Sunday Service for August 9 Is Now Available

Stained glass of Christ saving Peter from the water
Stained glass of Christ pulling Peter from the water, Mt. Vernon AME Church, Columbus, OH

The service for August 9, 2020 is now available here. You can also view a list of past Sunday services here.

Please remember to join the online prayer meeting at 11:00 am after the Sunday service. Today’s prayer meeting will close with virtual communion. Please have wine or juice and bread or a cracker ready to share in this sacrament.

To balance the spiritual needs of church-goers with the physical health risks from gatherings and COVID-19, Riverside Baptist Church is offering online Sunday services. Rev. Nick shares the word of God and a bulletin guides you through the service. Through these online resources, you can continue to connect with God and the Riverside community.

Manifestation of Patience

There’s a kind of madness commensurate with being a disciple of Jesus. To see the world, to understand that the kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, requires a people who refuse to be hurried.

Stanley Hauerwas

The past three Sundays we’ve been examining the parables of Matthew 13. One of the themes that is present in these parables, especially the parable of the wheat and tares, is that of patience. Patience is a virtue they say, one that I’ll admit I often have very little. Yet we see in Jesus just what the manifestation of patience truly is. Jesus, after all, was patient with his disciples and in particular Judas, knowing full well what was to come.

In the parable of the wheat and the tares we see that evil is real and will exist among the good. Yet, just because evil is real it doesn’t mean that good ceases to exist nor should we stop striving to produce good. The parable teaches us that we must have patience until the time comes when the tares are removed. It feels we are in a time now where the roots of the tares seem to be suffocating the wheat. The pandemic has placed us in an exile of sorts, one much longer than we anticipated. At times I feel my patience is running out, my patience with the pandemic, my patience with leadership (or lack thereof), my patience with my neighbors, many of whom demonstrate their carelessness.

Yet, as Jesus teaches us to see significance in the insignificant (i.e. the mustard seed and yeast), we ought to try and see what the harvest can yield from this season in which we find ourselves. This requires patience, again, a virtue I’m doing my best to practice yet would sure like it to hurry up and get here. Whether it is patience for the pandemic to end, patience for justice on behalf of our brothers or sisters who have been greatly wronged, or just patience until November, I pray that God will grant us patience. And may what seems like the insignificant in our lives right now grow and flourish into the significance which shapes and changes lives.

Rev. Nick

Sunday Service for August 2 Is Now Available

The service for August 2, 2020 is now available here. You can also view a list of past Sunday services here.

Please remember to join the online prayer meeting at 11:00 am after the Sunday service. Today’s prayer meeting will close with virtual communion. Please have wine or juice and bread or a cracker ready to share in this sacrament.

Also remember that Riverside Readers will meet online at noon, on August 2, after the prayer meeting to discuss “Morning Poem” by Mary Oliver. Visit the Online Community Services page for details on connecting.

To balance the spiritual needs of church-goers with the physical health risks from gatherings and COVID-19, Riverside Baptist Church is offering online Sunday services. Rev. Nick shares the word of God and a bulletin guides you through the service. Through these online resources, you can continue to connect with God and the Riverside community.

Riverside Readers Discuss “Morning Poem”

At noon this Sunday, August 2, Riverside Readers will discuss and critique “Morning Poem” by Mary Oliver after the 11:00 am prayer meeting. Please read it, and if you have time, join us at the discussion. Details on how to join the discussion are on the Online Community Services page.

Morning Poem
by Mary Oliver

Every morning
the world
is created.
Under the orange

sticks of the sun
the heaped
ashes of the night
turn into leaves again

and fasten themselves to the high branches—
and the ponds appear
like black cloth
on which are painted islands

of summer lilies.
If it is your nature
to be happy
you will swim away along the soft trails

for hours, your imagination
alighting everywhere.
And if your spirit
carries within it

the thorn
that is heavier than lead—
if it’s all you can do
to keep on trudging—

there is still
somewhere deep within you
a beast shouting that the earth
is exactly what it wanted—

each pond with its blazing lilies
is a prayer heard and answered
lavishly,
every morning,

whether or not
you have ever dared to be happy,
whether or not
you have ever dared to pray.

