UPDATE FOR 4/18/2024
Hello friends. This last Sunday Joedy shared on “Radical Hospitality.” If you missed his talk you can still listen to it online through our website. We believe that we as a faith community are gifted and called to Radical Hospitality. When I think of each of you I have experienced this gift in your home and in your presence. People are so lonely and many feel unloved, but we can partner with God in showing his love through hospitality. One way that happens is on Sunday morning.

Over the next few weeks we are focusing on starting teams for our “Re-launch” into this new space. This new adventure gives each of us an opportunity to show hospitality to one another and to this new community. Please prayerfully consider how you want to and are gifted to serve. We need people for Sunday morning and mid week hospitality.

We need to start a few teams right away. A few examples are Sunday Morning Coffee and Snacks set up/clean up, preschool children’s teacher, band/audio mixing, video, greeters and mid-week/Saturday facility clean up. We also want to start building women’s and men’s ministry teams as well as a late teens/young adults group and an events coordination team.

Be thinking of ways we can use this space to invite the community into. Ideas like, karaoke/open mic night, art show, paint night, game night, etc.

Please be on the lookout for opportunities to sign up and pray about becoming a team lead on one of the Sunday Worship Service teams or a lead on one of the Ministries like Women’s or Men’s.

LASTLY – we will be doing a Cinco De Mayo Taco Bar for our friends and family open house service on Sunday, May 5th. Please visit link and sign up to bring an item to share.

https://www.perfectpotluck.com/meals.php?t=RNCP8968

***************************
UPDATE FOR 3/17/2024
Conversation about transition recorded during our worship service of 3/17/2024

Let’s talk transition…

During our worship service on Sunday, March 17th we had a discussion about changes that are happening at NVC. Our in person chat is available to play in he bar above or to listen to here…. https://www.natomasvineyard.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/Transition-3_17_24.mp3

Based on some additional reflection and conversation Kendra and I would like to add some information and context to what was shared in person. There are a few questions we know that we need to address. We have some of those answers readily available while some are still murky and there are some questions we are trusting in faith that we will have an answer to as we take steps forward.

WOW! THIS FELT QUICK!!!

We have been in a search for a new home base for NVC for about 4 months actively. We have been saving money and dreaming about a new home for a couple years. One thing became clear as we engaged a realtor and began inquiring and viewing available space to lease… it’s hard to find space for a church. Most of the owners and landlords just said NO to renting to a church. There were a few landlords who were willing to consider it, but they were either too expensive or the actual location or building wasn’t a good fit for a church. A week or so ago it was feeling a little like no one would have us. When Jessi, our realtor called about 320 Harris Ave saying that the Landlord had already said they’d be happy to rent to a church, it seemed like a God sign. I drove by Monday afternoon by myself to check it out from the outside. Based on having a good vibe, I asked Jessi to setup a walkthrough, which we did on Tuesday. That walkthrough went well and we could see ourselves in the space with very little changes. A few folks looked at it again the next day and there was additional agreement that it would be a good fit. I let Jessi know that we were interested and she submitted an offer that Wednesday night. By Thursday the owners had accepted the offer and by Friday they had a lease agreement prepared and sent over. I signed it late day Friday and they signed it over the weekend and we had a ratified lease contract by Monday. To me it felt like a “wait and hurry up” situation. We went from not knowing about it to having a lease agreement in 1 week, so truly it did come together quickly. I realize that quickly sometimes feels hastey and sometimes hastey feels reckless, but at no point in this process did I feel a check in my spirit or warning. In contrast it felt like an open door and an answer to a prayer we’ve prayed and other people of faith have prayed as well on our behalf.

THIS BUILDING IS NOT IN NATOMAS?!? HAS THE VISION CHANGED?

