It seems like this past year literally flew by. Yet, it’s important to force our selves to slow down enough to appreciate the advances and the blessings of this past year. As I reflect on 2013, I could outline some of the great things that have happened. But my mind goes to how thankful I am for the wonderful people who call Heartland Vineyard Church their home church and especially those who lead our church into an ever deepened walk with Jesus Christ.

I am greatly thankful for our Business Advisory Team who give of their experience and expertise to keep Heartland Vineyard Church healthy and strong from a financial and business perspective. These men and women put in long hours in prayer and discussion and I cannot begin to express my thanks for their selfless service.

I am so thankful for those who serve in our color system on Sundays. I am thankful for our First Impression Team, our ushers and greeters and Security Team who make Heartland Vineyard Church a warm, friendly, safe and hospitable church. Robert Shuler, the famous pastor of the Crystal Cathedral said, “Everyone needs at least weekly a meaningful look, a meaningful word and a meaningful touch.” You do this so well, and we are thankful for you.

I am thankful for our Café team who lovingly puts on the coffee, cocoa and the rolls and allows people attending our church to develop friendship throughout our facility. It’s so good to have a cup of hot coffee when the winter temperatures are below zero. Thanks for making the “bold” coffee. This has been my “pick-me-up” for many years on Sunday.

Roi Lene and I have six grandchildren in our KidZone and we are extremely thankful for those who teach our children, love them, and model for them the ministry of Jesus. I know I’m prejudice but I believe we have some of the most beautiful children. They are the future of the church and it is encouraging to know that our kids are not only learning the stories of the Bible but they are learning to do the ministry and share the message of Jesus. We are blessed as a church to have a strong children’s ministry.

Not only is our kid’s ministry strong, but also we have a wonderful youth ministry. We are grateful for the leadership of this ministry who lovingly teach and lead our youth. Winter Blast and SOS have become powerful youth events. However, the weekly gathering of Junior and Senior High students will continue to be a place of worship, teaching, friendship and discipleship. Thanks to all our youth leaders.

Our worship teams have been for the past twenty years one of the bright spots of our church. We as a church are fortunate to have not only gifted and talented musicians but also people who have a heart to offer love to our God. Thank you Worship members from worship leaders to musicians to those who serve on our sound and video teams.

To those who lead ministries like Celebrate Recovery, Divorce Care, Living Waters, Ultimate Journey and Steps to Freedom, these great ministries that offer healing and help to those with hurts and hang ups. Thank you dear leaders for giving so much of yourselves in helping people God loves get back on their feet.

The Banquet, Street Ministry, Country Terrace Outreach teams and Hands & Feet Ministry are ministries that are effectively reaching out to a broken and hurting world. Thanks to all the devoted and loving leaders who give so much of themselves to see the Kingdom advanced. Also, those who have led Missions Teams to Haiti and Mexico, God bless you for your love for the least, the last and the lost.

I am also grateful for our Community Life Group Leaders, some of them who have led groups for nearly twenty years. This is an amazing commitment to discipleship and Christian friendship. Thanks to all our Community Life Group Leaders who open their hearts and their homes to people who have a desire to grow in Christ. These groups have and will continue to be the backbone of our church.

Finally, I would be remiss in being thankful for the dear ladies who make up our Kitchen Team. During the last week of 2013, we held four funerals. These are times when families grieving the loss of a loved one need the utmost in care and kindness. This team prepared meals for hundreds of people in just that two week period. Thanks you my dear friends for representing HVC so well in food service and preparation as well as offering love in a very practical way.

Our newest ministry, our Care Ministry, is just launching and our prayer is that in time, our entire church will be blanketed with care and prayer. Thanks to those who so quickly bought into the vision of praying for each and every family of HVC each month.

There is not a lay team in our church that does not need additional man/woman power.  If 2014 is a year you would like to get more involved in your church and would like more information about any of these ministries, please call our Executive Pastor, Josh Paxton at our office or send him an email and he will help you find your way into a ministry suitable for your gifts and abilities.

Finally, thank you to our great staff of pastors and directors of ministry. These are comrades in ministry and lead the many ministries of our church. It is no easy task to lead our church and I am grateful for God raising up these wonderful men and women. As you equip the church for the work of the ministry, God continues to bless with salvations, baptisms and people enjoying a deepened experience with Jesus. I love you all.

We have much to be thankful for at Heartland Vineyard Church. “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, His truth endures forever.”

Wishing all of you a prosperous and blessed 2014. ~ Dan