Christian Education & Spiritual Formation
We learn to be followers of Jesus in community together. We gather in small groups and larger gatherings to learn, to grow, and to fellowship – all in the name of the One who gathers us. We are blessed to have many varied groups gathering to journey together in faith. Join us as we learn to follow the Way of Jesus together!
The ministry of adult Christian education at River Road Church, Baptist is concerned with the holistic (both individual and congregational) experience, understanding, and the expression of Christian faith as revealed in the person and work of Jesus Christ. This adult ministry seeks to provide experiences within a faithful, supportive community that will ultimately lead to a heightened awareness of God. It strives to offer learning opportunities that lead to an informed understanding of God.
River Road Church offers several Adult Sunday School classes which meet Sunday mornings from 9:45 to 10:45 a.m. Several classes use the Formations literature to explore Bible texts, while others us “Nurturing Faith” from Baptists Today and its contemporary electronic curriculum FaithElement, an innovative online Bible study and discipleship program created by FaithLab; these curriculum are linked to the Revised Common Lectionary texts for each Sunday. Some classes will explore books together on occasion, and others will focus on current events and how our faith can inform our responses to them.
Discovery Class (Age: 30s and 40s)
About the Discovery Class:
We’re a group of 30- to 40-somethings.We are a mixture of married couples, singles, parents of young children, and non-parents. While some of the people in the class grew up in the church, a lot did not but have found the center of their church home to be the Discovery Class. In short, it’s a great place to be, and to make lifelong friends who will support your spiritual and mission-focused growth, and just generally help you have more fun in this life.
A sampling of the activities we have throughout the year:
- CARITAS – we choose a night to bring a serve dinner to the guests who stay at our church twice a year (homeless shelter program)
- Rise Against Hunger – packaging meals for distribution through the Rise Against Hunger network
- Preparing a box of food for Thanksgiving for a family in need
- Collecting school supplies for a child in need
- Other one-time missions projects that our class members are interested in and we do as a group
- Super Bowl party at a class member’s house
- Ladies’ Night Out (or In)
- Easter Brunch (at church)
- Summer cookouts at class member’s house
- Pumpkin carving party
- And probably the class favorite – annual progressive dinner & White Elephant gift exchange in December
- Other social events as planned – we try to do something at least once a month, and we try to do a combination of family-friend and adults-only events
Pastoral Care/Social Support:
We also make a point to serve and care for each other, celebrating joyous events, and supporting each other in difficult times. For example, we always bring meals to parents of new babies, take meals to a class member who has surgery, throw baby showers/bridal showers, and otherwise care for our friends as appropriate when difficult situations arise, either on a individual, small group or large group basis.
Faith Walk Class
New Horizons Class
Shepherd-Holland Bible Study Class (Age: All adult ages)
Fellowship Class (Age: retired men and women)
Fellowship Class (Age: retired men and women) is a group of retired men and women meeting to study the Bible using the Formations Sunday School literature. Team teachers lead the group in a lecture/discussion format in a spiritual journey of good fellowship. The class meets in room 232 off the Upper Commons.
Life Class is a fellowship which seeks to discover Bible truths to help with practical matters in daily living. The class explores a variety of literature resources, book studies, video series and small group discussion material, all of which are biblically focused. The class regularly makes use of the “Nurturing Faith” series from Baptists Today which chooses texts from the Revised Common Lectionary for each Sunday. The class meets in room 230 off the Upper Commons.
Robert Smart Class
Schedule4:30-5:15 p.m.: River Road Camerata
5:15-6:15 p.m.: Dinner
6:00-6:45 p.m.: Children’s Choirs Rehearsal
6:00-7:15 p.m.: TFC-Youth
6:15-7:15 p.m.: TFC-Adults
6:30-7:30 p.m.: Chancel Bell Choir Rehearsal
6:45-7:15 p.m.: TFC-Kids (kindergarten-2nd grades and 3rd-5th grades)
Childcare is provided for newborns through pre-k from 5:15-7:30 p.m.
Upcoming Wednesday’s schedules are below. Schedules are posted each Thursday.
Wednesday, December 12, 2018 5:30-7:00 p.m. Dinner, 5:30-6:15 p.m., Fellowship Hall Menu: Slow-Roasted Fennel Pork OR Roasted Veggie Lasagna, Buttery Egg Noodles, Creamy Turnip Gratin, Snickerdoodle Apple Cobbler Kids Entrée: Cheese Ravioli, Bubbly Cheese Bread If you...read more
Wednesday, December 5, 2018 5:30-7:00 p.m. Dinner, 5:30-6:15 p.m., Fellowship Hall Menu: Burgundy-Sage Meatloaf with Onion Gravy OR Root Vegetable Pot Pie, Rosemary-Roasted Potatoes, Lemon-Thyme Cauliflower, Cranberry White-Chocolate Bread Pudding Kids Entrée: Grilled...read more
Wednesday, November 28, 2018 5:30-7:00 p.m. Dinner, 5:30-6:15 p.m., Fellowship Hall Menu: Chicken and Matzo Dumplings OR Sweet Onion Kugel, Braised Winter Vegetables, Crispy Potato Latkes, Mini Jelly Donuts Kids Entrée: Beef Hot Dogs, Tater Tots If you have not...read more
From Sunday School classes to choirs and special interest groups, the strongest bonds, the closest relationships are found in small groups. It is here that we experience some of the warmest exchanges of friendship and expressions of caring. For more details on these and to find out about other small groups and events, contact the Church Office and ask to sign up for our e-mail newsletter, the e-Spire.
The Comma Club
12:00 p.m., Fellowship Hall
The Comma Club meets once a month for lunch and a program at the church. On occasion the group plans a day trip in pursuit of their constant curiosity and desire to learn new things. Primarily made up of senior adults, though it is not a requirement; anyone interested in a program or trip is invited. Reservations for lunch are requested, and generally cost $10 per person.
