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On Sunday, July 29, Ridglea Presbyterian Church decommissioned the building at 6201 Camp Bowie Boulevard in preparation for a relocation to our new home at 5000 Southwest Boulevard sometime in 2019.
Until the renovations and additions to our new home are complete, we are worshiping and working at 4350 River Oaks Boulevard, home of the former John Knox Presbyterian Church.
Our Sunday morning schedule continues with Sunday School from 9:00-9:45 a.m. and worship at 10:00 a.m. For more, see our list of frequently asked questions.
Many hands make light work, and we need yours to help us get our temporary home ready for moving day! Join us at 8 a.m. on Saturday, July 15 at 4350 River Oaks Blvd. No previous cleaning experience is necessary, and all are welcome!
Lunch will be provided. In order to ensure enough food for all, please RSVP here.
Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,
For many months now, Ridglea Presbyterian Church has been anticipating the day when we will leave the building and land that has been our home for more than 75 years. After many false starts, that day is now plainly in view.
At a called meeting of the session last Sunday, the session determined that Sunday, July 29, at 10 a.m. will mark the final Service of the Lord’s Day in our building at 6201 Camp Bowie. It will be a day of both celebration and tears. We will celebrate the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, and we will welcome colleagues in ministry from Grace Presbytery who will help us decommission the spaces where we have gathered around and responded to the Word of God. Plans are underway for a time of fellowship and refreshments following the service, and more details will be forthcoming.
Until our new home is ready for us to move in, beginning Sunday, August 5, we will be meeting at the site of the former John Knox Presbyterian Church at 4350 River Oaks Boulevard.
In an effort to anticipate the many questions that are sure to come, we have prepared the Q&A below. As always, if your question is not on this list, please contact any of the elders listed below.
Your servants in Christ,
|The Session of Ridglea Presbyterian Church|
|John Godwin||Blythe Lee||Julie Ritz|
|Martin Cleworth||Marsha West||Butch Saxton|
|Marsha Dueease||Bill Long||Tom Sisolak|
|Ivey Ramsey||Will Stallworth||Renee Stuart|
Rev. Dr. Ryan Baer, Moderator
Karen Landon, Clerk
Q: Why does the timeline suddenly seem so short?
A: We closed on the sale of our current building in late May. The terms of that contract state that we have three months of free rent, and then beginning September 1, we may remain in the building by paying $15,000 per month in rent. Grace Presbytery has offered us use of the former John Knox building at very reasonable terms as a temporary home, and the leadership of the church feels that this is good stewardship of God’s resources. This will also give us time to complete the close out of 6201 Camp Bowie while the building is unoccupied during the month of August.
Q: How long will we be worshiping at River Oaks?.
A: We are still working with our architect to determine a targeted occupancy date for our new home at 5000 Southwest Boulevard, but we will make every effort to keep our time in temporary quarters as brief as possible.
Q: I heard that a Korean church is meeting in River Oaks. Won’t we be in their way?
A: The First Korean Presbyterian Church of Fort Worth currently meets in River Oaks. However, at present, they are only using one office on weekdays and the Fellowship Hall on Sunday afternoons for their worship services and other activities. Ryan Baer and John Godwin have held meetings with Pastor Myunggil Kim of the Korean congregation and Joanna Kim of Grace Presbytery and have established an excellent working relationship between the two congregations and Grace Presbytery.
Q: What can I do to help?
A: First of all, pray! Please pray for the perseverance of Paul, the passion of Peter, the love of John, the wisdom of Solomon, and the patience of Job! Also, many hands make light work, and we need yours! The River Oaks site needs some cleaning and TLC. Volunteers are needed to join Boy Scout Troop 326 on Saturday, July 14th starting at 8:00 AM. Bring gloves, a mop, Swiffer, vacuum, or just yourself to 4350 River Oaks Blvd. Lunch will be provided. This is an excellent opportunity for Scout and church members to work together as a team, and all are needed! Sign up here!
