Vine Church in the Wentworth Courier

Posted: 24 July 2011

Wentworth Courier - 23 July 2011

We are very pleased with two articles by journalist Margaret Rice in the latest Wentworth Courier.

Inner-city Christianity comes to small bars of Surry Hills: This is about Vine church as 'a different kind of church to meet the needs of inner city dwellers.'

Good neighbour plans laneway parties for Surry Hills: This is about Nicole, one of the women at church, who organised a laneway party for her neighbours in Surry Hills last Christmas.

Author: Toby Neal / Categories: News, Community

Suffering in the city

Posted: 06 July 2011 / 1 Peter 3:8 - 4:19

Last week I spoke about men, women and marriage in the city. One of the most striking examples of a beautiful and fearless woman who hopes in God is that of Joni Eareckson Tada. Joni grew up riding horses, hiking, playing tennis and loving to swim. One summer day in July 1967, while on a beach with some friends, Joni dove into the bay not knowing how shallow it really was. She broke her neck and became a quadriplegic, paralyzed from the shoulders down. While her friends were busy preparing to go to college in the autumn, Joni was fighting for her life and having to accept the fact that she would spend her life in a wheelchair. Her rehabilitation was not easy. She was angry,...

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Author: Toby Neal / Categories: Sermon Series

Questions for God?

Posted: 04 July 2011

Vine Church Opening Vine Church Opening, 7 August, Surry Hills Library

Does he exist? Does he care?
Why doesn’t he make himself clearer?
Why doesn’t he end all the pain?
Do I care?

Join us this August for the opening of Vine Church, a new urban church in Surry Hills. We surveyed people in the area and hope to begin a conversation about our four most common questions for God.

  • Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going?
    August 7, 4pm (Opening Night)
  • Why don’t you make yourself clearer?
    August 14, 4pm
  • Why do innocent people suffer?
    August 21, 4pm
  • I’ve got no questions … so what?
    August 28, 4pm

Sunday 4pm
Surry Hills Library
Level 1, 405 Crown Street
Surry Hills

We have been handing out and letterbox dropping the...

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Sex in the city

Posted: 30 June 2011 / 1 Peter 3:1-7

Someone once said, ‘Marriage is the only war where you sleep with the enemy.’ Sadly this is often the case, even in Christian marriages.

In fact, marriage is in a bad way in Australia with rates have fallen to 5.5 per thousand in 2007, coupled with a divorce rate of 2.3 per thousand in 2007, the seventh highest in the world. In 2008, this affected a disturbing 43,184 children. The average age for marrying has climbed steeply to 29 for women and 31 for men, a trend which places greater stress on women who contend with a less merciful biological clock. Linked with this is the rate of cohabitation which has increased from 6% (1986) to 15% (2006).

Consequently, a recent study...

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Author: Toby Neal / Categories: Sermon Series

What will get you out of your dust and dashes?

Posted: 15 June 2011 / Job

A Nigerian Poet once said:

When suffering knocks at your door and you say there is no seat for him, he tells you not to worry because he has brought his own stool.

Job suffered. Greatly. It is hard to comprehend such suffering. Maybe you have experienced deep pain, or a member of your family. And yet people suffer all over the world in terrible ways.

Is there a path through it all?

This Sunday Justin Moffatt (St Philips York Street) will come and tell the story of Job. We will ask the question: What will get a person out of their dust and Ashes? In other words, is there a path through suffering?

Come this Sunday and explore this idea with us.

Author: Toby Neal / Categories: Sermon Series

To die for or to kill for?

Posted: 10 June 2011

This Sunday we are privileged to have Dr. Michael Jensen come to speak to us on the topic:

To die for or to kill for? Martyrdom and the Spectre of Religious Violence

Michael was one of my favourite Moore college lectures, and a previous minister to Tim, Rachel and Murray, who has an excellent ability to make complicated topics very accessible. He writes on this topic,

Even after the death of Osama, there is nothing quite as terrifying as the thought that suicidal religious fanatics might inflict their unreasoning violence on us. They seem to lash out with such resentment against the rest of us. They seem driven by a hatred of life itself – willing not only to die for their...

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Author: Toby Neal / Categories: Sermon Series

Citizens in the city

Posted: 03 June 2011 / 1 Peter 2:13-17

This Sunday at Vine Church we are looking at 1 Peter 2:13-17 and the topic Citizens in the City. In particular we are considering whether a separation should exist between church and state. This afternoon I was reading over one of the sermons of Martin Luther King Jr. (the great American civil rights advocate). He said,

The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state. It must be the guide and the critic of the state, and never its tool. If the church does not recapture its prophetic zeal, it will become an irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority.

Come this Sunday and explore this idea...

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Categories: Sermon Series

Christ and culture, Christian identity and difference in the city

Posted: 24 May 2011

Four weeks ago we began a new series called Christ & Culture: Christian Identity and Difference in the City. This is an important topic for us to understand because,

Some churches are bomb shelters in their city, running away from engagement
Some churches are mirrors of their city, never saying anything controversial
Some churches are parasites of their city, only using it for their own ends

But some churches are cities within their city, seeking to do good within the city

The first three types of church avoid suffering and grasp for power. Bomb shelter churches avoid suffering by avoiding those who would bring them suffering (the ‘bad people’) and by attacking. Mirror...

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Author: Toby Neal / Categories: Sermon Series

Good Friday and Easter

Posted: 21 April 2011

World-weariness, apathy, acedia, and sloth are words which describe the posture our time – the inability to believe in or do anything.

What we suffer from is not over-sensation, as is commonly thought, but from de-sensitization, an anesthesia of the spirit. One is hard pressed to identify that for which postmodern men and women are willing to live or die.

The last words of Jesus offer a solution: gravitas. Physicians and scientists who have studied the medical aspects of the crucifixion concluded that Jesus last words had to be short because crucifixion causes asphyxia, which made inhaling air to speak difficult and painful. This makes every word Jesus spoke from the cross full...

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Author: Toby Neal / Categories: Events

The reason for God

Posted: 12 April 2011

When you read books that make a case for believing in God, you quickly get the feeling that they are written primarily for those who already believe. The authors of such books tend to gloss over the hardest questions about God. The Reason for God Course is different. Not only will we not shy away from the hard questions, we will address them with the seriousness they deserve. This six week course is designed for sceptics and believers alike to begin a conversation about the challenge of faith and life. We invite you to join us for dinner and a discussion for the following six weeks.

13 April
Isn’t the Bible a myth?

20 April
How can you say there is only one way to God?


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Author: Toby Neal / Categories: News
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