Looking Forward

VINEYARD WEEKLY UPDATE: July 21, 2020

Hello Vineyard Family,

This morning, like many of you, I took up the challenge from Day 1 of the Reckless Faith devotional. I stepped outside and spent a few minutes under a shade tree, thanking God for those who have been a shelter in my life.

I’m really looking forward to week 2 of our message series and can’t wait to hear the stories about how you are exercising your reckless faith muscles.

We’re excited about the expansion of our ministry opportunities and celebrate the return to the building for in-person worship!

This past weekend, we held three services in the Auditorium and two Family Services in the Big Room (which were a hit!). We saw lots of familiar faces and also welcomed new ones.

Our prayer teams offered prayer in tents outside and are looking forward to praying for you in the weeks to come.

In response to requests for transparency, Beth shared some information about Rob King’s departure. Our senior leadership team and Trustees had some great conversations with folks and will continue to be available at the big tent in the front over the next few weeks.

Please feel free to email Beth directly or the Board of Trustees with questions about anything related to our most recent leadership transition. If you missed the above updates or the weekend’s message, I invite you to jump online and watch.

We understand if you’d prefer to stay engaged with us online. We will continue to stream on vineyardcincinnati.com on Saturdays at 5:30pm and Sundays at 9:30 and 11:30, as well as on Facebook and YouTube.

Thanks so much for continuing to RSVP for the weekend services. This allows our teams to plan for cleaning protocols and socially distanced seating.

If you plan to join us in the building this coming weekend, there is a safe space for you. RSVP and learn more about the safety measures we have in place.

See you soon,

Jim Cochran
Interim Executive Pastor
Vineyard Cincinnati Church

Previous updates

Update: July 14, 2020

Hello Vineyard Family!

Wow! I was so encouraged at the Unified Cincy Prayer Walk downtown this past Saturday. 

Several thousand people from churches across the city were in attendance, lifting their voices to God in worship and prayer for unity and justice in our city. You can watch Beth pray over our city in the livestream video (jump to the 1:00 hour mark). 

Please continue praying for our city and listen for how God is leading you to engage. 

We are so excited to resume in-person services this coming weekend! We’ll be gathering to worship and launch a new teaching series on Saturday at 5:30pm and Sunday morning at 9:30 and 11:30. 

Our new series is called Reckless Faith: Saying Yes to God. Join us in-person or watch live online at vineyardcincinnati.com, Facebook and YouTube. You don’t want to miss this.

If you’re attending in the building, please RSVP so that we can plan for your arrival.

Safe practices will include:

  • Face coverings will be required (ages 10 and up) consistent with the state of Ohio guidelines.
  • People will be spaced out appropriately in the auditorium (we’ve counted all the seats!).
  • A tent will be set up outside where people can safely gather after the service while we re-sanitize the building.
  • BYOC - Bring Your Own Coffee

Check out the full info at vineyardcincinnati.com/together

Got kids? They are more than welcome! Read more here.

Jim Cochran, 
Interim Executive Pastor

The News Update Team 
With input from: Jim Cochran, Brian Beatty, JR Cifani, Kristi Jacobsen, Jennifer Shock & Jacob Gordon

Text UPDATE to 513-612-9910 to receive regular updates via text.


Update July 7, 2020

Hello Vineyard Family!

I hope you had a wonderful 4th of July weekend. Here’s a brief update for this week.

Our in-person services resume the weekend of July 18 & 19. Our current plan is that we will be gathering at 5:30 on Saturday evening as well as Sundays at 9:30 and 11:30. The RSVP is now open.

Both the Big Room and Main Auditorium will be open to families to participate together in worship.

The music in the Big Room will be specifically oriented toward kids, and we’re working to make it a fun experience for families to enjoy together.

We have lots of other info online at vineyardcincinnati.com/together, so check it out.

Join me and thousands of other praying people at the Unified Cincy Prayer Walk this weekend on Saturday at 10am.

There will be worship at the beginning and end, and we'll walk and pray for our city in partnership with a number other area churches.

Looking forward to seeing you this Saturday at the prayer walk,

Update June 30, 2020

Hey gang!

I was so encouraged to see so many of you at the Songs & Stories gathering on Saturday. Thankfully, the weather held off and hundreds showed up to worship, hear stories, and see each other for the first time in months. This was our first, and very important step, back to reopening the building. 

After the event, we kicked off the Cincy Prayer Adventure with the goal of praying for 100 different Cincinnati neighborhoods. 

My wife Dana and I drove to my hometown of Madeira and prayed for my old high school, the civic leaders, and the families in that community. 

If you didn’t get a chance to take part yet, I encourage you to find the super-simple checklist here. Send in your photo and it will go into the album!

Many of my conversations at Songs & Stories were full of excitement about seeing more of each other as we get back into the building for in-person services the weekend of July 18 & 19. Our current plan is that we will be gathering at 5:30 on Saturday evening as well as Sundays at 9:30 and 11:30. You can RSVP starting next Tuesday, July 7. 