“And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,”
Dinner for Eight is a great way to meet new people, both from RPC and the community! The dinners provide an opportunity to spend time eating and sharing together.
What happens at Dinner for Eight?
Groups will plan meals and get together at a participant’s home or local restaurants. The emphasis is on fun and fellowship, so you don’t have to be a great cook to participate! In addition to having dinner together, plan on spending some time just having fun: like sharing a dinner and showing off your skills at the bowling alley, enjoying a meal in someone’s home and playing board games, or just spending time together with some after-dinner coffee. At the end of the day, the specifics surrounding the dinner are up to the individual group!
Is Dinner for Eight a Bible study?
Great question! No, this is just a time for fellowship. Be yourself, and if the conversation takes you back to Sunday’s sermon, fantastic, but there are no preconceived expectations for this to be the case.
How does a Dinner for Eight Group work?
Simply fill out the online registration form for you and your household (if applicable). Once participants are signed up, the Dinner for Eight Coordinator will contact members with details.
How are the Dinner for Eight Groups formed?
Groups will be formed with around eight adults. The participants will change every month so that you have an opportunity to meet new people at each Dinner for Eight. Family size will be considered when creating groups, but generally speaking some groups will have approximately eight adults comprised of either all couples, two couples and four singles, and others might have one couple and six singles. It all depends on who signs up. The mystery is part of this ministry’s excitement!
Will there be separate Dinner for Eight Groups for singles and couples?
No! Our intention is to mix EVERYONE together. That way you will have more fun and individuals from all ages and walks of life will get to know one another.
All that sounds pretty good, so far, but who cooks the meals?
Our desire is for you to spend time eating together, getting to know each other, and to include everyone. Dinner groups are encouraged to be creative with the meals they enjoy together. You may even pick a dinner “theme night” (i.e. Italian night, dessert night, soup night, etc.), and everyone can bring a dish that goes along with that theme. For individuals whose cooking skills aren’t up to the challenge, but you’d prefer the home setting, feel free to bring pre-prepared dishes such as Tom Thumb friend chicken or a frozen lasagna (baked, of course!). It isn’t about the cooking or really even the food, it’s about spending time together and having fun!
If you’d like to host but don’t have space in your home, when you register, you can sign up to host at a restaurant. As a restaurant host, all this means is that you pick the restaurant and call to make a reservation for the group. Each participant will be responsible for their own check at a restaurant.
This is sounding better and better, but I/we have kids. What happens to them?
The decision to include children will be completely up to you! If you’d like your children to be part of the fun, simply note on the sign-up form how many children you have and the Dinner for 8 coordinator will make sure you are assigned to child-friendly host homes.
If others in your group also have kids and you’d like them to have some fun of their own, but not necessarily be with the adults, you can also pool together on babysitting! It’s really up to what you and the group would like to do.
Note: the church will not be providing any form of child care for this ministry.
Sounds like fun! How and when do I sign up?
After I’ve registered, what happens next?
About a week before each date, you will receive a text message or e-mail from Amy Baer which will include your host’s name and address, directions, and your assigned side dish (if any). Feel free to contact Amy any time with questions by email or phone (817) 637-5811.
Fort Worth, Texas – June 21, 2018 – After more than 75 years at the corner of Camp Bowie and Westridge, Ridglea Presbyterian Church is moving.
On Thursday, the church announced that it has purchased property at 5000 Southwest Blvd., site of the former Bethel United Methodist Church. In May, the church sold its existing property at 6201 Camp Bowie to MDJ Partners, a Fort Worth commercial real estate developer. The terms of both deals were undisclosed.
“Although moving is always hard, this is an incredible opportunity for us,” said Rev. Ryan Baer, the church’s pastor. “The new site is just two miles to the southwest, so we’re not leaving Ridglea. We’re going from a small lot with just eleven parking spaces to a site with over three acres of room, and we’re cutting our annual maintenance and utility costs by more than half. The move will enable us to do even more for the kingdom of God here in Fort Worth and beyond.”
