The Vineyard churches, a network of charismatic congregations, are becoming increasingly diverse in practice and worship if not doctrine, reports Cutting Edge, (Fall) a newsletter published by the church group.
The Association of Vineyard Churches is known for its freewheeling and informal contemporary services (called the “new paradigm”) that stress charismatic “signs and wonders,” such as healings. But Vineyard congregations are diversifying in worship and outreach in “increasingly marked ways,” says Vineyard USA director Bert Waggoner. The newsletter profiles Vineyard Central in Norwood, Ohio, which meets in a Catholic church. About 20 percent of members live in community stressing common ownership.
The Benedictine tradition has taken hold at Vineyard Central, with worshippers gathering at the church every morning and evening to sit in the candle-lit nave and pray the Daily Office and the Book of Common Prayer. Some of the other churches profiled in the issue may be more traditionally charismatic but they operate outside of traditional church life.
Vineyard on the Ocean Christian Fellowship in Florida meets in a Tiki bar that serves customers while the services are going on. In the Coast Vineyard Church near Biloxi, Mississippi, services are held in a casino hotel The church hopes to serve as a bridge for people working in the casino industry to come into contact with Christianity.
(Cutting Edge, 1800 Ridge Avenue, Evanston, IL 60201; http://www.vineyardusa.org)