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.

Danish Churches

Along our pilgrimage this week, we've worshiped with Danish Christians (at Skalborg Kirke, near Aalborg, Denmark), and we've visited a ...
Read More >>

Journey First Steps along the Strand

Our pilgrimage journey began on European soil today, including 5-6 miles taken along the eastern shore of Jutland, Denmark in ...
Read More >>

Traveling Light

When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority . . .  and he sent them ...
Read More >>

Monastic Art & Architecture

Here's a collection of images I gathered this past week, July 17--23, 2015, from Our Lady of Guadalupe Trappist Abbey ...
Read More >>

The Fruit of Quietude

(quotations from a pamphlet titled "Invitation to Enter into Quietude" found in my retreat room at Our Lady of Guadalupe ...
Read More >>

Trellises

During this 3rd week of this sabbatical, I've been thinking about vineyard trellises. If you are not at all interested ...
Read More >>

Journey of Marriage

Last week, my wife and I celebrated 34 years of marriage in Paradise. On July 5th, our anniversary, we hiked ...
Read More >>

Sabbatical Pilgrimage

July 1, 2015, I began a four-month pilgrimage called a Pastor Sabbatical, the second of such gifts I've received in ...
Read More >>

Ties

SABBATICAL COMMISSIONING SERVICE Celebrated on June 28, 2015 at Cannon Beach Community Church Sabbatical Vision & Purpose This week we ...
Read More >>

A Summer Afternoon in a Vineyard

I had the pleasure of spending a summer afternoon working in a Pinot Noir vineyard this week, including a couple ...
Read More >>

We are pilgrims on a journey

Brother, sister, let me serve you. Let me be as Christ to you. Pray that I might have the grace ...
Read More >>

The Blossoming Vines

(An ancient love song God sings to us) My beloved spoke and said to me,     “Arise, my darling,     my beautiful ...
Read More >>

Véraison

I was introduced to another term from the vineyard a few weeks ago: véraison. This French word comes over into ...
Read More >>

O Most Noble Greening Power

O Most Noble Greening Power (O nobilissima viriditas) by Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179) Latin Text: O nobilissima viriditas,  quae radicas ...
Read More >>

Focusing growth

Grapevines love to grow. New shoots emerge from buds all over the vine, including from the old gnarled trunk and ...
Read More >>

Grape Clusters

It may seem silly to write this, but grapes grow in clusters. As they first emerge from the spurs, which ...
Read More >>

The Slow Work of God

"Above all, trust in the slow work of God, our loving vine-dresser." ~Pierre Teilhard de Chardin Impatience has become a ...
Read More >>

Viriditas

On December 20, 2014, I cut down a live Noble Fir at a Christmas Tree Farm in North Plains, Oregon ...
Read More >>

Blest be the ties

I'm currently carrying several hundred green twisty ties in my glovebox of my car, ready for the next time I'll ...
Read More >>

Elevage

I bumped into a French winemaking term this week in my studies, a new word to add to my vocubulary: ...
Read More >>

Newly trained grapevines

A view of newly trained grapevines in the row I'm working in a vineyard near Newberg, Oregon ...
Read More >>

How to train a grapevine

I learned how to train a grapevine yesterday, working once again in a Pinot Noir vineyard located near Newberg, Oregon, ...
Read More >>

Easter Grapevines

Three days before Easter 2015, on Holy Thursday, my friend who owns a vineyard, brought three fruiting canes she had ...
Read More >>