The congregation will hold its final worship service at its Camp Bowie location on Sunday, July 29, at 10 a.m. Beginning Sunday, August 5, the congregation will be worshiping and working at 4350 River Oaks Boulevard while renovations are being made to the property on Southwest Boulevard.
“We’re busy renovating the new site and we’re excited about new opportunities for worship and work in Fort Worth,” said Rev. Baer.
Chartered in 1943, Ridglea Presbyterian Church is a member congregation of Grace Presbytery and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
Dear Members and Friends of Ridglea Presbyterian Church,
Grace to you and peace in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! I write to you today as a pastor with a heart full of gratitude for the ways in which you continue to support and nurture both me and my family.
As many of you know, a little over a week ago, I was awarded the Doctor of Ministry degree from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago. You have been so kind with your cards and expressions of congratulations, but I want you to know that I literally could not have done it without you. To be able to study is an incredible gift and privilege, and I am so very grateful for the ways in which Ridglea Presbyterian Church values and supports education in myriad ways. I can’t begin to express my thanks to you, to the church staff, and most especially to my family for the sacrifices they’ve made along the way, and I’m excited about the opportunities we’ll have later this summer to continue learning together.
Many have asked about the difference between a Doctor of Ministry (DMin) and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). As the dean of McCormick Seminary once put it, the Doctor of Ministry degree qualifies one to be a teacher of the Church, whereas the Doctor of Philosophy qualifies one to be a teacher of the Academy. Formally, it is appropriate to refer to me as “The Reverend Doctor Baer” but as always, Ryan or Pastor Ryan will do.
In about a week’s time, Amy and the boys and I will gather once again in Alabama with five other clergy families from across the nation for a week of study and renewal. These dear colleagues and their families have become like an extended family to us over the years, and we have seen much growth in each other. In fact, when we first began meeting in 2009, there were just two children in our group. This year, there will be 14 kids in the house, ranging in age from two to ten! Thank you for providing my family and I this opportunity to reconnect with each other, with clergy colleagues and their families, and with the God whom we worship and serve. Our featured speaker for the week this year will be Dr. Brennan Breed, Assistant Professor of Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary.
We will return to Texas on Friday, June 1, just in time for me to wash clothes, repack my bags, and kiss Amy and the boys goodbye on Sunday, June 3, as I board a flight with eight other Fort Worth pastors bound for the Holy Land. We will be spending five nights near the Sea of Galilee and five nights in Jerusalem, day-tripping to biblical sites all over Israel. This is all made possible through Macedonian Ministries, an Atlanta-based ecumenical ministry that seeks to strengthen pastors, congregations, and communities. Our group will return to Texas on June 16, and I will be eager to see your faces again in worship again on Father’s’ Day, June 17!
In the five-plus years we’ve been together as pastor and congregation, I’ve never been away from the church for this many consecutive days. I’m so grateful for your gift of this extended time away, and I have supreme trust in the leadership of the session and the staff.
The session has lined up some wonderful supply preachers for the next three Sundays. On May 27, we’ll welcome the Rev. Dr. John Williams, Chaplain and Director of Church Relations at Austin College in Sherman. On June 3, the Rev. Julie Riley will preach and preside at the Lord’s Table. Julie has served a number of congregations in Grace Presbytery, including Lake Highlands in Dallas and Woodhaven in Irving, where she was my pastor many years ago. On June 10, we’ll welcome Rev. Fred Thompson, who, in addition to running a successful Christian counseling practice a few blocks from the church, just recently retired as the pastor of the Forest Hill Presbyterian Church. Don’t forget that for the summer, we’ll have one combined worship service at 10 a.m.
Again, this pastor’s heart is full of gratitude for you, for Ridglea, and for the exciting journey that lies ahead of us. May God bless you and keep you!
Peace be with you,
(a.k.a. The Reverend Doctor Ryan Baer) 🙂
Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,
The session of Ridglea Presbyterian Church calls the congregation to meet on Sunday, May 13, 2018, in the sanctuary immediately following the 11:00 worship service for the purpose of answering the question, “Is God calling the congregation of Ridglea Presbyterian Church to authorize its trustees to sign and close the contract for purchase of real estate submitted by MDJ Partners, LLC?”
