We join with you as we meet the challenge of this time in our country and world. Our prayers to God include you, our families, extended families, and neighbors here and around the globe. In this time we ask God to place wisdom with our leaders; to show compassion to doctors, nurses and all who are caring for others; to find tender care and peace for those who are sick, dying and suffering; to give rest to the weary. In Christ we pray...
As we together seek a thoughtful and responsible plan for our church family, with careful discernment and consideration, Riverside’s Staff and Session have come to the decision to suspend all on-campus gatherings at least through the end of the month and until further notice. This includes Sunday School, Worship, Bible Studies, rehearsals and the use of our facilities by outside groups. These are unprecedented times during which we are called to imagine creatively how we can be the Church while keeping appropriate social distance. Let us share some of the ways we expect this to happen.
- We will be live streaming Worship this Sunday at 11:00 am from the Sanctuary. 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.
- Starting Wednesday, we will be sending out Daily Devotionals written by staff and members of our Session, which will also be available online at www.rpcjax.org/update
- Currently, the Church Office remains open and we are staffed based on the needs of the congregation and the rest of the staff. Office Contact Info: (904) 355-4585 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- We are working on ways for groups (Bible Studies, committees, etc) to meet electronically via Zoom or other means. Contact email@example.com for assistance in setting up your digital meeting.
- Your pastoral staff want to be as available as we can be within the limits of the restrictions we face. We will often be in the office for a 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. firstname.lastname@example.org and (904) 355-4585 x36
- Meals on Wheels is operating normally
We don’t need to remind you that we are traveling in uncharted territory. While none of us battled the Spanish Flu in 1918, we have faced down multiple challenges and threats since that time. We will look differently, behave differently, and maybe even be structured differently going forward. We fully expect that we will emerge at some point in the not-to-distant future, having paid a physical, social, and relational price. Hindsight is one of the things we rely on to supply us with hope. We haven’t gone through exactly this before, but a lot of stuff comes pretty close to it in terms of consequences. AND we are alive to tell our survival stories. That backward-glance time can’t come soon enough for us now; but it will come. Ultimately, our hope comes from God, who is still present with us even when it feels lonely and dark.
Stay well. Stay separated. Stay clean (hands at least). Stay hopeful. Stay on your knees--as long as your knees can take it. We will stay in touch with you. Because that’s what the church does.
Pastors Zomermaand, Hoff, and DiGiusto (for all your staff)