Subject: West Side Update – February 24
February 24, 2014
Nick Agnew & Haena Kim
“I discovered that Rita Berger House is like church — a community seeking to come together. There we share tears when there is loss and we celebrate together when times are good,” says Haena Kim. “The residents, staff and fellow volunteers brighten my life, and I'm really blessed to get to see glimpses of Jesus in every one of them.”
Haena Kim and her husband, Nick, both volunteer with Hope for New York affiliate Rita Berger House, a full-time residence for adults living with mental or physical health issues or coming out of addiction disorders.
“During our bimonthly Saturday afternoon visits, we enjoy doing arts and crafts activities that brighten up the living space, share community meals and desserts — handmade by volunteers and residents — restore forgotten patios and walls, build relationships, and create stories and moments that disrupt painful memories and labels,” says Nick.
“For me, volunteering at Rita Berger House started with the logistics: from grocery shopping and coming up with recipes to participating in the arts and crafts,” says Haena. “Then God started leading me to care for improving the lives of the residents — bringing healthier foods, getting to know the residents, and creating strong friendships by sharing our life stories. Serving there has changed me from simply being a participant to having real relationships with them.”
“Recently, a resident approached me while I was preparing a meal in the kitchen,” says Nick. “She told me she loves having the volunteers in the space, and looks forward to the events every other Saturday. Then she said, in reference to her Rita Berger community, ‘We are a loving group. We’re not fighters.’ Her acknowledgement of the loving community built at Rita Berger, is evidence of Christ’s pure grace in the flesh.”Interested in HFNY volunteer projects on the UWS? Click here to find affiliates listed by geographic region.
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.
A recent article on the purpose of fashion caught my attention because its author respectfully argued that fashion design was more than just about comfort, but actually is most valuable when its design includes, among other things, “meaning.” One example given was a jacket designed in such a way that the seams and various angles of the cut reflect the “fragility and imperfection of man.” Another designer was quoted as saying, “To design is quite easy. The difficulty lies in finding a new way to explore beauty.”
It struck me as analogous to worship and prayer, where it is “easy” to worship Jesus for the things he has done, but can be much harder to enjoy him for who he is. One of the challenging aspects of our Epiphany sermon series on the Gospel of John has been to find new ways to enjoy and celebrate the beauty of Jesus.
As we approach Lent, my prayer is that we would be a community that increasingly celebrates and enjoys the beauty of Jesus because, in so doing, we find ourselves individually and collectively becoming more and more like him.
And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (2 Cor. 3:18)
Rev. David Bisgrove
Calling all members! Congregational Meeting on March 9
The Diaconate’s Community Closet
Did you go an Intro to Redeemer session?
Here are some opportunities to serve the city from Hope for New York.
Want to serve NYC? Come to Hope for New York’s info session
Pilot Program: Afterschool and Saturday tutoring
Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, from 5:30AM to 6:30AM
Join a unique pilot program with HFNY that uses early morning runs to help create self-sufficiency in the lives of those experiencing homelessness. Running will happen in various neighborhoods, including Lower East Side and Downtown Brooklyn. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
Singles conference livestream
Elementary Game Night
Gotham Fellowship applications due March 31!
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