Stewardship at River Road Church
Sunday, October 23, 2022
You should have received in the mail your Stewardship packet including letters from our Pastor and Stewardship Chair, and your pledge card. We ask that you prayerfully fill out the enclosed pledge card. Pledge cards are also available in the pew racks. If you are worshiping with us in person, you are encouraged to place your pledge card in the model steeple, located in the narthex. If you are worshiping at home, you may return your pledge card via mail or by using the secure online form at rrcb.org/pledge.
Thank you, River Road Church family, for serving God faithfully in so many ways among us. Thank you for your generous and cheerful giving.
Honoring the Vision
As we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the founding of our church, your Stewardship Committee wishes to call attention to the principles that guided the founders, and to the dream for the future that they articulated. Thus, our theme for this year’s Stewardship Campaign is Honoring the Vision. Our logo is the image of the brick fireplace around which a service of dedication was held at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 26, 1948.
We are well reminded of the guiding principles for the founding of River Road Church. According to the official church history published at its 50th anniversary, “River Road Church was to be a Christ-centered, ecumenical Baptist church; with a beautiful, liturgical, free church worship; excellent music; a comprehensive educational program, and an outreach of proclamation and ministry to the entire community and throughout the world.”
The magnificent architectural plan provided for a three-step process for the church to grow as it was able. The first building constructed was the Chapel House, followed by the Fellowship Hall. In 1965, during the first few months of his pastorate, Dr. Vernon Richardson challenged the church to build the sanctuary, connecting the two existing structures. The sanctuary must “reflect both the beauty and mystery of worship…to strive for the beauty of holiness.” Nearly 60 years later, we experience the beauty and mystery each Sunday as we enter the sanctuary and worship together as church family.
Each generation of River Roaders has honored the founders’ vision with their talents and their resources. Financial support is essential for the vitality and work of the church. We appreciate your support of the church thus far, and encourage you to consider an increase if your circumstances allow. The enclosed chart may provide a frame of reference for your consideration. We ask that you return your pledge card on Commitment Sunday, October 23.
Stewardship is one way of Honoring the Vision, keeping the dream. As Dr. Richardson proclaimed in his sermon on entitled “My Dream For This Church” on May 2, 1965:
…it is not up to us to make the dream come true. It is up to us to be true to the dream. This means every one of us keeping faith with the past and with all who have labored here, keeping faith with our own destiny, and with God’s will as He gives us light to see it. This is the redemptive work to which we are called in God’s name. It is a glorious task. Each one is needed…We all stand in need of the grace of God and of one another.
In Christ’s Love,
Bob Shoemake, Carl Collier, Tom Gilsdorf, Chris Gobble, and Ed Pruden, chair
A Letter from Pastor Daniel Glaze
Dear River Road Church family,
October is a month of great celebration for us! While delayed a year due to the pandemic, on October 30, we will celebrate the 75th anniversary of our church. We are thrilled with how the anniversary weekend is shaping up, including a flower making demonstration, celebratory worship service, fellowship meal together, lecture and book signing by Dr. Diana Butler Bass, the release of a book on the last 25 years of our history by Dr. Fred Anderson, and so much more.
In preparation for this 75th anniversary celebration, I have re-read our history books, visited early documents and photos in the archives, and spent much time in thought and prayer. As I have read, studied, and prayed, the same thought continues to enter in my heart and mind—the founders of River Road Church were a remarkably courageous people!
In 1946 (and the years leading up), the founding families risked and sacrificed so much time, money, and effort to give birth to a new spiritual community at the corner of River and Ridge. We are the grateful heirs of their generous investments. We are the thankful recipients of their extraordinary vision.
As we reflect on these great gifts, I believe we are then challenged to ask ourselves how we might continue this legacy of generosity and investment in building a community of Thoughtful Faith at River Road Church. In the spirit of our founders’ vision, how might we take risks for the sake of the gospel and for the future of our church? How are we building upon their heritage to ensure that 75 years from now, persons of all ages might give thanks for our generosity?
I believe this is our moment, River Road Church family. This is the moment for us to prayerfully consider just how much we’ve been blessed as individuals and as a family of faith. And this is the moment for us to respond.
On October 23, 2022, we will celebrate Commitment Sunday, the first Sunday we will begin receiving pledges to our 2023 Church Ministry Budget. Your Stewardship Committee has been prayerful and active in preparing for Commitment Sunday, and we have chosen as our theme this year Honoring the Vision. We humbly ask you to join us in making a pledge which honors the vision, the gift, the legacy we’ve been given.
We ask you to fill out the enclosed pledge card. You may bring it with you on October 23 as an act of worship, you may mail it to the church office, or you may submit it securely online at rrcb.org/pledge.
Thank you for your commitment to our church, and for your generous and cheerful giving. It is an honor to serve as your pastor.
God’s hope and grace be yours. Happy 75th Anniversary!
Daniel E. Glaze