It’s only 62 days until our next VJN Conference: Kingdom Justice, Vineyard Values! We’ve just added new info on our coaching tracks and workshops.
During the conference, every participant will have the remarkable opportunity to be coached for 3 days with a seasoned leader. These 3-1.5hour sessions will help you build more effective teams, create a sustainable justice ethos, and troubleshoot roadblocks:
“Collaboration, Service, Friendship” Rose Swetman senior pastor Shoreline Vineyard, Washington
What does it mean for the church to be a good neighbor? How do you take a seat at the table and partner with the community to be good news? We have found that measuring success by how much impact with have in our community being a sign, agent and witness to the community takes time and intentionality. Leslie Newbigin describes the church as the true hermeneutic of the gospel. “I have come to feel that the primary reality of which we have to take account in seeking for a Christian impact on public life is the Christian congregation. How is it possible that the gospel should be credible, that people should come to believe that the power which has the last word in human affairs is represented by a man hanging on a cross? I am suggesting that the only answer, the only hermeneutic of the gospel, is a congregation of men and women who believe it and live by it.” –Lesslie Newbigin, The Gospel in a Pluralist Society (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1989), 227. We will spend our time discussing and dreaming of the implications that formational, communal and missional practices of a church have on a neighborhood/community/city.
Rose is the lead-pastor of Vineyard Community Church in Shoreline, WA with her husband, Rich. She is the Founder and Board Chair of Turning Point, a mission group that partners with local agencies to serve low-income families in the greater Seattle area. Rose holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from Bakke Graduate University in Seattle, WA focused on Transformational Leadership for the Global City, and teaches Leadership as an adjunct professor at The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology. Rose currently serves as the Regional Leader for the Northwest Region of Vineyard USA. Rich and Rose have a blended family of eight children, their spouses and at this count, twenty-two grandchildren!
Lance Pittluck senior pastor Anaheim Vineyard, California
Lance grew up on Long Island in New York, the son of a Jewish business man. He was raised in a spiritual vacuum with no religious training. At 18, he and his family moved to the Los Angeles area. Separated from old friends and extended family, the Lord began to move on his life. One year after moving to California, Lance met Jesus Christ through a young man named Linus. His life was radically changed and within 6 months he knew he was headed for full-time ministry. He began preparation by studying Bible at Pepperdine University in Malibu and graduated with a BA in religion in 1975. Feeling a need for further study, he enrolled in Fuller Seminary and graduated with a Master of Divinity degree in 1979. Upon graduation, Lance went immediately to Anaheim Hills Community Church with his friend Gary DeVaul, to pastor this rapidly growing church plant. 2 years later he assumed the responsibility of senior pastor of the church. But God had other plans. The Lord gave Lance a very clear vision and call to go back to New York and begin a new work. In preparation for returning to New York, Lance spent 1 year on staff with John Wimber at Vineyard Ministries International. In May of 1984 Lance left the VMI staff to begin a new Vineyard on Long Island. Lance pastored The Vineyard – South Shore in Rockville Centre, New York and was Regional Director for the Association of Vineyard Churches on the East Coast of the U.S.A. for 13 years. In 1997 the Lord led his family back to California where he was to become the senior pastor at The Vineyard Anaheim. His burning desire is to see the church as a ‘mobilized body’, doing the ministry of Jesus and for all men to come to a saving knowledge of Christ. Lance has been married to his best friend Cheryl since 1978 and has a daughter named Jane Elizabeth.
Le Que Heidkamp senior pastor Mercy Vineyard, Minneapolis MN
I grew up as a Chinese-Vietnamese refugee immigrant in an area with few social support systems for kids like myself. When I was young, long before I became a Christian, I was highly sensitized to the great disparities that existed in the world, and when I began following Jesus at the age of nineteen, much of the reason was because Jesus life, death and resurrection brought a sense of hope that this broken system wasn’t all that there was to life and freedom and justice is possible in the kingdom of God.
When Jeff, my husband, and I were called to plant a Vineyard in Minneapolis, MN, we felt called to build a diverse church in the urban city center though we knew nothing about how to do it. Through this endeavor, we have felt God call us to be people who raise awareness about the racial injustices that exist in our educational systems, social organizations, and workplaces; to be advocates for those that are marginalized and often voiceless; and to educate and support those in a position to make a difference.
Bubba Justice senior pastor Iverness Vineyard, Birmingham AL
I experienced poverty as a child due to my parents’ divorce, my mother’s lack of education and no paid child support. Our family had to rely on government programs, individual generosity and Christian organizations for food, healthcare and clothing. At the same time my grandmother was the co-founder and primary leader of a mission to alcoholics and homeless. She ran the Jimmie Hale Mission from 1944 until 1990. It is still in existence with shelters for men and women and drug rehab facility. I was called into ministry as a senior in high school, attended a year of Bible College and then completed an accounting degree. While in Bible College I felt God wanted me to get a degree in business and work in a secular environment. I have worked as a public auditor, finance manager and Chief Officer of various companies. While working in the secular field I continued to serve in a Vineyard church as a volunteer pastor with children, youth, prayer, small groups, etc.
When we planted our church in 1994, the Lord gave us a prophetic word that we were to be a safe place for widows and orphans. For twenty years we have partnered with inner city ministries, teamed up with local government agencies who serve foster kids, supported school systems who had students with little or no food over the weekend. Both county and state officials have directed others churches to come to Inverness Vineyard Church to see how to effectively partner with them. At one point we increased the number of foster care families in our county by 40%.
In 2005, we spun off a separate non-profit organization Vineyard Family Service of Central Alabama in order to get grants available to faith based organizations but not to churches. VFS currently has a budget of $150,000. VFS currently feeds 500 children every weekend who have little or no food. They also are an alternative sentencing program for fathers who have not paid child support. In addition to all of the local activities we have engaged in, we have created programs for foster care and empowerment of the poor in Kenya.
