October is Mercy Month at Redeemer, and this year our theme is “Who is My Neighbor?” While, of course, everyone around you is your neighbor, this month the Deacon Team is calling you to be intentional about knowing the neighbors whose lives look different than yours so that you can better understand their experiences and their needs. Redeemer has a great capacity to meet the needs of our neighbors — through talent, through time, and through treasure. Our members also have a great heart to meet the many types of needs around us. The deacons believe the place we as a body need to grow in order to bring these two pieces together is through building relationships.
I’d like to talk about what I’ve learned from my friend Christopher. You may know him; he’s a student at IUPUI and a budding entrepreneur; he’s a swimmer and a runner; he’s a traveler; he’s a funny, thoughtful guy who asks probing questions in Bible study and always has an affirming word to offer.
Christopher is also legally blind. In getting to know him, I had questions that I wasn’t sure how to ask, or if it was even appropriate to ask. So I did not ask them. But as we got to know one another, he afforded me opportunities to ask and learn. He’s allowed me to share these thoughts with you.
I learned that he would like me to identify myself by name when saying hello to him so that he can be sure to connect with me immediately and relate more quickly. So now I say, ‘Hey, Christopher, it’s Drew.’ He also appreciates when people verbally respond instead of nodding their heads, because he cannot see the body language. He’s asked friends to let him know who is in the room so he has extra awareness. These were small ways I could be aware of his reality, which was not my own, and change my behavior as a result. These were small ways I could understand his needs and be a neighbor to him.
Being friends with Christopher also helped me understand ways the world around us could be made more equitable to the reality of his experience. For example: Christopher uses public transportation, and when the new transit center was unveiled downtown, he struggled to understand its layout. In response, he created 3D models of the transit center to be shared with others. I did not know such a thing was necessary because I did not personally need it. That was a powerful moment of awareness for me: as the majority of the world can see, the environment is geared toward their needs by default, more-so than Christopher’s, whose needs are in the minority. It was through our friendship that I gained greater understanding, awareness and empathy.
I mentioned before that I did not know when to ask Christopher questions, or if I should. I learned later that it is also difficult for Christopher to know when to broach the subject of his blindness with people. He wants it to be known and cared for in relationships, but doesn’t want to be so boxed in by that part of his identity that it becomes all that he is known for. So relationship requires intentionality both ways, and, as Christopher eloquently told me, “We will need this person’s forbearance when we make mistakes, and their endurance when we are struggling to hear and struggling to ask.”
When Christ calls us to be a neighbor, he compels us to do so regardless of boundaries. One of the most well-known passages in the bible about being a neighbor is the parable of the good Samaritan, who stops to help a badly wounded Jewish man attacked by thieves. A key component of the story is one person serving another regardless of their significant differences. Now — the Samaritan could see the traveler’s needs, as the Jewish man was bleeding and unable to walk. So some needs around us are simple to perceive, their solutions simple to enact. Some needs are not, particularly when we are looking across cultural, physical, racial, and socio-economical differences, to name a few. How do we meet the needs that we struggle to see or understand? Through relationships. This is a challenge to all of us; to me; to Christopher; to you.
For me: I do not know what it is like to live without sight. Without hearing. Without the ability to walk. I do not know what it is like to drive while black. I will never have to give my son “the talk” of how to survive an encounter with the police, as I have learned that so many black parents do. I do not know what it is like to be a Syrian refugee, or a Burmese immigrant, newly arrived in America with no understanding of the language or customs. I do not know what it is like to parent a child with autism or with developmental disabilities. I do not know what it is like to live in generational poverty. How can I care for others both outside this church and within it without understanding their needs and their experiences? How can I share their joys and their sorrows? How can I help bear their burdens? How can I know the actions that need to be taken to make this world more equitable to their lives and experiences? It begins through relationships.
At the end of the parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus tells his listeners to go and do as the Samaritan has done. And so being a neighbor is an action, a doing, which means that relationship is not the end, but a beginning. It is a critical entry point to a larger understanding of the many nuanced needs around us, and it is an essential step toward us serving as a neighbor — to knowing what actions need to be taken to meet these needs.
So let’s you and I seek opportunities in the coming days to put ourselves in places we might not ordinarily go; to meet people we would not otherwise; to engage in conversations we might not normally have, so that we may build these relationships. Let us consider what behavior we might need to change, and what patterns we can alter as a result. Let us listen well in these times; and let us do so for the glory of Christ, who meets the needs of his people, and calls us to go and do likewise. May we look to Jesus in moments of uncertainty, seeing how he went before us to do this very work; how he moved across boundaries; how he felt our pain; how he’s met our needs time and again.
