Coronavirus Update

June 28th, 2020
River of Life's Children's Ministry will start on Sunday, June 28th. Please enter through the back door of the church and sign in your children at their classrooms. We will be adding several precautions to each classroom. If you have any questions or concerns contact Natalie Hudson 347 7044.

June 4th, 2020
Church will be different to what we are normally used due, and we want to prepare you for these changes by sharing the following guidelines with you:

Entrance

    • 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.

               Communion

    • We will have prepackaged communion on your seat along with a hand sanitizer packet.

               Fellowship

    • We will not be serving any refreshments this week, but we plan to do so in the near future.

Bulletin & Announcements

    • We will not be handing out paper bulletins or connection card.
    • Download the Faithlife Bible Study app to follow the announcements during the service: https://faithlife.com/apps

May 31, 2020

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.

Overall Guidance

We are implementing guidance given by President Trump, the Center for Disease Control (CDC), of our Governor and our Mason County officials to create the safest and wisest plan for our worship services and meetings. As of May 15th, we have still cancelled all public meetings except for virtual meetings or meetings of 10 or less persons. (See information on livestreaming of worship services below.) We will be looking at this week by week and keep you informed. (See White House Coronavirus Guidance and guidance from Governor Abbott.)

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.

Plan for Reopening

We are planning on re-opening partially on Sunday June 7th.  We will all meet in the gym where there can be adequate space between people according to each person's needs and desires. We will post further guidance here this week.

Current Worship Services and Ministry
 
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.
 
River Kids, our children's ministry, plans to re-open Sunday School on Sunday June 28th. Until then, our children's ministry team will continue to send out custom lessons and videos each week where teachers and characters read to the children and involve the parents as well. For families who attend worship services with us in the gym, children will have some handouts to enjoy during the service at the parents' discretion.

Here is one of the previous week's videos on our River Kid's YouTube channel - I encourage you to watch it and look at the other videos as they get them uploaded, they are excellent:
 
YouTube - River Kids Videos 
 
We will broadcast our 10:30 am Sunday Worship Service via Facebook Live. We encourage everyone to worship and enjoy the online service at home and return to the weekend services as you believe is best for you and your family. You do not have to have a Facebook account to watch, just refresh the Facebook River of Life page between 10:15 am and 10:30 am, and you will find the live feed by scrolling down the page. If you need help with this, please call the office at 325-347-9497 or Stacy Johnson at 325-347-4489.

Also please see our Facebook page for regular encouragement and other updates.

Giving

Online Giving is now available on our home page and at this link:  Give Online

Financial Gifts can also be dropped off at the church office during office hours or mailed to:

River of Life Church
P.O. Box 1477
Mason, TX 76856

For information on donations to local relief efforts related to COVID-19, see our Disaster Relief page.

Final Encouragement

I also encourage you to consider what the apostle Paul wrote to the Philippian church from prison in chapter 1: 

“12 Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. 13 As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. 14 And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.”

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.) 

Go over the children's ministry curriculum that is distributed via email. (If you would like to be added to that list, please call the church at 325-347-9497).

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