Subject: West Side Update – July 9

Redeemer WestSide Newsletter
Redeemer WestSide
WestSide Update
July 9, 2012

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Jerry Boak
Finance Associate Director

Even as a small boy growing up in Annapolis, MD, Jerry Boak remembers loving God. But after attending various churches in Seattle (where he lived for a number of years while attending college and then working), he still hadn't found a church to really call home.

Jerry first came to NYC in 1990, hoping to work in the music business. Though this career eluded him, he did land a job at Columbia University, where he’s been a student or staff member almost ever since. Because of previous false starts with college, being an undergrad at Columbia fueled his nagging anxiety about getting through school. Trying to cope with his fears and thirsting for real Christian community, Jerry attended various churches and organizations and ended up at a Campus Crusade for Christ meeting. He asked where the group attended church. Many enthusiastically responded, "Redeemer."

When Jerry came to Redeemer shortly thereafter, he immediately realized he'd found the church he’d been looking for. He credits the abiding grace of God, his wife, Katharine, and all the hard working and loving Redeemer folks for helping him along in his faith.

Jerry and Katharine, along with their two children, Grace and Jonathan, live in the Lincoln Square area. "I run into friends from Redeemer so often in my neighborhood, it sometimes feels like a much smaller city." A Beta Group and West Side Catalyst recently caused him to consider lay service. With the support of David Bisgrove and Ted Morgan (a Redeemer elder who just happened to be at that original Campus Crusade meeting), Jerry recently began a weekly men’s ministry, the W83 Men’s Group.

Hello ,

One of the things I love about New York City in the summer is the slower pace. Sidewalks and subways are less crowded, and you can almost always find a sidewalk table at a restaurant. For me it is a time to existentially exhale, which is important in a place like New York where being busy is like breathing. 

A recent article in the NY Times (“The ‘Busy’ Trap” by Tim Kreider) underscores the potential danger of a life where the answer to the question, “How are you?” is always, “Busy!” Kreider puts it this way: “Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy.”

Of course this stands in stark contrast with a God who commands us to “be still” and know him (Psalm 46:10). It is in that stillness, the time set aside to be quiet and listen to God’s voice in his word, that we find meaning in our lives. In the opening words of Psalm 1, we are reminded of this truth when God’s children are told to delight in and meditate on God’s law. The result of which is, 

"That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season 
and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers." (Psalm 1:3)

So plant yourself quietly in God’s presence each day and let his still small voice reassure and fill you.

In Christ,

Rev. David Bisgrove

Meet Our Staff! And Welcome Omari and Susana!
You've asked, and we've now answered! Yes, we've been featuring staff members every few weeks in our WS Stories section of these emails. But now we have a full-fledged Meet Our Staff page up on our website. Here you can find out who we are, what we do, and where our favorite WS spots are. And this week we want to say a special welcome to Omari Hill and Susana Gough who just joined our WS staff on July 1st! 

Children's Ministry VBS Week, July 9th to 13th
This week is our Redeemer Children's Ministry VBS week. Over 200 Redeemer children and their friends will learn about the gospel through interactive Bible lessons, crafts, music and songs, snacks, games and skits. This year we are partnering with St. Anne's Church in the South Bronx. We are hoping to raise enough money for their basic school supplies and to also bring in new playground balls. If you'd like to help out, you may drop off donations and supplies at W83 Ministry Center. Contact Benita for more information (but please note that VBS has begun and registration is closed for this year). Please keep our volunteers and the children in your prayers this week!

Lead Activities for those Struggling with Mental Illness
2nd & 4th Saturdays | 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. | W. 80s & Amsterdam

Build relationships with adults struggling with mental health issues at The Bridge-Rita Berger House, a transitional residence on the Upper West Side. Help lead afternoon activities on the second and/or fourth Saturday of each month. Contact Ashley at HFNY.

See our website for further needs listed on our Serve with Us page.

First West Side Supper!
Friday, July 20th, 7:00 p.m. at W83 Ministry Center

Come join us for our first Supper as a West Side congregation! Suggested donation of $15 to cover cost ($5 for children under 12). All ages welcome and strollers are permitted in the Fellowship Hall for this event; otherwise, contact Bethany for vouchers to help cover cost of childcare on your own. Only 100 seats available for this first Supper, so Register Now! We look forward to breaking bread with you!

Stay Tuned for West Side Women!
On June 28 a hopeful group of women met to pray about and plan women's groups for the fall! Beginning in the fall of 2012, we will have two weekly meetings of West Side Women, one during a weekday and one on a weekday evening. Both will meet at the W83 Ministry Center and focus on worship, prayer and Bible study in order to better know and experience God in community with one another. The study portion of the meetings will focus on scripture (as opposed to a topical or book study). The group will be open to all women but focus primarily on women from the West Side congregation. Contact Kari Jo Cates for more information.

West Side Congregation | Redeemer Presbyterian Church | 1359 Broadway 4th Floor | New York, NY 10018