Rivergate Community Church

4737 N. Lombard Street
Portland, OR 97203-4533
503-285-3138

Sunday Service
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM

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UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Tuesdays at 11:30am
RCC Women’s Group
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• Tuesdays Noon to 1:00pm
Prayer Group
more…

• Thursdays 5:00pm to 6:00pm
Feeding the Hungry - Volunteer
more…

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Weekly Message

January 6, 2019

Happy New YearWelcome to Rivergate Community Church on this first Sunday of the New Year – 2019!

At the beginning of the Advent Season we invited you to make sure that you made room for Jesus in all your busyness and events that would happened. I pray that you were able to find time each day to be quiet and reflect on the most amazing gift ever given – Jesus! Today we are going to celebrate the Lord's Table, and I invite you to take a moment before the service and thank Him for the many blessings you have received and to confess any sins that are on your heart this afternoon. God sent Jesus as our Savior – to set us free from the power of sin and death. May our hearts overflow with gratitude for that most precious gift.

This new year is full of promise and potential. Each new day is like a blank sheet of paper waiting to be filled. Let us recommit ourselves to Jesus and serving His Kingdom.

Excited about a New Year with you,

Pastor Carren


December 30, 2018

crossGood Afternoon and welcome to Rivergate Community Church on this last Sunday of 2018! May you join us in praise and worship of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Beginnings and endings happen all the time in our lives – but there seems to be something special about the end of a year. We tend to take some time and reflect back over the previous 365 days – what happened in our lives, in our family, in the world? At the beginning of 2018 what were we hoping for? What did we want to work on in our lives? How have we grown in our faith and relationship with the Lord this past year?

As you are reading this these are flashes of events and people going by in your mind. Are you stronger in your faith at the end of December than you were at the beginning of January? In what ways have you struggled? Have you overcome fear and worry? Do you trust God more today than yesterday?

I encourage you to take some time over the next couple of days and sit before and listen to His answers to the same questions...you might be surprised at his answers!!!

Looking back with you,

Pastor Carren


December 23, 2018

crossWelcome to Rivergate Community Church on this Sunday before Christmas. We invite you to take time before the service to quiet your heart and mind.
Today we light the last candle in our wreath – the Love Candle. It is a reminder of God's great love for us – and his sending the best gift ever – Jesus! God loves us – it is so hard for our minds to comprehend how great his love is for each one of us. As the candle is lit later in the service may you feel His presence with you and the assurance of that love.

May His love flood our hearts and minds this day and cover us in the days to come.

Feeling God's Love with you,

Pastor Carren


December 16, 2018

crossGood Afternoon and welcome to Rivergate Community Church. We are delighted to have you join us in worship and praise of our Lord.
What do you need this Christmas? Some will say more money for presents,, or more time to get everything done, others may need comfort in the loss of a loved one. We have been given 4 gifts this Advent season and today it is the gift of joy. Do you feel joyful today?

How can we have joy in the midst of all the evil and darkness all around us? Joy is not the same as happiness which will come and go depending on circumstances. Joy is something deep inside the heart of each Christian – we can have joy because we know the truth – God loves us and has given us the best gift ever – Jesus!

May each one of us this week take time to reflect on all that we have been given and may our response be one of a heart filled with you.

Singing with joy with you,

Pastor Carren


December 9, 2018

peace-love-hope-joyWelcome to Rivergate Community Church. May your hearts be encouraged as we lift our voices in praise and adoration of our Lord.

Thank you to everyone who came yesterday to decorate the church. I just love the smell of the fresh cut tree and all the lights twinkling in the sanctuary. We had a group from Mountain Park Church bring food yesterday and they described our church as “comfy and homey”, and that warmed my heart.

As we come into the sanctuary each week may we know and feel that we have “come home”, and may this special season of our year be filled with wonder. Open up your heart today and receive the gift of peace.

Thankful for the gift of peace with you,

Pastor Carren


December 2, 2018

prayWelcome to Rivergate Community Church this afternoon.
What a significant day we have. It is the first Sunday of Advent and the First Sunday of the month where we celebrate the Lord's Supper. This marks the beginning of the season of expectation. We are to be preparing our hearts for the coming of the Messiah – Jesus.

