November 2020 RDC Update

While we all continue pivoting to balance our new realities due to the impacts of COVID, The Riverside Development Committee (RDC) – a Committee of the Church Council – is moving forward with various initiatives and projects to enable us to work with the Congregation to develop a plan for our property that combines money with mission and achieves both social justice objectives and financial sustainability. Here are some important updates as we look forward to presenting various options/possibilities to the Congregation in the Fall of 2021:

Real Estate Assessment sub-committee
– Zoning Study completed and presented to Congregation: Engaged Beyer Blinder Belle to do a zoning study of our property to determine how high we could build and the maximum amount of square footage we have for potential development. The Study is available on the members-only Riverside Member Network.
– Engaged Savills to assist us in identifying development opportunities and providing financial analysis of all potential opportunities, including social enterprise projects.
– Engaged DeSimone to do a property condition assessment of McGiffert Hall so we have the information we need to determine how best to use McGiffert Hall.

Greening sub-committee
– Engaged MBB architects to do an assessment of possible greening of Riverside’s existing buildings.

Congressional Survey sub-committee
– Launched the Congregational Survey, open to members and all those who care about Riverside.  The survey is your opportunity to share your views and experiences, hopes and wishes for The Riverside Church at this time of transition and planning for the future. How shall we best advance our spiritual mission, commitment to justice, and service to our neighbors with our long-term financial health? Add your voice and take the survey today:

Take The Survey

Community Assessment and Partnership sub-committee
– Launched Upper Manhattan Community Strength and Needs Assessment Survey – Open to residents of Upper Manhattan, this survey’s results, along with focus groups and various conversations with community stakeholders, will culminate in a top-line report available in January 2021.

Communications sub-committee
– Kicked off Ask RDC, The Speaker Series and Faith and Social Enterprise Class

What to Look Forward to in 2021

Monthly ASK RDC Sessions
– Report to Congregation on results of Congregational Survey and Community Assessment
– Report on Congregation on McGiffert Property Condition Assessment & Greening Study

RDC presents development options to the Church Council

Congregation votes on priorities and development plan

The Development Plan

The development plan will require all of our inputs and voices. Please join in the upcoming opportunities to engage in and be part of the process:

The Winter RDC Speaker series – Engaging speakers join members of our community to think about and discuss how we might use social enterprise to achieve financial sustainability and at the same time address big justice issues we face across our communities:
– December 3, 2020, at 7:00 pm – Environmental Sustainability
Peggy Shepard, executive director of Harlem’s WEACT, Mary Nelson founder of Life, Carl Anthony and Dr. Paloma Pavale, co-directors of the Breakthrough Communities Project discuss how we achieve environmental sustainability. Register in advance for this meeting by clicking here.

– January 28, 2020 at 6:00 pm – Housing and Financial Sustainability
Mark Elsdon & Erica Liu: Mark Elsdon, is Executive Director and Erica Liu is Campus Co-Pastor of Pres House a bustling hub of activity at UW-Madison, a combination church, campus ministry, and seven-story apartment building located near the heart of the university campus that provides student housing while also generating funds to support the ministry.

The Faith and Social Enterprise Class – Intended to give participants a theological basis for social enterprise for sustainability and mission at Riverside Church, a practical understanding of social enterprise, and an opportunity to imagine a social enterprise that would generate revenue while fulfilling a missional goal of the congregation or one of the commissions or programs of the Church. Co-facilitated by Rev. Charles King, CEO of Housing Works and co-chair of the Riverside Development Committee, and Rev. Julius Walls, Pastor of Greater Hood AME Zion Church in Harlem and former Executive Director of Greyston Bakery.

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