Before our reopening weekend, we have another great opportunity to see each other! The Vineyard will be participating in the upcoming Unified Cincy Prayer Walk on Saturday, July 11, at 10am. 

This is in partnership with 40 other churches, and I want to invite you to join with us at Yeatman's Cove downtown. 

Prayer should always be an essential part of our relationship with God, but in this current season, it feels even more needed. Romans 12:12 says, “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Together with our brothers and sisters from around the city, we will walk out the gospel’s message of hope and unity.

As many of you are considering getting out of town for Independence Day or beyond, we want to thank you for your continued giving that sustains ministry here at the Vineyard. There are multiple ways to give online or by texting; see vineyardcincinnati.com/give.

Thank you for continuing to stay connected, to serve, to give, and to help this church do God’s work for the city of Cincinnati. 

I’ll be at the walk on July 11th, and I hope to see you there. 

Update June 23, 2020

Hello Vineyard Family,

We’re excited that over 1,000 people have registered for the Songs & Stories event!  I want to remind you of a couple of things: 

Cars will be parking on the Main Entrance side of the parking lot, and people will walk over to the Family side of the parking lot for the event. Bring your own chairs or blankets.

Safety and health plans have been developed, including staff and volunteers wearing masks, and hand sanitizer in the parking lots and outside the restrooms. We’re also trusting everyone attending to use good judgment in regard to personal health. Read more

Like you, we’re watching the weather forecast. If you have pre-registered, we’ll send out late-breaking updates via email. In the meantime, please pray for NO RAIN!

Thanks for reading this week’s update. 

Jim Cochran
Interim Executive Pastor

What is next for the Senior Pastor Search?

Our first step in the senior pastor search was the all-church survey. A large percentage of Vineyard folks took the survey at the beginning of June.

The results have been summarized for church leadership and the responses gave us a snapshot of our congregation’s thoughts and feelings about our mission and vision. These results helped us form the search team, and will be used to guide our search. 

For example, when asked about the most important qualities our senior pastor should possess, the top three out of ten qualities were:

  • Inspiring and challenging teacher
  • Leader and vision caster
  • Impeccable character, as demonstrated by the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22).

The senior pastor search committee has now met several times to finalize the details of the job description and search process. The search team is composed of Paulette Warner, Chuck Ehlers, Wade Daniel, Julia Mourer, and Beth Guckenberger.

A senior pastor search will take time, and we appreciate your prayers as we go through this process.

Pray for God’s timing to prevail as we seek the leading of the Holy Spirit and His sovereign power to surface the right candidate at the right time.

Pray for the search team as they lean into the Lord, asking Him to lead every step with clarity and unity. 

When will the building reopen?  

We’re still working toward reopening the building starting July 18 & 19 at 25% capacity. We will be adding the service times to our website when they're finalized.

Update June 16, 2020

Hello Vineyard Family,

I’m super excited about the upcoming outdoor event in our parking lot on Saturday, June 27. This will be the first time we’ve gathered in a larger group, and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone enjoying time together. This event is BYOC (Bring Your Own Chair!). See the schedule and RSVP here.

If you watched our online service last weekend, you probably caught the announcement from Beth that we are coming together to reopen our doors on July 18 & 19 for those who are ready to return.

To get an idea of how many people might attend each service, we’re asking you to save a seat in advance. The RSVP function will be live about a week before our re-open date. Read more here for everything we know so far.

Thanks for reading this week’s update.

I’m grateful for you and look forward to seeing you soon.

Jim Cochran
Interim Executive Pastor

How does Vineyard Cincinnati Church fit into a larger international Vineyard vision?

As part of exploring how we can be more effective in the Vineyard movement, we recently interviewed Phil Strout. Phil has been part of the Vineyard movement for 30 years, and the Executive Director for the past seven years.

He discussed movement history, how Vineyard churches interact with each other, and how the Vineyard movement is advancing the kingdom globally.

The movement now has 571 congregations domestically and roughly 2,500 worldwide (with approximately 130 new churches planted in the last 6-7 years).

As we are the second-largest Vineyard church in the world (behind the Columbus Vineyard up the road), Phil was very complimentary of the important part VCC has historically played within the movement, from our pioneering role in servant evangelism to the position we have occupied as a mentor to many churches in the region.

Please see Vineyard USA's most recent annual report if you'd like to know more about the movement's efforts. It's a great overview and informative read.

Update June 9, 2020

Hello Vineyard Family,

As I reflect on the season we’re in, I’m so thankful for you and your continued involvement at the Vineyard. I am greatly encouraged that there are three intercessory prayer teams of staff and volunteers who are seeking God’s best for this church as our teams work on the topics below.

Our intent is to keep you up-to-date as our church plans develop about what God has next for us.

Jim Cochran
Interim Executive Pastor

When are we reopening the church doors?

Beth will be making an announcement this weekend about the specific date of the church rejoining for in-person worship. A thorough plan with your safety in mind is being developed, and we’ll be communicating additional details in the coming weeks. We will be open for in-person services while also continuing to offer our services online.