No matter what the week has been like, or all that you have to face in the week ahead, please take a few moments to quiet your heart and mind as we prepare to worship the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

We thank you Lord for all that you have done, are doing and will do in our lives. May we turn our focus to this most special time of year when we remember and celebrate the best gift ever – Jesus!

Preparing for the season with you,

Pastor Carren


November 25, 2018

ThanksGood Afternoon and welcome to Rivergate Community Church this last Sunday of November. May we join together as one in worship and praise of our Lord.

Is you heart thankful this afternoon? Your answer may depend on what you did the past 4 days. Some were busy with making a big dinner for family and friends. Others spent time in front of the TV with football or movies and lots of snacks. While others braved the shops to get that perfect item on sale. No matter what you did prior to this afternoon, we are all here now, but are we ready to worship? Do we feel thankful? Those are questions we need to answer before we can truly give ourselves over to enter into worship of our God.

Please take some time before the service to prepare your hearts for worship. Give the Lord all those things that are pressing on your mind. Confess any sins and receive the gift of forgiveness. As you are letting go be assured that the Lord is hearing every word and let His peace rest on your heart and mind.

Preparing for worship with you,

Pastor Carren


November 18, 2018

pumpkinHappy Thanksgiving week to all of you! May our hearts be overflowing with thanks as we gather this afternoon to worship the Lord.

Our giving of thanks is one of those special holidays that focuses on relationships with one another and the Lord. As your Pastor I will tell you that my heart is overflowing with thanks as I think of each one of you – your servant hearts – your dedication to the Lord and the ministry at Rivergate – your growth in faith.

We have so much to be thankful for as a congregation. The Lord has kept us and allowed our ministry to flourish in this community. We are a light in the darkness all around us. Let us rededicate ourselves to serving the Lord with a joy that comes from knowing how much we are loved.

May we take some time this week to stop and thank the Lord for the many blessings he has given.

Thanking the Lord with you,

Pastor Carren


November 11, 2018

   All Church Retreat – Camp Arrah Wanna














November 4, 2018

crossGood Afternoon and welcome to Rivergate Community Church. May your hearts be encouraged as we join together in worship of our Lord.

I love the first Sunday of every month as we celebrate the Lord's Supper during the service. And it is something to celebrate – Jesus' death and resurrection set us free from the power of sin and death. We have the promise of forgiveness of sin and eternal life. No matter how long we have known that as Christians we must never take it for granted or forget the price that was paid for our sins.

I invite you to take some time before the service today to confess your sins and to think of all the Lord has done for you this past month. In our busy lives we can forget the simple words of saying thank you to the Lord.

Thanking the Lord with you,

Pastor Carren


October 28, 2018

prayWelcome to Rivergate Community Church this last Sunday in October. We are delighted to have you join us in worship of our Lord.

Our Fall weather can be quite varied, and we experienced that this past week. It started with a blue sky and 70 degree day that allowed us to get outside and get some yard work done. It ended with a deluge of rain that blasted our house most of the evening. Earlier in the day yesterday it was sunny and quite pleasant and we were able to get to the Farmer's Market and taste some delicious varieties of apples.

As Christians our spiritual lives can also be a bit unpredictable. The one constant always is the Lord – He never changes – no matter what may be happening all around us. We are singing about the Solid Rock today, and may it be a great reminder that no matter what the “weather” may be like in our lives – we can hold fast to Jesus – and we will ride out any storm that may come.

Holding on to Jesus with you,

Pastor Carren


October 21, 2018

Baptist ChurchGood Afternoon and we welcome you to Rivergate Community Church.

Traveling is a great gift. You get to see and experience new things, and it also helps you to appreciate home and all that you have. Sandy and I went to the Bay Area this week to attend the Annual Gathering of our American Baptist family in our region. We got to see some dear friends and met some wonderful people from a variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Our faith was stimulated and challenged and we came home filled with hope about what the Lord is doing.

I ask that you spend time praying for our region and all the churches and ministries that are doing some amazing things in our world and for the Kingdom of God. These are challenging times, but it is at these moments that we see the power and majesty of our Lord at work.

Praying with you,

Pastor Carren


October 14, 2018

cloudsSunWelcome to Rivergate Community Church. What a great day to come and praise the Lord!

