RISE UPDATE “The Rise vision seems so massive, how can I participate in my daily life?” Redeemer started in 1989 with a small group of 15 people meeting weekly in an Upper East Side apartment. They prayed each week for a new church in the heart of Manhattan. The vision was not to build a church for themselves, but a church for the city. That vision which began with the faithful and consistent actions of people now asks the same of us! Our future depends on every-member gospel ministry; giving ourselves away for the gospel and the good of the city. During the Rise campaign thousands of you said “I’m In” to engage and serve the city. In the same way, all Redeemer congregants have been challenged to Rise Where You Are and reimagine how to live out the gospel in New York
NY Times article featuring Redeemer from early 1998
City in new ways. Part of being engaged is to be willing to identify as a Christian and to bring the gospel and our faith into the lives of our neighbors, friends, colleagues, and community. We are not meant to rely on trained preachers and ministry leaders to be the only means by which people can encounter the gospel, but all of us carry the message of the good news into all the places we go. One person can bring the gospel to another in homes, schools, playgrounds, coffee shops, laundromats, gyms and grocery stores, on walks and sports leagues. Relationships happen organically, and so does the spread of the gospel. >>READ MORE INSIDE
RISE WHERE YOU ARE
A SEMINARY FOR CITY DWELLERS
INTRODUCING PASTORAL RESIDENTS >>Pages 2-3
FINANCIAL UPDATE >>Page 5
RISE WHERE YOU ARE We are so encouraged by all those who are already
“On top of praying more for the well-being and
doing this! One way we are gaging this momentum is
thriving of my colleagues, I will invite more work and
through a spiritual self assessment offered by Redeemer.
neighborhood friends to come with me to interesting
The assessment was designed to help prompt honest
church-related events. l ask that God use these
self-reflection about where God may be calling us to
opportunities to speak about my faith and how it
grow within five spheres of life that frame our day-to-
informs my life.”
day experience in the city: Christian Identity, Church &
(Neighborhood & Justice)
Mission, Family & Relationships, Neighborhood & Justice, and Work & Rest.
“In order to be patient and loving towards my family and prioritize their needs over my own ambitions, I will put
1,300 congregants have taken the assessment — which
my phone away when I am talking with my parents.”
included choosing the spheres they would like to grow
(Family & Relationships)
in and listing one specific next step to do so. Some examples of this are:
“I will request that my boss put someone else on call one day a week so that I can practice a regular Sabbath.” (Work & Rest)
This is a small glimpse of how God is actively multiplying gospel renewal in NYC through your faithfulness. Our hope and prayer is that more and more accept the invitation to be a part of what God is doing in bringing flourishing to every part of this city.
WE NEED: you to rise
A SEMINARY FOR CITY DWELLERS Reformed Theological Seminary (RTS) and Redeemer
There are currently 38 students enrolled in the RTS M.A.
City to City (CTC) joined in strategic partnership to
program in two different cohorts (class of 2017 and
launch an M.A. in Biblical Studies with the goal to
2018). Additionally, we are excited about 35 prospective
provide theological education in the city for the city.
students who visited an Open House in January. Attendees joined current students for one of Tim Keller’s
lectures from his Pastoral and Theological Studies course and interacted with RTS and CTC leaders.
Cities of the world are underserved by the church because the people of the world are moving into cities faster than churches are growing and being started. The challenge is to establish churches and other ministries that effectively engage the realities of cities and embody and communicate the gospel in ways that are understandable to more of the city’s residents. Ideally, if someone is preparing to minister in an urban environment, the best way to do that is to get their foundational theological education within that environment, so they can process what they are learning in the midst of life and ministry in the city.
CITY MINISTRY YEAR This fall City Ministry Year (CMY) will launch as a one-year
practical ministry areas: preaching, pastoring, leadership
training program as a capstone experience for seminary
and cultural engagement. They will be taught by CTC
students. CMY will cover what many U.S. seminaries call
staff, staff from Redeemer church, and other ministry
“practical theology.” Courses are arranged under four
leaders in New York City and around the world.
YOUR PASTORAL RESIDENTS In September 2016, Rise Campaign funds allowed Redeemer to launch its first cohort of Pastoral Residents. Four pastoral residents were selected to participate in an intensive learning experience intended to prepare pastors for ministry in NYC — they meet weekly to discuss readings and sermon notes, receive weekly training and coaching from Redeemer pastors and directors, and oversee part of Redeemer’s Community Group system. The two year program includes health care benefits and living stipends. Meet the pastoral residents below!
MARK RO, EAST SIDE
JUSTIN ADOUR, EAST SIDE
(with wife Holly and sons Joshua and Justin)
(with wife Angela and daughters Aubrey and Avie)
Why did you choose to participate in the pastoral
Why did you choose to participate in the pastoral
My wife Holly and I felt called to come back to NYC after
As a church, Redeemer’s ability to insightfully and
seminary (we lived here for 7 years before seminary)
effectively engage NYC and her people so closely aligns
to possibly church plant, but I didn’t think I was ready.
with my heart’s desire to do the same. The residency
The pastoral residency offered the kind of training,
gave me an opportunity to learn how to better love,
development and mentoring — in a church that has
serve, and reach the city that my family and I love.
loved and served the city for decades — that would set us up well for doing ministry here over the long haul.
Why do you feel called to church planting in NYC? Church planting is one of the greatest opportunities for
What do you hope to gain from this experience?
the Gospel movement to significantly transform NYC.
