We want you to be put at ease
You might be wondering: if I give going to this church a try, will I stand out like a sore-thumb? Will everyone know what's going on but me? What if I don't believe what everyone else seems to believe? Will I feel like a jerk afterward for all those religious things I'm not doing?
We want you to be put at ease! Brown Line Vineyard is not a space that leaves people feeling anxious or like they're jerks. And while many churches today present Jesus of Nazareth as a competitive figure -- benevolent maybe, but resolutely against those other religions (and especially those non-religious people) -- our read on Jesus is totally different! What captivates us about Jesus is what seemed to captivate St. Paul in his letter to the Ephesians: that Jesus is just the opposite of against -- that his great mission was to break down "walls of hostility" between people, as if that's a key stepping stone for any of us in the direction of connecting with God.
As a result, we're an extremely diverse community in terms of religious background, and a surprising number of us were not churchgoing types at all before connecting in with this community -- 29% of us, according to our most recent survey; most churches in America, we're told, report only 4%!
When & Where?
The Davis Theater
4614 N Lincoln
Taking the train? Looking for parking?
We are a short walk south from the Western Brown Line stop. And street parking in Lincoln Square is free on Sundays!
What To Expect
Our Sunday services are informal and relaxed, yet have a historically-rooted feel, lasting about an hour and twenty minutes. We try to make them as "user friendly" as possible, whatever your background - whether you're a longtime church attender, or this is your first time giving it a try.
Our coffee, tea, bagels, and doughnuts every Sunday morning are free (and delicious) starting at 9:30
There's no need to feel embarrassed if you show up late or have to make an early exit.
There is no dress requirement (most are in jeans and t-shirts)
We love music and always have a time of song together -- a mix of lively, soulful rock, a dash of gospel and traditional hymns, and some more contemplative folk, all led on guitar or keys
We offer childcare for ages 0-5
As a community in an early stage of its life, we enjoy a more intimate vibe with about 50 of the people who call BLV home in attendance each Sunday (you might like reading about our big dream, which includes hopes of someday hosting hundreds of people every Sunday)
About Our Services
If you arrive a little before our service (as many do), you'll find people mingling over our free coffee, tea, bagels, and doughnuts - both picking up with old friends and making new introductions.
We shoot for our services to run about an hour and twenty minutes - here's how that breaks down:
Opening Video & Welcome (5 minutes)
We start our time every week with a video that's gone viral - sometimes to make us think, sometimes to engage our emotions, or often just to make us laugh. Then one of our pastors - Kyle or Vince - will call us together and welcome everyone to begin the service.
Talk (30 minutes)
Our speaker will share from her or his experience of spirituality or of trying to follow Jesus, with the hope that all of us feel more opened up and equipped to connect with the good and loving Living God. We find thoughtful engagement of the Bible is our best help to this end. The day's Bible references and talk notes will be included in the program you receive when you walk in.
Invitation to Receive Prayer (5 minutes)
A team of people are available to pray with you one-on-one for any emotional, physical, or circumstantial need you may have, perhaps stirred up by today’s teaching. Many find profound and powerful things happen during these prayers. Don’t worry; what you share is confidential and no one will give you unasked-for advice - prayer team members just try to listen for God on your behalf and follow his lead.
Songs for Prayer & Worship (25 minutes)
While people are receiving prayer, the morning's band will lead the rest of us in song. For centuries people have sung together to slow down from the pace of life and encounter God at an emotional level. Many at BLV sing along and even express themselves physically; others are more still and quiet. Neither is a better way to participate - our only hope is that the music helps you connect with God in a way that works for you!
Announcements (5 minutes)
At this point, we'll hear some announcements (news, notes, or upcoming events) and pass a basket to receive any connection cards (you can fill one of these out to stay in contact with us) and to receive any donations (you, as someone just checking us out should feel no obligation to give - consider yourself our guest!).
Communion (10 minutes)
Sharing the bread and cup of communion is an ancient spiritual practice commemorating Jesus’ life, death and resurrection as the basis for needy humanity to connect with a loving God, and for people from different walks to connect with each other. Jesus first instituted the practice himself in the context of a meal with friends, and we try to capture that feel in the way we take communion together.
And that wraps us up! Someone will pray a short benediction (or closing prayer) over everyone, and then people often resume the conversations they started during communion.