The Rev. Drew and Donna Field:
Many of you over the last year have asked how to pray for me and the West Side Congregation. Without hesitation I would always answer — “pray for God to send us a pastor who has the experience and passion to help us as we seek to embody Redeemer’s Vision on the Upper West Side.” I’m thrilled to let you know that God has answered that prayer by sending us the Reverend Drew Field to be our new Executive Pastor starting this Spring. Drew and his wife Donna Field were active in Redeemer from the very beginning, 1989 to 2000. Both were involved in many ministries, first as volunteers and later Drew as staff. They helped to start small groups, Moms’ groups, the West Side site, Trinity Church Rye and Avail.
After seminary, Drew was an associate pastor at Redeemer. He was responsible for both the finances and organization at Redeemer, as well as small group and discipleship ministries. In 2000, the Field family was sent to launch Grace Presbyterian in Silicon Valley, now thriving in two locations. In 2011, they moved to Charlottesville, Virginia, where Drew is the Executive Pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church and Donna coordinates the Children’s Sunday School. They have been married for 26 years and have four children ranging from ages 24 to 15: Timothy, Sarah, Elizabeth and James. They look forward with much anticipation to what God is doing in and through Redeemer as they return to the city.
When they sent their email accepting the offer of the position of Executive Pastor at the West Side, Donna wrote this:
“Okay, you have us. We’re in … Are you kidding? We want to be a part of it! We are movement people. We want to be part of the movement. We want to sacrifice. We don’t know how it is exactly going to work, [but] we are on our way. Out of the comfort zone of our beautiful home and easy town, we will rise.”
Thank you for your prayers and continue to pray for the Fields as they transition to NYC over the next few months.
The Rev. Michael, Sara, Lucy and Kate Keller:
Redeemer’s vision from the beginning has been to see God expand his Kingdom through a movement of new churches. And as you know, the Rise Campaign seeks to accelerate that strategy across NYC including through the three Redeemer Congregations. I’m thrilled to announce that the West Side Congregation has hired the Reverend Michael Keller to launch the first of those sites. Although Michael has been around since Day One, there are many things about him you might not know. For one, he has been collecting city experiences like other people collect stamps.
After growing up in New York, Michael worked in the East End of London at London City Mission, returning to New York City in 2002 to work as New Life Fellowship’s Young Adults Coordinator in Elmhurst, Queens, for two years before heading to Boston where he attended Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.
While earning both his M.Div. and an additional Master of Theology degree in Apologetics, Michael also served on the staff at CityLife (PCA) Church in Boston (along with Abe Cho) from 2004 until 2009 as pastor of community life and head of the School of Christian Formation.
His wife Sara, an honorary New Yorker through her Queens-born-and-raised parents, was busy teaching high school at Boston Trinity Academy, and getting a joint Ed.M in Education and English from Harvard in 2008.
In 2009 Michael and Sara returned to New York City to create a model of an urban version of RUF (the PCA’s college ministry), which they named City Campus Ministry. Beginning with no students, today RUF/CCM regularly ministers to over 150 students weekly with a staff of three. It draws students from NYU, Columbia, The New School, King’s College, Fordham, City College, and others schools in Manhattan. It meets on Sundays and Wednesday nights during the school year. “I think that interacting with college students has made me hyper-aware of the fragmented culture we are all living in, as well as the challenges we have in building community here in the city,” Michael said.
Michael has acted as a regular supply preacher and worship leader at Redeemer’s three sites. In addition to raising their daughters Lucy and Kate, Michael and Sara have been active in the West Side community, where they make their home. Sara has been involved in a West Side moms’ group for four years and volunteers with the West Side Kids Community Group (KCG) every Wednesday.
Currently Michael is working on his Ph.D. in Historical Theology at the Free University of Amsterdam and Sara is pursuing her Nurse Practitioner degree at Columbia.
“Being able to focus on planting a church on the West Side, with people we love and in a place that we love is something we have dreamt of (whenever we get enough sleep to dream!) for years. I hope we will find others who have the same vision for reaching skeptics, families, and New Yorkers in a new church,” said Michael.