Comedy Night 2013-05-10Comedian Andy Kind is back!
Back for one night only - Andy Kind. Click http://www.bristolvineyard.com/diary/details/110 for more details
Everyone Gets To Play 2013-05-11An exciting opportunity for all involved in children's and youth ministry to connect with others in the area, worship together and be inspired...
Come for a day of worship, stories and training for all those involved in children's and youth ministries.
Connect with like-minded folk from around the South West and Wales area and be inspired as we share what God is doing amongst the young people in our churches.
Hear from Dave Pavey - the children's pastor at Causeway Coast - as he shares his experiences of children being naturally supernatural.
And be encouraged that what you do is incredibly important and highly valued!
And lunch included to boot!
All this for just £5.
Book online here: http://plymouthvineyard.org.uk/everyone-gets-to-play
It will be held at Taunton Vineyard, Richard Huish College, South Road, Taunton, TA1 3DZ.
(And it's not a Bank Holiday weekend, so traffic should be ok!)
Finances Feedback 2013-05-01Come along to hear more about how Bristol Vineyard manages its finances
If you have always wondered how/on what we spend your money, this is your chance to find out....http://www.bristolvineyard.com/diary/details/113
BV's Most Eggcellent Adventure is P-P'd 2013-03-23Due to the adverse (or more normal these days!) weather conditions we are postponing the Eggcellent Adventure to next weekend - 30th March. Same place, same time. Blaise Castle Estate, 2 - 4pm. Hope to see you there.
SNOW DAY! 2013-01-20Fairfield School site has been closed by the HSE, so BV will not be gathering on Sunday 20th Jan. Email in pictures of your snow sculptures to the office and we'll have a gallery ready for when we return next week on 27th Jan. Enjoy the snow!
The Journey - Part 2 2012-12-25If you missed our Christmas Celebration you can find this year's film we produced for the theme of Journeys - it follows John Lewis' Christmas advert...
Click here for the film - The Journey - Part 2!
If you've not seen the John Lewis Christmas 2012 advert click here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0N8axp9nHNU and see this one first...
Chickens for Chikondi 2012-11-05Not sure what to buy your friends for Christmas? How about a Chicken? For the Sundays in November/December we will be selling Chickens for £5. These chickens will live in Malawi, eat in Malawi, sleep in Malawi and importantly they will lay eggs in Malawi! Read more....
Selling the eggs from these chickens will help Chikondi to further to expand their work with disabled children and their families.
If you buy a chicken, we have six different cards you can choose from to share the news of the gift. Great for stocking stuffers or the Aunt who you don't know what to buy for!
Youth Fundraisers 2012-11-05November is a month of Fundraising...Read on to find out how and why!
BV Youth are raising money to help Kit out the new BV Youth Hub... and to give some away.
Nov 11th - Cake sale and Auction!
Be ready to bid for some delicious delights, or visit the 'Buy Now!' table throughout the morning!
Nov 18th- Card Sale and Shoe Cleaning
Taking the dog for a walk or hiking on Saturday? Back to the office on Monday? Make sure you bring your shoes for a good clean next Sunday
Nov 25th - Hot Dog/B-B-Q
Fancy the idea of taking home children that aren't feeling famished? How about we let the youth cook for your children? Hog Dogs will be available at the end of the service (for a small fundraising fee!)...
Click here to read the latest from the Checkleys! 2012-10-04What makes someone drive 4000 miles to do a bible school...?
October 2012 Newsletter. Click here...
March Update Click here
January Update...Click here for news
December Update.. Click here
October Update...Click here
Read ON July update.. Click here
June update...Click here
May update... Click here
Bill and Emma Inauguration 2012-09-09Photos are in the gallery from our service on the 9th September where we said good bye to Andrew and Ros after 17 yrs and welcomed Bill and Emma as our new Senior Pastors.
Summer Garden Party 2012-07-01Photos up now for the Summer Garden party....
