A poem response to the General Conference Special Session 2019

The past week has caused a lot of pain, confusion and emotion throughout the UMC and our faith community, RISE. With all of this, we are often left speechless— so we are so very thankful for friends like, Kate Martin, who so beautifully and articulately speak for so many of our hearts when words seem impossible.

The following poem, written by Kate Martin, is a prayerful response to the statements made by the opposition during their floor debates that said, “I love you enough to tell you the truth” when speaking against/to/about LGBTQ individuals in the church. Please feel free to share this if it speaks to you too.

“I love you enough to tell you the truth”

I’m writing today not to condemn you

I’m writing today because I love you

I’m writing you today because I don’t want you to miss out on what God has for you

the plans He’s laid before you.

But I fear, my child, you have been misguided

I fear, my child, you may have been lied to

I fear, my child, what you ask is too small

You see, my child, God has love for us all.

The scripture you quote is not as soft as God’s love

The words you repeat will not conjure a flood,

though the God of the Old Testament loves me too

Alas, I’m washed with the blood of Jesus through and through.

What you think I dream of, I can only imagine

Flags waving high, parties in front of a mansion

But when I close my eyes and truly day dream

It is a scene made of much different things.

My fantasies include:

being a disciple

a martyr

a message

hope for the people.

I do not dream of these things because I cannot

I can,

I do,

I will,

I have fought.

I fear you think God’s love is smaller than it is

that because I love a woman,

my life is not His.

I love you enough to tell you the truth

The God you love, loves beyond your belief

I don’t doubt He will welcome me with open arms

He has loved beyond much stronger storms

My life is a joy to Him— over-bounding with love,

Your God is much bigger than the God you speak of.

-Written by, Kate Martin

RISE Ministry Fair THIS Sunday (Feb 10th)

Folks have been expressing that they love being a part of RISE and want to be more deeply involved in leadership but just don’t know what really goes on behind the scenes. So, you asked and we supplied! This Sunday, Feb 10th RISE will be holding a ministry fair immediately following worship at 60 West Market Street where the various ministry teams will be set up and ready to answer any questions you may have.

Come explore and get to know the ways you can be involved with RISE!

Just Love Valentine Cards!

Hey friends, the sale continues for the “Just Love” Valentine’s Day card project! In attempt to reclaim the true meaning of Valentine’s day, we’re selling handmade cards all in the name of love and justice — get it? JUST LOVE.

Check these amazing cards out yourselves and purchase today! Made by the wondering RISE community: http://www.riseharrisonburg.com/just-love/

All proceeds go toward mending God’s creation in the Harrisonburg community and surrounding areas.

Just for Men

Hey guys! Are you looking for a fun-loving group of other men to spend quality time with? Don't lie, you are. Come check out "Just for Men", a small group of guys that meet every Tuesday evening at Thomas Rea's house. You never really know what will go on unless you show up, but there will always be food of some kind to enjoy.

Contact Thomas Rea at trea@vt.edu for more information!

Still Service - September 12th

Seeking stillness is a vital part of being a human. It's how we recover. It's how we can order our thoughts. It's how we can discover the unchanging reality of God's presence and the firm foundation that reality provides in the midst of our chaotic, always changing lives. 

Join us on Wednesday, September 12th at 7pm at 60 West Market for a one hour service we call "Still". This small, intimate service will provide the space and guidance to practice still, quiet prayer together, and give you the tools for practicing these ancient practices on your own at home. 

G-Life Needs Your Help!


G-Life has more fun! Standing for "God's Love is for Everybody" G-Life is our children's ministry. We meet most Sundays during worship for singing, games, service projects, Bible stories, and much more! But G-Life can't function without committed adult volunteers, which is where you come in. We are in need several new folks willing to sign up to join the volunteer rotation. If you are willing (and honestly, it'd be weird if you weren't cause the kids at G-Life are seriously the best!) contact Kristin Wenger at floraka@dukes.jmu.edu. We will be hosting a volunteer meeting and training on September 2nd following worship, so if you are planning to volunteer this coming year, please plan to attend. 

With: A Community Outreach

My Post-7.jpg

We are in the process of launching a very special new outreach at 60 West Market called "With". It is focused on providing safe space for and presence with families waiting for their visitation time with their loved one at the jail across the street from our building. This is a multi-church/organization effort as we are partnering with several other communities in the area to begin this outreach. We are currently working on finding and training committed volunteers for this unique ministry. If you are interested in more information, please email Roy Nelson at roygnelson@gmail.com.

Disc Golf Tournament Fundraiser

My Post-6.jpg

RISE is hosting our first ever Disc Golf Tournament on August 19th at 3 pm at Westover Park in Harrisonburg. This is set to be a major fundraiser for the RISE community, so we need your help to get the word out! Teams of four are encouraged to register at $100 per team. All proceeds go to benefit the ministries at RISE. To register, please visit www.riseharrisonburg.com/discgolf and fill out the registration form. This event is open to anyone and everyone, so please spread the word! Prizes will be given out to various winners of the tournament. See you there!!

Blessing of the Animals

My Post-5.jpg

It's a favorite at RISE and it's back! Our Blessing of the Animals worship service is happening at the JMU Arboretum on Sunday, July 29th at exactly 10(ish). Bring your pets (leashed or contained, please, as there will be other animals) to receive a blessing from the RISE community during this super casual and friendly outdoor worship service. Bring your own chair or blanket as well, as there won't be any seating. We'll sing some songs, pray together, and enjoy God's good creation together!

Still: A Different Way to Worship

My Post-4.jpg

We hope you will join us for two very special mid-week worship experiences this month. These services last no longer than one hour and offer intentional times of quiet reflection, prayer, meditation, and mindfulness. By stilling our hearts, we can dwell on and experience the presence of God's Holy Spirit among us. Our first meeting was such a joy for everyone who attended and we really hope you'll join us for the next two services. 

Harrisonburg Pride

My Post-3.jpg

RISE will be at the Harrisonburg Pride Festival yet again this year. We will be handing out freeze pops and stickers to celebrate God's great gift of diversity and love! We hope you'll join us. 

If you would like to volunteer at our table, please contact Megan Marker at markermr@gmail.com to sign up for a slot. Thanks!!

Red Cross Blood Drive

My Post-2.jpg

RISE, in conjunction with the American Red Cross, is hosting a blood drive on July 9th from 1p to 6p. If you would like to give the gift of life, please register to donate by clicking the link below, typing "RISE" in the search bar, and clicking on our blood drive page. https://www.redcrossblood.org/give.html/find-drive