Is "particularization" actually a word? If so, what does it mean and what does it have to do with Redeemer? I’m glad you asked! Yes, Merriam and Webster (and if you can’t trust those two guys, who can you trust?) confirm it’s a word and they define it as “the act of particularizing.” Don’t you appreciate when the definition clarifies things so amazingly well?
In fact, "the act of particularizing" is precisely what we’re planning to do at our Congregational Meeting on May 20.
Redeemer members will be voting to transition what now functions as one church in three congregations into three particular churches. In other words, our three congregations will become a tight-knit family of autonomous churches bound together by strong relationships and a shared theological vision — the Redeemer Network of churches — each with their own senior pastors, elders and lay leaders.
So how do we get there from here? Well, once again, I’m glad you asked! We will be communicating many more details about this in the coming weeks through announcements in worship services, a series of Q&A sessions and Town Halls and more.
For now, it’s important to know a few things. First, if you’re a Redeemer member, please mark your calendars for the evening of Saturday, May 20, when we’ll gather for a Congregational Meeting at the W83 Ministry Center. Also, please avail yourselves of other congregational-level gatherings in the coming weeks like Q&A sessions after worship services and Town Halls in which you’ll have an opportunity to hear more details and have your questions answered. In addition, stay tuned for the imminent launch of a webpage with FAQs, videos, etc. that will provide further information.
Redeemer members will be taking several important votes at the Congregational Meeting including items such as the creation of three churches, Tim’s transition as senior pastor to pastor emeritus, calling our current lead pastors as senior pastors, and bylaw revisions.
Also, one key item for Redeemer members to know is that each will need to determine which of the three churches they will join as a member. For the vast majority of members that decision will be fairly straightforward and align with what they have already determined as their current congregational affiliation. All members will be sent written communication about this membership transition in order to facilitate that process.
In many ways, this is the coming to fruition of the vision that began as far back as 1997 when Redeemer conducted a capital campaign to launch a worship location on the Upper West Side. Even then our vision was to become a movement of churches for the good of the city instead of a megachurch. During the Renew Campaign in 2009 we described becoming a collegiate model of “one church in three congregations.” And most recently during the Rise Campaign in Spring 2016 we outlined how we would transition into an interdependent family of three ecclesiastically particular churches — Redeemer Downtown, Redeemer East Side and Redeemer West Side. That time has now come and it’s particularly (yes, pun intended!) exciting!