Team Sacramento grows again! We are thrilled to have the Riley family joining the cause. Eric and Lori were a part of the original leadership team that helped plant Radiant Church. And now they are preparing to be sent out from Radiant Church to again see a new Word and Spirit church established. We are thankful and excited about their faith and Radiant’s generosity in sending out some of their best!
To introduce the whole world to these quality people, I have conducted a thorough and professional interview for this reputable blog. Enjoy!
WARNING: Eric has blackmail-worthy photos of me. You will see some of these photos. You have been warned.
THE RILEY INTERVIEW
1. Elrich and Lois, tell everyone about how far we go back…like tell them how we are practically like BFFs and I know you like my own mother and father.
Well it all started when Mike asked Lori to prom while I was dating her. I told her no and she disobeyed me. So, I punched Mike in the teeth and that is where our mutual respect began for one another. (only half of this is true, and I’ll leave it up to the reader which half to believe)
Actually my initial respect grew for Mike when he so boldly started to wear the same hair style as Jim Carrey in “Dumb and Dumber” as a college freshman. (He had some mad game with the ladies in those days as you might well imagine.)
Soon after our initial interactions I began to train Mike in the ways of Combat emphasizing the strengthening of his upper legs through the use of the Hindu Squat.
We danced together often.
and went out to take photos together in the fall leaves.
We basically had it all. That is until I fell madly in love with Lori and then it just got awkward when Mike was around.
So, I decided to move to Visalia and help plant Radiant Church and get married.
Mike was in our wedding, and the rest is as you might say “history.”
2. Wow…those photos make me cry. And they also make me want to wear scarves less often. Ok, so how much did it cost to rent those Baby Gap models for your family photo? Or if those are your real children, tell us about them and why the little one doesn’t have a beard yet?
We made those kids ourselves. All by ourselves. We’ll tell you how you can make some of your own if you would like to support us financially. Regarding Judah’s beard: It is thicker than yours Mike so I would be careful what you say about him, he’s got a short fuse and bites really hard.
3. You were a part of the original Radiant Church planting team, what makes you want to do that again in a new city?
The joke I was going to use here was something about how we are “gluttons for punishment”, ha-ha-ha. The reality is that we don’t particularly like punishment, to say the least. We are pretty averse to difficulty, discomfort, and challenges. But, we love Jesus. We love His mission and the agent by which he sees fit to accomplish it – namely the local church. We are convinced that Jesus’ mission will go forward through the local church and that establishing new churches is a key component to His Gospel being preached to all peoples. In particular we love Radiant Church, the church we helped to plant, and we want to see more churches like it in cities all over this nation. Not because it is a specific brand of church that is “cool” but because it is Gospel-centered, Jesus-adoring, Spirit-filled, and bent towards the lost and searching person.
Last May we celebrated 10 years as Radiant Church and gathered together with nearly 900 people in the Fox Theatre located in downtown Visalia. Before the service began I was upstairs and looked down at all the people gathering and felt Jesus say “Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people…” I reflected on all that God had done during the 10 years prior and realized that none of the hundreds of people gathered would have been there, had we not risked. I recognized that God took our simple faith, and made a people for Himself.
As I looked at all of the people who gathered that morning to worship Jesus and heard those words of scripture I realized that God’s desire is to call a people who are living in darkness in Sacramento, right now, to be His people. People who are enemies of God, who woke up without a hope, without peace, without light. I recognized that Jesus is desiring to create a people who would worship Him in Sacramento, and it shifted things for me. Jesus is calling them and chasing them, and we want to be a part of that. We are moving to Sacramento so that Jesus will be worshipped and people will be saved. We also believe that God wants to show His Goodness to us in a new and special way.
4. Sacramento is a big soccer city…do either of you know anything about the world’s sport? Also, its a big food city…do you know anything about farms and forks?
We love soccer. And by we, I mainly mean me (Eric). I tried to plan our 10th wedding anniversary around a trip to England to watch Tottenham Hotspur destroy West Ham United, but I got vetoed. I’m a Spurs supporter and for Christmas I’m asking Santa to get me a 2015 Spurs third kit, the purple one.
We’re also thrilled to be moving to a City with a club that we can support, the Sacramento Republic. Mike and I have begun to learn some of the chants, and songs. If you see him soon ask him to sing you some.
Lori practically grew up on a Farm. No, seriously her neighbors raise goats and chickens I eat a lot of things. Almost exclusively with a fork.
5. What passions/ninja skills/hopes/dreams do you bring to the team?
We’re passionate about Jesus. each other (wink, wink). our kids hearts. prayer. people. family. good food & drink. soccer. community. and board games.
Our hopes for this move is that we’d know Jesus so much more. That in partnering with Him in this way we’d love Him more, and be filled with His fullness. Our hope is also that our children would understand that Jesus is the organizing center of our lives. That He is Lord, and we follow Him where He leads. We’re hoping they see and understand how beautiful and wonderful our God is, and would be willing to trust Him with their lives as well.
We’re also hoping that many of the people we know or have met in our few visits to Sacramento would also see and understand how brilliant Jesus is, and would follow Him into life.
Regarding Ninja skills…those are a secret. You have to join the team to find out. But here’s a sneak pick…
• Raking Leaves
• Scooping Dog Poop
• Staring at Computer Screens
• and more!
6. When are you hoping to move to Sacramento and how can we pray for you in the transition?
Our plans are to move to Sacramento at the beginning of this summer. You can pray for us that:
• Lori and I would grow in vision together.
• We would hear Jesus’ good plans and walk in faith accordingly.
• Our children would understand and have grace for this move.
• A great job for Eric.
• A home and neighborhood to bless. (specifically: a home that has a mother-in-
law unit or 4th bedroom, and a backyard to host parties – so that we can host all
our family and visitors from Radiant & Newfrontiers.)
• The life and joy of Jesus to fill our home.