What a glorious week of weather we have had – and the promise of another one to come. The blue skies and warm days are such a gift with all the beautiful color all around us. It is a great time to be able to be outside with all of creation. I watched a squirrel this morning who was busy hiding nuts around our yard. He knows that the winter weather is coming, so he kept working.

We have to be able to do 2 things in our lives – enjoy each day we are given and also look towards the future. We only get this one day – we aren't guaranteed another one – so it is vital that we live our lives with a sense of purpose – not just count of “doing that tomorrow.” Yet, as Christians, we have the promise of eternal life – so we also have to realize that this life on earth is not all we have. May we find that balance each day of living each day to the full knowing that we have a future that is brighter than any day here. Let us keep working!

Working with you,

Pastor Carren


September 23, 2018

seasonWelcome to Rivergate Community Church on this first Sunday of Autumn. We are delighted to have you join us as we gather to worship the Lord.

Fall begins this weekend. It is my favorite time of the year. I love all the reds, oranges, and yellows that we will see on the trees and shrubs all around us in the next few weeks. It is the time of year that we feel the crispness in the air in the early morning or late evening. The leaves are dying, but there is such beauty in them as they change.

Change can be difficult- we like things to stay the same. We are called to change – to grow – to realize that God is at work in our lives all the time. May we also know that there is a beauty in each season of change. May we reflect that beauty – just like the trees – all of our days.

Changing with you,

Pastor Carren


September 16, 2018

growWelcome to Rivergate Community Church this afternoon. We are delighted to have you join us as we come together to worship the Lord.

Rain... finally... I heard so many people this week saying how glad they were for the rain. It is just a little funny since we live in an area that is known for having rainy weather, but the last measurable rain in Portland was April 15th! That is a long, dry spell of weather. If I know anything about human behavior we will hear people complaining about the rain in just a few weeks or so.

It can be the same way in our spiritual life. We will be going through a season with the Lord that brings new challenges and we want to go back to the “good old days” again. We are creatures who like to be comfortable, but Jesus taught that he came to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. May we be a people who are committed to growing with the Lord – no matter what!

Growing in the Lord with you,

Pastor Carren


September 9, 2018

PrayWelcome to Rivergate Community Church this afternoon. We are delighted to have you join us as we come together to worship the Lord.

School has started for most children in our area. As they head back to school please remember to pray for the children, teachers and staff for a great year. All of us can remember making new friends, learning the bus route and bags filled with books.

As a new school year begins it is a good reminder for us as adults to recommit ourselves to learning new things with the Lord. Let us be a people who set aside time each day to be in God's Word, and to be in prayer as well. May we be dedicated students for the Lord.

Learning from the Lord with you,

Pastor Carren


September 2, 2018

vineyardGood Afternoon and welcome to Rivergate Community Church on this first Sunday in September. We will be celebrating the Lord's Supper during our service today, so please take some time to prepare your hearts.

This is Labor Day Weekend, and for many that means an extra day off as well as the unofficial end of summer. We know from living here all of our lives that some of our best weather is yet to come, so we look forward to a little cooler weather in the mornings and evenings.

May we rejoice that we are called to “labor” in the Lord's vineyard. We ask you Lord to help us serve you with all that we have in a way that helps others find you.

Laboring for the Lord with you,

Pastor Carren


August 26, 2018

faithWelcome to Rivergate Community Church. What a great day to come and praise the Lord!

Last week we had such hot and smoky weather and it seemed like it would never end. Then this weekend I actually felt cold for the first time in quite awhile. The extremes we have had with our weather has been a lot to deal with this summer.

We have suffered, but we just have to look around at other places in our country and the world and realize that we have been lucky – our houses are not flooded – our air did clear up – our volcano didn't erupt!

May we take time today to thank the Lord for carrying us through this summer with all its challenges, and may we also lift up those who are still suffering in our world.

Remembering others with you,

Pastor Carren


August 19, 2018

sunshineGood Afternoon and welcome to Rivergate Community Church. It is a great day to come and praise the Lord!

This past week included skies filled with smoke and haze from all the wildfires burning all around us. As awful as our air was making it difficult to be outside, I couldn't help but think about those who are in the midst of the fires. Those brave firefighters who are working day and night to save homes and property of so many families. They risk their lives and suffer through awful smoke and fire. I encourage you to spend time this week praying for all those who give so much to protect us.

May we always remember that we find our rest, our strength, our hope, our life in God alone! Let us lift up those around the world who are suffering.

