What kind of church is North River?
North River Church is a non-denominational fellowship of believers in Jesus Christ who are committed to apprenticeship to Him and to His mission. People at North River come from a variety of church and denominational backgrounds as well as non-church backgrounds.
We seek to maintain our unity by focusing on the essentials of faith, discipleship, and mission. We leave our non-essential doctrinal and theological differences in the parking lot and rely upon the grace of God to knit us into a seamless garment of unity and praise.
We know that unity is God’s desire for us and for all humanity. We are painfully aware that such unity is ours to disrupt and to lose.
What is your mission?
Our mission is to join Jesus in His mission. Our mission statement is based upon the mission statement of Jesus Christ who announced the beginning of this ministry in this way:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
Because he has anointed me
to preach Good News to the poor,
He has sent me to proclaim freedom For the Prisoners,
And Recovery of sight for the blind,
To release the oppressed,
To proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Luke 4:18-19 (NIV)
We believe that Christians are called not to develop their own mission but to join Jesus in the realization of His. As a result our mission statement is of a piece with His:
We express it this way:
"To walk in the power of the Holy Spirit,
to bring hope to the hurting
through Jesus Christ
to the glory of God."
For you to truly know who we are and what we are about, we invite you to better understand our mission statement.
Jesus came to bring hope to the hurting. He literally and figuratively brought good news to the poor, freedom to the captives, sight to the blind and freedom to the oppressed. Because Jesus Christ is alive, living and acting, we believe that he continues in that ministry today through his disciples in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Our mission statement is designed to spur faithful imagination as we seek in our own time and community to extend the ministry of Jesus. We do not want to operate only “according to our own lights.” Rather, we want to be lead and empoweredby the very Spirit of God, to see the opportunities before us and to act in ways that are in keeping with the mission of God in Christ.
Our desire is to bring an optimistic hope that is rooted not in our own capacity to go on mustering up a reason to live but in the faithfulness of God. We believe that God showed his faithfulness when he raised Jesus from the dead. We believe that God will always be faithful to us and will raise us from the dead and the many deaths we die in a lifetime.
We seek to bring this hope to the hurting. We understand “hurting” in the broadest sense of the word. We want to bring hope to those who are suffering "dis-ease" as a result of living in this chaotic world; to those who are striving to find something larger than themselves and a deeper meaning to life; to those who are disappointed, discouraged and grieving; to those who are in need of any kind of assistance.
Our desire is to offer hope in ways that are specifically Christian. That is, we do not offer hope for the sake of hope. Rather, our efforts always point beyond ourselves to the one who called us out of darkness into God’s marvelous light. We want everything we do to serve the mission of Jesus to “draw all people to himself.”
Finally, we want all of our efforts to be ordered by worship. We believe that our lives- whether personal, relational, moral, or spiritual- can only be rightly aligned as we turn ourselves toward the one who is our Creator, Sustainer and Savior. We want our whole lives to be an offering to God, the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ.
We try to realize our commitment through missional worship, prayer, fellowship, discipleship, ministry and outreach. We are growing to understand what it means to get "out of the box"- that is, to get outside the four walls of the church and serve the local, regional, and global community, our personal “Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and uttermost parts of the world.”
Though committed to the teachings of the Bible and surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus, we are an open church that values friendship, hospitality, and freedom.
We measure "success" not so much in terms of the number of people in chairs on Sunday morning but by the kind of impact we are having on our community and our world. We want to always ask ourselves:
"If North River Community Church disappeared tomorrow
would anyone in our community miss us?"
We want the answer to that question to be: "Yes!"
How do I get there?
Where do I park?
Since North River is a small church parking is very simple. Parking space is available at both the front of the building and behind the building. Entrance into the building may be gained through marked entrances at the front of the building or at the rear of the building.
Where do I go?
As soon as you enter the front door you will be greeted by people who will welcome you and direct you and those with you to the appropriate places. Children may sit with their families or can be taken to our Kids Community area.
Where do my kids go?
Kids may stay with their families or join the other children in our Kids Community where we have classes for children aged _ to _.