You are invited to join us for Songs & Stories on Saturday, June 27 at 5pm. This is an outdoor event featuring food trucks, worship and inspiring stories from our church. This is an opportunity for us as a church to be together in a safe way. Please RSVP so we can plan for parking and plenty of hand sanitizer!

What kind of input from Vineyard staff & attenders are we receiving?

We sent an online survey to the staff and the congregation to provide them with an opportunity to weigh in on topics such as our mission and the upcoming Senior Pastor search. The response rates for both surveys were very high, indicating a lot of interest in the survey topics and also strengthening the validity of the results.

The next task is to interpret the results and summarize them for our church leaders. We are praying that God will provide fresh insights through the collective wisdom of the people in our body. Thanks to everyone who participated for providing such thoughtful responses.

What about our vision & mission?

In the survey, we asked Vineyard staff and attenders about our current vision and mission. While we don’t have the larger results analyzed yet, we can say that staff feedback on our current mission and vision was very positive.

Our mission statement is To love the people of Cincinnati into a relationship with Jesus Christ and to give away to the world what God has given us. About 90% of staff agree that it concisely explains VCC’s overall purpose in existing and that they personally identify with the mission statement. Results were similar when asked about our vision statement.

Clarifying or mission and vision will be significant as we move forward through the senior pastor search.

What progress has been made on the senior pastor search?

A diverse team has been assembled comprised of members of our church body, staff, and trustees that were recommended to us based on their work experience, history with the church, and their strong faith in God.

Their role is to sift through the initial applicants, conduct interviews, and make a recommendation to the trustees for final approval. Beth has committed to being our interim pastor until a new senior pastor is identified, and she will transition out of that role at that point.

Update May 27, 2020

Here are this week’s updates:

1. BACK TO THE BUILDING

We are thrilled at the wide array of ministry that is now occurring through staff and volunteers—we’re doing a drive-thru food pantry, Saturday morning drive-in prayer, online options for services, groups, and classes!

We will continue doing online church, but one of our values is being together! A team is researching local and national best practices for large churches returning to in-person worship.

We are taking into account recommendations from Ohio’s leadership, local faith leaders, and other churches across the nation who have begun this process. For example, our Interim Senior Pastor Beth Guckenberger is meeting with area church leaders to learn together how to return to in-person worship.

In addition to this input, we’re praying for specific guidance regarding the best timing and plans for how this congregation will return to meeting at our church building.

2. SENIOR PASTOR SEARCH TEAM

The makeup of this group is being finalized over the next two weeks. It will include a diverse team of people, including Trustees and members of our church body.

The search team will be guided by a prayerfully-developed list of qualities for the next Senior Pastor. We anticipate this search process will begin in mid-June and will likely continue for several months.

3. MISSION & VISION

We say all the time that Small Things Done with Great Love will Change the World. But this is just one part of our Mission, Vision, and Values statements.

We’re collecting feedback from our staff about our current statements and will widen this to the congregation in the near future. This will provide info about any revisions that we might want to make and help us move forward as a church.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

Continue praying, reading God’s word, and being salt and light to your friends and neighbors! Invite a friend to watch church online with you.

We’re praying for you.
We love you.
We miss you and thank God for you,

The News Update Team
Vineyard Cincinnati Church

With input from: Jim Cochran, Brian Beatty, Kristi Jacobsen, Jennifer Shock & Jacob Gordon

May 22 update video, some thoughts on returning to the building

About Beth Guckenberger, Interim Senior Pastor

beth.jpg "It is my joy to serve as the Interim Senior Pastor at Vineyard Cincinnati Church. I spoke the first time at the Vineyard in 2008, and ever since have had respect and affection for this community. It’s an unusual season, and I look forward to offering my service and leadership, as God leads this body forward."

Beth is serving as the interim senior pastor of Vineyard Cincinnati Church. She and her husband Todd are the Co-Executive Directors of Back2Back Ministries, an international orphan-care ministry headquartered in Cincinnati, OH. Beth and Todd lived with their family in Monterrey, Mexico from 1997 to 2013, and between biological, foster, and adopted, they’ve raised ten children. Beth is the author of nine books and a regular speaker.

Here are some recent sermons given by Beth.

From Jim Cochran, Interim Executive Pastor

I am happy to serve in this interim executive pastor role for the church I love.jim.jpg

I came into relationship with Christ through the work of the Vineyard before anything started here locally. My wife Dana and I were blessed to host the first small group of the church in our condo in 1983. I served in a volunteer role as the church's first sound tech and in various informal leadership roles in the 80's.

I joined the staff full time in May of 1990 and have loved serving the church in various roles of leadership in finances, support services and a prior eight-year stint as executive pastor.

More recently I helped pioneer a ministry here at the Vineyard called OneLife that helps disciple business owners and leaders in integrating their Christianity into their marketplace roles. I look forward to listening for God's fresh leading and being part of the next chapter here.

Jim Cochran, Interim Executive Pastor

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