We’ll gather on the 29th in the Underground during the CT&T hour to talk more about the month in retrospect. I hope you’ll plan to join us then, and hopefully with a story to share.
Drew Myler, Deacon
On Sunday afternoon, the Deacon team hosted the second part of an ongoing discussion on the topic of Race & Redeemer, pressing in to explore what it looks like to embrace diversity, and seek the Lord's wisdom as the catalyst to the process.
The discussion, hosted at the home of Mark & Laura Abdon, had an overarching theme of listening to God and each other as we intentionally pursue what it means to be a good neighbor and share the gospel across cultural and ethnic lines. Mark, who facilitated the conversation, began the time with prayer. "We're here to listen. Lead us, God, into what you would have us do."
Filling the back yard with conversations and small-group discussions on what we dreamed to be the future of Redeemer on this topic, and how we can participate in what the Lord is doing, the people in attendance found themselves in a safe space to be open and honest about what the Lord was laying on their hearts as we move forward. The end result wasn't a perfect formula on how to proceed, but rather a jumping-off point for further discussion and personal challenges, both inside and outside of structured conversations like this one.
Some quotes that stood out among the groups were:
"In leadership, sometimes the best thing to do is step aside and listen."
"God cares about this even more than we do."
"We have the privilege to participate [in the work that God is already doing]."
"Stay humble with each other as well as those outside of the conversation."
In the coming months, the Deacon team will be hosting follow-up conversations, and we encourage everyone to participate.
After spending three sessions as learners together in the spring discussing God’s heart for diversity, many of us have been asking the question, “What’s next?”
Come join us for the next step as our church continues to press in and explore the Lord’s invitation to grow in this area. Our hope is that this time together can be spent dreaming and asking the Lord to give us wisdom as we look to the future. We believe this will be time well-spent for any Redeemerites who would like to see our church become more adept at offering the gospel to our neighbors of every culture and ethnicity.
Join us for an hour and a half of light refreshments, brainstorming, and prayer this Sunday, October 1 at 4pm, at the home of Mark & Laura Abdon (814 Jefferson Avenue, near Woodruff Place). Childcare will not be provided.
Please RSVP to Jen Maurer [firstname.lastname@example.org].
If you've been wondering how to best support victims of Hurricane Harvey, the PCA Foundation would like to make it easy for anyone to donate stocks, mutual funds, and anonymous gifts (including cash) to assist Mission to North America (MNA) with their Disaster Relief efforts in Houston. If you would like to donate assets to assist with MNA's Disaster Relief efforts in Houston, the PCAF will handle the gifting process.
Lonely? In an age where we appear more connected than ever, our experience and sociological data show we are drifting further apart. Whether living alone and feeling cut off from community or even alongside many roommates, a spouse, and our own children, we all know the pain of feeling alone – like no one sees us.
Come join New Hope’s new counselor Jason Pogue and pastor Jeff Nottingham for an interactive workshop where we will explore the roots of true friendship, how we get in our own way, the building blocks of authentic connection, and the skills to take our friendships to a deeper place that brings us meaning and joy, glorifies God, and invites our neighbor to see the love of God in community.
This workshop will meet Friday September 15th, September 29th, and October 13th from 6:30 to 8:30pm in the Underground. Cost is $75. RSVP by September 5th for childcare.
Contact Jason Pogue (email@example.com) or Jeff Nottingham (firstname.lastname@example.org) to sign-up or with questions.
Payment can be made by check in the offering plate with “New Hope Workshop” in the memo, mail a check to our offices, or drop a check or cash off.
In celebration of our summer Creation Care Classes, we're having a church-wide picnic at Riverside Park this Sunday after second service! Check out the list below for all of the details, and ideas of things to bring along:
Where: Riverside Park (on the west side of town)
2420 E Riverside Dr, Indianapolis, IN 46208
We have Pavilion 3 near the pool. You can park in the pool parking lot.
When: 1 - 3 PM, Sunday, July 30
What will be provided:
- Water and Lemonade
- Charcoal, spatulas and tongs (There are two grills at the pavilion)
- Buns / Condiments / Cheese
What you can bring:
- A dish to share
- Meat or other grill-able items for you or your own family
- Drinks other than water or lemonade
What to expect:
- Yummy food!
- Fantastic fellowship!
We will also take an excursion to the White River to look at aquatic critters! This is will be short walk from the pavilion. Jamie will get in the water with a seine net, but no one else is expected to get wet
For those interested: the pool is open from 12-5 on Sunday
For more information, contact Jamie [jamie@redeemindy] or Hidi [email@example.com].
