Redeemer West Side Update
When was the last time you wrote a new song? As a teenager? Last week? Never?
Songs express our deepest emotions like nothing else can. The content of our heart is expressed with a piercing beauty, so listeners can feel what we feel. Whether that feeling is joy, sadness, lament, longing, gratitude, or worship, a good song lets us join in the emotion.
Our July sermon series comes from Isaiah 42 and 43, where he writes about singing a new song unto the Lord. A "new song" in the ancient near eastern culture is primarily a song of victory, composed after a military triumph. Picture war-wounded, exhausted warriors around a campfire rehearsing the day’s battle. A musician weaves the tales into a heroic song of victory so that the rest of the city joins in delight. We’ve won! We’re safe! Our enemies cannot harm us!
God himself is the object of this new song of victory, for He has stepped into the fray and saved his covenant people. Isaiah reminds us that we are safe in God, no matter what the circumstances. These are words of comfort and encouragement, a call to persevere.
What is remarkable about these chapters is that Isaiah writes them to a defeated people. Their city of Jerusalem is destroyed and they are captives of the strongest nation on earth. Despite that, Isaiah sees something they cannot see. He sees a great God who loves his people. A God who is willing to fight for his people, to suffer for his people, to restore his people. This God proclaims: "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you" (Isaiah 43:1). A God whose gospel redemption cost the life of our Savior Jesus.
As we slowly and carefully restart live worship services at W83, this section from Isaiah can be our letter of comfort.
Rev. Andrew Field
West Side Disaster Relief Fund
The West Side Disaster Relief Fund was launched in March 2020 in response to help members of our community as they experienced severe financial pressures due to wage loss during the COVID-19 pandemic.
For members of the West Side Community
If you have experienced wage loss and find yourself under financial pressure, let us know by filling out the following form. These funds can be used in the short-term to help cover rent, medical expenses and mental health services. We recognize that reaching out isn’t always comfortable but there is no shame in asking for help! If you’ve reached out to us before and still need some assistance, please let us know.
For healthcare workers
Thank you for the sacrifices you have made during this pandemic to care for others. We would love the opportunity to care for you and your family by providing practical support during this time. We have set aside a portion of the Disaster Relief Fund to help with additional costs that have come up due to precautions your family may have had to take. For more information, or if you know of a healthcare worker who would benefit from these funds, contact Ellen Boker at [email protected].
• RCS workshop for healthcare professionals, July 13: Tonight RCS is hosting a free workshop in partnership with the New York City chapter and the Psychiatry Section of the Christian Medical and Dental Associations (CMDA) to discuss practicals ways to build resiliency and improve self-care.
• Pray for Vacation Bible School: Today marks the first day of our virtual Vacation Bible School! Be praying for our staff, volunteers, and the children who are participating!
• Find a virtual volunteer opportunity with HFNY: Many HFNY affiliates still have opportunities to volunteer virtually during COVID-19.
• Join us Noonday Prayer, Mon-Fri: Led by a different WS staff member each day, the church family comes together at 12 p.m. EST to pray for our neighborhood, city and world.
• Sign up for the next Prayer Walk, July 25: Prayer walks are just that - praying and walking - and are a way for us to gain God’s eyes and heart for our neighborhoods, and to cry out for God’s kingdom to come in our city. Families with children are welcome!
• Set up a recurring gift: During the summer giving tends to decline due to congregants traveling. Setting up a recurring gift is a great way to continue your generosity even though you may not be in the city.
• Provide career readiness training and more with HFNY: Volunteer for virtual events (Book Clubs, Community Building, and Business Coaching Nights) with Defy Ventures to provide career readiness to formerly incarcerated individuals.
• Register for our Summer Virtual Bible Study, Aug 5: Join Pastor Bijan for four weeks this Summer as we study spiritual battles and the armor of God in Ephesians.