The Power of Thanks

by Erin Bird

Wow, what a day we had this past Sunday celebrating Easter & Riverwood’s 5th birthday! We got to enjoy an amazing breakfast, be together as a church family, warmly welcome several first-time guests, and most of all, worship the Resurrected Jesus together. It doesn’t get much better than that!

While there were MANY highlights to this past Easter morning for me, one was the number of people who told me in person or via text or email how much God has used the Riverwood family in their life. It is so encouraging to know God is using our growing church family to help you (and others just like you) grow spiritually, no matter where they are in their spiritual journey. And we’ve only just begun! I am so excited for what the future holds for Riverwood, for the people we are going to touch, for the ways we are going to grow spiritually and numerically, for the changes God will bring us, and for the amazing days awaiting us as we follow Jesus by faith into the future.

Thankfulness Leads to Joy

But while many of you gushed your thanks to me for obeying God and starting Riverwood, I found myself overflowing with thanks for those who helped make the morning so special. My heart was gushing gratitude for everyone who decorated Droste Hall, made the amazing food, led us in worship through music, sacrificially led the kids back in Kids Creek, built the new wood-wall backdrop for the stage, and even sent in a video to wish the Riverwood family “happy birthday.”

And all of this thankfulness got me thinking…

There is a power to thankfulness. As many of you told me “thank you,” I found myself filled with humbled joy. And as my heart burst forth with thanksgiving for everyone who made Sunday so special, again I discovered that same humbled joy.

A grateful heart leads to joy. There is joy-filled power inside the words “thank you,” whether you are giving it or receiving it.

And so if I could give you an assignment: tell someone thank you this week. You could:

  • send a card,
  • shoot them a text,
  • give them a plate of cookies,
  • or just say a hearty in-person “thank you.”

As you do so, it will not only fill you with joy as you express your thanks, but will fill them with joy to know their efforts, time, and energy was noticed.

A Riverwood Update

By Erin Bird,

For this week’s blog, I want to update you on a few Riverwood family “notes…”

Baptisms & Potluck
This Sunday, we are celebrating baptisms outside of the Veterans Post. It looks to be a GREAT day! Here’s what we have planned so far:
* We will celebrate the day as one big Riverwood family (i.e. no Kids Creek!)
* Redeeming Rebels will be leading us in worship through song.
* We’ll continue our His Story series by looking at the baptism of Jesus (feel free to read Matthew 3:1-4:1 in preparation!)
* We’ll enjoy a potluck immediately after our Worship Gathering
* Best of all, we’ll celebrate the baptisms of those declaring their faith in Jesus!

Remember to bring:
* A side dish and/or dessert to share
* A lawn chair for each member of your family (and an extra one for any guests) or a blanket
* Sunscreen and bug spray, if desired

Please pray for:
* Those being baptized.
* Great weather!

Membership Class
We will be holding our next Membership Class on Saturday, Aug 19. This will be a great way to learn about the mission and vision God has given us as a church family, and how you can partner together with us. The class will last about 5 hours, but I believe it will be WELL worth your time.

Also, speaking of Membership, I am planning to roll out a “Membership Email” with Riverwood updates. Right now, I’m envisioning this email coming out 3 or 4 times per year, as well as when we have big things coming up. I deeply love, appreciate, and value those in our church family who have agreed to be members who help Riverwood invite the spiritually disconnected to find and follow Jesus. But to be honest – in the past, I haven’t done a stellar job of communicating Riverwood-related things to our members so that they can be praying and partnering in this mission. So this is one small way to help us be a better team.

Growth Groups
We will be launching our 2017-18 Growth Groups the week of Sept 17. My prayer and dream is that 100% of the Riverwood family would be in a group where they can discuss the Scriptures together, pray for one another, and accomplish some of the “One Anothers” we find in the New Testament.

Which brings me to…

Our next News & Notes series
For five weeks, we are going to look at the five “one anothers” found in the book of Romans. We’ll discover that if we follow Jesus, then we are to be part of a church where we love one another, honor one another, live in harmony with each other, welcome one another, and even instruct one another. I hope this next simple email teaching series will help you follow Jesus and make a difference in each other’s lives in the Riverwood Family.

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