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An Opportunity to Respond

March 2019

                                       

Dear Friend,                                                                                       


You have been at some point a part of an amazing blessing from God called Riverside United Church of Christ. Our congregation was born out of a spiritual need that was not being met anywhere in the city of Jacksonville. Now we come together each week thankful for the opportunity God has given us to gather in worship, in praise, in hope....to share our journeys and to work together to bring about a world of justice and equality. As we grow deeper in our knowledge of God, learning more about what it means to live in God’s presence each day, we become empowered to act with God’s passion, to speak in God’s language.

As we acknowledge our blessings, we are now being given an opportunity to respond by making a one-time donation to this work of God.


We are a faith community that God gathered together over sixteen years ago with a vision to reflect within our own community and our involvement in the wider community our deeply held vision of God’s inclusive love for all of humanity.  Living this vision means an active participation in resisting destructive dynamics in our local community directed at any specific group of people: LGBTQ, people of color, Hispanic, Muslim, Jewish, homeless, disabled, mentally ill, aging, survivors of violence, and all of us whose planet is endangered—for in all of these communities our God is in the midst.


Our church was founded on the commitment to be open and affirming to the LGBT community.  At that time (before marriage equality and the HRO) we were unique in Jacksonville.  What that means is that, should you come to be part of our congregation, we would never then ask you to repent of your most intimate and loving expression of who you are.  We would not ask you to be part of our congregation by hiding who you really are and who you really love.  What we offer is the safe, sacred space for you to come as you are and to become all that God created you to be.

 In some ways things have improved, but in others our situation is even more dire. We see our presence in Jacksonville as a source of spiritual strength for the activists in our congregation who have worked and are working toward the vision of the United Church of Christ which is “a just world for all.”  Our diverse congregation reflects the various ways our lives and experiences intersect with one another as we come together to share our burdens but also work together to make a difference in our wider community.

We need your help to continue providing safe, sacred worship space and the ability to carry out our call to do justice and to continue working in our community to actualize the changes that need to happen. May God continue to bless us and guide us as we remain faithful to our vision of inclusive love and radical justice to all of those who are seeking, hoping that God Is Still Speaking.

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Riverside United Church of Christ

2858 Post Street

Jacksonville, Florida 32205