8:00 a.m., Reception Room
The FIXERS group is dedicated to keeping our beautiful church facility in top working order by doing light maintenance tasks. The group meets twice a month for a hearty breakfast and fellowship that lasts about a half hour. For the next two or three hours the group scatters out about the church tackling an assortment of jobs, some easy and some not quite so easy. If you have any level of handyman ability, you are welcome to join in on the fun. If you would like to join us one week, please contact George Davis (804-285-9782).
Men’s Fellowship Breakfast
7:00 a.m., Reception Room
The men of River Road Church are invited for breakfast, fellowship, and partnership in prayer. Reservations are requested, please fill out the form below or call the church office.
Women’s Bible Study: Joyful Hearts
Mondays 9:15 a.m., room 102
Joyful Hearts is a Bible study and fellowship designed for women of all ages. They meet for multi-week sessions on Monday mornings, 9:15-10:45 a.m., during the fall and spring months. At the present time, the group is using Max Lucado’s book entitled Cast of Characters: Common People in the Hands of an Uncommon God. As we study these characters in the Bible, we reflect on the questions “Who do I want to be?” and “How do I want to live my one life in this time and place?” This group is led by River Road Church members and welcomes women from the community.
5:45 p.m., Assembly Room
Hatha Yoga is a gentle form of stretching exercise that offers many health advantages. Darcie Anderson, a Registered Yoga Teacher is our instructor. There is a $10 fee for each class you attend. Beginners and newcomers are most welcome. View our church calendar to see when the next session is scheduled.
Book Lovers’ Group
7:30 p.m., room 102
Book Lovers is designed for women of all ages who enjoy reading and discussing books. The group chooses monthly selections, ranging from best-sellers to the classics, and a member volunteers to research the author and to moderate the discussion. They meet on the fourth Thursday evening at 7:30 p.m. from September through May in room 102 off of the Lower Commons. Visitors are always welcome to attend.
7:30 p.m., room 102
Evening Bridge is for singles or couples who enjoy playing party bridge for fun. They meet on the first Tuesday of the month in room 102 off of the Lower Commons at 7:30 p.m. Contact George or Kitty Davis (804-285-9782) for more information.
FLO – For Ladies Only
12:00 p.m., Offsite
FLO is a widows and single women’s support group that meets monthly for lunch and other outings. For more information or to plan a FLO outing, please contact Jean Ellis (804-272-7672).
Men’s Group: The Huddle
8:00 a.m., Reception Room
The Huddle is a men’s group that meets on Wednesday mornings to minister to one another, learn together through book study, and hold one another accountable for their faith journeys. This small group caps at about eight men, but the church is open to hosting a second group, should there be enough interest.
7:00 p.m., Off Site
River Road Church WMU is a group of women who support missions and emphasize fellowship. The group is responsible for monthly assignments from the RBA to support the programs at the Baptist Centers, Camp Alkulana, the BCMs at VCU and UR, and other missions organizations.
On the floors of several European cathedrals are drawings, now often unnoticed, that served an important function during life in the Middle Ages. Called labyrinths, the spiraling pathways provided an opportunity for the faithful to “go on pilgrimage.” Though sometimes used as a form of penance, more generally the labyrinth served as an occasion for a walking meditation as a “pilgrim” slowly moved toward the center and then returned with a renewed sense of focus about God and the responsibility of the self in God’s world.
Our canvas labyrinth is a replica of the one originally laid in the 12th century in the floor of the Chartres Cathedral in France. River Road Church cordially invites you to experience a meditative labyrinth walk which is traditionally scheduled 2-4 times a year in the Fellowship Hall. Written material about the labyrinth’s history and symbolism will be available. Bring a friend or come alone. We suggest that you allow approximately 45-60 minutes for the labyrinth experience. Typically, the labyrinth is self-guided, but our staff will be available to assist you if you would like a guided meditation. Look for announcements about staff availability while the labyrinth is open.
We hope that you will come, bring your friends, and enjoy this ancient practice of pilgrimage, prayer, and praise.
Stations of the Cross
From the earliest days of the church, Christians have journeyed to Jerusalem to retrace the path Jesus took as he carried his cross from Pilate’s house to Golgotha. This path has become known as the Via Dolorosa or “Way of Sorrow.” Markers were put into place where Jesus started, received the cross, stopped and fell, met his mother, and was assisted by Simon of Cyrene. There was no set number of stations in Jerusalem, but eventually the number was generalized in Europe to 14 stations.
These 14 stations are routinely walked and meditated upon during Lent and especially during Holy Week. Our lives are about following the Way of Christ, including the taking up of our own crosses. The 14 Stations of the Cross trace Jesus’ path from Pilate’s house to Golgotha to his tomb, mixing some events that we find in Scripture with some that come to us via the tradition of the church.
River Road Church, Baptist’s Stations of the Cross
River Road Church, Baptist has Stations of the Cross set up in the Fellowship Hall during Holy Week. The walk takes no longer than a lunch break. Each station has a written explanation and prayer. You may walk and read these to yourself or come in a group and have a person read at each station.
River Road Church encourages its community to engage in spiritual retreat and Sabbath. All ages in our community are invited to attend retreats either individually or in their small groups. Local retreat centers like Richmond Hill and Roslyn Retreat Center are excellent short-term opportunities, and the church will gladly assist in sponsorship of retreats for small groups.
Make time for Sabbath in your life – contact the church pastoral staff for more information.
“Like a path through the forest, Sabbath creates a marker for ourselves so, if we are lost, we can find our way back to our center.” —Wayne Muller