A Video Message from...
Thursday the 9th April
****After a few technical hitches, todays Holy Week Devotional is finally Up; Click here to go to the page****
Another great sermon for your to listen to has been uploaded. Click here to have a look
Almost 2 weeks of Isolation; how's everyone doing? Lots of new and challenging things on todays website. Here's just a few
So you can't get out to celebrate Holy Thursday? Well our friends at "Celebrate Messiah" are hosting a "live stream" of their annual Passover meal, direct from the home of Lawrence & Louise Hirsch. (To find out more about this go to their website at www.celebratemessiah.com.au/live/ )
The Holy Thursday Devotion will be up a little later this morning, perhaps even early arvo. Apologies
A wonderful video message from Sarah Johnson is now up and available for you to watch. It should be just at the top of this page.
Have you remembered your tithe/offering? You can click here to find out how to do it.
There will be new "great sermons for you to watch" up later today
We've fixed the Gremlins in our contact links; If you have any desire or need to get in touch just use either the "enquiries" button at the bottom right hand side of every page, or the "get in Touch" button at the top right hand side of every page
More catch up news later
Wednesday the 8th April
Great friend of RVC, Richard Patterson (Patto), has invited members of RVC to join in the online home church meeting tonight at 7.30 for the church that he goes to. You will need to have the "Zoom" program to take part (which is a free download).
Click here for the link. You will need the password 358972
Greetings one and all. I hope and pray that this finds you well, safe and rising to the challenge that this current season presents. As always there is lots of new & updated material on our website. Make sure you look around and explore all the nooks and crannies; there is so much available to you to keep you moving in and towards Gods' purpose for you including...
A Holy Week devotional that has new input each day. Click here to check out todays devotional.
A selection of great sermons to engage and stimulate your spirit. Click here to have a look. There will be more going up later today.
A way to connect daily with other church members via our "Call to Prayer". This is under the direction of Jenny Syme. Contact Jenny if you would like to know how to be part of it. (or send us a message via the "Enquiries" button at the bottom right hand corner of any page)
A way to pray for others or put any prayer requests that you may have before your church family. There are a number of ways that you can do this; either via direct contact with one of the elders, or via the "enquiries" button at the bottom right hand corner of this page (or any of the pages for that matter)
Later this morning, after many requests, I will be putting up a short video on how to navigate around this site for those who are more technologically challenged
Later this morning (after we sort out some technical hassles) we hope to publish a link to a special message from Julie Bell.
Tuesday the 7th April
Another great meeting place is in our prayer. Every day at midday, Jenny Syme is sending out an SMS to all who want to be part of this, calling us to prayer. Each day Jenny gives it some direction via some thoughts or a scripture. Would you like to be part of it? Send us a message or send Jenny a text. Have you been part of this? Has your spirit has lit up with thoughts and prayers of your own? Send us some feedback via the enquiries button at the bottom of the page
Your feedback is welcome and somewhat vital to helping all of us stay connected. There is an enquiries button at the bottom right hand side of this page (and pretty much every page). Click on that to send us a g'day, some relevances thoughts or reflections, some prayer requests; anything at all really.
There are new messages/sermons up every other day. Today we have s beauty from John Ortberg speaking on the book of Esther. Click here to have a look and listen.
We are experimenting with a new page for this week. It will be a page to focus our approach to Easter with a scripture, a few thoughts to ponder and hopefully a song. It will be accessible via the menu bar under the heading of "Holy Week"
A Word from Gil Cann, River Valley Elder. "The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever." Rev 11:15 A great reason for Hope. Blessings. Gil
Monday the 6th April
Welcome to Monday one and all. It has been great to see so many of you getting onto the website and using it to stay connected to the good ship River Valley.
This week of course, we find ourselves in the church season known as Holy Week. This is the time where we enter into the last week that Jesus spent with His disciples before he went to the cross. Focus highlights of Holy Week go something like this:
The week starts with Palm Sunday (yesterday). Remembering the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem (Matt 21: 1- 9).
Holy Thursday or "Maundy" Thursday. This is where we remember Jesus celebrating the Last Supper with His disciples. It also takes in the story of Jesus in Gethsemane, followed by His betrayal, arrest and trial.
