It is such a blessing when are able to visit a congregation that we have not been to in some time and still sense such a strong connection with the people. We have been friends with Pastor Ernie North and many others at Fruitful Vine Christian Church (FVCC) for well over a decade, and it was good to see the church doing so well. FVCC has always been a joy filled church and they continuously offer plenty of opportunities for fellowship and fun. My husband and I have enjoyed attending their annual Valentine’s Day Dinner in the past. They are always such a blast. We especially love the Newlywed game where Pastor Ernie takes on the role of game show host. This year for Memorial Day weekend they have 3 full days of activities planned which includes game night, a nature walk, a picnic with a bonfire, basketball, mini golf, ball room dance instructions and, of course, worship services and plenty of food. FVCC is a fun-loving family and it is obvious they all enjoy spending a lot of time together.
Pastor Ernie began the service by asking if God loves our worship, sharing scriptures on how we need to focus on Jesus when we are truly worshipping Him. Their worship style is contemporary/modern, with a full team of anointed musicians. They did not rush through the songs, repeating verses when they were lead to. “No Longer Slaves” and “Let it Rain” were among the songs selected. During the worship, there was a prophetic word given to encourage the ladies, reminding them of who they are in Christ. After the worship we had a time to greet one another and I saw people chatting and smiling all over the room. The announcements that followed focused on their big, upcoming Memorial Day weekend plans, and you could see that the congregation was quite excited about it. It was a sweet thing to see a family of believers who are truly connected … much more than just on Sunday mornings.
Pastor Ernie began his message with James 1:22-24, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says”. It is so important for us to be DOERS of the Word. James 2:17 says, “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead”. There are some promises in the Bible that are unconditional (i.e., God will love you throughout all eternity), but some blessings only come to those who are obedient (Deuteronomy 8). The Word of God tells us to give everything over to God and we will have rest (Matthew 11:28-29). God desires that we “live long and prosper” (Proverbs 3:1-2). There are steps we can take to help us apply God’s word in our lives. First, we need to see the scripture and understand it, and then restate it in our own words. We then need to check our hearts, desire to do what the Word says, and then DO IT. In 1 Samuel 10:9, God changed Saul’s heart. If we are having difficulty obeying God’s Word, we can ask God to change our hearts and He is able. I was impressed to find a library of excellent resources available on the church website to help people learn God’s Word and apply it to their lives. (www. fruitfulvine.online/ministry-forms/)
At the close of the service, prayer was offered while the worship team lead us in another song. Several people made their way to the altar. Others gathered in the front lobby where there was coffee and refreshments available; an opportunity for some more “family time”. Both the prayer and the fellowship were clear demonstrations of the application of God’s word. Following this, the camaraderie continued with Bible studies and a planning meeting for their upcoming Memorial Day celebration.
The church is located just North of Clifton Park, conveniently right off Exit 10 of the Northway. And I really love the name of the road it is on … Burning Bush Blvd. That’s because this church is on fire! Come join this family for a Sunday morning service at 10:30 am. Pre-service prayer is held at 10 am. There is also a Sunday morning Bible study at 9am. They have many things available regularly on their weekly schedule including men’s and women’s fellowships, youth groups, college and career groups, exercise classes and home fellowships.
Fruitful Vine Christian Church has been producing good fruit for decades. It is a church with dedicated people where the Bible is taught and lived. John 15:5 says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing”. This scripture really sums it up! Oh, and Philippians 4:4 – “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: REJOICE!”
Church Website – www.fruitfulvine.online
By Donna Hansen Munafo