Subject: West Side Update – September 8

Redeemer WestSide
WestSide Update
September 8, 2014

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Mike Columbia
Data specialist

Meet Mike Columbia, a data specialist for the NYC Department of Education and father of three. Hope for New York (HFNY) recently interviewed Mike about why he’s chosen to ride for Team HFNY in the Charity Bike Ride for the past two years, what he’s looking forward to this year, and his tips for newcomers.

HFNY: Tell us about how you first got involved with the Charity Bike Ride.

Mike: I got back into biking in 2012 after not having biked since 1995. I’m competent, but still a very casual and basic rider. My wife saw the ride advertised in the Connect brochure in 2012 and suggested we find out more. It was our first long ride together!

Why do you bike for HFNY?

I ride because I believe in the work that HFNY does, and I share their vision for New York City. It doesn’t hurt that HFNY makes the entire experience and sponsoring VERY easy — so maybe the better question is, why wouldn’t I bike for HFNY?

What are you looking forward to about this year’s ride?

Aside from the hills (there is one super-speedy downhill, and one really challenging uphill that come to mind), I’m grateful for a day to ride! I also helped a stranger fix a flat on last year’s ride who wanted to know what “HFNY” on my jersey meant. It seems like such a small thing, but I’d like to think that we’re given little opportunities like that for a chance to share with others how, through Christ, HFNY is helping restore the brokenness in our city.

What’s your advice to someone on the fence about riding?

Do it! When else will you get a chance to help those in need simply by riding your bike? And it’s certainly a more fun way to spend your Saturday morning than waiting in line for brunch!

Read the rest of Mike’s interview here. Inspired to do the Charity Bike Ride yourself now? Sign up today! (No literally, the deadline is tomorrow, September 9.)

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 ,

Ebola. Ukraine. ISIS. Those are just some of the words that have captivated the headlines in recent weeks. Words that point to events that have brought suffering for many, and personally (perhaps like many of you) have left me with a sense of helplessness in the face of such tragedy and trouble. And yet helplessness, instead of driving Christians to despair, should instead drive us to our knees. Listen to the words of the writer and theologian Ole Hallesby:

By prayer we couple the powers of heaven to our helplessness, the powers which can capture strongholds and make the impossible possible.

Prayer is one of the great and powerful gifts that come from Christ’s death on the cross (Hebrews 10:19-22). Christians approach God not as a remote King or angry judge, but as a loving and powerful Father. As we begin a season in which we will collectively focus on prayer, begin this week by not just reading the headlines, but fervently praying for them.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Philippians 4:6)

In Christ,

Rev. David Bisgrove


What’s your Redeemer story?

As Redeemer approaches its 25th Anniversary weekend, which will mark 25 years of serving New York City and changed lives, we’re gathering short stories about how people have experienced gospel renewal through the church’s ministry. How has God used Redeemer to change your life? Share your story!

Redeemer Counseling’s Renewal Groups start soon
Renewal Groups topics for this fall are grief recovery, sexual integrity, sexual abuse recovery, eating disorder healing, and strengthening marriage. Spring groups will begin in January 2015. For more info on this fall season, fees and registration, contact Anita at 212-370-0475 or, or visit

City to City wants you!
This week, City to City welcomes 14 global leaders to New York City. Hailing from LA to Nairobi, they are training to start new churches. Please gift this work during the special in-service offering on September 28. We’re raising $150,000 to send these leaders off in style! Then, come celebrate with CTC on September 30. Stay tuned for details.


Children’s Ministry volunteer training
Thursday, September 11, at 6:30 p.m., W83, Room 406
If you volunteer with the Children’s Ministry or are simply interested in attending, join us for this important night of community and training for all nursery, preschool and elementary volunteers. Please contact Laura at to RSVP.

Below are highlighted opportunities for this week to serve from Hope for New York. As always, you can check their newly revamped Volunteer page to see and search more opportunities.

Co-lead small group at Saturday program (Operation Exodus)
Saturdays, from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., Uptown
Fifteen to 20 volunteers are needed to lead groups of K-8th grade kids from a Latino community in Washington Heights and Inwood based on grade level in academic, spiritual, and life skills program. Request information here about visiting on Saturday, September 13.

Teach ESL at W83 to UWS Latino community (The Open Door)
Wednesdays, 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 at W83 as part of an outreach to the Spanish-speaking population in the neighborhood. No Spanish-language skills necessary! RSVP here for volunteer training on Wednesday, September 10.


Club 56 social and program launch
Social: Saturday, September 13, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., UWS
Launch: Sunday, September 14, at 11:30 a.m., W83, Room 407
On Saturday, Club 56 will have a social featuring snacks, pizza and games for all fifth and sixth graders at a West Side family’s home. Bring a friend! Contact Bethany at with any questions and for location information. Then, Club 56 will relaunch the next day for the 2014-2015 school year.

CFW Arts Celebration and gallery opening
Thursday, September 18, at 7 p.m., W83, 5th Floor
Kick off the fall with the Center for Faith & Work and live music, food and our art gallery opening to celebrate God’s work in NYC. Come reconnect to the CFW community to learn about ways to get involved in the coming year. RSVP here.

Celebrate Redeemer’s 25th with HFNY affiliate tours
Saturday, September 20, all day
As part of the 25th Anniversary celebration, join Hope for New York on a tour of a HFNY affiliate nonprofit. You’ll hear from affiliate staff about their organization and get a chance to experience their work on the ground. We’re offering tours of All Angels’, Operation Exodus Inner City, and the Bowery Mission. Learn more and RSVP here.

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