- Pastor Michael & Pastor Ben
As we enter into a fresh Fall season of ministry, we are looking for some key people to step into leadership roles and for everyone who calls Riverfront home to "improve their serve" and volunteer somewhere significant.
In terms of leadership roles, we are beginning to structure our church around six Action Teams: Worship, Family/Fellowship, Spiritual Growth, Community Engagement, Justice, and Children/Youth.
This structure emerged out of the important vision/mission work we did this past Spring. Each of the teams will "steward" that area of ministry -- developing a vision, ideas, plans, and programs. We hope that every member and regular attender at RFC will serve on at lest one Action Team in some role.
Additionally, we are looking for leaders (or co-leaders) for each of these teams. These leaders will help coordinate the individual teams as well as meet monthly with the pastoral staff as an Action Coordination Team (ACTs) to make sure we are coordinating our efforts, stewarding resources well, and thinking about our vision/mission from a 30,000 foot level.
The Board will focus on areas of spiritual leadership, stewardship, policy, and accountability. Each Action Team will have a Board liaison serving on the team (but not necessarily leading the team. One of the pastors will also be a part of each of the teams.
So far, we have leaders in place for two of the teams:
JUSTICE ACTION TEAM - Miela Gruber & Chris Graesser
WORSHIP ACTION TEAM - Michael Minch & Diana Scott
We are still looking for people to take on leadership roles for the following Action Teams:
Family/Fellowship Action Team
Spiritual Growth Action Team
Children & Youth Action Team
Community Engagement Action Team
If you are interested in serving in one of these roles, or have any questions about them or want to discuss more, please email Pastor Ben and Pastor Michael at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are interested in volunteering and serving in a particular role, you can also check out our VOLUNTEER INFO PAGE.
- Justice Action Team
This statement was officially adopted by the RFC members on 8/21/22:
Riverfront Family Church is fully committed to the liberation of each person from the bonds of oppression and injustice, acknowledging that we all 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 BIack, Indigeness, and People of Color (BIPOC) civil rights leaders & community leaders of all ethnicities, genders, sexualities, abilities, 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.
- Michael Minch
The process of conversation and discernment we have used this summer to take an inventory of where we are as a church, and where we want to go, who we are, and who we want to be—is not over!
We have been in a time of reflection and anticipation, waiting for Pastor Michael to join us. Now that he is one of our pastors and settling in, it is time to revisit the journey we’ve been on, as we have revisited our identity, purpose, mission, and vision.
Here, we restate the summary of our conversations, but we will also add some ideas about mission and leadership generated by our pastors and the board.
As a community, Riverfront Family Church
Values diversity and inclusivity of many kinds, from the differences of racial identity to theological and spiritual to neurodiversity.
Welcomes and embraces children and youth.
Commits to healing, wellbeing, and social justice.
Intends to be a safe haven for the LGBTQ+ community.
Encourages engagement in deconstruction, seeking, and belief in whatever swirling and fluid combination they are at, at any given time.
Aspires to be a powerful force of ministry in the Hartford area.
Commits to anti-racism and building peace and reconciliation.
Engages the problematic [sic recommend change to ‘challenges”] of climate change.
Commits to helping others encounter Jesus and become more like him, that spiritual
growth and discipleship is integral to our purpose and Mission.
We are an “experiment” of sorts, and “quirky”! We affirm that we want to be available to one another, building up our church “bearing one another’s burdens” and caring for one another with love.
For the past several weeks, the board and our pastors have discussed a new model of leadership and ministry that we believe fits well with the vision summarized above. We did not “roll out” this model and language because we waited for Pastor Michael to join us and give his input.
The idea is that there will be six “Action Teams” (in our now tentative language) in the church, each with leadership from someone not on the board, and each with a board member who is a liaison to that Action Team. They are the:
Worship Action Team
Fellowship (about ministry to and with members of RFC) Action Team
Community Engagement (about ministry beyond RFC) Action Team
Spiritual Growth Action Team
Justice Action Team
Children and Youth Action Team
Realising that stewardship is critically important to all that we do, we have discussed the merits of a Stewardship Action Team or rather, making sure we keep focused on stewardship in all the Action Teams.
You will recall that early this summer you received a message about the possible adoption of a Purpose Statement or Mission Statement (noting that our church simply does not have one). This idea is still alive. We (your pastors and board) will suggest a Statement in the weeks ahead.
We will present a campaign and process of transition from these ideas and commitments to the embodiment of them. That is, as a church, we believe we are now ready to move from conversation and discernment about our identity, purpose, and mission, toward the structures that will incarnate our vision, fellowship, and ministry. All church members will have the explicit opportunity to volunteer for ministry in a number of different ways.
Please look for, and pray for, the beginning of this transition on Sunday, September 18. Please join us in a season of anticipation.