Melinda was having debilitating headaches for several days. Finally, her headaches became so severe that she had to go to the emergency room. While at the ER, doctors told Melinda that a brain tumor that was causing pressure to build up in her brain. She needed emergency surgery that day. It was Easter Sunday.
The River Steps In
Her family was in Haiti and unable to come to the hospital quickly, so Melinda texted River pastor Sara Furste. Sara was quick to mobilize other River members who came to the ER to make sure Melinda wouldn't be by herself. Even Melinda's family, who was scared she would be alone, were surprised when members of The River came to Melinda's side every single day she was in the ICU.
A Different Kind of Church Experience
The whole situation proved to Melinda that The River was a different kind of church experience. "I feel like The River is a place where you can be yourself," Melinda said. "And I think when I first came here, I was coming from a different church experience, and I had kind of been disillusioned and disappointed with how I was experiencing church, how I was received at church."
Now, when Melinda steps through the doors of The River, she doesn't feel any pressure to be anything other than herself. And she's trusting that God will act in her life no matter what.
"I feel like The River makes me feel safe," Melinda reflected.
About Our Church
The River is a vibrant and diverse church in downtown Manhattan. As an inclusive community, we strive to help you connect with God and experience his grace in all aspects of your life no matter what your background is. We're an LGBTQ-friendly church because we believe Jesus makes himself available to everyone. When you visit us, you'll find everyone from young people and minorities to inter-faith couples and more all worshipping God and celebrating our unique connection to one another.
In addition to a welcoming spirit, we also value intellectual rigor. You'll find that our pastors' sermons challenge you to think deeply while giving you practical ways to apply what you learned to your daily life. Our classes, life groups programs such as RiverKids are all available as ways to connect with other people in the church and learn more about God's goodness together.
Visit The River Today
The River is a place for you to be you — no pretenses, no judgment, no fear. We want you to feel warmly welcomed and encouraged among an entire diverse community that is seeking to know more about God together. Stop by The River for a visit, or come to a Sunday service today to see what we're all about.