Sunday January 17, 2021
Over the past year, we’ve all gone through innumerable changes and challenges in our lives. Missed birthdays, cancelled plans, disappointing decisions, lost loved ones, and heart-wrenching examples of sin in action. Yet through all of this, we know that God is sovereign and He is in control. As chaotic as the world can be, that truth brings us hope and clarity.
For everything was created by him,
in heaven and on earth,
the visible and the invisible,
whether thrones or dominions
or rulers or authorities—
all things have been created through him and for him.
He is before all things,
and by him all things hold together.
The Church Body
Having not been physically together over the last ten months has been a struggle for us all, but we’ve seen the church family step up to love, serve, and connect with one another; this is what the Church does. No matter life’s circumstances, we point each other and ourselves to the truth of the Gospel and let God change us from the inside out.
The Church has remained the Church even with our physical doors closed, and, as we look forward, the Church will remain the Church through both in-person and online gatherings.
We’ve held wisdom and safety as our main determinants in key decisions over this last year. We feel that the time is right to re-introduce in-person gatherings at Riv.
Starting on January 31, 2021 we’ll be starting Step One of reopening in-person weekend services at our venues. We’re calling this Step One for a few reasons. Step One is going to look different than what we have done in the past, and different from what we’re doing currently. We need the opportunity to gather face-to-face and are taking this first step toward that end. With each new step we enter, attending a service will look different. Just as you are navigating life in new and unfamiliar ways, we are also figuring this out as we go. We ask for your grace and understanding as we move forward together.
Step One of reopening will have in-person weekend services at our Holt, REO Town, and Westside Venues. These will be limited in capacity, with masks required by all those in attendance for the duration of their time in the building. Seating will be physically distanced and all will need to register in advance to ensure a safe environment during the service. For Step One of reopening, RivKids will not be provided, and those that wish to join service as a family will all sit together in the Auditorium.
You can register for online services starting Monday at 10am. You’ll be able to find out more about what to expect about joining in person and register at rivchurch.com/visit. Please register for only yourself and your household. By registering you’re agreeing to wear a mask while in Riverview buildings.
Keeping Each Other Safe
We are putting these changes and procedures in place to keep each other safe. This is an opportunity to look out for each other and posture ourselves with love toward those around us. We’ll be carrying out enhanced cleaning before, between, and after all services at all venues. We ask that while within Riverview you submit to these required safety measures, and if for whatever reason you are unable to follow these guidelines, we encourage you to join online.
Online & In-Person
As we move forward in wisdom, we will continue gathering as a church family online, Sunday mornings at 10am while we are in Step One. You can still gather with your family, your roommates, Life Group, neighbors, or dog for online service. We see the uncertainty of our world and want to continue providing this means of gathering for you.
In all of these new steps, please join us in prayer for each other, our church family, and our leadership as we make decisions for Riverview. God is in control and we continue to rest in His glory and trust in Him. As we move forward in these hybrid online and in-person spaces, we will continue to proclaim the liberating power of the Gospel as we grow, serve, and go.
Sunday October 25, 2020
As we continue through this season of unknowns and upturned rhythms, we’d like to let you know what our current plan is as it relates to gathering again in person for weekend services.
Today marks 33 weekends of online services. We greatly miss seeing all of your faces and standing side by side as the church family, but this challenging season has also brought along some unique and unexpected blessings.
- We’ve seen Riv Communities spring up as people gather with friends and neighbors.
- Students from out of town have been able to stay connected with their Life Groups as they meet digitally.
- Meaningful conversations have been had that otherwise wouldn’t have happened.
- People across the state, country, and world are connecting as the Riv family through our online weekend services.
Yet, we can’t wait to join together again in worship, face to face and shoulder to shoulder!