Sunday Service for July 26 Is Now Available

The Mustard Seed
The Mustard Seed

The service for July 26, 2020 is now available here. You can also view a list of past Sunday services here.

To balance the spiritual needs of church-goers with the physical health risks from gatherings and COVID-19, Riverside Baptist Church is offering online Sunday services. Rev. Nick shares the word of God and a bulletin guides you through the service. Through this online resource, you can continue to connect with God and the Riverside community.

Sunday Service for July 19 Is Now Available

The service for July 19, 2020 is now available here. You can also view a list of past Sunday services here.

To balance the spiritual needs of church-goers with the physical health risks from gatherings and COVID-19, Riverside Baptist Church is offering online Sunday services. Rev. Nick shares the word of God and a bulletin guides you through the service. Through this online resource, you can continue to connect with God and the Riverside community.

Sunday Service for July 12 Is Now Available

The Sower – Luke 8:4-15

The service for July 12, 2020 is now available here. You can also view a list of past Sunday services here.

Please remember to join the online prayer meeting at 11:00 am after the Sunday service. Today’s prayer meeting will begin with virtual communion. Please have wine or juice and bread or a cracker ready to share in this sacrament.

To balance the spiritual needs of church-goers with the physical health risks from gatherings and COVID-19, Riverside Baptist Church is offering online Sunday services. Rev. Nick shares the word of God and a bulletin guides you through the service. Through this online resource, you can continue to connect with God and the Riverside community.

The Time for Unity is Now

Riverside Family,

Over the past several months, we have faced one of the most challenging periods in our church history. The impact of COVID-19 has been felt across the congregation and I cannot thank you enough for the incredible faith and flexibility you have shown so far. This crisis is far from over, we know that, but it is your resilient spirit that will see us emerge as one unified Christian body once this pandemic is eventually behind us.

Over the coming weeks, the health and safety of our congregation must remain our number one priority. I would ask that you continue to take care of yourselves and of each other. We are all in this together.

Indeed, if recent weeks have taught us anything, it’s that the time for unity is now. The recent and tragic events in the US have highlighted the social injustice and racial inequalities that still exist in society, fueled by a divisive narrative of bias and discrimination. I want to be very clear that these beliefs hold no place at Riverside, and in no way reflect the values we live by as a church body. The inclusion of everyone, irrespective of skin color, gender, where you are from or who you love, is paramount.

Let’s never forget, the very things that make us different also make us better. We are an inclusive church, and our inclusiveness fosters a strong sense of belonging. It empowers us to be our best and to demonstrate God’s love in our actions. So, let’s all play our part. It is up to each of us to actively embrace inclusion in our daily lives, and in doing so, we drive positive change for all.

God bless you,

Deacon Laurel

Stay Safe, Stay Connected

Dear Church,

I hope and pray this message finds you and yours well, safe, and healthy. We are still continuing to discern what is best for our community at Riverside and will continue to gather and worship virtually for the foreseeable future. I encourage you join our RiSET Safe Space Chat this Friday that will be facilitated by Deacon Jonathan Holley. Details for the meeting can be found here. As always, please do not hesitate to contact me or any of our staff should you have any questions or concerns.

Prayerfully yours,

Rev. Nick

Our Church, Our Refuge


“We need, in every community, a group of angelic troublemakers.”

Bayard Rustin

This past weekend saw two powerful events in our corner of Southwest DC. Friday there was a rally for racial justice where hundreds gathered at the intersection of Maine and 7th to demand justice, mourn for the innocent, and raise our voices for action. The following day, Riverside continued in solidarity and also celebrated Pride. Saturday’s efforts were spearheaded by Deacon Jonathan. We saw a terrific turnout of both church and community members along with local clergy.

I wish to reaffirm that Riverside is a refuge where we welcome you in this house of hospitality. May this faith community be a beacon of light, warmth, and a sanctuary for you. May you always know that Riverside is a community where love is love; love is celebrated, love is shared, your love is welcomed, and you are loved.

Prayerfully Yours,

Rev. Nick