Subject: West Side Update – January 27

Redeemer WestSide
WestSide Update
January 27, 2014

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Pamela Brown-Peterside
Managing Director of Community Groups

Pamela grew up in Jos, Nigeria, and lived in the Midwest (U.S.) and then London before coming to NYC in 1990. She has a background in public health and previously worked in HIV/AIDS prevention among women, first in the South Bronx for nine years and then in rural Uganda for two.

Pamela has attended Redeemer since 1998 and came on staff in 2008. She now oversees the team that serves our Community Groups and spends much of her days meeting with leaders, hearing about their lives and groups, and strategizing about how we can care for them better. She supports and prays for Community Group leaders, coaching them on how to deal with the challenging and messy parts of life in community. She's all for discussing real life in the city: "Knowing that the pace and intensity of life in NYC can burn anybody out — it burned me out ten years ago — I'm always eager to think and talk about how to enjoy this great city while living in a healthy rhythm of rest, work and play."

Her favorite West Side spot?

"Fort Tryon Park," she says. "A little slice of heaven."

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 ,

As many of you know, our church community is spending this season of Epiphany exploring the person of Jesus through the writings of his friend and disciple John. I was recently struck by one author’s summary of why he wrote a 500-page commentary on John’s Gospel, which he stated was, “our great need is to see Jesus better.” The powerful simplicity of that statement reminded me of both my need and purpose — to know Jesus and to make him known.

One story I recently read underscores this idea. Sadhu Sundar Singh was born into an affluent Sikh family in India in 1889. Early on, he hated Christianity because it was a foreign religion, publicly burning a Gospel text at the age of 15. Shortly after, he had a vision of Jesus and converted to Christianity, becoming a wandering holy man and preacher. At one point a professor aggressively pressed him on why he abandoned his old religion for Christianity. “I have Christ,” was Sadhu’s reply. The lecturer continued his attack, saying, “I know, I know, but what particular principle or doctrine have you found that you didn’t have before?” Sadhu’s answer was this: “The particular thing I found is Christ.”

What more is there to say?

But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. (John 20:31)

In Christ,

Rev. David Bisgrove


Questioning Christianity live and online
Thursdays starting January 30, 7:00PM at W83
This is it! Tim Keller’s new series for seekers and skeptics, Questioning Christianity, starts this Thursday. If you have not already, please prayerfully consider which seeking friends you might be able to invite. For those who can’t attend in person every week, each session will be streamed live and recorded for anyone to be able to watch online. You can tune in for the live streaming of the first session this week at


Here are some opportunities for you to serve this week from Hope for New York.

Get a glimpse of what’s in store for Don’t Walk By
Wondering what the Don’t Walk By outreach on February 22 and March 1 will look like? Check out our Flickr album from last year’s outreach (and try to find Abe Cho)! Our goal is for 100 West Siders participate in this outreach to the homeless. Sign up at

Mentor youth with special needs
Thursday, January 30, from 6:00 to 7:30PM
Invest in high schoolers with special needs and help lead Capernaum Club activities and Bible studies. Male volunteers are especially needed. Contact Katherine at

Pilot Program: Deliver meals to homebound elderly in UWS
Sunday, February 9, from 9:30 to 11:30AM
Up to 10 volunteers are needed to pilot a new program to hand deliver meals on foot to elderly neighbors who can’t cook or buy groceries on their own. Great opportunity for families or groups. RSVP here.

Pilot Program: After-school and Saturday tutoring
Weekdays, between 3:30 and 7:15PM; Saturdays from 10:45AM to 4:00PM
Help 6–12th graders improve their grades and learn core concepts in math and English. Volunteer in one-hour sessions during the week, or on Saturdays at 115th and Lenox Ave. Contact Whitney at


Applications for Gotham Fellowship are open
January 30 through March 31
Interested in developing a more meaningful understanding of faith and work integration? Consider applying for the Gotham Fellowship, a nine-month leadership development experience. Upcoming info sessions and other details at

Got a question about short-term missions?
Sunday, February 9, at 1:15PM, W83 in Room 406
Did yesterday’s Mission Sunday whet your appetite for short-term missions? Come to this helpful information session. There will be an opening talk about what in general a mission trip entails and the commitment level involved, followed by a Q&A. Then there will be breakouts of all trips, where a representative per trip will be on hand to discuss the particulars. The goal is for the participants to be fully informed in order to make a decision on which trip might be best.

Unscripted: Discovering the Gospel through the Art of Improv
Sunday, February 16, at 1:00PM, 120 W 14th St
Join us for an afternoon performance by the Improvised Shakespeare Company. Following the performance, Tim Keller will give a brief talk, followed by an interview with actor and company founder Blaine Swen about how we can see the gospel through improv, laughter and joy. Q&A to follow. This Public Faith event will be a great opportunity to bring friends who are exploring Christianity. The event is free, but registration will be as space is limited. Registration will open on Wednesday here:

Thank you, families!
Thank you to all the West Side families who came out on Saturday to pack 950 (!!!) homeless care kits, which will be given out at Don’t Walk By in February and March. It was a great morning of community and serving our neighbors who do not have housing during this very cold winter.

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