For pastoral care, services for special occasions, and spiritual growth and empowerment, the Office of Parish Life is a good starting place. Guiding and sustaining ministries across the life cycle are available here, from compassionate pastoral ministry, to faith development and spiritual growth, church-wide fellowship events and small-group sharing, support groups and other health and wellness programs. The Office of Parish Life can be called for a clergy visit in home or hospital, to meet with a minister for spiritual counsel and personal advocacy, to obtain the range of healing, health and wellness services through our minister and staff. Large and small-group fellowship is available, as is deeper discipleship preparation, special programs for persons 65+, and focused experience through spiritual retreats and a variety of support groups.
The Office of Parish Life administers the pastoral care, fellowship and wellness ministries of The Riverside Church Commission on Membership and Parish Life. The Commission works to create common spaces for Riversiders and friends to come together, to share their stories, and to grow in Christian nurture. The Commission helps Riverside maintain its role as a “parish church” for its members, while still advocating wider ministry to the complexities of New York City, recognizing the relationship between personal and collective justice issues..
To reach us and explore how we may respond to your interest or need through the ministries described below, please call Angela Haddock, Program Coordinator, 212-870-6703.
For Wellness programs, call Clent Jones, Program Coordinator, at 212-870-6758.
Riverside offers both large and small group events to meet the varieties of relational needs of our congregation. Our Sunday Fellowship Hour is an occasion, after worship, is an occasion to meet others over refreshments, to learn about opportunities for growth and service, and to reach out to our many visitors.
SMALL GROUP MEDITATION AND WORSHIP
Morning Light gathers at 8:30 each Sunday morning in the Meditation Chapel, for centering prayer/meditation in the Christian tradition, followed by an informal circle of Christian community including prayers, reflection on scripture, and Holy Communion.
Weeknight Prayer Services are held at 6:00 p.m. on Mondays in Christ Chapel, and on Thursdays in the Meditation Chapel.
First Sunday Healing Prayer with anointing is offered by Riverside clergy for individuals, at the end of 10:45 a.m. worship on the first Sunday of each month.
Space for Grace, a regular Wednesday evening service of worship with preaching and liturgy, includes healing prayers by clergy and lay ministers at the end of the service. A light supper is provided at 6:00 p.m., and the worship service begins at 7:00 p.m.
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
Riverside maintains two active Prayer Ministries: one in public worship, through the Pastoral Prayer during the Sunday morning, 10:45 a.m., service of worship; and one in a smaller, more intimate setting of the ongoing Chain of Prayer.
Persons or concerns to be held in prayer may be called in to the Parish Life office, 212-870-6703. If you must leave a message, please include specific information, your own name and phone number, and whether the person for whom prayer is being requested is a Riverside member. Names are lifted up in the Sunday service for three weeks (unless the situation indicates otherwise), and then added to the Chain of Prayer. Names are retained on the Chain of Prayer for two months, unless further instructions are received.
REQUEST FOR MINISTERIAL VISITATION
Members may call any Riverside minister for visitation. Appointments may be made for short term counseling and spiritual guidance. A general request that a minister visit may be directed to the Parish Life office, 212-870-6703
LAY PASTORAL CARE
Compassionate Ministries are offered by trained lay members who visit those in need of care, prayer, friendly reassurance and practical support, including home Communion on request.
PASTORAL COUNSELING CENTER
The Riverside Church is grateful to The Rev. Dr. Joan Kavanaugh for her leadership of the Riverside Counseling Center over more than three decades.
Following Dr. Kavanaugh's retirement, pastoral counseling and psychotherapy services at Riverside will now be offered through Riverside's new partner, the Blanton-Peale Institute and Counseling Center, under the leadership of The Rev. Dr. Paul W. Bradley.
Blanton-Peale is in the process of relocating its headquarters to The Riverside Church and will be fully moved later this fall.
All who are interested in counseling services should call Blanton-Peale at 212.725.7850, extension 119, to make an appointment at Blanton-Peale's current location at 3 West 29th Street.
RIVERSIDE BUSINESS & PROFESSIONAL WOMEN’S CLUB
Organized in 1930 with a charter group of 38 women, the “B’s & P’s” create fellowship and promote cultural, recreational and social activities, along with serving as a channel for service to the church. Club members offer support to the Library, Visitors Center, Sunday Fellowship, Youth Tutoring, Career Day, wellness programs, and more. Call 212-870-6703 for information on upcoming activities, programs and volunteer opportunities
The Tower League was established to provide fellowship, education and community for retired persons. It meets weekly on Thursdays for Bible Study and Meditation, other program activities, lunch, large-group program and refreshments. Call 212-870-6703 for a brochure with activities scheduled for the current season.
ADDITIONAL WELLNESS PROGRAMS
Support Groups include Bereavement Support, Caregivers’ Group, Writers’ Support Group, Life-Challenging Illness.
Both spiritual and physical wellness are promoted by Meditation (weekly), Gong Meditation (monthly), Q1iGong (movement – weekly), Yoga (weekly), Acupuncture (twice weekly), FIONS: Friends of Noetic Sciences.
Call 212-870-6758 for complete information on all wellness programs
ALL CHURCH EVENTS
Homecoming and Festival of Lay Ministries (Fall)
Christmas Party with a Purpose
OTHER PROGRAMSMEMORIAL SOCIETY
The Memorial Society provides assistance, at a small fee, in decision-making and communicating preferences regarding end-of-life arrangements; a form is provided for convenience and as an aid to planning. The Memorial Society also handles purchase of niches in the Columbarium, which serve as a resting place for the ashes of Riverside members and their immediate families. The Memorial Society is staffed on Thursdays by a volunteer, who may be reached at 212-870-6785; voice mail messages will be returned promptly.
FUNERALS, MEMORIAL SERVICES
Funerals and Memorial Services are available both to members and non-members. A Riverside minister must be involved in all services, who will provide guidance and leadership of the service. For further information, call 212-870-6703.
A Grief Support Group for recently bereaved persons meets twice monthly; call 212-870-6758 for schedule and further information