Subject: West Side Update - February 22
February 22, 2016
Last Sunday, Tom shared his story about how God has worked through his experience as a volunteer with Hope For New York:
"I have been a member of Redeemer since 1997, and for the past decade I had been hearing announcements that volunteers were needed to teach English as a second language.
"A couple of years ago, I found out that Hope For New York was partnering with The Open Door, an organization that would teach English as a second language on Wednesday nights at W83. It was time, so I volunteered.
"The Open Door provided training, a curriculum, lesson plans, books and online materials for support. The emphasis was to get students to speak English. In my assigned class the co-teacher was actually an English teacher; I learned by watching him and we alternated leading the class for the eight to ten students.
"I enjoyed their 'aha' moments when they learned something I had taught them, like the 'Mets' baseball team nickname is short for the 'Metropolitans.'
"One night, as the students were concentrating on the lesson, I took time to observe each individual, one by one. What I saw amazed me. Their eyes sparkled, their smiles shined and their faces beamed. I felt overwhelmingly fortunate just to be there.
"The feeling didn’t go away, even as I walked outside after class. Later I realized why: God had shown me that people are made in his image. I understood this concept from Genesis 1: 26- 27 in my head, but I finally understood it in my heart.
"I didn’t expect to learn a lasting lesson about God while teaching English. Now I see all around me that people are made in God’s image and for this reason, should be treated with respect—from the bicycle messenger careening down the street to the teller at the bank.
"Volunteering with The Open Door taught me that if my motives are in line with God’s and I take time to serve my neighbor, God will work in my heart to know and understand him better."
Discover how you can serve our neighborhood: Find out how you can get involved by serving your neighbors in need at the new West Side page at hfny.org/westside.
Tues, 7 to 8:15 p.m., Rm. 406
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.
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.
Mother Theresa, in her book A Simple Path, makes the following observation:
We all must take the time to be silent and to contemplate, especially those who live in big cities like… New York, where everything is moving so fast… for it is in the silence of the heart that God speaks. God is the friend of silence….
The discipline of listening to God through prayer and meditation on His word has always been difficult, but perhaps no more so than in today’s world of smart phones and handheld devices. A recent article by Jacob Weisberg in the NY Review of Books entitled “We are Hopelessly Hooked” reveals just how distracted we have become. For example, Weisberg cites that Americans now spend an average of five and a half hours a day with digital media, more than half of that time on mobile devices. Also, 75% of eighteen to twenty-four-year-olds reach for their phones immediately upon waking up in the morning. Once out of bed, we check our phones 221 times a day—an average of every 4.3 minutes.
What is the impact? Among other things, “the art of friendship is increasingly the art of dividing your attention successfully.” Not only is that harmful to our friendships with one another, but if God really is the “friend of silence” think about what it means to our relationship with Him. So in this season of Lent think about what it might mean to ‘unplug’ from your media of choice, and plunge yourself into the holy silence of God.
Be still before the LORD, all mankind, because he has roused himself from his holy dwelling. – Zechariah 2:13
Rev. David Bisgrove
Final Winter West Side Update
West Side Children's Ministry is hiring
The Open Door: Teach basic computer skills to immigrant community
Don’t Walk By: Volunteer at registration table
New York City Relief: Offer soup, prayer and resources
Christian Apologetics Class
Influencing Your Work Environment Through Prayer
Grace & Race: City Walks
Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper. —Jeremiah 29:7
Join us to pray for Cultural Renewal in our city
For today's Lent devotional, click here.
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W83 Ministry Center | 150 W 83rd St. | New York, NY 10024