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March 5, 2015

The River Community Church
Thoughts From The Elders

Pastor Dave ConradsFrom Mark Jessop                            

OK, first an update on my “Read the Bible in Year” goal.  Last month I was a couple days ahead of schedule, but as of today – I am just right on target – but still doing well.  I do not remember how many days in a row you need to do something before it becomes a habit, but it is starting to feel easier.  That is with the exception of when my schedule gets mixed up.  I usually do my reading right after I drop the kids off for school in the morning, but for some reason this week that schedule was harder to follow, so it had been a little more work to get my Bible reading done.  I heard on Christian radio just this week that Bible reading should be enjoyable and not legalistic.  I agree with that, but sometimes you need to work hard initially to get the eventual enjoyment (I bet some of you gardeners out there can relate to that).  Although I still need to work to keep it up, I am certainly starting to get some of real enjoyment from my reading.  Back on February 22nd, I had a great laugh.  The Old Testament reading was from Leviticus. For me, this book is often a little dry, especially when talking about the various things that make you clean and unclean.   I was reading Leviticus 13, and it was talking about various skin diseases.  I have had rashes before, so found it little interesting, but then I got to Leviticus 13:40-41 and it really hit home.  I usually use NIV or ESV, but my “One Year Bible” is the New Living Translation.  It said “If a man loses his hair and his head becomes bald, he is still ceremonially clean.  And if he loses hair on his forehead, he simply has a bald forehead; he is still clean.”  Those of you that know me (just look at the picture above), know that I am getting pretty bald.  When I read this – I could hear God saying to me … “Mark, you are losing your hair – it just means your bald - get over it”.  I love that we have a loving and humorous God.

This week I celebrate my 45th Birthday.  I like birthdays and do not mind getting older.  One of my goals in retirement has been to get in better shape.  So far, I have failed miserably in that area, but just this week I finally got my act together and joined a pickleball class.  Don’t laugh.  It is a serious sport and after all, I needed to start somewhere.  The ironic part is that I signed up for the class through the Senior Center (it was free!).  I am the youngest person there and they all took me to town on the court during the first lesson.  Now you can laugh.

This week’s blog snuck up on me, so sorry that it was not very insightful about what is going on at church.  I do want to end though by welcoming Tyler Mollenkamp, our new Associate Director of Student Ministries.  I am very excited to have him at The River and leading our kids to Gather, Grow, Go.  Please take time to welcome him, get to know him and find ways to support him as he takes on this important ministry.  Have a blessed week and see you on Sunday!

God Bless,


Gather & Grow...River Community Life

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.

An Evening with The ICCSD Board President
Friday, March 13th at 7:00 PM 

Come to The River Fellowship Hall on Friday, March 13th at 7:00 pm to hear from Chris Lynch, the current board president of the Iowa City School District. Sign up at the Welcome Center or reply so we know how much dessert to serve! This should be an interesting evening sponsored by the Prime Timers group.

New Women’s Sunday Morning Study
Begins April 5

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.

Neighborhood News

Midday Connection Luncheon
Wednesday, March 11 @ Noon

Come and hear how our own Pat Mincer demonstrates how a simple pillowcase can be transformed into a dress to make a little girl happy! Please RSVP to this lovely event to 358-7016 by 11:45 am March 9th. The luncheon is at the I University Club at 1360 Melrose Ave. in IC. 

CRU - Save the Date April 18th @ 6pm

Mark your calendars for the CRU annual Spring Banquet! The banquet will be at Kinnick Stadium's press box and they would like you to come! More details to come soon...

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