By every metric, 320 Harris Avenue is not in Natomas. It’s located in a small area called Norwood Tech and adjacent to Oak Knoll and West Del Paso Heights. Most of the Christian churches in Natomas who lease a building are located within a mile of each other. The reason for this is that there are very few spaces for rent that will work for a church in Natomas. Church isn’t a competition and having a building close to another church is not a deal breaker. There is a “church town” or “church row” and we were not motivated to be the 21st church inside this very small area. It’s also important to note that this church row is not in a neighborhood or close to any. 320 Harris Ave is very close to neighborhoods and it’s pretty close to Natomas. Some folks have already noted that our new spot is actually closer by milage to them than to our house church. We don’t feel that a home base just outside Natomas means that our ministry to Natomas is done. Our original goal was to minister to people in the same place we live, work, and play. Although a building is a piece of this (an important piece) it is not the most important piece. We believe in the priesthood of all believers. That practically means that we engage people right where we are at. Ministering to neighbors, co-workers, and community members you live life with can happen hyper locally and also happen regionally. Inviting people to come for a few hours a week to a space 5-10 minutes down the road for a weekend worship service or a mid week bible study represents a small part of our ministry to the world. You can and should still have folks into your home for dinner and choose to share life with folks God has put right around you. In that regard, I would say that no our vision has not changed. We are also 13 years into this journey and much has changed. Context, culture, and life stage has changed a lot. We feel like God is placing us somewhere new and with that will come new vision, new partnership, and new relationship. Let’s be open to keeping the best of our values and Natomas connections while making space for the new thing. 

Kendra here… I had a conversation about a month ago with another pastor who is also thinking of changing locations and struggling with it because of a commitment to a geographical location. We lamented and pondered why it seemed that our original geographical visions seemed to be laying “fallow.” I left that conversation really feeling that we might have to consider moving to another meeting location because of “shut doors” here in Natomas. I really feel like God is calling us to this different Geographical area which includes The Stanford Settlement. I’m looking at it like a new assignment and a new field to plow. I really want a more diverse faith community and we’ve been told over and over again you have to be VERY intentional if this is something on your heart. A common way to do this is by moving your meeting location to a more diverse neighborhood. This could be another reason my heart has softened to meeting outside of Natomas. In regards to a name change, Joedy and I have been discussing this for a few months. It really feels like we are starting A NEW THING and I’ve been sensing for a while that was going to include a name change. Of course this sensing started way before we found this building. So again it feels like a confirmation to what I have been sensing for quite a while. So in some ways this whole thing has felt rushed or tooo quick but in a lot of ways I personally feel like the Holy Spirit has been leading us in this direction and this building is a Big Ol Open Door!

HOW CAN I HELP??

A number of folks have asked the last few days how they can help. Stay tuned. More information will be coming on the regular.

WORK – We do know that we will likely not have access till April 1st. There will be a few things we want to do before shifting our Sunday service from the house to the building and we will schedule a couple work days to do some painting, cleaning, and setup soon.

INVITATION – Invitation will be important. Start talking to friends, family, and community members about our new adventure. If they are not already connected to a church, invite them to start a journey with us. There may even be people who used to be connected with NVC but the craziness of the last few years have not been a good fit for them. Let’s welcome them back.

TIME / TALENT – Churches (and most organizations) often suffer from the classic 80/20 rule. 20 percent of the people do 80 percent of the work. Let’s commit as a church to make space for folks to serve in new ways, lead for this first time, and participate on ministry teams they’ve never served on before. We want to enter a new season of leadership development and mentoring to enable more and more folks into that biblical value of the priesthood of all believers. 

It’s time to start asking for God’s creativity and imagination for what he would have us use this new space for. Lets’s listen for new vision and hopefully renewed vision for things that we once imagined in ministry that we may have “let go” but God wants to rev back up. This space is a clean slate. Let’s get imaginative and follow our spirit led dreams!

MONEY – We’ve been blessed with a reserve that makes this transition possible, but it won’t last forever. Our regular tithes and donations will need to increase for us to sustain and grow. We prayed recently that each of us would experience increases in our incomes which would make it an easy joy to give more. There may be a season where each of us consider an increase in our financial commitment in ways that are sacrificial. Let’s be praying for supernatural resource and benefactors who have the heart to give and are able to do so.

/// IN CONCLUSION ///

I believe we are ready for a new thing. I believe the Holy Spirit is leading us into a new thing. It will at times feel scary. As imperfect people, we will get some things wrong and make mistakes in our zeal and immaturity. If all this is true, then we need to ask for boldness and humility to be a people who are salt and light wherever God puts us.

Be blessed as you prayerfully seek the Lord for insight into how you personally will participate in this next adventure.

Joedy Z.