We are currently targeting the weekend of January 9&10, 2021 to introduce in-person gatherings for weekend services. As that’s just a little over two months away, we have some clear answers for you right now, but there are also some more questions we’ll answer as we get closer to opening. Here’s what we can answer right now:
Things will look different at our venues. Here are some of the things you can expect:
- Masks will be required by everyone attending a service
- There will be limited space in our auditoriums
- Services will be family-style, so no RivKids will be offered at first
- We’re in need of volunteers to carry out all our services safely and smoothly
- Registration will be necessary in order to attend a service
- We’ll have regular cleaning rhythms during the week and weekends
When we reopen for in-person services, we will also be continuing to provide our service online. As part of the Riv fam, you can continue joining online weekly whether by yourself, with your family, your Life Group, Riv Community, or neighbors.
Everyone has their own response and comfort with gathering in groups (both large and small), so we want to continue to allow you to engage with our church in the way that works best for you. If you’re looking for community right now, be sure to check out our Life Groups, Riv Communities, and other events happening.
Since March, we’ve been making every tough decision with lots of prayer, seeking the wisest and safest steps for our church family. We will continue to operate within that framework as we move forward, evaluating our situation on an ongoing basis. Please continue in prayer for both our church family and church leaders as we all are impacted greatly by the weight of this season and all it’s brought us through.
As we get closer to our reopen date, we’ll communicate more details with you to let you plan and prepare.
– Riverview Church Leadership
Sunday August 2, 2020
When is Riv going to re-start live services?
We know this is the question on everyone’s mind as we grasp for some consistency in this new normal. Way back in March, we began work on a robust plan for navigating this pandemic season and for re-launching services when it passed. Because, surely we thought, it was going to pass soon.
But it hasn’t.
This week, we decided that the answer to that question is “not this year.”
As a leadership team, we have made the decision to postpone in-person services for the rest of 2020.
Hear us when we say we are sad to not have live services for the rest of the year, but our mission to proclaim the liberating power of the Gospel as we grow, serve, and go hasn’t changed. We have a readiness plan in place, and when the time comes, when it is wise and safe, we will launch live services. We think this will happen next year, but if things change drastically, we could certainly pivot and start live services earlier.
In the meantime, we want to encourage you to settle in and allow yourself to plant some roots in this new normal. We will continue to stream our services online, but we want to encourage you to reach out and find a way to worship with a community of people, whether that means you gather together in-person or digitally. If your Life Group is comfortable with it, you can meet (in a socially distanced way, consistent with the CDC guidelines and the MI Safe Start plan, of course) and you can “go to church” together, streaming it in your home or backyard. Your community can be your immediate family, your roommates, or friends in another state. We just want to encourage you to find ways to be in community with others because we all need other people.
From the beginning, we’ve set out to make our decisions about in-person services with wisdom and the safety of our church family as the primary deciding factors. We long for the day we can worship together again, but at the same time are excited to see the ways God uses our Riv fam to further His Gospel message in Lansing. So find a tribe, launch a Riv Community, and let’s leverage this season to “be the church” in our community.
Sunday June 28, 2020
We are the Church
This weekend marks 16 weeks of having online services, that’s almost a third of a year which is crazy! We recognize that this time has been difficult and even painful for all of us; but we also see how God has continued to work through us during this time. It’s so encouraging to see the ways you, the Riv fam, have continued to be the Church to our hurting and confused world, even as we’ve been unable to gather together.
It is our prayer that as we continue to move forward as a Church, both digitally and in-person, that we would do so with grace and love for our brothers and sisters.
The question you’ve all been waiting for anxiously: when are we meeting again in person? As of right now, we’re planning to transition to hybrid services after mid-Michigan is in Phase 5 of the MI Safe Start plan. Accounting for building preparations and volunteer training, the earliest we see this happening is the end of July. We will keep you updated with a specific date as soon as we have one established. We’ll begin to offer in-person services for those interested in attending while continuing to stream our online service Sunday morning at 10am. We are excited about the opportunity to gather once again in person.
As you make the transition to attending in person, know that things will look different. All of our volunteers will be required to wear masks and we strongly recommend all those attending to wear a mask and practice social distancing while at Riv.