Ask and You Shall Receive- Malawi update 2012-06-20June Update from Anna and Andy in Malawi
Click Here to read newsletter...
The Malawi Vid... 2012-06-20Catch up with what went on in Malawi with the 'official' movie that was shown at Central Housegroup in June '12.
Follow this link to find the movie: http://youtu.be/Ir3y0d8haho
Weekend By The Sea - Talks 2012-06-04Bill's talks are now available!
If you've not heard them yet, check out Bill's talks from the Weekend By The Sea.
They are available in our Resources page here: http://www.bristolvineyard.com/resources but you will need to login/register with BV to access them.
You can also follow Bill's slides as you listen to his soothing voice with the added PowerPoint file, too.
LOST PROPERTY! 2012-06-04What was left behind...AND MORE...!
Follow this link http://youtu.be/-g4RWCluCjQ to see what was found after our Weekend by the Sea...
And more to boot...! Enjoy the wee clip...
Shoes Cleaned and Stomachs Filled... 2012-04-29Don't forget to bring your scuffed, dirty shoes and a hungry stomach this Sunday for the Youth to work their magic and collect up your donations for the upcoming trip to Malawi...
This Sunday the Youth at BV are giving of their time, energy and service to raise a pot of cash to equip the team going over to Malawi in May with resouces and fun things for the children they will be seeing in the outreach centre there.
Cleaning shoes, selling cakes and bringing a bit of sunshine to our morning for us in BV is the order of the day as the donations for their services and the delightful cakes (some of which wil be provided by the 'Cake Club'!) will hopefully do the same for the children over in Malawi that the team will be spending time with when they head out next month.
Well done BV Youth!
Christmas Surprises! 2011-12-18For those of you who missed it, or those that would like to see it again, we have a link to find the film clip of those two handsome shepherds sharing the Good News! Click on the Christmas Surprises title here first to find the link...
Here it is - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VAcl-5aqzI
Studies for the Sunday Series on Mark 2011-09-04Here is the Bible Study to accompany our Sunday series from Mark - Part 1. Enjoy!
Bible Study Questions on Mark’s Gospel
Chapter 1: 1 – 28
Read through Mark 1:1-28.
(Questions in italics are optional extras for those wanting something a little more challenging).
v. 1 Right at the start, Mark declares that his story is ‘good news’ (the meaning of the English word ‘gospel’). Given the focus on Jesus’ suffering and death in the second half of the book, and his call for his followers to imitate his suffering, how can Mark still call it good news?
Does the message of Jesus feel like good news to you? When you share it with others, how good do you think it sounds to them? (Isaiah 52:7 might give some food for thought on this).
v. 2-8 It’s interesting that Mark’s story begins not with Jesus, but with John. Why is John’s role in the story important? (Look at Malachi 3:1).
Compare Mark’s description of John (v.6) with the description of Elijah in 2 Kings 1:8, and then look at Malachi 4:5 and Mark 9:11-13. What might Mark be saying to Jewish readers? Given Malachi is the last book on the OT, how does this opening of Mark’s gospel affect our understanding of the relationship between old and new testaments?
v. 9-11 Mark tells us that John’s baptism was ‘for the forgiveness of sins’ (v.4). Presumably Jesus did not ‘need’ this baptism, so why do you think he was baptised by John?
Who exactly does the seeing and hearing in verses 10 and 11? So who is this event for and what does it prove?
Compare 1:10-11 and 15:38-39. (The same word for ‘torn apart’ is used in verses 10 and 38). What do you think Mark is saying by paralleling Jesus’ baptism with his crucifixion?
v. 14-15 If you were asked to summarise the Christian gospel in 60 seconds, what would you say? (Maybe get two or three volunteers from the group to have a go. Ask the group what worked well for them in each attempt). How does our message compare with Jesus’ ‘manifesto’ (verses 14 & 15)?
Why is the kingdom of God ‘coming near’ such good news?
v. 16-20 How much did Simon and Andrew and James and John know about Jesus before he called them? So what do you think made them respond so quickly?
