WS Update: Questions of Faith

July 18, 2022

The philosopher Charles Taylor says one major characteristic of spirituality today is its contestability. One writer says, “What makes ours a ‘secular’ age, writes Taylor, is not that it is defined by unbelief but rather that belief is contestable and contested. Belief of every sort is ‘fragilized,’ as Taylor puts it, destabilized by rival accounts and doubts. For more traditional ‘believers,’ this means their faith is attended by doubt as a constant companion. ‘Lord I believe, help thou my unbelief’ (Mark 9:24) is a prayer they understand well” (James K. A. Smith). Poet Christian Wiman captures this dynamic beautifully in his 2020 poem “All My Friends Are Finding New Beliefs”:

All my friends are finding new beliefs

and I am finding it harder and harder to keep track

of the new gods and the new loves,

and the old gods and the old loves,

and the days have daggers, and the mirrors motives,

and the planet’s turning faster and faster in the blackness,

and my nights, and my doubts, and my friends,

my beautiful, credible friends.

Jesus asks dozens of questions throughout the Gospels, and we’re exploring several of them in this summer’s sermons. Not only is questioning a good teaching tool, but questions can create an atmosphere of openness and curiosity. It’s disarming and provoking at the same time.

Open up one of the Gospels, and you’ll quickly stumble upon one of these questions. What might Jesus be asking you?


Vacation Bible School was last week

Last Week, July 11 to 15 we had around 100 kids at VBS at our W83 Ministry Center. The children learned about God and his love for them through skits, Bible lessons, music, games and crafts.
It was a truly MONUMENTAL week!


Coming up

  • Tangled in Color | Art Exhibit, through Aug 28: “Tangled in Color” features works by ArTech Collective artists, this collection of drawings, embroidery and weavings will awaken your senses, evoke emotion, and help you escape the everyday. Through the artistic practice and the created pieces, the artists hope to share a fragment of their creative world as they tangle you up in this colorful journey.
  • Get involved with PrayMarchAct: Redeemer West Side is partnering with PrayMarchAct (PMA), which is a coalition of churches committed to work toward racial justice in our city. Among other things, PMA is focused on policy advocacy in the areas of housing, public education, and the criminal legal system. Together, we are seeking to build a biblically grounded and well-informed policy platform in these areas and then to use our collective voice to advocate for more just policies in our city. If you have any interest in being involved, you can sign up directly through their website or talk to Pastor Paul about more details.
  • Summer volunteers needed: Will you be in NYC this summer? Whether you’re here on a summer internship or have been wanting to see what volunteering might look like, help our vacationing volunteers by joining a team, once a month, meet great people and help to serve your neighbors!
  • We are hiring: Do you know anyone who’d be a great fit at Redeemer? We are looking to fill several roles on our team before the end of the year. Check them out and spread the word!
  • Build your community: Every community has a mission, and every mission has a community behind it. So if you’re interested in building communities for following Jesus together and making an impact in our neighborhoods, please let us know. Community groups have always been a crucial part of Redeemer’s life together, all the more so when communities have been fragmented the last couple years.
    Redeemer West Side is aiming to start up to 5 new community groups this fall. We’re looking for hosts and leaders who are hospitable, can facilitate discussions, and help their group find ways to serve the city and each other. If you feel like that’s you, send an email to [email protected].
  • Serve meals and more with All Angels’ Church: Partner with All Angels’ Church (just a few blocks away!) to care for our unhoused and hungry Upper West side neighbors. Find opportunities to serve weekly with friends or with your CG.
  • Be a virtual volunteer this summer: Not comfortable serving in person? Pursue a meaningful activiity this summer by either mentoring youth, translating documents, teaching virtually, or praying with marginalized neighbors. Find an opportunity today!