Standing in prayer with you,

Pastor Carren


August 12, 2018

quietWelcome to Rivergate Community Church. What a great day to come and praise the Lord!

It has been a great weekend of beautiful weather for us. After so many long, dry and hot days it was so wonderful to be able to get out in the yard and get some work done. The heat has been wonderful for our garden and flowers. They have flourished because Sandy has been diligent to get out early each morning and water them deeply.

It is the same in our spiritual life. We can go through the hot and dry desert of life as long as we take time each day to drink from the Living Water of God's Word, and to spend time allowing Him to fill us. Water in our world evaporates, but the Living Water fills us and carries us through all the trials and tribulations that may come. If you are thirsty the Lord invites you to – Come to the waters and drink His Living Water.

Being refreshed with you,

Pastor Carren


August 5, 2018

Jesus Foot PrintGood Afternoon and welcome to Rivergate Community Church. It is a great day to come and praise the Lord!

After the long run of 90 degree plus days it was a welcome relief to have clouds and cooler temperatures. It was just what the plants needed – relief – and for all of us as well. We are gearing up for another 5 days of very warm weather, but it is with the assurance that it won't last – cooler days will return.

In our spiritual life we can feel like we just can't go on – to take another step seems too hard. It is at those moments that our loving Lord comes and picks us up and carries us for awhile. We can only find rest in God alone. And just when you need it most – He will shower you with a cooling rainstorm of his Living Water.

Being refreshed with you,

Pastor Carren


July 29, 2018

changeGood Morning and welcome to Rivergate Community Church.

We are meeting in the morning this week because of the excessive heat. What is your response to the weather? Do you grumble and complain or do you adjust your schedule for the day? We have found that by opening our house up very early each day and letting the cool air in and then shutting the house for the rest of the day has been a great help. Adjusting and change are not always things we do very well.

Our spiritual life can be just like the weather. The key for us is the ability to adapt to what each day brings us. We may be sailing along with clear skies and then get a phone call that changes everything. We have to learn that God is with us – no matter what the day brings – no matter what is happening around us – we just have to stop and allow Him to help us. The world will always be changing, but thankfully we have a God who stand with us no matter what comes.

Grateful for the Lord with you,

Pastor Carren


July 22, 2018

Water MossGood Afternoon and welcome to Rivergate Community Church. It's a great day to come and praise the Lord!

I set the sprinklers in our yard yesterday to give the plants a good, long drink before the hot weather sets in. I watched as the drops of water splashed on the leaves of the trees, shrubs and flowers around our yard. The birds were out playing in the sprinkler as well – the ground was softer and easier to find worms. It was a gift to watch how new life was coming from just a few drops of water.

It is like that in our spiritual life as well. We may be going through a long, dry spell and feeling parched. If we just take a few moments to sit and let the Word of God soak into our spirit we will be revived. New life comes into our hearts as we give ourselves the gift of a refreshing drink from the Living Water.

Being refreshed with you,

Pastor Carren


July 15, 2018

fountainWelcome to Rivergate Community Church. It is a great day to come together to worship the Lord God Almighty.

Hot one today – staying cool in weather like this is vitally important for all of us. Sit in the shade – sip a cool glass of water – limit activity – those are all things you will hear as good advice to follow. Most of us have learned the value of listening to those directions. When we were younger we loved these days – splashing in the pool – playing in a sprinkler – tossing water balloons – anything that involved water and fun went together.

For us in our relationship with the Lord it is vital that we follow His advice and directions. Listen for my voice – follow my directions – spend time with me each day. The Lord knows what we need before we can even ask.

Let's make sure we are listening for the voice of the Lord every day.

Listening for the Lord with you,

Pastor Carren


July 8, 2018

prayGood Afternoon and welcome to Rivergate Community Church. We invite you to lift your voice in praise and worship of our Lord.

I was out early yesterday morning watering the plants in our back yard while Sandy was doing the same in the front. The air was still cool and the light was just beginning to filter through the trees on the east side of our home. I listened as the birds were happily singing about the start of a new day. I got to see all the plants in the garden growing so well and I see tomatoes and peppers ripening. It was a moment of peace and calm that was such a gift.

