Both Sunday Morning Services

We are here with you.
We are here for you.

  • Stay updated with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC's) page HERE
  • View the State's response HERE
  • If you have questions about or are in need of Pastoral Care email HERE
  • If you are looking for more information on River Valley's response to COVID-19 that isn't laid out on this page email HERE
July 3, 2020

God has given us, in his word, clear instruction for every area of our lives. Here are five ways that Scripture speaks to us about our current situation.

1. Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. (Romans 13:1)

Scripture commands us to obey governing authorities. Our local health authorities have mandated that we wear a mask to stop the spread of COVID and thereby protect the most vulnerable in our communities. God has mandated that I obey the governing authorities that he has put in place as long as they have not asked me to do something immoral. There is nothing immoral about asking someone to protect others. I’m happy to wear a mask in order to honor God by acknowledging that he rules the world.

2. Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, (Philippians 2:14-15)

Scripture commands us not to grumble. This command is in the context of how we conduct ourselves as his children among unbelievers, among whom we shine as lights. Part of what it means to be salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16) is not grumbling because in Scripture grumbling is complaining about God’s providence over our lives. When I grumble I am saying that God is doing a bad job at managing my life. I’m happy to wear a mask without grumbling in order to demonstrate to unbelievers that God is wise.

3. Rejoice in the Lord always...I rejoiced in the Lord greatly...not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:4a, 10a, 11-13)

Scripture commands us to rejoice in the Lord always. The secret to always rejoicing is to be content. The secret to being content is to trust Jesus to strengthen you in every circumstance of life. Contrary to the way this verse is often quoted, doing all things through Christ is not about accomplishing something amazing; it is about being content in the face of dire circumstances. I’m happy to wear a mask while being content and rejoicing in the Lord always.

4. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:3-4)

Scripture commands us to count others more significant than ourselves and to look after their own interests above our own. This text goes straight to the heart of the matter. The purpose of wearing a mask is not to keep me from getting COVID, but to keep me from potentially giving someone else COVID if I were asymptomatic and didn’t even know I was doing so. I’m happy to wear a mask in humility counting others more significant than myself. I’m happy to wear a mask as a means of demonstrating to others that I value their interests above my own.

5. A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:34-35)

Scripture commands us to love one another as Christ has loved us. We often speak of loving our neighbors as ourselves, but Jesus demands even more from his disciples in the way they treat one another. He says that it is not enough to love a fellow believer the way we love ourselves, we must love them the way he has loved us. How did Jesus love us? He inconvenienced himself for us by suffering on our behalf. I’m happy to wear a mask, inconveniencing myself for others as a means of loving others as Christ has loved me.

This is what it looks like to think as a Christian. It means that we resist the urge to measure everything by cultural rhetoric, political persuasion, and selfish motives. We bring every matter with us to Scripture and we seek the mind of Christ. We ask how Christ would respond to any given situation and then we do so accordingly.
Download the full transcript here
April 2, 2020

The state superintendent of schools made the announcement Thursday.

All K-12 schools will deliver remote instruction for the remainder of the school year.

Schools must complete 160 total instructional days OR at least 20 more days of remote learning from April 2 until the end of the school year.

“Students are the future of our state and teachers are the heart of our schools,” Gov. Holcomb said. “While COVID-19 is impacting every classroom, our teachers, administrators, school board members and school staff are going to extraordinary levels to deliver quality learning to students all across our state, even while school buildings are closed. We’ll continue to do everything we can to empower educators and parents, while protecting students’ health.”
March 29, 2020

President Donald Trump reversed himself on Sunday, extending national social-distancing guidelines to April 30 in effort to keep the projected coronavirus death toll in the U.S. from reaching a catastrophic, worst-case scenario.

Trump’ previously said he wanted the country to reopen for business by Easter. Public health experts have warned that loosening restrictions by Easter, on April 12, would result in unnecessary death and economic damage. Trump had suggested that the coronavirus death rate would likely peak within two weeks.

There are about 140,000 confirmed cases in the U.S., including at least 2,400 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The Trump administration’s guidance advises people to stay mostly at home and avoid groups of more than 10.

