Known as ‘the church with the warm heart,’ RiverPoint Ministries United Methodist Church, located in the Maumee Watershed District, was awarded the 2018 West Ohio Conference One Matters award from Discipleship Ministries. The One Matters Initiative was created to celebrate churches that are extending the love of Christ into the community and bringing new members into their congregations. It recognizes a congregation who has transformed zero professions of faith and baptisms into positive numbers. In 2017, RiverPoint Ministries had one baptism; in 2018, the church saw 17 baptisms and 6 professions of faith.
Behind those numbers is a church whose members are active in mission and ministry, locally and beyond. RiverPoint UMC works together with five other churches in their community to hold community worship services twice a year, and to provide Vacation Bible School for the whole area. Church denominations involved include Roman Catholic, Lutheran, United Church of Christ, Nazarene, and Alliance. The pastors of these churches also take turns preaching at the local long-term care facility and covering for each other during times away.
RiverPoint itself worships about 80-90 people on a Sunday morning in a blended worship service, with a mix of ages and social classes. “Something that RiverPoint does well is that we are an open congregation to people from all walks of life,” says Pastor Amy Kuhlman, who is in her second year at RiverPoint. “We see past the differences that we all have. We are a congregation that if they know there is a need, then they will meet that need.”
The church supports missions such as UMCOR, the potato truck at annual conference, the local food pantry, and the Toledo Gospel Rescue Mission, among others. In addition, RiverPoint holds a mid-week faith formation evening called “Thank God It’s Wednesday (T.G.I.W.)” that offers Christian education for children, adult Bible studies, and a meal. A free community dinner is provided once a month as well.
Health and wellness are also emphasized at RiverPoint through the Holy Rowers, a kayaking ministry, and the Holy Bowlers, who gather weekly for exercise and community during the winter months. C.H.E.W. the Word (Christians Healthy Eating and Wellness) gathers every Saturday morning to promote health and wellness and to study God’s word.
“My hope for RiverPoint UMC is that they continue to steadily grow, not only in numbers but also spiritually, and that we are more willing to get outside of our walls to share the love of Jesus Christ with more of those in our community,” Pastor Amy comments.
Congratulations, RiverPoint Ministries, for being the 2018 West Ohio One Matters Award winner!