Subject: West Side Update – March 17
March 17, 2014
Laura Rogers is from Clinton, Mississippi, and has lived in NYC since 2007. She has a B.A. in English with a minor in vocal performance from Vanderbilt University. Laura decided to move to New York after listening to Tim Keller’s messages on the importance of cities and cultural centers. She worked for several years in fashion and sang with Collegiate Chorale. As our WS Children’s Ministry Administrative Coordinator, Laura provides administrative support to keep our programs running smoothly. “I can usually be found laughing — or using way too many sticky notes,” says Laura. “I love having the opportunity to handle the database management. It’s the highlight of my day!”
Laura enjoys collecting records, making playlists, drinking coffee and discussing the Myers Briggs/MBTI. She’s trying to tangibly live out Jesus’ instruction to love your neighbor by studying Arabic and volunteering with a Hope for New York affiliate that teaches ESL to Arab-Americans: “I wanted to find a way to help these people flourish in our city and know that they are welcome here.”
Her favorite WS spot? The Library for the Performing Arts. “I could spend hours in there looking up everything from traditional Albanian music CDs to books on the development of American popular music genres. I’m a total music geek!”
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.
One way to approach Lent is to think of it as an annual opportunity to ask the questions, “In what ways have I not taken Jesus seriously?” and “How have I been complacent or indifferent with respect to my relationship with him?”
As I have been wrestling with this in my own life I was recently struck by the way Søren Kierkegaard approached the question in one of his writings [pdf]. He makes a distinction between those who admire Jesus and those who follow him. Followers of Jesus are disciples who seek to become more and more like him, understanding the claim he has on their lives. Admirers keep their distance from Jesus, knowing that to “associate with Jesus too closely amounts to being up for examination.”
I realize in my own life how much easier it is to admire Jesus than to follow him. I so readily admire his humility, patience, compassion and sacrifice — yet I struggle with following those patterns in my own life. So in this season of intensified focus on Christ’s suffering and death, I find that the more I hear and take into my heart his words “It is finished,” the more my admiration is transformed into dedication.
“You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve. Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.” (John 6:67–69)
Rev. David Bisgrove
Did you miss Sunday Service Teams Day yesterday?
Questioning Christianity groups
We’ll be holding West Side Easter Sunday morning services at 8:30, 10:00 and 11:30AM, and evening ones at 5:00 and 7:00PM. Good Friday services will be on April 18 at 5:00 and 7:00PM. The sanctuary will also be open that Friday afternoon from noon till 3:00PM for quiet prayer and reflection.
What could you do through the Hope Exchange?
Serve UWS men and women with mental illness
Serve a community of UWS seniors
Saturday, March 29, from 9:00AM to 4:30PM, Staten Island
Help repair homes damaged by Hurricane Sandy in Staten Island with Habitat for Humanity. R.S.V.P. here.
HFNY’s Young Supporters March social
City Rhythms: Theater
Tuesdays and Fridays, various times, at W83
Every week, men and women from the West Side get together at W83 for fellowship, worship, Scripture or just a warm cup of coffee. More here.
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