What to Expect
In addition to wearing masks, one of the greatest changes you’ll notice is the reconfigured seating in our auditoriums to accommodate capacity limitations and social distancing. During this season we will not be offering RivKids, so all of our services will be family style. We’ve set up small groups of seats designed to allow households to sit and worship together while staying a minimum of 6 feet apart from others.
When we re-open for services we will also be updating our in-person service times to the following:
Holt Venue Saturday at 7pm and Sunday at 9am & 11am
REO Town Venue 10am
Westside Venue 9am & 11am
To help us prepare for you and your family, while loving the greater Riv fam and keeping our capacity limited, we’re asking that you save your seat prior to attending service. We’ll share more details as we have a finalized date, but you’ll be able to do so at rivchurch.com and through our app.
As we’ve all seen, everything continues to change quickly, so while we’re preparing to gather in-person at the end of July, we ask that you would be patient and understanding if we have to alter these plans. It has always been and will continue to be our goal to make the safest and wisest decision possible for our Riverview family and our community.
Friday May 29, 2020
Weird. Crazy. Uncertain.
These are all words that we hear every day, and even more than that, we feel them as we see another cancelled event run past us on the calendar, miss another birthday of a loved one, or crave the physical presence of a dear friend or family member.
As certain aspects of our lives are slowly reopening from our months of Stay-Safe-Stay-Home lives, there are undoubtedly questions about the church family gathering again in our buildings. And let us start by expressing how much we long to once again gather in community, hearing each other’s voices and seeing familiar faces each week.
Through each phase of this crisis season, we’ve set out to make decisions with wisdom and the safety of our family as the primary deciding factors. To best serve our community and the well-being of our people, in accordance with the current executive orders, we are continuing to only stream our services online and gather in digital spaces.
As we monitor the Michigan Safe Start plan with each new order and decision, we will continue to prioritize your safety while not compromising on our singular mission of proclaiming the liberating power of the Gospel in Lansing and beyond. Due to the fluid nature of this crisis and the ongoing development of data from our Healthcare workers, we cannot set a definitive date to reopen our buildings for in-person gatherings. We do however have plans in motion for when that day comes.
In the meantime, we urge you to join us in continuing to pray for our community, for healing, for our governing officials, and healthcare workers. While we may feel physically helpless with all that’s going on, we can continue to come to God with boldness, knowing that He hears us and cares for us deeply.
As the Church, let us continue to represent Christ well, while loving and serving one another–those we know or don’t know, those we agree with or disagree with–pointing everyone to the hope that we have in Jesus.
Tuesday, April 14, 2020
Through April 26, 2020, we will continue to meet online each Sunday at 10:00am. Please join us at rivchurch.com/stream and on facebook live.
Friday, March 27, 2020
Our Women’s Divorce Care group has set up a Zoom call for April 6. If you are interested in attending, please reach out to Linda at [email protected].
Additional cancelled events:
- April 7 & 21 – Men’s Divorce Care
Monday, March 23, 2020
This morning Governor Whitmer issued a Stay Home Stay Safe order that goes into effect at midnight. For a lot of us, this introduces more uncertainty and anxiety to an already shaky season. Social distancing, working from home, instant home-schooling, and just attempting to maintain some sense of rhythm and normalcy have seemingly overtaken our lives.
As Pastor James reminded us this week, we can endure the anxiety and weariness of life with Jesus as our focus and our foundation. Our very real uncertainties and questions don’t go away, but our security in Christ gives us hope to endure. Down through history, church communities have faced hardships and seasons of unpredictability, but have remained steadfast in their faith in Christ. As a church family, we can find comfort knowing that we stand in a long line of Christ-followers running to Him when life grows shaky.
We will not stop gathering as a church family, but that gathering is going to look different in the coming weeks. Our weekend services will change from the format we’ve used these past two weeks, but we will continue to meet online, each Sunday morning at 10:00am. You can join the Riv family at rivchurch.com/stream for these Sunday morning gatherings.
