great weekend last weekend 42 people were baptized... 17 people decided on the spur of the moment to take the plunge... Impactful....

I spoke about the journey

discovering grace

growing in grace

becoming a gracefull person...

our people are the most generous people on the planet, giving their funds, time and energy to help us reach out to our community.

Intersections of life are important times that encourage us to pause, to think and make decisions that can affect our lives.

for the message download
Journey of grace

Ramping up

Gift Wrapping at Fairfield Commons Mall Beavercreek is getting ready to launch. We'll be wrapping presents every day beginning December 8th.
Mon - Thur. 12pm - 2pm and 6pm - 9pm

Fri. - Sun. 12pm - 9pm

We have a great spot located next to Sears lower floor.

We always have some great talks with people who are getting their presents wrapped. It's a way of serving and sharing our story with the community.

always need wrappers...sign up in lobby of Beavercreek or Dayton Campus or show up at the mall.

Making Christmas Dreams Come True will be on December 22nd from 10am until 5pm. We'll be serving 1400 people. Lot's of kids. Every child will receive a present, make a craft for mom and dad, have their face painted and eat a great meal in a fun atmosphere.

It will take hundreds of presents and hundreds of people to make the event run smoothly. Last year after one sleepless night. I mentioned Doug..."I'm concerned about the presents, lack of"...He said "let's see what the Lord can do"...a few hours later a family called and wanted to donate $2500 toward the gifts...the great thing... she went shopping and purchased the gifts. That's why Doug is the Senior of faith.

Making Christmas Dreams Come True 2007

Many of the less-served of our community will not have the opportunity to eat a Christmas dinner, open presents, or celebrate the season. Over the last decade, we have helped make Christmas Dreams come true for thousands of people in the Dayton area. Last year over 1,400 people were cared for during the Christmas season.

There will be:

Face painting
A Santa Shop
Upbeat Entertainment
...And Much More!!!

Where: Sinclair College Great Hall

When: Saturday, December 22 from 11:00am-4:00pm

Important not to miss Volunteer Meeting:
Thursday, December 20 at 6pm at the Vineyard.

We need your help. Your participation in Making Christmas Dreams Come True 2007 will ensure:

1,400 of the less-served of our communities receive a fully catered, sit-down meal in a pleasing, fun, and peaceful environment.

Every family who attends will receive quality gifts for their children.

Every child attending will be able to choose a present for their parents.

How can you participate?

By purchasing meal tickets which will be given to those in need. Tickets cost $10 a piece.

By signing up to help serve the less-served. Hundreds of volunteers are needed to collect and sort presents, greet attenders, serve the meals, decorate the Great Hall, and clean up.

By donating wrapped presents for the children. Thousands of gender and age appropriate toys are needed.

By giving generously. The meal alone cost over $16,000-your gift will ensure Making Christmas Dreams Come True 2007 will be a remarkable event for the less-served of Dayton. Make checks payable to The Dayton Vineyard line Christmas Dreams.

Need More Information?

For more information see the Making Christmas Dreams Come True brochure in the weekend program or at the information table. You can also contact Nicole Stubbs at 427-1912. or email

4am donuts

wow...having almost a whole day off was great until 3:30am rolled around...jumped up, cleaned up and headed to the office...looked over notes for the weekend and headed up to Fairfield Mall for the Giant Donut outreach...5am

people were lined up waiting to get inside to Sears long before I arrived...

Most of the 80 or so people who came serve donuts and coffee arrived at 5:45am...we divided up into four teams and served the shoppers until 7:30am when we ran out of donuts...

For some people this is their outreach ... they look forward to the tradition...

