We had a great night last night at the Christmas Store, meeting the families we were serving, getting to see the smiles on the faces of parents and grandparents who were shopping for their kids… and praying with folks. Many of you were busy hosting, wrapping gifts or helping with the Kids Zone. I am so thankful for your generosity and willingness to serve. I can’t thank you enough!
Christmas Store hours were last night, TONIGHT, Friday, December 16, 6:30 to 8:30P and TOMORROW, Saturday, December 17, 11A to 1:00P.
This weekend Caleb will be wrapping up our series, “O Come Let Us Adore Him” by speaking on Peace. There really is a peace that passes all understanding… his name is Jesus. Here is an amazing prophetic verse from the Old Testament book of Isaiah; “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end.” (Isaiah 9:6-7a NIV)
You’re invited to join us for our Christmas Eve candlelight service. Christmas Eve services are Saturday, December 24th at 5 and 7P. We are also doing a Christmas Eve “traveler’s service” on Wednesday, December 21st at 7P. Christmas Day falls on Sunday this year… so, we will be doing ONE service at 10A on Christmas Day… (We will also be doing ONE service New Year’s Day as well.) Saturday service on New Year’s Eve will be at 5:30PM as usual.
Riverdale Campus Schedule: Christmas Eve service is at 7 PM. Christmas Day (Sunday) is at 10:30A (not 10A as usual) and New Year’s Day (Sunday) at 10A.
We are having a live nativity for our kids during all services this weekend (Dec. 17-18.) All kids age 2 through 5th grade will have the opportunity to experience the sights and sounds (even the smells…) of the stable! Children will be outside for a 20 minute worship experience. We ask that you please have them dressed appropriately for the weather.
One last thing I’d like to bring you up to speed on… We have been consulting with sight and sound professionals about ways to improve our worship center. If you were at Open Heavens last Sunday night, you may have noticed we now have the capability to have high quality live video on our screens. (We have been using a live video feed to the tvs in our lobbies, but it is pretty low quality, not suitable for broadcasting.) We have been inching our way toward being able to broadcast our services live over the internet, and increasing our capacity from having just audio files available on our website to actual video of our messages. Over the past few months we’ve been preparing to make two major upgrades to our worship center with the goal to have the first improvement completed and in place by Christmas Eve and the second before Easter 2017.
The first improvement to be completed this week is a major upgrade to our visual and digital media. We will now have the ability to broadcast video on our projector screens in the worship center, across the campus, and around the world. I’m excited that our church family abroad can join in on our worship services. This has been a frequent request from deployed soldiers, military and nonmilitary families that relocated, and by vacationers. It also gives people looking for a church the chance to to see a service before they become a part of the service.
The second upgrade to come before Easter 2017 is improving our overall sound quality in the room. Live sound is always an interesting challenge… What is too loud for some is not loud enough for others. In an attempt to provide the best quality sound, we’ve consulted with multiple acoustical engineers, who tested the rooms at various frequencies and with gadgets that look like something out of a sci-fi movie. After identifying our problems, they developed a plan for us to improve the acoustics in the room. So, over the next few months we’ll be adding a vast amount of sound panels and relocating our sound-booth. This will make the most improvement to our sound quality and control. Further courses of action they recommended are to suspend “sound clouds” from the ceiling and install carpet. We’ll do this step by step until the problem is completely solved.
This is not an attempt to merely put on a better “show,” although we readily aim for excellence in all things. It’s really intended to make our worship center feel a little smaller, to help everyone connect with each other and to what’s going on up front. We want to bring people together and ensure that we provide the best possible worship experience for our guests and those who call the Vineyard their church home.
I had someone ask me how we are paying for these improvements… It’s pretty simple. We have such a generous church family, from food drives to capital projects, in all things we set out to accomplish generosity abounds. A while ago several leaders offered to help us fix a few things and gave generously to pay for it. I believe it’s a worthwhile investment. You’ll notice these improvements over the next several weeks and months. And, we will keep you informed along the way.
As always, thank you for your patience and understanding.
P.S. If you would like to discover freedom from life’s hurts, hang-ups and habits, check out Celebrate Recovery starting up at our Riverdale campus in Dayton on Wednesday Nights beginning January 4, 2017. Meal 5:45P, Large Group 6:30P; Recovery Groups 7:30-8:30P; Fellowship Café 8:30-9:00P. Want more info? firstname.lastname@example.org.