We hope and pray that you are actively engaging in celebrating our Savior's birth and all that it means to us and our world! No matter what we go through in this life, His purposes and plans will prevail. The truth of the Gospel grounds us on His firm foundation when we experience trials. We can actually rejoice in our trials knowing that God is working them together for good in our lives. Our God is amazing!With the recent spike in Covid cases in Mason, we are taking additional precautions for the sake of the most vulnerable in our community. We are essentially cancelling all church related functions through December except for our Sunday morning worship services and our Christmas Eve Candlelight Service. The gym allows us to spread out in a way that facilitates meeting without having to be in close quarters with those who may be vulnerable.
So once again, we are continuing our Sunday morning services each week and will also still hold our Christmas Eve Candlelight Service. River Kids Sunday School will continue to meet on Sunday mornings, and David Davidson’s Sunday School class will continue to meet as well. But most other church related activities will be cancelled through the end of December.
We will continue to livestream our Sunday morning services via Facebook and will livestream the Christmas Eve Candlelight Service as well. Please utilize the livestream from home if you have any symptoms or concerns for your health.
In general, Ministry leaders will communicate details to the participants in those ministries with respect to their schedules going forward. The following ministries will not meet through the end of December: Kingdom Kids (mothers’ day out), True Connection Student Ministry, and Men's Breakfast and Bible Study.
Our office is closed this week (12/7-12/11) to ensure that the office staff remain free of Covid. If you need anything from the office, please call Catherine at 325-805-1062.
Life groups will continue to meet and serve as they feel led to do so.
As a church family, our overall response to Covid has been an attempt to guide the congregation to trust in God's sovereignty and utilize wisdom in our plans. As with many situations in the Christian life, there are varied perspectives on what is the best path forward at any given time. As we have discussed previously on Sunday mornings, in quoting Rupertus Meldenius (c. 1627), we strive to have unity in the essentials, liberty in the non-essentials, and charity (love) in all things. Even in this, there are varying opinions on what is considered essential or non-essential in various situations. The one part of that statement that we must agree on aligns squarely with 1 Corinthians 13 - that we are to show love in all things.
We encourage everyone to be vigilant in considering
others as we exercise our freedom in Christ. (Key passages on this are
Romans 14 and 1 Corinthians 10). We encourage wearing masks and distancing
socially when entering and leaving the church buildings or when engaging in
conversation with one another during our worship services in the gym. Please utilize the hand sanitizer placed throughout our buildings.
We also remind everyone to resist the temptation to judge (condemn) one another for how they approach their application of these principles (Matthew 7). We may never agree on every detail in the Christian life; but we are called to walk in unity regardless of these potential differences (John 17). The enemy will use anything he can to divide Christ's family. Unity profoundly and uniquely glorifies the Lord!
God's grace is bigger than all of this. Let's be full of faith, wisdom, and grace as we move forward. We will update you further on these matters as we get closer to the turn of the year. Please continue to utilize our website, weekly email updates and Facebook for further information and encouragement. Our hope is in the Lord!
Blessings in Christ,
We know this is an
inconvenience, but we believe it is a small price to pay in an effort to
protect each person's and our community's well-being.
We encourage you to bring your own mask, but if you do not have one, we will have masks available.
Let's keep trusting the Lord and rejoicing through each of these difficulties. He is faithful, and we want to be faithful in our responses in each season. Let's not let inconveniences get in the way of our worship!
One who is faithful in very little is also faithful in much… Luke 16:10 Pastor Dave
- Worship Service in the Gym Sundays @ 10:30am & Facebook Live-stream
- We will continue to live-stream the service on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/River-of-Life-Church-210903672277864
- Enter through the double doors in the gym.
- For those with health concerns that would like to attend, there will be separate seating at the back of the gym. Enter through the doors by the playground.
Health & Social Distancing
- If you are sick in any way, please stay and worship from home.
- Hand sanitizer will be readily available; please use some when entering and when leaving the building.
- Masks and gloves will be available for those who would like to wear them. Masks are not required but encouraged.
- Respect distance with people and be considerate of their needs and preferences.
- Hugs and Handshakes only with people you know are OK with closer contact.
- The gym and chairs have been sanitized according to CDC guidelines.
Seating & Dismissal
- Ushers will seat people, placing families together and dismissing by rows following the service.
- We will have prepackaged communion on your seat along with a hand sanitizer packet.
- We will not be serving any refreshments but hope to resume as soon as possible.
Bulletin & Announcements
- Paper bulletins and Connection Cards will be available at the Connection Centers at each entry to the gym.
- Download the Faithlife Bible Study app to follow the announcements during the service: https://faithlife.com/apps
River of Life Family and Friends,
With the continuous news around coronavirus (COVID-19), we want to share a few key comments for our church family and guests.
Mason has encountered its first cases of COVID-19, and like the rest of the world, we are concerned for the health and safety of the entire community. Please pray for those who are sick and for those at risk in our community, prayer is our #1 weapon in any situation. Pray also for our first responders, as they put their lives on the line daily for us all.
We will continue to livestream our Sunday morning worship service each week at Facebook Live. Small groups and ministries will continue to meet as determined by their leaders using online meeting applications or in person with extra precaution regarding safety.
Online Giving is now available on our home page and at this link: Give Online
P.O. Box 1477
Mason, TX 76856
For information on donations to local relief efforts related to COVID-19, see our Disaster Relief page.
I also encourage you to consider what the apostle Paul wrote to the Philippian church from prison in chapter 1:
Every situation is under the sovereign care of our Heavenly Father. As we work with diligence to faithfully apply wisdom to every situation, we must remember that God is seeking the glory of His Son so that all people might come to know Him. Every situation is an opportunity to tell others about the good news about Jesus. And as Paul said, we will see that “what has happened to me has actually served to advance the Gospel...” so that we might “... dare all the more to proclaim the Gospel without fear.”
With that in mind, look for creative opportunities to serve others in wise, practical ways during this season. Ask the Lord for who and how you might be a blessing to someone even by phone, text or Facetime. As you are able, meet in small groups for encouragement and prayer. And especially, spend time with your families! Reclaim time that has been lost to busyness and overly hectic schedules. Have dinner together - long dinners! Talk about what you are reading in the scriptures with your families. Memorize our Fighter Verse Scriptures together (including the age appropriate ones for younger children.)
Finally, we encourage everyone to approach the situation as any other serious issue, with prayer, wisdom and faith. Jesus is still Lord, and the Holy Spirit is here to comfort us and guide us. Let's serve those hurting in our church and community. Rely on your church family for encouragement. Enjoy your freedom in Christ to not be anxious but to give thanks and rejoice. Only Jesus provides a reality that good! Use this as an opportunity to communicate the good news about Jesus all the more.
Blessings in Christ,
Dave Benefield and the ROL Elders