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Epistle From a Birmingham Jail, Memo to Washington


This coming Sunday, January 14th, is Martin Luther King Sunday. Pastor Bledsoe will be preaching on:  ”Epistle From a Birmingham Jail, Memo to Washington.”  This Sunday has always been about more than remembering events in the past–we at Riverside take the opportunity to speak to issues of concern for our nation and world as we live up and through Dr. King’s vision of the Beloved Community.  Join us for an effervescent Sunday of music and proclamation.

If you’re going to give into something this year, give into hope.  If you’re going to throw up your hands and resign yourself to something, let it be love.  If you are indignant and angry (and if you’re not then you are not, as the saying goes, paying attention), then wage peace.  There is a world to heal, be a healer.  Enough with self-hate. Enough with ruining or being complicit in the ruin of the world. Let’s come together. Right now.  ~See you Sunday


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Return


This coming Sunday, the first Sunday of 2018, we will return to Jefferson Middle School for our worship at 10 a.m.  Back to an auditorium that has served us well for over one year now.  And hopefully, prayerfully, we will walk into a new sanctuary sometime this Fall.  Return. Come back.

Though we were never truly apart. Our worship with Westminster Presbyterian Church on Christmas Eve was a delight.  How great it was to worship with our friends, our brothers and sisters there. They welcomed us and made us feel so at home in a true illustration of ecumenical life. We are better for having come together.  Thanks to Pastor Ruth and Pastor Brian and the entire congregation there. I will be working with SW clergy and especially Ruth to guide our congregations to more shared experiences and shared ministries in 2018.  Then this past Sunday on New Year’s Eve, Christ United Methodist welcomed us into their beautiful sanctuary. Their reception of us was as warm as it was warm inside on a cold day.  And again, we felt the strength and joy of being together with fellow believers.  Their new pastor, Monica Raines, is fresh out of Wesley Seminary and offers them (and our community) energy and vision.  We pray for your ministry and presence, Christ United.

Now it is time to return to our “church” such as it is and this we have learned:  while a building is wonderful (how wonderful it was to be inside those two churches!) we the people are the church.  Return and let us begin this year with renewed commitment and purpose. Be here as often as you possibly can.  Step up and support our ministry.  Reach out and embrace one another.  Let us be the Church.

And for any who have searched and longed for a church of peace, justice and Christ-centered joy, come with us this year.  Return. Come home.  Your spirituality and life in God can begin or continue here.  As we embark on this journey together, may Christ the Good Shepherd gather us, guide us and bring us to his Kingdom.  ~See you Sunday


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Advent and Christmas at Riverside


Advent and Christmas reminders: 

Please note:  Because DC Public Schools will not open the school for us on a holiday,  New Year’s Eve Sunday service will worship elsewhere.  Where?

Sunday morning New Year’s Eve, 10 a.m., some of us will worship at Christ United Methodist Church (we will not be involved in leading the worship or participating in the worship). 900 4th Street, SW. You may park at Jefferson and walk over to Christ United Methodist.

Please remember our church depends solely on your offerings and since we will miss two Sundays of collection, we encourage you to mail in your offering or use the PayPal button on this site.

The Peace of the angelic presence and announcement to shepherds in the field abide with you throughout this season of hope.  ~See you Sunday


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Embracing for a New Year


A favorite story for the coming “new” year:

“Two brothers shared a farm.  One brother was married and had seven children.  The other brother was single.   They worked hard and the land was good.  Each year the harvest was abundant; and each year they split the wealth of the land evenly.  They gathered the perfectly divided grain into their separate barns and thanked God for his goodness.

“One night the single brother thought to himself, ‘It is not right that we should divide the grain evenly.  My brother has many mouths to feed and he needs more.  I have only myself to look after.  I can certainly get by with less.’  So each night the single brother would take grain from his barn and secretly transfer it to the barn of his married brother.

“That same night the married brother thought to himself, ‘It is not right that we should divide the grain evenly.  I have many children who will look after me in my old age.  My brother has only himself. Surely he will need to save more for the future.’  So each night the married brother would take grain from his barn and secretly transfer it to the barn of his single brother.

“Each night the brothers gave away their grain.  Yet each morning they found their supply mysteriously replenished.  They never told each other about this miracle.

“Then one night they met each other half way between the barns.  They realized at once what had been happening.  They embraced one another with laughter and tears.

On that spot they built a temple.”*

What have you been building with your life?  What will you build in 2018? May our mutual care, covenantal love and duty create a sacred space and in turn hallow our world.*

*A rabbinical story as told by John Shea in An Experience Named Spirit (Chicago:  The Thomas More Press, 1983), pp. 7-8.