Hello! I’m Lauren McElhaney, and I’m the new Hospitality and Communications Assistant here at Redeemer! I’ve been here a month and have been settling into life in Indy and my role on staff here. It has been a smooth and exciting transition!
I’m a small-town girl from Bevier, Missouri, but have always loved city-life! After high school I attended the University of Missouri in Columbia where I majored in Graphic Design, then moved to Ioannina, Greece for a year with Cru. Upon returning from Greece, I transferred to Central Christian College of the Bible to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree in Cross-Cultural Ministry. My hope was that after graduation I could work in a position that let me use design as well as be involved in ministry. This job has been the perfect fit!
I’ve enjoyed getting to know people here at Redeemer, as well as hidden gems within the city. I’d love to connect with you and get to know some of your favorite spots in Indy!
Thanks for making my first month a great one!
Serving with you,
July 9th, just two Sundays from now, we will be officially welcoming Charles Anderson and his family to Redeemer, and what a day of celebration it will be! Between first and second services, we will have an ordination service to ordain and install Charles as our new senior pastor. We will also release Jamie MacGregor from his role as lead pastor with thanksgiving, and recommission him to the ministry that he was called to do at Redeemer. Following second service, there will be an all-church luncheon in the gym as we celebrate our staff and welcome the Andersons as they join the team in the Kingdom work that God has planned for Redeemer.
We are still in need of some volunteers for the lunch. If you are able, please contact Kate Brumbaugh [firstname.lastname@example.org].
The Andersons are due to arrive for their first Sunday in Indy on July 9. We are so excited for them to get here and can't wait to welcome them well to our city. To help, we are putting together a Welcome to Indy basket for the family and we want your help. Come to the Welcome Center the next two Sundays (June 25 and July 2) and fill out an info sheet about your favorite things in Indianapolis to go in a big binder. We also would love if you wanted to bring things like maps to your favorite park or a museum brochure or the menu to your favorite Chinese takeout. Be creative and share what you love! If you are interested, we will also be accepting gift cards, gift certificates, and any other fun local items you might want to add in to the basket.
Part of being a church planting church and a “teaching hospital” for ministry is having a consistent flow of interns getting a chance to experience all the different facets of ministry as part of their training and exploration of their calling. This summer Nick and Emily Dahlquist are stationed in Indy for the summer for Nick to be an intern in the area of worship. He and Emily are students and Covenant seminary. Nick will be gaining experience in leading worship, writing songs and all the other areas of ministry involved with coordinating worship. Please introduce yourself and welcome them into community at Redeemer. For more info contact: Nathan Partain [email@example.com].
Our new Lead Pastor, Charles Anderson, and his family are excited to be joining us in July. Watch a brief update from Charles and continue to pray for them in the midst of this big transition.
It has been nearly two full years since Jason Dorsey left Redeemer for a different call in Washington. Our church has been stretched in this long interim, but has been able to flourish and grow thanks to our stellar staff that has been working so hard. Charles Anderson will be coming July 9th to officially take over as Lead Pastor, and we can't wait to welcome him and his family into our community, but first, we want to recognize all the people who have been faithfully serving the church.
We invite you to help us honor the staff June 11th and 18th in the Welcome Center (Harrison Gallery). We will have supplies out for you to write an encouraging note and, if you are so inclined, we will also be collecting cash and gift cards. These people have been working long hours, sacrificing time with family, and going above and beyond to love Redeemer well. Let's let them know it has all been appreciated.
New Hope Counseling is looking for a part-time Administrative Assistant. This person will provide support to the Clinical Director and counselors of New Hope Counseling and provide administrative assistance to clients as needed. Please review the job description for more details. Questions and applications can be submitted to Jeff Nottingham [firstname.lastname@example.org].
Redeemer is overjoyed that Charles has passed passed his exams before the Central Indiana Presbytery. The only remaining left to do now is for him to be ordained and installed, which will happen once he is in Indy. Let’s keep praying for our new lead pastor and his family as they attempt to sell their house and are in the midst of lots of transition!
Throughout June and July, our Redeemer Kids children's ministry programs switch gears...and we need your help! Would you consider volunteering in a preschool CT&T class or Children's Worship on a Sunday morning? This is a great opportunity to get involved with Redeemer Kids.
We need six volunteers each Sunday (10-11am) to volunteer in our 3s and 4/5s "Camp Catechism" classes. Lesson guides and all supplies to be provided ahead of time. Sign up here.
We need five adult and youth volunteers each service, each Sunday to volunteer during the worship service with kids ages 4-kindergarten. We'll focus on creation care (piggy-backing on this summer's adult classes). Lesson guides and all supplies to be provided ahead if time. Sign up here.
