Subject: West Side Update — Mercy & Justice (Rise Campaign, March 21)

Redeemer West Side
21 March 2016
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Hello ,

Lent is a season during which Christians often fast from various good things in their daily lives in order to more deeply understand and experience their dependence on God’s grace. It is also a season that is marked by "almsgiving," which is a word in Greek that literally means “doing acts of mercy.” How are these two things related? Fasting makes us realize our own dependence on God’s mercy, and therefore makes us aware of our obligation to extend mercy to others who are in need. It’s one reason that St. Augustine described fasting and almsgiving as "the two wings of prayer": because they are signs of humility and charity.

Scripture ties the two together as we see in Isaiah 58: 

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter?"

In other words, even though our actions don’t merit salvation, this passage reminds us that a life poured out in deeds of mercy and justice is a sign of a heart that has been changed by the gospel. So during the Rise season (and beyond) we're asking everyone to find practical ways to share out of the abundance we have been given, and in so doing honor the One who gave up his life for us.

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. – Mark 10:45

In Christ,

David Bisgrove
West Side Congregation Lead Pastor

Pray

As many of us identify how we will "rise" in this campaign, we need servant hearts that embody the gospel to those who are in need. Please take the next five minutes to pray together for God to bring a season of renewal in our church and our city:

  • Lord, increase my desire to serve the poor and marginalized and cause me to think differently about how I invest my time and money to bring hope and justice to those who need it.
  • Lord, make our church a people that are known for their generous spirit and helpfulness to those who are in need.
  • Lord, through this bold 10-year vision, increase the number of people all across the city who live out the gospel to advance the common good.
Engage

Here are opportunities for you to engage with the vision through Rise:

  • On Easter Sunday, we’ll receive a special offering for Hope for New York, our partner for mercy and justice in the city. The majority of Redeemer’s financial support for HFNY comes from your gifts to the Easter Sacrificial Offering. 100% of your gift will go to support and strengthen programs serving the poor and marginalized of our city. You will have an opportunity to give at our services this coming Sunday, or you can make a gift online and find out more info: hfny.org/easter.
  • There are many opportunities for you to serve through different Hope for New York affiliates either by yourself or with a group. Visit hfny.org/westside for more info. 

Consider inviting a friend to one of our five Easter services this Sunday: 8:30 a.m., 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 5 p.m. or 6:45 p.m. (Childcare for nursery through pre-K will be available at all services except the 6:45 p.m.)

  • Good Friday: the sanctuary will be open from 12 to 3 p.m. for prayer & reflection, and there will be two Good Friday services at 5 and 6:30 p.m. Childcare will be available for nursery through pre-K. 
Stories We are so excited about a vision of new churches being planted all over New York City.–Felicia and David, Kathryn and Daniel
Steve Brown
Redeemer's Vision
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.
West Side Congregation
Church Offices | 1166 Avenue of the Americas, 16th Floor | New York, NY 10036
Sunday Worship Services | W83 Ministry Center | 150 W. 83rd St. | New York, NY 10024