News

Water Days!

July 29, 2015 - 1:53 PM

New Women's Class Beginning

June 28, 2015 - 1:40 PM



Women, are you looking for others to connect with and be encouraged in your crazy lives?

Join us for our new series beginning July 12, a great time to plug in!

Join our community as we dig into God's Word to grow.

Children's Church is Growing and Learning!

June 11, 2015 - 10:42 AM

Hello River Family!

I want to specifically encourage the families that call this church home. The Student Ministry that I have lead for the last 7 weeks has grown numerically and spiritually. The excitement I see on every one of the kid's faces shows how this ministry exists for a reason. This is not a futile effort. This is a worthwhile effort that is pleasing to God. I feel privileged to come alongside you parents and provide additional teaching for their spiritual maturity. 

They have been recieving biblical teaching alongside Pastor Joshua's lessons. Recently, we have been going through the various fruits of the Spirit. The best part? They GET IT. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfullness, gentleness, and self-control are not simply good worldly attributes. They are a reflection of who God is. This last week I used a mirror to represent this fact. If God is love, we ought to aspire to that same love. If God is peace, we should want to have peace as well. In short, the study through Galatians has opened their minds to who God actually is, rather than what they hear from the world.

I encourage you all to communicate these truths to them "when you sit in your house, when you walk along the road, when you lie down, and when you get up." (Deuteronomy 6:7) It should be a consistent process, not simply a Sunday morning activity. My primary purpose as the River's new Youth Director is to help you all do this. This is also the purpose of the Discussion Questions. These questions act as a springboard into biblical discussions with your kids; awkward or not. The fact is, I am not a parent quite yet, and I don't know everything there is to know. However, I am here for you all. I am always free to provide guidance and encouragement as you raise your kids. 

Please understand that I am just a phone call away. I am praying for you all through this difficult task. Though difficult at times, it is through the power of Christ that makes it all possible. 

Have an amazing week everyone!

Tyler Mollenkamp
Associate Director of Student Ministries
(319) 354-3118 ext. 103 

New Summer Sermon Series

June 11, 2015 - 10:32 AM

This is the time of year when we are outside exploring the world God created. This is the season that we go on picnics, we hike through the woods, we visit the beach, and we meet family and friends. All of this is a blessing from God and it is this very world that inspired many of the Psalms.
The Psalms are the Old Testament's hymnal. It is a series of songs, set to music, for the purpose of speaking to and/or about the God we worship. Some Psalms praise God for His might works, while some speak very bluntly about our disappointments and concerns. Some speak of triumph and victory, while others speak of pain and tragedy. But all of them are inspired.
It is in the Psalms that we get a glimpse of how God's people have communicated with our Creator throughout time and it is also an example for us and future generations to follow as we struggle through life's ups and downs. 
Encourage your friends and family to come be a part of this great series!

The Summer of Psalms

June 11, 2015 - 9:16 AM
The Summer of Psalms
This is the time of year when we are outside exploring the world God created. This is the season that we go on picnics, we hike through the woods, we visit the beach, and we meet family and friends. All of this is a blessing from God and it is this very world that inspired many of the Psalms.
The Psalms are the Old Testament's hymnal. It is a series of songs, set to music, for the purpose of speaking to and/or about the God we worship. Some Psalms praise God for His might works, while some speak very bluntly about our disappointments and concerns. Some speak of triumph and victory, while others speak of pain and tragedy. But all of them are inspired.
It is in the Psalms that we get a glimpse of how God's people have communicated with our Creator throughout time and it is also an example for us and future generations to follow as we struggle through life's ups and downs. 
Encourage your friends and family to come be a part of this great series!
See you Sunday,
Joshua 

Sermons

June 1, 2015 - 7:02 PM

Click on any of the videos below to watch a sermon.
If you would like to subscribe to our weekly video message you can click here or search Youtube for The River Community Church Iowa City. 

Other Sermons

God and Race (6/7/15)
Easter is Better Than Christmas
(4/5/15)
Super God in a Land of Superstition
(3/15/15)
Putting on Jesus Like a Garment
(1/4/15)
What Jesus' Birth Can Teach Us About God (12/21/14)
Our Founding Fathers (11/30/14)
What We Can Learn From the Zombie Apocalypse (11/2/14)
Happy Father's Day (6/15/14)
Mother's Day (5/11/2014)

Resurrection Sunday (4/20/2014)

Summer in the Psalms Series

Restoration of Favor: Psalm 85 (8/16/15)
God's Glory, Man's Dignity: Psalm 8
(8/9/15)
A Refuge that Never Fails: Psalm 62
(8/2/15)
Blessed are the Forgiven: Psalm 32
(7/26/15)
A Portrait of a Sinner: Psalm 14
(7/19/15)
A Prayer for Justice: Psalm 7
(7/12/15)
Worship and Warning: Psalm 95
(7/5/2015)
Traits of the Righteous: Psalm 112
(6/28/15)
The Happy Way: Psalm 1
(6/14/15)

Galatians Series

Gather, Grow, Go Series   

Go Sermons 

Grow Sermons

Gather Sermons

Student Ministries Update

April 22, 2015 - 11:18 AM

Hello River Family!

