Good News Feed

as a newsfeed, new content is placed at the top; scroll down for older content

Guatemala Team Update

After leaving the River Hills building early Sunday morning, the Guatemalan Mission Team made it safely to Guatemala Sunday evening. The team is hard at work building a modest house for a mom and her kids, as well as cutting hair for the Kairos Christian School. As the school's director said: "Un salón improvisado! Gracias Gina Hees y Margaret Maggie Kraus... y gracias a Aniu Salon y River Hills por prestásnolas esta semana."

May this team realize they are not only building a simple house, but that God is building a new understanding of His Kingdom both in the recipients of their service, and in the team-members themselves.

May this family know the love of Christ not only from having a new roof over their heads, but especially from the people who gave of themselves and their resources to make it a reality.

Here is the video from Sunday's message, "Your Mission: Love Your Enemies!"

43 “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. 44 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. -- Jesus, Matthew 5:43-45

River Hills Leaders' Summit

Sunday February 9 most of the ministry team leaders and small group leaders filled the KidStuf area, not just to eat some great food, but to start a long range ministry planning process. We are working on planning more than a year out, and running all our activities through a couple of different grids to determine what we're doing right, what needs improvement, and how everything we do fulfills, or fails to fulfill, our purpose of "encouraging people, no matter where they're at, in a growing relationship with God." Do you have some thoughts you'd like to share? Let us know

Welcome to the Good News Letter

Welcome to The Good News Letter. It is the intent of The Good News Letter to do a few things.

First we want to be a constant on-line news feed in E-newsletter form intended to glorify God and clearly show our love as followers of Jesus Christ. Oh, we intend to have fun doing this and, as we evolve, we’ll no doubt add features, and we’ll find out what doesn’t work.

Important to note is that it is your Good News Letter. Let’s get to know one-another better, perhaps some more activities or small groups will emerge due to our sharing with one-another. It is the hope of our staff and me that we will become more cohesive, more confluent and that, most of all, we will grow together as a body of Christ. Keep in mind that, at least from my window to River Hills Church, there are so many of you that I would love to get to know better.

We will always welcome your input and please feel free to email any ideas, revelations (not THAT one) or even complaints to me:

Hello from your new Connections Pastor

I am thrilled and humbled by this opportunity to serve River Hills Church and the greater Sauk-Prairie Community. If you have something you need, something to talk about, something to pray about, I am here for you.

My email signature includes three lines that are my focus as your Connections Pastor.

God for Leadership

Others for Friendship

Service for Significance

God for Leadership. You might be a student of leadership, you may have trained to be a leader, hopefully you have good leaders in your life. Wherever you are, God must be our source as you lead and as you are led. Here are three ways to see this through:

First, God provides the opportunity to lead, so these are His opportunities. He has entrusted you to speak love and grace to people, you can guide and encourage others and create opportunities for others to lead and to serve. These are all God's – He is the author and finisher of our Faith, and we can trust him with these opportunities. We, you and I, do our best to lead, but it is all His. Acknowledging His ownership releases us from our ego, allows His Holy Spirit to guide us, and also releases those we lead. God is not a control freak, neither are good leaders.

Second, God gives us the grace to be led. So we can be thoughtful, we can embrace, and engage with the knowledge we are covered by His grace. Grace will be there when leaders disappoint. This grace also includes the freedom to think for ourselves, and to choose to participate or not. Whether or not you lead or are led, grace is there for you.

Third, Jesus Christ is our perfect example of leadership. He da man. Jesus tells many stories that apply to leadership. If you dive into His story you'll find plenty of leadership training there. Jesus demonstrates that leadership is about sacrifice. Jesus gave his own life. We give our lives too, sometimes in leading, sometimes in being led. Can you think of a Jesus-story that exemplifies good leadership? Send me an email at I'd love to hear from you.

Next Time – Others for Connection.

Go in Peace! – Pastor Dave

get to know me - James Calderon

I strongly believe that God led me to RHC and that he led me to the love of my life, my wife Janet Mattson.

I was a bachelor of 15+ years after the death of my widow. My bandmate and beloved brother, Bruce Towle, asked us to come hear the band play. Then, my also very beloved brother, Chris “Sandman” Sandler, asked me into the RHC Worship Band. Now I know I am at my home church (until called home)!

Should anyone not know me, I am the 70-something “hippie” looking dude that is blessed to be able to praise our Lord Jesus playing a few different instruments backing up the fabulously talented Chris Sandler. Enough about me.

I want to bring a thought to you today: the call of God is not for a chosen few, it is for everyone! Jesus said, “many are called but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:14) Those who are chosen are those who have opened their ears and answered the call of God. At this point their ears are "unplugged” by the still, small voice of God asking, “who is for me?”

I am so excited to see the true love of God that "Hillsters" have for one-another, but I can’t contain my excitement when I see so many say by their words and actions, “here I am God -- I am for You.”

My prayer is that in the new year ahead we will see the church bursting at its seams with Christ Followers, “Jesus Freaks” like me, totally sold out for HIM, and many more that hear His "still, small voice" - AND ANSWER IT!

I LOVE YOU ALL. God Bless you.

James Francis Calderon