Mission San Marcos Update


Mission San Marcos will kick off its 2014 Summer Day Camp on June 16th. Each week, the Mission San Marcos summer staff will be at San Marcos Regency from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM. The youth in the neighborhood will have opportunities to engage in summer camp activities such as games, arts and crafts, and learning about the Bible. These activities will help youth learn to work as a team, gain leadership skills, engage in physical activity, and develop their identities in Christ.
While a couple hours of games and activities may not seem like much, a study conducted by the American Camp Association (2005) has shown that such experiences can contribute to:

· Confidence and self-esteem

· Social skills and making friends

· Independence and leadership qualities

· Willingness to try and adventurousness

· Spiritual growth

These qualities are important for the health and wellbeing of us all, but are especially vital for the children in our community! While many kids in other places get these opportunities, many of our less fortunate neighbors do not, so we are bringing this opportunity to Regency free of charge for all kids. Plus, through partnership with the school district, lunch will be delivered for each camper to close out each day. This summer could be an opportunity for YOU to help impact the lives of these children and their families in San Marcos. If you would like to be a part of these efforts, please prayerfully consider supporting us financially and giving online at https://linksusa.cloverdonations.com/msm

Mission San Marcos is also looking for volunteers to engage in supportive, meaningful relationships with the youth and their families. We will work around your schedule to ensure you have the chance to contribute to this cause. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Emily Barber at ew1170@txstate.edu.

We would love it if you could pray for us this summer! Please pray that the Lord will provide children and families to serve and that he will be equipping staff and volunteers to serve them in the most meaningful ways possible. Additionally, be praying for the financial provision we need to make it all happen!

Affordable Christmas Update


As you’ve probably heard, we are hosting an Affordable Christmas on Sunday (December 22nd) for families in our city who could benefit from an opportunity to buy gifts at an extremely discounted rate.  We believe that handouts are not usually the best way to serve our friends with financial needs, so we borrowed the idea for Affordable Christmas (from Bob Lupton and Mission St. Louis).  This is our first go at it, and we’re excited to serve our community in this manner.

On Sunday from 2-4pm, we have invited families to come and “shop” through our donated items.  They will make their selections (no more than 2 per child), pay a fraction of retail cost, and be on their way to blessing their families with Christmas presents. The families we are inviting are through relationships that we’ve made through Mission San Marcos outreaches.

We still have some needs that we would like to bring to your attention.  We can still accept donations on Sunday, but it would be helpful if you could let us know that you will be bringing something then.

#1 – Toys
We are accepting toy donations for children up through 17 years.  Donations suitable for older children are our greatest need right now.  Donation drop spots are listed on the MSM website.

#2 – Money
We will be needing to purchase some supplies and supplemental gifts to match up with the families we know are coming.  If you would like to make a financial donation to serve these families, that would be great.  Donations can be made via the River Stone website. Please write “MSM Affordable Christmas” in the memo line.

#3 – Gift Wrap Supplies
We are going to provide a gift-wrapping station for the families.  If you would like to contribute some wrapping paper or tape, you may drop that off at the locations listed on the MSM website.

#4 – Warm Accessories
As we are having a colder than normal winter, donations of hats, scarves, gloves, and coats will be made available to the families at no charge.

#5 – Volunteers
We could use volunteers to help with sorting on Friday afternoon at 3:30pm at Travis Elementary, shopping on Saturday, set-up on Sunday (noon-2pm), assisting during the actual shopping time on Sunday (2-4pm), and cleaning-up after the event (4-5pm). Please e-mail us and let us know that you’d like to volunteer, and please let us know when.

#6 – Prayers
Our deepest desire is to serve our neighbors with love, dignity and respect while meeting legitimate needs.  Please pray for the families who will be affected by Affordable Christmas, and pray for our volunteer team who will be helping.

Please e-mail us if you have any questions about anything Affordable Christmas related.  Thank you for your heart in serving the people of San Marcos.