I want to specifically encourage the families that call this church home. The Student Ministry that I have lead for the last 7 weeks has grown numerically and spiritually. The excitement I see on every one of the kid's faces shows how this ministry exists for a reason. This is not a futile effort. This is a worthwhile effort that is pleasing to God. I feel privileged to come alongside you parents and provide additional teaching for their spiritual maturity. 

They have been recieving biblical teaching alongside Pastor Joshua's lessons. Recently, we have been going through the various fruits of the Spirit. The best part? They GET IT. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfullness, gentleness, and self-control are not simply good worldly attributes. They are a reflection of who God is. This last week I used a mirror to represent this fact. If God is love, we ought to aspire to that same love. If God is peace, we should want to have peace as well. In short, the study through Galatians has opened their minds to who God actually is, rather than what they hear from the world.

I encourage you all to communicate these truths to them "when you sit in your house, when you walk along the road, when you lie down, and when you get up." (Deuteronomy 6:7) It should be a consistent process, not simply a Sunday morning activity. My primary purpose as the River's new Youth Director is to help you all do this. This is also the purpose of the Discussion Questions. These questions act as a springboard into biblical discussions with your kids; awkward or not. The fact is, I am not a parent quite yet, and I don't know everything there is to know. However, I am here for you all. I am always free to provide guidance and encouragement as you raise your kids. 

Please understand that I am just a phone call away. I am praying for you all through this difficult task. Though difficult at times, it is through the power of Christ that makes it all possible. 

Have an amazing week everyone!

Tyler Mollenkamp
Associate Director of Student Ministries
(319) 354-3118 ext. 103 

From Jim Broffitt

April 16, 2015 - 11:02 AM

Christians are often criticized for being narrow minded.  We are narrow minded when it comes to salvation.  We believe that Jesus is the only way a person can be saved from the penalty of their sins and live eternally with God.  This is verified in the gospel of John:

John 14:6 (HCSB)
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

There is an event that I like to use as evidence for Jesus being the only way.  Just before Jesus was arrested, He prayed in the garden of Gethsemane.  His prayer is recorded in Mathew 26:39, Mark 14:36, and Luke 22:42.

Mark 14:36 (HCSB)
And He said, “Abba, Father! All things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me. Nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.”

 

Jesus was facing a torturous and painful death.  The cup refers not only to this but also to the suffering Jesus would endure when he took the sins of all people upon himself.  A holy, sinless person was going to experience having the sins of the world laid upon him.  This was too much.  Jesus didn’t want to go through with it.  According to Luke 22:44, Jesus was in such anguish, He prayed more fervently, and His sweat became like drops of blood falling to the ground.  He is basically saying, “Daddy, please, I don’t want to go through with this!  Let’s find another way, let’s go to Plan B.”  Had there been another way, I’m sure the Father would have chosen it out of His love for His Son.  But He didn’t.  My conclusion is that there is no Plan B, there is no other way.  Salvation is only through the precious blood of Jesus.  Sin is serious business.  It cost Jesus His life.  Blessed be the Rock of our Salvation.

From Claude Williams

April 9, 2015 - 1:49 PM

He is risen! He is risen indeed!

This greeting was much exchanged last Sunday as we again celebrated the resurrection of our risen Savior. Our faces seemed a bit brighter, spirits were elevated, joy was evident among us. Just to center our thoughts and actions around the realization that He lives, today! And is operating powerfully in and among us, that we are His people, His servants. Easter reminds us of this and more.

This exhilaration should lift us each time we come together because He LIVES! And He is in control as we allow Him to lead us and express Himself among us and through us. Having placed our faith in Christ, we know that He has placed His Holy Spirit within His own.

Oh, and did you notice last Sunday how much more full our seating was? So many more coming to share, to celebrate together. Do you wonder, with me, why should not each Sunday be this same 'lifed and emowered' experience? Going forward through this year, each Sunday can be even greater. Invite your special friend, family, co-worker (some of you did just that) as I met some who were invited by some of you and they seemed to enjoy the celebration. 

