Subject: West Side Update - January 12

Redeemer WestSide
WestSide Update
January 12, 2015

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Amanda Geisinger
Designer and Illustrator

“I found myself in NYC by accident,” says Amanda Geisinger. “As a joke I applied for an internship here that I didn’t want and didn’t think I’d get. But then I got it, I loved it, and I got hired!” She’s now been here for seven years.

“I never expected to live here, and I definitely never expected to become a Christian here. That journey started out seemingly by accident too,” says Amanda. “In college I had a professor who, for some reason, thought I was a Christian and invited me to her church. She sparked my interest, but when I later moved to NYC and wandered into Redeemer for the first time, I was still an avowed atheist. I had no friends here, I had never heard of this ‘Tim Keller’ character, and the only thing I disliked more than going to church was going to the dentist.

“But despite my cranky skepticism, it was at Redeemer that I was respected and cared for, and I came to switch cosmic teams—primarily through David Bisgrove and his evangelistic Q&A series, Uncorked,” she says. “It was through that ministry that I met both Jesus and my New York City ‘family,’ a couple on the UWS who invited me into their lives and have loved and cared for me since my wobbly first days as a Christian.”

Amanda is an interactive designer and illustrator, primarily for children. She lives in Hell’s Kitchen and loves the neighborhood’s visual texture. “My favorite thing about the city is its inexhaustible supply of visual interestingness and beauty,” she says. “In real life I’m pretty boring—I spend most of my time drawing. When I’m not out hunting for beauty in the city, I’m chasing it down in my sketchbook. I like to illustrate for fun, and I also use drawing as a means of meditation on scripture and for prayer.”


Vision
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 ,

As I mentioned in last week’s Update, the New Year is often a time of new resolutions; a time when we strive for added discipline and order in the midst of the routine chaos of our lives. It’s a reminder that at some level we all have what some have termed a “rule of life”; that is structures, habits, patterns and rhythms of daily, weekly and yearly activity that we follow, usually without much thought. For the Christian therefore it is important that your "Rule of Life" includes the intentional cultivation your relationship with God through the study of scripture and the practice of prayer. As the 17th Century Puritan Thomas Watson wrote:

“A Christian without meditation is like a solider without arms… Without meditation the truths of God will not stay with us; the heart is hard, and the memory is slippery, and without meditation all is lost.”

There are many approaches to regular study and meditation of Scripture, many of which can be found here. You can also click here for Redeemer’s web resources on prayer. I also would recommend Derek Kidner’s Commentary on the Psalms as it has been an invaluable resource for me. Of course, private prayer and scripture reading are just one part of any good “Rule of Life.” There is also the need for community, regular worship and service, not to mention rest and recreation. So as you begin 2015 let us collectively commit to deepening not just our knowledge about God, but our love for him.

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. – Psalm 1:1-2

In Christ,


Rev. David Bisgrove
@David_Bisgrove

Community

Thank you for your generous year-end gifts!
The final count for the 2014 General Fund budget is still being processed, but we have met–and exceeded–our $16.9M goal! Thank you for your sacrificial giving, which is an encouragement and allows us to continue the work that we are doing as a church not for ourselves but for the city.

The Diaconate's Divorce Care Group
Begins Thursday, January 22 at 6:30 p.m.

A new divorce care group is beginning to minister to women in any stage of divorce (separated or newly-divorced). Women will come together in a safe environment for mutual support and a fresh start by diving into Scripture, prayer and a divorce recovery workbook. While the group will allow for connection to those going through similar circumstances, the main theme of the gatherings will be the heart's response to scripture and prayer. Our hope is that through exposure to the work of the Holy Spirit and reminder of God's character, gospel change can occur in the midst of each woman's journey. Enrollment is limited. For more information, please contact ellie.ellsworth@redeemer.com or 917-206-1359.

Serve

Here is a highlighted opportunity 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.

Serve dinner to UWS homeless community
Weekly, Tues from 6 to 8:00 p.m. or Sun from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on UWS

Volunteers will serve a meal at a church that serves both homeless and homed congregants. Volunteers will set up and serve dinner restaurant-style and clean up afterward. RSVP here.


Events

Here are some highlighted events happening across Redeemer. For a full listing, see the Connect.

Questioning Christianity starts this week
Thursday, January 15 at 7:00 p.m. at the W83 Ministry Center

Questioning Christianity Sessions start this Thursday, but registration is still open. If you or your friends are exploring Christianity, sign up to attend this six-part series here.

Calling, Part 1: Faithfulness in the Present
Thurs, January 22 at 7:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. at W83 Ministry Center

The first event in the Center for Faith & Work’s two-part series on calling will explore the ways our calling is as much about what God is doing in our present as it is about what our future looks like. Brad Katsuyama will speak on this topic critical to faith & work integration. Register here.

Winter West Side classes kick-off this month
Starting January 25, we’ll begin the winter term of our West Side classes with Introducing Christianity and Foundations for Understanding the Bible. Both classes meet on Sundays from 1:15 to 2:30 p.m. at W83 for four sessions on Jan 25, Feb 1, 8 and 22. Click here for full schedule of classes and seminars.


Prayer

"But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you." Luke 6:27-28

Sunday Morning Prayer
Sundays from 10:55 a.m. to 11:25 a.m., Room 406 at W83

Join us for a half-hour between the two morning services to pray for our congregation, staff and ministries. It's a great opportunity for Community Groups to serve together. Bring a friend (and your Sunday bulletin)!

Visit redeemer.com/prayer for additional prayer resources and tools.

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