|Thoughts From The Elders
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Missions Around the World
Missions is important to God and it is important to the River.
We give over 10% of our income to missions and every month we showcase and focus on one of missionaries. This is a time for us to not just tithe and financially support those who have left their home country to bring the gospel to the world, this is also a loving reminder that we pray diligently for our church family here and abroad.
But this next month is going to be different. This March we are focusing on the persecuted church worldwide. As you may know we have two missionary families that we support which are located in hostile countries. We cannot give out their addresses, nor can we post their photos or videos online as their lives are literally in danger every day. These missionaries have not just left the comfort of home, they have left the safety that we all take for granted as we live in a country that protects our religious rights.
Recently researchers have suggested that 1,500+ Christians are martyred every year. The Vatican reported that we are seeing 100,000 Christians every year being murdered because of their faith. Regardless what the numbers are correct, even one person dying because of their testimony of Jesus is too many. These numbers are reported from all over the planet, from Iran to Nigeria to North Korea. No one group is ultimately responsible and no Christian is ultimately safe.
So for the coming month of March, I ask that you take time to daily pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters around the globe. Pray for safety, pray for strength, and pray for courage. These family members of ours daily put themselves in danger in a way we can never really understand and they need our prayerful support. Also, fervently pray for those missionaries who are risking life and limb to bring these nations the gospel, which they so desperately need.
We believe that some day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess the glory of our God, but until that day, let us not forget our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world.
Though we cannot communicate directly with our missionaries in hostile countries, consider dropping a letter or note to one of our missionaries who can receive your appreciation.
For a full list of missionaries we support; pick up a list on Sunday from the Resource Center or email the office and we can give you their information. Our missionaries need more than just our money, they also need our prayers, thanks, and encouragement.
See you Sunday,
Gather & Grow...River Community Life
Welcome Tyler Mollenkamp
9:30 am Sunday, March 1st
This Sunday, instead of our regular education classes for you adults, we will be having a welcome party for our new Associate Director of Student Ministries, Tyler Mollenkamp. Tyler will be serving alongside of us in the children and student ministries at The River. Be sure to welcome him. You can also send him encouragement at email@example.com. You can volunteer to serve in either ministry with others through the Get Plugged In button to the left, we'd love to have you serving with us!
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 Men's Study Begins March 8th
Today, more than ever, people are asking difficult, penetrating questions about their faith, God, and the Bible. Men, come join us to discuss what the bible has to say in answer to these questions for yourself, your family and your lives! See Jason Jackson about getting a book. The men meet on Sunday mornings at 9:30 am in the conference room in the east wing.
New Women’s Sunday Morning Study
Begins in April
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.
Saturday, March 28, 5pm, Women’s Pizza, Meals & Sewing Night
Join in the fun! We’re making freezer meals for those in need and working on Days for Girls kit items PMS(Provisions for My Sister). Sign up at the Welcome center to bring ingredients for the freezer meals and a couple of dollars for pizza. The meat has been signed up for but there are lots of other items still on the list.
Go...Serving in Jesus' Name
March Mission Focus: The Persecuted Church
Hebrews 13:3 Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.
The church is persecuted all over the world as we have seen recently on the news but has been happening since the church began. The River supports several global missionaries, some that are in hard places to serve. To find out who they are and how to pray or contact them to encourage them, please pick up their recent newsletters and info in the Resource Room.
One resource among others like Converge that The River is a member of is Voice of the Martyrs at
www.persecution.com and is a resource to pray for the percecuted church all over the world. If you have other good resources you like, let us know, we may include them next week!
1 Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
One of America’s fastest growing sports, pickleball is a mini version of tennis played on a badminton-size court with a paddle and a plastic ball. It may have a funny name, but it is a serious sport! It is fast-paced and easy to learn, great exercise and lots of fun! It is played on tennis courts and gym floors that are striped for pickleball, and is a great game for seniors. There are over 100 players in Johnson County, and most are in their 50s, 60s, and 70s. It is easier than tennis and the rallies generally last longer.
Paddles and balls will be supplied. You need appropriate clothing and shoes for a gym floor. You will practice serves (which must be underhand), ground strokes, dink shots, and volleys. Prior experience playing tennis, ping-pong or racquetball is helpful but not necessary. You will learn rules of the game and scoring for both doubles and singles. Most pickleball is played with doubles, which has less running than singles but is still good exercise.
Information about pickleball and videos of play are available on the USA Pickleball Association website: www.usapa.org. A good one is under Education & Training. Click on “What is Pickleball?” Then watch the video.
Fee: none. Registration required. Limited to 12 students per session. Senior Center membership is not required.
Session 1: Th, 9 – 11 AM in the Robert A. Lee Recreation Center gym
3/5, 3/12, 3/26, 4/2
Session 2: Th, 9 – 11 AM in the Robert A. Lee Recreation Center gym
4/9, 4/16, 4/23, 4/30
Instructors: Jim Broffitt, Myra Clark, and Mary Foraker
Registration started on February 18.
To register call the Senior Center (356-5220).