Subject: West Side Update – April 21

Redeemer WestSide
WestSide Update
April 21, 2014

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All Angels’ Church

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.
Hello ,

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)

In Christ,

Rev. David Bisgrove


Spring into community!
Ready to put hibernating in the past? Meet your neighbors through a Community Group. More than 700 West Siders participate in dozens of groups that meet throughout the week and across the city, building relationships and exploring how to apply the gospel to everyday life. Locate a group near you with our online CG finder. is live!
We are excited to announce our new site for all sermons, books, articles and resources from Tim Keller, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, and Redeemer City to City. The new name reflects our conviction that the gospel changes everything in life. All our content is easier than ever to search, preview, share and order. We will continue to enhance and add to this resource site, including more free resources, sermon videos, and study materials. Dig in!


Easter sacrificial offering
Yesterday on Easter Sunday, we heard amazing stories of transformation from clients of Hope for New York affiliates (you can read excerpts from these powerful stories). There’s still time to give to our Easter sacrificial offering to support HFNY. One hundred percent of what you give will directly support HFNY’s affiliate programs to serve New Yorkers in need.

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
Wednesday, May 7, at 7:30 p.m., 356 W. 58th
Join HFNY’s Young Supporters for their annual Spring Benefit, a night filled with great food, drinks, music and a special program to support Hope for New York’s work across our city. Tickets are going fast! Get your tickets today.

Are you crafty? Do you enjoy planning fun outings?
Saturdays, 103rd & CPW
Come support men and women living with mental illnesses by volunteering to plan and lead activities for a fun-loving group of residents at The Bridge. Email to learn more.

Do you love to cook?
Saturday, April 26, from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. (RSVP)
Sunday, April 27, from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. (
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
Thursday, April 24, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., W83
What is it about film that we find so captivating and compelling? Why is the film industry so important to the flourishing of NYC? Join us as Center for Faith & Work artist-in-residence Ben Stamper premieres his CFW-commissioned works on the five boroughs of NYC. Hors d’oeuvres provided by The Pixie & the Scout. Details and registration.

Gospel & Stewardship workshops
Saturdays, April 26 and May 10
Redeemer Diaconate and Redeemer Counseling Services are hosting Gospel & Stewardship workshops. Part 1, “Theological Perspectives of Money,” will take place on April 26, and Part 2, “Budgeting and Debt Reduction,” on May 10. The two workshops are designed to give you a comprehensive, biblical understanding of money, as well as the practical tools to implement that gospel worldview into your personal finances, discussing topics such as budgeting, debt reduction and more. If you can’t make this session, the two-part workshop will also take place in June and October. Details and registration.

Kids in the city?
Tuesdays, April 29 and May 6, from 7 to 9 p.m., W83
For those thinking about starting a family, come to “Thinking About Kids,” April 29. If you’re wondering how the gospel relates to educating your kids, join a panel of parents on May 6 for our education forum. Details and registration. Questions? Email Karen at

Open Forum: ‘Sex and the Romantic Solution’
Thursday, May 8, at 7 p.m., W83
What do Bruno Mars, Al Green and Tim Keller have to say about sex and romance? Find out at the Open Forum. Join us for a concert by the West Side band with guest soloists and a lecture by Tim Keller, followed by an open-mic Q&A. Bring a friend! RSVP today.

Redeemer’s Got Talent!
Saturday, May 10, at 5 p.m., W83
Does your child sing or dance or have another talent to share? Now is the time to take center stage in front of the West Side Community. The night will feature special performances of songs and Scriptures from Sunday School by all 3s, pre-K and elementary classes. A community dinner will follow the show ($20 per family or $10 per person). Register today, and please email Meagan if your child would like to perform.

Women’s Beyond Abuse retreat
Registration deadline: Thursday, May 1
Retreat: Friday, May 16, at 1 p.m. to Sunday, May 18, at 3 p.m.
As a follow-up to the Beyond Abuse Seminar, the Diaconate would like to offer a three-day retreat for sexual abuse survivors. The retreat focuses not on the past, but offers you spiritual tools to help you move beyond the abuse and look to the future. The impact of abuse is considered alongside the current challenges you face. For more information here or by email Anne.

VBS 2014 registration is open
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.

West Side Congregation
Church Offices | 1359 Broadway 4th Floor | New York, NY 10018
W83 Ministry Center | 150 W 83rd St. | New York, NY 10024