This is an exciting and a challenging time to be a part of the Riviera United Church of Christ! First, and foremost, we celebrate with our brothers and sisters in Christ, the Sixtieth Anniversary of our Denomination, The United Church of Christ. The coming together of four Christian groups, formally coming together back in 1957, is historic and something to be proud of! The belief that it was time to join-together the Christian Church rather than continue the splitting off – of differing factions throughout our history! This effort stands as a symbol of what can still be accomplished with Christian churches! Locally, here at our RUCC, we can take pride that we have continued to be a welcoming church to all of our brothers and sisters in Christ!
Likewise, our country celebrates this Fourth of July, 241 years since the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. This too, is an exciting and challenging time to be an American. Without our freedom, from religious oppression, our local church would not be able to ‘so openly’ ‘reach out’ to the oppressed and to the marginalized in our own communities. This is worthy of celebrating.
The challenges for Christians and Americans are equal. Religious freedom, and justice for all! I pray you will join with me in prayer that together we will serve the needs of our community; crossing all the boundaries, just as Jesus did to continue reaching out to the marginalized and the oppressed. Fighting for these things, for which Americans and Christians have long stood together!
God Bless you.
Pastor Tim Woodard