vinea.church: meditations from the vineyard

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit.” ~John 15:5

In 2015, I did a year long apprenticeship in the vineyard, volunteering a day a month that year to work in the vineyard and learn from the vineyard more of what it means to be human, more of what it means to love God, more of what it means to love others. That year, 2015, Cannon Beach Community Church (where I have served as Lead Pastor since 1993) and I were awarded $50,000 through the Lilly Foundation, a grant with the theme of Cultivate the Vineyard: A Journey Together into Fruitful Spiritual Growth. Because of this grant, my wife and I were able to travel in Europe for three months, where I studied viticulture, worked in vineyards harvesting winegrapes, visited sacred pilgrim sites such as Lindisfarne, England, Alsace, France, and St. Hildegard Abbey, Germany. During that pilgrimage, I studied ten of my favorite medieval fruitful heroes of the Christian faith, including Aidan and Cuthbert of Lindisfarne, Hilda of Whitby, Hildegard of Bingen, Bernard of Clairvaux, Francis and Clare of Assisi, Jan Hus, Johannes Tauler, and Martin Bucer. I think of hhis blog as some of the clusters of fruit harvested from that year of apprenticeship in the vineyard.

Unplugging

"Unplugging recognizes that personal beings are created for personal interaction by a personal God." ~Adele Ahlberg Calhoun, Spiritual Disciplines Handbook ...
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The Gift of Rest

My soul finds rest in God alone. ~Psalm 62:1 When do you rest? The pace of daily living in our ...
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Practicing the Presence of God

"God is nearer to us than we are aware of. It is not necessary for being with God to be ...
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Contemplating

When you think of the word "contemplation" what first comes to mind? Too often, we associate this spiritual practice with ...
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Communion

Once a month, on the first Sunday of the month, I gather with the people of Cannon Beach Community Church ...
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The Sacred Art of Marriage

I invite you to pick up a copy of my latest book, The Sacred Art of Marriage: 52 Creative Ways ...
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Celebrating

Last night we opened our last Christmas 2015 gift, a package from a dear friend in Germany. I love celebrating ...
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Gratitude Journaling

Today, January 23, 2016, I began my 2016 Gratitude Journal in an empty book that I hope to fill up ...
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Life in Community: Making a Spiritual Retreat

Over the past four months, I’ve had the opportunity to enter into life together with a delightful variety of Christian ...
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To Autumn in the Vineyard

(photos from Oct. 26, 2015, at Laurel Hood's vineyard near Newberg, Oregon)To AutumnSeason of mists and mellow fruitfulnessClose bosom-friend of ...
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Homecoming

After a three-month pilgrimage across the European continent, we stepped through the magic portal of international travel, and returned to ...
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Roman Holiday

Though Rome certainly was not built in a day, Rome can be greatly enjoyed in a day. Prior to coming ...
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Assisi Pilgrimage

An hour after leaving Spello, Italy, weaving our way across the forested slopes of Mount Subasio through such tiny towns ...
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Journey through Umbria

Years ago, I bought a book titled Best Walks in Europe. In mid-October 2015, we walked through the pages of ...
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The Best of Tuscany

Florence, the great Renaissance city of Europe in the heart of Tuscany, invites anyone who comes to open your eyes, ...
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Journey through northern Italy

The Italian Alps encircle the city of Torino like a white crown. During our five days visiting my brother and ...
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Becoming Even More Fruitful: Silvaner Harvest

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine-gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears ...
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Walking in Freiburg

Walking in Freiburg Welcome to the sunniest and warmest city in all of Germany, Freiburg, the gateway to the Black ...
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Vineyard Walk

The photos above were taken in and around Botzingen, Germany on September 24, 2015 between 4pm and 6pm. The region ...
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Spätburgunder Harvest

Spätburgunder Harvest A few days after harvesting Weiss Burgunder grapes, we went out yesterday to harvest Spätburgunder (literally, "Late Burgundian") ...
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Abiding: A Word Study

John 15:1-10 (NASB) I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does ...
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Weissburgunder Harvest

On September 21, 2015, we had the pleasure of helping to harvest the White Burgundy grapes (known in Germany as ...
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Bernard of Clairvaux & Roger of Taize

While most people likely first think of Dijon as a brand of most excellent European mustard, I first think of ...
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