WS Update: Living Water

September 18, 2023

Living in NYC for over 30 years, thousands of people have crossed my path. Faces and names come and go, but some individuals are indelible. Last week one of those individuals, Ellie Ellsworth, passed away after a short but painful battle with lung cancer. For those who never knew Ellie, she was someone who met Jesus at Redeemer years ago. I met Ellie in the 90s and one of my earliest memories was her willingness to read over one of my first seminary papers on the “Course in Miracles,” one of the many spiritual journeys Ellie explored in her life. Her generosity of spirit was evident then and continued through our long friendship.

I’m writing about her here because of the way she embodied what we aspire towards at RWS when it comes to following Jesus. Our definition of a disciple is someone who spends time with Jesus, learns from Jesus, and imitates Jesus in all they do by the grace of the Holy Spirit. If we had a dictionary of terms, Ellie’s picture would be next to that definition. She served Jesus and his mission in so many ways, seen and unseen. She was a Deaconess and part of the LSQ launch team and most recently led our OWLS ministry. She never lost her humble dependence on Jesus or her fire to pray and evangelize. She loved telling me about how she would go have dinner at local UWS restaurants so that she could talk to people about the Jesus who became for her, “living water.”

Ellie would be the first person embarrassed by this reflection and would never want to be an exemplar of faith. I share this with you to honor her many years of faithful service to Jesus at Redeemer, and to encourage you to think about ways you can share living water with others this week. To better understand what I mean by that, take the time to watch the YouTube link below.

P.S. Years ago we produced short videos called “New Birth Portraits.” I’ve included a link to Ellie’s. It’s a 9-minute immersion into a story that will stick with you all week.

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” – John 4:13-14

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