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8002 U. S. Highway 301 South, Riverview, FL  33578  813-677-5995
Our Inclusive Church
I can’t believe that I have been with you at Riverview UMC for six months. The time goes fast because my family and I are enjoying our time here. The church is a very caring, loving and inclusive one. Riverview demonstrates for me and my family the true mark of the church, to be inclusive.

I reaffirm that the church must be inclusive. The church is a refuge all: male and female, white and black, rich and poor, sick and healthy. Every person is constitutive of the gospel and the ministry of Jesus. Jesus included all kinds of person during his ministerial work. Therefore, the church as the very body of Christ must be an inclusive organization in order to be effective.

The Book of Discipline describes the inclusive church as “An inclusive church and ministry means openness, acceptance and support that enable all persons to participate in the life of the church, the community and the world.” (#139, Page 93) My brothers and sisters, this is how I can describe our lovely Riverview church.

I reiterate that God created us in His image. The church as the very body of Christ must welcome all with equal opportunity. Christ himself declares, “and I when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all people to myself.” Riverview church, it is an imperative for us to continue to be an inclusive church and minister to all without limit.

Jesus commanded the church to convey the gospel to all with equal value in the name of the triune God. In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus commands “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything that I’ve commanded you. Look, I myself will be with you every day until the end of this present age.” (CEB)

So, our church needs to continue to be an inclusive and a loving church for our community. May the grace of our Lord continue to be upon you all in 2019.

Pastor Louis Telcy
A Holiday Message from
 Bishop Carter
Grace and Peace to you in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, whose birth we celebrate! I give thanks for your faithful witness to this good news, for the many thousands of acts of love, justice, worship, mercy and intercession offered in service to God and shared with our neighbors.

I want to rejoice in two extraordinary movements of the Holy Spirit among us this past year.

First, thank you for your generous offering on behalf our sisters and brothers in the Alabama-West Florida Conference who experienced the devastation of Hurricane Michael in the panhandle in September. We invited our churches to receive an offering for them. The people of First UMC in Ormond Beach challenged us with a $500,000 matching gift. I am overjoyed to announce that you have contributed an additional $887,383 toward the needs of our brothers and sisters in the Panhandle. This gift was sent on the first week of January 2019.

Second, I also want to share the good news that we have received approval for the establishment of a United Methodist Church in the Lowell Correctional Institution, located in the community of Reddick in the North Central District. Lowell houses more than 2300 women and is considered to be the largest female prison in the United States. I can envision the lives of women being blessed by the gifts of Christian fellowship and worship and the presence of a pastor who will be a sign of the Good Shepherd’s love for them.

Pam and I wish for you God’s gifts of hope, peace, joy, love and light at Christmas. We consider it a great blessing to serve with you as followers of Jesus. Indeed, the word has become flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth” (John 1.14).

Rev. Ken Carter, Bishop
Florida UMC Conference