May each one of us take some time this week to sit and listen for the Lord to look at the garden of our lives. Are we growing? Is there new fruit visible? Do we start each day lifting our voice in praise and worship of the Lord? Our growth comes out of time spent each day with the Lord and allowing him to give us the food of the Spirit.

Give yourself the gift of peace by spending time at the start of each day with the Lord.

Starting my day in quiet before the Lord,

Pastor Carren


July 1, 2018

May we take all our cares and worries to JesusGood Afternoon and welcome to Rivergate Community Church. It is a great day to come and praise the Lord!

I always like when the first day of the month is a Sunday as we get to start the month with Communion. Please take some time this afternoon to reflect over the past month – where have you made mistakes – how has the Lord provided – what troubles your heart? Spend time in quiet talking with the Lord about your relationship, and make sure you give time to listening for His voice.

On this day we remember – all that you have given – and all that is to come.

Listening for His voice with you,

Pastor Carren


June 24, 2018

compassionHappy First Week of Summer!!! We are delighted to have you join us as we worship the Lord this afternoon.

The forecast for today is hot – 86 degrees or so. Depending on where you live 86 degrees doesn't sound that hot – for those in the desert southwest. For those in Alaska it is too hot to imagine. The difference is our perspective.

Our spiritual life is just the same. I had a wise person tell me years ago that the only small problems are someone else's. When you are having the problem it is big to you. You are the one having to deal with the challenges based on your previous experience – your relationship with the Lord – and the strength of your faith. Let us be more understanding and supportive to each other as we face our own set of problems. May our perspective be that of one who stands ready to help one another without judging.

Standing with you,

Pastor Carren


June 17, 2018

CloudsGood Afternoon and welcome to Rivergate Community Church. We have come to worship the Lord and to hear His Word.

Happy Father's Day! This is a day that our country sets aside to honor fathers. Some here had a wonderful dad – like our family did. Others never knew their father or had struggles with him. Some of you have lost your father, and so there is sadness in your hearts.

All of us here have a loving Heavenly Father – no matter what type of earthly father we may have had. It is God who created us, who called us and who has chosen us to carry on His work. As we take a moment today to honor fathers, may we also say a word of thanks to God our Father. It is because of His great love that we have hope, peace and joy in our lives.

Remembering with you,

Pastor Carren


June 10, 2018

Stop And Smell the RosesWelcome to Rivergate Community Church. We are delighted to have you join with us as we worship the Lord this afternoon.

It is Rose Festival time in Portland. Sandy and I were remembering all the events we went to through the years. We used to get up early and head down to watch the parade. We have gone to the rose gardens to see all the beautiful flowers. We have toured the Navy ships that came to town. We went to the air show that was part of the celebration. It is a great time of year to celebrate this beautiful part of the world where we live.

As Christians there are festivals and observances that we are called to remember as well – Christmas, Lent, Good Friday, Easter, Pentecost are the big celebrations that help us remember God's purposes and plan. Those special occasions bring us together, but may we remember that each day we are called to Love God and Love One Another!

Remembering with you,

Pastor Carren


June 3, 2018

Lords TableGood Afternoon and welcome to Rivergate Community Church. It is a great day to come and praise the Lord!

Another month has begun – hard to believe that June is here. On this first Sunday of the month we will be celebrating the Lord's Table. We invite you to take some time before the service to reflect on your life and relationship with the Lord. Where have you stumbled? What do you wish you could take back either in words or actions? The Lord is here this afternoon – speak to Him – confess – and then listen for His voice.

Our lives are so busy with noise that it can be difficult to hear the Lord. We have music or the TV going in our homes and cars most of the time. We have such full schedules that we are on the run trying to get one more thing done on our “to do list”. Where can we find time to sit and listen? May our hearts be hungry for the Lord's voice each and every day of our lives. It may mean an earlier start to our day, or that we stay up a bit longer to just sit in His presence. I promise you that any time you give to the Lord will be a gift and blessing to your days. He will restore you in ways beyond your imagination.

May we all give the Lord the gift of our time.

Listening for His voice with you,

Pastor Carren


May 27, 2018

memorial dayHappy Memorial Day Weekend! We are so glad to have you join us as we gather to worship the Lord this afternoon.

