July 1, 2020
Dear Riviera Family,
The church is alive during this pandemic! God’s work is being done by the Riviera community. We are serving and sharing love with others even though we are physically distanced from each other.
One of the definitions of living is change and we have had to adapt to our new culture, new ways of communicating and being together and the many, many other new realities. WOW! Our learning curve has been huge. But….God still calls us to be the church.
Our mission programs continue. We can’t sit and wait for this virus to pass when God calls us to feed those in our community who are feeling the weight of this financial downturn. Our food pantry is open and busier than ever. We can’t sit still as the pain of institutional racism in our country has come once again to the foreground. We are hoping to learn how we can be catalysts of change this month as we engage in the 21 Day Racial Justice Challenge and have a discussion night after watching the movie ‘13th’.
Christian Education at our church is important to us and we decided to move forward with our plans to build a children’s and youth program this year even if it must start on-line. Anna Rosas came on staff this last month to create opportunities for our children to engage in fellowship this summer when it might be needed more than ever!
And our worship will continue to be on line until we can safely be together. With the help of Robertson Adams, Walter Busse and I have adapted to our new form of worship and thank the many of you who have participated and will participate in the worship services as liturgists, in the virtual choir, in the ukulele ensemble, and even lighting candles or ringing bells. The more we can participate, the more we will build our community and minister to each other.
One of the worship elements I have been missing is our monthly communion service with the ‘First Sunday Potluck’ afterwards. Well…. we can’t have the potluck but we will be having communion together this Sunday July 5th. Following the online worship service you will be invited to enter a Zoom room. Please have prepared a table or have a place set aside with bread, wine or grape-juice, and a candle or cross. Whatever will help your space become a spiritual place for you. We will share Holy Communion and then go into our coffee hour, Holy Grounds, immediately afterwards.
I have never been more proud and felt more privileged to be your pastor. We have been, are, and will be the church God call us to be in all times and places.
Sending my love through cyber space!
The Rev. Martha M. Shiverick