Subject: West Side Update - March 9
March 9, 2015
“When I came to Redeemer years ago, I had given up on God, believing that I just wasn’t cut out for the Christian life,” says Kristie DeKoker. “Redeemer’s emphasis on grace was life-changing for me, and over time I began to see and experience a different perspective on Christianity.”
Kristie is a development director at a global health organization: “I’m passionate about international development, global health and poverty relief,” she says. She grew up in Alabama and has lived in NYC and attended Redeemer for 16 years. She’s a huge college football fan for the Alabama Crimson Tide. She enjoys theatre, skiing, traveling and exploring new restaurants. Her favorite UWS restaurant is Bar Boulud.
Kristie has been involved in Redeemer’s Community Groups for 13 years, and she co-hosts her current group. She’s also volunteered with our Children’s Ministry for over 11 years.
“Every week when I drag myself out of bed to volunteer with Children’s Ministry, I question whether I should take a break so I can sleep in for a while,” says Kristie. “But once I’m there I’m reminded that teaching Sunday School is one of the highlights of my week. It’s been a gift to be involved with the families of Redeemer and to watch these precious kids grow. I’ve learned so much from them. They say the funniest and the most profound things, and I’m constantly challenged by their faith.
“It’s a joy to watch them grow up into young adults — some of them have grown up so much now that they’re connecting with me on LinkedIn!”
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.
Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings have always captivated my imagination. Recently I came across an article about him that helped me better understand some of the complexities that contributed to his genius and undermined his happiness. Van Gogh was the son of a Christian minister and studied theology hoping to follow in his father’s footsteps. Therefore the Christian story in general and Jesus’ life in particular shaped his life and art. It also, according to the article, helped him “in his struggle with the disjuncture between a world he envisioned and the one he experienced by an intuitive faith in God.” One verse in particular seems to have animated his life, which Van Gogh summarized as “in sorrow, but ever joyful” (2 Corinthians 6:10). In fact, in his first sermon Van Gogh described a painting of a Christian pilgrim walking uphill towards a city who stops along the way to ask a question of an angel about whether the road to the city was an uphill journey the entire way, to which the angel replied:
“'From morn to night, my friend.' And the pilgrim goes on, in sorrow, yet ever joyful.”
In many ways that describes not only the Christian pilgrimage in general, but the Lenten journey as we remember Jesus, the ‘man of sorrows’ (Isaiah 53:3) who ‘for the joy set before him’ (Hebrews 12:2) endured the cross that awaits us on Good Friday. So like Van Gogh, may we continue in our journey with an eye towards the heavenly city that awaits all who know and trust Jesus.
Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses…. sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything. – 2 Corinthians 6:4, 10
Rev. David Bisgrove
Sunday Service Teams
Did you ever think you could serve 10,000 people in 24 hours? By serving only once a month on one of our five Sunday ministries you can do just that. Come by Coffee Hour after service this Sunday, March 15, to meet some of our volunteers and sign up. For more info, email email@example.com.
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.
Join HFNY’s Community of Givers This March
Operation Exodus // Mentor Kids from Latino Community in Washington Heights
Here are a highlighted events happening across Redeemer. For a full listing, see the Connect.
Hope for New York Info Session
Faith & Work Prayer Night
Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.- Psalm 43:5
Today's Prayer from Seeking God's Face:
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