Riverside in the World

Archives as a Path to Justice
Christian Science Monitor | Maisie Sparks
February 14, 2023

“The archives are meant to inspire people to uncover the past and be transparent,” Ms. Russo wrote later in an email. “There can be many historical perspectives, but we aim to be as objective as possible. Examining history can often be challenging and leave us with many questions. Our aim is to talk about it, reflect on it, and allow it to inspire a way forward.”

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Dangerous Dogma Podcast Episode 87: Rev. Adriene Thorne of Riverside Church
Word&Way | by Brian Kaylor
November 23, 2022

In episode 78 of Dangerous Dogma, Rev. Adriene Thorne, the new senior pastor at the Riverside Church in New York City, talks with Word&Way President Brian Kaylor about pastoring at this historic congregation. She also discusses becoming the first African American woman to lead Riverside, her past ministry roles, and the challenges that churches face today.

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Harlem’s Riverside Hawks create champions on and off the court
CBS 2 New York | by Jessi Mitchell
November 14, 2022

A youth basketball program based in an historic Harlem church has spent more than 60 years cranking out champions. The Riverside Hawks turn elite players into community leaders. Serving more than 600 student-athletes across more than 20 teams, the Hawks cultivate champions on and off the court. This year, the fourth grade boys took home a national title.

The Riverside Hawks will host their annual fundraiser gala at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on Dec. 13.

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Change Happens Now Podcast: Season 5, Episode 4, Leadership and Faith as Art with Rev. Adriene Thorne
Pacific School of Religion
November 2, 2022

Rev. Adriene Thorne, PSR alumnx (MDiv ’08) and Koinonia Award recipient, incorporates art and creativity into all aspects of her life, including her faith and her leadership as the Senior Pastor of The Riverside Church in NYC. She talks with us about the importance and value of incorporating play and a childlike spirit into our daily lives, to stay grounded amidst the chaos of the world. As she discovered and gave herself permission to incorporate art and play into her ministry, we also hear about how she discovered the Pacific School of Religion to be a place for her to explore what that could really look like. Rev. Thorne utilizes those same concepts and values in her sermons at Riverside Church, as the first Black woman to serve as Senior Minister there.

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Vibrant legacies: A walkthrough of West Harlem’s historic LGBTQ sites
Columbia Spectator | by Claire Hunt & Millie Felder
September 29, 2022

Harlem has played a long and important role in the history of the American LGBTQ community at large. Hosting the first nationally recognized drag ball in 1869, Harlem’s history is one of both celebration and repression, going back over a hundred years and changing the course of the LGBTQ community… Since its establishment on Riverside Drive, Riverside Church’s history has been interconnected with the history of LGBTQ rights. 

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Dangerous Dogma Podcast Episode 50: Rev. Michael Livingston of Riverside Church
Word&Way | by Brian Kaylor
May 12, 2022

In episode 50 of Dangerous Dogma, Michael Livingston, interim senior minister at Riverside Church in New York City, talks with Word&Way President Brian Kaylor about the history of Riverside and what it has been like to lead that congregation. He also discusses his time with Interfaith Worker Justice and the National Council of Churches.

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Doth Protest Too Much?
A Public Witness | by Brian Kaylor and Beau Underwood
May 10, 2022

In an upcoming episode of Dangerous Dogma, Riverside’s interim senior minister, Michael Livingston, calls Forman’s protest “a very powerful moment.” And Livingston noted that reparations is still an important issue as the church just finished a virtual series to study the topic since the “wound” of racism and “history of enslaving people” remains “unresolved.”

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For Riverside Church, social justice is part of the gospel | The Black Church
FOX 5 NY | By Antwan Lewis
April 14, 2022

The Riverside Church was built in 1930 with funding donated by 20th-century New York philanthropist and financier John D. Rockefeller Jr. The early congregants and church leaders embraced a progressive ideology that eventually led Riverside to transition away from being solely a Baptist church but a church for all faiths with a mission of simply doing the work of the gospel.

“I think the real core of it is we care both about the individual person and their growth and development as a child of God,” Livingston said. “And we also care about the society, especially the most vulnerable among us.”

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Sharing space builds relationships in New York
by Carol Fouke-Mpoyo | United Church of Christ
Published on March 25, 2022

“Sometimes “doing justice” is as simple as “making space.”

New York City’s Riverside Church did just that March 20 when it hosted the Thunderbird American Indian Dancers (the “Thunderbirds”) for what is believed to be the 92-year-old congregation’s first American Indian powwow.

A flier promotes what is believed to be the first powwow ever held at The Riverside Church, a dually affiliated UCC and American Baptist congregation in New York City.

The Thunderbirds’ spring social gathering filled the church’s main social hall with the sound of singing and drumming and with color, most notably of dancers’ intricately embroidered, beaded, feathered and belled regalia, traditional clothing often passed down through generations.”

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MSJ Co-Signs Call to Revise US Afghanistan Policy
March 16, 2022

Riverside’s Mission and Social Justice Commission proudly joined 80+ organizations in signing onto a letter urging President Biden to prevent famine in Afghanistan by rescinding his Executive Order on Afghanistan’s frozen funds.

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New York Times Opinion: Guest Essay | Relearning to Walk, a Personal History
by Jennifer Finney Boylan
Published February 27, 2022

“In mid-February I walked, for the first time in two years, the five blocks from my apartment to in-person worship at New York’s Riverside Church, a place with a long history of fighting social injustice and of working for peace. I sat down in my old pew, No. 523. Most of the people who I used to see before the pandemic were gone, but there were a few familiar faces; we shared the peace by bumping elbows. There at the pulpit was the Rev. Michael Livingston, whose sermon that day was about forgiveness — an idea he wove carefully around the forgiveness that Joseph showed his brothers in Genesis 45, when they appeared before him in Egypt, years after they sold him into slavery. Joseph, Mr. Livingston told the congregants, might have sought revenge. Instead, Joseph chose compassion, standing on the side of forgiveness.”

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LGBTQ politicians, activists descend on City Hall to protest NYC Mayor Adams’ ‘hateful’ appointments
New York Daily News
February 24, 2022

“LGBTQ lawmakers and activists brought rage to Mayor Adams’ doorstep Thursday as they gathered outside City Hall to protest his decision to hire three men with histories of anti-gay views for high-profile jobs in his administration. The demonstration, which was held in City Hall Park and involved nearly 100 people, marked a culmination of weeks of anger over Adams’ appointments… 

Mace Anderson came from the Bronx to protest, “I hope that our mayor gets the message.”

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