Subject: West Side Update - October 20

Redeemer WestSide
WestSide Update
October 20, 2014

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Krista Soriano
HFNY volunteer

Krista Soriano is a magazine editor and writer who has lived in New York for six years, first in Harlem and now on the Upper West Side. She enjoys running in Central Park and says the horchata at the Super Tacos truck on 96th and Broadway is the best in New York. She volunteers with Hope for New York’s affiliate The Open Door.

My name is Krista Soriano, and I volunteer with The Open Door, an ESL program for Spanish-speaking immigrants who work in the city.

I meet with a class of twelve students on the 4th floor of W83 every Wednesday night, and along with three other volunteer co-teachers — none of us speak any Spanish at all — we help boost the students’ English-speaking skills and confidence through lesson plans, games and personal one-on-one conversation.

I came into this thinking that getting up in front of a classroom and teaching English would be this very practical, one-way transaction: I’ll teach, and you’ll learn. But God has turned my perspective on its head, flooding it with humility, gentleness, love and a renewed understanding of what it means to serve his family. Before volunteering with The Open Door, I didn’t know how to share life with this growing immigrant community — and honestly, I never really thought about it — but I’m having the best time experiencing how the love of Jesus so easily breaks down language barriers. We’re learning together that this is a wonderful place for restoration to begin.

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 ,

Any parent of young children will tell you that they spend a great deal of time exhorting, pleading, and cajoling their children to obey. And in all the various forms my calls to obedience have taken over the years, my daughters have never responded, “Thy will be done.” There is usually some resistance to my will through the assertion of their own. Of course, when it comes to a Christian and their Father ‘who is in heaven’ we find a similar pattern. We regularly resist God when we find his will too costly or difficult to understand. And yet Jesus informs us that our response is to be “Thy will be done”. Martin Luther, in his reflections on this third petition in the Lords’ Prayer put it this way:

“Grant us grace to bear willingly all sorts of sickness, poverty, disgrace, suffering, and adversity and to recognize that in this your divine will is crucifying our will.”

As harsh as this sounds, it captures the essence of what it means to pray ‘thy will be done’. It is a posture of humble trust that acknowledges God’s sovereign will over every part of our lives, the suffering as well as the sweetness. So the only way we will be able to gladly say ‘thy will be done’ for Jesus is to remember what it meant when Jesus said ‘thy will be done’ for us. It is to see him bowing his head under the wrath and judgment of God in Gethsemane (Mark 14:32-42) where Jesus was confronted with the real meaning of obedience to his Father’s will.

And in that submission, is our liberation.

“Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” – Mark 14:36

In Christ,

Rev. David Bisgrove

Find your role with Hope for New York this Sunday
As a congregation, we’re committed to loving and serving our neighbors in need, and we want all West Siders to find their role in serving the poor through Hope for New York. This Sunday, after all services, you’ll be able to meet West Side HFNY volunteers in person and learn about volunteering at one of Hope for New York’s 40+ affiliate nonprofits. If you can’t wait ‘til then, you can get plugged in as a HFNY volunteer today at

November is officer nomination month at Redeemer
As we head into this nomination season, we invite all members to be thinking and praying about who would make a great elder or deek at Redeemer! Click here to read great advice from Diaconate Director Jenny Chang to help us consider who we might nominate.

Here are some highlighted opportunities to serve the city with Hope for New York. As always, you can check HFNY’s volunteer page to search a full list by neighborhood and service type.

Project FIND // Serve Lunch to UWS Seniors
Sundays from 11:00 am to 1 pm on Upper West Side
Volunteers will set up, serve, and engage with seniors from Hamilton Senior Center residence and the low-income elderly community at this weekly Sunday meal service. RSVP here for Sunday, October 26.

Operation Exodus // Lead Workshops for High School Students
Weekly from 7 to 8pm in Washington Heights
Volunteers will bring expertise in 3-6 week interactive workshops on dance, arts, music, technical skills, personal finance, health, etc. for high school students ages 14-19 from the community. Request more information here.

Habitat for Humanity // Rehabilitate a Homeless Shelter
Saturday, 10/25 from 9:15am to 4:30pm, Midtown West.
10 volunteers will rehab and revitalize a homeless shelter through painting and light construction work! Learn more and RSVP here.

The Credibility of Christianity
Sundays, Oct 26 to Nov 16, from 1:15 to 2:30 p.m., W83 Rm. 411
Are there answers to the most common objections to the Christian faith? Craig Ellis will lead explorations on such topics as evil and suffering, heaven and hell, and science and faith. Each class is a short lecture followed by lots of discussion about how Christianity offers a coherent, relevant, satisfying response to these crucial issues. Questions welcome, register here.

Faith & Work Conference: Rates Go Up Saturday!
Friday and Saturday, November 7 and 8
Register now before the price increases for this year's Faith & Work Conference: Making All Things New: Imagination and Innovation Required. Speakers include New York Times columnist David Brooks, author Nancy Ortberg, Tim Keller and others. Register at

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword. Hebrews 4:12

"...The Bible is our prayer book, and we’d be remiss to neglect its riches. It holds the key to finding God’s will when we pray, providing balance and meaning. Great themes abound - God’s holiness, wisdom, faithfulness, sovereignty, love and mercy - all of which beautify our praises, adorn our intercessions, embroider our petitions, and give weight and significance to every supplication. Most of all, using the word of God in prayer is about as close as we can get to the Living Word, the Lord Jesus. If we’re going to pray in his name, it makes sense to speak in his language.” 

Excerpted from Speaking God’s Language: How Scripture can add power to your prayers by Joni Eareckson Tada
West Side Congregation
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W83 Ministry Center | 150 W 83rd St. | New York, NY 10024