Redeemer Presbyterian Church – East Side Update

Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. For much of the history of the church, Lent has been a 40-day season of reflection where we remember the frailty and fallenness of the human condition—and our consequent need for the mercy of God. We begin with the humanizing reminder that “dust we are, and to dust we shall return” (Genesis 3:19).

This year, as we continue to get more deeply rooted in the fabric of our neighborhood, we are partnering with other Upper East Side churches to co-lead a joint Ash Wednesday service hosted by our friends at Trinity Baptist Church at 7 p.m. I hope you will be able to join us for that service tonight as we worship together for the glory of God and the good of the Upper East Side.

And to that end of being more locally rooted, we are going to be inviting leaders from other churches that we have helped to plant through Redeemer City to City to share their stories in our Sunday services.  You may remember hearing from Michael Keller and Redeemer Lincoln Square last month. In the months to come we will be inviting City to City church planters from Yorkville, Midtown East, Harlem, and more to share their stories and experiences with us. I pray that it will be a powerful reminder that we are just one part of a larger Kingdom movement on the rise in New York City.

What a great way to celebrate during this Lenten season that we are all one in Christ, united by our need for his grace and by his purpose to offer that grace to the entire world.


Rev. Abraham Cho
East Side Congregation Lead Pastor

Rachel Rooney
Hope for New York Volunteer

I believe that God will use all of us as a church to serve this city going forward. I don't know how he will do it, but I look forward to being a part of it.

+ Watch Tim Keller announce his new role and future of Redeemer this past Sunday.

+ Use Redeemer's Devotionals during this season of Lent.

The Gotham Fellowship applications are now open for the 2017-18 class.

+ Have a voice into Redeemer's future by becoming a member. Attend Intro to Redeemer this Sunday, March 5th to get started.

+ Serve NYC better, together with Hope for New York. 

Serve breakfast on Monday mornings at St. Paul’s House

+ Lead high schoolers in weekly small group at Shiloh NYC

My name is Rachel Rooney, and I have attended Redeemer East Side since this past fall. Around mid-October, I found out about a project through HFNY called His Toy Store, a toy store for low-income families to shop for their children at no cost or on a donation basis during the Christmas season. I had been looking for places to volunteer in the city, and the toy store seemed like a great opportunity.

Over the course of the next six weeks, I worked with three other committee members to plan, organize, lay out, and prepare the store. Specifically, my role was to reach out and recruit volunteers for the project and ensure operations ran smoothly. I initially signed up for the project without much of an idea of how things would go or what the toy store would look like, but I was excited. The three other committee member volunteers had all done it before and told me it was one the best experiences they participated in.

When I saw everything come together on the day-of, I had to agree. Many of the people I had contacted and emailed, I was finally able to meet. I was able to see all the different aspects of the space from registration to the lounge to be store itself. I was even able to help several women pick out toys for their children, which was very rewarding.

What I learned from the experience is that serving is about so much more than just you and your individual experience. What I saw with the toy store is that everyone did their part, whether it was putting out decorations or greeting families or helping with children. The toy store was not put on by one person, but by many.

At the end of the project, I remember having lunch with the other volunteers and celebrating the work we had done.  I have no doubt that they toy store touched many people's lives, and I found that it was even more rewarding to serve together within the Redeemer community. As Jesus says in Mark 10:45: "for even the son of man came not to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many." I believe that God will use all of us as a church to serve this city going forward. I don't know how he will do it, but I look forward to being a part of it with all of you, in whatever way.

Want to learn more about serving with your community group or group of friends? Go to to find volunteer opportunities for groups.