A detailed executive summary is being sent via US mail to all RPC households, and copies will be available in the church office. In addition, the session has prepared a list of “Frequently Asked Questions” below. As always, if you have additional questions that aren’t answered here, please feel free to speak with any member of the session.
Your servants in Christ,
|The Session of Ridglea Presbyterian Church|
|Nancy Marchant||John Godwin||Blythe Lee|
|Ken Kibler||Martin Cleworth||Marsha West|
|Cary Dorman||Marsha Dueease||Bill Long|
|Susan Maxwell||Ivey Ramsey||Will Stallworth|
|Tom Sisolak||Lynne Payne|
|Brett Wyatt||Jerry Rottler|
|Rev. Ryan Baer, Moderator Karen Landon, Clerk|
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What makes this contract different than the previous one with MDJ Partners?
A: MDJ Partners notified us late last year that the plans they originally submitted to the City of Fort Worth called for two tenants on the lot; however, the city notified MDJ that there was only sufficient room on the lot for one. Consequently, MDJ notified us that their projected return on their investment was insufficient to close the contract at the previously negotiated price. In the months since, the Property Negotiating Team has met with other interested buyers, but when taking all factors into consideration, MDJ Partners’ offer remains the best one available for the church. Under this new contract, MDJ will deposit significant funds in non-refundable earnest money. Because MDJ has already completed their inspections of the property, the contract only has a ten day inspection period, and MDJ has indicated they will be ready to close very shortly after the inspection period is completed. As in the previous contract, the terms allow a period of months after closing for the church to vacate the building, as well as a lease-back option if necessary. As in previous contracts, RPC is allowed to retain possession of furnishings, musical instruments, stained glass, and the like.
Q: What does the prospective buyer plan to do with the building?
A: The buyer’s plans are to demolish the existing structure and replace it with retail and/or office space. We do not anticipate a negative reaction from neighborhood groups as when a gas station was planned for the site.
Q: If we sell, where will we go?
A: At present, we have an approved contract to purchase the site of the former Bethel United Methodist Church at 5000 Southwest Boulevard, about two miles southwest of the church’s current location. The terms of the sale contract with MDJ and our purchase contract for 5000 Southwest Boulevard will allow the church to complete the purchase of the new location, make renovations to it as necessary, and complete the relocation process, all without incurring any debt or expending cash reserves.
Q: Several people have asked me if the church is closing. Is this true?
A: No. The church remains strong and committed to the work of Jesus Christ in Fort Worth and beyond, whether we carry out that work in our present facility or in a new location. Our financial position remains strong, and there are no plans to close the church or dissolve the congregation.
Q: Why are we having a congregational meeting on Mothers’ Day?
A: The Book of Order requires that the presbytery approve all real estate transactions. The next stated meeting of Grace Presbytery is Saturday, May 19, and the next one isn’t until October 6. Because of the approvals needed and the quirks of the calendar, the only Sunday available for this meeting is May 13.
Q: Who will moderate this meeting?
A: Our pastor, Rev. Ryan Baer, is graduating from the Doctor of Ministry program at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago on May 12, and the Baer family will be traveling on May 13. The Book of Order allows the installed pastor to invite another Minister of Word and Sacrament of the presbytery to moderate a congregational meeting if necessary. Rev. Baer has invited the Rev. Michael Waschevski, Associate Pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Fort Worth, to moderate, and he has graciously accepted.
Q: I can’t be there on May 13. Can I vote by proxy?
A: Per the terms of our congregational bylaws, voting by proxy is not allowed.
Q: How will the vote be taken?
A: The vote will be taken by secret paper ballot. Any active member in good standing is eligible to cast a vote, and tellers will check every ballot against the active membership roll. If you have questions about the status of your membership, please contact Karen Landon, Clerk of Session.