The Inclusive Church
I affirm that RUMC is an inclusive church. It is a refuge in Riverview that welcomes all: male and female, white and black, rich and poor, sick and healthy. All who come are constitutive of the gospel and the ministry of Jesus. Just as Jesus included all kinds of persons during his ministerial work, the very body of Christ must be an inclusive church in order to be the effective representative of Christ.

The Book of Disciples defines an inclusive church as “a ministry that provides openness, acceptance, and support that enables all persons to participate in the life of the Church, the community, and the world.” [Point #139, Page 93]. I believe that inclusivity is the mark of this beloved church. She has existed in the Riverview Area for 175 years, and the agape love that this church embraces empowers her to continue making the gospel known to all and for all. Together, let's unite ourselves to celebrate the 175th Anniversary of this beloved church.

God has created us all in His image. The church as the very body of Christ must welcome everyone with equal enthusiasm. Christ himself declares “And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all people to myself.” It is imperative for us at RUMC to continue to be an inclusive Church and to minister to all without limit.

May the grace of our Lord continue to be upon you.

Pastor Louis Telcy

On Bearing False Witness
Increasingly, dishonesty and “bearing false witness” seem to have become socially acceptable these days, perhaps more so than at any other time in history. However, lying is certainly not just a modern problem; since the days of Moses, there has been a commandment against it.

Bearing false witness has long been a tool that Satan is so fond of using. It is one of the devil’s key strategies to lure believers away from fellowship with God.

God is completely holy. Everything God says and does is completely true. Psalms 33:4 exclaims “For the word of the Lord is right; and all His works are done in truth.” Only truth can exist in God’s presence. Not only is God honest Himself—He clearly despises dishonesty in us! As Proverbs 12:22 puts it “The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy.”

In light of these facts, one of Satan’s greatest goals is to use dishonesty to distance us from God. John 4:44 exclaims that “Satan is the father of all lies!”

There are three aspects of Satan’s dishonesty campaign that we all susceptible to.

Making False Accusations.  Satan loves it when we falsely accuse or slander of neighbors. Often it is an attempt to keep ourselves from looking bad or getting into trouble. Remember how Adam did this to Eve in the Garden of Eden. We can witness this form of “bearing false witness” every day when we watch the news or our favorite reality TV show. False accusations are the stuff of office gossip or “holy hearsay” in the church.

We are also guilty of making false accusations whenever we silently allow things to be based on supposition or blown out of proportion without speaking the truth.

Enjoying False Inflation.  Think of all the Facebook posts that portrays our personal and family lives in a manner that is far from how they really are. Our what about the times we have padded our resumes or enhanced our kid’s college applications. Luke 16:16 warns us that if we are dishonest in the little things, we can be dishonest in the big things as well. Another way to look at this is “If we tell the truth all the time, we will be believed all of the time. If we only tell the truth some of the time, we will never be believed.”

Using False Adulation.  Satan laughs when we use flattery to gain approval for ourselves or to get an advantage over others. Proverbs 26:28 tells us “A lying mouth hates those it hurts, and a flattering moth works ruin.”

In Ephesians 4:25 Paul writes “Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we all members of one body.”

Ed and Gwen Diaz
71:17 Ministries
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The Greatest Miracle
The four Gospels record three instances of Jesus bringing a deceased person back to life. The daughter of Jairus, a Jewish leader, died and was raised from the dead (Luke 8:41-42, 49-56). So was the son of a widow in the village of Nain (Luke 7:11-15). Th e best known of the three was the raising of Lazarus, who had been dead for four days (John 11:1-44).

Can there be any greater miracle than to restore a person from death to life? Our first response is to think, no—raising someone from the dead has to be the greatest miracle. But think about this: All three people Jesus raised from the dead eventually died again. In the face of that sad fact, Jesus gave Lazarus’ family new hope: Whoever believes in Him will live, even though he dies. And whoever believes in Him will never die! (John 11:25) So a greater miracle than being raised from the dead is the miracle of eternal life—never spiritually dying at all!

Have you received that miracle through faith in Christ? Believing in Jesus Christ means you will live forever with Him. Eternal life does not begin with death; it begins with faith!

Samuel Shoemaker
Turning Point Ministries