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West Side Classes are an important resource for spiritual growth at Redeemer. While we believe that life lived in the joys and challenges of robust Christian community is the primary place of spiritual formation, learning in a classroom setting remains an important part of our formation. Whether you are exploring Christianity or are a Christian seeking to grow in your faith, West Side Classes will lead you to a richer understanding of Jesus Christ.
West Side Classes are an important resource for spiritual growth at Redeemer.
|Tue, Jan 26 to Mar 23|
|West Side Bible Study (Women)||Thu, Jan 28 to Mar 25|
|Race, the Bible, and the Body of Christ||Wed, Feb 24 to Mar 24|
|Christianity for the Spiritually Curious||Tue, Apr 13 to 27|
West Side Bible Study
Co-ed Cohort: Tuesdays, January 26 to March 23, 2021, 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Women-only Cohort:Thursdays, January 28 to March 25, 2021, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Zoom - meeting ID and passcode will be provided in the registration confirmation email
Please join us for our winter cycle of West Side Bible Study where over the course of 9 weeks, we will take a deep-dive into the book of Philippians, Paul's letter to the church illustrating unshakeable joy despite circumstances.
This class will be offered virtually and run in two cohorts: a co-ed Tuesday evening study and a women-only Thursday morning study. Participants will be asked to attend the full series and complete weekly assignments based on the text. Class time will include a large group teaching on the passage and small group discussion. As the co-ed cohort will conduct small groups by gender, couples will need to register individually and plan to use separate devices to participate.
Taught by Ellen Boker (Director of Care and Counseling), Milla Nieminen (Senior Director of Discipleship/Faith & Work) and Sandi Taylor (RWS Member)
The Philip Series | Jonah: A Call to Witness
That Jonah was swallowed up by a great fish is well known, but many of the story’s most important details are often overlooked. In Jonah’s story we see God’s heart for the world, the reluctance of God’s servant, and the challenges—and possible joys—of sharing the Gospel message with others.
- The Philip Series | Haggai: A Call to Spiritual Renewal Tucked away at the end of the Old Testament, Haggai is a minor prophet with a major message. In the sixth century BC—when Haggai was writing—the people of God desperately needed spiritual renewal. Even though they were religious and knew about God, the reality of their day-to- day experience was a prioritizing of their own needs, concerns, agendas, and comfort. Writing to those people, Haggai said, “Consider your ways.” The message of Haggai is needed today as much as it was when it was first spoken. As we wrestle with the modern implications of this ancient message, we’ll not only discover what spiritual renewal is and why it matters, but what’s more, we’ll see how the message of Haggai climaxes in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
- God’s Mercy, Our Compassion
Whether we realize it or not, there are opportunities every day to be an extension of God’s mercy to others around us. What are some practical ways we can be the hands and feet of Jesus? What can motivate us to do this? In this class, we will explore together a biblical survey and meaning of God’s mercy. A deeper understanding of God’s mercy can lead to a greater desire to cultivate a lifestyle of compassion for others.
- The Philip Series | Amos: A Call to Justice
In his most famous speech—“I have a dream”—Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “We will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.” That line, a clarion call to pursue racial justice, was not original to Dr. King, but is a direct quote from the ancient biblical prophet, Amos. As Dr. King led the Civil Rights Movement he leaned on the biblical prophets for support, guidance, and encouragement.
Dr. King’s call for justice is as urgent today as it has ever been. How are the prophets of ancient Israel shaping how you think about and pursue justice? Join us at the Philip Series on Thursday, 8 February as we explore together how the prophet Amos called—and is calling—God’s people to pursue true justice in the world.
- Prayer: Putting It Into Practice
Experience and be transformed by God through prayer. In this class, we will explore questions such as:
What is prayer? What are the obstacles to prayer? How might our temperaments impact our prayer life? How do we pray for ourselves, others, and the world around us? How do we walk with God each day, for the rest of our lives?
An essential, core component of the class is a four-week quiet time and prayer guide. It is designed to help us develop a daily rhythm of prayer, broaden and deepen our understanding of prayer and, most importantly, nurture our relationship with God. Each session includes teaching, individual/group prayer time, and a take-home quiet time and prayer guide.
