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.
by Mary Oliver
Under the orange
sticks of the sun
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
And if your spirit
carries within it
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
whether or not
you have ever dared to be happy,
whether or not
you have ever dared to pray.
Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, church leadership has temporarily suspended the search for a full time pastor. This is not an appropriate time to introduce new leadership. Leadership will instead focus their energies on the current needs of the church.
Fortunately, interim pastor Rev. Nicolas Mumejian is committed to serving Riverside throughout this period. The church will resume the search for a full-time pastor once members are able to return to the sanctuary and precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are relaxed.
Riverside’s deacons and trustees are pleased to announce they have selected Rev. Nicolas Mumejian as an interim pastor for Riverside Baptist Church. Rev. Nick joined Riverside February 2, 2020.
Ordained within the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and in communion with and support of the Alliance of Baptists, Rev. Nick has served in pastoral positions at Baptist churches in North Carolina and Connecticut. Rev. Nick is personally passionate about matters of interfaith relations, ecumenism, reconciliation, and LGBTQIA advocacy. He has organized, led, or participated in religious events at churches, synagogues, mosques, and cultural centers in North America and abroad.
Nick’s academic background includes a Master of Divinity from Duke University and doctoral studies in Hartford Seminary’s joint PhD program with the University of Exeter, which focused on comparative religion. He is is the Managing Editor of The Muslim World, a peer-reviewed academic journal housed in Hartford Seminary’s Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian – Muslim Relations where he has served for over a decade working for both the journal and teaching seminary courses.
Rev. Nick happily spends his time outside of work with his wife, Virginia, and twin sons, Declan and George.
As we grieve the departure of our dear Pastor Bledsoe, we must not forget our calling. Sunday is not about us. Church is not about us. It’s about our mission to reach every man, woman and child in need of refuge. It’s about the poor, the sick, the downtrodden — looking for an open door or a lifeboat to keep from drowning.
We, your deacons and trustees, are committed to continue the legacy that defines our beautiful church. It is not just our responsibility, it is our duty.
There is work to do. Don’t look back! We are not heading in that direction.
Onward in Christ,
Riverside Deacons and Trustees