Apr 11 2014

He is Risen – Holy Week at the Vine

Easter in Petaluma

Easter in Petaluma

Christian Holy Week begins April 13 with Palm Sunday. We will be walking in the footsteps of Jesus, beginning with our Palm Sunday Worship, 10 AM. Newcomers are welcome at any of these events.

Maundy Thursday Service, April 17, 7:00 PM

Observe Holy Week with this Maundy Thursday Communion Service as we remember Jesus’ last supper with his disciples. “Do this in remembrance of me…”

Easter in Petaluma: Brunch and Worship Service 

We will celebrate the resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday, April 20. Join us for an Easter Brunch, 9:30 am, followed by our Easter Worship Service at 10 am. There will be an Easter Egg Hunt for children. 

What are you giving up for Lent?

Easter in Petaluma - LentMost think of Lent as time to give up something. Chocolate. Coffee. Twitter. Swearing.

We don’t give up things easily. Most losses in life are losses we didn’t volunteer for. The loss of health. The loss of a job. A home. Our youthful good looks and energy. Faced with the threat of loss, we dig in and fight to the finish. We naturally hang on to any scrap of the past we can retain.





Image credit: vladischern / 123RF Stock Photo

Permanent link to this article: http://www.thevinepetaluma.org/easter-in-petaluma-2/

Mar 07 2014

A Step at a Time

A step at a time

The Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

But, the journey is many steps. Sometimes we get bogged down. Our journey is stalled in some area of our life. Getting started again can be as difficult as taking that first step. During March and April, we’re looking at various areas of our lives and what we can do to take the next step.

New Message Series: A Step at a Time

Taking the next step in …

The stewardship of my gifts (S.H.A.P.E.)  Feb. 19

My stewardship of resources  Feb. 26

My Church Life    March 2

My walk with God   March 9

My Stewardship of My Body   March 16

Don’t miss: Taking the Next Step in…

  • The Stewardship of My Mind, March 23
  • My Marriage– Rudy and Lori Rentzel, March 30
  • My Family, April 6
  • My Financial Life, April 13 (Palm Sunday)
  • EASTER Celebration and Brunch, April 20

Join us Sundays, 10:00 AM and take the next step.



Image credit: gynane / 123RF Stock Photo

Permanent link to this article: http://www.thevinepetaluma.org/a-step-at-a-time/

Mar 06 2014

Congregational News

We had an encouraging congregational meeting March 2. If you missed it, please download the handout and response sheet. We want to hear from you.

Congregational-Meeting-handout (pdf)

Congregational-Meeting-Response-sheet (pdf)

Here are some items we need and service needs we have:

Wants/Needs in Support of The Vine Church


  • Large screen TV (50+ inches)
  • Room dividers – portable
  • Computer – with working DVD player
  • Counter with sink & faucet (for a Kitchenette)
  • Music stands
  • P.A. Speakers
  • We’d like to borrow a long pole for washing outside windows

Service Activities

  • Cleaning help – occasionally vacuum, web-busting, windows, spot cleaning
  • Invite friends to church
  • Welcome new people
  • Give rides to church and events for those in need
  • Social media- follow us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter (see email news for links)
  • Social media- write review on Yelp, Facebook, Google+, YP.com
  • Social media – invite FB friends to events & worship
  • Children’s Ministry teachers


Can you help with any other these needs? If so, please indicate it on the Response Sheet.





Permanent link to this article: http://www.thevinepetaluma.org/congregational-news/

Mar 05 2014

What are you giving up for Lent?

What are you giving up for Lent?Most think of Lent as time to give up something. Chocolate. Coffee. Twitter. Swearing.

We don’t give up things easily. Most losses in life are losses we didn’t volunteer for. The loss of health. The loss of a job. A home. Our youthful good looks and energy. Faced with the threat of loss, we dig in and fight to the finish. We naturally hang on to any scrap of the past we can retain.

Recently, I gave up my claim to perfect health. I used to race through the form you fill out for a new doctor. You know that 3-page form where they list all the maladies a person can possibly have and you check off yours. I used to race through that form. Asthma? No. Cancer? No. Heart disease? I didn’t even read the choices. I just checked No for everything. No longer.

I gave up my claim to perfect health. I gave up an illusion. While I was checking No for everything, I didn’t know plaque was building up and clogging one of my arteries. (Read “My Halloween Scare”)

It’s the loss that keeps on losing. Kaiser is big on education and they’re educating me on heart health. They want me to give up my apple fritters. Potato chips. Red meat. They also want me to fork over several thousand dollars for the little stent they put into my artery.

