April 14, 2020
Tuesday April 14 Update
Dear Riversiders,

We have journeyed with Jesus through Lent and now have entered the Season of Resurrection in our church life. Our theological focus changes significantly, from the introspection and pain of the passion to the celebration of the victory of life over death. Much of our new daily routines have not yet been replaced by the regularity of pre-Covid-19 life. We stand on the Easter promise, however: Christ is risen! And so shall we from the doldrums of distancing and disruption. Our prayers for physical, relationship, economic, and social healing and wholeness continue without end!

While we flip the liturgical page from Lent to Easter, our plans for church life will not change much for the foreseeable future. All on-campus gatherings remain suspended. This includes Sunday School, Worship, Bible Studies, rehearsals and the use of our facilities by outside groups. Creative folks continue to imagine how we can be the Church while keeping appropriate social distance. Let us share some of the ways we expect this to continue.

·       Live streaming or taping Worship each Sunday at 11:00 am from the Sanctuary goes on. Staff and selected leaders will be worshiping in the manner to which we are accustomed. You will be able to watch live at www.rpcjax.org/live or later at your own convenience. We extend a word of great appreciation to all the staff and volunteers who have made this happen!

·       Daily Devotionals, written by staff and members of our Session, which will keep showing up online at www.rpcjax.org/update

·       Currently, though the Church Office is closed to visitors, office staff is on duty and the phones are being answered during business hours. Office Contact Info: Phone (904) 355-4585; or email office@rpcjax.org.

·       Keep checking the ways that groups (Bible Studies, committees, etc) meet electronically via Zoom or other means. Contact communication@rpcjax.org for assistance in setting up your digital meeting.

·       Your pastoral staff want to be as available as we can be within the limits we face. We will often be in the office for a phone chat, a concern, a cry or a prayer. Please leave a message on one of our extensions if you do not reach us.

·       Care - If you need assistance with picking up groceries or prescriptions, please contact the Deacons, via Rev. Carol DiGiusto or the Church Office. carol.digiusto@rpcjax.org and (904) 355-4585 x36

·       Meals on Wheels is operating normally

·       Your financial support has remained substantial and consistent! We intend to keep paying our valuable staff and funding our ministries as long as we are able—we hope until we get to the other side of this crisis. The status of our loan application from the CARES Act is unknown at the present time. You all are still the most important source of our resources. Visit www.rpcjax.org/give to give online

·       Check rpcjax.org/update for the latest information from RPC

·       Each of us can do our part to “flatten the curve” by socially distancing as much as possible

We are bending and flexing and imagining as we journey through this uncharted territory. We are doing extremely well, under the circumstances. The day will soon come when the Easter shout, that may sound a bit hollow right now, will be given full voice again. Even as disease and disruption and death crowd us into our secluded spaces, the voice of the Spirit of God cannot be contained.  Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!

Stay well. Stay separated. Stay clean (hands at least). Stay hopeful. Keep praying. We will stay in touch with you. Because that’s what the church does.

Pastors Zomermaand, Hoff, and DiGiusto (for all your staff)