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Upcoming Youth Events
Saturday, September 19th
All-Church Picnic

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Statement of Purpose

The activities for children and youth from infants through twelfth grade are designed to encourage an inquiry into Christian identity, an openness to deal with diversity, sharpening of academic and intellectual skills, and to help youth explore their feelings and concerns about significant social issues.

Our Theology
We believe God is the creative loving force that made the universe and all things, and that Jesus Christ is Lord. We believe the Bible is the progressive revelation of God's plan for the world and its people. We believe that youth are equal partners in the community of faith and that the Holy Spirit can and does work through them as well as adults.

We believe it is our responsibility to engage in ministry with and for youth, and to benefit from their ministry to us. We believe that we are called to an individual and collective quality of life that leads to personal, spiritual, and social transformation, witnessing to God's saving purposes for all creation.

Our Calling
We are led by the Spirit of God for the purpose of encouraging Christian maturity and are committed to the development of youth. We pledge ourselves to the fostering of a truly welcoming environment that is reflected in the diversity of our participants, liturgy, and our fellowship. Our programs are designed to address the spiritual, educational, and social self. We seek to build a faith community that works for justice, lives in God's mercy, and strives for continual spiritual awakening. We believe God calls us to joy, to fun, to artistic expression, to recreation and to an ever-present yearning for the beauty that is found in a loving relationship with other human beings.

Our Programs

Do you love the Lord and want to grow in new and exciting ways? Are you seeking to understand your calling and purpose in life? Come, see and experience the new and exciting ways we are learning to praise God, understand Jesus Christ in our lives, and radically live out our faith. For more information on how you can be a part of this ministry call Rev. Kevin Vandiver at 212.870.6828 or email

Our programs are Christ centered and provide a safe space for students to share and grow. Young people are led to explore Christian identity, issues of faith, discover their own gifts, and embrace the importance of volunteer service to their communities and the world.

Sunday Morning Programs
Our Sunday morning ministries are welcoming, inclusive and reflect the diversity of a community that is interracial, inter-denominational, and international. The components of our programs include faith sharing, learning, and celebrating together in small groups, worship, Scripture study, reflection, social action, and service - with Jesus always as our model.

Youth Church School
Fellowship, discussion groups and activities offer youth an opportunity to study the Bible and have lively conversation with a diverse and loving teaching faculty. In separate discussion groups, youth in Junior High and Senior High tackle difficult issues as they build community, share sacred Scriptures and discuss the challenges of being a young disciple in the city. Seasons of the Spirit serves as the guiding curriculum for our work and study.

Friday Night Programs

Our Friday night ministries, similar to your Sunday morning program, are welcoming and inclusive and reflect the diversity of our local community. Our programs provide a safe space for youth to share and socialize. Through winter and spring retreats, mission experiences, God Talk, leadership and personal development seminars youth are led to explore contemporary issues of faith, discover their own gifts, and become empowered to embrace the complexities of our world.

Friday Night LIVE (6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.)
For youth grades 7 - 12 spiritual and cultural strategies that empower youth to think more critically, develop a positive self-image, strong Christian identity, responsibility, self-esteem, achievement and leadership abilities.

The CYF program is enhanced by a rich collaboration with the Phelps Digital Media training, Columbia University, C.A.S.H., and the Green Ready Alternative Energy Program.

Friday Night Youth Fellowship (8:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.)
Created for youth in grades 7 to 12. Each Friday night young people have the option of participating in recreational activities, including table top games, board games, video games, basketball, dodge ball, double-dutch, kickball, and badminton.

Millennial Scholarship Program
Offers numerous youth involved in the ministries of The Riverside Church scholarships to accredited colleges, universities and vocational programs in denominations of fifteen, ten, and four thousand dollar increments. These scholarships can be dispersed out over the course of one-four academic years. Since its inception more than $350,000 has been dispersed to youth involved in our ministries.

Career Day
This is an all-day annual event structured to motivate and inform middle and high school students throughout the metropolitan area about various career opportunities. Through meaningful exchanges with our panelists in interactive workshops, youth learn about their professional options, what they should be doing to prepare themselves today. Special guests help to entertain and encourage young attendees to stay positive and focused on their goals.

Other Programs and Opportunities

Mission Experiences are transformational religious experiences. They inform whose we are and who we are called to serve. Mission experiences open our eyes, change our lives and dramatically increase our faith in God and belief in the power of community.

Volunteer Opportunities. Wonderful volunteer opportunities are available for caring adults in our many of our programs. Please contact the Children, Youth, and Families Ministry at 212.870.6828 or email Rev. Kevin Vandiver for more information.

The Riverside Hawks Youth Academic/Athletic Program
The Riverside Hawks serves more than 300 boys and girls who live primarily in the New York Metropolitan area. Founded in 1961, it is in its 42nd year and has long been nationally recognized for its success and leadership in the field of youth development. The purpose of the program is to encourage excellence in sports as a way of encouraging and advancing excellence in academics, developing constructive personal goals, achieving sound moral standards and providing an extended family to assist young people in becoming valuable contributors of their community.

 Visit the Riverside Hawks Website