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Letter from Alan

Dear Vineyard family,

What a remarkable few months it has been with the Father doing above what we could ask or think.  It is incredible to think of so many folks coming to faith and now beginning to connect with our family here at Causeway Coast Vineyard. 

As we are processing recent events as a team, we keep returning to a prophetic word we were given a couple of months ago.  It is from Eugene Petersen’s message version of the Bible:

“Yes indeed, it won’t be long now.  God’s Decree…

Things are going to happen so fast your head will swim, one thing fast on the heels of the other. You won’t be able to keep up.  Everything will be happening at once—and everywhere you look, blessings!  Blessings like wine pouring off the mountains and hills.  I’ll make everything right again for my people Israel:

They’ll rebuild their ruined cities.
They’ll plant vineyards and drink good wine.
They’ll work their gardens and eat fresh vegetables.
And I’ll plant them, plant them on their own land.
They’ll never again be uprooted from the land I’ve given them.
God, your God, says so.”
@ Amos 9:13-15

Whilst written to people long ago, it has certainly rung true for us.  Things are happening so fast that it’s proving challenging to keep up.  That’s why I wanted to take this opportunity to write and update you on some of the changes that are afoot. 

Ali Knight appointed as Community Pastor at CCV
Ali will be known to many of you as she has already been serving on staff, (assisting in oversight of women's ministry), and by all accounts, exceeding expectations.  Having previously been involved in urban pastoral ministry in Edinburgh, we feel she brings the necessary personal and leadership skills to develop and strengthen CCV.

I am thrilled that we have been able to appoint from within our church family and to release a women into such a senior and visible role at CCV.  I am also delighted that someone of Ali's calibre has stepped up.  Her strengths of empathy, positivity, strategy, woo and connectedness will, I trust, be invaluable in integrating newcomers and releasing existing members to flourish in their kingdom assignment.

As Ali develops in her role, she is putting together some teams to assist in the areas of hospital visitation and in ministering to people who are experiencing bereavement and grief.  If you have a value for helping people in troubled times, are skilled at bringing help and hope and would like to be considered for that team, Ali would love to hear from you in the next few days. You can contact her at ali@causewaycoastvineyard.com

Peter Lynas temporarily leaving our staff
Peter Lynas, our Operations Director, has temporarily moved to help his family business during a time of significant change.  It was a bit of a shock to all of us.  Yet as we processed, we concluded that once again, even though the timing was terrible, there was a sense that this was the next step for Peter in stepping into what God is doing in his life.  Here is a little excerpt from his email to our team.

“I am excited about the project ahead in the family business. I am also thankful for the releasing spirit of Alan and Kathryn and this church community, and so happy that this temporary move allows us to remain a part of it.  Rose and I deeply love this church and community and will continue to play a key role in it - it is just the nature of my engagement that will change for a season. This is temporary – much as I love my brother I have no desire to work for him in the long term. At the minute Andrew and I reckon this is a 4-5 month project. So I'll be back!”

As a community we long to bring life to the city and we are delighted by the opportunity that Peter now has to make a difference through business.  Even though we would not have planned this, we have the real sense that this part of the Father’s plan for us. 

Alan & Kathryn away for the Summer
One reason the timing of Peter’s role changing was so terrible, is that Kathryn & I are scheduled to be in the US throughout the Summer months.  Truth to tell, the more things have happened around here the less I have wanted to go, but we sense the timing of the Lord in this too.  As you can imagine, these last few months have been hectic and our girls have been hugely patient.  It will be wonderful to spend some time together as a family, and really pour into them.

It will also be a great time to step into some new things the Lord has been nudging me towards for a while.  For some time now people have been encouraging me to write a book.  To begin with I really wasn’t sure that I had anything much to say.  But when the Lord started to speak to me through quite a number of prophetic words, and publishers began to approach me out of the blue, I sensed that this might indeed be something the Father is leading me into.

With all of this in mind, I’m planning to take at least three weeks of our summer trip to develop some material.  You can read a little more about the adventure here  http://tinyurl.com/op22vlj

We are also aware of the need for some outside input on the way forward for us as a church community.  The truth is that the last time we led a church where this many people were coming to faith was this week!  We know that there are churches, and in particular church leaders, who can assist us and we hope to connect with a few while we are in the US as well. 

On the ‘home front’
While we are away our staff team will continue to serve and bring life here at home, led by our senior leadership team, and in particular Neil Young & James Renwick.  Please pray for them that God would grant wisdom to them as they lead us together over the next couple of months. 

Finally, thank you for being a joy, and for bringing joy to others.  We are honoured and humbled to be part of the amazing family that is Causeway Coast Vineyard.

Blessings,

Alan