Covid Response

Riverside Covid 19 Response

How is Riverside responding to the covid 19 pandemic? Read all about it:

Things are pretty much back to normal (whatever "normal" looks like at Riverside).

  • The kitchen is opened back up with some extra processes in place to help maintain safety). 
  • The kids programs are opened up at the 10 AM and 11:30 AM services (we'll open Saturday back up as soon as we have more teachers in place to not overburden those who are already serving).
  • And seeing people's smiling faces has been a true blessing.
  • Registering for each service is no longer a thing and the kids classes don't require a sign up either.

I'm really looking forward to seeing what's next as we emerge from this pandemic. With that in mind I wanted to say a couple of things:

  1. Experts believe there will be a reshuffling of sheep from one pen to another (crazy metaphors right? It just means people will be switching from one church to another in unprecedented numbers after the pandemic for a variety of reasons. Mainly because they didn't appreciate the way their pre pandemic church handled the mandates (or didn't handle the mandates) during the pandemic. Let me just say, that's ok. If Riverside was your home pre pandemic and you're planning on going somewhere else as we emerge from pandemic life there are no hard feelings here- I totally get it. We'll miss you but God has always moved His people around to the place that is best for them and His Kingdom and this will just be more pronounced. God bless all of us as we move forward with His plan for our individual and corporate lives.
  2. Many people have fallen in love with church online and won't be returning to in-person church anytime soon. Not because of anything having to do with the pandemic but because of the convenience of going to church in your pajamas. Let's face it- you can't beat the commute. My only concern here is fellowship and connection. I'm not saying it's not ok to be a mainly online member of Riverside- I'm saying be careful that you don't become a lone ranger Christian because that's not good for individual Christians nor is it good for the church.With that said I believe that online church is going to be something we need to address as we go forward. Which means we'll need to create some kind of community for our online family. If you're interested in helping create community in some way during the LiveStreams and during the week let me know and we'll talk about what that might look like.
  3. It's not secret people had/have very strong feelings about the pandemic, masks, mandates and the whole shebang when it comes to Covid. My hope throughout this whole thing has been the unity of Jesus' church and the health of the people who call Riverside home. It's been an adventure to say the least but I want to take a minute and thank all of you who call Riverside "home". This last year has been the most stressful year of my ministry career (but to be fair I'm pretty sure it's been the most stressful year of your career/life as well so I'm not asking for extra credit or some violin accompaniment to set the sad, sad mood I'm trying to create here ;0)  but the stress has NOT come from you awesome folks who call Riverside home. You guys are a genuine pleasure to serve with at Riverside. You all may not be a "typical" group when it comes to church but then again, I'm not your typical pastor either so I guess we deserve one another. I have friends in ministry that have already quit or are ready to because of the fighting going on within their churches. I experienced zero in fighting at Riverside and had nothing but support when it came to navigating the mandates handed down by the city. All of you may not have agreed at every turn with how we worked through navigating this pandemic but you all fully supported us as we did our best to maintain the spiritual, physical and emotional health of Riverside. So thank you. I don't know what I ever did to deserve such a great group of people but here you all are. I appreciate you guys.

That's all I can think of right now. In the past couple of weeks I've seen people I haven't seen in over a year and I anticipate that trend will continue.

So I'll see you at Riverside whenever you feel like it's time for you to come back. And if not at Riverside I'll see you around.

Jesus is awesome!

Pastor Ed.

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