Q. What's with the name?
A. Our new faith community is called RISE because it has many meanings: renewal, transformation, and resurrection (just to name a few!) RISE also means different things for different people. For some, it could be to rise and be love in a hurting world. For others, it could be a challenge to simply rise and face the day. RISE conveys passion and is a call to action and mission. That's who we are and who we are becoming in Christ.
Q. What is a "faith community?"
A. To us, a faith community is a place where anyone (anyone!) can come and be loved and welcomed with open arms. It's a place where we can connect with God, with each other, with our Harrisonburg community and with the world in the form of authentic worship, outreach and mission, and relationships. By connecting in these ways in our community, we believe we can experience God's love and grace and be transformed.
Q. Who can come to RISE?
A. Everyone. Everyone. Everyone. Everyone is welcome in this community. Our "motto" is: Receive love. Give love. Repeat. And that includes everyone. God says so! No matter your age, background, whatever ... YOU are welcome at RISE.
Q. What if I'm not sure about my faith?
A. You are not alone. At RISE, we don't claim to know all theanswers. Not even close. But we believe there is power (and fun!) in wrestling with the questions. Questioning and wrestling with God is healthy and biblical. Just look at Genesis 32:22-26, Psalm 22 and the entire book of Job! This is all to say that we're still figuring things out too. And there are days when we will wander and question and wrestle. And that's okay. It's healthy.
Q. What makes you different from every other church in Harrisonburg?
A. We believethat many churches say one thing and do another. "We love you, but ..." At RISE, we believe in a love with no strings attached. Everyone means everyone. And we want to share that with our community. Whatever stuff you bring, whatever baggage you carry, we carry it too. And God loves you anyway. And so do we.
We're also trying to listen first. We want to hear stories, and in hearing those stories, we believe we will hear God. We want to really live what we're saying. We want to be in our community – taking risks and living love. Sometimes love is messy. Sometimes it's really difficult. But it's so worth it.
Q. What affiliation does RISE have with the United Methodist Church?
A. RISE is a United Methodist Faith Community. That means we are rooted in the theology of the United Methodist Church (which, by the way, is a theology that is accepting, open-armed, and grace-filled). Doesthat mean you have to be United Methodist to be a part of RISE? Absolutely not. RISE welcomes anyone and everyone. That is really, really important. Many in our faith community do not identify as United Methodists and some have never been to church. And we like it thatway! It keeps things spicy. We're all on this journey together. We really hope that you'll check us out and discover that RISE is the place for you. For more on the United Methodist Church, click here.
Q. Why did you start RISE? Where did it come from?
A. The idea for RISE was born in late 2009 when a group of leaders from the now defunct JMU Wesley Foundation (a campus ministry for James Madison University) decided that things needed to change. The community (or lack thereof) had grown stale and had turned inward. We started to ask some hard questions. Who are we? Who are we called to be? What are we called to do? The answers we were forced to cough up didn't sit well with us. So we decided we needed to turn around – outward – and face the world. Our world. We saw pain and devastation and guilt and shame all around us and even in us. And so we decided to dosomething about it. We saw a need for honesty, grace, love and passion in our community and in our world. We saw a need for the unconditional love of Jesus. And that's why RISE exists. So that our friends in thecommunity and around the world will share in the love that binds us as children of God. No matter what.
Q. What time does RISE worship? What if I'm late? What should I wear?
A. Whoa, slow down! Weekly worship takes place every Sunday morning at exactly 10(ish) at Court Square Theater in downtown Harrisonburg. If you're late, it's fine. Seriously. And wear what you want. Your pajamas, your wedding dress, and everything in between.
Q. How can I meet people at RISE?
A. Well, we think "Hi" is a great place to start! Stop by RISE (60 W. Market St.) and say hello. Call us (540-324-3241) or email us (firstname.lastname@example.org). Find us on Facebook and Twitter. Or just come to worship or mission events (or anything else you see discussed on our Facebook and Twitter feeds!) We really want to meet you. In fact, here's a secret: This isn't for us. RISE is for those wehaven't even met yet. Is that you?
Q. How interactive and "hands-on" is worship?
A. Worship looks and feels different from week to week – some weeks in big ways and others in not-so-big ways. There may be activities or take-aways or small group discussions ... anything that enhances ourconnection to each other and to God in worship. We have music, sharing, a time to learn, to think, to struggle, to connect. We also want you to feel like you are truly a part of worship – not just watching a show.
Q. What if I still have questions?
A. Just shoot us an email. We're happy to answer! (And it may even end up here on this page!) Email us at email@example.com.