Set for digital release today and for retail release on March 25th, Edge of Heaven marks the first live worship recording for River Valley Church, a Minnesota-based ministry currently serving 7,500 members across eight campuses in and around Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Spearheaded by lead worship pastor Ryan Williams and produced by Luke Fredrickson (Jonathan Thulin, Jeremy Camp) Edge of Heaven came to life over the course of a year spent crafting songs specifically geared toward the teaching/preaching events scheduled for the church. This approach, intrinsic to the church's three previous studio recordings, "creates songs that are deeply connected to what's happening among our people," says Williams, who has been on staff at River Valley for nine years. "It's so great to be part of a growing body where songwriting and music intertwine with the life of the church."
Edge of Heaven features 12 original compositions written by the church's core songwriters, led by the worship leaders from its eight campuses with over 2,000 congregants singing along. Fully capturing the arc of worship experienced weekly at River Valley, Edge of Heaven opens with the celebratory, energetic sounds of "The Church Is Alive" and "Do It Again," followed by a line of reverent, passionate ballads.
"From the issues and trials in my own life to the real needs of people in our church, God has led us to a new level of authenticity in these songs," Williams says.
"I Am Healed" written specifically for a 2015 series called "Made Well," took on deeper meaning when, several months after the series, Williams faced a health crisis of his own. "I had blown a disc out in my back and literally for several weeks couldn't walk or sit or lie down without excruciating pain," he says. "God kept bringing that song to my mind-as I was lying face down on the floor-in part because I think he wanted me to personally experience that feeling of need. He knew we'd be singing this song for a long time, and he wanted me to fully understand it."
Sickness, you have no power here
Darkness, you have no power here
Chaos, have no power here... In Jesus' Name
Heaven's floor is shaking
Healing rain is falling
I am healed.
The title track encompasses the collection's overarching theme: the presence of God in the trials of life. "When you're on the edge of anything, there's a tension between the now and the not yet," Williams explains. "We live in a broken world, and still the presence of God is with us in every situation. We can feel him near. We can walk with him through the power of the Holy Spirit. And we can experience renewal in Him. But it's just a glimpse of what we'll experience on the other side. This is a song that makes people lift their heads, to embrace that tension."
"No Wonder (the Roar of the Cross)"-a new song of resurrection-sits in the middle, in testament to the timeless, foundational truth of the gospel. And the album closes out with faith-rich anthems like "God's Not Done" and "The Best Is Yet To Come."
Ultimately, Williams says, Edge of Heaven underscores the heartbeat of River Valley Church and the epicenter of its ministry in the U.S. and abroad. "You can hear this living, breathing church family, people who love Jesus getting together to focus on him... it is the presence of God you feel in their pulse, in their heartbeat, in their voices. The church was fully present on this night, and you can feel it.
For more information on Edge of Heaven, go to www.rivervalleyworship.org.