Describe your own response to Jesus call. Was it immediate or more gradual?
v. 21-28 What do you think made Jesus’ teaching authoritative for those in Capernaum?
Who are the authorities you experience in everyday life and how would you rank their importance? How do you tend to deal with a conflict of authority? And with authority?
Overall Christmas is one of the most important occasions in the church calendar, yet Mark says nothing about Jesus’ birth. What does Mark prioritise instead? What do you think are the most important things to emphasise in telling the story of Jesus?
Bristol Vineyard and what's afoot... 2011-06-29Andrew, Bill and Tim talk about where Bristol Vineyard is heading and some changes that are coming about...If you have any questions you can contact us through our website: www.bristolvineyard.com
The times, they are a changin’…
Did I hear that right? Are Andrew and Ros really moving on? What’s going on?
In one way we’re not moving on at all. We’ll still live in Bristol and Bristol Vineyard will still be our church. We’re not going anywhere. But it is true that in 12 months’ time Ros and I will no longer be the Senior Pastors.
When we planted Bristol Vineyard 16 years ago, we thought we’d spend the rest of our working lives leading the church, but things change. It’s no secret that in the last two or three years I’ve become more and more interested in the issue of human trafficking, and church members will have noticed that I’ve become increasingly busy, first of all launching Unseen, and more recently working with the Centre for Social Justice.
While I’ve only come to accept it myself fairly recently, my heart has changed. I feel increasingly passionate about confronting modern-day slavery, both in practical ways but also by campaigning politically. At the same time God has been opening doors to this kind of work in a remarkable way, and has seemed to be nudging me in this direction. Almost inevitably, my sense of call to lead Bristol Vineyard has begun to diminish.
When I began to share these thoughts with Ros, it was interesting to find that she had begun to feel the same way. It seemed that God was speaking to both of us, telling us that it was time for something new. So we then started to test the idea out with both the leadership team and the trustees. They are all fully behind this decision.
And is it true that Bill and Emma are going to take over Andrew and Ros’ role?
I’ve just finished a two-year course in theology at Trinity College here in Bristol. When I started the course, I had no idea what it would lead to, but I knew that God had led me to the course and so I felt confident that he would continue to lead when the course finished, that I was studying as preparation for something else.
As the two years progressed, it seemed increasingly clear that the ‘something else’ was church leadership. I got to see lots of different churches on preaching teams, missions and church placements, and I found that more and more I was imagining myself in the leader’s (usually the vicar’s) role, picturing what I would do in their situation and feeling excited about the idea.
So I began to investigate ordination in the Church of England. A funny thing for a Vineyard boy to do I know, but I was studying in an Anglican college and I thought that might be what God was saying. After a few weeks it became clear that in order to pursue ordination properly we would need to move to an Anglican church, so Emma and I went to see Andrew to tell him we were leaving Bristol Vineyard. This was in September 2010.
Andrew was understanding and gracious and asked several good questions about how we were discerning God’s direction. He then asked ‘Would you like my job?’ This was a surprise. After all, we were there to tell Andrew we were leaving. Even more unexpected was my reaction. Deep down I felt, ‘Yes that’s exactly what I want to do. In fact that’s what I’d love to do.’
I went back to see Andrew a week later to check that he had meant what he said and to let him know that I was interested. It was fascinating to hear him say that he hadn’t planned to ask the question, it had just popped out; but that once he had said it, it allowed him to acknowledge for the first time that his heart had moved on and that he didn’t want to lead the church until he retired.
So even though we left B.V. and started worshipping at Redland Parish Church, I started to talk to Andrew about how I might replace him. In the meantime it soon became apparent that becoming a vicar wasn’t for me, but God wouldn’t let us return from Redland Parish Church to B.V.
The nine months at Redland were very valuable. They showed both Emma and I how ‘Vineyard’ we had become, something we didn’t fully appreciate until we were in a different culture. They also gave us something of a church ‘sabbatical’, a rest from leading different things and an opportunity to think clearly about our future while sitting in ‘neutral territory’. We consulted with many friends both inside and outside the Vineyard movement during this time.
