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Sharing Our Voice in the Vineyard

WCF is committed to helping disciples of Christ grow faith across the whole arc of life. The Apostle Paul compares this journey to running a grand race, a race won by a persevering faith.
By MARK DRABENSTOTT
Read Time: 3 minutes

Our Lord’s parting message at the Last Supper was to abide with him, the true vine. It was the magnificent culmination of the vineyard theme he began with two of his parables. We are workers in a very special vineyard, there to bear fruit until our Master returns. This is not solitary labor—it is shared service. The days may be long, and the heat of the day blistering hot. But we serve with many others in this vineyard.

Indeed, the Owner of the vineyard expressly called many to serve alongside one another. The Owner does not really need us to pick the fruit. In another food analogy, Jesus tells us his Father could make bread from stones if He wanted. One of the vineyard lessons seems to be that the many serve together for “their” benefit, not for God’s.

They serve together to encourage each other. To help one another. Above all, to love one another, a clarion starting point in John’s Gospel for our Lord’s “True Vine” exhortation at the Last Supper. How can we better encourage fellow workers in the Master’s vineyard?

As the isolation of the pandemic begins to fade and as the world watches new horrific images of war, such encouragement has never been needed more. The Williamsburg Christadelphian Foundation (WCF) has launched The Vineyard Voice as one way to share more encouragement until the Master returns.

The Vineyard Voice

The Vineyard Voice is an information exchange designed to share the joys and struggles we all encounter. Such an exchange helps to remind us we’re not alone in the vineyard, and opens the door to drawing strength from one another and from our Master. It readily shares the joys and trials other workers encounter— so creating fresh opportunities to lift up prayer together. Through such prayers, we live the powerful lesson from the Apostle Paul: “If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.” (1 Cor 12:26 ESV).

God supplies the grace, but we must supply the faith.

This effort starts with a focus on North America. Lord Willing, we will broaden the service to the globe over time. The Vineyard Voice shares two important types of information:

  1. Urgent prayer needs. This is a rapid response announcement of a health emergency, a death or an emerging crisis situation, so that community prayer and support can be quickly marshaled. The announcement is sent via email to all who subscribe. The goal is to raise awareness to urgent needs, to allow the community to help as it best can and, above all, to pray together for those in need.
  2. Monthly report. This is a monthly update from voices across the vineyard (starting with North America). To provide a geographic frame of reference, we organize the updates by ecclesia. This monthly report is delivered by email to all who subscribe. The goal is to share moments of celebration (such are baptisms and marriages), to be more aware of trials that have arisen (such as deaths, serious illness or tragedy) and to see opportunities to serve together (such as special ecclesial efforts).

Lend Your Voice

WCF is committed to helping disciples of Christ grow faith across the whole arc of life. The Apostle Paul compares this journey to running a grand race, a race won by a persevering faith. In this journey, Paul tells us, God supplies the grace, but we must supply the faith. This means our faith in God—expressed through our understanding of Him, our trust in him and our service to Him—must be a central focus as we each run our race.

No matter where we are in the race, we always look to Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. But we can also look around the vineyard and find encouragement from our fellow servants. We hope you will lend “your” voice to The Vineyard Voice. Many other servants in the vineyard care and want to know about your prayer needs. You can also help them by lifting up prayer when they are in need. Together, we can celebrate the joys of serving together and bear up better under trials. You can get involved in three ways:

  1. Subscribe to The Vineyard Voice email list. You’ll receive the urgent updates and a monthly report. You can sign up at wcfoundation.org/ vineyard-voice
  2. Share your urgent prayer needs. Prayer is always the best starting point for any trial we face. Please share urgent needs with our hotline at urgent@wcfoundation.org. Anyone can send in prayer needs, but we ask that it be approved by members of the affected family.
  3. Encourage your ecclesia to be part of The Vineyard Voice. We hope this information exchange can be a source of encouragement for ecclesias all across North America—and beyond. We encourage your ecclesia to give and receive this encouragement. Our faith is stronger together than standing alone.

For further information, please contact The Vineyard Voice coordinator Sis. Carol Jones, cjones@wcfoundation.org

Mark Drabenstott,
Kansas City CGAF Ecclesia, MO

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