Subject: West Side Update - June 15

Redeemer WestSide
WestSide Update
June 15, 2015

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Sara Dawson

“I’m a country girl from a small town in Western NY where there are more cows than people,” says Sara Dawson. “I grudgingly moved to NYC because it offered the only optometry school in the state, then ended up getting hooked on the people, food and energy of NYC and staying here to start my career.”

Sara has been in NYC for seven years now. She and her husband have been married three years and live in Astoria, Queens. She loves to run and is about to begin training for her second marathon: “So you'll probably catch me running loops in Central Park over the summer,” she says.

Sara started going to Redeemer soon after moving to NYC. She’s always been involved in Community Groups and is now a leader-coach. “In the first few scary months on my own in NYC, my Community Group was a safe home for me to go each week to worship, pray and talk about life,” says Sara. “As a leader-coach, I hope to help further enrich the Community Group ministry since it has meant so much to me over the years.”

As an optometrist working in midtown East, Sara says the most exciting part is the variety of people she meets. “Everyone needs eye exams, and I've met authors, actors, bartenders, musicians, UN representatives, models, TV personalities, and even someone who spends spare time training sword fight choreography on Broadway,” she says. “But the most challenging aspect of work in NYC is how much emphasis the culture places on work. It’s so hard for me to find a balance between working hard as for the Lord and finding time spent in true Sabbath and worship, to not get caught up in motivation from profits and salary alone, and to not live through working only to the next vacation. It’s a constant struggle for me to find the right attitude about my work — still very much a process.”

Want to tell your West Side Story like Sara? We'd love to hear from you!. To be featured as a West Side Story in our weekly updates, click here.

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 summer approaches I am reminded of the rhythms of the seasons and their relationship to ‘time.’ As a child (and I now see this through my daughters’ experience), summer-time felt so different than winter-time. As an adult, however, that difference is gone as one season flows into the other. I also see how my 10-year-old wants ‘time’ to speed up as she anticipates more independence, while I want time to ‘slow down’ as for me it seems to ‘fly by’ faster with each passing year. How are we to understand this mysterious relationship with time? Sheldon Vanauken answers that question through one of the many letters he received from CS Lewis, captured in his book A Severe Mercy:

Not only are we harried by time, we seem unable…to get used to it. We are always amazed by it--how fast it goes, how slowly it goes, how much of it is gone. Where, we cry, has the time gone? We aren't adapted to it, not at home in it. If that is so, it may appear as a proof, or at least a powerful suggestion, that eternity exists and is our home.”

In other words, one day we will understand more clearly what Moses meant when he wrote about God, “For a thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night” (Ps 90:4). For me quite simply it means calling to mind one of those days in my past that I didn’t want to end, and knowing that one day in the not too distant future, that ‘day’ will be home.

Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. – Psalm 90:1-2

In Christ,

Rev. David Bisgrove


Want to tell your West Side Story like Sara? We'd love to hear from you! To be featured as a West Side Story in our weekly updates, click here.

Are you around for the summer? The West Side Children's Ministry is in need of volunteers. Even if you are only here for the summer, we could use your help in sharing the love of God with the next generation of New Yorkers. Elementary classes are especially in need of extra hands. Please contact Jenni at for more information.


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 Meals to Homebound Elderly
Sunday, June 21 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. 
Volunteers will pick up meals at local UWS center, receive route for delivery from center, and walk in groups of 2-3 to deliver meals to elderly recipients in the neighborhood who can no longer shop for groceries or cook for themselves. To RSVP, click here.

Chinese Christian Herald Crusades // Coach Youth at Summer Volleyball Program
Training and Orientation on Saturday, June 27 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Volunteers will serve as coaches and mentors to high school age youth from the Chinatown community during this 7-week summer volleyball program starting July 11. Great opp for high school, college students! Request the application here to attend training and orientation here.

Restore NYC // Become a Coverage Volunteer at Safehome
Orientation on Wednesday, June 24
Female (only) volunteers will assist by being present for daily activities in the safehome alongside staff, or in place of staff, and build relationships with the residents. Volunteers must commit to 6 months, complete application/background check, and attend orientation on June 24. Learn more and request information here.


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

Next Intro to Redeemer
Wednesday, June 24 from 7 to 8:30 p.m., at W83 Ministry Center
For those wanting to become members of Redeemer or interested in finding out more about the vision and ministries of Redeemer, join us for our next Intro to Redeemer session. This is the first step in the membership process, though you don't need to be pursuing membership to attend. Register here.


The Lord has made his salvation known and revealed his righteousness to the nations.—Psalm 98:2

"If praying 'in the name of Jesus' comes as naturally as breathing, we need to pray 'in the word' just as naturally. The Bible underscores that there are two things God honors above all else: his name and his word. 'For you have exalted above all things your name and your word,' wrote David in Psalm 138:2. Prayer spiced with God’s Word is prayer exalted." —Joni Eareckson Tada, from "Speaking God’s Language: How Scripture can add power to your prayers"
To read the full article, click here.

Visit for additional prayer resources and tools.

West Side Congregation
Church Offices | 1166 Avenue of the Americas, 16th Fl | New York, NY 10036
W83 Ministry Center | 150 W 83rd St. | New York, NY 10024