Dear Riverside Family,
How are we holding up? Information is coming at us all so quickly, we’re shifting routines, and anxious about what’s going to happen next. And yet we rest in the assurance that God is ever-present in times of trouble.
Sunday Worship Update:
We’ve been working to put together a plan for this Sunday’s worship and beyond. Thanks to organizations in the church technology world responding generously in these unique circumstances, we’ll be able to provide an online service on Sunday mornings beginning this week and until we are able to meet in person again.
Beginning this Sunday morning, you’ll find a link on the front page of Riverside’s website that will direct you to the worship service. The service will be archived for viewing later as well, but we strongly encourage you to join in with us “live” at 9:30AM so that we can experience worship together, even though physically apart. Please encourage your people to sing, respond, and fully participate. It will feel awkward at first!
Even though we will not be meeting together for weekend worship service, ministry is still happening. Thank you for continuing to give faithfully to our general budget so that we can continue to meet our obligations and be on mission together. Will you help us by giving online? If possible, please use your bank’s bill pay system as this saves us processing fees.
We are working to get all of our COVID-19 response resources front and center on the Riverside website – we will send out another email when that is up and running. In the meantime, here are a few more notes.
If you need assistance with errands, meals, childcare, prayer, encouragement, prayer – we’d love to support you in this time. If you are able to help someone with those types of things, we’ll match you up with the needs as we go. In either case, please email Babby (firstname.lastname@example.org) and let her know. We will have forms up on the website to facilitate this a bit better soon, but please don’t wait for that to let us know if we can help.
Please be cognizant of the CDC’s latest recommendations on meeting together. As of today, the guidelines state that gatherings should include no more than 10 people and should only take place with proper hand hygiene and social distancing. (Are we tired of those words yet?) If you need help in setting up the technology for an online hangout, please let Babby (email@example.com) know and we’ll find someone to help you. If you anticipate the need to use Riverside facilities for something, please let Babby know as soon as possible. The building remains closed for public activities at this time.
We are focusing on the needs of Riverside’s primary partner organizations. If you are able, healthy, and not in a vulnerable group, we encourage you to grab a (HEALTHY) friend and pick a place to serve this week. Because things are changing so quickly, it is best for you to go directly to their Facebook pages/websites (linked below) for their latest updates on how you can serve.
Family Promise – Family Promise Training session is scheduled at 11:00 on April 5. This will be converted to an online format. Please sign up if you are interested. Our next Week of Service will be April 20-26. (If you attend the training session, or are up to date on your training, you will be qualified to volunteer). Please do not volunteer if you are in the high risk category. Contact Meg Gustus (firstname.lastname@example.org) with questions.
LTHC Homeless Services – Visit the Facebook for their latest tangible needs. If you have time, they need help serving meals. Contact Emily (email@example.com) for days/times.
Habitat for Humanity – Meal Train is going for our partner family Samantha Bruce and 2 kids. She is really sick with bilateral kidney stones and can’t do much right now. (Thank you to our faithful Meal Train-ers for meeting this need.) No construction volunteers needed at this time.
A couple of other critical, ongoing needs we’ve noticed in the community:
Food Finders Food Bank – Food Finders is experiencing a drastic increase in cancellations of volunteer groups. We need help sorting food, packing food boxes and volunteering at the drive-through pantry distributions. If you are healthy and able, please sign up on our website.
Blood donations needed – If you are healthy and 16 or over, please consider scheduling a time to donate (scheduling is important to help them maintain social distancing). Contact the local blood donation site at 765-446-4216 with questions or schedule your appointment online.
As always, we encourage you to be intentional in reaching out to neighbors and friends to see how you can help.
We have all experienced disappointment as we reconsider what life will look like as we act in solidarity for the good of all. Certainly, one of those disappointments is the loss of our time to meet together each week. We look forward to watching just how creative we all can be in keeping connections and encouraging one another in our relationships with God, one another, and our neighbors and community.
Grace and peace to you all,
Riverside Leadership Team and Staff