Call or Text – 512.761.7722

Be Generous: Mission San Marcos

Be Generous - MSMIn our “Be the Church” series we looked at the importance of being generous with our time, our stuff, and our finances.  We feel like it is appropriate for us to have an opportunity to respond to the call to generosity by investing in one of our mission areas.  Over the next several weeks, we would like to ask you to pray about how you can “Be Generous” in reaching out to our city.  Mission San Marcos depends on the generosity of people in the community to enrich the lives of at-risk children and families in our city. MSM needs both financial and volunteer investment.

We will be taking up a special offering for Mission San Marcos on November 24th as a part of our weekly worship gathering.  That is not the only day that you can give to MSM (of course), but it will be the day we celebrate being generous together.  You can give on our website (giving link below) any time, just put “forthecity” in the memo line.  All of those donations will be given to Mission San Marcos.  If you write a check, please put “forthecity” in the memo line.  We will have a donation box on the 24th if you’d like to wait until then to make your donation.

We will be seeing video each Sunday about different areas of Mission San Marcos that will help us see where our investment is going.  We would love to answer any questions you might have about Mission San Marcos, and if you’re not sure the best way for you to be involved, we’d love to talk to you about that as well (contact us).

Please be in prayer about this opportunity to BE GENEROUS.  Also, be thinking about sacrifices that you can make over the next month that will allow you to invest into the Kingdom of God by giving to Mission San Marcos.


About Mission San Marcos
MSM partners with local schools and neighborhoods to build relationships with at-risk kids and families to help change the future of San Marcos.  Specifically, MSM focuses on breaking the cycle of poverty that has enslaved so many people in our city.  Our work in this area is accomplished through After-School Clubs, In-School Mentoring, After-School Athletics, Reading Support Clubs, Affordable Christmas, and more. To learn more about Mission San Marcos, please visit our website: http://www.missionsm.org .

After School Volunteers Needed at Travis

Students sharing their prayer chain…

Much of our Mission San Marcos work in the city is done through relationships at Travis Elementary.  We are involved with many of the at-risk/fatherless/motherless students there.  In addition to our MSM programs, the school has other opportunities for folks to plug in and make a difference.  One of those options is Monday After-School Clubs.  The school has asked us to share a letter with our church family to see if anyone can help out.  Let us know if you’d like to help out with Monday After-School Clubs.

Dear River Stone,

 My name is Sara Torres and I am an educator in San Marcos CISD. We implemented afterschool clubs last year and have found the time well worth investing for our students. Benefits included a more positive atmosphere among students, behavior improvement, and academic improvement.

We have asked community members to help with passion/interests they may want to share with students.

I am attaching a student application to inform anyone interested in sharing a passion or interest what we offer and which grade levels are impacted. Volunteers may want to help with a club we already offer or may have new ideas to create a new club.
Volunteers will have to fill out a “Criminal History” form. Forms can be emailed to potential volunteer but forms need to be returned in person.

Clubs will be held on Mondays from 3-4 pm. Dates for Club meetings are….
Monday, October 7, 14, 21, 28
Monday, November 4, 11,18
Monday, December 2, 9, 16

Please feel free to pass this message along to anyone who may be interested.

thank you,
Sara Torres
Travis Elementary
“Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.”

Travis Elem afterschool clubs 2013

Again, contact us, or Mrs. Torres directly to help with after school clubs.  We’ll get you connected.

KidsRock Club (Volunteers Needed!)