The discussions with Andrew and Ros became more regular and a plan began to take shape – joining the B.V. staff as assistant pastor (or curate) and picking up the reigns over a period of a few months. This was a period in which Emma and I really learned to listen to God together in a new way. We had a real sense that his hand was on us, leading us in the direction he wanted.
For example, there were times when it seemed quite unlikely that the B.V. role would happen, but when we asked him whether we ought to simultaneously be working on a ‘Plan B’, he asked us to wait until the next meeting with Andrew and Ros before doing anything. Then the next meeting would be very encouraging and the need for a contingency plan would feel less important.
The other thing we have learned in the last 12 months is that God is our provider. When I started at Trinity we knew that we would run out of money before I reached the end of the course, but when we prayed about our finances God would simply say, ‘Trust me, I am your provider’. Sure enough, we have been able to keep going through all sorts of different gifts, large and small, from a wide range of people, some anonymous, and often at the last minute when our faith had been stretched to its limit.
So we look forward with confidence. We feel that God has arranged this opportunity to become Pastors at Bristol Vineyard at just the right time, and that while the transition will cost some money to achieve, God is our provider.
The final piece of the jigsaw for me was to realise that it was Emma and I who were being called to pastor the church, not just me. While the idea of leading the church is attractive, I am aware that I have strengths and weaknesses and that there are several aspects of the role that aren’t my natural preference. The penny dropped when I saw that several of my weakest areas (for example organisation, pastoral care and working with the poor) are exactly where Emma is strongest. Moreover, B.V. already has an extremely competent leadership team in place, and leading the church means leading with and through them.
So I’m excited about what the future holds. I feel inadequate for the task which God seems to be calling me to, but I recognise that that’s quite a healthy place to be. It’s certainly better than the opposite. I’m convinced that God is transforming the world and that he chooses to do it through local churches like Bristol Vineyard. I’m looking forward to discovering with you how he wants to transform our neighbourhood.
Andrew, you mentioned that the leadership team were behind this. I’d quite like to hear that from them.
I’ll let Tim take this one then.
As a leadership team, we see the ways in which God is calling Andrew increasingly into his role heading up Unseen, and are excited to see what God will do through him over the next few years as he chairs the CSJ policy review on modern slavery. We also are excited by the way that God has called Bill and Emma into full-time pastoral ministry, and see them as a great team to take over what Andrew and Ros have started here at BV. We as a leadership team are fully behind them as they transition into leadership of our church.
We are committed to serving both Andrew and Ros, and Bill and Emma, during this year of transition in whatever ways they see as most helpful. We want to enable the transition to take place as smoothly as possible, and enable Andrew to devote time to the next stage of Unseen. We see this transition as the best outcome for both BV and Vineyard Churches in the South West, but also the thing we all care passionately about – the Kingdom of God.
How exactly is this transition going to happen?
Well I can’t give you all the details yet. Bill is still waiting to start and one of the first things we need to do is work out precisely who is going to do what during the transition period. I can give you the main points of the plan, however.
- On July 18th Bill will start to work for B.V. full-time, as Assistant Pastor
- Over the following 12 months, Bill will work alongside Andrew, learning the role and taking more and more responsibility for the overall leadership of the church.
- At the same time Andrew will increasingly be released to work with Unseen, the CSJ and other projects
- It’s worth repeating that Andrew and Ros aren’t leaving the church. They’ll still be around and they’ll still have a lot to offer. They will always be B.V.’s founding pastors.
We as a leadership team are asking the church to support the transition.
We realise that this is a big ask, but finding the money for one additional salary for one year will enable a number of things to happen.
Firstly, internally, this would allow for a smooth transition in leadership to take place, with Bill and Emma slowly picking up the role from Andrew and Ros over the coming year. We see this as far preferable for the church than an un-phased transition, and Bill and Emma feel that they need time to transition into their new role and learn from Andrew and Ros.