- Faith & Politics: An Evening with Michael Wear
When it comes to thinking about the intersection of faith and politics, too often Christians veer to one extreme or another: identifying a political party with Christianity, or avoiding political engagement all together. What’s more, in our polarized political climate, many Christians can’t muster the strength to respect others who are on the other side of the political spectrum, let alone view them as brothers and sisters. For our fragmented and polarized society, can the gospel of Jesus Christ offer another way forward? Michael Wear, former White House staffer, founder of Public Square Strategies LLC, and author of Reclaiming Hope will be joining us to help guide us in thinking through these important and timely questions.
- Prayer: Communing with God
How might you hear God’s “voice” and discern what he is saying to you? How do you ask God for the true needs of your heart, and how might he be answering you? This class will explore the role of the Holy Spirit in your life and how God can transform you powerfully as you petition and hear from him. Sessions include teaching, individual and group prayer time, and devotionals that will help you foster your relationship with God day by day.
- The Philip Series | Ruth: Friendship & Sacrifice
Loving people is hard work. Sometimes the hardest people to love are the people you love the most and sometimes we're called to love people that are difficult to love. Ruth left her homeland and everything she knew to help her mother-in-law. Is it possible for us to have sacrificial love like Ruth? How do we see Christ present in the book of Ruth?
- Prayer: Interceding for Others & the World
Suffering. Injustice. Broken hearts and broken relationships. There is so much need—everywhere and all the time. How do you begin to faithfully pray for them, and where is God in the midst of all this need? This class will explore how you can listen for God's guidance as you figure out how to intercede for your family, friends, neighbors, church, and the systems of the world. Sessions include teaching, individual and group prayer time, practical tools to help you pray with and for others, and devotionals that will help you foster your relationship with God day by day.
- The Philip Series | Prophets & the Nations
The Bible teaches that a Christian has their “citizenship in heaven” (Phil 3:20). But what does that mean for our life on earth? Does the Bible say anything about how a Christian should relate to and think about the particular countries, cities, and societies in which they live? Join us as we explore the ancient Biblical prophets and consider how their teachings reveal God’s heart for the nations, as well as how the people of God are called to inhabit the places in which they live.
- Gospel Principles for Parenting
In the midst of folding laundry, juggling careers, coordinating after school activities, and breaking up fights, many parents get lost. Feeling pressure to do everything 'right' and raise up 'good' children, it's easy to lose sight of our ultimate purpose as parents in the quest for practical tips and guaranteed formulas. Discipline can feel more like the law than grace, communicating condemnation instead of delight. It's with this in mind that Paul Tripp wrote his life-giving book, Parenting. He presents us with a big picture view of God's plan for us as parents. Outlining fourteen foundational principles centered on the gospel, he shows that we need more than the latest parenting strategy or list of techniques. Freed from the burden of trying to manufacture life-change in our children's hearts, we can embrace a grand perspective of parenting overflowing with vision, purpose, and joy.
- 7 Myths About Singleness: An Evening with Sam Allberry
Often times we see singleness as a lack of good things, yet Jesus offers a totally different view on singleness. Join us for a night of teaching and fellowship as Sam Allberry shares some of the key findings of his latest book, 7 Myths About Singleness, followed by Q&A session where Sam and Milla Nieminen will take questions from the audience.
- The Early History of the Black Church in NYC
The stories of the first black pastors and congregations in the Presbyterian and Episcopal traditions (late 18th-early 19th century) are often a neglected part of the history of the Afro-American church as a whole. In this class we’ll look at some of these antebellum figures, including Samuel Cornish and Peter Williams, Jr. How did they find their way into these traditions? Who were their allies? What obstacles did they face and overcome? What was the nature of their struggle for black uplift?
- Relationships: A Mess Worth Making
Teaching based on the book by Timothy Lane and Paul David Tripp. The gospel is all about reconciled relationships - first with God, then with one another. But living out the gospel by genuinely loving and living at peace with one another can be hard, sometimes painful, and often messy work. This class will help us confront the messiness of relationships head on - and find the joy, life, and hope that come from really knowing and being known by others.
- Ruth: The Mystery of Providence
The biblical book of Ruth is a great story, but while it is hugely entertaining, it’s also deeply instructive. “Providence” is a theological term that describes the hidden hand of God that is always at work in the ordinary and day-to-day affairs of your life. One of the best places in the Bible to see providence unfold is the book of Ruth. Ruth reminds us that, often despite appearances, God really does care for and is in control of all things. This event will explore this theme in detail and consider what it means practically for our own lives.
