50th Anniversary of Vietnam War, Worship July 5th, Parking Lot Concert July 11th


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Riverside Baptist Church is a Commemorative Partner with the United States Vietnam War Commemoration that honors servicemen and their families on the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.  The primary goal of the commemoration is to thank and honor veterans of the war and their families. This Sunday, July 5th, we will be honoring those in our congregation with family members who served.  Gen. Arnold Fields will present our certification as a partner and then we will read aloud the names of those who served.  Three veterans on our list will also receive pins for their service.

Parking Lot Concert is scheduled for July 11th, Saturday, 11 a.m.  - 1 p.m.  Our choir will be singing and food and fellowship offered as we bring outside a little bit of what happens inside our church on a weekly basis.  Be sure to drop by and participate.  Pastor Bledsoe will be present.

Sunday Service July 5th  Pastor Bledsoe will be preaching. The sermon title is, UNTIL WE LEARN WAR NO MORE…WE REMEMBER.  Along with Holy Communion and our Commemorative celebration of Vietnam veterans, this should prove to be a wonderful and meaningful day of worship.  ~ See you Sunday


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Sunday June 28


This Sunday, June 28th, Dr. Bledsoe is preaching from the lectionary, Gospel reading: Mark 5:21-43. His sermon title: A Supreme Love.

Parking is available both in our lot and along Maine Avenue.  We are easily accessible via L’Enfant and Waterside Metro stations.  Why not begin a new week steeped in ancient disciplines of prayer, praise and proclamation of scripture?  ~See you Sunday


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Guns + Hatred in America


Our hearts go out to the families of those callously gunned down in the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.  What a wicked act!  Everyone is asking, of course, how does a person walk into  a church (and the perpetrator of this crime apparently sat with them for an hour before murdering them) and then execute nine people of faith?  That is exactly the question we should ask.

Human personality is collective, developmental and does not appear ready-made and complete. In other words, this young man drew his ideas from somewhere; someone or some people played a role in his life. Where did he learn to hate Black people?  What on earth gave him the idea that murdering people was okay?  These will be difficult questions to answer since the mind is also mercurial and despite even good influences, will bend toward the wicked. But one thing that is not difficult to answer is how he was able to purchase a gun in the United States.  The NRA owns so many of our congresspersons, has acted as a ministry of propaganda for the arming of any and everyone and in the name of freedom has facilitated a process that makes these deadly weapons more easily available  than drugs.

Indeed, guns + hatred in America is a drug.  Faiths United to Prevent Handgun Violence reports :  ”New research was just released showing that the licensing of all handgun purchasers in Connecticut has led to a 40% drop in gunhomicides in the state. This is just on the heels of last year’s study that showed a 25% increase in gunhomicides when Missouri repealed it’s requirement that handgun purchasers be licensed. Both studies ruled out other possible explanations for the changes in gun homicides.”

May a surge of effort arise out of churches and likeminded persons who are sick and tired of gunhomicides in this country. Let us work together to make handgun purchaser licensing a national priority.  You can begin by visiting Tale of Two States and signing the resolution to legislate such a requirement. In the meanwhile, we will pray for Emmanuel AME.  Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.


Your Roll


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There may be some similarities between a bowling league and a church.  I’m not sure about that.  I like to bowl but am not very good at it and have not been to an alley in a long time.  Probably the last time I was at an alley it smelled of cigarettes and beer. So there you go.  I’m no expert obviously. But people bond over sports–I believe it fair to call bowling a sport but I can be corrected–and people have cathartic experiences is my guess.  I’ve seen people jump up and shout when they knock down all the pins or most of them.

Throwing a gutter ball is not positive for one’s self-image. I guess that is why most of us do not bowl often.  It can be really depressing if all you can muster is a gutter ball.  But what are the similarities between a church and a bowling league?  It’s a group effort; it usually creates or deepens friendships; and it requires some kind of consistent effort.

I’m not convinced by folks who think that going bowling or [fill in the blank} is as good or better than worshipping together.  And one of the reasons is that the differences are too great.  For one thing, the Church (note I'm spelling it with a capital C) is founded on a belief that God has revealed truth about God and the world. That revelatory aspect is missing from bowling and most other sports.  Second, the Church is not solely interested in your having a cathartic experience, but insists that you inventory your life and ask yourself whether or not you're living justly, rightly, with others. That ethical component is not quite as strong in bowling though admittedly, players expect you to play by the rules and keep the score correctly.

Of all the things you give your life over to in a week, there is no place quite like a Holy place and hour in which the goal is to come nakedly (as it were) before the One, the Creator and Sustainer and Redeemer of the world.  Think of it:  the Source of all love and all that is good and beautiful and right is available to you.  The Epistle of James states it this way:  "Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights..." [James 1:17].  The language of “above” and “down” suggest a First Century cosmology but it’s poetic language that attempts to remind us that God is Good, perfect, and loves us.  That is way past the experience of a strike.  I hope you’ll come to worship with us this Sunday. Or, as Walter says in The Big Lebowski, “your roll.”

~See You Sunday.