Subject: West Side Update – January 6

Redeemer WestSide
WestSide Update
January 6, 2014

Quick Links


John O’Connell

“Everything that had mattered in my life — my faith, my family, my friends, my law practice, even my health — I just let slide to the abyss. I didn’t care.”

Hear John O’Connell’s story of how the Diaconate helped him see Christ and “buoyed” him up during a period when his health and his finances were in disaster. He’s now being released from medical rehabilitation after being there since May of 2012 and he’s beginning to practice law again even from his hospital bed.

As a church of Jesus Christ, Redeemer exists to help build a great city for all people through a gospel movement that brings personal conversion, community formation, social justice and cultural renewal to New York City and, through it, to the world.
Hello ,

Years ago when I visited Yellowstone National Park, I was struck by how people from all over the world traveled there just to get out of their cars and stare! At some level we crave experiences that elicit awe. A recent Stanford study on the subject of awe showed that moments like the one in Yellowstone are not just cathartic, but lead to increased feelings of compassion and altruism. John Piper, in his book Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ, points to the reason this is true by writing:

We are all starved for the glory of God, not self. No one goes to the Grand Canyon to increase self-esteem. Why do we go? Because there is greater healing for the soul in beholding splendor than there is in beholding self.

As we start a new year and reset our priorities, it’s a good time to make room in our lives to behold the splendor of Jesus, our King and Savior whose birth we just celebrated. And as we do, we will find ourselves becoming more and more like him.

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. (2 Cor. 3:18, ESV)

In Christ,

Rev. David Bisgrove

Coming January 30: Questioning Christianity
Does Christianity make sense emotionally? Culturally? Intellectually? These are hugely important questions to ask.

If you are exploring the Christian faith, we've got a new series is for you: Questioning Christianity, led by Senior Pastor Tim Keller. If you are a Christian, this is an opportunity to bring a friend who does not identify as a Christian. Questioning Christianity will meet every Thursday night at W83 from January 30 to March 13, with each session building on the previous week’s discussion, followed by a time for Q&A. Please prayfully consider whom you might invite. Registration details here.

Serving brothers and sisters through the Diaconate
Because of your partnership, prayers and sacrificial giving, more than 470 individuals and families like John O’Connell, at left, in our church were served by the Diaconate this past year. You have provided our brothers and sisters a safe place to sleep, food, ways to get around, job search help, and other basic living needs, and a chance to receive professional Christian counseling care totaling over $386K. You can still support the work of the Diaconate anytime during the year by designating your donation here on the giving page to “Diaconate.”

Here are some opportunities from Hope for New York to serve over the next few weeks.

Save the date for Don't Walk By 2014!
Saturday, February 22 (UWS), and March 1 (Uptown)
Have you always wanted to help the people you see living on the streets, but don't know where to start? Our Don't Walk By outreach is a great opportunity to learn how to care for our neighbors. Every Saturday in February, volunteers will cover neighborhoods in Manhattan, offering the homeless they encounter blankets, food, and a chance to return to a home base for a hot meal and medical care.

Redeemer West Side will be participating in the West Side outreach on February 22 and the Uptown Outreach on March 1. These spots can fill up fast, so sign up today! To sign up as an individual or with a group of friends, go to

Happy National Mentoring Month!
Did you know that January is National Mentoring Month? Join Hope for New York to serve the youth of NYC by volunteering with our children and youth affiliate programs. You can see them all here. Contact for more information.

Pilot Program: Tutor Youth in Harlem (Or play squash with them!)
Tuesday, January 7, from 6:15 to 7:15PM (Orientation)
Volunteers are needed on weeknights and/or Saturdays to tutor youth one-on-one, helping with homework and skill building exercises for 7-12th graders. Squash coaches also needed. Contact for more information and to sign up.

Register today for a winter West Side Class
January 26, February 2 and 9, from 1:15PM to 2:30PM, 150 W 83rd
Choose “Foundations of Understanding the Bible” (taught by Bijan Mirtolooi) or “Sharing Your Faith” (David Bisgrove and Tim Knapp). Registration and more info here on the West Side classes page. Questions? Contact Karen.

Family Ministries seminars and events in 2014
Whether you are dating, married, thinking about kids, or well into parenting, we invite you to check out the Family Ministries page and register for an event such as our Premarital Seminar (January 11), a Marriage Renewal evening (January 22), dinner for parents of special needs kids (January 28), a Deuteronomy 6 parenting seminar (February 25), and more. Questions? Contact Karen.

West Side Congregation
Church Offices | 1359 Broadway 4th Floor | New York, NY 10018
W83 Ministry Center | 150 W 83rd St. | New York, NY 10024