Who We Are
We are an experiment, part of a growing cluster of experiments in this country and elsewhere, composed of disciples of Jesus who want to integrate faith more fully into our daily lives, create deeper personal relationships, and witness the growth of the Kingdom of God in and around us. Most of us who have lived here have tried this experiment on our own and didn’t do so well. So we’ve taken inspiration from the model that Jesus established for his own disciples – that of intentionally following him in the context of a community. While independence and isolation may be values of the society around us, it’s our experience that they’re not really that helpful when you’re trying to become more like Jesus.
We believe that the context of the community matters too. Jesus didn’t promise or provide to would-be disciples safety, security, or success (at least in the way the world defines them). He led his followers to people and to places avoided by not only the world but also by a lot of the religious folks of his day These are the abandoned places where we believe Jesus is most powerfully present and where the church is called to pitch its tent and be salt and light.
For decades now, the north end of Harford has been increasingly abandoned – by the middle class, the government, the business community, and much of the church (not the buildings, just the people). We’re convinced that Jesus never left the north end and that we have an opportunity to see Him and Know Him better in this place.
Jesus said, “Abide in me, and I will abide in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself. It must remain in the Vine." John 15:5
Our Values… What matters to the community of the Vine.
Common Life…We commit ourselves to the community, striving to be accessible to each other and to share and enjoy life deeply. We want to create safe and encouraging space for each other, through both actions and words that build up and don’t tear down. We commit to honesty and transparency with one another and struggle to work through conflict with love and humility, striving always to seek the best of the other person. One of the ways we show honor and love for God and for each other is by serving one another.
Spiritual Formation…We want to be formed more and more in the way and likeness of Jesus. We believe this can happen in deeper and more effective ways through the power of the Holy Spirit working uniquely through a small band of those who are striving to follow Him and live like Him. We seek to be shaped through the disciplines of prayer and Scripture study, which we commit to pursue both individually and collectively. We commit to humbly submit to a local expression of the church.
Simplicity…We free space to be together and to challenge one another to let go of things, habits, or choices that hinder us from trusting Jesus more fully. Our hope is that this might allow us to invest more of our resources in each other and in those around us, and become more like Him in the process. We regularly wrestle with Jesus’ teachings about money, possessions, and treasures, so that we can challenge one another to share more with those who have less and simultaneously invest in treasure that lasts.
To help us become better sharers, we try to learn how to consume less. And we want to consume with greater wisdom and discernment so that we can do less harm to all that God has created (people and the planet).
Empowerment…We leverage our resources (time, possessions, talents, relationships, etc) in partnership with our neighbors in Hartford’s north end, working to strengthen and build up our neighborhood. Living here in the city gives us great opportunities to more deeply identify with, be friends with, learn from, and love our neighbor.
We believe that God wants His will done here in the north end of Hartford just like it’s done in heaven, and we want to be a part of that.
If you have an interest in being a part of the community of the Vine and joining us in seeking the expansion of His kingdom here in the Northend of Hartford, give us a call or stop by the Vine and talk with us! Men, Women, couples, and families of any age are welcome.
the community of the Vine
282 Vine Street
Hartford, CT 06112
(upstairs at the 'the Vine' Hartford City Mission House)
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer…All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need…every day they continued to meet together. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God…” Acts 2: 42 – 47