How very blessed we are to have such a Savior who loves us and forgives us and holds us close to Himself and allows us to be a part of His great eternal family! So much we want that sameness for others we know and hold as close to ourselves.

Please continue to pray for those for whom God has given you special concern, that they may be open to Him, and to hearing and even receiving "The Good News" of salvation. It seems that Pastor Joshua has been faithful in declaring the claims of Christ, this laying for you a foundation for 'follow-up' spiritual inquiry with your friend.

As we pray for these things we will see more lives changed through Christ, families held stronger,  longer! Remember singing,"We serve a risen Savior, He's in the world today". Hold onto that thought! We are so very thankful for your faithfulness to our savior, Jesus!

From Mark Jessop - Happy Easter!

April 2, 2015 - 12:53 PM

Holy Thursday: Jesus as a Jew celebrated Passover in the upper room with his disciples, including the one who would betray Him. But this Passover was different for Jesus. He knew what would happen in only a few short hours and shared with His disciples that His body would be broken and His blood would be shed. It is that Passover celebration that we now remember through the participation of communion.

Good Friday: The day Jesus went to the cross. The day He bore all the sins of the world, past, present and future. The pain and suffering He experienced that day for me, for you, for all of us really is incomprehensible, but that is the power of His love for us.

Easter: He is Risen! The grave could not hold Him. Death could not defeat Him. We serve a risen and living Lord. Hallejuah!

I pray that this Easter, each of you are able to remember, reflect on and fully experience the everlasting love of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

God Bless,

Mark

From Pastor Joshua Tilley

March 26, 2015 - 8:00 AM
For my personal study time I am going through the bible chronologically. This, along side a timeline, really helps me to wrap my mind around the events that have shaped our faith and our world. Each time another king turns his back on God and abandons his faith I am able to read about the consequences to his home and his nation. With each back that turns thousands follow, but there is hope, because for each person who turns back to God nations follow.
I have been blessed to watch as a faithful few break the chains of their spiritual slavery and return to the one true God. These brave men and women humble themselves before our God and cling to His word. As God's faithful few set the example, people follow and others find forgiveness and grace. 
One such story struck me as I was pondering this blog...
It is the story of King Hezekiah. We read of his reign in 2 Kings, 2 Chronicles, Hosea, and Isaiah, but it is 2 Chron 29-30 that I want to briefly comment on today. 
The nation is split into North and South and they have been devastated by invasions from the neighboring Assyrians. God's word had long since been ignored and chaos was the result. What are they to do in such circumstances? Rather than turn to their false gods, as many of the kings had done, we see Hezekiah turning Israel back to God. He cleansed the land, destroyed the high places (places of pagan worship), and had finally cleared the temple of all its false idols. In his excitement, he sent a call out to all of God's lost children declaring that they would finally be celebrating their freedom from Egypt again through the observance of Passover.
This excitement spreads and we see that when people seek God's face miracles happen.
The nation of Israel and Judah begin to Gather and unite. Prior to this these two groups fought against one another for control and yet now with God as the center of their lives they find fellowship. (2 Chron 30:12)
When God's people began to gather together, they began to Grow together. With this offer of forgiveness and salvation many people came to the temple to give sacrifices and offerings. This giving was not something that was required, but a natural response to their spiritual freedom and submission to the word of God. There were so many offerings that the priests had to recruit other men to help out with the sacrifices. God's people were giving and they were giving BIG! (2 Chron 29:31-36)

When this excitement made its way to the outlining cities and nations, those who feared God decided to literally Go and be a part of this movement. They were so excited to meet their Creator that many left the comfort of their countries and their homes. We read that the road was not kind to these pilgrims as they were mocked along the road (2 Chr 30:10). But despite the mockery, many who had long rejected God (and many who had never even heard of Him) answered the call and found salvation. "But some from Asher, Manasseh, and Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem" (2 Chron 30:11). The excitement of God's people was contagious!
When God's people lay their lives at the feet of their Creator He moves mountains. When we confess, repent, and ask God to guide our lives He unites families, He rights wrongs, and He draws the unsaved to Himself. Let's gather together on Sunday and begin the process of bringing this same excitement and salvation to our homes, city, state, and nation. (2 Chron 30:8-9)
God Bless, 
Joshua
PS
If you are interested in following a chronological walk through the bible follow this link to our resource page to find a pdf, which will guide your study. Feel free to print it, email it, or even post it on your facebook page if you would like. It is a free resource, so use it and let me know how it goes!

Women's Ministry - Off and Running!

March 19, 2015 - 10:05 AM

The Women's Ministry has been hard at work serving and having fun! There are several events planned for the upcoming months including birthday parties, Sunday morning study, teas, sewing projects and other workshops. Pick up a schedule from the Welcome Center Sunday. Here's a picture into what is happening....

