HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y - Grown out of a home group meeting of Rivertowns faithful a decade ago, the Trinity Rivertowns Church will have its inaugural worship service at 4 p.m. Sunday at the First Reformed Church in Hastings-on-Hudson.
"Trinity Rivertowns began with just a few families, some who have lived in the Rivertowns for a long time and others who are fairly new." Lead Pastor Jim Kirk said. "But over several years, this group came to believe that a helping start a new worshiping community was the best way for them to show their love for the Rivertowns. I was invited to join the group as pastor at the beginning of 2013."
Trinity Rivertowns was nurtured by Hastings residents John and Sachi Patitucci, who along with a group of original members hoped to share their faith through the arts and music. They began meetings in their Hastings home a decade ago and have held several music fundraisers to benefit area food pantries and assistance communities.
"It has been amazing to see things develop from a Home Group gathering at our house 10 years ago into a church where there are people with hearts focused on sharing God's love through service to the community, the arts used to foster unity and social change and also just enjoying worshiping together," said Patitucci, a Grammy Award-winning jazz musician.
Kirk said Trinity's vision reflects the uniqueness and diversity of the Rivertowns communities. The new church also springs from a strong partnership with its mother church, Trinity Presbyterian Church in Rye, which itself was started by Redeemer Presbyterian Church (NYC) in the mid-1990s.
"Something that we enjoyed doing as we have gotten started is hosting the Rivertowns Forum on Culture and Faith, which we started to promote conversation in the Rivertowns at the intersection of Christian faith, the arts, and contemporary society," Kirk said. "Last spring, we held two events, the first exploring the theme of grace in Victor Hugo's "Les Miserables", and a second on the ways trust and creativity relate in improvisational art. Both these forums were a huge success and lots of fun."
Trinity's approach to a holistic ministry will include an October event on the Bible, science and the environment, as well as a continued mission to help those who are in need.
"As a pastor, it's thrilling to be joining a congregation that has such a deep vision for using their gifts for serving others," Kirk said. "Through these kinds of discussions, we want to invite honest questions about Christianity and engage in authentic dialogue with folks from diverse points of view."
Wth its new place of worship and innovative approach to faith and the world's challenges, it also wants to make a lasting commitment to the Christian mission, he said.
"We also want to serve the larger community, especially those who are struggling (the fundraisers to fight hunger)," Kirk said. "We want to be followers of Jesus and Jesus was always moving toward the poor and the hurting. So, we believe that is what we should be doing too."
The First Reformed Church is at 18 Farragut Ave., Hastings-on-Hudson.
For more on the Trinity Rivertowns Church, log on to the church's website.