They say it’s not about what I’m losing, but what I’m gaining. Clear arteries. The ability to work all day without having to lay down and rest periodically. A longer life.

What are you giving up for Lent?

I think that’s not the right question. It’s not wrong, it’s just not the main question. The operative question for Lent is what do you want to gain?

The prophet Isaiah speaks for Yahweh God when he says it’s not fasting from food that delights God as much as feeding the hungry. It’s not the food that is given up, but the food that is given.

Isaiah 58:6-12

“Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of wickedness,
to undo the straps of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?

Is it not to share your bread with the hungry
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover him,
and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?

Then shall your light break forth like the dawn,
and your healing shall spring up speedily;

You may give up food, money, privacy, housing, but you will gain healing. Your light will break forth like the dawn!

So what do you want to gain during Lent?

Freedom? Joy? Life to the full?

Losses will be involved to be sure, but it’s better to focus on the prize.

You give up that TV reality show so you can gain the hilarity of real-life family and friends.

You give up cigarettes so you can enjoy breathing.

You give up an abusive relationship to gain dignity, peace and a chance at healthy relationships.

You give up promiscuity to gain one real-life love relationship.

You give up an addiction to drugs so you can gain the joyful experience of life’s simple pleasures.

You give up some time each morning, so you can gain the peace that comes from Bible reading, meditation and prayer.

You give up pride to reconcile with a former friend.

I’ll give up apple fritters and more to gain a few more years with those I love.

Jesus said,

I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies,
it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.
John 12:24

During this season of Lent, we encourage you to give some time each day to read a page from Seek God for the City. Read the Bible reading for the day. Read out loud the prayer. Join with thousands who are praying for the people of Ukraine,

It may be that the time you’re giving up in order to embrace this 40 day practice is time devoted to a good thing, like sleep. Laundry. A coffee stop on the way to school or work.

But, give the time and you will gain a new perspective. You’ll see a new and different community. A new and different you. Do it for 40 days and you may gain a new life-giving habit.

Meditation by Dave Weidlich, given at Ash Wednesday service, March 5, 2014

Join us for worship during Lent 2014 in Petaluma – Sundays at 10 am.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.thevinepetaluma.org/what-are-you-giving-up-for-lent/

Mar 03 2014

Liturgical Calendar

Liturgical YearChristians from a liturgical tradition tend to be familiar with the liturgical calendar.  Those from a non-liturgical tradition tend to be only vaguely familiar with it, and only loosely observe it.

It is an old tradition within Christianity, though different traditions observe it in diverse manners.  It mainly observes Christmas and Easter, which almost all Christian traditions observes.

It begins with Advent, starting 4 Sundays before Christmas, often at the end of November.  Advent celebrates the coming of Christ, both his birth, and his return in the future.

It moves on to Christmas, starting in the evening of December 24th, and continuing until Epiphany (which traditionally falls on January 6th) when it is believed the Magi visited Jesus, and he was thus first revealed to the Gentiles (and .  This covers 12 days, and is the basis for the 12 days of Christmas.

Following Christmas, the Liturgical Calendar observes what is called “Ordinary time,”  which marks time till another major period of the Liturgical Year.

Lent 40 days

Lent begins the next major period in the Liturgical Calendar.  It begins on Ash Wednesday, which moves since

 Easter moves.  It marks 40 days before Easter, and commemorates the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert fasting.

Next – the Easter Triduum – which consists of Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday, though by tradition, each starts with sundown on the evening before, in keeping with Jewish tradition.  So it usually begins with Maundy Thursday, a foot washing ceremony, and a commemoration of Lord’s Supper. During Friday day, the passion of the Lord is observed.  It moves on to Holy Saturday, to observe when Christ lay in the tomb, Usually no celebration is observed.  In many traditions, Easter begins on Saturday night with the Easter vigil, where adults are baptized and confirmed.  Easter is usually a festive celebration in almost all Christian traditions to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

In the liturgical calendar, Easter continues until Pentecost Sunday, the 50th day following Easter Sunday, the day by tradition which marks the birth of the Church by the sending of the gifts of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles.

From there till Advent, it is back to Ordinary time.

