We are committed as a church to passionately worship God and love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.
Out of the overflow of His love and presence, we desire to equip believers to participate in extending the Kingdom of God by proclaiming the Good new, healing the sick and bringing deliverance to those who are in bondage to darkness.
Through God’s creativity released through His people it is our desire to impact our community as well as make disciples in the nations.
The Santa Maria Vineyard Christian Fellowship initially started out as a small group of people gathering in the living room of a home worshipping God and desiring to see more of God’s love and presence in their lives. This small group of people led by founding pastor Carl Tuttle soon outgrew the living room and began meeting in the Orcutt Recreation Center meeting hall. Another move brought the group to begin meeting at the Japanese Methodist Church in Santa Maria and then a few months later the church began Sunday morning services in the gymnasium of El Camino Junior High School.
From 1985 to 1990 at El Camino Junior High the church continued to grow. In 1989 God began to speak to the church in a significant way. Many nationally recognized prophetic ministers came through the church within the course of a year and began to communicate God’s heart for the Santa Maria Vineyard, the City of Santa Maria, and the larger Central Coast area. God’s invitations and promises for this church overwhelmed us and “ruined” us in a wonderful way. We’ve never been the same.
In 1990 Carl Tuttle left the church for a different position and Ralph Kucera became the senior pastor of the church from 1990 to 1998. Also in 1990 the church purchased the old First Christian Church facility, gave the facility a major “face-lift” and moved from El Camino Junior High to our present facility located at 200 S. East Avenue in Santa Maria. During this period the church experienced wonderful times of God’s presence mixed along with very difficult seasons of adversity. In 1994 the church enjoyed times of refreshing and renewal and we thank the Holy Spirit for his continual renewing presence.
In 1998 Ralph Kucera left Santa Maria to minister in a different area and Steve Dastic became the senior pastor of the Santa Maria Vineyard. During this time the church has begun to see many of the long-standing prophetic promises begin to be fulfilled. The healing rooms ministry (Healing Rooms of the Santa Maria Valley) directed by Rick and Lori Taylor is impacting thousands of lives not only here in the Santa Maria Valley but throughout the world as we take the healing presence and power of God to the ends of the earth. Along with our inner-healing ministry, the Santa Maria Vineyard is truly becoming a healing community.
We have also had the privilege of training, developing and taking teams of young people to developing countries to help serve and bless the people of these nations and share the love of Jesus with them. Under the direction of Kirk Schauer and the Seeds of Hope International Partnerships ministry we have also coordinated and facilitated practical resources to bless communities and churches in developing countries such as Zambia and many others. This little church of approximately 250 people is having significant impact throughout the world.
“God, we are overwhelmed by you faithfulness and goodness! We are overwhelmed that you would use us! But we know that there is more. And so our cry to you Lord, with the same heart that the spiritual father of the Vineyard movement John Wimber always prayed, is More Lord, More!”
Written by senior pastor Steve Dastic.
We at the Vineyard Christian Fellowship seek to honor and glorify God in all that we do. Our outward expressions of worship (which is what this page addresses) are merely an extension of how we feel about God on the inside. They are not meant to draw attention to ourselves or be distracting. Worship is for God, not for us. With that in mind, we would like to explain from a biblical text why we worship the way we do.
Songs of praise and worship
Ref. Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs singing in your hearts…
Lifting or extending our hands
The lifting of hands originated in the Old Testament and has been a part of Jewish and Christian worship for thousands of years. It is not just a “charismatic” expression, but a biblical one dating back to before King David’s time. Lifting our hands to the Lord blesses Him (Ps. 63:4, 143:6, 134) We lift our hands when we pray (1 Tim. 2:8, Lam. 3:40-41, Heb. 12:12). The lifting of our hands can be symbolic of our surrender to God, Christ’s victory over death, or simply to lift Jesus higher in our hearts.
The extending of our hands towards others during a time of ministry for healing or blessing come from when Christ blessed his disciples before his Ascension (Lk. 24:50).
Clapping our hands and shouting
Psalm 47 states “clap your hands all you people, shout to God with cries of joy.” There are many other passages in scripture where God’s word admonishes us in this practice. (Psalm 98:8, 2 Kings 11:12, Josh. 6, Judges 7:20-21, Psalm 95) We are comfortable and even expect to see crowds of sports fans shouting and clapping their hands to celebrate an unimportant human event such as a touchdown. Why then are we uncomfortable if someone shouts to God in church to celebrate Christ’s victory? Isaiah 55:12 states that the trees of the field will clap their hands for joy. Jesus said (upon entering Jerusalem) that if the people stopped shouting, the rocks would cry out! (Lk. 19:28-40) Maybe that’s because He knows how much praise He deserves even if we don’t! Shouting is often an expression of joy or victory as in Psalm 5:11, 32:11, or 47:1-2.
Dancing is another biblical form of worship or praise. In scripture, dancing was often the result of celebrating God’s victory (as in His conquering Pharaoh’s army in Exodus 15:20-21). David danced before the Lord “with all his might” to celebrate the return of God’s presence to Israel in II Samuel 6:14-16. Psalm 149:3 states specifically “let them praise His name in the dance.” We are always watchful that our dance is directed to God and before Him and not merely for the pleasure of men. In fact, because Michal, King David’s wife, became barren (unable to have children) as a result of criticizing David’s lavish expression of praise through dance, we want to be sure to bless those who show their love for God through dance. We do not want a barren church!
Waving flags or banners
The waving of flags and banners goes back to the Old Testament as well. God calls Himself “Jehovah-nissi” or “God our banner”, perhaps because He is over us. Banners were carried by the Israelites to battle and as they traveled. A banner can be symbolic of God’s power or creativity depending on the color and type of flag or banner. The Song of Solomon declares that “His banner over me is love.” Other scriptures that refer to flags or banners are Psalm 20:5, 60:4, Isaiah 49:22, and Jeremiah 51:27. Flags have often been a sign of declaration as in our nation’s or state’s flags. As God’s “holy nation” (1 Peter 2:9), we may declare our allegiance to Him with a hand made flag waved before Him in worship.
Not all Vineyard churches are alike but they all do share essential elements of Christian doctrine and practice.
The Vineyard Statement of Faith outlines the 12 points of Vineyard’s doctrinal statement. Footnotes link every belief to its source in the Bible.
Click the picture on the left to open the Statements of Faith in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format. (Document will open in a new browser window.)