Tower Grove December Newsletter

By Tower Grove on January 22nd, 2018

A message from Pastor Tim

During this Holiday Season, we want to help you celebrate Advent. Here are some resource guides for you and your family. 


Download the Family Advent Guide
Download the Advent Guide


What is your job here at Tower Grove? 
Pastor of Spiritual Formation

How long have you been going to The Journey?
For 1.5 years. 

Favorite Book (besides the Bible):
Center Church by Tim Keller, Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, and Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

Favorite Color? 

Best Place to Eat in St. Louis? 
BBQ...Bogart's, Pappy's, Sugarfire, Salt n Smoke, etc. I can't get enough. 

Tell us about your family: 
Awesome Wife, Saras. Amazing daughter, Karis. Adorable son, Jaron. 

Describe your ideal Saturday? 
Sleeping in, eating brunch, and hitting golf balls! 

How can we, your church family, be praying for you and your family? 
That we be enjoyers of God's grace, embodiers of God's love, and engagers of culture in all spheres of life. 


Name and role in which you are serving. (and maybe past roles)
Mathew Riva, or just Riva. I am currently Service Leader for the 9 and 11 o’clock service. I step in as Manager and Welcome Team Captain for any service, particularly the 11am. I started serving on the Welcome Team as a greeter at the 5pm service several years ago. 

How long have you been in this role? Or serving in general. 
I have been serving in various capacities for about two years.

What are your Spiritual Gifts? 
I have a 5 way tie on spiritual gifts (scoring at 21 each…take that how you will)
Administration, Craftsmanship, Faith, Helps, Hospitality

What is your job or vocation outside of the church?
I am currently subbing in local school districts as I am going to back to school at Lindenwood University for my Masters of Art w/ a Teaching Certification.

Tell me something about your family of origin
I’m am 1/2 Italian (dad’s side), 1/4 English and 1/4 German (from my mom’s side). 

Why did you start serving in this role? 
I started serving in the Service Leader role for several reasons. The first is because God has given me a personality that is welcoming and friendly to all. I seek to love all people and make sure they feel loved, whether in or outside of the church. By me being in this role I am able to help cultivate an environment for the various leaders and team members that they can call their family. When one serves at church they should always feel welcomed, wanted and cared for. It is my goal and passion to make all our volunteers know that they are loved and are able to know everyone they serve with, no matter when they serve. Another reason for me stepping into this role is to allow me the space and time to seek individually those that are serving to accomplish my passion and goals. I do not want anyone to show up to serve, if they have served before, and not have a friendly face they recognize. To have a strong and diverse team, we need to come alongside and support one another in each other’s lives, not just shoot the breeze while at church service. My responsibility is to serve those that are serving others. 

Who has impacted your serving in this role? 
There are a handful of people that have impacted my heart for serving through all my various roles: Miriam Hendrickson’s heart and joy for loving the Lord and seeing the individual gifts God has given people has encouraged me to want to work with people to find and tap into their creativities and give them a voice. Jeff Hutchings has been a true joy to get to know because he loves serving with people and chatting about everything. Jeff has inspired me to approach everyone with a smile and words of encouragement. Matthew Schirado is a constant pleasure to see and and chat with because his never ending smile, positive attitude even on the rough days, as  well as his reliability of showing up early and flexibility. Matthew is the kind of guy people notice when he isn’t around because his joy is missed and his authenticity to serve the body of Christ. He has a tender and loving heart. 

Can you tell me about a moment you remember really seeing God’s presence? 
It brings me true joy when I see people come together to make something happen, maybe they seem like it is a small, insignificant role or the center of it all…Either way, the show would not go on without them. Whether it is volunteer hanging out and being present with a family that is facing what seems to be a near impossible  situation or a someone coming to help pack, set up and prepare for a last minute all Journey church service lights up my world. Why? because is it the Holy Spirit that is at work through their hands, feet and mouth as they serve those they may not know, or to a number of people that is unknown. Setting up walls for a bunch children may seem lame but when it allows hundreds of families to attend church service without the stress of handling a child…that is the work of The Church, serving a greater purpose than just themselves or another person, but for the work of God Almighty to move.

How has serving in this role grown you? 
Though I’ve been Service Leader for about 6 months now, I have been able to step back from hands-on serving in service and look at it from a larger perspective. I am able to be a part of casting vision and creatively developing ways to grow the internal community of volunteers to have a larger impact on the greater community of the church and through their individual lives. As a leader, my goal isn’t to make people feel loved at church and just carry on with their lives but rather to know through the loving and supporting church community, they are refreshed and strengthened to carry throughout the week. When one has a community of people that are there for them no matter where at in life, they are more confident in their faith to face the struggles of life.

What would you like people to know about serving in this role? 
This is a good role for those that are ready and willing to be on the ground filling in the need as it rises while still carrying out the vision that they are implementing. As a leader, you don’t get to skirt some small responsibilities but rather one inspire by example. One needs to serve in al capacities so that they may be able to learn how to serve those that are under them. 


As the year comes to an end, we want to pause and seek the Lord with our gifts and our finances. As Pastor Jeremy preached in our Engage Culture sermon, God doesn't need our gifts or our money, but he wants to use them and multiply them.

Give Now

Worshiping together is the one thing that the church body does all together on a regular basis. In this class, through teaching and group discussion, we'll spend time exploring God's word and taking an in-depth look at what happens when we gather each week to commune with Him and one another in worship.

Classes are held Jan 7, 14, and 21 at 9am in Reber Space. Registrations are limited, so sign up right away and reserve your seat!

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