Subject: West Side Update - December 14

Redeemer West Side
December 14, 2015
Grace Chung
Community Group leader

“The first couple years, I came to service each Sunday anonymous, alone, seated in the back,” Grace says.

Now, Grace Chung been attending Redeemer for six years and serves as a Community Group leader and at children’s ministry events. “How insane!” she says.

Grace first came to NYC seven years ago to study fashion design and found a community in RUF City Campus Ministry, “diving head-first (or heart-first) into meaningful conversations about faith and life and sovereign grace."

"For the first time in my life I was witnessing, experiencing, and desiring deep friendship and accountability in Christ.”

In 2013, Grace was asked to co-lead a beta group with her then-fiance (now husband!), and “this year will be our 3rd faithful year together as a Redeemer WS community group!"

Throughout her years at Redeemer, what grew her desire to serve was being served herself by the diaconate. "I was shown so much wisdom, love, and grace in their kindness toward me and faithfulness for me."

Grace loves the constant change of seasons, scenery and sound of the city. In the UWS, one place that is close to her heart is the AMNH steps, "where we gorge on Shake Shack, take successful group photos, and hang out until dark like the young folk."

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WS Cafe

Tuesday, December 15 from 7 to 8:15 p.m. in Rm. 406

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. If you are considering the claims of Christianity, or would like to bring someone you know who is, feel free to stop by on a Tuesday evening or register to attend here.

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 ,

This past Saturday our family had an opportunity to walk down Fifth Avenue and over to the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. The walk was a magical experience enveloped with music, colorful lights and brilliantly decorated windows. Everything about it captured what you might call the “Christmas Spirit.” Of course for Christians this is a season to reflect on a different kind of “Christmas Spirit” found in the birth of Jesus. And what do we find in the Gospels? A child whose birth was relegated to a space set aside for animal; born into a poor family; someone who spent his life associating with outcasts; and who eventually suffered a humiliating death stripped of his worldly possessions. This is why J.I. Packer identified the Christmas Spirit as follows:

The Christmas spirit is the spirit of those who, like their Master, live their whole lives on the principle of making themselves poor - spending and being spent - to enrich their fellowmen, giving time, trouble, care and concern to do good to others - and not just their own friends - in whatever way there seems need.

That’s certainly not the first thing that comes to mind when I think about Christmas. My frenetic pace and preoccupation with a more commercialized Christmas can lessen my awareness of the needs of those around me. So as we enter this third week of advent let’s take time to not only think about what it means to reflect the Christmas spirit described by Packer, but tangibly act on it.

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich. – 2 Corinthians 8:9

In Christ,

Rev. David Bisgrove (at)David_Bisgrove


Are you seeking to explore your vocational calling?
Join a Center for Faith & Work 3-Month Vocational Intensive. Intensives follow similar contours to the Gotham curriculum framework, exploring how the gospel is at work transforming our hearts, communities, and the world, and are led by Gotham Alumni. Spots are limited. Registration open now. More at


What happened at HFNY’s His Toy Stores?
On December 5 and December 12, volunteers from Redeemer partnered with Hope for New York and their affiliates to host 9 Toy Stores across the city, where families in need could shop for new toys at no cost and connect to local nonprofits for year-round support. Read more about the outreach on HFNY’s blog, and thank you to all West Siders who gave and volunteered to make His Toy Store happen!

Young Life: Provide Christmas Dinner for Teen Moms
Thursday, December 22 from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. 
Female volunteers will provide a Christmas dinner for the teen moms who attend the Harlem YoungLives' Christmas Party. Great women’s group opportunity!. RSVP here.

Operation Exodus: Host Christmas Party for Washington Heights Families
Saturday, December 19 from 9:30 -11:30 a.m and 11:30 a.m to 2:30 p.m.
Volunteers will work in two shifts to decorate and set-up Operation Exodus for their annual Christmas party and then serve a meal to kids and their families. RSVP online for the first shift and the second shift.

WS Christmas Eve Service
Thursday, December 24 at 5 p.m.
Join us for a simple service of readings and carol singing accompanied by the evening band. Childcare will be provided for infants to pre-K. For the full December schedule, visit


"How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, 'Your God reigns!'" — Isaiah 52:7

Today's prayer from Seeking God's Face:
Holy God, lead me to repentance that brings life. Not the groveling show that's more about convincing you I'm worthy of your forgiveness, but the cut-to-the-heart kind of repentance that is grieved at my sin because of your holiness and glory. Move me by your mercy and lead me to a life of joyful obedience. Amen.

"Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them." — Luke 1:68

West Side Congregation
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