Memorial Day is a time to remember – those who have fallen. As we went to the cemeteries this week to decorate the graves of our precious loved ones, I was struck by the beauty of all the flags that were placed above each marker of someone who served our country. It was a moving moment to think of all the sacrifices others have made for us. May we each take time this weekend to remember and to thank those who gave so much for all of us.

It is a wonderful reminder as well to remember all that Jesus has given for us. He gave His life for each one of us – the ultimate sacrifice – to set us free from the power of sin and death. May we find new life today and thank the Lord for the precious gift we have received.

Remembering with you,

Pastor Carren


May 20, 2018

RainbowWelcome to Rivergate Community Church. It is a great day to come and worship the Lord!

This week we saw again the power and majesty of creation with the volcano explosion in Hawaii. It was beautiful and frightening at the same time. May our hearts go out to all those who have lost their homes and for all those who live in fear of what might happen next. Those images of the ash cloud billowing out of the crater brought back the photos that all of us have seen of Mt. St. Helens exploding exactly 38 years earlier. For those of us who lived through that time it was eerily similar to see those photos on the news this week. None of us lost our homes, but the volcano certainly impacted all of our lives.

At times it is probably a good thing that we are reminded of the power and majesty of creation. We certainly see the beauty all around us right now with the flowers and shrubs all in bloom. With the beauty we also have to remember the fury and power as well. May each of us take some time to reflect on God's power over all creation. It is a good reminder that nothing in this world is more powerful than God who created it all.

Celebrating God's power with you,

Pastor Carren


May 13, 2018

Uncondiitonal LoveHappy Mother's Day! It is a beautiful day to come and worship the Lord.

On this day our nation takes time to honor our mothers. Some of us had wonderful moms who gave themselves over to loving and nurturing their children. Others may not even know their birth mother or had one that struggled with her own problems and wasn't able to love and support her children. For some this is a difficult day – maybe because of the type of mother they had – for some it is because their mom is no longer here with them.

Regardless of the type of mom we may have had on earth. We all have a loving Heavenly Father who created us, chose us and calls us by name. May His love bring healing to broken hearts this day. May the hope we have in Jesus bring comfort and peace to each heart.

Honoring Mom with you,

Pastor Carren


May 6, 2018

crossGood Afternoon and welcome to Rivergate Community Church. May your hearts be lifted in praise and adoration of our Lord.

This is the first Sunday of May, and we will celebrating the Lord's Supper later in the service. We invite you to take some time to reflect and prepare your hearts for worship.

The beauty of Spring is bursting our all around us. The colors are bright and vibrant and as you drive around you can smell the sweet scents of lilac and wisteria in the air. It is a time of new life and the promise of growth and beauty.

In our spiritual life we are needing to see new life as well. This is a good time to look at what you are doing that feeds your spirit. Just as the flowers and plants need fertilizer to bloom and grow, we need to have a spiritual food to become all that God desires for us.

May all of us look for things that bring life to our hearts.

Seeking spiritual food with you,

Pastor Carren


April 29, 2018



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April 22, 2018



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April 15, 2018



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April 8, 2018

Roy LessinGood Afternoon and welcome to Rivergate Community Church. May your hearts be lifted in praise and adoration of our Lord.

This is from Roy Lessin's book “Fron God's Heart To Yours”

“When God reduces you, it is for the purpose of increasing His work through you. In this process, you become more aware of your own inadequacies and wonder that God can use you at all.

As you become poor in spirit, you discover your true riches in Christ. When you see yourself as very human and full of flaws, you find Him to be a very great success. As you see yourself as an earthen vessel, you find Him to be the great treasure that enriches the lives of others.”

“He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:30

Seeking God with you,

Pastor Carren




April 1, 2018

SmileHe is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!

I remember these declarations from my childhood when we were in church each year. It was the best day of the whole year. This was the day to celebrate what God has done. Jesus is no longer in the tomb. He has risen! That is what gives us hope as followers of Christ. We no longer are trapped by the power of sin and death. Jesus' death on the cross set us free, and the power of the resurrection lives in each one of us here this afternoon.

As a Christian is the day that we take the time to celebrate that the tomb is empty. Jesus has triumphed over the power of Satan and sin and death. May your hearts be encouraged and filled with the power of the resurrection all year long.

We have a story to tell all those we meet. Jesus has risen from the dead!

