Covid Response

Riverside Covid 19 Response

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

January 22, 2022
No In Person Church Services This Weekend (January 22/23, 2022)-
Online Only Streaming Saturday at 6 PM and Sunday at 10 AM or 11:30 AM:
Well we're going online only again for this weekend. Between the roads, our parking lot being an ice rink and folks

being sick, testing positive for Omicron or having been exposed to Omicron we decided the most responsible
thing to do this weekend was to go online only so folks could stay home, stay safe and stay healthy.

We will be streaming our 3 services this weekend like always so we can gather online in Spirit even if we can't be

together in person at Riverside. 

And for those concerned about my health- I'm doing MUCH better. I was all set to preach this weekend and looking
forward to seeing everybody. I guess we'll set our sites on next weekend, huh?

And for anyone who needs some interaction/fellowship just let me know and we'll make a plan to get together

at the church in the coming days. I miss you guys.

Thanks for being such an awesome group of folks- you all make my life and job so much easier.

Jesus is awesome!
Pastor Ed
December 20th, 2021

Currently churches are exempted from Covid restrictions and so masks are optional at Riverside. I know this is a concern for many of you and I wish it was a simple matter to please everyone. But we are live-streaming all of our services on Facebook and to our website and the Riverside App. Stay safe and healthy everyone. God bless and we'll see you all when you feel comfortable to venture forth into gatherings once more. Jesus is awesome!
September 10, 2021 (about 4 o'clock) [Monty Python fans might find that funny if they saw Life of Brian]

Hey there Riverside. If you’ve been wondering what things are like at Riverside on the weekends at this point in the pandemic here’s your update:

  • We are back to doing all three services we were doing when the pandemic hit (Saturday at 6 PM; Sunday at 10 AM and 11:30 AM).
  • We have kids classes at all 3 services.
  • The kitchen is opened on a more limited basis (but we’ve got coffee and donuts and tea and hot chocolate and…).
  • Masks are optional.
  • You don’t have to sign up to attend.
  • We are still opening all the windows for each service to get fresh air circulating so dress warmly.
  • Communion is still not being passed around like pre-Covid. Rather we have 4 stations set up around the sanctuary where you can serve yourself. There will be two cups in each slot- one with the cracker in the bottom and then another cup on top of that one with the juice. Grab both and bring them back to your seat and then eat/drink whenever you’re ready.
  • Obligatory Financial Update- One question I’ve been asked over and over is how Riverside is doing financially. We are doing ok. During the pandemic our donations went down (understandably) but so did our expenses. As we reopen our expenses are increasing but our donations are not- there are lots of reasons for this and we are tightening our belts in response. This is not a you-need-to-dig-DEEP-and-give-us-more-of-your-money post. We just wanted you to know where we are at this point. There just isn’t any way to know how all of this will shake out as we move forward to we’re waiting and watching and as the financial outlook becomes clearer we’ll make whatever changes we need to make at that point. 
  • If (again- this email is not fishing for more money but IF you call Riverside home and IF it is your intention to donate to keeping the doors open so Riverside can continue to reach out to the folks in our community who need a different way of doing church) then here is a link with more info about donating:

Lots of us still have very strong feeling about this pandemic and the way we should or shouldn’t respond. This is where we are at right now as of September 10, 2021. Things could change going forward but for now this is where we’ve landed. You can let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

And I just want to say thank you for making this last year and a half as smooth as it could possibly be at Riverside. I know our response to the pandemic has not always been what all of us would have liked to see but we never had any fights or people trying to make things more difficult than they already were and I want you all to know how miraculous that is. Churches are splitting all over the country and pastors are quitting or being fired and Christian brothers and sisters are fighting and calling each other names over the differences in how they believe this whole thing should be handled. This last year and a half have been some of the most challenging in my 25 years of ministry with only one exception (2017 was a tough year for me and Riverside) but I can honestly say none of the people who call Riverside home did anything to make my job more difficult- in fact just the opposite. I am so grateful for all of you and your support during this time (even if you didn’t agree with the way we were responding to the mandates being handed down during this whole thing).

We will be watching what happens with Covid as well as watching how things sort of shake out at Riverside after this unprecedented time to decide how best to move forward (there’s just no telling how many of us who called Riverside home before the pandemic will return when it finally resolves and how long it will take to fully “resolve”) so be on the lookout for updates.

If there are typos in this update then just take it as proof that Pastor Ed wrote it himself and didn’t do a careful spell check before posting it (which is par for the course with him/me).

Thanks for making my life and ministry more joyful than I could have possibly hoped for.

Jesus is awesome!

Pastor Ed
May 4, 2021

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.

Want to learn more?

We'd love to hear from you. Click on the "I've Got Questions" button below and fill out the form.