The Vine Fellowship Church - Copley Ohio

In need of pastoral care? 

Call: 330.576.6608

Elder's pen

Dear Friends and Family of the Vine Fellowship Church,

Change can be hard or easy, but change that involves the loss of a valued relationship is painful. When the relationship involves a much-loved leader like

Mark Ruppert, we not only grieve the loss but we may also question our ability to survive and reach out in any new way in our neighborhood. We may

feel as if we are just marking time.

In writing to the church in Corinth the Apostle Paul said, “For in Christ Jesus

you have been enriched in every way--with all kinds of speech and knowledge.”(I Corinthians 1:5) Paul followed it in verse 7 with the statement that

“You do not lack any spiritual gift as you wait for him [Jesus].” We have been

given the gift of the Holy Spirit who guides and energizes us.

We have the gifts to be the church in our neighborhood. Already some from

our congregation are ministering to new residents at Vitalia Senior Residences

in Montrose. What other challenges might be calling to us? Along with other

Presbyterian churches in the Akron area, we have formed a Faithful Innova-

tion Team also known as a FIT team. Members are J.C. Crawford, Bill Daniel,

Edie English, Brenda Fisher, Pat Franklin, and Elaine Miller.

The goal of this team is to build on the information that our Vital Congregation Task Force collected and and then map out Copley showing both assets

and needs. We hope to answer the question of how can we serve where significant needs are not being addressed? How can we be faithfully innovative?

The team has begun to explore this and will meet regularly with FIT teams

from the other churches. Resource people both from the denomination and

also from Pittsburgh Seminary will be assisting us.

We cannot sit and wait for our next pastor to seek new ways to be salt and

light in our community. Jesus said to his followers, “As the Father has sent

Me, even so I am sending you.” (John 20:21) How will we respond to Jesus’


The inscription from Isaiah in our main hall says, “Behold I am about to do

something new.” To the people of Israel God said, “I will make a way in the

wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Let’s purpose to listen, pray, and respond as God opens the way to the new.

Pat Franklin - Elder