At The River you will discover a group of real, imperfect people dedicated to following Jesus Christ and seeking to live into His kingdom deeply in our lives locally and broadly in our world. While a community of faith is much more than a Sunday service, we hope you'll come visit on a Sunday morning to see for yourself what our weekly community is like. If you do, here is what you can expect....
We believe the church is a family, knit together by something greater than our personal preferences or life circumstances. At The River, you’ll find a combination of very old traditions and new(er) western traditions. Liturgical prayers, hymns, and blessings unite us to the movement of God in church communities throughout the centuries. Contemporary music, videos, lighting, and art place our faith in the context of our everyday lives here in the 21st century. We are always striving to grow as an intergenerational, multi-ethnic community. Kids join us for the first fifteen minutes or so, then head to their classes.
We believe the worship of God can take on many forms. It's no secret that music accesses a soulful place in us, swiftly and earnestly. For this reason, we spend a large portion of our worship gathering in song. From ancient hymns and prayers set to music, to contemporary songs and even secular tunes that illuminate the spiritual journey—we love to sing, listen, and engage. Some folks do this while seated quietly, others stand, lift hands, and move around. You might even see some children dancing. It's all good. Generally the band will play a few songs at the outset of the gathering, then a longer set later on. The focus is not on the musicians, but on the God who orchestrates the music of our lives.
We believe in the power of prayer, and sharing our joys and burdens with one another. Prayer ministers are available each week during the worship service. We invite you to come up anytime after the message to pray with someone. Our prayer ministers are trained to pray for you with care and confidentiality. They will listen for what God may want to share with you through images, Scriptures and phrases. We invite you to come and receive from God, as we believe He listens and acts on behalf of our prayers.
We believe that the pinnacle of our worship service is the shared communion meal, also known as the Eucharist or the Lord’s Supper. While the sermon or musical worship can touch on a myriad of topics relevant to our lives, communion is a deep and mysterious moment. Each Sunday, communion reminds us once again what’s at the very heart of the story of Jesus—His death, burial, and resurrection. For many Christian traditions, the Eucharist has been the heartbeat of worship for centuries. As a sacrament, it’s an outward and visible sign of an inward and invisible grace. As we participate in communion together, we are unified as the body of Christ and we receive strength through the remembrance of Jesus' sacrifice for us.
What to Expect during Communion
We believe that 'expression deepens impression,' so we leave space in the service for the work of God to deepen in us. Often we conclude our message with reflection questions that you can share with 1-2 people near you. You are welcome to share and chat or simply listen. While this moment may make some of us squirm, we believe it's a vital antidote to our Silicon Valley culture of individualism, and a small but essential reminder that God is real and moving in our lives.