Just like a regular calendar, the Liturgical Calendar observes cycles in our life which can add depth to our walk with our Lord.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.thevinepetaluma.org/liturgical-calendar/

Mar 02 2014

Observing Lent – An Invitation to Joy

ash-wednesday-observing lentWhat are the benefits of a closer walk with Christ?

An invitation to observe Lent is an invitation to walk more closely with Christ, wherever that leads. It is an invitation to joy – as Jesus Christ experienced joy. It is an invitation to peace and the sense of forgiveness that comes in feeling Christ’s smile. Observing Lent is an invitation to the power of conquered sin as we walk with Christ in his resurrection. We’ll also start using our devotional book for the season, Seek God for the City.
Find more info online and get the app for iPhone and Droid smartphones.

Observing Lent in Petaluma

We invite you to a brief invitational service to observing Lent.

Lent in Petaluma - Seek God for the CityAsh Wednesday Service

March 5, 2014 7:00 PM
at The Vine Church of Petaluma
1129 Industrial Ave. Suite 208
Petaluma, CA 94952

The first practice most Christian traditions observe during Lent is Ash Wednesday – where a priest or minister marks the forehead of the participant with black ashes in the sign of the cross. …Genesis 3:19 - Remember that dust thou art, and to dust thou shalt return.  (KJV)

Would you like to know more about Lent – its origins and how it is observed?

Read More Button


Permanent link to this article: http://www.thevinepetaluma.org/observing-lent-an-invitation-to-joy/

Feb 21 2014

Seek God for the City

Lent in Petaluma - Seek God for the CityWe’re observing Lent in Petaluma, using Seek God for the City, a devotional and prayer guide.

Get the prayers at their fingertips by using the Seek God for the City companion app. You can download the app from iTunes or Google Play for your smartphone or tablet for only $0.99. Search “Seek God for the City 2014” or get the link directly from the website at www.waymakers.org
God has been unfolding His purpose throughout the earth for thousands of years. One of our dear friends, Floyd McClung, aptly says, “When God stirs His people to pray, it is because He is planning to answer!” We are sensing that even in these often faith-challenging days, God is stirring His people afresh to tenacious, passionate prayers of hope and faith in what He has long promised to fulfill in our cities and communities.

Seek God for the City is used by thousands of churches each year as a solid way to help build the confidence of everyday believers so that they pray with clarity, authority and relevance. Prayers that spring from scripture can move our hearts from pessimism to certain, passionate hope. Seek God for the City 2014 will help strengthen and sustain this kind of hope-filled, “fulfill-it” praying for the people of your church and community.

WayMakers provides many helpful promotional resources and tools to help you prepare for this 40-day season of prayer. A free Children’s Guide can be downloaded from our website to encourage families to pray through Seek God for the City together. A Spanish translation, Clama a Dios por la Ciudad, is also available in printed format with the same quantity discounts as the English translation.

Click HERE For more resources

Barb Hawthorne & Stephanie Tucker

Lent in Petaluma – Events:

Ash Wednesday Service

March 5, 2014, 7:00 PM

An invitation to observe Lent. Ash Wednesday is the first day. We’ll be using the devotional guide, Seek God for the City, between now and Palm Sunday.

Maundy Thursday Service, April 17, 7:00 PM

Observe Holy Week with this Maundy Thursday Communion Service

Easter Brunch & Worship

April 20, Brunch at 9:30 am, followed by our Easter Worship Service at 10 am.

More on our Events Page

More on Lent in Petaluma:

What is Lent Anyway?

Permanent link to this article: http://www.thevinepetaluma.org/lent-in-petaluima/

Feb 14 2014

You are loved!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

You are loved! Whether you’re in the relationship of your dreams, or something less, know that God loves you with a love that never forgets. And, when you’re part of a passionately Christ-following church, you’re surrounded by love. Don’t forget it.

“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget,
I will not forget you!
See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands…”
Isaiah 49:15–16

This is IC 1805 otherwise known as the Heart Nebula. It’s an emission nebula with glowing gas and darker dust lanes, located some 7,500 light years away, in the Perseus Arm of our Milky Way galaxy, in the direction to the constellation Cassiopeia the Queen.

You Are Loved!


Our Facebook Valentine’s Posts

Our Twitter Valentine’s Tweets

Google is Cute today. Keep clicking on the hearts.

St. Valentine was a real man. More on Rudy’s blog.

Pope Francis’ Valentine’s Day message to couples.


