Churches in some places NYC are so different yet so similar from one another that you can find ten (10) to twenty (20) churches of all sizes and denominations in a five (5) block radius — not to mention temples for other (not Christian) faiths.
Just today, I went to Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church (5th Ave & 55th St), which I always go to on Sundays. Then I went to Marble Collegiate Church (5th Ave & 29th St). That’s exactly twenty-six (26) blocks down the road (5th Ave) — about a seven-minute bus ride.
This also means that aside from FAPC (55th), we can see Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue (53rd) and Saint Patrick’s Cathedral (50th) before Marble (29th).
The most obvious difference between FAPC and Marble is that the first’s part of the Presbyterian Church (USA) based in Kentucky while the second’s affiliated with the Reformed Church of America based in Michigan. They’re similar as the general mentality, theology and practices seem to be the same — PC(USA) & RCA.
“We believe that God created the world and everything in it, including human beings.
God created a perfect world. In the beginning, there was no sin–no hatred, no disunity, and no death. But God also allowed humans to make their own choices.
The first humans, Adam and Eve, disobeyed God, allowing sin to enter God’s perfect world. From then on, every human has been born with sinful desires that lead to separation from God.
But the story doesn’t end there. God loves the world and the people in it–so much, in fact, that he made a plan to take away the guilt of our sin.
God sent his son, Jesus, into the world as a human. Jesus gave his life to pay the price for sins he didn’t commit. Jesus accepted the punishment for our sins so that we don’t have to.
Three days after Jesus was killed, God brought Jesus to life again, defeating the power of death and evil. Jesus still lives today, eternally in heaven with God the Father. One day he will come back to earth to put an end to evil–sin, death, and pain–and renew all things. He will gather all who have believed in him from every time and place to live with him forever.
Our faith is centered in God’s love for us demonstrated in Jesus Christ, his son.
When we accept Jesus’ sacrifice for us and commit our lives to following him, God sees us as perfect, the way we were first created to be. We cannot manufacture such faith on our own; it is the result of God’s Spirit working within us.”
“Some of the principles articulated by John Calvin remain at the core of Presbyterian beliefs. Among these are the sovereignty of God, the authority of the scripture, justification by grace through faith and the priesthood of all believers. What they mean is that God is the supreme authority throughout the universe. Our knowledge of God and God’s purpose for humanity comes from the Bible, particularly what is revealed in the New Testament through the life of Jesus Christ. Our salvation (justification) through Jesus is God’s generous gift to us and not the result of our own accomplishments. It is everyone’s job — ministers and lay people alike — to share this Good News with the whole world. That is also why the Presbyterian church is governed at all levels by a combination of clergy and laity, men and women alike.”
Of course, I don’t much or anything at all about the ministries at Marble, other than the mental clinic they manage or barely host on the fifth (5th) floor of their building between their sanctuary and chapel — Blanton-Peale.