4044 Krispy Kreme donuts served
gallons of Boston Stoker served

Nicole our new assistant sure has ramped up the organization for our our outreach events it makes life easier for all

great time serving together as a pretty good church

Turkey's giving away turkeys

above video for our thanks to all who served at a pretty good church.

what a buzz...over 300 people showed up for our outreach...mostly newbies...

we divided up into three teams and car pooled to the area housing apartments where we have been serving and caring over the last few years...It was planned chaos...most handled the chaos well...we have story after story how people we touched were over whelmed by God's love shown in a piratical way...

some wept.

other hugged.

some thanked.

most received prayer.

one mom on our team stated, 'we went to a single mom's door...all she had in her apartment was a table. it put my life in perspective...i'm not going to complain about my old couch any more.'

we are hearing story after story about how those who went were affected...I often say, you can't really care until you've been out there....

we left at 10:30am and were finished by 12:00 pm just in time to see the Ohio State and the Michigan game.

a great the end we served near 400 thanksgiving dinners to those in need. not a bad day for a pretty good church

here's a great song we sing often to remind us of why we are living on Terra firma.

Let Us Be
Robbie Reider

Verse 1:
Take our hands
Move our feet
Break our hearts
With the things that make Your heart break
With the things that make Your heart break (2nd time)

Chorus 1:

Let us be Your hands Let us be Your feet
Let us be the love that longs for those in need (repeat)

Verse 2:
Spirit move
Across the land
We invite You
To move on earth by Your sovereign hand
Come and move on earth by Your sovereign hand (2nd time)

Chorus 2:
We will be Your hands We will be Your feet
We will be the love that longs for those in need (repeat)

©2002 Mercy / Vineyard Publishing (Admin. by Music Services)

Kindness a virus

here is an interesting article from USA Today Tue 12 Nov 2007

Kindness and service is a impacting many cities through Plan A
the Church...No plan B

A force for good
For a growing movement of believers, an activist faith means more than proselytizing about Jesus and stoking the fires of our culture wars. Welcome to the new (and yes, liberal) world of evangelical Christianity.

By Tom Krattenmaker

A passerby might not have known: Was this going to be a church service or a concert by an alternative rock band? The set-up on the stage suggested the latter — a drum kit, guitars on stands, several microphones, and large screens flashing iconic Portland scenes — and so did the look of the young, urban-hip crowd filling up the auditorium.

Then the band hit the stage with a loud, infectious groove, the front man singing passionately about God, and it was clear that the Sunday gathering of Portland's Imago Dei Community was both alt-rock concert and church service, or neither, exactly. So it goes in the new world of alternative evangelical Christianity, better known as the emerging church.

(Illustration by Sam Ward, USA TODAY)

There's a growing buzz about the emerging movement, and depending on your point of view, its robust growth and rising influence are worthy of applause, scorn, or perhaps just puzzlement. Fitting for a movement that eschews hierarchy and dogma, emergents defy simple definition. Perhaps the best one can say is that they're new-style Christians for the postmodern age, the evangelicals of whom the late Rev. Jerry Falwell disapproved.

Postmodernity is nothing new. Philosophers will tell you we've been living in the postmodern age for decades. But its expression in the context of fervent Christianity, in the form of the emerging church, is a fairly recent phenomenon, only about a decade old.

Like the postmodern philosophy it embraces, the emerging church values complexity, ambiguity and decentralized authority. Emergents are quite certain about some things, nevertheless, especially Jesus and his clear instruction about the way Christians are to live out their faith — not primarily as respectable, middle-class pillars of status quo society, but as servants to the poor and to people in the margins. In the words of Gideon Tsang, a 33-year-old Texas emergent who moved himself and his family to a smaller home in a poorer part of town, "The path of Christ is not in upward mobility; it's in downward."

Nothing to resent

To the many Americans cynical about religion, news of the emerging church might come as a stereotype-busting surprise. Christians fired up not about wedge-driving culture-war issues, but about spreading non-judgmental love and compassion? What's to resent about this public face of religion?

According to best estimates, several hundred emerging church congregations, or "communities," have sprung up around the country. Although some are quite large, with memberships well into the thousands, emergents are still bit players on the national religious stage. But the emerging church is making its presence felt, with new groups forming rapidly and major secular and religious media outlets chronicling its influence and potential to dramatically change religion in this country.