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River Stone,

As you have heard, KidsRock Club will be starting up on September 18th.  A year and a half ago, we were invited by Travis Elementary to come in and run this club.  We were very excited and we put together a team very quickly. Our club that first semester had about 50 children. We built  great relationships and shared the gospel with children and their families.
Last year 112 children signed up!  We panicked, had to buy alot more snacks, but we ended up getting through it. We had more children signing up almost every week throughout the year, and by the end of the year our weekly attendance was between 130 and 150 kids (with 180 signed up).
Our volunteers are such a huge part of KidsRock Club. We put volunteers in groups to be group leaders and to get to know the kids in that specific group. There have been some great relationships built between leaders and children in this way. These kids have someone they look up to that are setting an example of what it looks like to follow Jesus.
If you are interested in helping, we are having our first volunteer meeting tomorrow (Wednesday, the 11th) at my house at 2:30. Even if you aren’t sure you want to help, please come and talk to us about it. Hear some about what we are planning for this year and see if you want to join us. The time commitment for the program is from 2:00-4:30 every Wednesday afternoon.
If you have questions or need the address, please email me at Ryan@river-stone.org.
Thank you,
Ryan Damron

An Hour a Week

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This past Sunday as we were hearing testimonies from our people, a common theme was that people were giving an hour a week.  An hour a week can feel like an extremely long period of time, but in reality it is a blip on the radar of our weeks.  How many hours do we waste in front of the TV or on social media?  There are so many ways that we can sow seeds into the Kingdom by investing an hour of our precious time into missional opportunities.  If you’re already giving this time, I’m sure that you’ve seen the value in it.  If you’re not, maybe you would like to pray about where God could use an hour that you could give.  We heard about mentoring and opportunities to serve international and college students.  There are other possibilities as well.  As followers of Christ, we say that all we are and all we have are His.  The way that we spend our time is an indication of whether or not we really believe that.  What time do you have that you could give?  What if you gave an hour to praying for our Sunday Worship Gatherings before they started?  What if you mentored an at-risk kid?  What if you served at Church in the Park? Where might God be leading you to invest an hour a week?  We would love to help you get connected if you need help or ideas.  Let us know if we can help.  Love you all!

To listen to the stories from Sunday, check out the recap here: https://riverstonechurch.wordpress.com/2013/07/29/sunday-recap-7-28-13/



Pray for San Marcos for 40 Days?

Handheld_13-medThere is a wonderful organization called “Waymakers” that organizes 40 days of prayer for your city leading up to Palm Sunday each year.  There are prayer guide booklets that you can buy to participate in this, but this year they have an app for that.

As being “for the city” is one of the core values of our church, this is a great way to invest spiritually into San Marcos.  We encourage you to download the app and spend 40 days praying for the city.  The app does cost 99 cents, but it helps support a great organization, and it will richly enhance your prayers over our community for the next 40 days.

Click here to download from iTunes

Click here to download from Google Play

Here’s more about the app from Waymakers…

The app version of Seek God for the City 2013

Seek God 2013 is a prayer app that helps you pray for others in your community during the forty days to Palm Sunday, February 13 to March 24, 2013. You will find daily prayers with biblical clarity and vivid, crisp language. Each of the 40 days gives you ideas to pray for others with confidence and hope. Join many thousands of Christians from different traditions that will be praying these prayers too. Pray God’s highest hopes for your city’s deepest needs.

Dated February 13 to March 24, 2013 for 40 days of united prayer. Useful any day of the year.

Check out a video demonstration of the app.

User reviews from last year:

“A very helpful launching point for my own prayers”
“I love having the 40-day prayer guide so easily accessible”
“Loved the app. It was so helpful because I always had it with me and could integrate it into my day.”
“Awesome app!!!!! Loved the country guides – made prayer for other nations very exciting.”

Special Features:

  • Set reminders to help you remember to pray at the times and days that you choose.
  • Personalize the app by marking your favorite prayers.
  • Search for a prayer with a specific word, phrase, or scripture.
  • Prayerwalk your neighborhood as you pray from your device.
  • Pray for countries of the world by name. If your device connects to the internet, read country-specific prayer needs on the Operation world website. For many countries, you’ll find short videos that help you pray.
  • Increase font size
  • Easily jump to “Today’s Prayer” during the 40 days.
  • Choose a prayer or have one randomly selected for you after the 40 days.
  • Have the same prayers as the printed version at your fingertips when you’re on the go.