“The Church and Holistic Ministry to Kids” Becky and Rick Olmstead– directors Ignite Campaign | lead pastors Vineyard of the Rockies, Ft. Collins CO
Rick and Becky Olmstead were full-time teachers and part-time pastors of a small church in Southern California when they were challenged by God to lay it all down and start a church in Fort Collins, CO. After much discussion, prayer, and multiple confirmations of this call, Rick and Becky said “yes” to God and moved to Fort Collins in 1982. Thirty-two years later, the church has multiple campuses and 1,500 people gathering each Sunday. In 2012, Rick and Becky felt God inviting them to step into a new challenge of becoming Vineyard advocates on behalf of kids, youth, and young adults. They have said “yes” to embrace children and youth as full partners in God’s mission and to join with like-minded churches, partnering together in raising up the next generation.
Rick and Becky both serve on the Vineyard USA executive team. They have two married sons and one little granddaughter. Rick likes to golf, root for the Colorado State Rams Football team, and watch the Voice. Becky loves dark chocolate, home roasting coffee beans, and Colorado mornings.
Sandra Morgan– Director of Vanguard University’s Global Center for Women and Justice Costa Mesa, CA
The workshops will stimulate and challenge how you approach the work of mercy and justice in your church community and will offer innovative approaches and models:
“Best Practices in Fighting Human Trafficking, Prioritizing Prevention” Nicole Wood Program Specialist at U.S. Department of Homeland Security & Center for Faith-based & Neighborhood Partnerships
“How to Tell the Big Story” James Choung church planter, Vineyard Underground (CA) | director of evangelism, InterVarsity USA
Get past the old clichés and simplistic formulas. Discover a new way of understanding and presenting the Christian faith that really matters in a broken world!
The Collision of Church and Community” Jimmy John Morris Senior Pastor, Yakima Vineyard and Dave Hanson Executive Director, Sunrise Outreach Center
What if the church who is serving the homeless and hungry within the community, experience them hanging around the church, often times with somewhat bad behavior? What if that starts to deter people from coming to the church because they no longer feel safe? JimmyJohn and Dave will discuss their journey working through the difficulties they had solving this problem.
“Full Throttle Outreach” Dave Hanson Executive Director, Sunrise Outreach Center
Sunrise Outreach Center utilizes a service model which includes the temporary provision of basic needs, Intervention that looks like restorative justice, and Prevention, focused on interrupting the cycle of intergenerational poverty. Dave will talk about SOC’s objectives: feeding families, housing our homeless, organizational networking and community mobilization.
“Faith-Rooted Organizing” Alexia Salvatierra coordinator, Welcoming Congregations Network of Southern California ELCA | co-author, Faith-Rooted Organizing | Adjunct Faculty, Fuller Seminary, New York Theological Seminary
“Got conflict? Being a Reconciling Community is Easier Said Than Done!” Rick Love President, Peace Catalyst International
This workshop will help equip pastors and leaders to become more effective in embodying what it means to be reconciling community. It will focus on the art of resolving conflict with your staff, church and community. It’ll also describe an integrated approach to peacemaking and evangelism.
“Inviting Your Congregation to Experience Jesus Among the Poor, Building Friendship and Partnership with Others in Ministry With the Poor” Dan Franz Pastor of Urban Outreach, Columbus Vineyard
How can we invite our congregations to discover ministry with the poor as a way of life? Involving small groups in ministry with the poor, partnering with other churches and agencies in your city: how do we build healthy and safe bridges of friendship that honor those we serve and those who are serving? How can we redefine a holistic life of worship to include the essentials of ministry with the vulnerable?
“Intro to VJN and Defining the Interconnectivity of Justice” Steven Hamilton Baltimore Vineyard Mission, MD | VJN and Kathy Maskell Associate Pastor, Blue Route Vineyard, PA | VJN
“A Theology of Work: A Society of Vineyard Scholars-Sponsored Workshop” Joe Gorra founder, Veritas Life Center (CA)
How is stewarding the “vocational power” of Vineyard laity for their life in the world integral to the realizing of the justice and shalom of the Kingdom of God being enacted in this world?
“ENDING POVERTY: Rethinking Prison Ministry, Aiming Towards Restorative Justice” Steve Lowe Executive Chaplain, Pacific Youth Correctional Ministry and Protestant Chaplaincy Ministry of Orange County and Michele Smith Para-Chaplain
“Foster Care and Adoption as Ways to Prevent Trafficking” Tricia Herren Executive Director, Homes of Hope (TX)
“How to End Poverty and Prevent Child Trafficking Through After School Programs” Jose Aleman KidWorks, CA
KidWorks serves over 800 children, youth, and parents through weekly programs and over 3,000 community members annually from three learning centers. We’re developing leaders who want to make a difference in their community. They’re getting better grades than they used to, they’re staying in school at a higher rate than their peers, and they’re getting healthy and fit through nutrition and fitness classes. We believe that these young leaders can eventually transform and restore their community.
“FREEING SLAVES: Recovery Resources and Building Safe Communities for Trafficking Victims/Survivors” Peter Wohler Pastor, Merge Vineyard | The Annex (MN)
“A Model of Holistic, Empowering Community Development” Kevin Mo-Wong VP of Church Development, Solidarity Rising (CA)
Community Development :: Immigration Reform :: Mentoring :: Education :: Gang Intervention/Prevention :: Social Enterprise. Solidarity empowers believers to be dynamic followers of Christ whose lifestyle marked by love will impact communities towards holistic transformation.
“Lessons in Compassion Ministry” Tino Suffi Compassion Pastor, Anaheim Vineyard