Subject: West Side Update – August 11

Redeemer WestSide
WestSide Update
August 11, 2014

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Robert Alemany
WS Operations Manager

Even though Robert Alemany grew up in the Bronx and is a longtime resident of Astoria, Queens, he loves country music and NASCAR: “I know, I know, I’m so southern for a city kid,” he says. He and his wife, Juliana, married in 2002 after only knowing each other for two months — and after Robert attempted to teach himself Portuguese in order to impress her (she’s from Brazil). “I got so good at it that I would eventually serve as a Portuguese translator for a NYC nonprofit and the Brazilian Ministry of Education,” he says. Their son, Jason, was born in 2009 and is obsessed with soccer and the cookies after the 5 p.m. worship service.

Robert has a bachelor’s in social sciences from the City College of New York and an M.B.A. from Texas A&M University. He’s worked in the education sector and operations management. As our West Side Operations Manager, Robert oversees Sunday services and West Side events at the W83 Ministry Center. “The WS congregation is the congregation that my family is a part of,” says Robert. “There is nothing better than being able to serve my home congregation and reciprocate the love that was, and is, continually shown to us.”

Fun Robert fact: “Jennifer Lopez’s mom was one of my teachers in elementary school — true story!”

As a church of Jesus Christ, Redeemer exists to help build a great city for all people through a movement of the gospel that brings personal conversion, community formation, social justice and cultural renewal to New York City and, through it, to the world.
Hello ,

If you have been attending the West Side worship services over the last few weeks you have heard a series of announcements related to service time changes, Beta Groups, charity bike rides and the need for volunteers. Although very different in terms of specifics, they share one common theme: hospitality.

Throughout the Bible we regularly see God commanding his people to make room for the stranger (Deuteronomy 10:19; Matthew 25:35). So whether it is moving our last Sunday service of the day to 6:45 p.m., encouraging families to bring their children to the 5 p.m. service or adults to consider a service other than 11:30 a.m. (which regularly overflows the overflow), asking people to host or lead Beta Groups, or encouraging the support of HFNY’s Charity Bike Ridewe are asking those who are already benefiting from the hospitality of our community to “make room” for those who are still on the margins. As Jean Vanier put it:

Welcome is one of the signs that a community is alive. . . . A community which refuses to welcome — whether through fear, weariness, insecurity, a desire to cling to comfort, or just because it is fed up with visitors — is dying spiritually.

So please consider how you can engage in this ministry of hospitality, both in our community and in your circle of neighbors and friends.

Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. (Romans 15:7)

In Christ,

Rev. David Bisgrove


Debuting this Sunday: the new 6:45 p.m. service!
This Sunday, our 7 p.m. service becomes the 6:45 p.m. service. With our other three WS services at or near (and often beyond!) capacity, we encourage you to prayerfully consider attending the new 6:45 service, so we can make room for newcomers in the fall, when our attendance typically goes up 15 to 20%. Thank you!

Multiply mercy’s impact, nominate a candidate for the Diaconate
In Acts 6, we see that as the church grew a segment of the population was overlooked. The congregants were urged to pick out from among them seven leaders “of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty” (v. 3). We do the same thing here at Redeemer, and you can participate! Help us to multiply mercy’s impact by identifying and nominating fellow Redeemer members who are compassionate, servant-hearted and spiritually mature to be candidates for the Diaconate, through which we as a church care for those most in need. We’d greatly appreciate your help and participation in praying for and with us, considering a financial gift, and, for church members, nominating candidates for the Diaconate this November. Learn more about the Diaconate here.


Beta leaders and hosts wanted!
Did you know that Beta Groups are the primary way Redeemer makes room for new folks to get plugged into community? Find out how you can help! Find out more by clicking above to watch the Beta Group introduction video at

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.

Teach ESL to UWS Hispanic community (The Open Door)
Orientation: Thursday, August 21
Classes: Wednesdays starting September 17, from 7 to 9 p.m., W83

Ten to 15 volunteers will co-teach English classes for basic- to advanced-level students for 11 weeks starting on September 17. No Spanish-language skills necessary! To learn more or to sign up for orientation on Thursday, August 21, email Whitney at

Serve evening meal (All Angels’ Church)
Sunday, August 17 and 24, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., 251 W 80th
Twenty volunteers are needed for a special meal service that will combine the morning and evening congregations, both homeless and homed. Volunteers will set up and serve the meal and help clean up afterward. Come serve with your Community Group! Email Lauren at to RSVP.

Lead discussion group for UWS seniors (Project FIND Hamilton)
One to two volunteers will facilitate a guided discussion on a current event, bringing an article of interest to share with Hamilton Senior Center (111 W 71st) residents and community to encourage active thinking. Email Whitney at to sign up!


Elementary Sunday School classes take a break in August
Sundays, August 3 through August 31, W83
We invite all kindergartners through fifth graders to remain in the service with their parents during the month of August, as there will be no Elementary programming this month. Sunday School for all elementary kids will resume on Sunday, September 7. Regular programming is available for nursery through pre-k kids during the month of August.

Hope for New York mentoring info session
Monday, August 25, 7 to 8:30 p.m., 1359 Broadway, 4th floor
Have you always wanted to get involved with one of Hope for New York’s children and youth volunteering programs, but aren’t sure where to start or what the commitment will be like? Then join us for our mentoring info session on Monday, August 25! We’ll go over all the opportunities we’re offering this fall, and you’ll find out how you can get involved. Find out more about the info session here, or check out our #HFNYBacktoSchool posts on Instagram and Twitter to learn more.

Vocational Intensives available this fall
Consider this opportunity from the Center for Faith & Work to take an in-depth look at your particular area of work through the lens of the gospel. Cohorts meet weekly over a commitment period of three months. Registration for the fall now open for arts, education, finance, healthcare and cross-vocational, with more to come. More info.

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