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this is the end this is riverside radio wypr one or six point seven fm in new york city this afternoon wypr presents a program prepared especially by the riverside neighbors of the riverside church in the city of new york the public for consideration will be that serves as a community serving on our panel here are robert j mccracken minister of the riverside church jesse lions bastille minister years that was taylor and a stereo the system robert iler chairman of the riverside neighbors committee is the moderator of this afternoon's programme and out to introduce dr mccracken for an opening statement years of drought thank you mr cole this afternoon members of the riverside church are meeting together in
small groups in homes throughout the metropolitan area to consider by means of this broadcast some of the problems and challenges of the christian church as a fellowship this is a pioneer adventure visit marks the first time that riverside his youth youth radio facilities together its church family together to start our discussion we have asked dr robert j mccracken riverside speaking minister to save you were this is a lovely afternoon i imagine that great numbers of people in the city and out of the bill is indeed as i left my office on the fifth floor while video shows wing tick down on riverside drive and there were throngs of people there
nevertheless we hope that her sizeable number of members and friends of the congregation are listening to this broadcast people often say it's wonderful to visit new york but it's going to take a leave of it and no wonder there's the noise raucous and rasping there's the piece fast and furious that of the crowds jamming some ways and elevators that is the standardized machine driven life and that our representatives of sixteen nationalities living within our five boroughs great cities tend to be impersonal surrounded by corrodes it is easy to lose the sense of personal significance it's possible in a city like new york to have propinquity without
community everywhere one senses tremendous human need on park avenue as well as in the bowery and the riverside church is what nowadays is called an inner city church it has all the marks of a big institution but it seeks to avoid institutional isn't it sets itself to serve the whole city and in doing so to cross borders racial lines and cultural lines it is open night and day from sunday until seventy eights organize asians are deliberately be and not to be self imposed in their own segregated units but to be
a preaching and inclusive longtime members of the church are aware that it has two slogans which it keeps from year to year in currency they were both put into circulation first by dr foskett one of them is met us cultivate in this grave city congregation the atmosphere over a little country church scores of our people have come from little country churches they know what is a man by the atmosphere of our little country church the warmth of the fellowship the intimacy of the friendships the person to person acquaintance and something of the sort is what we aspired to know it is difficult to achieve in a congregation numbering upwards of three thousand members the other sold in a shorter
nothing matters here but people are the organizations are important the building is important all the activities that characterize the enterprise important but they are all means to an end and the principal concern is people for a vital church and days like these a prophetic ministry is a kind of requisite it must speak to the times it must deal with glee live issues of the times it must afford more and spiritual direction the people but no less important is the mock pastoral ministry of our church gets its concern for the membership it's awareness not only and is not only human but individually people from diverse
backgrounds have to be brought into community and what the new testament calls going on me up fellowship know a special feature of our work at the moment in the riverside church is the neighborhood program and it is this that the members of today's panel have come together to discuss thank you jeff mccracken also with us in the studio this afternoon are two members of the riverside staff directly concerned with the neighbors program the reverend phil was taylor ministerial assistant and dr jessie lines has tremendous about immigration concluded his remarks by referring to the neighbor's program of riverside can reveal more specific as to just what this program is and how it
is working at riverside neighbors is not organization as i would like to say first is the whole church in action it is a chance a broken down into geographically their units we have about seventy five of these groups well about fifty people in each group and maybe more of them maybe less depending upon the individual group and whether it is in a place where we have a lot of members are in one of the suburban units where there are fewer of our members but so what often of the relationship of the individual church member to the church is that a person to institution here we are trying to relate persons persons in a small group you know we grill our riverside neighbor program is a two way channel of communication it's a channel of communication channel for
pastoral services and it is a channel of growth the program that i represent all of these various areas oh i'm doing this of course it's quite apparent that we're talking about the essence of community because any community depends upon communication knowing what is going on from person to person knowing what the services are within three community and using them to the fullest and growing developing progressing because certainly any living organism that's jobs is not alive when dr mccracken mentioned that we have in new york propinquity without community he was saying that it's possible even in a church to be near to people and yet apart or to touch but not feel to have a casual contact but not to care or help riverside neighbor program as you