Permanent link to this article: http://www.thevinepetaluma.org/you-are-loved/

Feb 01 2014

Praying for Rain

praying for rain CaliforniaGovernor Jerry Brown recently announced an emergency drought in California. Almost 99% of California is considered abnormally dry or worse; almost two-thirds of the state is in extreme drought. 2013 became the driest year on record in California; San Francisco had the least rain since record keeping there began during the gold rush of 1849.

Join me in praying for rain California. Leave a prayer or comment below.

“…If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” – 2 Chronicles 7:14



(cross-posted on www.dweidlich.com)
Image credit: serov / 123RF Stock Photo

Permanent link to this article: http://www.thevinepetaluma.org/praying-for-rain/

Jan 08 2014

Happy New Year! What’s New?

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:
The old has gone, the new is here!
2 Corinthians 5:17

Forgive my skepticism, but I often wonder, what does Happy New Year mean? We celebrate that we have a new year to enjoy. We’re hopeful that the future will be better than the past and we resolve to make it so. But, what’s really new about this day that wasn’t true last week?

Despite my skepticism, I am hopeful that the future will be better than the past – for me, my family and for our church. But, I know it won’t happen just because we’re writing 2014 for our date. And it will take more than resolutions. We’ve all made them and broken them, often within days.

So, what will it take to make a new start? People often come to church seeking a way to make real change in themselves. “How can I make real change my life?” That seems to be a common question.  What would you like to change about yourself?  An attitude?  A habit? Your financial situation? Some habit or weakness?  All of us want to change in some way so we go to seminars and we read books, listen to lectures.

real changeJohn Newton, the English slave trader turned pastor, made it his habit to spend time at the end of each year to reflect on and evaluate the past year. He would also think about the future and how he wanted it to be. He would write letters to friends and hymns to chronicle his thoughts. You’ve heard of one of them: Amazing Grace. The first few verses look back on Newton’s past:

Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound)
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears reliev’d;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believ’d!

Next he reflects on God’s present grace:

Through many dangers, toils, and snares,
I have already come;
‘Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

Finally, he turns his thoughts to the future as he expresses his confidence in God’s future grace:

The Lord has promis’d good to me,
His word my hope secures:
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who call’d me here below,
Will be forever mine.

Credits: Read “Grace Has Brought Me Safe Thus Far, by Tony Reinke at DesiringGod.org

How Can We Make Real Change in Lives?

1. Real Change Comes When We’re in Crisis.

When do we make real change? The First of the year? The first of the month? No, it often comes out of crisis – “we hit bottom.” Or have a financial incentive to accomplish a goal. a deadline.

Nobody can order you to change either. The federal government has ordered all of us to buy health insurance or get off illegal drugs. Does it work?

When I was diagnosed with heart disease, the doctor had my attention. I was ready to initiate some lifestyle changes. Now that the medical bills are coming in the mail, I am reminded of the changes I want to make.

Still, resolving to change and responding to crisis are not enough.

2. Real Change Comes When We Commit to a Plan.

I had a $5,000 business loan I wanted to pay off. So, I planned to pay $200 a month towards the loan. To turn my resolve into action, I set up my online checking account to automatically send a check at the beginning of the month. I’m happy to say the loan will be fully paid in six months.

3. Real Change Comes When We Commit to Fellow Travelers.

Look for people who are working on the same goals. Wise people. Learners. That’s what we do when we join DivorceCare or a Recovery Group. Find a mentor.

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:

If they fall down, they can help each other up. But pity those who fall and have no one to help them up!

Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?

Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

We see this principle at work in the Golden Gate Bridge. How can that bridge hold its own weight plus hundreds of cars and trucks over its mile-long span?

The strength of the bridge is in the two cables that run above the bridge. Each of those cables is made from 27,572 thin strands of wire. Banded together, they make one 36 inch cable. Together they can hold thousands of cars and trucks in addition to the weight of the bridge.

Happy New Year! Let’s work together to make real change in ourselves and our church. Then it really will be a New Year.

Pastor Dave Weidlich

Write This Down

Write One Personal Growth Goal

What’s the Reward?

What’s the penalty?

What’s the Plan?


Write One Financial Goal

What’s the Reward?

What’s the penalty?

What’s the Plan?


Write One Health Goal

What’s the Reward?

What’s the penalty?

What’s the Plan?


Permanent link to this article: http://www.thevinepetaluma.org/happy-new-year-whats-new/

Older posts «