Subject: West Side Update - May 16

Redeemer West Side
16 May 2016
WS Stories

Sam Ramos

Sam Ramos was born and raised in New York City, specifically in Spanish Harlem. "My Puerto Rican parents raised 4 boys, we are all in our 50's now," he says.

Failing was not an option, so Sam attended Borough of Manhattan Community College after high school; ten years later, he earned his BA at City College (CUNY). Sam is now a substitute teacher and also works as a security guard.

"I enjoy interacting as a guard and talking with people about life experiences," he says, especially in a city with many seekers.

Sam has been attending Redeemer since its earliest days and has served on Sundays for years, as an usher and at the Info Table.

"To my amazement, I was reborn by God and became a Christian," he says about his encounter with God after he started serving as an usher.

Sam says that he has come a long way in his journey with God:

"Status was something I needed to have. Money had a great role for me; to be 'important' or to be better than the next guy."

He says, "now I've hit the spiritual lotto: Jesus came to me and invited me into his world."

WS Cafe
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.

For more info, visit

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 ,

I recently finished serving on a jury in a trial. The experience of being in a room with twelve strangers tasked with rendering justice was fascinating, stressful and difficult. We each had our opinions and feelings about the case, but rightly came back again and again to the constraints of the law and instructions of the judge, without which a verdict would have been impossible. It reminded me of a recent article in the NY Times entitled “Stop Saying ‘I Feel Like,’” in which the author described how leading with our feelings “masquerades as a humble conversational offering… but the phrase is an absolutist trump card. It halts argument in its tracks.” “It’s a way of avoiding full engagement with another person,” the writer quotes.

Reflecting on that article and my recent experience as a juror, I was reminded of the importance of obedience to God’s law despite how we might feel. There are many times when God’s instructions and our feelings conflict. It’s in those moments we must submit to the constraints of his wisdom and remember that his law is an extension of his love for us: a submission and obedience that comes only when we remember the one who perfectly obeyed God’s law—and then died so that we might obey it without fear of condemnation.

Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long. Your commands are always with me and make me wiser than my enemies. - Psalm 119:97-98

In Christ,

Rev. David Bisgrove (at)David_Bisgrove


Get to know your fellow West Siders by serving on Sundays!
Join the Sunday Service Team and usher, serve communion or help out at the Coffee Hour by serving at the Book or Info Tables or as a member of the Connections Team. To learn more, visit

Redeemer members, RSVP to the Congregational Meeting this Sunday 5/22
Our next Congregational Meeting will be held immediately following the 11:30 a.m. service. Members must attend to vote on important church business, including the election of new officers. On the West Side we have 7 deacon and deaconess candidates will be on the ballot. To register and request childcare, visit

Operation Exodus: Share at Career Day for K-8th graders
Saturday, May 21 from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Volunteers will give 15-20 minute presentations to teach K-8th grade kids what they do, leading kids to broaden their hopes for the future and explore skills related to various careers. RSVP here

Young Life: Become a buddy for teens with disabilities
Thursdays from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
High school volunteers will build relationships with teenagers with special needs at UWS weekly club nights, to encourage involvement and develop confidence. Must be a high school student to volunteer. Learn more here.

All Angels Church: Serve at Our Place Cafe
Tuesday, May 24, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Volunteers prep, serve, and clean up at Our Place Cafe, a gospel centered, peer driven, supportive community cafe for men and women experiencing homelessness, addiction and mental health challenges. RSVP here.

"Design Your Life" Workshop
Saturday, June 11
Are you looking for clarity in your life direction and goals? Wondering how you got to where you are? Join us for this one day workshop designed intentionally to help focus your life and career aspirations. Instructor Dave Evans is the co-founder of the Life Design Lab of the Stanford Design Program and co-author of the upcoming book Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life. For more info and to register, click here


Thank you for faithfully praying with us throughout the Rise campaign. As God continues his work of the gospel movement here in New York City, join us in praying:

  • That God would continue to renew all of our hearts with the power and freedom of the gospel so that our entires lives--our relationships, our work, our service--are transformed
  • That our congregation would be a place marked by its humility, courage and grace as we seek to serve our neighbors on the West Side

Looking for more ways to pray for our church and city? Join the West Side Prayer Team
Do you love to pray or have a longing to pray for our church? We are looking for people who enjoy behind-the-scenes ministry and want to partner with those on the front line through prayer. Learn more about the West Side Prayer Team 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