There are many things that I’ve already gained after 5
No one church, church planter, or organization can do it
months in the residency, but one thing that I’ve deeply
alone. However, I look forward to being a small part of
appreciated is the opportunity to learn from other ministry the larger movement desiring to see God glorified here. leaders and pastors. People are incredibly intentional about mentoring and developing us. In the other residents, I’ve also gained friends and partners in ministry that I’m
confident will last well beyond the residency.
YOUR PASTORAL RESIDENTS MICHAEL SMITH, DOWNTOWN
CHUCK ARMSTRONG, WEST SIDE
(with wife Kristyn and sons Cade and Rider)
(with wife Celine)
Where do you see yourself after this?
Why did you choose to participate in the pastoral
The journey has been long — I was ordained within
another denomination in 2001 and have been in
After working ten years in the radio industry in New
pastoral ministry for 14 years in a variety of contexts.
York City, I felt called to change vocation to full-time
My family moved to NYC from CA so that I could pursue ministry largely thanks to the Rise campaign vision and ordination in the Presbyterian Church of America (PCA) the launch of an NYC-based seminary program. I began through the Redeemer City Ministry Program. We
seminary as a full-time student while still working full-
did this in order to combine the things I am learning
time in radio, so when the residency opportunity arose,
now with my past experiences, and either plant a new
I felt like God was pushing me to take the next step and
church or work alongside one of the existing Redeemer
leave my industry and begin this new vocation.
campuses until the opportunity to plant arises. Where do you see yourself after this? Why do you feel called to church planting in NYC?
My wife and I have lived in New York for nearly seven
I feel like cities tend to be full of people who have
years and have attended Redeemer for almost that
the greatest ability to impact culture — I believe that
entire time. We both love Redeemer’s vision to love
planting a church in a city context (especially NYC)
this city and feel called to stay here and be a part of
gives you the greatest potential to create change at this that vision. Though I’m not sure where God may call me level and every other. Plus, I love️ NYC!
within NYC, I do hope that I can continue serving his kingdom with Redeemer in some capacity, whether it’s a new church plant or with a current congregation.
THE BLESSINGS OF GIVING Excerpts from a talk given by Tim Keller
“It is never an effort for me to buy a book. I can buy any
all the important causes that need your money”), but
kind of book that I want. The newer and more expensive,
by dealing with our hearts. So, what is the only way to
the better. On the other hand, it’s hard for me to spend
make us generous?
money on clothes. But surely other people can testify that it is incredibly easy, almost effortless, to spend
money on clothes. Every other treasure but Jesus will enslave you — What does this show? The money we effortlessly spend
making you panic if you don’t have them. All other
shows what we are treasuring.
treasures will demand that you do anything to get them, but Jesus Christ is the only treasure who did everything
An idol is a false, pseudo-salvific treasure. It is looking at
to get you.
something like romance, getting people’s approval, your body, family or job and thinking, “If I have that, then I will
By coming to earth, He lost His glory. By going to the
know I am somebody.”
cross, He lost His Father and the universe. What does that mean? We are His treasure. More valuable to Him
What about the people who say, “Oh, I don’t spend
than anything else.
money on things.” The reason you don’t give away your money, at the proportions you should, is because it’s
When I see Him making me the ultimate treasure of
your way of trying to control your own environment.
His heart — being the one thing He is willing to die
You’re not pursuing approval or a power, but the ability
for — that melts my heart and makes Him the ultimate
to control the circumstances of your life.
treasure of my life. All those other things that are important to me just become nice things. My heart is
The reality is, we are all treasuring something besides
freed from false saviors, and I know my money is free to
be used to free the world.”
How do we break from the power of this? It’s not by working on the will (“you better be generous or God will get you”), or working on the emotions (“look at
Watch the talk online: redeemer.com/blessingsofgiving
FINANCIAL UPDATE We are incredibly thankful for the evidence of Godâ€™s
tremendous provision through your generosity! Over
As of December 31, 2016
3,000 households pledged and gave one time gifts to the Rise campaign. The fulfillment of your pledges are allowing Rise
initiatives to take root and flourish. 65% of Rise givers have started fulfilling their pledge, while 35% of givers have not. If you have not yet begun, you can easily start fulfilling your gift by setting up a recurring gift at redeemer.com/giving.
*29.5M has been pledged by donors outside the local Redeemer community. **To date we have received $10.2M from those donors and $9.4 from our local community.
PRAYER REQUESTS THIS VISION DEPENDS ON YOUR TREMENDOUS, PERSISTENT PRAYER.
PASTORAL RESIDENCY Pray for God’s leading as the residents discern and process the details of God’s calling after the residency ends. Specifically, that God would provide jobs for each of them to be full-time pastors. Lastly, pray for the Redeemer pastoral staff that is currently investing their time and energy to teaching and mentoring Chuck, Mark, Justin and Michael. REDEEMER LINCOLN SQUARE Pray for Reverend Michael Keller as he prepares to lead an 8-week Catalyst class designed to equip participants for ministry at Redeemer Lincoln Square. Also pray for those attending the class, that it would be a time of community building and meaningful spiritual growth. Continue to pray that Redeemer Lincoln Square will be congregation of bringers and inviters, rather than one designed for our own tastes. CITY MINISTRY PROGRAM Pray for the 35 prospective students who visited the Open House. May those who attend leave encouraged and confident that they received the information they need to prayerfully consider if this is the right seminary program for them. FINANCIAL SUPPORT We ask you to continually pray for the work still ahead as we still have to raise $18M in pledges and gifts to reach our goal of $80M!
For more information, please visit rise.redeemer.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org Redeemer Presbyterian Church • 1166 Avenue of the Americas, 16th Floor • New York, NY 10036