Embodying God's mercy to those in need
The Diaconate, a mercy ministry of Redeemer East Side, cares for those in our community with practical needs and shapes a culture of care, believing the gospel brings transformation.
The Diaconate is a ministry of mercy led by trained Redeemer East Side members who demonstrate God’s care and mercy by helping and supporting people through challenging circumstances and facilitating the work God is doing in their lives. Because God’s mercy moves him to relieve suffering and misery, humans extend mercy when we see the hurts and lacks in others and move to alleviate them. We believe the gospel changes everything, so our goal is to partner with congregants and see the situation change over time.
How We Help
Here are a few examples of how church members and regular attenders can receive help:
- Financial assistance for basic living expenses (rent, food, utilities, medical, etc.)
- Subsidies for Redeemer Counseling Services
- Prayer, spiritual guidance and accountability
- Biblical stewardship and budgeting guidance
- Links to support services throughout the city
From the moment we first meet our clients (we call them clients but they are our sisters and brothers in Christ), we are focused on helping through the hardship. We acknowledge that the only one we truly lean on in order to accomplish this is Jesus Christ and that we are unable to effectively help without him.
Our client work is temporary and short-term in nature, for our goal is to see a client’s situation change over time until the client no longer requires our assistance. Deacons and deaconesses generally work towards this end by guiding clients to manage their budgets responsibly, plan for the future, seek employment, resolve conflicts, mend relationships, seek gospel community, and know and obey God in all areas of their lives. We hope that as clients grow closer to Jesus, they will find the strength, wisdom and grace to experience deeply changed lives.
The Diaconate is funded entirely by donations from our congregants. We are, therefore, accountable to the congregation to be wise stewards of the resources God has given us through his people. Because our funding is limited, we direct financial support to the neediest within the church.
The Diaconate serves those in challenging situations within Redeemer East Side.
If you are in need of practical help, please call the Diaconate Helpline at 917-206-1451 or fill out the care form. A deacon or deaconess will return your call within 36 hours. In order to assess how we can best help, you will be asked basic questions that we ask all clients. The information you share will be kept confidential. Due to limited resources, the Diaconate cannot meet all requests for assistance.
In case of emergency, please call 911, your local emergency room or 1-888-NYC WELL (888-692-9355).
Give to the Diaconate
Through the Mercy Fund, our Diaconate is able to offer financial assistance toward housing, food, transportation, medical costs, and counseling sessions, as well as emotional and spiritual support. In a very real way, the work of the Diaconate would not be possible without the generosity of our congregation.
Do I have to be a member to receive help?
No, but you do have to be a regular attender, and Redeemer East Side should be your “home church.”
Do I have to be a Christian to become a client?
No. You may be struggling with Christianity when you approach us. We will help you become familiar with the gospel (salvation by Christ) because the core of our ministry is to rely on God’s provision for you.
How soon can I expect care?
- Inquiry: Your care starts when you submit a request online or call the helpline. A deacon or deaconess will call you within 36 hours to talk about your concerns and needs.
- Intake: If we are able to take on your case, you will be assigned to two deeks. This may take up to one week. Your deeks will set up a meeting to talk through an individualized care plan.
- Reimbursements: If you require financial assistance, a check is typically sent in 3 days after approval or sooner if urgent. In some cases, large requests will need to be approved through a monthly board meeting.
- Continuing care: Your deeks will check up on you to see if there are further needs.
- Closure: When your deeks feel that your case can be resolved, they will consult you, review progress on your goals and recommended next steps.
What if I feel guilty asking for help?
Everyone falls on hard times sometimes. Our church community has given generously over the years to enable the Diaconate to provide financial assistance to congregants in need.
How many people will know about my situation?
The Diaconate adheres to a strict confidentiality policy. Only the Diaconate staff as well as the deacons or deaconesses working with you will know your identity. No one who does not need to know the details of your situation will be told about them. With a client’s prior written approval, some information may be exchanged between his or her deacons or deaconesses and others who are critical to providing care for him or her, such as a counselor or a Community Group leader. There are a few exceptional circumstances when the Diaconate is obligated to share information with appropriate parties. These include the following instances: threats of suicide or homicide, indication of child abuse, alerts to intentions of law-breaking, and when the Diaconate is subject to a subpoena or court order. Also, when a situation arises among church members that appears to require church disciplinary involvement, the Diaconate will share necessary information discreetly to the parties involved.
How often will I meet with my deacons or deaconesses?
The frequency depends on various factors such as the nature of your situation and your financial, emotional or spiritual needs. It can range from weekly, monthly or even quarterly. There will be phone and email contact as well.
Who do I contact if I have disagreements with my deacons or deaconesses?
If you’re in conflict with your deacon or deaconess, we recommend what Jesus says in Matthew 18: “If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you.” We ask that clients communicate directly with their deacons or deaconesses about their concerns. If you have tried to communicate and are not satisfied with the outcome, you may take the next step of Matthew 18 by calling a Diaconate staff member at 212-808-4460 or emailing us at [email protected].
What is the difference between an elder and a deek?
- Elders are primarily responsible for the overall spiritual shepherding and oversight of our church body.
- Deacons and Deaconesses are chiefly responsible for the compassionate care of church members.