Subject: West Side Update – April 21
April 21, 2014
Charles recently shared his testimony at our services. His life has been impacted by All Angels’ Community Ministries, one of Hope for New York’s affiliates on the Upper West Side.
I grew up in East River Projects in Manhattan. When I was born, the doctors told my mother that I would not go past a third-grade reading or math educational level and would die by age 20. My mother did not accept the doctor’s diagnosis and taught me reading, writing and math on a fifth-grade level when I was only 5 years old. In other words, she raised me to defy the odds.
My mother died when I was 27 years old. Since she was the only family I knew, I became very angry, and I hated God. I wanted to die so I could join my mother.
During this time, I lost my job and found myself alone and homeless on the streets of NYC. One day, I met a man by the name of George at a Christian coffee house. George invited me to All Angels’ Church for a meal and refreshments.
The compelling power of the word of God and the love that I was receiving there started to transform me and soften my heart. Most of the sermons I heard spoke about Jesus’ love for me and things happening in God’s time. I started letting go of my anger slowly.
I have been a faithful member of the All Angels’ Our Place Café Program and the Wellness Circles. It was here that I received help in obtaining my Social Security card, was lifted up when life’s negativity brought me down, and most importantly, it was a place that allowed me to be me and still be loved.
God has done a mighty work in my life. Before I accepted Jesus into my heart, I was very angry and felt defeated in everything. Today, I take responsibility for my life, my actions and my faith, and I allow God to fight my battles. I no longer have to prove to anyone that I am worthy, because I know that in Christ I am loved and have the capacity to give love.As of today, I have been working for eight years in one job, and I have had my own apartment for the past year. Although this is a huge accomplishment for me, I know that God still has greater things in his kingdom for me.
As a church of Jesus Christ, Redeemer exists to help build a great city for all people through a gospel movement that brings personal conversion, community formation, social justice and cultural renewal to New York City and, through it, to the world.
Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Of course, that statement is true every day, but on this first day after Easter it feels a bit more poignant. Easter is a bit like New Year’s Eve in that it resets our life’s direction through a collective celebration of hope. And it is that hope that drives those who celebrated Christ’s resurrection into the world with his message of forgiveness and new life. Philip Yancey puts it this way:
There are two ways to look at human history. … One way is to focus on the wars and violence … and tragedy and death. From such a point of view, Easter seems a fairy-tale exception. … [But] if I take Easter as the starting point … then human history becomes the contradiction and Easter a preview of ultimate reality. Hope then flows like lava beneath the crust of daily life.
For some of you, that hope might find its expression in joining the church or volunteering through HFNY, or on Sundays by signing up for a Community Group or inviting a friend to church. For all of us, it means renewing our commitment to live out the joy and hope of the words so many of us spoke in unison yesterday — “The Lord is risen indeed, Alleluia!”
“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:55-58)
Rev. David Bisgrove
Spring into community!
GospelinLife.com is live!
Easter sacrificial offering
Here are some highlighted opportunities to serve from Hope for New York. As always, you can check their Volunteer page to see opportunities by neighborhood and service type.
Young Supporters Spring Benefit on May 7
Are you crafty? Do you enjoy planning fun outings?
Saturday, April 26, from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. (RSVP)
Sunday, April 27, from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. (RSVP)
Female volunteers are needed to prepare, cook and serve a delicious dinner for the female residents of the Bowery Mission Women’s Center. The volunteer team leader will plan the menu and have the groceries ready for the evening.
City Rhythms: Film
Gospel & Stewardship workshops
Kids in the city?
Open Forum: ‘Sex and the Romantic Solution’
Redeemer’s Got Talent!
Women’s Beyond Abuse retreat
VBS registration is open for kids 4-years-old to fifth grade! Join us July 14-18 at the W83 Ministry Center to see that Jesus’ love is one-of-a-kind.
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Church Offices | 1359 Broadway 4th Floor | New York, NY 10018
W83 Ministry Center | 150 W 83rd St. | New York, NY 10024