“Remain in me, as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me.” John 15:4
For True Vine Sunday, we hear the beautiful parable of the True Vine. In this parable, we find that Jesus has invited us to a relationship that is even closer that the relationship between the Shepherd and his sheep. He is the Vine, we are the branches, so close, sharing the same risen life. And it is His Father, the Vinedresser who is the one taking care of the True Vine and all the branches. We are called to remain and then we know we will bear fruit. Rebekah Rojcewicz referred to this parable as the “linchpin” parable for children nine to twelve, in her book “Life in the Vine: The Joyful Journey Continues.” What this means is that from these two parables everything that we do in our atria, and therefore in our spiritual lives, we are able to build off from these two parables. Over the last 60+ years in the atria the children have revealed to us the importance of these two parables in all of our spiritual lives.
We have invited Tim Bell to join us on the podcast today to speak about his work tending vines to shed new light on this important parable. Tim Bell has received formation in all levels of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, including participation in the seminal Infant-Toddler formation in Wales. He has primarily served as a level 3 catechist in St. Helena, CA. His wife, Jennifer Bell, is a catechist and formation leader, and his daughter, Emma, has also served as a level 1 catechist. Tim also was blessed with the opportunity to assist his wife at a level 1 formation in Rome given to the Sisters of the Missionaries of Charity in 2019.
Tim’s vocation is winemaker. He has made wine in Napa Valley, Sonoma Valley, and the Central Coast of California. Currently he is winemaker at Dry Creek Vineyard. You can find some of the fruits of his labor at www.drycreekvineyard.com. Tim and Jennifer live in Santa Rosa, CA, and love immersing themselves in nature, especially when paddling their kayaks.