- Faith & Work Class
The question of faith and work is really a question of calling. Through our introductory-level Faith & Work Class, we hope to demystify the idea of calling and help you develop a clearer sense of God's calling for you. Over the course of seven consecutive weeks, we will give you a biblical overview of faith and work with the goal of helping you deepen your understanding and experience of everyday work. This cross-vocational class focuses on seven different Bible passages from which we will gain insight concerning God's intention for our work. We will weave together spiritual practices, daily devotionals, and group discussion in community.
- Money, the Heart, and the Head: Practical Wisdom for a Loaded Topic
The topic of money is one of the most addressed topics in the Bible, and for good reason. Money is a classic idol that permeates the fabric of our city and our daily lives — we can’t (and shouldn’t) escape it. This class will focus on renewing our relationship with money, from exploring how our idols drive how we approach money to learning how to begin down the road to financial health. Following this one-time class, there will be an opportunity for a small group to opt into a 4-part mini class delving into practical personal finance topics.
- Power, Privilege, and Difference
This course explores themes of race, class, justice, and power through the perspective of the gospel. How does the reality of God's Kingdom transform and renew the places we live? How do we love the city through engaging our neighborhoods?
- How to Read the Bible
Whether you’re considering Christianity, a newer Christian, or a seasoned believer, join us as we sharpen our interpretive skills and learn practical steps for reading, understanding and applying the Bible.
- Ruth: The Importance of Friendship
The biblical book of Ruth is a great story, but while it is hugely entertaining, it’s also deeply instructive. Friendship is increasingly devalued in our society today. Whether it’s the idolization of romantic love or the changing nature of connection due to technology, the fact remains that our society today is marked by loneliness more than ever before. For that reason, what the book of Ruth has to say about others-centered, committed friendship is as relevant today as it’s ever been. Come explore the importance and life-giving power of friendship.
- Ruth: The Right Use of Power
While at first reading the book of Ruth might appear to be a heart-warming love story with a happy ending, the reality of the book is more nuanced and intense. The narrator of Ruth goes out of the way to reveal various power dynamics that are in play throughout the story (e.g., age, gender, wealth, ethnicity) and shows us the flourishing that is possible when a person uses power rightly, as a means of serving and empowering others. Come consider together what Ruth teaches us about how to use the power we have to serve others.
- Essentials of Financial Wholeness: A Hands-On Money Workshop
This 4-session workshop for young professionals and growing families will focus on the practical side of renewing our relationship with money. Participants will work through personal finance essentials like financial goals, debt, budgeting, spending awareness, investing, account organization, insurance, and estate planning. A substantial portion of the workshop will be devoted to participants generating their own financial plan with the guidance of the instructor.
- Job: Purpose in Suffering
In the book of Job, we find a person who is wrestling with the question, "what are the purposes of God in the midst of suffering?," which is a relevant and timely question for all of us.
- How to Read the Old Testament
When Jesus read the Bible, he read the Old Testament. The New Testament writers depend on the Old Testament on virtually every page. In order to understand Jesus and the New Testament, we have to understand the Old. Join us as we develop interpretive skills for understanding and making use of the vast and challenging Old Testament scriptures.
- Ezekiel: Faith in a World Turned Upside Down
Ezekiel lives and ministers through the destruction of Jerusalem, the most cataclysmic event in Israel's history up to that point. Through Ezekiel, we learn many lessons about how faith in God adapts when the world is turned upside down.
- How to Read the New Testament
The goal of this class is to give you the tips and tools you need to be equipped to benefit from your reading of the New Testament. We will make our way through the major genres of the New Testament, some of their key elements, and how they fit into its grand narrative.
- Not Yet | Waiting For the Way Things Will Be
Join us as we look at how God's Kingdom promises us hope for the future in the midst of a broken and fallen world. Our joys and sorrows mix together in our life, and both of them point to Christian progress in faith. During this class via Zoom, we'll have lecture and a time for Q&A.
