A Letter from Pastor Keith

Dear Riverside & College Avenue United Methodist Churches,

Grace to you and peace in the name of Christ!

It has now been nearly two months since Charge Conferences at our respective churches voted to approve a Two-Point Charge relationship as a transitional step toward our merging. Shortly thereafter, Bishop Trimble’s appointing me to serve this charge was announced. So much has transpired in the weeks that followed. Our Merger Committee is now meeting on a weekly basis. Five town hall gatherings have been hosted. While much progress has been made, the enormity of the work yet to be done is daunting. Yet I want to commend the Merger Committee and those assisting them in their work. Working together, the task list will be completed, and our goals achieved. Please know that all pertinent information will be communicated in a precise and timely way. Transparency is crucial to the success of this process.

July 1, 2021 officially marks the beginning of our Two-Point Charge relationship, and there are two changes I want to highlight. The first is our new worship schedule. While the first Sundays of the month are combined worship services, Riverside will worship at 9 a.m., and College Avenue will worship at 11 a.m.. We invite and encourage you to attend either service of your choosing. The orders of worship, hymns, liturgies, and (hopefully!) the sermon will be the same at both locations. Think of it as “one church with two sites,” and the site where you worship is up to you.

Secondly, I will now be sharing my office time between both churches. On Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m.-12 p.m., you can find me at Riverside. One Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m.-12 p.m., you can find me at College Avenue. Additionally, I am also available by appointment. Therefore, a given week will look like:


Sunday 9:00AM – Worship with Holy Communion (Riverside)

11:00AM – Worship with Holy Communion (College Avenue)

Monday 9:00AM-Noon – Pastor Keith at Riverside
Tuesday 9:00AM-Noon – Pastor Keith at College Avenue
Wednesday 9:00AM-Noon – Pastor Keith at Riverside
Thursday 9:00AM-Noon – Pastor Keith at College Avenue


Finally, I want to remind you of the upcoming Town Halls, the next of which will be Tuesday, July 13 at 6:30 p.m. at College Avenue’s Wesley Hall. These important gatherings will now deal with “nuts and bolts,” logistical matters that will shape the identity of our new, merged congregation. Topics like buildings, naming, branding, and finances will be discussed. Your presence and voice are necessary in this process too. These Town Hall gatherings are a safe, open place to learn, discuss, and ask questions to keep the line of transparent communication flowing.

I understand there is a lot of change happening. It is a lot to keep track of. And, it can seem a bit overwhelming. Remember, you are not alone. We make this journey together. As always, I am only a phone call away. Feel free to reach out to me. Or, feel free to reach out to any member of the Merger Committee too. We are here to serve you and to make this process as smooth and rewarding as possible.

Sincerely, in Christ
The Rev. Keith A. Turner
Pastor, Riverside United Methodist Church
Pastor, College Avenue United Methodist Church

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