These last two weeks have been a whirlwind for us all, but we have a foundation in Christ that is unshakeable, and in Him we will endure. Continue to read the Word. Seek out digital opportunities to connect with your family, your friends, and your Life Group. Remember the truths of who you are in Christ. We will stay home and stay safe, but we will not stop living in community. Turn to God with your fears and anxieties; He is in control and He is our source of hope.
Let’s pray for our churches, our community, our healthcare services, and our world as we continue walking forward in God’s strength.
Friday, March 20, 2020
Hey Riv fam, this past week has been quite an experience for all of us. It seems as though each day brings its own new development and recommendation for collectively combatting the pandemic that we’re facing. Yet with each morning we can also remember that we have a God who isn’t distant but brings us hope and a solid foundation on which to place our lives.
At this point in time, we as a church are going to continue with our online weekend services through April 5, in accordance with the guidelines of our governing officials. Join us on Sunday mornings at 10:00am for an online service at rivchurch.com/stream.
In this season of social distancing and disrupted lives, we want to encourage you to engage with your community, seek out opportunities to serve one another, reach out to your Life Group, and most importantly remember your faith in Jesus and the truth of His Word. He will sustain us and it is through Him that we experience life.
We will continue to post updates at rivchurch.com/news as the coronavirus situation progresses around us. We’re continuing in prayer for you, our church family, and trusting that God will use all of this to reach more people with the liberating power of the Gospel.
Additional cancelled events:
- April 2 – MOPS
Friday, March 13, 2020
In light of our Governor’s statement this afternoon, our in-person weekend services on March 21 & 22, 2020 are cancelled. We will continue to honor the ban on large-group gatherings until the ban is lifted. Sunday, March 22 at 10:00am you can again join us for an online service at rivchurch.com/stream.
Additional cancelled events:
- March 16 – Marriage Enrichment Class
- March 16 – Women’s Divorce Recovery
- March 17 – Men’s Divorce Recovery
Thursday, March 12, 2020
In light of the recent progression of COVID-19 and our Governor’s encouragement to cancel large group gatherings over 100 people, our leadership team at Riv has decided to cancel all in-person Riverview weekend church services at all our venues for March 14 & 15, 2020.
As a church family, we want to ensure the promotion of the health and well-being of our community by taking an active posture to help prevent the spread of this virus. While this necessitates the cancelling of our worship gatherings, we’ll be offering an online service for this weekend.
Sunday, March 15 at 10:00am, you can join our church family by streaming a full service at rivchurch.com/stream that will remain available for on-demand viewing after the fact.
As of Thursday, March 12 we are cancelling services for this weekend only, with future services to be evaluated as conditions develop in the coming weeks. Stream our Sunday service this weekend, March 15 at 10am at rivchurch.com/stream.
Other Riverview events being cancelled include:
- March 15 – Chaos
- March 13 – AMP Movie Night
- March 14 – Merge Game Night
- March 15 – Life Group Equip
- March 18 – Element
- March 18 – MSU Community Night
- March 19 – MOPS
- March 20 – Prayer Night
With the unknown nature of this virus we want to encourage you to remain in prayer for our community, our medical response teams, and our governing officials as they actively respond to this situation. Let us consider how we might love our city by caring for those in need and responding with wisdom and discernment.
– Riverview Church Leadership
A large part of our ministry at Riv is the gathering of Life Groups throughout the week. We’re encouraging these groups to use wisdom and discretion in deciding whether or not to meet at this time. Groups that are comfortable meeting in person are welcome to continue gathering, while those not comfortable are encouraged to meet using virtual methods such as FaceTime, Google Hangouts, Skype, or any other digital platform. Regardless of the format, we are encouraging you to continue in community with your Life Group in accordance with the exhortation from Hebrews 10:25, which says we should “not neglect to gather together.”