Subject: West Side Update - June 29

Redeemer WestSide
WestSide Update
June 29, 2015

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Luke Finley
Community Group Intern

Luke Finley is from a small town in northeast Kansas called Winchester. (Life was never dull with five other siblings in the house!) After Luke earned his M.Div. from Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary, he explored missionary work in South Sudan. “But I felt that God was calling me to serve Him in New York City, not Africa,” he says.

When Luke moved to New York City in June 2014, he started an apartment cleaning business in Brooklyn while he got to know people and looked for opportunities to serve. At Redeemer, he got involved in a community group, which, he says, “provided the friendship and emotional support that I needed to make my way through life here. They reached out to me and really enfolded me into the group.”

As the new Community Group Intern, Luke is excited by ministry in New York City and how many people are thinking and wrestling with what our culture and society should look like. He is eager to be part of the conversations about how the gospel impacts lives in meaningful ways.

Luke loves walking through the green market next to the American Museum of Natural History on his way home from church. “It’s always inspiring to see all of the fresh produce and the unique food items.”

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 ,

It is the time of year when I gravitate even more frequently than normal to bookstores and my Amazon home page. That is because as the weather heats up so does the intensity of my search for the perfect Summer Read. Of course most of us love books that we can’t put down, stories and characters that draw us in and change us. For me Kafka describes the perfect summer read:

"If the book we are reading does not wake us, as with a fist hammering on our skull, why then do we read it? ... A book must be like an ice-axe to break the frozen sea within us."

Recently I was convicted by the need to approach my reading of Scripture in the same way. One of the hazards of my vocation is to read the bible too analytically, breaking it down into useful parts to share with others, which, of course, is an important part of reading Scripture (and my job!). But there is also the need (and joy) to read Scripture the way I approach a great novel: letting its power, mystery and drama break the frozen sea of my imagination so that God’s life is animated in mine. So this summer as you search for your own Summer Read, remember to explore the joyful, tragic, mysterious and redemptive terrain that is God’s word. And rediscover the One who has written you into his story through the ultimate story of love.

I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word. –Psalm 119:15-16

In Christ,

Rev. David Bisgrove


Last week's WS Update included a reflection on the shootings in Charleston. To learn more about how we can engage the gospel and race, click here

Lead or recommend someone to lead a seven-week Beta Group!
We’re looking for leaders to help launch new Beta Groups this fall. These groups play a pivotal role in connecting newcomers to the life of Redeemer. For more info and to recommend a friend or yourself to be a leader, go to


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.

Chinese Christian Herald Crusades // Teach English to Chinese Immigrant Community
Volunteers will teach or assist in teaching weekly English classes to Chinese immigrant students in Flushing to support their progress in the job readiness program. Classes are 1.5 hours long on Monday - Friday between 10AM-8PM, and Saturday between 10AM-5PM. Volunteers are asked to commit to serving once a week. Request information here.  

The Salvation Army // Lead Dance or Music Class for Children
Are you a dancer, guitarist, percussionist, or piano player? Volunteers lead weekly dance and music classes in the evenings at The Salvation Army near Times Square. Volunteer applications are due in June and classes will begin in September. Request information here.

Bowery Mission // Prepare and Serve Dinner
Wednesday, July 1 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Volunteers will prepare and serve dinner to over 200 homeless guests at the Bowery Mission. RSVP here.

The Bowery Mission // Serve as Career Center Mentor
Wednesday, July 8 from 7 to 9 p.m. in East Harlem
Work one-on-one with men in recovery at The Bowery Mission and help them write their resumes and prepare for their job search. RSVP here


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

Financial Services Ministry Dinner
Friday, July 10 at 7 p.m. 
Join others in the Financial Services Ministry for a dinner night. RSVP to

Community Groups...for kids?
Wednesdays starting October 1, from 4:15 to 6 p.m., W83
Kids' Community Group is a place for kids to experience gosepl-centered Bible teaching, worship and small group community. KCG is for kindergartners through fifth graders, and runs from October 1 to May 20, excluding school holidays. A $250 registration fee for the year, per child, covers program cost and weekly dinner. Registration is required by visiting Scholarships are available. Please contact Laura at to request a scholarship.

"Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his." -Daniel 2:20
Start a Prayer or Accountability Group
Grab a friend or two and use this guide to help you create a group that meets regularly to encourage and sharpen one another this summer. For the guide, 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