Good Friday; continuation of the trials, including the trial before Pilate, the journey towards the cross, and ultimately His death.
Easter Sunday. Where we tell that incredible story of the redemption of all of humankind.
So, there's lots to consider, think on, read about in scriptures and celebrate. I am thinking that we might set up a dedicated Holy week page on this site to help you reflect on the significance of the week ahead. We would encourage you to engage with the week; reflect on the events, write your thoughts, prayers & insights; share them with us including any songs or artwork that might help us to deepen our understanding.
Also This Week:
Easter at River Valley Church, 2020. Click here to read an explanation as to what River Valley has decided to do with their/our Easter services this year.
Have you remembered to give your tithe/offering? Just a reminder that we are still in need of anything that you can give. Click here to find out how.
Are you part of the daily call to prayer? This is really gathering steam. Click here to find out more about it including how you can be part of this significant and worthy effort.
We have lots more planned for this week; new sermons to watch, great worship music to lift your spirits, some great sharing from the elders, more hot tips and great ideas; look, there's far too much to bore you with details. Make sure you check back every day
There was a really good article in The Age over the weekend that looked at our Prime Minister Scott Morrisons' use of prayer. It widened out into an examination of the behaviours of some ministers and ministries from other prominent Christians around the Globe. All in all, I thought that this article left me with lots to think about. Click Here to hav a read.
Sunday the 5th April
Greetings one and all, and blessings upon you and yours this Sunday morning. We've awoken to a wild wintry morning so I hope that you are somewhere warm. And of course daylight saving ended last night, so the clock on the wall says 7.40 but my body clock is well and truly telling me that it's 8.40.
On a normal week we would be up and getting ready to go down to the community centre for our Sunday service. But this week and these days are anything but normal aren't they? I don't know if you have this experience, but most days now I wake up and for a few brief seconds I don't remember anything about the troubles of the world; and then reality hits, and I remember what is happening all over our planet... and I offer up a few words of prayer; usually something like
"Lord, the world is yours and everything in it". (1 Cor 3:22)
So, welcome to Sunday. There's lots of material up on this site already; music to listen to, great sermons to take in, prayers to be joined with, Sunday services that you can live stream. Make the most of it; pray for the world, be kind to each other, pray for our leaders and the tough decisions that they have to make, be gracious and kind, listen for what God is saying.
On a practical level
do you want to join in a live stream church service? It's really easy to do. We have put a few links in that you can access. Bernie and I will be joining the good folk at Discovery for their 11.am service. Why don't you plan to be there too? Click here to look at some of the options.
Aldi food will be available again today from the community centre between 2 - 3 pm. DO NOT ATTEND if you are unwell. Follow all the current stipulations regarding physical distancing whilst you are there.
Remember, you can contact any of the elders via their phones or emails; or you can use the enquiries button in the bottom right corner of this page to leave a message, a prayer request, a comment, a suggestion, a request for a food parcel and so on.
Saturday the 4th April
Aldi food will be this Saturday. This will be at the community centre from 10 - 11am. DO NOT ATTEND if you are unwell. Follow all the current stipulations regarding physical distancing whilst you are there.
9.00 am; Important news re- food provision by RVC to families presently in need. Yesterday we made up and delivered another 7 food parcels. Donations of non- perishable food or financial support will be warmly received. Contact Jenny Syme as to how you can do this.
Friday the 3rd April
I don't know if you've noticed it, but there has been a recent wave of people reflecting on what we might call "bigger picture" stuff. One recurring theme has been "what is this isolation causing you to re-evaluate as important?" Another way of looking at it has been, "what are your top priorities for when this is all over?"
I must admit that the first thing I thought of was that hugging my kids and having a meal with them was pretty high on the list. Gathering with my church clan was another. Being more serious, more intentional for the Gospel is another. Isolation has certainly caused me to crave for something that I think is essential to the human spirit ie, community.