What a productive morning the women had working on liners for the Days for Girls kits this month! Don't miss our next opportunity to continue making items for the kits at the Women's PMS (Pizza, Meals and Sewing) Night on Saturday, March 28! Sewers and non-sewers alike are needed. Why not join us?

From Jim Broffitt

March 19, 2015 - 9:48 AM

Barb does a good job keeping our home neat and tidy.  She does the dusting, and, with the help of Roomba, I do the vacuuming. When we go to bed in the evening it is dark and everything looks clean.  Our living room windows face east.  On clear days, the morning sunbeams stream in revealing dust lazily floating in the air.  The darkness hides the dust, but it is revealed by the sun’s rays.

This reminds me of the contrast between God’s holiness and our sin.  The more we walk in the light of God’s holiness, the more our sins become apparent to us.  When we are not walking close to God, when His light is not illuminating our way, our sins tend to be hidden and less noticeable.  That’s a danger signal.  That’s when we need to draw closer to God and step back into His light.  How do we do this?  By spending time in prayer and Bible reading, and this should be a daily activity.   

What was Isaiah’s response when he found himself in God’s presence?

Isaiah 6:5 (NLT)
5  Then I said, “It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.”

Isaiah saw his sin in contrast to God’s holiness.  After remorsefully confessing his sin, he was cleansed:

Isaiah 6:6-7 (NLT)
6  Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal he had taken from the altar with a pair of tongs.
7  He touched my lips with it and said, “See, this coal has touched your lips. Now your guilt is removed, and your sins are forgiven.”

Thanks be to God that Jesus paid the penalty for our sins so that we can be forgiven.

1 John 1:7-9 (HCSB)
7  But if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.
8  If we say, “We have no sin,” we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
9  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

From Claude Williams

March 12, 2015 - 10:32 AM

Well, "sure and b'gorra", the Irish holiday is coming up next week with the "wearin o' the green" and all. Many of us enjoy the Irish festivities our friends and families celebrate on St. Patrick's Day. We enjoy the "green" of it all, and doesn't it also kind of signal the coming of Spring. Going "green" with energy and food, but the color green could be a sad reminder of the great Irish famine of the 1840s in Ireland.

In the 1846 era a blight destroyed almost every potato crop in Ireland, leaving just enough of the crop to feed people for one month! To survive, people began to eat anything edible they found in the forests or seas such as roots, worms, shellfish and even plain grass from the yards! About one million Irish people died during that six-year famine. And about 2.1 million chose to leave Ireland for hopes of a future in another country, some 70% of those settling in the US.

The overseas voyage to the great unknown (America) was long and very difficult, and when the people arrived they did not know if they would be then allowed into this new strange country. Most of those coming did not know anyone here, they had little or nothing, did not know the local language and the customs of this 'strange' place. Just imagine what that must have been like when they landed in this new country and did not have anyone to help them through the immigration process and know where to live, they were determined to survive and even thrive.

Jesus too came into a strange new place, suffered persecution and death, but knew that He would be in the hands of Hi Father on the other side. It makes all the difference. Jesus says to me, "when you face death, "Look Up" for me on the other side! Now that's someone I would want to get to know!

Jesus offers true hope and real joy. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life", and again, "Come unto me, all who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest". Many of our friends  while living here in the land of plenty struggle through a famine of knowing and enjoying our Lord and His goodness. As believers, we have God's truth to apply to the famine our friends face daily. Feed the spiritually hungry, our mission.

Welcome New Staff!

March 11, 2015 - 9:24 AM

Hello River Family! My name is Tyler Mollenkamp, and I am your new Associate Director of Student Ministries. I just arrived last week, and I am very excited to start this new adventure with you all! My job will consist of overseeing kids from birth until college, incorporating our Gather, Grow, Go purpose, and helping them mature in their faith.  

I have a huge passion for ministering to kids, and I have served middle school students for the past two years. I love connecting with the lives of kids and teaming with parents for effective discipleship. I am currently in my last semester of college at Southern Evangelical Seminary. I will also be continuing my education next year, pursuing an M.A. in Biblical Studies.

Alongside my passion for youth ministry, I also love hiking, camping, and generally anything outdoors. 

Please do not hesitate to contact me in order for me to get a better grasp of the church and the area. 
Email: tyler@rivercommunitychurch.org
Phone: (319) 354-3118 (ext. 103)

It feels great to be in the great state of Iowa! I look forward to see how God can work through his church by using families to glorify Jesus Christ.

Sincerely,
Tyler Mollenkamp