One of the ways that the vision of RISE is already invigorating Redeemer is through Neighborhood Gatherings. The bold vision of the number of New Yorkers attending gospel teaching churches in Center city Manhattan rising from 5% to 15% will take all of us. One exciting part of this vision is that the growth will necessarily affect every neighborhood in Manhattan for the good of every person. Imagine increasing demonstrations of hope, love, justice, and generosity flowing out across the each neighborhood through the men and women live there. Imagine New Yorkers choosing to root themselves in a neighborhood not as mere consumers but as culture makers intent on giving themselves to meet the needs of others. Imagine neighbors building relationships across differences to the point where the culture of the city flourishes and the good news of Christ is made clear.
Neighborhood Gatherings, which are taking place across the city, are the catalyst that we hope will spark these changes. The gatherings seek to connect Redeemer communities to each other in their neighborhoods, increase our love for our neighborhoods, and personalize how each of us is called to be “in” — to pray, engage, and give for a movement of the gospel.
The Neighborhood Gatherings in Downtown, East Side, and West Side have already sparked new conversations and new relationships. Whether in a personal home, a neighborhood bar, or a community center the gatherings of 30-100 people have been a fun way to come together with others at Redeemer who want to know each other and to rise and embody Christ in every sphere of their lives — where we live, work and play.
The East Side congregation will continue to focus on neighborhoods in the future. Because Christ left heaven and moved into an earthly neighborhood, we are also specifically placed and called to live in our neighborhoods with consciousness, love, and justice toward those who are near and those who are in need. Gatherings, service projects, and increasing outward facing community will fuel both our love for our neighbors and our public faith.
What is God calling you to in your neighborhood? RISE is a vision that will ultimately affect every neighborhood in New York for the good, including yours. Don’t you want to be part of it?