mentioned ms taylor as a channel of communication a channel of pastoral service the chattel of growth therefore making riverside a real christian community and perhaps we can talk about these things oh yes let's be specific about what girl the neighbor's program at riverside can be as a channel of communication what are some of the specific things that can be accomplished in this area oh there are many major events in the life of the church that on our people would like to know about and also about which they would like to express their own feelings and in a small area groups we are able to talk about it is that both from the point of view of the church of the point of view of the geo group so we have a two way channel we have often thought that riverside neighbors could take the place in our congregation or baptist church of the new england
town meeting where people would get together and discussed such things as artist that no american ministry where avocado works primarily with people from latin america and puerto rico or we couldn't find out the effectiveness as such programs as this afternoon program over deadlier rv are perhaps you're listening in of our neighbors program would let us know how we are doing are also there is the year possibility of the world church programs that we discussed be implemented and need to be understood that alliance may i interject to say that way only a discussion took place some months ago know between the bishop like and dr eugene carson blake and there was a prospect in outline a tentative deal the union of between two great church bodies as a minister of the church
i was concerned to know the plot to members of the riverside church felt about these proposals and it seems to me that the neighbors program has decided that you and this particular area it's an articulation of what people are thinking we can share as leaders of the church our own conceptions and beliefs and convictions but we want very much to know what their reactions are and in a city of this size and the congregation of our size this is difficult a site in front of a set up that you're describing we anticipate that in many of the labor groups there will be an opportunity for people to come together to discuss programs and then to feed them back to the office bearers of the church in order that our charge program can be more articulate we
get very close into this new england town meeting kinds of in these matters going can we also go so far as to say that these neighborhood groups might lead the church in and making major decisions which it should be facing as a as the fellowship i'm thinking here of such matters as any new nomination or affiliations that we might wish to investigate as a church over them for lepers the sun essence of democracy certainly informed knowledgeable congregation is the essence of good churchmen ship and as we would hope would be accomplished through the riverside neighbors and we must agree well we're talking about channel of communication that nothing takes the place of a word of mouth that friendly discussion where there can be the feel as well as a hearing response there are so many people are in our membership and in our community here that
have information i'll of interest to our people that would be very glad to talk with groups of that it seems to me that we have resources that we should put to use in this area of communicating to our people dr law got one said a professor of mine at yale divinity school the essence of the christian faith is communicating the gospel and as we hope to do through riverside neighbors while we have them sent in rather inventive terms that this riverside neighbors program can be a channel of communication ms taylor and her remarks little while ago i referred also to the neighbor's program as a possible channel of pastoral service could we could reveal more specific about that seems to me there's a very very important area in the riverside neighbors program a people need to know each other as persons they need a place where they can come together and no other members of the church so often when we
have a neighbor meeting two or three of the people will come and say oh i've seen you on the elevators but i never realized that you also belonged to the church they learned to know each other in a new way and i had it at a different look and a depth and i think this is important i think the riverside neighbors program can be a channel of service both the people and to the church and helping us to know and share the significant events in people's lives and certainly some of these significant events would be that coming over new baby school or honors on school decisions engagement marriage job success or sometimes job a failure and the necessity of finding new jobs and also such events which we all play says illness and death we have here at riverside devised a way of keeping the church partially in touch with our folks by using
what we call they rush she'd rather rashid if i can define it for you is simply a paper upon which part of that information of concern to people who are in some kind of emergency situation is immediately relate to all the staff and also to the labor leader the alliance it often happens that the letters come from ideas from people who because the flesh he is in operation have received letters about significant happenings in their lives and they have expressed surprise and gratification the church of our size should be keeping individual track of its members but it has often occurred to me when those rioters scum that probably for two or three who i'm on a boat there are many who are not known
