Only in Michigan can it be 5o degrees one day and then a winter storm warning the next. Unfortunately that’s what happened this past weekend. The Grand Opening of The Eastside Vineyard Church was set for 6pm on February 20th and the entire southeastern Michigan area was put under a “winter storm warning” beginning at 4pm that day. Perfect timing! The forecast included 6-10 inches of snow, sleet, and freezing rain. Unfortunately, Chuck Gaidica and Dave Rexroth were right for once!
We prayed like crazy but ended up getting hit hard with bad weather. Snow was falling fast and furious by 4pm and the roads were covered with a combo of snow and ice by service time. We knew this would deter many folks from attending. It probably would have kept me at home…except I was preaching, so I had to come!
We just hoped that some people would show up. I would not have been surprised if there were a dozen people there. Literally. The roads were absolutely treacherous. We ended up with 90 attending and felt blessed that so many braved the elements to come and support us. Some even drove from Sylvan Lake and Waterford!
It ended up being a great night from start to finish…but we felt bad so many couldn’t make it due to the weather so we are calling this Sunday’s service “Grand Opening 2.0.” I hope you come celebrate with us as I continue my series in the gospel of Matthew.
This blog is all about February 20th but I have to say a quick sentence or two (or ten!) about February 19th. The day before our launch a dozen people from the church put their faith in action as we partnered with Habitat for Humanity on an extreme home makeover project in Macomb County. We “deconstructed” the inside of an abandoned house — knocking down drywall, removing carpeting, tearing out an entire bathroom and kitchen, and yes, even the kitchen sink! One day this house will be a home for a needy family and our team was the first step in turning that vision into a reality.
The best thing about it was I didn’t get injured on the worksite! You see, I tend to be accident prone doing projects around the house (I like to say God created me to read theological books and write!) so Kellie was pretty freaked out thinking I would end up in the emergency room. But I came home without a scratch, with just one close call where a set of boards loaded with nails sticking out of it *almost* came crashing down on me!
I love the fact that our church takes Matthew 25 very seriously where Jesus said His followers would serve the poor in tangible ways. Plus, I am glad we didn’t spend all of our energy this weekend being “inward focused” by getting ready for our Sunday night event, but instead spent several hours serving the poor just 24 hours before our “Grand Opening.” I am grateful that we were able to join God in His work to make His Kingdom come and His will be done at 35452 Willis St. in Clinton Township, Michigan.
***See you this Sunday for Grand Opening 2.0 of The Eastside Vineyard Church. 6pm. February 27th. More info at tevchurch.org***