Secondly, externally, this would allow for a smooth transition in leadership of the region, with Andrew continuing in that role with a view to training up and passing that on to someone else. Here we see that we, as BV, can support the wider movement.
Thirdly, externally, we sense that Andrew is being called to grow something that is close to the vision of BV – a concern for social justice in pushing forward the Kingdom of God. We recognise and support the calling that God has placed on Andrew and Ros to work practically and politically to support victims of modern slavery and want – as the church family that Andrew and Ros are a part of – to support them in pursuing that call. In calling for people to contribute to one year's salary, we see this as one practical way in which we as BV can release a part of Andrew's time next year to serve the wider purposes of the Kingdom of God in chairing the CSJ policy review on slavery and directing Unseen and handing on the region.
Finally, we also see this as an opportunity to bless Andrew and Ros personally for all they have done in planting and growing Bristol Vineyard. We are very grateful to God for them both and everything they have done in establishing the church that we love being a part of. We want to provide for them during this year of transition, as they step out in faith for what God is calling them to next, and want to call on BV to join us in supporting them in this next stage of their ministry.
As a leadership team, we’ve wrestled over asking the church for the money to support this. The church has been amazingly generous in the past and we don’t want to abuse that generosity. Ultimately, though, we felt it was right to give the church an opportunity to contribute to this, and trust church members to make the right decision before God. We’re asking you to pray, and ask God whether you should give.
We want people to spend the next two weeks thinking and praying about whether God wants them to give and if so, how much. Then on Sunday 10th July we’ll have a special offering to support the transition.
On that day you may choose to
- Give a lump sum
- Give a smaller regular amount every month
- Increase your existing standing order
- Or if you haven’t started giving to the church to start as it is part of what it means to be a member of BV.
But pray first.
Will the church’s vision change?
I’m sure it will continue to evolve and develop over time, but at the moment it seems pretty good as it is. I really like the way our current vision expresses a desire to both look upwards in genuine worship and outwards to our community with compassion.
Will BV change?
Any church is always changing. A healthy church is always doing new things, discerning how God is at work to grow his kingdom and seeking to join in. It’s inevitable that this involves changes.
I also want to make it clear that my agenda is not to make sweeping changes. My biggest effort at the moment is setting aside all the ideas I keep having, but I think it’s really important to do so. In mid-July we’ll be starting a 12-month handover and I think it would be crazy to go into that process thinking I had all the answers. Instead my aim is to keep an open mind, understand exactly how things work at the moment, what’s working well and simply needs continuing and encouraging.
Whenever I’ve worked in a team or organisation and a new leader’s come in and started radical changes straight away, the changes haven’t been effective, and the team has felt completely disempowered and demotivated. I’ve also suspected that the reason for the changes has been more about the leader’s ego than the needs of the organisation.
How are we going to hold onto ‘Vineyard Values’?
I first went to a Vineyard conference in Manchester in 1986. I was immediately attracted to the movement and felt at home. I was at the very first meeting of Bristol Vineyard in 1995 and have been part of the church ever since (brief flirtations with Anglicanism notwithstanding). When I briefly moved to Farnborough I joined Farnham Vineyard and when Emma and I lived in West Yorkshire we joined Wharfedale Vineyard.
I’ve always been drawn to the Vineyard because of its values. I like the Vineyard’s values because they are my values. The last thing I would want to do is change them for something different. Besides, if I did, the leadership team would soon put a stop to it, and rightly so.
The other thing is, lots of people agree about the need to preserve ‘Vineyard Values but I sometimes wonder if they’re talking about completely different things. Just to be clear, what I love about the Vineyard is its genuine spirituality and freedom from religion; its combination of heartfelt, intimate worship and ground-level, get-your-hands-dirty care for the sick and the poor; its laid-back informality and reluctance to take itself too seriously; and the fact that it’s a family.