Rick McKinley is a goateed thirty-something who leads Imago Dei (which means "image of God" in Latin). McKinley is not your mother's minister. He threads his sermons and two books with youthful slang, as in being "stoked" about things that excite him and acknowledging that "it can really suck" to live with sin.

Ask McKinley whether he and his community are evangelical Christians, and he'll tell you yes — and no. "We'd say 'yes' in terms of what we think about the authority of Scripture and those things," says McKinley, who is finishing his theology doctorate this year. "What you have is evangelicalism defined doctrinally, which we'd agree with, and defined culturally, where we would disagree. Culturally, it has been hijacked by a right-wing political movement."

Like mainstream evangelicals, emergents believe in spreading the Gospel and in the necessity of believers having a personal relationship with Jesus. The difference lies in how faith is applied — the way it's acted out "in the culture," as emergents typically put it. In the eyes of the emerging church, Christianity lived out in the respectable confines of megachurches and suburbia is fading into irrelevance as a new generation comes of age with a passion for healing society and a reluctance to shout moralistic dogma. "If the church doesn't love its neighbors," McKinley says, "I don't understand how it can say anything that's going to have meaning in the culture."

Emergents tend to be more tolerant than establishment evangelicals on issues such as abortion and homosexuality. Do emergents believe in heaven and hell? Yes, McKinley explains, but according to emergent theology, the point of being Christian is not solely to achieve heaven in the next life, but to bring some heaven to this life by doing the work of Jesus.

That conviction recently translated into "Love Portland," a Saturday of service around the city. Groups from Imago Dei fanned out to perform service projects — beautifying a school in a poor neighborhood, refurbishing a rundown community theater, and the like — and then gathered to celebrate at their Sunday service the next day with music, video clips and stories from those who partook of the service work. Of course, most evangelical churches perform community service. What makes groups such as Imago Dei different is "sustainability," McKinley says — a commitment to serving the community day after day, week after week — and a soft-sell approach to evangelizing to those on the receiving end of their good works.

Serve the community

The "downward mobility" cited by the Texas emergent applies as well to the church-growth strategy, or lack thereof, of emerging communities. Unlike the megachurches of mainstream evangelicalism, emerging groups do not emphasize attracting new members (although it seems to happen anyway) or constructing church buildings. Some emerging groups meet in rented auditoriums, some in people's homes, some in pubs. There is less emphasis, too, on programming for members. In their view, the church exists not primarily to serve members but to serve the community.

Typical of the movement's critics, Falwell accused the emerging church of trying to "modernize and recreate the church so as not to offend sinners." That's probably code for "liberal," a shoe that would certainly fit.

Writer Scot McKnight, a supporter of the movement, says emergents are seen as "a latte-drinking, backpack-lugging, Birkenstock-wearing group of 21st-century, left-wing, hippie wannabes. Put directly, they are Democrats."

As is so often the case with religious movements in this country, the emerging church is both old and new: Old, in that Christianity in America has seemingly always been in a state of re-invention in response to the ever-changing culture; and new, in that we see in the emerging church a group of Jesus followers who reject the social conservatism modeled by Falwell and many other leading evangelicals this past quarter-century.

Is the emerging church compromising biblical truth for the sake of being hip? That debate won't be resolved here. Whatever the case, there is something hopeful about the appearance of a youthful, idealistic form of faith focused more on healing broken neighborhoods than accumulating members and political power.

For those hoping religion can more consistently serve as a force for kindness, unity and society's renewal — and not so much as an argument-starter — the verdict seems simple: Let the emerging church, and its larger ideals, continue to emerge.

Tom Krattenmaker, who lives in Portland, Ore., specializes in religion in public life and is a member of USA TODAY's board of contributors. He is working on a book about Christianity in professional sports.
Posted at 12:16 AM/ET, November 12, 2007 in Ethics - Forum, Forum commentary, Krattenmaker, Lifestyle issues - Forum, On religion column, Religion - Forum | Permalink

Turkey's giving away turkeys

This year we are going to the area apartments we have served with Get on the Bus and Community Funfest. We've been building some relationships with the communities and this years project will be an exciting investment into the lives we seek to reach.


