Pastor’s Blog

The Trouble with Trouble

This week I’ve been reflecting on our worship experience from this past Youth Sunday. First, what an amazing job our fine youth did in leading us! Confident, warm, wise, professional, thoughtful, inspiring… just a few adjectives that came to mind as I worshiped...

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New Beginnings

“For it is in God that we live and move and have our being.” - Acts 17:28 Since I was in the 11th grade this has been my favorite Bible verse. Just before the 11th grade my family move from Knoxville, Tennessee to Detroit, Michigan and I had a very lonely start to my...

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…And a Little Child Shall Lead Them…? Isaiah 11:6

She was twelve years old, but she had the demeanor of an adult. She spoke clearly and unequivocally about her fear, and about her hope. She wanted the adults in her life to make wise decisions about her safety. She asked for help and support, since she had no power…...

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Mission Moment: CBF Global Missions Offering

One Wednesday evening last fall at our Thoughtful Faith Community series we were privileged to have as our guest speaker—Joshua Hearne. Joshua and his wife, Jessica, live in Danville, Va. and minister to a wide community of people they refer to as Grace and Main. I...

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Fear and Unbelief — Gone!

Last week, as Louise and I were walking to our car in a Short Pump parking lot, we encountered a good friend who was in her car, preparing to exit the lot. Actually, I was looking into this person’s car and wondering why she was slowing down and waving at us. I...

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The Church is One: A Pivot Puerto Rico Reflection

I found Jesus! I found Jesús García in Puerto Rico — an amazing person and caring pastor of  Iglesia Bautista De Metropolis in Carolina. Seeing his love and care for the community, the song Never Gonna Be As Big As Jesus by Audio Adrenaline came to my mind many times....

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Anticipating Christmas

Anticipating Christmas Advent as a season interrupts the typical Christmas rush of buying and wrapping gifts, attending parties, and wearing ugly sweaters. In fact, it asks us, at least in worship, to slow down and spend the weeks leading to Christmas in holy waiting....

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How Will You Spend Your Holy Week?

Growing up, I was often in churches that seemed to skip Holy Week altogether. We celebrated Palm Sunday, then came back together for an Easter “Sonrise” service. We sometimes talked about the crucifixion and death of Christ, but it was in passing and focused on the...

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Fall Missions at RRCB

River Road Church is a congregation of people who are passionate in striving to follow Jesus’ example to care for the least of these among us. The fall kicked off with a busy season of giving to the Alma Hunt and disaster relief offerings; hosting, serving, and...

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Being a Blessing: The Non-Anxious Presence

Over one hundred years ago, Rudyard Kipling described in poetic form the profile of a non-anxious presence: “If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you…” Not reacting to the anxious reactivity of those around us is no easy...

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Springtime for the Soul

As you read this, we are knee-deep in the midst of the season of Lent. Lent is a period of forty days (not including Sundays) leading to Easter. For those of us who give ourselves fully to this season, Lent is a time of soul-searching and repentance. As a pre-Easter...

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“Jesus is Still Compelling”

Last week I spent the week in Montreat, NC at a Youth Ministry event, Oasis. Oasis is put on by the Cooperative Baptist Youth Ministry Network, of which I am an active member and on the leadership team. I gathered with 70 other mostly CBF Youth Ministers as we spent...

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Celebrate 50 & 50 More – Winter 2017

My Church Family My association with River Road Church began when I was a student at Westhampton College. Mr. Cary, a member of the church, drove over in a bus to pick us up. Mr. Hasty was pastor then and we met in what is now the Fellowship Hall. I remember one...

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Journey to the Cross

Some of my earliest memories are of long road-trips with my family. One of them was a car ride from our home in Fredericksburg to my father’s hometown of Auburn, Alabama. My parents, two older brothers, and I piled into the station wagon and drove through the night...

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Gathering, Celebrating, & Blessing

Celebrating our Congregation What are we celebrating on Celebration Sunday? Because life tends to organize itself around school schedules (even for those of us without children or with grown children!), we recognize that at the beginning of September, a new school...

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Bob Gallagher’s Sabbatical Travelogue

At the end of January, I traveled to California to spend a portion of my sabbatical observing the work of some highly skilled colleagues at churches and cathedrals in Garden Grove/Los Angeles and San Francisco/Belvedere. On January 19, I flew out of Richmond at 6:30...

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The State We Call Home

Bill Lohmann, a popular columnist for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, presented an entertaining and informative program for the Comma Club on September 12. He shared travel tales from trips across Virginia with the newspaper’s photographer Bob Brown. The two have...

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Transitions

Change is inevitable, unceasing, and also a sign of life. You have witnessed a number of staff changes at RRCB in recent days, as well as adjustments to staff responsibilities and assignments. These are all part of the ongoing process of evaluating and addressing...

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“The Joy Remains!”

Bland Ministry Center in Bland County, Virginia has been a destination for numerous missions trips sponsored by River Road Church across the years. Dee Dee Hoosier, director of the Bland Ministry Center, always has work projects planned for the volunteers. Usually...

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Speaking Truth

My family moved around a whole lot while I was growing up. I went to seven schools before I graduated from high school. We were always active in church, I mean we were the people who are there when the doors open and when they close as my mother was the church...

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Trunk or Treat Welcomed Over 400 People

Trunk or Treat was so much fun! We had over 400 people here making bats, ghosts, and masks, painting pumpkins, and eating candy. It wouldn’t have been possible without the help of so many. Thanks to all who came out on a busy day to provide trunks for all the children...

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It’s No Small Call

I’ve heard it said that the will of God is best discerned in hindsight. There may very well be some truth here, but there’s something about this axiom that doesn’t sit well with me. It seems like our Christian hope would lead us to more thoughtful living than driving...

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Connectors Make Connections in Missions and Fellowship

Women of RRCB who come together for fellowship, missions’ information, and outreach in the community have chosen to call themselves “Connectors.” Beginning their new year in September with a salad supper in the beautiful courtyard of the church, Connectors invited all...

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Christmas, Epiphany, and Beyond

One of my favorite parts of Christmas is actually - - Epiphany. The anticipation of Jesus’s birth (Advent) has ended; likewise, the intense musical, administrative, and logistical preparations give way to few days of time cherished with family and friends. I finally...

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A Symphony of Colors

Church is inherently an intergenerational enterprise. We worship together, we eat Wednesday night dinners together, and we do missions together with people of all ages and stages of life. The Fall Hike for RRCB is about expanding our intergenerational work – here, we...

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Life is not ideal… and it is good

Originally published for CBFBlog As we are here in this season of Advent, preparing ourselves to be exposed once again to the story of Christ’s birth, I cannot resist admitting that the whole story is rather complicated, non-ideal and full of paradoxes. We have grown...

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Personages from The Reformation in England

The month of October included two works by Bach that stemmed from the Lutheran Reformation. Thomas Cramner (1489-1556) In England, unlike Germany, the Reformation was an act of state, with the first...

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Farewell… Well, Sort Of

Since I first arrived at River Road (and even before that), Dan Bagby and I have had numerous conversations in which he conveyed to me that while he did not desire to work forever, he wanted to stay as long as he could be of help to me and the church. My consistent...

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