- Pastor Ben
Updated: Jun 16, 2022
We will be commemorating and celebrating Juneteenth, this Sunday, June 19th, as part of our service.
Juneteenth (officially Juneteenth National Independence Day, and also known as, Jubilee Day, Emancipation Day, Freedom Day, and Black Independence Day) is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating emancipation of enslaved African Americans. It is also often observed for celebrating African-American culture. Originating in Galveston, Texas, it has been celebrated annually on June 19 in various parts of the United States since 1865. The day was recognized as a federal holiday on June 17, 2021, when President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law. Juneteenth's commemoration is on the anniversary date of the June 19, 1865, announcement of General Order No. 3 by Union Army general Gordon Granger, proclaiming freedom for enslaved people in Texas, which was the last state of the Confederacy with institutional slavery. (read more)
The city of Hartford has a celebration planned at Bushnell Park on Sunday as well -- we encourage you to spend the day in Hartford and enjoy the festivities!
Check out some of the celebration events taking place in Hartford on Sunday!
- Justice Action Team
Draft statement developed by our Racial Justice Activation Team
Below is the vision statement written by our Racial Justice Activation Team, to capture what we mean when we say that we are anti-racist.
Riverfront Family Church is fully committed to the liberation of each person from the bonds of oppression and injustice, acknowledging that we too need to be liberated. This is our sacred work. We believe in a God who loves us all, without exception, and that God’s love is both just and merciful.
We believe that it is our responsibility to work to heal the wounds caused when the Christian church has been used as a weapon of intersectional harm and exploitation. This is our spiritual responsibility.
We actively seek to expose and dismantle our complicity with beliefs and systems--including white supremacy--that perpetuate injustice and oppression.
We reject the violence and spiritual falsehood of relationships based on coercion or hierarchy. We embrace “power-with” relationships, elevate the value of communal responsibility over the value of individualism, and seek the ongoing creation of cooperative egalitarian community. This is the lived expression of our beliefs.
We value deep listening, humility, joy, relational power, transformation, restoration, and equity.
We commit to following pro-Black BIPOC civil rights leaders & community leaders of all genders, sexualities, faith traditions, and generations--past, present, and future--in solidarity and with deep respect. We commit to supporting justice work as it takes shape in our congregation and beyond.
We believe justice and liberation of all of us is necessary for real love, joyful relationship, and the wholeness that the Creator intended for all of creation.
RFC Strategic Plan: RFC 3.0
Riverfront held Vision nights during the Fall, Winter and Early Spring of 2019-20. From those meetings these are the six major themes that we feel will shape us as a church over the next 10 years...
6 MAJOR THEMES from STRATEGIC PLANNING PROCESS:
1. RACIAL JUSTICE
We are called to be ANTI-RACIST and pursue RACIAL JUSTICE
We are called to the city (Hartford), to be in the marketplace (third space), to be an incarnational church in a specific context, to engage the neighborhood through partnerships and PEACE initiatives: promoting reconciliation, equipping leaders, assisting the poor (economic development, GHIAA, etc), caring for the sick (compassion, recovery, GHIAA advocacy), educating the next generation (focus on next gen ministries, homework clubs, etc etc)
We are called to help people encounter Jesus and become more like Him. Embrace the ancient pathways of spiritual formation and practices, integrate into huddles, provide space for seekers and finders, tools for deconstruction-reconstruction.
4. NEXT GENERATION
We are called to prioritize the NEXT GENERATION by being the church kids want to be at and providing all the same things as we are called to provide adults -- a place of reconciliation, place, spiritual formation, healing, etc.
We are called to be a place of healing from wounds inflicted by the world and even within the church. We have seen this manifest through ministry by and with the LGBTQ community; we see this continuing and growing to embrace a gospel of radical inclusivity for all by providing safe spaces and places for healing, intercession & prayer, development and affirmation of individual gifts and callings, etc.
We are called to reproduce ourselves through the planting and development of new ministries and churches, locally, regionally and globally.
Here are the 7 sermons from that series: click here