Subject: West Side Update – September 1
September 1, 2014
Jacob and Nicole Crane joined a Community Group in 2006, but say they did the typical New York thing of semi-committing: “We would go when it was convenient for our schedules,” says Jacob, who has lived in New York City for ten years and attended Redeemer for nine. In 2007, though, they moved to Maui, Hawaii for nine months, and while there, were met with a new experience of community. “We attended a very intimate church where everyone knew everyone else,” says Jacob. “We couldn’t hide. We were forced (but in a good way!) to be in community with a body of believers.”
When they returned to New York City later that year, they realized what was missing from their lives as New Yorkers: commitment to community. “We quickly joined another Community Group and rooted down in the lives of those who were in our group,” Jacob says. “Now, nearly seven years later, we have seen our Community Group multiply and change, with a core of original members still intact. Our Community Group is family, even if it didn’t start out that way. But, by diligently making community a priority in our lives, God transformed our understanding of the gospel and what it means to live sacrificially for others.”
Jacob is a screenwriter and often travels to Los Angeles. He and Nicole have been married eight years. They have a three-year-old daughter, Alice, and a one-year-old son, Charlie. At Redeemer, Jacob has been an usher captain for five years, and he and Nicole led their Community Group before having their second child and turning over the leadership to another couple.“Community for us is a lens through which the gospel is magnified,” says Jacob. “And in a big city like New York and a big church like Redeemer, it’s the only way to truly connect and build meaningful, Christ-centered relationships.”
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.
Labor Day has a rich history and tradition, celebrating the “contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of their country” (US Dept. of Labor). However, for most of us it’s just another day off when the banks are closed. The deeper meaning of the holiday is lost on us because we don’t appreciate its roots.
The same can be said of the biblical idea of rest. Sundays can become a day in which we go to church or slow down before the Monday rush (both of which are good things) but the deeper rest promised in Scripture is often missed despite these activities. Why? Sabbath rest is not the same as going to brunch. Leisure alone, as great as it is, will not restore your soul. As Jewish theologian Abraham Heschel wrote:
Sabbath is . . . a day on which we are called upon to share in what is eternal in time, to turn from the results of creation to the mystery of creation, from the world of creation to the creation of the world.
Worship. Prayer. Bible reading. Deep community. These are restorative and necessary to keep our souls appropriately calibrated and healthy. So as the summer days fade and hectic days of September arrive, actively pursue and enter into the deep rest available to you from the one who freely offers it to you.
It will be a sign between me and the Israelites forever, for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed. (Exodus 31:17)
Rev. David Bisgrove
Congregational meeting and reception for Leo and Ellen Schuster
Join a Beta Group today!
There’s just one week left to sign up to join Team HFNY to ride and fundraise for Hope for New York on September 20. The registration deadline is September 9. Learn more at hfny.org/bikeride. And why not join the Redeemer West Side sub-team?
Co-lead small group at Saturday program (Operation Exodus)
Tutor youth from Harlem middle and high schools (StreetSquash)
Teach ESL to UWS Latino community (The Open Door)
Kindergarten welcome dinner
Children’s Ministry promotion Sunday
25th Anniversary CFW arts celebration
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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