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February 5, 2015

The River Community Church
Thoughts From The Elders

Pastor Dave ConradsFrom Mark Jessop                                 

I have not told Pastor Joshua this, but when I talked to him last Saturday night, I thought he was being a little pre-mature in cancelling church for February 1st.  When it comes to weather, I tend to be one of those people that will “believe it when I see it”.  Pastor Joshua called it right, and although I never like to miss going to church (even on vacation), it was nice to have a relaxing day at home with the family in the warmth and safety of our home.  Hope you were able to do the same.

Last month I mentioned that I was working on reading through the entire Bible this year and that to help keep me accountable, I would tell you how I was doing each month.  As of today, I am actually two days ahead of schedule.  I have attempted this before, but for some reason it feels different this time.  I am truly enjoying being in God’s word and look forward to what God wants to teach me each day.  We are so blessed to have the Word of God so easily accessible to us. 

I want to thank you for all the great questions that were written down at the Family Matters meeting last month.  Pastor Joshua took the lead and drafted up responses which have been printed out for your convenience.  If you have not done so yet, please pick up a copy (last time I looked they were on a table in the foyer).  If you are unable to find one, contact the office and they will be happy to get you one.

We are very excited to have Tyler Mollenkamp join the church staff as our Associate Director of Student Ministries.  He starts on March 1st.  Although the number and ages of children at the River has fluctuated over the years, this church has a long history of ministering to children and we look forward to continuing to teaching them solid Biblical truths.

Finally, it was awesome seeing so many men from the River attend the Wingmen event on January 28th.  I am always amazed at how much better you can get to know someone at an event like that.  One man even shared some very exciting news for his family with the rest of the guys there. I love it when God’s people get together to share life.  Sunday school and the women’s and men’s ministries are a great way to do that.  There is always room for more, so if you have not done so already, check them out!     

See you Sunday (unless Pastor Joshua cancels again;-)

- Mark

Gather & Grow...River Community Life

Soup Supper
Friday, February 6 @ 6pm 

There's no better way to beat the cold winter than a bowl of soup. It's even better when you are eating it with others! Join us on the 6th of February for our annual Soup Supper. Sign up at the Welcome Center at The River to bring soup and other goodies to share for this event.

Women's Tailgate Event
Saturday, February 21 @ 6pm 

Hey, River women!  Mark your calendars: Saturday, February 21, 6 PM. Come tailgate with us in the gym for an evening of fun and games.  Wear your favorite team colors and bring a snack to share. This is a good time to invite your friends for a fun, relaxing evening with the women!

Baptism Service
Sunday, February 15 - Additional Date! 

During the worship service on Sunday, February 15th, we will be having a baptism service. If you are interested in declaring your trust in Jesus alone as Savior, let us know. Send us an email or sign up at the Welcome Center with your contact info. We'll give you all the details.

Gather 101

Materials are gathered and printed for our class on "Gather 101". This class is all about The River. If you are interested in membership in this local body of believers at The River or just want more info about the church, what it believes and how we fit into the body as people, then sign up at The Welcome Center Sunday with your contact info and we'll get a class going soon!

New Women’s Sunday Morning Study
Begins in March 

Can a simple dinner party for the neighbors change the world? Karen Mains says, "Yes!" And in Open Heart, Open Home she shows how. Karen Mains steps far beyond how-to-entertain hints to explore a biblical and spiritual approach to using your home to care for others. This approach to hospitality can literally transform the fabric of your community and your world. If you labor under the illusion that hospitality requires Martha Stewart-like abilities, then Mains will free you from a load of guilt! Instead, she offers fresh and inspiring ideas for using your own resources to serve rather than to impress with new "opening the door" activities in each chapter. You will discover how the Holy Spirit can work in and through you to make others feel welcome and wanted. Whether you are a business executive or a homemaker, a professional minister or a layperson, a seasoned entertainer or an entertaining klutz, you will find here the encouragement and skills you need to reach out with the gospel through daily acts of acceptance, belonging and love.

See Julie Jessop about ordering a book.

Go...Serving in Jesus' Name

February Mission Focus: Jeff and Barb Chapman - Japan

We have completed our cell-church plant project in Japan and are preparing to move on to a new ministry. We will be working with an existing church to strengthen it’s ministry in the local area. We also plan to work with church leaders to launch a church-planting ministry. While we know WHAT God wants us to do, the WHERE is still undecided as of this writing. Please pray for us to discern God’s perfect will for our next ministry site. We know it will be in the Kansai (Osaka) area, but there are several churches wanting our partnership. Two recent events have confirmed our resolve to take the gospel to Japan 1) The Prime Minister has declared that he will again make Japan into a Shinto state, joining religion and government as it was prior to WWII. 2) For the first time in the history of Christianity in Japan, 65 Christian leaders met to share a vision to start 50,000 Christian gatherings in the next 10 years. The amazing part about this is that all 65 leaders are Japanese! This is not a missionary-led movement. Please pray for these leaders, for the church, and for the missionaries, as we work together to wage the spiritual battle that is looming just ahead. Christ is the victor. For more about Jeff and Barb and their families, go to:convergeworldwide.org and look under missionaries. To send encouragement, their email is:  jbcinjapan@gmail.com.  Their current newsletter is posted in the Resource Room for you to read or take.

Neighborhood News

Heritage Banquet
Saturday, February 28 @ 5:30 - 9:00 pm 

Join us for dinner and dessert and special speaker Kevin Sorbo from the movie "God's Not Dead". Tickets can be purchased online at HCS-NL.COM/EFE or contact Heritage at 319-626-4777 if you have questions

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