What Its Like
What can you expect when you come?
The two Celebrations are similar in core content with a distinctive flavor at each. Our facility is a 26,000 square foot building formerly housing the Ann Arbor Civic Theater (and before that a roller-skating rink). Upon arriving, the first thing you'll notice is that we have fresh gourmet coffee waiting for you in the lobby. You may also enjoy the life-sized print of Rembrandt's The Return of the Prodigal Son (8'7" tall) in the lobby, as well as other artwork on display. Ushers are on hand to point the way to the sanctuary, restrooms, or anywhere else you're headed. Be sure to pick up a welcome booklet from the welcome table. You'll find the atmosphere festive and welcoming.
Our band leads worship in a pop-rock-gospel style, including songs by artist like Ryan Delmore, Jeremy Riddle, and Matt Redman, as well as classic songs. Opening worship is followed by a few brief announcements highlighting upcoming events. Then one of our pastors shares a message from the Bible that's not only easy to understand but practical as well. The messages are accompanied by visual images projected on a large screen up front, including the text under consideration and images or video clips which help illustrate the ideas. The 70-80 minute service concludes with worship and communion.
If you live in the greater Ann Arbor area, and don't already attend Vineyard, we'd love to send you an informational brochure and a free worship CD. Click here for more info.
What's the clothing culture?
You're welcome to "come as you are." That means you dont have to dress up. Because the Vineyard is very casual, you'll feel comfortable in your jeans and t-shirt. Some just can't help dressing up, and they fit right in as well. The point is that we feel church should be about things other than how you dress and look.
What happens with the kids?
We have a wide range of age specific programs for children designed with the understanding that children need a spiritual framework for their lives too. Young people learn to experience God at their level, become equipped to pray, and learn to trust in God for themselves. All of our staff and volunteers working with minors go through a screening process, and are supervised to insure a safe and quality environment for them.
Here's what's available:
Our approach to coming generations is shaped by the perspective of Robert Coles, professor of Psychiatry at Harvard, who maintains that children have profound spiritual concerns and benefit from a spiritual framework. (see The Spiritual Life of Children by Robert Coles.) The church is a place for parents and children to build that framework drawing on the resources of Christian faith.
Donnell Wyche, Associate Pastor, provides pastoral supervision of children and youth ministries, working closely with Diane Sonda, our Children's Ministry Director and her pastoral interns and dedicated staff. Nigel Berry serves as youth director, along with pastoral interns and volunteer staff. All who work with minors in Children and Youth Ministries are screened and trained as part of our extensive abuse prevention program.
Nursing Moms Room: For moms who prefer to care for their infants themselves, we have a quiet and comfortable nursery located just off the auditorium that is perfect for you and your nursing baby. It’s outfitted with comfortable recliners, dim lights, and you can watch and listen to the Celebration through a one-way window.
Vineyard Nursery: A clean, comfortable, well staffed and well stocked nursery for birth through eighteen months, is right next to the sanctuary. Available from ten minutes before each service until the end of the service. A registration process insures that parents and guardians are matched with their children for pick up.
Vineyard Pre-School: Age appropriate classes for the young ones are well staffed and provide a safe and caring environment and simple lessons for the older pre-school children. The rooms have age specific toys and activities and a beautiful underwater mural for the young ones. (Kindergarten is included in the pre-school program.) Available from ten minutes before each service until the end of the service. A registration process insures that parents and guardians are matched with their children for pick up.
Vineyard Student Ministries, Grades 1-4: Teaching methods and worship styles are specifically designed for and adapted to the capabilities of this age group! We employ a curriculum developed by Group Publications called BibleMax. With the help of our committed volunteers, Bible provides a safe environment where children can enjoy great learning and loving relationships from 1st through 4th grade. We believe that learning should be fun, so we create our own dramas and activities. This results in Bible lessons that are age-appropriate, interactive and relevant to today's children. BibleMax includes activity centers, large group dramas and small groups. Check in children at the Check In table in the north corridor, across from the Children's Ministry Office.
Vineyard Student Ministries: Youth (5th through 12th grade) [visit web site]
We have 20 dedicated volunteers serving on the youth team under the supervision of our Youth Pastor (Associate Pastor) Donnell Wyche. Like all our volunteers working with minors, team members are well screened and supervised to insure a safe and quality experience for the young people.
9:30 Sunday Celebrations: A youth group meets for Middle and High School (5th graders also welcome) from after opening worship through the end of the service.
Sunday 11 am Celebration:
Vineyard Student Ministries: 5th - 12th Grades Meet each Sunday at the 11am celebration, from after opening worship through the end of the service. It’s a chance to relax and get to know God. We have fun together, we read the Bible together, and we pray together. Please join us -- there’s no pressure... you’ll meet good friends, discover how awesome loving Jesus is, and maybe even score some candy.
Inhale/Exhale (our 8th-12th small group) meets Wednesday night at Donnell & Maria's house to hang out, study the bible, and get God help for life stuff.
Mission Trips, Retreats & Special Events are available for middle and high schoolers throughout the year. As children mature we also make room for them to serve alongside adults in several ministry areas from multi-media to worship team.