States across the country have strongly advised residents to stay indoors except for essential reasons, and schools, restaurants and other businesses have shuttered. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has urged New York, New Jersey and Connecticut residents to avoid nonessential travel to other states for 14 days.
March 19, 2020

Seventeen new coronavirus infection cases have been confirmed around Indiana, jumping the state’s total to 56. "Beginning at 2 p.m. (EDT) Thursday, only essential travel will be allowed. That includes going to and from work, going to the grocery store, picking up prescriptions, visiting a doctor's office, dropping kids off at daycare, picking up food and traveling for emergencies," the news station reported. All public schools across the state are now closed to students in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus, the governor’s office said Wednesday. At least one district in southeastern Indiana has decided not to resume in-person classes this school year.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover.
March 17, 2020

The White House advised all Americans to avoid groups of more than 10 and urged older people to stay at home in a set of new guidelines designed to fight a spreading coronavirus outbreak. The recommendations President Donald Trump offered were the most substantive to date on how he would advise Americans carry out their lives as the virus spreads. Gone were predictions that it would soon fade or that it was under control, replaced instead by a much longer-term outlook that he acknowledged was still uncertain.

The guidelines -- and specifically the recommendation that people don't gather in groups of more than 10 -- marks a notable escalation from the guidance put out by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Sunday recommending that no gatherings with 50 people or more take place for the next eight weeks to slow the spread of the virus.
March 15, 2020

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended Sunday that no gatherings with 50 people or more — including weddings, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events or conferences — be held in the United States for the next eight weeks in one of the federal government’s most sweeping efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The C.D.C. said that its recommendation, which would drastically change life in the United States for the next two months, does not apply to “the day to day operation of organizations such as schools, institutes of higher learning, or businesses” and added that it was not intended to supersede the advice of local health officials.

“This recommendation is made in an attempt to reduce introduction of the virus into new communities,” it said, “and to slow the spread of infection in communities already affected by the virus.”
March 13, 2020

As we shared yesterday, River Valley Church services are canceled for this Sunday, March 15. This was not only in response to what our governing authorities have advised, but also a response to Jesus’ command that we love our neighbor as ourself.
All future services, events, and gatherings are canceled until further notice. This is effective immediately including Sunday mornings, Community Groups, Students and Midweek. Due to the unprecedented nature of this outbreak, it is impossible to predict how long these cancellations will last. We are as eager as you to resume normal life in our church and will do so as quickly and as safely as possible.
  • Sunday Mornings:  beginning next Sunday, March 22 at 9:00am, Pastor Mark will be preaching each week on the River Valley website. If you are unable to tune in at 9:00, don’t worry. As usual, you will be able to access the video and audio of this message just as you do every week. In the meantime, we encourage you watch the sermon series “Gospel Grace and the Future.”
  • Community Groups will no longer be meeting. Expect to hear from your group leaders soon. We encourage you to continue to meet virtually using Realm by regularly encouraging one another as you remain on track in our Foundations Bible Reading plan.
  • All Midweek programming is canceled for the remainder of the semester. This includes all RVSD classes, Kids Discipleship, Students, and Women’s and Men’s Bible studies, including the morning Women’s Bible study and REST for Moms.
 
Although our programming has been disrupted and therefore has been paused due to this pandemic, the work of gospel ministry is never paused. However, the ministry of River Valley Church could be severely disrupted if our members and regular attenders do not continue to give generously during this season. It is very easy and convenient to give online or through the River Valley Church app. If you have any questions about how to do so, please email Pastor Steve Meek.
 
Finally, we want you to know that we have invested a lot of time and energy on how to care for you in the event that you become infected with coronavirus and are required to self-quarantine. Early next week we will share with you a process that we have put in place that will allow Pastor Mark to “visit you” via video chat so that he can pray for you, read scripture with you, and encourage you during your time of need.
 
Be sure to watch the video from Pastor Mark, and remember that God has said to us, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
March 12, 2020

Dear Church Family,

Governor Eric Holcomb has announced a ban on gatherings over 250 people in order to protect the public from COVID-19. We will not have services on Sunday, March 15. We are not surprised by this announcement and have been making arrangements for this possibility. We will be sending out further information tomorrow as well as a video announcement from Pastor Mark. Please continue to pray for God’s grace and mercy for those who are infected around the world.