Redeemer West Side Update
What God will yet do
Perhaps you’re anxious for what the future may hold. Perhaps you’ve woken up tired, just as I have.
David Powlison, one of my counseling professors, wrote, “The central promise of the Bible to fearful people is that ‘I am with you.’ Do not fear is a command that doesn’t come with a warning (like the Ten Commandments); it comes with a promise of God’s help and presence.”
And yet, it’s hard to feel God’s presence in the midst of fear. How can I move past fear into trust, from anxiety about the future to hopeful excitement of the future?
My mind has a knack of moving faster and traveling farther than my heart. In a city that is 90% lived and 10% processed, slowing down and meditating doesn’t come easy, let alone naturally.
But, I find that when I do reflect on my past, when I recall instances of failure, of fatigue, of loss, my heart closes the distance with my mind. Surprisingly, when I walk backwards, I’m also moving forward. Maybe it’s true for you as well.
But I can’t stay in the past. There is a glorious future that is before me, beset with its own heartache and cheer. When I begin to daydream, when my imagination begins to travel beyond its boundaries, I’m entering into a realm of hope. A realm of possibility and excitement, one with Christ dwelling with me, the joys found sitting at his feet, comparing scar tissue, laughing at my most embarrassing moments (of course, he’s laughing with me, not at me).
Christians have a hope that is stubborn against misery. We refuse to give up because Christ lives. We may be profoundly disappointed when things don’t work out but our resilience is not forged through genetics, upbringing, or our bank statements. Our resilience is an ever flowing IV line, one that is connected spiritually to us, supplying us with what we need, when we need it.
Indeed, his mercies are new every morning. To our fears, God responds, “I am with you.”
God’s promise, Emmanuel, God with us, is just as true today as it was 2000+ years ago.
Since March, the normal rhythms of our church life as a Redeemer West Side family have been dramatically altered due to COVID-19. Yet through this season the Spirit has been at work in and through us, and as a church we remain as committed to our vision as ever. As we approach the fall and a new ministry year, we are prayerfully preparing for how we can best serve you and love our neighbors as a church family. And we need your help!
If you consider Redeemer West Side your church home in any way, please take four minutes and complete this survey. Your honest feedback is vitally important and will greatly help our team plan well for ministries in September and beyond!
• Join Virtual Bible Study, Aug 5: This week marks the first meeting of our four-week Bible study in Ephesians 6. We'll be thinking about spiritual warfare and the armor of God.
• Sign up for the next UWS Prayer Walk, Aug 8: Pray for and walk through our West Side neighborhood this Saturday. Cry out for God’s kingdom to come in our city and that we may gain God’s eyes and hearts for our neighborhood. Families with children are welcome to join!
• Utilize Redeemer Counseling resources: Redeemer Counseling Services has created a resource page that offers video talks of Redeemer counselors discussing issues people are facing during the pandemic.
• Pray with others during Noonday Prayer: Monday through Friday from 12 to 12:30 p.m. is an opportunity to come together with your church family to pray for our city and the world.
• Register for new WS Class, Aug 13: Many of us may be engaging in conversations on race and justice and searching for some biblical guidance. Even though this class is not able to be comprehensive and in-depth, Paul Yoo will provide some frameworks to orient us around these complex issues.
• Opportunity to serve at a mobile soup kitchen with HFNY: If you feel comfortable, join New York City Relief's outreach to offer soup, prayer, and resources to uptown communities.
• West Side Disaster Relief Fund available: For those in our West Side community who have been financially impacted due to job loss during the COVID-19 pandemic, the church has been generous in donating to this fund to care for you! We have also set aside some of these funds to specifically help our healthcare workers who may have experienced unexpected financial stress.
• Find a virtual volunteer opportunity with HFNY: Many HFNY affiliates still have opportunities to volunteer virtually during COVID-19. There are the ways you can continue serving.
• Discover a new book to read: Every summer we give a list of our suggestions for summer reading. This year, instead of offering recommendations from each of the members on our pastoral care team, we're curated a list focused on racial justice and reconciliation.
• Gospel in Life quarterly newsletter: Rev. Tim Keller has released two articles in this quarterly newsletter on race and racism and shares that it is biblical to care about justice. You can view those here and here. A third one will be released soon.
• Subscribe to our YouTube channel: This is an easy way to get notifications on upcoming livestreams or new offerings on our channel. On July 12 we began livestreaming our in-person worship service at 10 a.m. While we encourage you to join us at this time, we understand that life rhythms may have changed or don't line up with attending at this time. This is why we've made sure the service is available to view the remainder of the day and week for you view!