Join your friends, small group or as a family helping others this Thanksgiving.

It’s simple:
Take this list to any store and purchase the items listed. Pack the items in the box provided in the lobby and place the frozen turkey in the bag provided.

Then come to the Vineyard Saturday, November 17th @ 10am. After some instructions we will head out to an apartment building or two, and surprise the residents with a free turkey dinner.

this outreach is fun to do with a few friends or family. If you want to participate... or are short of cash, why not grab a few friends or invite your small group to pool resources and then shop together (grab some ice-cream after) and then serve together.

Shopping list:
__ 2 cans of corn
__ 2 cans of green beans
__ 1 large can of yams
__ 1 box of scalloped potatoes
__ 1 can of cranberry sauce
__ 2 boxes of mac and cheese
__ 1 box of brownie mix
__ 1 package of brown and serve rolls
__ 1 medium Frozen Turkey

Be creative and add your own treats to the list.

Throw in a pie or other fun items

WOW FunFest 5

For more pictures click this link Dayton Daily News

Without His favor, His blessing and His presence upon us...
all is folly.

Many thanks to the 250+ volunteers, our take a risk staff, Nicole our new (thrown in the deep end) outreach assistant...all went beyond the call of duty to serve our community joyfully...
  • the set up team did a fantastic job the night before,
  • the kids worship team and great parents who came at 5am for Channel 2 news,
  • the grill, snowcone, and popcorn team 3k hotdogs, the patient snowcones and popcorn people,
  • the game people were caring, and creative,
  • the inside pingpong fish bowls were a huge hit and the team had a great ab work out,
  • the face painters painted,
  • mom's muffins (500 caringly made homemade muffins for moms),
  • the medical team and lost parent team thankfully had a slow night,
  • the artist small group carved many a pumpkin,
  • the helium balloon people are now nursing bruised fingers,
  • the candy runners ran often,
  • the volunteer care team cared well,
  • the security guys hospitality people solved problems, like having too many cars, our grass became a car lot, getting people in the parking lot then out safely,
  • the clean up crew cleaned up the mess in one hour...the reserve clean team the next day 2 hours.

Most people commented on the peace people felt on the campus. Our prayer team prayed, literally, walking the property, worshiping, and believing from Oct 1 ...we had several joint times of prayer during he month.

Believe it or not, I believe that prayer is the engine behind whatever we attempt to do in His Kingdom. Without His favor, His blessing and His presence upon us... all is folly. steve bowen

The wind...we didn't count on wind...

all day the our set up was blown all over the place...
...67 degree weather clear sky and wind...all day.

During the day i pondered how Jesus just spoke to the wind and it immediately died down, I asked. 'how did you do that?' you can't see the wind or the source!'

So, I also spoke to the wind all day, noting the wind seemed to increase as yet another safety barrier was knocked down. O me of little faith.

at 7:00pm I was walking to solve another minor problem when i sensed what friend calls 'flutterby' a small slight impression, possibly missed if you are not aware of a still small voice speaking in your heart...

I sensed, heard, had a slight impression...'Steve, what do you notice?' I paused...slowed down on the inside, stood still and listened...I heard a simple statement 'no wind'. In the moment I noticed it was dead calm... an encouragement for my heart, a sense of God's love and favor that is worth more to me than gold... what I call a God moment.

once again i realized ... 'Me Father is in heaven and He is quite fond of me' old irish priest quote....

the wind did pick up to a gentle breeze a short time later but there were no more knock em down gusts.

In the end...
all the noise of the event, the sense of success, the joy of seeing an autistic kid take 20 minutes to climb a rock wall, then grin from ear to ear on his first ride on a ferris wheel...seeing thousands of people enjoying God's generosity through His people was amazing.

For me personally...Hearing His voice in the midst of all the craziness was the highlight of my long day. That one 'God moment' filled my spiritual, emotional tank.