Have you heard of a “5 Finger Story”? It’s meant to be a “handy” way of remembering key elements in a tale you want to tell. Not long ago, a friend challenged us here at the River to come up with our own "5 Finger Story" — as a way of capturing our church's deepest convictions and our community's distinctive identity as succinctly as possible. This is what we came up with:
1. The River is a diverse, open & inclusive church in heart of downtown Manhattan.
How do you describe New York? Those 3 words - diverse, open & inclusive - capture a lot of the energy of the City and they also describe our community. At the River you’ll find people from different ethnic backgrounds, different faith backgrounds, different orientations, different life experiences etc. What we share in common is a desire to pursue the “life in all its fullness” that Jesus offers.
2. The River is casual and lively.
This describes our non-denominational “style”. Our church is relaxed, laid-back and informal (we meet in a high school, not a cathedral). We like to have fun! While we take our faith seriously, we try not to take OURSELVES too seriously. As author C.S. Lewis once said, "Joy is the serious business of heaven!"
3. The River believes God is love and Jesus is good news to everyone, everywhere, at all times!
God is endlessly knowable and way too big to reduce to a slogan but we’re convinced that LOVE and GOODNESS go a long way to communicate God’s essence. These are core convictions for us. And the benefits of faith are not just for some folks who have their “act together”. There are NO LIMITS or RESTRICTIONS to the wonderful things Jesus has for each of us.
4. The River believes God is moving the Church forward:
5. The river aims to create safe space where we can have actual experiences of the living God.
This states our goal — ultimately we want to help YOU facilitate your own meaningful connection with God in a way that makes your life better in tangible ways.
It's been said that a church is more of an organism than an organization. A community of faith is a living, breathing entity, and that is pretty hard to nail down with words on a page. But if we had to try - this "5 Finger Story" gets pretty close! Which of these points resonates with you? Feel free to leave your thoughts in a comment below.
The River - Worship Location
90 Trinity Place
New York, NY 10006 | Google Map
The River - Office
11 Broadway, Suite 1140
New York, NY 10004 | Google Map