Subject: West Side Update - December 7

Redeemer West Side
December 7, 2015

Tracy Lin and Emma Bartolazo
Nursery Volunteers

Tracy and Emma began volunteering together in the 2-year-old class last year, although Tracy has volunteered in each of Emma's Sunday school classes since she was in preschool.

“When Emma started youth group in seventh grade, I decided that it would be fun to volunteer together especially since Emma also enjoys being with younger children, and it would be a great way to serve the church together as mother and daughter,” says Tracy. Tracy has attended Redeemer since 1998, and has been a member since 2002 when Emma was born.

Tracy, born in Kent, England, moved to New Jersey with her family when she was a teenager. She studied Physical Therapy at Northeastern University in Boston, and currently works at Mount Sinai Hospital and more recently at the Rebecca School, a private school for autistic children in Manhattan.

Emma is 13 years old and was born and raised in NYC. She is in the eighth grade and attends Booker T. Washington Middle School on the UWS. In her free time, Tracy enjoys walking and jogging in Central Park and doing yoga. Emma enjoys learning aerial silks and hanging out with her friends.

“Volunteering is a way to give to others by caring for them, and I now understand that that’s what God does for us. He takes great care of us just like I take care of children when I volunteer,” says Emma.

Tracy says she is learning from “the innocent perspective of a child.” “It reminds me how we should be in awe of God so that we can trust him in our daily, hectic lives, and to feel how much He loves us for who we are. As adults, we lose that perspective so easily.”

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WS Cafe

Tuesdays, from 7 to 8:15p.m. in Rm. 406, W83 Ministry Center

The West Side Café is an open space for seekers, skeptics and those considering Christianity to engage with and process the Christian faith. Each week will involve a short presentation and discussion addressing topics of interest and claims of the Christian faith. If you are considering the claims of Christianity, or would like to bring someone you know who is, feel free to stop by on a Tuesday evening or register to attend here.

More info at

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 ,

While dining at home on December 1, 1863, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow received a telegram that his eldest son had been severely wounded while serving in the Union Army during the Civil War. Having already buried one daughter as well as his wife, Longfellow took a train to Washington D.C. to visit his son. On Christmas Day, pondering a world of war and despair amidst a season celebrating peace and joy, Longfellow explored that dissonance through a poem entitled “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” which includes these lines:

And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said;
“For hate is strong, And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

In a world marked by mass shootings in the midst of holiday parties, global slavery among the poor, and homeless people on the sidewalks of our city, we share Longfellow’s angst. This is why we need to listen more intently to the music and story of Christmas that reminds us that Jesus was born in the midst of darkness, despair and political oppression to bring justice, peace and joy. So this week in those moments when you find yourself bowing your head in despair, remember the last stanza of Longfellow’s poem:

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The Wrong shall fail, The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men.”

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." - John 8:12

In Christ,

Rev. David Bisgrove (at)David_Bisgrove


Thank you to our Birthday Party for Jesus volunteers! Thanks you to all of the many volunteers who gave of your time and energy to serve at Birthday Party for Jesus. This event could not have happened without you.

Special December Sunday Schedule | Please note that this Sunday, December 13, there will be three Lessons & Carols services at 8:30 a.m., 10 a.m., and 11:30 a.m. (There will be regular evening services.) Please invite friends and family to the 8:30 a.m. service, as the later services are likely to exceed capacity. For more info, visit

No Elementary classes during Lessons and Carols | Kindergartners through fifth graders are invited to attend the Lessons and Carols services with their parents, as there are no elementary classes during the a.m. services on Sun, December 13, and the 5 p.m. service on Sun, December 20. Nursery through pre-k classes remain the same.


Looking to lead in mercy and justice in 2017?
The Hope for New York community includes some of the most incredible yet humble people in New York City–not just the communities we’re serving, but those we’re serving with. The volunteers and staff that are on the ground at the affiliates who commit their time, energy, and resources–basically, themselves–encourage and inspire us each step of the way. Read more about leading in mercy and justice with HFNY here.

Project FIND //Serve UWS Elderly Meal at Christmas Party
Friday, December 18 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Volunteers will serve food and drinks during the Hamilton Senior Center Christmas Party. Volunteers be 16 years or older to volunteer, and accompanied by an adult. RSVP here.

All Angels // CM Christmas Party
Tuesday, December 15 from 3 to 6 p.m.
The CM Party is Our Place Cafe on a bigger scale. In addition to the regular serving of food and drinks we will also need volunteers to help put together and distribute the gift bags to our guests. RSVP here.


The Philip Series: Esther - Justice and Courage
Thursday, December 10, from 7:30 to 8:45 p.m. at W83, 5th Fl.
The book of Esther is one of quick-paced, drama-filled parts of the Old Testament, but what can we gain from it beyond a delightful read? How does the gospel unfold in Esther? Invite your friends and community group to attend this scholarly lecture given by Rev. Bijan Mirtolooi. Register at

WS Prayer and Praise Series: Gospel Community
Saturday, December 12 from 5 to 6:15 p.m., Room 406 at W83
Come and join us as we pray and worship together, remembering who God is and seeking his vision for us and our church. The evenings will be interspersed with small group prayer, scripture meditation, and singing. Each month will feature a different theme, exploring one of Redeemer's nine core values. Register here.


Pray for our City with Hope for New York

  • Thank God for his provision for His Toy Store: We met our His Toy Store goal, raising enough funds to stock our stores with 855 toys for 2,600 families across the city.
  • Pray for our affiliates serving women: Pray for our affiliates like Restore, The Bowery Mission Women's Center, and Avail, who are serving women all over our city.
  • Pray for Year End fundraising for our affiliates: The end of the calendar year is an important time for fundraising for non-profit organizations, including HFNY and our affiliates! Pray that God will supply all that is needed to continue to love and serve the poor and marginalized of our city.

To sign up to receive a monthly HFNY prayer e-mail with, click here.

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