1. Some words that define us: Welcoming. Affirming. Diverse.
Lots of churches say “All Are Welcome.” We live those words. The diversity you see in our pews—young and old, white collar and no collar, from practically every state and dozens of countries—is reflected among our clergy, officers and staff. When Jesus said, “Come to me, all…” we believe he meant for us to include families of all definitions, immigrants and refugees, same-sex and different-sex couples, the prosperous and the poor. We figure that, the more diverse we are, the closer we mirror God’s kingdom.
2. Don’t let the name fool you. We’re more faithful than fancy.
Yes, this church was built during the Gilded Age, when the Vanderbilts lived just down the street. But come inside and you’ll find New Yorkers of every stripe, busy doing the ministry we feel called to do—cooking food for homebound neighbors, providing a refuge for people without housing, teaching children about Jesus, raising our voices in praise. Our worship services are traditionally Presbyterian, but we’re not stiff and formal about it. Wear whatever you like, and settle in.
3. We love kids. Really.
Our Family Ministries program enrolls children and parents from the five boroughs, New Jersey, Westchester and Connecticut. We start teaching Bible stories to toddlers, and keep nourishing their faith until we send them off to college. All year long, you’ll find our kids singing, serving, studying and helping to lead worship. So bring yours along to church. There’s no better place to grow up!
4. With our neighbors on the Avenue, we help our neighbors on the streets.
In 2017 Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, Saint Thomas Church and St. Patrick’s Cathedral—three major congregations along a five-block span of Fifth Avenue—created the Ecumenical Outreach Partnership to help alleviate the crisis of homelessness in New York City. Through this collaborative ministry, we help hundreds of men and women to access medical care, obtain Social Security and veterans’ benefits, secure transitional housing, prepare for job interviews and more. This partnership is just one part of an outreach ministry that serves vulnerable populations in our city and communities in need around the world.
5. This church may be big, but you’ll never be lost.
Ours is a community of more than 2,000 members. Our magnificent Sanctuary (the largest Presbyterian sanctuary in New York City) can accommodate up to 1,800 people for worship and special events. Yet within these walls are dozens of smaller communities—book groups, Bible study groups, 20s+30s groups, an LGBTQ community group, a theater crowd, a community choir—where you’ll find friendship and family ties. So come—make yourself at home.