Celebrating the resurrection with you,

Pastor Carren




March 25, 2018

Palm BranchesHosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is coming! Hosanna in the highest!” Those words were shouted as Jesus came riding into Jerusalem over 2,000 years ago. It was the culmination of his earthly ministry. As Jesus came closer to the city the people took their coats off and spread them across the road and they waved leafy palm branches which they had cut from the fields.

It was quite a scene of honor and triumph for Jesus. I wonder what it would have felt and sounded like that day. The crowds were pushing in to get a closer look at Jesus who they had heard about. They had heard of his teaching and the wondrous miracles, and now they honored him with shouts of honor and praise. What would you have been doing had you been in Jerusalem that day?

Today is Palm Sunday which we set aside to remember that day and it marks the beginning of Holy Week. On this day we celebrate that Jesus is our Lord. It is a time to reflect back over the last week of His life on earth and to prepare ourselves for Good Friday and then Easter service next Sunday.

May we each lift our voices in joy and praise of our Lord Jesus Christ this afternoon in our worship service.

Shouting Hosanna with you,

Pastor Carren




March 18, 2018

CrocsGood Afternoon and welcome to Rivergate Community Church. We hope your hearts are encouraged as we come together to worship the Lord.

Spring begins this week. I know some of you are very anxious for the beauty and new life that is right around the corner. It is a time of renewal and hope. We see our plants and trees coming back to life after a season of being dormant. I see buds on our trees in the yard, and know that they will soon blossom with all kinds of colors and textures.

For us as well, the changing of the seasons is a good time to look at our spiritual lives and see where we are. Do we see signs of new life? Is their hope in our hearts? Have we rested during the winter and allowed the Lord to bring healing and restoration? May we take this next week of transitions as an opportunity to take stock of our life with the Lord, and see what needs work so that new life will come to our hearts and lives.

Taking inventory with you,

Pastor Carren




March 11, 2018

sunshineWelcome to Rivergate Community Church on this beautiful day. As we gather together may our hearts be lifted in worship to our Lord.

When the weather is so nice it is inviting to be able to get out and let the sunshine warm your body. These days are such gifts to our lives. We live in a place that has lots of rainy and gray days during the winter, and this weekend can really impact your mental well being. Everything just seems a little brighter and more hopeful on days like today.

Our spiritual lives have seasons as well, and it may seem that you have been going through a particularly difficult time, but these days remind us that brighter days are coming. Just when it seems we can't hang on for another day – the sunshine will break forth and it lifts your spirit and you know that the Lord is with you all of your days.

Grateful for the Son with you,

Pastor Carren




March 4, 2018

PrayGood Afternoon and welcome to Rivergate Community Church. We are happy to have you join us in worship of the Lord.

It is hard to believe that this is the first Sunday in March. As I look out in our yard the spring flowers are in full bloom and the bushes are starting to sprout new growth. It has been an interesting weather start to our year. We had warm 60 degree days in January and then snow in late February! For those of us who are native Oregonians we have come to expect the unexpected when it comes to our weather.

Life is full of unexpected turns as well. We have had our share of folks in our congregation struggle with their own health or that of loved ones. It seems to be a season of needing to take extra care of one another. May we each take time to lift up in prayer needs listed in the bulletin and look for ways to share the burdens of one another. We ask the Lord to strengthen and encourage each heart here today as we gather together.

Celebrating the Creator with you,

Pastor Carren




February 25, 2018

Snowy berriesGood Afternoon and welcome to Rivergate Community Church. If you have a prayer request, please fill out the form in the pew and place in the offering.

I loved the weather this past week. I grew up in the snow and I love the beauty of it as it covers the trees and ground. It slows us down and there is a peace that comes with it as well. I remember walking in the snow late at night because it was so light out, and the crunching sound it makes when you take a step. This week was great because the snow fell at night and for the most part was gone during the day so we could still get out.

I think at times the Lord wants us to slow down and when we can't do it on our own the snow comes which forces us to not go at such a fast pace. We were not created to run around at the rate we go these days, so when the unexpected happens may we relax and enjoy the beauty all around us.

Enjoying God's beauty with you,

Pastor Carren




February 18, 2018

Valentines DayGood Afternoon and welcome to Rivergate Community Church. May your hearts be encouraged as we gather together to worship the Lord.

