Tag Archives: inclusive baptist church

Welcome, Pope Francis. Can We Meet at Christ’s Table?


Pope Francis is about to impact the greater Washington DC area like a snow storm or Direcho.  People are being encouraged to stay indoors and off of roads.  Religious news should be covered by meteorologists at this point.

The man who took on the name of St. Francis as his moniker has been shaking up the Vatican.  His humility, his deep and authentic concern for the poor, his articulate defense of the earth and concern for climate change, his commitment to simplicity in his personal life and of course, his devotion to God are compelling qualities and we should take a moment to listen to him and seriously consider what he would say to the Catholic Church in America and Christians in general.

But of course, there is a deep divide between the Pope and his church and Protestants.  We are not welcome to eat at the Table of our Lord and that because of theological differences.  Those theological differences are complex at times and they have endured over millennia.  The same can be said of all the issues Francis has chosen to address.  His gift, it seems to me, is his direct and simple devotion to the love of Christ so that, for example, instead of waxing philosophically about the poor, this man invites the poor, the hungry and the prisoner to dinner and he even washes their feet. Such simple acts of devotion have a way of clearing the decks. That is why a simple act of devotion by this pope could have a far-reaching, dare I say, even earth-shattering, effect on Christians globally:  when he invites me or any other Protestant to receive the bread and wine of the eucharist instead of singling me out, with my arms crossed to the priest to identify myself as someone worthy of being blessed but unworthy of the Lord’s supper.  When he does that, the Church Universal (catholic) will radiate with reconciliation.  I pray for Pope Francis’ success and safety.  May his visit here leave us better people, more humane and just.  And one day, may all of us sit at the table of Christ as authentic brothers and sisters.   ~See you Sunday

Get Ready: Events at Riverside

As we move out of summer, the following events and ideas are being put into play.  Find a way to engage, interact, and link up.

Riverside Social Events Team (RISET) Game Night & Cook Out

Saturday, August 29th at 5pm we’ll meet at the church and play games. Make sure you respond to the Evite sent out by the RISET team or let Deacon Bukola know of your interest.  As always, bring something to share–a game and a dish.

Faith and Justice Team

Many of you signed up to be part of an effort to reach out to our community, first of all to identify with and help educate young people at risk and then to help create an event that will reach out to predominantly White clergy and churches in an effort to educate why Black Lives Matter is so important for our country at this point. Led by Cedric Lawson, we will meet after church on September 13th for further information and to brain storm about how we go forward.

Book Club

BOOK CLUB RETURNS IN OCTOBER (the 25th after worship)  Join the Riverside Book Club as we read Leif Enger’s Peace Like a River . The book explores the 1950s Midwest through the eyes of an asthmatic, 11 year old boy trying to make sense of good and evil as well as the miracles that seem to follow his father. First timers are always welcome.  We will be led by seminarian in residence, Aspirant Tonetta Landis-Aina.

Vietnam Veterans & Families Commemorated and Honored

As a Commemorative Partner, our church joins with other organizations across the country to honor our Vietnam veterans. The Commemorative Partner Program is designed for federal, state and local communities, veterans’ organizations and other nongovernmental organizations to assist a grateful nation in thanking and honoring our Vietnam Veterans and their families.  On July 5th, we began in our own church family, honoring over a dozen veterans and pinning several who were in attendance. It was a moving service as Trustee and Sgt. Robert Nelson, joined by Major Gen. Arnold Fields, spoke to us and then honored these veterans and their families.  We want to reach out to veterans in our immediate community this Veteran’s Day in November.  We will establish a date soon to do that but in the mean time, if you are a veteran or family member or simply someone who would like to participate and help organize this effort, please let Pastor Bledsoe know.

Finally, worship this Sunday continues with the pastor’s sermon series around movies.  So far we have had a sermon that referenced zombies and Zombieland, The Matrix and The Truman Show and this Sunday, August 16, the sermon will consider the comic aspects of the Gospels and religion. The title of the sermon is:  O, Brother Where Art Thou? or, Slapstick and Comedy in the Gospels

~See you Sunday (it’s Koinonia Sunday, so plan to hang out after worship and eat lunch with us. Bring a non-perishable item to share with Martha’s Table)