COMPASSION & JUSTICE
FIND OUT ABOUT IMPACT TEAMS
FIND OUT ABOUT IMPACT TEAMS
A recurring theme across the long history of the relationship between God and man is that God continually calls his people to demonstrate care for the poor and marginalized. This was a common theme among Israel’s prophets:
He has told you, human one, what is good and what the LORD requires from you: to do justice, embrace faithful love, and walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8).
Jesus announced that central to his ministry is that God would bring good news to the poor (Luke 4:18). Jesus told stories, like the parable of the sheep and the goats, that demonstrated his expectations that his people would be ones who pro-actively demonstrated compassion:
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me’ (Matthew 25:37-40)
Our mission at The Vineyard Church is to be “a community of God’s extravagant love where people are drawn into a thriving relationship with Jesus.” Jesus showed us what extravagant love looks like. Extravagant love can never be anything less than service and sacrifice, loving our neighbors and even our enemies.
You are invited to join us in this very important mission. On this page you’ll find some of the many ways we seek to show compassion and love justice in our community and around the world.
Rachel Conner has been a part of the Sugar Land Vineyard since 2001, and, along with her husband Stephen, has been an active participant in the life and activities of the local church. She served on the Senior Pastor’s Council for both Bert and Reagan Waggoner. Her family has been upwardly mobile so she has had opportunities to teach and lead prayer initiatives in the cities she has lived in, and the churches she has served in.
Rachel retired from AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals in 2012. While at AZ, she was a member of the National Diversity Panel, and led winning teams in the therapeutic areas AstraZeneca competed in. She came out of retirement to partner with a long time friend to start a company that assisted healthcare businesses with growth, sales and technology. While working with Dimedius she completed Sustainable Faith’s School of Spiritual Direction and became a spiritual director. Unforeseen circumstances led to the closing of Dimedius after a successful three- year run where she served as President and business development lead.
Rachel is now firmly entrenched into the daily operations of the Sugar Land Vineyard, teaching, enjoying her practice as a spiritual director, working with the pastoral staff and co-directing Thrive Plus, a year- long high level discipleship course.
Rachel and Stephen love traveling, walking on the beach and spending time with family and friends.
Way to go, Vineyard! We reached the goal. Students will be fully loaded with earbuds and flash drives when they start the school year! The Stafford Municipal School District covers all of the city of Stafford and is run by the city, the only school district in Texas that is not an independent school district operated by an independent school board. This close connection...
Has been completed
“According to the most recent report from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), there are more than 610,000 people experiencing homelessness on any given night in this country. In Texas, according to this same report, there were 29,615 persons homeless in 2013, meaning that approximately 12 out of every 10,000 persons in Texas are homeless (down from 15 out of every 10,000 persons in 2011). And in the Houston area, the most recent statistics indicate that more than 6,300 people are without a home on any given night” (Coalition for the Homeless).
One small way we can help is through the ongoing distribution of “Manna Bags.” A team of volunteers in the church gathers supplies that include useful items such as non-perishable food items, basic toiletries, socks, and a Bible. The items are placed in a ziploc bag for distribution.
One Sunday a month these bags are made available for purchase. The cost for each bag is $5 to cover the cost of materials. Help us show God’s extravagant love in a practical way by keeping a few of these in your car and giving them to people you come across who are in need. One great opportunity is when people are asking for assistance at street intersections.
Pick up a Manna Bag on the First Sunday of the Month at the Bookstore in the Foyer
The Stafford Municipal School District covers all of the city of Stafford and is controlled by the city, the only school district in Texas that is not an independent school district operated by an independent school board. This close connection between the city and the families and students it serves provides a great opportunity for us to partner with our community by investing time and attention so that these families and their students thrive.
Many of the students in the Stafford Municipal School District come from households that are economically challenged. A high percentage of Stafford MSD students are participants in the government assisted lunch programs.
The Vineyard Church is committed to serving our city, its schools, its students, and the devoted faculty that invests in these students. We do this through adopting teachers and classrooms, committing to pray for teachers, regularly visiting the school to encourage and support the faculty, providing school supplies, and even outfitting first year students with school uniforms.
You can help by adopting a teacher (writing encouraging notes, visiting the classroom to read to students, stocking classrooms with basic supplies, etc.), joining our monthly visitation team, or simply making financial contributions to our mercy/compassion fund to help us fund our ongoing work with Stafford Schools.
Alpha in prisons was launched in December 1995 in response to demand from prisoners who had the desire to live changed lives. Alpha runs successfully in all types of prisons and correctional institutions for both men and women, and is also used in young offender and juvenile institutions. Recent studies show that 68% of offenders are re-arrested within five years of release. However, those inmates who complete Re-Entry Initiatives have an average recidivism rate of 20%. Through an interdenominational, national network of churches which regularly run Alpha, Christians are sharing their life changing experiences with inmates in our nation’s prisons and jails. Through Alpha and the local church, we believe that fewer people will return to prison once released.
How does Alpha run in a Prison?
Generally, Alpha runs for thirteen weeks. Although, it can be presented over a shortened period of time or extended as determined by the Alpha Volunteer and Chaplain. Each session is a chance for fellowship over food and/or drink, where possible, followed by a video talk with subject central to the Christian faith. After the video talk, participants divide into pre-arranged small groups where they have the opportunity to discuss the talk in an environment that allows each person to ask or say anything.
Each prison is different, and so are the conditions under which Alpha is presented. Resources are available to assist the Alpha leaders in determining how to provide the material in as meaningful a format as possible. We so appreciate your interest in Our Alpha Prison Ministry. If you would like to become involved, we would love to hear from you. Together, we can make a difference by sharing the extravagant love of Jesus with others.
For more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Human trafficking, particularly trafficking for sexual exploitation, is a growing and deeply troubling problem in the United States. Houston is a hub for both international and domestic sex trafficking. International human trafficking is prevalent in Houston because this city is located near the border, has a port, an international airport, and is ethnically diverse. International women and girls are being trafficked in Houston’s massage parlors and cantinas.
The Vineyard Church partners with several organizations to bring awareness to the growing problem in our community and to find creative solutions toward the release of these of these captives.
As modern civilization becomes increasingly relationally alienated and families become fragmented through geography, divorce, and economics, adults in the care of “nursing homes” are often forgotten. The Vineyard seeks to demonstrate God’s extravagant love to these oft marginalized people through regular visitation, praying with residents, leading worship services, organizing activities, and sometimes just being a faithful presence.
Several times each year, The Vineyard Church host a special Saturday outreach to invite you to explore the many ways we are impacting our community. People meet at the church and then break into teams associated with each of our core outreach ministries. Check out our website for information about the next Impact Saturday.
The Vineyard Church seeks out partner ministries that help us live out our mission to be a community of God’s extravagant love where people are drawn into a thriving relationship with Jesus. The organizations include