Subject: West Side Update - August 3

Redeemer WestSide
WestSide Update
August 3, 2015

Quick Links
Find a Community Group
Redeemer West Side


Sarah Wells
Beta Group Leader

Sarah Wells has lived in the Upper West Side since she first moved to New York City. “What isn’t there to love about the UWS?” She says. “I’m basically Meg Ryan in You’ve Got Mail on a daily basis (a childhood dream made reality).”

Sarah majored in music (classical vocal performance) at Indiana University in Bloomington, but, upon deciding that the life of an opera singer wasn’t for her, moved to NYC and has been working in casting for Broadway, film and television. “It can at times be very discouraging to be a Christian in a field where faith and ethics aren't often valued,” she says, “but I think that's why it's important for me to be exactly where I am.”

At Redeemer, Sarah is part of a community group and has served with HFNY at His Toy Store. “Moving from Indiana to New York City was a pretty major life change,” Sarah says. “I couldn't have survived the past year without my community group at Redeemer.”

This fall, Sarah will lead a new Beta Group on the West Side, making room for and welcoming those that may be new to the city and Redeemer, just as she experienced when she first joined her community group.

Want to tell your West Side Story? To be featured as a West Side Story in our weekly update, 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 ,

“What is beauty?” This is the question posed by Karen Barrow in her recent NY Times column entitled "Changing our Perceptions of Beauty." To answer the question, she recounts the story of a NYC fashion photographer who had always been told what beauty was, which was some combination of “supermodels, hairstylists, makeup artists and magazine covers" until the day he saw an albino woman and realized that there was beauty everywhere. He is now involved in a non-profit that photographs people whose “genetic, physical and behavioral differences” don’t conform to beauty as we typically define it.

The story is a reminder of what we intuitively know, that true beauty is a function of our inner character, not our external appearance. And, of course, for those who follow Jesus this is no mere abstract thought. It flows from the beauty of Jesus’ sacrificial love for us on the cross, which is the source of the power and hope we have to reflect the beauty of his life through our own (Galatians 5:22-23). We live in a city and culture obsessed with physical beauty and its pursuit. The community of Jesus is to be a catalyst that "changes our perception of beauty" by pointing again and again to Jesus, who saw such inner beauty in us, that he died to restore it.

For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. – Isaiah 53:2

In Christ,

Rev. David Bisgrove


Interested in leading a Beta Group like Sarah?  We are still in need of leaders & hosts to launch 25 new Beta Groups this fall on the West Side. To sign up or to recommend someone to lead a Beta Group, click here.

Thank you to all who participated at VBS this year. Click below to watch how our children (and volunteers!) learned about conquering challenges with God's mighty power.


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 in UWS
Sunday, August 16 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Volunteers will pick up meals at local UWS center, receive route for delivery, 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. Great for families and Community Groups. RSVP online here

St. Paul's House // Serve Breakfast to Homeless Guests
Friday, August 7 from 7 to 9 a.m.
Volunteers will prepare and serve breakfast to homeless guests in Midtown West. Great opportunity for early risers to serve before going to work! RSVP online here.

Habitat for Humanity // Repair Homes Damaged by Hurricane Sandy
Saturday, August 15 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Volunteers will make necessary repairs on homes in Coney Island. Work ranges from replacing flooring, painting, tiling and more. No construction experience necessary. RSVP online here.


Here is a highlighted event happening across Redeemer. For a full listing, see the Connect.

Faith & Art Course applications open
Registration is now open for CFW's Faith & Art Course to be held in September & October. Six classes include art sharing, theological teaching and group discussions. If you are an artist who would be encouraged and served by learning more about integrating your faith and art, please apply here.

HFNY Charity Bike Ride Info Session
Tuesday, August 11 at 7 p.m.
Registration for the Hope for New York Charity Bike Ride has begun! Join our awesome team of cyclists—beginners, experts, and everyone in between—to ride and fundraise for the poor & marginalized of NYC. The ride is on Sept. 26, but join us for dinner and an info session. Learn more at


"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise." - Psalm 110:10

Prayer from Seeking God's Face:
God of blessing, what a mess I create when I wrestle the future out of your hand and take it upon myself. I pray for patient trust for today and good confidence for tomorrow, knowing that nothing can separate me from your love, because my curse fell on Jesus so your blessing can come to me.

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