Subject: West Side Update — August 8

Redeemer West Side
8 August 2016

The Open Door
West Side HFNY Affiliate

The Open Door is one of Hope for New York's affiliates on the Upper West Side. The Open Door's mission is to empower immigrants to reach their full God-given potential to successfully integrate, participate in and contribute to the wellbeing of our society.

Hope for New York fully funded The Open Door to launch their Manhattan location of ESL classes, and connected volunteers to teach the classes. And HFNY has been committed to working with The Open Door every step of the way to launch their new Manhattan location—securing classroom space at W83, funding all program costs, and recruiting volunteer teachers for the Wednesday night ESL class.

Chris Copeland, a West Sider and one of the volunteer teachers, has developed a friendship with Oscar, one of the Open Door Students. Chris told us about Oscar: "I know his commute to work is very long, and our class is not exactly on the way home for him. Yet he is present every Wednesday night. I know he spends five hours each Saturday in a GED class. He has goals for his future, and the first step is getting proficient in English. So far he is doing great."

The Open Door wants to see a new community of diverse individuals participating and thriving in the English-speaking economic mainstream as a model of community development. Their program offerings this year include English as a Second Language classes, GED math classes, and computer skills classes.

To learn more about volunteering at The Open Door, click here.

WS Cafe

The West Side Café will resume again in the fall.

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. 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 ,

On a recent subway ride, I observed a young boy standing in front of his mother, her arms resting on his shoulders, as he looked out the window watching the world go by. At one point he turned around, leaned his head against her, shut his eyes, smiled and hugged her in a such a way that he seemed to melt into her arms. He then turned back around and continued to look out the window.

The image was a window into our lives with God: we go about our daily lives watching the world go by, mostly unaware of his outstretched arms protecting and guiding us. And then every once in awhile we sense the need to more fully experience God’s love. Sometimes it is brought on by a season of pain or doubt. Other times it might be the pure joy of knowing his love.

The point driven home to me that day on the 1 Train was my need to find ways to draw close to God the way a child needs to draw close to his mother. So let my experience encourage you to find ways to do just that—whether through deeper friendships within the church, more regular private and public worship or cultivating private prayer and meditation of God’s word. All of these are ways to not just know you are God’s child, but to experience it as well.

Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. —Hebrews 10:22

In Christ,

Rev. David Bisgrove (at)David_Bisgrove


Do you live in Hell's Kitchen and want to know how you can rise in your area?
We are preparing to launch 25 new Beta Groups this September and are looking for potential leaders/hosts, especially in Hell's Kitchen, with prior experience in a Redeemer Community Group who have a passion for God, compassion for others, a teachable spirit, and attend Redeemer regularly. Please recommend someone, or even yourself, by filling out thisling out this form here.

No Sunday elementary classes in August
There will be no Sunday elementary classes for children K-5. Elementary classes resume on Sunday, September 11. We encourage children to follow along during the service using our children's worship guide available at the entrance to the sanctuary.

Preparing for Marriage seminar
Dating? Engaged? Getting married soon? Join us on September 24, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., for a fun, interactive, and practical pre-marital seminar. $80/person includes lunch. Details, dates and registration here. Limited space. Questions:


Project FIND: Serve lunch to residents and community
Sunday, August 14 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Volunteers will provide kitchen staff assistance in handing out meal numbers, setting up trays, plating food, and delivering trays to seniors. RSVP here.

Defy Ventures: Coach entrepreneurs in training on best practices
Tuesday, August 16 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Volunteers will coach participants in the EIT program for men and women with criminal histories, offering strategic insight into some of their toughest entrepreneurship obstacles. RSVP here.

Citymeals-on-Wheels: Deliver meals to homebound elderly
Sunday, August 21 from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Volunteers (up to 10) will pick up meals at local UWS center, receive route for delivery from center, and walk in groups of 2-3 to deliver meals to elderly recipients in the neighborhood. Must be pre-existing group. RSVP here.


HFNY Charity Bike Ride - Dinner & Info Session Tomorrow
Tuesday, August 9 at 7 p.m.
It’s not too late to sign up for the HFNY Charity Bike Ride Info Session tomorrow night. Join us to learn more about biking and fundraising with Team HFNY as part of the Charity Bike Ride on Sept. 24. Learn more & RSVP for tomorrow’s info session here.

W83 invites you to participate in an interactive art project 
Now through August 25
"Making Place" is an interactive art project exhibiting the collective memories and places of meaning in our Upper West Side neighborhood. We invite you to take pictures of places on the UWS special to you in themes of Change, Beauty, Joy, Love or Loss and label it with #MakingPlaceUWS on social media (Instagram, Twitter). Your images will be collectively displayed as part of this exhibition, which will run July 21 - August 25 in the W83 Gallery. Share as much or as little as you would like about the significance of the place. Please include the location's name and cross streets. For more details, please email


The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy - Psalm 126:3

“The Psalms are acts of obedience, answering the God who has addressed us. God’s word precedes these words: these prayers don't seek God, they respond to the God who seeks us. These responses are often ones of surprise, for who expects God to come looking for us? And they are sometimes awkward, for in our religious striving we are usually looking for something quite other than the God who has come looking for us. God comes and speaks - his word catches us in sin, finds us in despair, invades us by grace. The Psalms are our answers. We don’t always like what God speaks to us, and we don’t always understand it. Left to ourselves, we will pray to some god who speaks what we like hearing, or to the part of God that we manage to understand. But what is critical is that we speak to the God who speaks to us, and to everything that he speaks to us, and in our speaking (which gathers up our listening and answering) mature in the great art of conversation with God that is prayer. The Psalms - all of which listen in order to answer - train us in that conversation.” Eugene Peterson in Answering God: The Psalms As Tools For Prayer

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