What is love? This week we celebrated Valentine's Day – which for children includes exchanging valentines and getting some candy. As an adult, what do we think of when we hear the word love? For many they think of that feeling you get in your heart when you see someone you care for.

Paul wrote about love in his letter to the church at Corinth. He said: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

May we be people who show that kind of love to those around us.

Showing God's love with you,

Pastor Carren




February 11, 2018

faithGood Afternoon and welcome to Rivergate Community Church. What a great day to come and lift our voices in praise to the Lord.

On this day we invite you to take some time to look over the prayer requests in the bulletin and spend some time before the service lifting them up in prayer. If you have any prayer requests please fill out the form in the pew and place in the offering.

We are so grateful that we have a Heavenly Father who hears the cries of His children. Whatever you are facing in your life may you know that He is listening and will meet your deepest need.

Lifting our needs to the Lord with you,

Pastor Carren




February 4, 2018

SupperWelcome to Rivergate Community Church on this first Sunday in February. We will celebrate the Lord's Supper during the service, so we invite you to take a few moments in quiet to prepare your hearts for worship.

For a small church we have had a lot of people struggling with illness and lots of visits to doctors and hospitals. If it isn't someone from our church family it is our personal family members or close friends who we are concerned about. Please take some time today to look at the prayer requests, and to also remember to lift them up in prayer in the coming week.

Our family is so grateful for the prayers we have received. I know that it is at those moments when you are standing by the bed of a loved one in the Emergency Room or ICU that you feel those prayers and the loving arms of our Lord. May we be known as a people that carries the burdens of one another and that we stand in the gap for those who need tender care and support.

Standing in prayer with you,

Pastor Carren




January 28, 2018

changeGood Afternoon and welcome to Rivergate Community Church. We invite you to take some time to prepare your hearts for worship.

My office at home looks out into our back yard, and I love to sit and watch the birds and squirrels out the window. The scene changes with the seasons. All of our leaves have finally fallen to the ground, and the trees are bare, but I noticed that there are tiny patches of green starting to burst out of the ground – the first sign of new life coming soon.

If you look at your spiritual life today – what season are you in? I invite you to spend time alone with the Lord this week and listen for His voice. Do you hear Him speaking to you? What is He saying? God created us to be in close relationship with him. If you aren't feeling that close – who moved?

Listening for His voice with you,

Pastor Carren




January 21, 2018

solutionsWelcome to Rivergate Community Church this afternoon. We are delighted to have you as we come to worship the Lord.

Life changes in moments is something we know can happen, but when it happens it can be surprising. Took my brother in for a test and found out that he was having another bleed in his brain. We go from a 3 hour visit to 3 days in the ICU. So grateful to know that there is a family of folks here who can step in the gap and continue the ministry here while covering our family in prayer.

This week it was our family, but in the days ahead we don't know how or when our lives will change. The one thing we do know is that God is faithful to us all the days of our lives. His love, mercy and compassion never comes to an end – they are new every morning. On this day let us remember the faithfulness of our God – no matter what may come our way.

Grateful for God's faithfulness with you,

Pastor Carren




January 14, 2018

Clouds SunGood Afternoon and welcome to Rivergate Community Church. We are happy to have you join us in worship of the Lord.

What a beautiful weekend of weather we have had. Hard to believe that it has been close to 60 degrees in the middle of January. Last year at this time we were digging out from snow and ice that crippled the region. We have a poem on the refrigerator at home of Dennis the Menace that shows them looking out the window that says - “God never goofs Joey, He just likes to surprise people once in awhile.”

As I was driving yesterday I thought about how the Lord sends us this bright blue sky and sunshine just before we are going to have a week of rain and gray skies. The Lord knows just what we need, and I do agree with Dennis – I think he does like to surprise us with the gift of sunshine and warm weather in the midst of winter. May you remember all the sunshine days when the rain is beating down. It won't last forever! We have that promise.

Celebrating the Creator with you,

Pastor Carren




January 7, 2018

Happy New YearWelcome to Rivergate Community Church on this first Sunday of a new year! We invite you to take some time to prepare your hearts for worship.

A new year always brings us to a point of looking back over the previous year. What did we learn? Are there changes we need to make? May we all take some time to listen to the Lord's voice as we start another year. What do we need to focus on in 2018?

May all of us renew our commitment to grow in our faith and relationship with the Lord.

Growing with you,

Pastor Carren