expansion

E3 – Equipping for Excellence and Expansion is a series of six meetings across the United States with all three Free Methodist Bishops and other denominational leaders. The presentations by Bishops Thomas, Roller and Kendall are posted below. You can see the other presentations at E3 Resources. Another interesting document is the Multiplication Plan. (more…)

A Fisherman’s Story

On Friday, April 7, Pastor Paul Nilsen presented one-man show outlining the story of Peter the disciple of Jesus at the Cornerstone Church in Grooville. This first person dramatic retelling told the story of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus through the eyes of the fisherman who became a “fisher of men”. Peter was often brash and headstrong and more than once challenged Jesus. He even denied his Savior while standing in courtyard where Jesus was being interrogated before his death. Pastor Paul conveyed all of the motions, doubts and fears of Peter as well as his final understanding of the Master’s purpose.

It was nice to see that the church was full with representatives from the Free Methodist churches in Grooville, Liberty Walton and Windsor. This was despite a sudden snowfall that left the ground white. A few “fish stories” preceded the main presentation. Music was provided by a duet of Mary and Sheri from the Grooville Church. Refreshments were provided after the presentation which allowed those who attended to have fellowship with each other.

Holy Week Services

Join us for a week of services beginning with Palm Sunday on April 9thand ending with Resurrection Sunday on April 16th. Here is the schedule of services:

Palm Sunday – 10:30 AM – Jesus triumphantly enters Jerusalem
Holy Thursday – 7:00 PM – Services based on a Passover Seder – Jesus eats a Last Supper with his disciples
Good Friday – 7:00 PM – Jesus is crucified for the forgiveness of our sins
Easter Sunrise – 6:15 AM – main parking area at Walnut Mt Town Park – the tomb is empty! Hallelujah!
Resurrection Sunday – 10:30 AM – He is Risen! He is Risen indeed! (No Sunday school)

BOA Meeting postponed

The Board of Administration meeting scheduled for Tuesday, March 14 has been postponed due to the blizzard which is forecast to persist through the evening. The most likely new time for the meeting is after church on Sunday, March 19. More information will be posted as it becomes available.

Concert for Wednesday, March 15 Cancelled

Unfortunately, the Roberts Wesleyan Chorale Concert for Wednesday night was cancelled by the college. The Chorale cancelled its remaining tour concerts and returned to the college onMmonday to avoid the blizzard which is upon us. We are sorry the concert had to be cancelled but grateful that the students made it home safely.

Mission Team Returns from Kenya

Pastors Ed and Robin and Grace and Ben Dowe returned from their trip to Kenya. So far they have presented a short children’s message and Pastor Robin preached a sermon based on some of the their expeiences. Her sermon emphasized the differences between America and Kenya. The theme centered on the fact that Americans are rich in material things but poor in spiritual ones. In contrast, Kenyans are poor in material possessions but rich in their faith and in spiritual things. They are planning a more in-depth presentation in the future as they sort through the hundreds of pictures they took. It is obvious that their 18 day trip had a profound impact on them.

Iron Sharpens Iron on March 18

Fourteen men from the Vine and Branch Church will be attending the Iron Sharpens Iron conference on Saturday, March 18 in Hartford, CT, The conference focuses on men’s issue and the keynote speaker is Darryl Strawberry. Some sessions are for men of all ages while others are targeted at men in a specific age range, Topics include

  • Choosing To Follow Jesus Now
  • Engage: Building Your Church Based Ministry To Men
  • Faith & Freedom In The 21st Century
  • How To Do Better Study In The Digital Age
  • Take A Knee: Winning Plays For The Game Of Life