What are you missing? What are you going to pursue with new found wisdom when this period in our history is done and dusted? Share them with us; if we can't be physically in the same space then we can nurture our communal connection via the gift of the internet. A poor substitute, I know. But hey, it's better than nothing.
we have new sermons up for you to listen to. Click here
We have a brand new page of music that people are finding inspiring. Click Here
We have some new "Hot Tips", new feedback from RVC people on the daily call to prayer;
The "current prayer requests" page has been updated. (If you have prayer needs make sure you let us know; you can communicate these via the Enquiries button, bottom right hand corner.)
Bernie & I will do up a new video which should be up later this arvo.
And of course, it's time to start thinking about Sunday. I thoroughly recommend that you plan to join in the experience of online church via the discovery church website. This is not a bad way to foster the online community
There's lots going on. Pass the word around that River Valley Church is alive and doing OK in its temporary new form
Thursday the 2nd April
Well nearly a week into the school holidays and what a week we've all had. Isolation is affecting each of us in different ways. Some are coping, some are just hanging on, dare I say some are even enjoying the solitude. But we roll on, we pray, we cherish any contact we have and we turn our faces to the breeze waiting for the breath of the spirit to shine a light on what our next response should be, and we hope....
Of course one way that we can continue to stay in contact with each other is via this 'ere website. We will continue to to attempt to run it like a magazine with different articles and links each day. Some days will have more material than others, but keep coming back and checking us out.
Today for eg; we are launching a new page called "Songs to Lift the Soul". This is where you people get to send us a song that is speaking to you right now, along with a short paragraph as to what it is about the song that is lighting your lights. There's a couple up already and I am already getting a couple of suggestions a day. The "Call to Prayer" event (every day at midday) is really gathering speed. Every day Jenny is getting feedback from people in the form of prayers and scriptures that are being inspired in their spirits as they join in that prayer time. Contact us if you want to be included in that event.
Lots more; Too much for such a late hour. Tomorrow will have a heap more news & updates.
Wednesday the 1st April
So here we are. Halfway through our first week of isolation. How's it going for you? The elders realise that this website is no substitute for our normal community contact;
I guess we will just have to make do for the time being hey?
We are managing to put up something new every day so that every time you come back there is something new to reflect on. Here are just a few things that the updates today will include.
Worship Wednesday. On our "Hot Tips and Things to keep You Going" page, you will see all sorts of interesting & hopefully useful posts. Today we will add some worship song links to help keep your spirit fed. Click Here to go to that page.
On our "Great Sermons to Watch" page there are already a number of great messages that you can watch & listen to. We will attempt to put a new one up every day or two. Click Here to go to that page.
Do you need something? Prayer? A food parcel? Someone to talk to? On the bottom right hand corner of the screen you should see a little tab that says "Enquiries". This is where you can send us any requests, information, articles or songs for the website. On your mobile phone it is a little thought balloon.
Finally, We have commenced a united prayer focus titled "30 minutes for the world". At approx 11.55 each day, Jenny Syme will send out a reminder sms, that is a call to unite in prayer at midday. Unite for a minute, for 5 minutes, for 30 minutes; how long doesn't matter. What does matter is that for that brief moment, we stand in prayer. If you want to be part of this, send us a message via the Enquiries button below. (On a mobile device it will be the thought balloon thingy.)
That's it for now. Stay strong, stay focussed and remember the words of Jesus...
"So, which one of you by worrying could add anything to your life?" Matt 6:27
Tuesday the 31st March
Well, another day down. What strange times we find ourselves in hey? Australia seems to be responding better than many other countries. How are you coping with your Isolation? We would love to hear your stories in particular, what this time of Global trauma is teaching you about God, your neighbour, and humanity in general?
In an online meeting yesterday, a colleague was exhorting us to consider that (paraphrasing) "when we pray, we should pray with the understanding & belief that God is still sovereign".
Good advice indeed.
So, a few things to highlight today.
We are just getting our online prayer requests up and running. Please be patient with us as we work our way around all of this. It's like putting on a juggling show whilst reading a book on how to juggle. Please continue to communicate your prayer needs either via Jenny, or via my email or the church phone (at the bottom of the page).
