“I (Jesus) am the VINE, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit, for without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

Why the name change? Since we changed the name and rebranded Harvest Christian Church in August 2020, we’ve gotten this question a lot! The short answer to this question is, “God spoke.” Last year, in prayer, the Holy Spirit spoke to my husband Tom, and confirmed in a number of ways, that we were to change the name of the Harvest Christian Church to ‘the VINE’. God spoke, we listened and obeyed. Yes, God still speaks to His creation, His children. 

Even Christians struggle with the idea of God speaking and some try to put limitations on God and the ways He speaks. When in actuality God is limitless. We believe Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. He can and will speak to us in a myriad of ways. 

This bible verse is where our new name originates. At first, we did not understand fully why, but then as time passed it became clear. The VINE Church Sonoita is exactly who we are, it’s our heartbeat and our culture. Jesus is the VINE, and we are the branches. The Keyword here is VINE, because Jesus Christ is our life source. We are His branches. As we stay connected to the Vine, we stretch out, cultivate relationships, love people where they are, and connect them to the Vine (Jesus) by helping them grow into branches themselves. The VINE Church branches, are people, and these branches take on many shapes and forms. 

Our branches are wide-open and welcoming. For example, Community Prayer & Bible Study groups, Produce on Wheels (monthly veggie distribution), or our Celebrate Serve Days (community projects & clean up). The fruit these branches bear are lives being transformed by the love of Jesus. The VINE Church Sonoita is our identity. We are branches that stay connected to the Vine (Jesus) and branch out to others by bringing hope and heaven to the earth.

When we moved to Sonoita more than two years ago, we didn’t know what life in Sonoita would be like. Tom and I have always lived in big cities, New York City, Houston, Phoenix, etc. You can imagine the culture shock of moving to a small town. Still, we knew the Lord sent us here to pastor. In fact, we said yes to our assignment, before we even met with the church council. We knew God spoke, so we jumped in feet first. It hasn’t been easy, but nothing great ever is. 

God still speaks. He can speak in a still small voice. He can speak through others. He can also speak in a song, in a dream, in visions, and through His Word the Bible. The real question is, “Are we listening?” Just as we recognize the voices of those, we spend the most time with, so will we recognize God’s voice as we spend time with Him, our creator. And when He speaks to His kids, it’s always wrapped in love, peace and joy, touching our innermost being. What is God saying to you today? He may not move you to another city or change your name, but He will speak. 

Editor’s note: Tom and Gardenia Moffett are the Co-Pastors of the VINE Church Sonoita. They can be reached at thevinechurches.org