Subject: West Side Update - November 17

Redeemer WestSide
WestSide Update
November 17, 2014

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Stacy Thomas
Business Intelligence Developer

“I’ve been thinking about a conversation I had at a party with another Redeemer attender from the south,” says Stacy Thomas, who moved here from Alabama a year and a half ago. “We were talking about how welcoming New York is and how it was so easy to make friends and feel connected. And then we realized that all of our deep connections had happened within the context of the body of Christ. Of course we have friends and relationships outside of church. But our ‘grounding force’ — the thing that makes us feel safe and at home — is the other believers that we’ve met here,” she says. “That’s what makes me so excited, when new people move into my building — to invite them to a service. And it makes me smile when, even though they may not share the faith, they want to come back again and again because they feel so welcome.”

Stacy worked in technology in the investment industry for ten years and came to NYC for job opportunities. “A few months after I started my new job here in that field, I found out about a position at Memorial Sloan Kettering doing data mining for cancer research,” says Stacy. “I have now worked there for over a year, and it has been such an overwhelming blessing to do what I love (data mining) for a cause dear to me (my mom passed away from cancer).”

At Redeemer, Stacy volunteers with our Children’s Ministry, working with the toddlers, and with Hope for New York (HFNY). “I started volunteering with HFNY shortly after I got here, and it was mainly to keep me from becoming completely self-centered,” says Stacy. “What I found was a way to get to know my new city on its own terms, and see all of the strength and struggles.”

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 ,

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal (“Can Money Buy You Happiness?”) confirms what economists and psychologists have been telling us for years, that wealth doesn’t guarantee a good life and that giving money away makes people happier than spending it on themselves. Yet our spending habits haven’t changed much. Why? One study quoted found that it is because we perceive material things (the latest smart phone) to be less fleeting than other experiential spending (vacations). We want things that will last.

Of course none of this is new to those familiar with Jesus. He talked more about the dangers of the ‘love of money’ than any other topic and urged his followers to invest in the one thing that will last, God’s Kingdom. Redeemer’s Vision is our expression of what it looks like to be a community that inhabits those eternal Kingdom values. Realizing that vision requires the generosity of both time and money by those who are part of it. And as many of you know our growth as a church has outpaced our giving so to fund our vision this year we must bring our giving to a new level. For example, through Sunday November 2nd:

  • Gifts received YTD = $11.3M ($964K behind YTD goal of $12.2M)
  • Year-end goal = $16.9M ($5.6M needed by December 31)

As it stands, we need more than 33% of our annual giving to come in by year-end. This is a big challenge, though we have met similar challenges in years past. We're deeply grateful for all of you who have already prayerfully considered and are regularly giving to support the vision. But if you call Redeemer your "home" church and you have not yet made a gift or thought through what giving level and schedule make sense for you, please consider investing in something that will last by giving a gift to the General Operating Fund. You can click here to make a gift or set up a recurring gift.

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. – Matthew 6:19-21

In Christ,

Rev. David Bisgrove

Thanksgiving pies to support our youth!
Sunday November 23 is our 18th Annual Youth Group Pie Fundraiser. You can get a delicious pie to take home for Thanksgiving while supporting the youth group's scholarship fund - a fund that provides assistance to students who cannot afford the costs for camp, event tickets and other special activities. You’ll also be helping the youth group prepare and donate 150+ pies to the Bowery Mission for Thanksgiving. Click here for details and to pre-order your pies today!

Annual Diaconate Special Offering this Coming Sunday!
This coming Sunday, Nov 23, at all worship services we will take up our annual offering for the Diaconate Mercy Fund. Each year these funds enable our deacons and deaconesses to provide assistance to those in the Redeemer family with both material needs and spiritual care. Please give generously to support this vital ministry of mercy with your financial gifts and prayers. To give now, go to: To learn more about what the Diaconate does, go to


Thank you, Sunday Service Team ministry volunteers!
Thanks to the nearly 90 West Side Sunday Service Team ministry volunteers that came out for a Training and Refresher on November 9! In addition to learning more about the logistics of their specific ministries, all were encouraged by words from special guests David Bisgrove, Omari Hill and Tom Jennings. To learn more about serving on Sundays once a month in one of these very fulfilling roles, please visit our website or contact

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.

Citymeals-on-Wheels // Deliver Holiday Meals to Elderly
Friday, Nov 28 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Upper West Side
Up to 15 volunteers will deliver special Thanksgiving meals on foot to UWS elderly neighbors who can no longer buy groceries or cook for themselves. Great family and CG opportunity! RSVP online.

Project FIND // Serve as Outgoing Meal Inspectors on Thanksgiving
Thursday, Nov 27 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Upper West Side
Volunteers will act as Homebound Meal Inspectors to ensure that all hot meals are correctly packaged, distributed, and counted for delivery to homebound elderly neighbors from Hamilton Senior Center in the UWS. RSVP online.


Officer Nomination Month - two more weeks left!
Help us find great candidates for elder, deacon or deaconess. Members can nominate someone through November 30. Our members play a critical role in identifying and encouraging qualified members to serve. Please prayerfully consider who you will nominate. For more information visit here.

Faith & Work Prayer Night
Thurs, Dec 4, doors open at 7 p.m, W83 Ministry Center
Join CFW and Consultant Lourine Clark for a night of worship and prayer to seek God for spiritual strength in the workplace. The topic will be Growing in Gospel-Centered, Spirit-led Prayer. Register here.

I have stored up your word in my heart that I may not sin against you. Psalm 119:11

“The Psalms are acts of obedience, answering the God who has addressed us. God’s word precedes these words: these prayers don't seek God, they respond to the God who seeks us. These responses are often ones of surprise, for who expects God to come looking for us? And they are sometimes awkward, for in our religious striving we are usually looking for something quite other than the God who has come looking for us. God comes and speaks - his word catches us in sin, finds us in despair, invades us by grace. The Psalms are our answers. We don’t always like what God speaks to us, and we don’t always understand it. Left to ourselves, we will pray to some god who speaks what we like hearing, or to the part of God that we manage to understand. But what is critical is that we speak to the God who speaks to us, and to everything that he speaks to us, and in our speaking (which gathers up our listening and answering) mature in the great art of conversation with God that is prayer. The Psalms - all of which listen in order to answer - train us in that conversation.”
Eugene Peterson in Answering God: The Psalms As Tools For Prayer
West Side Congregation
Church Offices | 1359 Broadway 4th Floor | New York, NY 10018
W83 Ministry Center | 150 W 83rd St. | New York, NY 10024