What are the worship services like?
Worship at North River Church is patterned after the earliest worship of the church as recorded in Acts 2:42: “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine, the fellowship, the breaking of bread, and the prayer.”
The Apostle’s Doctrine….
Preaching is of paramount importance at North River. Our pastor, Dr. Jim Street, is more often characterized as a teacher more than a preacher. He is committed to helping the listener grow in the knowledge and understanding of scripture. While he often creates series of sermons around specific topics, his focus is always on getting as deep as possible into the word and the world in which it was first written.
Fellowship and the formation of deep and lasting friendships is a key practice at North River. We believe that the life of faith is shaped in company of friends who share common commitments. We are very aware that most of us enter churches as strangers and we often marvel at the depth of friendship, fellowship, and love that follows as a result of the Holy Spirit working within and between us. So important is the formation of friends to us that we are not as concerned to “build our membership” as we are to “make new friends.” People often remark that their first impression of North River is the atmosphere of warmth and hospitality.
The Breaking of Bread….
On a regular basis, we alter our worship service so that we may have a meal together. Our Agape Meals are an integral part of our commitment to fellowship. We believe that worship is a way of life and not just a moment-in-time on a Sunday morning. Worship and fellowship go hand in hand. Through the acts of preparing for one another, serving one another, eating together, and conversing (and laughing!) with one another we come to know each other and grow in our friendship with one another.
We partake of the Lord’s Supper every Sunday during our worship. We believe that partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ was a central practice of the early church. We find that our experience of the love of God as shown in Christ is only enlivened and enriched by regular and consistent gathering around the Lord’s Table.
Prayer is also a regular, weekly part of our worship. Prayer is woven into the music portion of our gathering but is also given a central part when we name our concerns during worship. Everyone at North River believes in prayer and some have made prayer the centerpiece of their ministry. Anyone seeking prayer will find an immediate partner in prayer in our fellowship.
Music is a form of prayer at North River. The music is of the contemporary variety with some contemporary arrangements of traditional hymns mixed in. The worship team consists of 4 musicians with years of experience of playing and various combinations of singers. Song lyrics are projected on a screen at the front of the sanctuary.
At the end of every worship gathering, the benediction is pronounced in a way that sends us out for another week of ministry and mission. The benediction is typically shaped around the mission of our church: “Help us to walk in the power of your Spirit, to bring hope to the hurting, through Jesus Christ, to the glory of God.”
What do I wear?
You can feel free to either “dress up for church” or “come as you are.” On any given Sunday you will see a couple of ties and dresses, a few shorts and flip flops and everything in between. Apart from guidelines of modesty and good taste, dress is at the dresser’s discretion.
Can I meet the Pastor?
He would be disappointed if you didn’t! Our pastor makes a concerted effort to greet everyone but especially those who are with us for the first time. Because we are a small church, our pastor is very accessible…and very approachable.
What happens on Sundays?
Sundays are given to worship, which begins at 10 a.m. and ends at 11:30 a.m.
What happens other days?
We hold a series of regular gatherings…
What does the church believe?
While we do not subscribe to a creed in the formal sense of that word, we do want to share some of our beliefs with you so that you may gain a better understanding of the kinds of things we stand for. One of our basic operating principles is this:
"In essentials, unity.
In nonessentials, liberty.
In all things, love."
What that means is that we do believe there are certain things that Christians must hold as true. However, we also recognize that Christians differ and sometimes even divide themselves along lines that may or may not be central to the faith. While we believe that some things must be believed and embraced to call oneself a Christian, we also believe that Christ has called us to freedom and to be a people who show hospitality to one another, allowing for differences, and seeking to maintain the unity for which Christ prayed.
We understand that:
How do I become a part?
We do not offer membership in the traditional sense. We are not so concerned with names on a church roll as we are people actively engaged with one another in the service of Jesus Christ. We are "kingdom-minded" and for that reason celebrate and support the work of any church or ministry that is striving to be faithful to the Lordship of Jesus Christ regardless of denominational "branding." We join with other ministries to add our part to creating a "Kingdom impact" in the community and the world.