by Erin Bird

Wow! It seems November is flying by! The month is half over, Thanksgiving is just a week away, and then Christmas chaos begins!

But this brings up an important Riverwood news item. Our Advent Series this year is called Do Christmas Different. Rather than just “do” Christmas the same old stress-filled way, we are going to look at how to truly make this season less about holiday hectic-ness and more about worshiping Jesus. If a friend, neighbor, or co-worker makes a comment about the chaos of December, invite them to a Riverwood Worship Gathering any Sunday between Nov 27 and Dec 18 as we dig in to the Scriptures and discover a different way to “do” Christmas!

Thanksgiving Worship & Potluck

Speaking of Sundays, this week, Nov 20, we are having our annual Thanksgiving Worship Gathering. The kids will join the adults as we sing a bunch of songs, hear some Scripture, pray together, and open the mic up to anyone who wants to publicly give thanks to God.

And then we’ll enjoy a potluck together. Be sure to bring a main dish as well as a side dish and/or dessert to share. Riverwood will provide the place settings and the drinks. I’m looking forward to it!

The End of Our Mission

Now to this week’s post. We’ve been walking through Riverwood’s mission statement here on the blog. Here’s the mission statement in its entirety:

To invite the spiritually disconnected to find and follow Jesus.

So far, we’ve talked about invitation, what it means to be spiritually disconnected, and defined the words “find” and “follow.”

Which means this week we get to talk about the most important word in the entire mission statement: Jesus.

At Riverwood, we truly are all about Jesus. We talk about being Jesus-centered. Most every Sunday we celebrate communion “in remembrance of Him.” We sing to Him and about Him every week. Our Growth Groups talk about following Him. We aim to make Jesus the center of everything we do at Riverwood.

But why focus on Jesus? Are we denying the Trinity with this over-emphasis on Christ? I don’t think so. Let me give you a couple reasons why we focus so heavily on the Son of God.

In Iowa, many people believe in God. Because of this belief, many would even say they are “Christians.” But if you probe further, many don’t really know Jesus. They know about Him, but He doesn’t occupy a central part of their life. But when someone truly meets Jesus, their life is radically changed. They no longer just believe in God, they have a relationship with their Creator.

Second, because God the Father is pleased with Jesus, and the Holy Spirit reveals Jesus to be the Son of God, we want to imitate the Father and Spirit – pointing to Jesus as the only way to the Father, pleased with who He is and what He has done for us through the cross and grave.

This is why Riverwood is all about Jesus. We want to help the spiritually disconnected find Him, to see Him for who He really is. And we want to help all people follow Him, to become like Him in the way they love and live.
So no matter where you are at in your spiritual journey, we want to help you become more Jesus-centered, and invite you to help our Riverwood family do the same.

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