We believe we have a God given Mission to impact the world locally and globally with Christ’s love. We have developed and maintained these relationships as long term commitments. Each of these present a unique scenario that allows us to empower the Riverside Family to use their gifts to serve and to see the beauty in all of God’s work.
Starlight Cooperative – Kenya
Kenya Starlight Partnership (KSP) is a relationship between Riverside, Good Shepherd Church in Nairobi, and the Starlight Farmers Cooperative Society in the Mau Summit region of Kenya. While the partnership initially focused on conflict resolution in the wake of Kenya’s post-election violence in 2008-09, today KSP supports potato and dairy farmers in their efforts to improve farming techniques, create cost-effective cooperative marketing, and develop jobs. As a result, standards of living have improved: more children have been able to attend school and more families can afford basic necessities.
The partnership is working to address new areas of impact such as climate resilient agriculture and next generation leadership. Starlight has been recognized for its governance and effectiveness by the Kenyan government and international development organizations. Recently, SNV, a Dutch non-profit, has offered Starlight a matching grant for the purchase of mechanical equipment that will help farmers adapt to the changing climate they are experiencing. The Riverside congregation is helping to raise the funds to be matched. If you are interested in donating – match
KSP is a continuation of relationships Riverside has been developing in Kenya since 1998. Here are ways to get involved with the partnership.
“The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.” Leviticus 19:34
While immigration is a hot topic in our current culture, we believe God loves the world including the alien who resides with us. We are honored to share worship, fellowship and a hot meal with all of our neighbors. Due to COVID we have seen an increased need and continue to meet this community outdoors. It is a way for us to Be the Church in these uncertain times and walk alongside others who are struggling.
We are continuing to prepare and distribute meals for the day laborer community. We prepare 100 meals three times a week (Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays, from 9am-12pm).
We are looking for volunteers to help us with this effort to organize the cooking, preparing and packaging & clean-up. All meals have been pre-determined with recipes & check lists to follow and all shopping has been done! Meals need to be ready to go out for delivery by 11:00am. Training is provided
In 2019 Gary and Lisa Mears helped re-launch Faith Chapel, a 130 year old church in Lucketts, VA. It’s small-but-committed- congregation is growing, “guided by Jesus and love for our neighbors.” What the future holds is in God’s hands, but you can see the impact this worshiping community is having in Lucketts as local folks continue to see Faith Chapel as a church that lives-out it’s faith and is welcoming to all.
Weekly events at Faith Chapel include Sunday worship at 9:30, a Women’s Bible Study on Monday at 9:00 a.m., Wednesday afternoon Mahjong at 1:00 and the Wednesday Gathering at 7:30. In addition, Faith Chapel runs the Lucketts Community Food Pantry on the second Saturday of each month.
Come visit us when you can! For more information on Faith Chapel go to Facebook @faithchapelcommunitychurch, our website faith-chapel.org
A Fresh Expression is a form of church for our changing culture, established primarily for the benefit of those who are not yet part of any church.
Riverside’s commitment to the Fresh Expression movement is part of our core value of planting new faith communities. We live out this vision for fresh expressions of church through our local mission initiatives such as Lunch for the Soul and Ignite. We support the equipping of entrepreneurial leaders for these kinds of emerging missions through our partnership with Shannon Kiser, Fresh Expression’s Director of Training.
Fresh Expressions is an international movement of missionary disciples cultivating new kinds of church alongside existing congregations to more effectively engage our growing post-Christian society. Our world is rapidly changing, and more and more churches are disconnected from the neighborhoods and networks all around them. While fewer people are making their way to existing churches, people are still searching for hope, meaning, and purpose. Fresh Expressions is helping the Church step outside its buildings and sanctuaries, connecting with people where they are–in neighborhoods, workplaces, dog parks, tattoo parlors, cafés, and more. There, the everyday people of God prayerfully find ways to serve the people around them, build community with those involved, help people discover Christ in their midst, and encourage church to emerge around individuals coming to faith. Church for people right where they are–in the middle of everyday life.
The Fresh Expression movement has resulted in the birth of thousands of new communities in the UK alone and brought renewal to scores of established churches. The movement has spread to Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and Germany. In 2010, the movement began taking shape in the US. Fresh Expressions US now works across denominations to cast vision for a new kind of church, to train entrepreneurial leaders to start Fresh Expression initiatives, and to help denominational leaders develop strategies for mission experimentation.
Today we are seeing fresh expressions of church emerge in places like fitness centers, skate parks, homeless communities, rehab centers, McDonalds, and breweries. We are seeing fresh expressions of church emerge among artists, special needs families, hikers, photographers, skiers, business owners, and food pantry clients. People who, for whatever reason, would never come looking for church on a Sunday morning are finding faith as the church comes looking for them, offering glimpses of the kingdom of God that are relatable and actually experienced as good news.
The Fresh Expression movement honors both tradition and innovation in the Church. Inherited churches who carry on the deep traditions and rhythms of the people of God, equipping followers of Jesus to love, serve, and disciple others with a new perspective. Innovative expressions of church that experiment on the mission edges, changing people’s assumptions about God and God’s people and inviting them into life with Jesus. BOTH are vital expressions of the body of Christ, and BOTH are needed as we seek to live out the Great Commission in the 21st Century.