Dear friends in Christ,
On July 20, 2007, Nicci Kennedy answered God’s call to serve the Ridglea Presbyterian Church as Coordinator of Children’s and Youth Ministries, and for over a decade, she has served this congregation with energy, intelligence, imagination, and love.
Therefore, it is with both profound sadness at her impending departure and profound thanksgiving for her years of faithful service that the session reports that Nicci has discerned that God is calling her to new horizons and that she has tendered her resignation effective October 15. Please see Nicci’s letter to the congregation below.
In the gospels, Jesus says whoever welcomes a child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Nicci has abundant gifts for welcoming children, and for eleven years, she has generously shared those gifts with us. Nicci has welcomed infants and toddlers in the nursery, elementary school children in Messenger Fellowship, and middle and high school students in Ridglea Presbyterian Church Youth. Nicci has held firm to the conviction that these children and youth are not the “future of the church,” but rather a vital an integral part of the present of the church now. Nicci has played a vital role in the development of intergenerational ministry as one of our congregation’s core values, and she has been a valuable colleague in ministry. She has left an indelible mark on this congregation, and she will be greatly missed.
We hope that you will join us in the River Oaks Fellowship Hall for a reception after worship on Sunday, October 21, as we celebrate and give thanks for Nicci’s ministry among us. You are invited and encouraged to write a note of appreciation for Nicci, and if you would like to include a gift, please note that from an income tax perspective, it is more advantageous to both Nicci and the church if you make your gift directly to her, rather than routing it through the church.
While we know that this announcement will come as a surprise to many, the Christian Education Committee and the session are already hard at work on transition plans and that our commitment to vibrant children’s and youth ministries at Ridglea Presbyterian Church remains as strong as ever. If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to speak with any member of the session.
Your servants in Christ,
I have come to the decision that it is time for me to leave Ridglea Presbyterian Church. This has been a very challenging and difficult decision for me to reach. I asked the Session not to share this announcement until after the Fall weekend retreat with our youth, so that our time could be focused on their growth, and helping seeds to be planted and nurtured, and not on me and my leaving.
It has been my joy and privilege to be a part of so much with this congregation over the last eleven years: four Senior pastors, two locations, new friends, loss of colleagues, and most importantly, being a part of the growth and development of so many children and youth. So many opportunities for both personal and professional growth have been given to me in this city that raised me.
I have spent much time meditating and in prayer about this next step. I have come to realize it is time for me to continue in prayer with and for Ridglea Presbyterian Church, but from a new place. This decision has not been reached easily as I care so much for you all– especially our children and youth.
This time of discernment for Ridglea Presbyterian Church continues. I am confident God is with you all in this journey as God is with each of us.
This congregation has had an incredible impact on my life! Sharing in times of laughter and tears, times of giggles and tough questions, times of learning and sharing and for all of that and so much more I will always be thankful. I have experienced festivals and funerals, celebrations and tears, whoopies and poopies (term used by the youth), flooding and moving, creating and recreating, games and recitals, doctor appointments and tough decisions, no where and now here moments that are formational and God-filled. Thank you for trusting me, for walking with me in ministry, and for welcoming me into your lives. The memories will never be forgotten.
You are all loved and will be in my prayers. I am sad not to see Ridglea Presbyterian Church move through this phase and into the final destination on Southwest Blvd. I rest assured God is with us wherever we go! We need to continue to invite God into our space, share, but also listen. I truly believe we have two ears and one mouth so we will spend twice as much time listening as we do sharing. My hope for each of you is to take time everyday to share with God and also take time to listen as you discern as a congregation what is to come.
“May the Lord watch between me and thee while we are absent one from the other.” Genesis 31:49
With great hope-
On July 29, Ridglea Presbyterian Church decommissioned our building at 6201 Camp Bowie Boulevard as we prepare to move to a new permanent home at 5000 Southwest Boulevard in 2019.
The contractor planned to begin demolishing the Camp Bowie building on Wednesday, October 17, but weather conditions have caused delays.
Please plan accordingly.
One of the things I’ve noticed in my career in ministry is that people genuinely want to study the whole Bible – to understand its history, geography, and stories AND how it relates to their own lives today. However, lots of obstacles tend to get in the way – busy schedules, difficulty with some passages, discipline of staying on a reading schedule, etc.
I want to try an experiment this Fall. I want to lead a group of folks through a 12-week program called Disciple Fast Track. Here’s how it would work:
We would covenant together to reading 3-5 chapters of the bible each day (using a study guide). On Sunday mornings from 9-9:45 a.m. during the Sunday School hour, we would meet together to watch a short (5 minute) video lesson, and I would facilitate a guided group discussion about what we’ve read. We would also covenant to pray with and for one another during these 12 weeks.
The class would have an orientation at 9 a.m. on September 9, and then meet every Sunday morning except for November 25 (Thanksgiving weekend) through December 9. When we’ve completed the 12 weeks, we’ll have had an excellent overview of the Old Testament and developed or honed a personal habit of daily bible reading.
We’d take the rest of December off, and then beginning January 6, those that wanted to would continue with the 12-week New Testament track. We’d take off March 10 (the first Sunday of Spring Break), and we’d wrap up by March 31, just in time to get ready for Easter. Those that complete both tracks will have an excellent overview of the whole biblical story in just 24 weeks. But more importantly, we’ll have deepened our discipleship in Jesus Christ and our commitment to one another.
There are some costs involved. The study guides are $16 each (one for OT and one for NT), and it would be ideal if each participant had their own guide to write in, etc. rather than sharing with a partner or spouse. A good study bible would also be ideal (rather than say an antique King James family heirloom bible), and if you’re interested, I can make some recommendations there.
It would also require a commitment of time for keeping up with the daily reading assignments and participating in the Sunday morning group discussions.
I’m not looking to cannibalize or interrupt our existing Sunday School classes. If you’re happy with what’s being offered in other classes, please don’t feel obligated to participate just because the pastor e-mailed you.
But if you’re interested in this short-term experiment, you can find more information and register below.
As always, I’m happy to answer questions.
Peace be with you,
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.