- How to Pray with the Bible
“Like most people, my devotional time consisted of Bible reading and then prayer. My prayer life changed, however, when I learned of and added a 'middle discipline' — meditation — between plain Bible reading and full-out prayer ... Learn to do meditative prayer, and you will enrich the rest of your prayer life in untold ways.” – Tim Keller
In this class we will:
- Explore why meditative prayer is the key to encountering and experiencing God
- Practice listening to God through the Bible and praying in response
- Jeremiah: Faith in Crisis
Like his contemporary Ezekiel, Jeremiah lives and ministers through the most world-shaping event in Israel up to that point: the destruction of their capital city Jerusalem. But unlike Ezekiel in exile, Jeremiah lives through it in Israel.
His account of this event and the immediate aftermath provides us a lens of faith with which to see our own experience of crisis and the disorienting aftermath, when the boundaries between good and bad news blur, human character is tested, and our true heart’s worship is revealed.
- Learning to Lament
“How long, O Lord?” “Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?” “Help me, Lord, for I am drowning.”
Contrary to what we might expect, the Psalms are riddled with such cries of pain and anguish and doubt. When we hurt physically, we cry out in pain; when we hurt spiritually, we cry out in lament. Without the practice of lament, we lose a great source of sustenance to face life in all its upheavals and storms. Lament gives voice to our suffering, guards against meaninglessness, and leads us on a path to hope and trust in God. Join us as we learn to lament together.
- Virtual Bible Study: Strong in the Lord
In Ephesians 6, the Apostle Paul reminds us that we are in the midst of a battle. The battle is invisible, but the effects of this battle are all too real: temptations, injustices, fears, despair, and shame. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and afraid as we confront challenges around us, and inadequacies within ourselves.
But for weak and weary souls, Ephesians 6 is an important passage of Scripture bringing really good news. Here we learn not only what it means that we are in a spiritual battle, but also how to be strong and safe in the midst of it. This ancient and sometimes mysterious part of Scripture could not be more relevant for us today.
- Rooted: Rooted in the Gospel, in our neighborhoods, for the city
The course, taught by our Senior Pastor David Bisgrove, is a reminder that in the midst of all of the change and uncertainty our church family remains committed to core theological values. The circumstances around us might change, and our ministry will continue to contextualize, but this class is an opportunity to engage, celebrate and reaffirm the core theological values that have guided Redeemer since its founding. Additionally this will be an opportunity to bring our church family together virtually in a season that has isolated us from one another. The church is a scattered community in mission, but we also are a family that must gather together and remember the principles that unite and animate our shared mission.
- Racial Conversations: Racial Conversations: A Personal and Cultural Lens on Race
With all that’s going on in our world around issues of race and justice, many of us may be engaging in conversations on these topics and searching for some biblical guidance. In this training, Paul Yoo will provide some frameworks to orient us around these complex issues.
- Racial journeys - the emotional and psychological dimension to our racialized experiences
- Reflecting on our own lenses and how they filter and shape the way we approach issues of race
- Biblical, theological, and gospel grounding as we explore these issues
Though this one session won’t be able to be comprehensive and in-depth, we hope it will provide some guidance for those looking to explore further.
- Spiritual Conversations: Evangelism in a COVID-19 World
Conversations change lives. Jesus shows us a pattern for spiritual conversations that naturally and lovingly connect people's lives back to God. The last several months have opened up questions of ultimate concern in the lives of many, opening the door for Christians to speak of their own faith, hope, and love.
- Finding Financial Wholeness in a Pandemic
We know for many it has been an acutely painful time financially. This 2-session workshop will focus on the practical side of managing our money in times of financial stress. Participants will work through personal finance essentials like financial goals, debt, budgeting, spending awareness, and account organization. This workshop will include exercises and tools to help you better organize and manage your financial life.
- Race, the Bible, and the Body of Christ
The topic of race surfaces many uncomfortable and conflicting thoughts and emotions. But Scripture reminds us that God has given the church both the vision and resources to discuss race in a way that is humble, gracious and gentle so that we can grow into greater maturity and unity as a people belonging to Christ. We will seek to explore race in a way that is biblically grounded as well as mindful of our unity in Christ.
- Christianity for the Spiritually Curious
For many of us this past year, routines and working answers to life have been disrupted. This has opened the door to new spiritual searching. If you’re not a Christian or are on the fence, and are curious about Christianity, then please join us! This will be a time for considering Jesus and the faith for our lives from biblical sources.