about i would like to think that those who are listening to it you know that would see in what we're saying a way of extending this particular form of personal ministry because it's capable of very sizable development and expansion and a greater reward for the church and also for the individual who received the service from the church i speak with some inside dr mccracken because the letters which you send to people are referred to so many times in hospital rooms and around the church community being referred to riverside health care for people and our neighbors can keep these convicts to her aunt by briefly a tale by postcard by telephone to make sense of a degree difference in a city of this size with the impersonal tendencies so pronounced if when people are in trouble in this sense becoming that way within the fellowship of the church help with their members
they receive some kind yes some of our guys or leaders as a matter of fact keep a card index of birth date and of significant anniversaries and send a card then as well as at christmas time in the stir and other major times in the church here seems to me there is one other thing that our neighbors do far as a neighbor groups do for us and a lot of service when a new member joins our church is sometimes hard to relate to so large a body of people and these note these neighbor groups friend is a small unit where a person can feel warmly welcomed and been become known as a person so that i think bass prefers a rail service to our new members this is not only true of new members but it's also true of the staff because we have opportunity from time to time to go never meetings and they're in addition to having a cup of tea and delicious cookies we have an opportunity to chat with a friendly way with our parishioners when this
discussion were getting fairly close to a basic tenets of the church and that is the priesthood of all believers we have of a big past your job to do as i think given indicated in such a large churches this with members throughout the metropolitan area but we seem to be offering an opportunity to the layman in the church to share in this very important after work and to help the church get this very important job and to underscore that could i just suggest that we always hear the church want our neighbors to let us know in any event in the life of any of the parishioners that that they have under their watch care so that we may be in touch with them so often maybe a witness that the
neighbor layman makes to a fellow neighbor is so very strong because it is a fellowship of the concern in action in the media are whew of members and i think that sometimes if they get the various members can reach out to each other it makes almost more of a witness than a dozen the official witness for all marines and this is i think particularly pretty impressive have when the neighborhood group crosses racial line they came to this church vivid crossing of these lines is very important within what this does is place the homogeneity on a more basic level then on economic class or racial or cultural clients it bases that on the fact that we are all one in christ jesus our lord and this is the essence of what we believe
well we have said that this riverside neighbors program can be a channel of communication and a cattle pastoral service but we also said some time ago and this discussion that it could be a channel of gropes around what specifically do we have in mind when we say that we have in mind christian nurture primarily the development of real weakness because it is based on the scriptures because it is based on the support of the fellowship of prayer we haven't mined her absent some time a neighbor group would want to take our new hymnal the most excellent organizational and study some of the five new hymns of the church seems to me that all of us are not engaged in a common search and if we could share this kind of a search when other people it it helps us to find our own answers it deepens are concerned it to get to houses to find no ways of expressing
our christian faith in every day life and work and a connection with that we might want to say something about the some of the luncheons that they're back mccracken has been having with some of our people perhaps i might take up that point because it has seemed to me in a church of our size that it was important to bring together from time to time special vocational groups so that they might discuss in the light all their christian discipleship and conviction that particular professional and vocational problems we've had a luncheon for ministers we began with them because they are good many ministers in the membership we have had a luncheon with doctors we have at a luncheon with business executives at a luncheon with secretaries we ought to have next sunday a luncheon with secret
with with secretaries that teachers are going all i don't think godzilla i was a luncheon next week with the with the teachers and week that tried to bring out the relevance of the year christian faith in everyday life and what pat mcgrath and i attended a session for the business people and i felt that it was a very valuable experience it demonstrated dad i think the value of sharing in the small group said and conceivably anywhere yesterday some of the problems of making a christian with this on a day to day basis in a very secular world one of those groups were in terms of professions you never groups are in terms of individuals who live near each other throughout our parish who can also become a small