Today marks the launch of our united prayer front called "30 Minutes for the world". to find our what that is then just click here
Churches of Christ have been wonderful with supplying information relevant to how we do life as church and comply with all the relevant government stipulations. It's pretty straight forward and if you are interested then click here to be taken to their website
Did you join in an online Sunday church service? Bernie & I joined in with the good folk at Discovery for their 11 am service last Sunday. I was thinking that it might be a little disconnected but pleasantly surprised as to how engaged I was in the event. I would encourage you all to have a look next Sunday if you can manage it. Here is a link to take you straight to the relevant web page.
Finally, Bernie & I will probably do another short video message as soon as we can. Thanks for all of your encouraging feedback. Keep checking this website for news, prayer requests, great sermons to listen to and a whole lot more.
Stay safe, make good choices, pray for our leaders, pray for each other, be kind, and most important...
"since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."
Hebrews 12: 1 - 2
Monday the 30th March
Today we launch a very special initiative. We are calling on all of our church family to join us at midday, every day, in what we are calling "30 minutes for the world".
Check out the special page for all of the relevant information and get ready to be part of something that we hope & pray will unite the body and make a huge difference to our world.
Click Here to be taken to the page.
Sunday the 29th March
IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT RE - ALDI 2ND CHANCE FOOD AT RVC
It had been previously advertised that the Aldi food would be available to be picked up from the Church office between 2 & 3 pm today.
This has now changed. The food "will" be available between 2 & 3 pm, but you will need to collect it from the Millgrove Community Centre, (where we would normally gather for church on Sundays.)
2nd Bite at the Baptist Church on Fridays
Changes have now been made. Prepacked boxes of fresh fruit and vegetables will be available on Fridays at the Baptist Church from 11 am
Please knock on side door and a box will be given to you
River Valley Church Office will still continue to offer bread on Tuesday's between the hours
of 9-10 am
If you are unwell then please do not attend any of the above
If you do attend we will abide by all of the rules that surround social distancing.
Also stay in car until boxes are ready
Saturday the 28th March
Here is an important update from the River Valley Elders..
Dear River Valley Family
We sure have had an interesting week which has amongst other things, forced us to change
what we can offer at RVC on many levels. In particular, our Sunday small home church idea from our last email has had to be scrapped; i.e.there will be no physical gatherings at all under the umbrella of RVC.
However, as the last email stated, the elders would like to encourage you to hop onto the River Valley website . Denise Firth, Mick and others have spent the week getting the website functioning in a new way.
The elders will continue to upload news, information, encouragement, prayers, prayer points, sermon opportunities and worship songs and ideas. We are planning to add to the content daily. (There are already 3 different sermons you can listen to, as well as links to how to live stream Sunday services from some local churches)
So... stay connected, watch those sermons, praise God, look for other opportunities to connect with each other and with your neighbours.
We love you all dearly,
You have our phone numbers and we would love to hear from you.
Please look around this website, make yourself familiar with it . If you need help understanding how to navigate around it, shoot Mick a text. We have people who can help you with that. If you would like to share anything that may be helpful / encouraging during this time please text or call one of the elders.
We are looking to find ways to make the website a bit more interactive - lets see how we go with that!
Feel encouraged ... we continue to pray for you all.
Lots of love,
Jenny, on behalf of your elders
Mick, Judy, Grant, Gil, Cathie & Julie
God will never leave you nor forsake you . Hebrews 13:5
PS: If there is anyone in this group or in the community who needs food relief support, call Judy or Jenny or the RVC on office number.
Important News regarding the Careworks pantry.
We have had an increase in requests from individuals and agencies for food assistance.
You can assist us in provision of food parcels in 2 ways
1. Make a donation directly into River Valley Church Careworks account
BSB 633 000 Account 131 312 563
2. Drop non perishable food items off at Baptist Church
(Text) Jenny on 0417 662 999 if you drop food off and she
will come down and put it inside our office
25th March 2020
Important announcement re-Aldi food on Sundays
River Valley will still pick up and make available food from Aldi on Sundays.
This food will be made available for collection between 2 and 4 pm, from the Baptist church NOT the community centre
You must not attend this if you are unwell.
If you do attend, you must pay strict adherence to the current rules surrounding social distancing
We may close earlier than 4 if the food runs out before then.