Category Archives: Featured

A Celebration of Life for Rev. Clark

Join the Clark family for a virtual memorial service for Rev. Paul Clark via Zoom at 2:00 pm, Saturday, August 29, 2020. When joining the virtual memorial use the meeting ID 959-5486-4346. The passcode can be obtained from the emailed newsletter or by contacting office@firstbaptistdc.org.

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Paul was a passionate theologian, gardener, scholar, poet. and lover of the ocean, mountains and sky. He drank in life and saw each day as a gift. His love for his family and friends was wide and deep.

For the last 50 years, Paul served as pastor, an international interim pastor, Christian educator, mentor and clergy coach. Paul’s thirst for knowledge and a deeper understanding of God’s love for the world was threaded throughout his relationships.

Paul is survived by his wife Brenda Rozier Clark; their two children David Paul (Bronwyn) Clark and Elizabeth Clark (Victor) Thasiah; and four granddaughters Eden, Athena, Marenna and Maeve.

Paul and Brenda’s church home, First Baptist Church of the City of Washington, DC, is hosting the service. Technical questions about the service can be sent to office@firstbaptistdc.org.

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Thank you for joining the Clark Family in celebrating Paul’ s life and ministry. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the ALS Association as they seek to find a cure: https://www.als.org.

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.

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

Pastor Search Suspended

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.

Remembering Rev. Paul Clark

Photo of Rev. Paul Clark

Riverside Church family,

It is with great sadness we announce the passing of Rev. Paul Clark who went to be with the Lord on April 3, 2020 after a long battle with ALS.  Please pray for his wife Brenda and his family.

Rev. Clark was instrumental in our pastoral selection process, acting as consultant and spiritual leader to our church during the transition from full-time Pastor to interim Pastor. Our church has been enriched by his faith and wisdom and he will be missed by all who knew him.

A funeral service will be held at The First Baptist Church of the City of Washington DC sometime in the near future.

God bless you,

Deacon Laurel