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Rauschenbusch Memorial
United Church of Christ

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The congregation named for Walter Rauschenbush -- the great social gospel pastor who conducted his ministry in Manhattan's Hell's Kitchen section -- started as a study and worship group in the apartment of the the late Rev. Al Carmines and became a United Church of Christ congregation in 1982. The congregation moved to the West Side Arts Theater at 407 West 43 Street -- the original building constructed by Rauschenbusch for his church -- and then to Trinity Presbyterian Church where the two congregations have gradually federated their programs and services.

Rauschenbusch has focused uniquely on:  

Finding a more interesting and lively way of talking about God. Talking about God is either relegated to obscurantism and fundamentalism by televangelists or claimed by an essentially highly articulate but dry mainline church. Rauschenbusch seeks to speak with a full and intelligent heart about the things of God.  Exploring the meaning of arts in terms of human intercourse and experience.

Theater which today is often geared to the trivial and glib. This is tragic. Through its work -- not just letting a theater use its space, but through a congregation involved in the guts and work of theater, Rauschenbusch seeks to encourage its members and participants in its life to speak to each other of the depth and bounty of life.

When its founding pastor, Rev. Al Carmines -- a prolific playwright and muscial composer -- died in 2004, the Rauschenbusch congregation -- although small in numbers -- decided to continue its ministry through its members which share worship leadership and participate in the mission of Trinity Presbyterian Church  

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