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February 13, 2015

The River Community Church
Thoughts From The Elders

Pastor Dave ConradsFrom Claude Williams                               

Well. As we all know, a very heavy/wet snow caused the cancellation of church on Feb 1 - but it seemed to me the following Sunday service, in large measure, more than made up for the missed service.

Last Sunday, Feb 8 was very well attended, a good number of guests and first timers, very good exposition of God's Word, joyful music and an exceptional baptism service. We will long remember the very powerful and moving testimony shared by Mason Tilley, Wow. Keep praying for all of our children and young people as they grow and mature in Christ (trying not to jump too far ahead) but I have to wonder if our Lord is soon to put His hand upon Mason and set him on a very special path of service. Perhaps Mason exemplifies many of our children and young people as we are energized to pray for each and all as they do represent the future (and present) 'body of Christ' in our very present-day world. We, as the church, bear a tremendous responsibility for these most precious ones. Clearly, God has 'blessed' our parents and families with these children presenting them as a 'trust' to us; and how deeply thankful we are for each one and for all no exception. Praise God.

For a very long time I have held the thought that God is preparing this body of believers to do a very good work in our neighborhood and vicinity. I am greatly encouraged by the recent infusions of new and renewed people attending and desiring to be used of the Lord, asking for baptism and to be a part of what God is doing here.

I spoke above of praying for our young ones which leads me to wonder why it is that, as a church, we seem to have laid aside the work of coming together regularly and praying for our needs and the needs of many others. Looking back over some years, we can see the vitality and strength of our fellowship seemingly rise and decline reflecting the high or low place we seem to give to collectively and corporately and intentionally and humbly coming together to present our open hearts and empty hands to our Lord, asking Him to hear us, to consider us, to answer us, to bless us together! Jeremiah 33:2,3 "This is what the Lord says, He who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it, the Lord is His name:'Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.'"

The Lord is waiting for our hearts to open, He will pour out His blessing.

Gather & Grow...River Community Life

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 or sign up at the Welcome Center at The River.

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’sministry 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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