group caring and helping each other though before we leave those says special mentions because i think your listeners i'm bound to be thinking about the effectiveness of these channels that we're describing i want say that at the doctors to mention that one of the doctors attending and i think under the stimulus and inspiration of the occasion felt that it would be a good thing to be in touch with dr albert schweitzer in africa and discover whether their services in the summer would be of any use to the hospital the only name she got a reply from dr schweitzer saying that one of the big problems on the station was finding it possible to given patients to his staff and he was instructed to proceed fourth
with which he plans to do with someone or interesting things happen at the luncheon they happened within riverside neighbors get together and i think that it's important for us to emphasize here that since one of the charges against the modern churches that inclines to be a social club while people who already have a certain kind of social affinity that that we have to something deeper and we're talking about her channel of growth on glee thinking of the cultivation of the spiritual life and be thinking of bible study on rethinking of prayer who've of group prayer is this one of your special concerns was that yes and of course this was given at disneyland and dust by not about six seven days with us this winter seems to me that this small arm their unit is an ideal
place to do go further in deepening their spiritual life on the individual and of the group and i want to say also with regard to this in a vocational situation and the leah riverside neighbor group would cut across various locations but i think there is much to be gained in looking at other people's work and how the christian faith relates in the air to do other people's areas to give us a big a greater understanding of the overall picture of the way some of the things that we read in the newspapers about the jobs and what is happening to have a chance to talk with people in other areas this is something that the riverside neighbors could do and we have saved him a rich human resource here that keeps coming home to me oh a time of riverside my wife and i joined this church i'm fairly recently but in our experience and we have constantly been made aware of the government that
marvelous human resources that are here from all walks of life and in the neighborhood said you have a chance to meet these people and they know them another world yes this is the country parish that dr mccracken referred to from dr foskett phrase or i think there's a word in the bible which says the church entire house and we believe that the riverside neighbors and capsule form as the church in the home why sea our time is is trying to a close by way of summary we can say that we're stressed this afternoon the the neighborhood program as as a channel a channel of communication a channel of pastoral service and channels of growth there was one interesting phrase that ms taylor used a while
ago and that was that the church is a fellowship of the concerns and i think we've been emphasizing two words in that this afternoon the word fellowship the church has to be a fellowship rather than just the relationship of an institution to the individual and concern concern for other people concern for personal growth and for getting the church's work done i'd like to conclude this program by having data mccracken business that's worth a minute fiction oh god our father we thank thee because they'll just brought us into the kingdom and fellowship of the ideas sound to be as witnesses and representatives to embody his principles in our lives and to advance his kingdom by our neighbors for all with the eye blessing the deliberations and discussions of this afternoon and clay grace mercy and peace
rest upon our fellowship and that warming everywhere for christ's sake come in you have been listening to a discussion of the church as community programme presented by the riverside neighbors of the riverside church in the city of new york opening remarks were made by robert j mccracken minister of the riverside church also serving on the panel or jesse lions bastille minister thomas was taylor ministerial assistant the moderator was robert iler chairman of the riverside neighbors committee this program was prepared especially for broadcast over riverside radio's wypr one or six point seven fm in new york city
Riverside Neighbors Program
Producing Organization
WRVR (Radio station: New York, N.Y.)
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The Riverside Church (New York, New York)
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Panelist discussing the church as a community, and what it means.
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Talk Show
Local Communities
Social Issues
Communities; Radio in religion
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Moderator: Allred, Robert D.
Panelist: McCracken, Robert J. (Robert James), 1904-1973
Panelist: Taylor, Phyllist
Panelist: Lyons, Jesse
Producing Organization: WRVR (Radio station: New York, N.Y.)
Publisher: WRVR (Radio station : New York, N.Y.)
AAPB Contributor Holdings
The Riverside Church
Identifier: cpb-aacip-1309a72e910 (Filename)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Generation: Master
Duration: 00:29:00
The Riverside Church
Identifier: cpb-aacip-18abb5c7c39 (Filename)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Generation: Master
Duration: 0:29:00
The Riverside Church
Identifier: cpb-aacip-15b7200e0a6 (unknown)
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Generation: Proxy
Duration: 01:04:56.904
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Chicago: “Riverside Neighbors Program,” The Riverside Church , American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 21, 2024,
MLA: “Riverside Neighbors Program.” The Riverside Church , American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 21, 2024. <>.
APA: Riverside Neighbors Program. Boston, MA: The Riverside Church , American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from