Subject: West Side Update - December 22

Redeemer WestSide
WestSide Update
December 22, 2015

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Paul Schissler
Stand-up comedian

“Pretty much all I do is comedy,” says Paul Schissler, a stand-up comedian who’s lived in NYC for almost three years, most of that time in Astoria. “That’s my love—making people laugh. Performing stand-up, writing, shooting videos and drawing cartoons.”

Paul was the youngest of three, born and raised in the South: in Savannah, GA, then Mobile, AL, and then Titusville, FL. He attended Auburn University. Fun fact? “I’m obsessed with raccoons,” he says. “When I was little, I told my mom I used to be a raccoon, and even had pictures of my previous ‘raccoon family’ in my wallet.”

Paul has attended Redeemer since he moved to NYC. He volunteers at DeWitt Rehabilitation and Nursing Center with a Redeemer group: “That was the first place where I actually started getting to know members of the church and making connections,” he says. Paul also helps with Children’s Ministry on Sunday mornings. And he joined a Beta Group this Fall.

“I think Tim Keller said it: ‘You can’t argue the love of Christ into someone, you must love the love of Christ into someone,’” says Paul. It’s an important quote to him, also in its relation to his work.

“I literally get to be a missionary every single night to fellow comics,” says Paul. “I’m one of two Christian comics that I know of in the city and am constantly met with mocking of my views; yet God has allowed me to not only connect with loads of comics, but gain their respect and friendship, and have conversations about my faith. I’m humbled every night at how God works through my humor to love these comics, a lot of whom are lost and hurt.”

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 ,

In Charles Dickens’ novel Great Expectations one of the characters is an elderly woman named Miss Havisham. When she was younger she was jilted at the altar and never recovered. She left all the clocks in her home set permanently to the time of her betrayal, never took off her wedding dress, and left the wedding flowers in the vases. Dickens describes her this way: she was "the bride within the bridal dress that had withered like the dress, and like the flowers, and had no brightness left but the brightness of her sunken eyes". She was living in the dark in every sense of the word.

I was thinking about that description in light of the Advent season and how the ancient writers described the birth of Jesus as pregnant with great expectations. Isaiah described it as a world living in darkness and waiting for light (Isaiah 9:2). And so with Christmas just a few days away, take some time to not only thank God for sending us the light of his son Jesus, but to also pray for the darkness that still lurks in your heart and in the world.

Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. – Isaiah 60:1-2

Merry Christmas!

Rev. David Bisgrove

Christmas Eve Service
At 5pm this Wednesday evening, our West Side Congregation will gather for a simple worship service at W83. As you may recall from last year, we expect the service to be full (or overfull!) so if you are attending please plan accordingly. Whether or not you are attending, please pray for a warm and welcoming service for many visitors we hope will come! There will not be childcare, but children are welcome to attend the service with their parents. Thank you and Merry Christmas!

Year-end giving
As we approach the December 31 end of the calendar and tax-year, you can make a gift and find information on various ways to give at Thank you for prayerfully considering your support of Redeemer as part of your overall giving plans.

No elementary classes & no 6:45pm service on Dec 28
Because of the holiday weekend, there will be no elementary Sunday school classes on December 28. Kindergartners through fifth graders are invited to stay in the worship service with their parents. Nursery and preschool classes are offered per usual. Also, as you have heard announced, there will be no 6:45pm service. All other services will proceed at regular times.

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.

The Open Door // Teach English to Immigrant Community
Weekly, Wed or Thurs starting Jan 7, from 7 to 9:00 p.m. at W83
Volunteers will co-teach weekly English class for basic to advanced level to students from immigrant community every Wednesday and Thursday from 7 to 9:00 pm.m for 21 weeks, starting on January 7. Volunteers are asked to commit to teaching 1 day per week for the 21 week semester. Request information here to learn more.

Citymeals-on-Wheels // Deliver Meals to Homebound Elderly
Wed, Dec 24 or Fri, Dec 26 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Midtown West
Up to 10 volunteers will deliver nutritious meals on foot to homebound elderly who are no longer able to shop for groceries or cook for themselves. Great community group or family opportunity! RSVP online for Dec 24 or Dec 26.

Prayer: Experiencing Awe & Intimacy with God - save the date!
Thursday, January 29, 7:00 p.m. at W83 Ministry Center
As part of our ministry-year emphasis on prayer, spend an evening with Tim Keller who will be sharing from his latest book on prayer and exploring how to make prayer both more personal and powerful—followed by a Q&A and a reception. Registration opens January 11 at

Winter Vocational Courses for Fashion & Arts
The Center for Faith & Work are offering winter vocational courses! The next iteration of the popular Faith & Art Course and the new Faith & Fashion course now have open registration. Register here.

But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

“To wait upon God is entirely within the reach of all, whatever may be the age, condition or environment. All may not be able to preach, teach, go as missionaries, or enter into public service; but any Christian can wait upon the Lord.” From Waiting on the Lord, by John Wright Follette
West Side Congregation
Church Offices | 1359 Broadway 4th Floor | New York, NY 10018
W83 Ministry Center | 150 W 83rd St. | New York, NY 10024