NOTE: If you have never before volunteered with Redeemer Kids -- great! This is a perfect chance to check out the Redeemer Kids children's ministry programs. You will just need to complete a background check form prior to volunteering.
We also need the following supplies:
- 30 empty paper towel rolls
- 30 empty toilet paper rolls
- 20 cardboard egg cartons
- Magazines/ads with photos of nature
Please contact Nikki Reed [email@example.com] with questions.
Creation Care Class: Care for creation is a hot-button topic before us today. From global warming in the news, conservation efforts taught in school, to climate change models debated in governmental policy, this issue presses us to consider what God says about it. What is our part with environmental issues as followers of Jesus? What is the role of the church today in this important topic? The answer may surprise you! To find out, please join us for an eight-week series called Creation Care, starting June 4, where we will not only learn about creation care but practice it as well.
At the heart of this class is the understanding that the Creator God renews us so that we can then be used to renew his creation We will learn and practice creation care by covering topics such as what is creation care, the command of creation care, how Christians can interact with science and the environment, how creation care affects Indy, and more! Now, if that is not enough to whet your appetite, this class will feature field trips! In other words, in the course of our study we plan to be outside, doing hands on exploration and work of creation care.
Lastly, we are excited to have this class be inter-generational. What does this mean? This class is not only for adults but both middle and high school students as well. Even more, the elementary CT&T classes will follow a creation care curriculum and will join the adult/youth class for field trips. What better way to study God’s creation than to get outside and enjoy it together?
For more information contact Jamie MacGregor [firstname.lastname@example.org].
Urban Calling Class: Attend Redeemer Presbyterian Church for any length of time, and you’ll likely hear our unofficial rallying cry, that we’re “in the city, for the city.” Being situated geographically at the busy intersection of 16th and Delaware St., “in the city” makes perfect sense. But what does it mean to be “for the city?” As Redeemer members now come from urban, suburban and even rural settings, it’s a question we take seriously as we seek to live out the Gospel.
For more information contact Mark Nottingham [email@example.com]
Preschool CT&T (ages 3-5): During June and July, preschoolers will journey to “Camp Catechism,” as we continue to learn about God’s character and theological truths using the simple language of First Catechism. For those who attended last summer and learned Q/As 1-9, we’ll learn 10-20 this summer (and for those who didn’t attend -- no problem!). Each week will include songs, crafts, and puppets. We’ll need at least five volunteers to help each week (lesson plan provided ahead of time). Please contact Nikki Reed [nikki@ redeemindy.org] to volunteer, or look for an email sign-up soon.
Elementary CT&T (ages K-4th grade grads): During June and July, elementary-age children will study creation care (piggy-backing on this summer’s adult study) using crafts, games, and music. For more information, please contact Hidi Gardner [hidi. firstname.lastname@example.org].
Communicant Class (3rd-5th grade grads): This class prepares kids to become communing members, which means they are able to begin taking the Lord’s Supper during the worship service. While we will spend the bulk of our time studying topics covering creation, fall, redemption, and restoration, we will also specifically study each of the five membership questions. Please contact Todd Dawkins [email@example.com] to sign up your child for this class or if you might have any questions regarding our communicant process at Redeemer.
Summer Children’s Worship (ages 4-K): During June and July we’ll take a break from traditional Children’s Worship and focus on creation care each week. We’ll need three adults and one youth helper to lead/assist in each service each week (lesson plan provided ahead of time). Please contact Nikki Reed to volunteer.
Summer Vacation Bible School (ages K-4th grade grads): Register today! Redeemer and Fountain Square youth are hosting the VBS program Galactic Starveyors on July 17-20 from 9:30 am-noon here at Redeemer. Registration forms are available at the elementary check-in stations. Also, see http://www.redeemindy.org/vbs2017 for online registration option and a VBS donation needs/sign-up genius. For adults interested in volunteering and any other questions, contact Todd Dawkins (firstname.lastname@example.org)
We voted for Charles Anderson as our new lead pastor on April 23 and he will likely start in late June or early July. In between, Charles has to complete a number of tasks including standing before a Central Indiana Presbytery (CIP) committee (which he completed this past Monday) and standing before the entire CIP (which he will do Friday May 12). Please continue to pray for our church's transition during this time and for the Anderson family transition. They will be selling their house and making a big move! We will continue to keep you posted. Thank you, Redeemer family!
The gospel of Jesus Christ speaks to everything in our lives, including food. There is more to food than eating. For many of us food has become our friend, comforter, companion, something that is always there when we need it. Others of us have developed unhealthy obsessions over our food intake. In our 3-part "Thought for Food Workshop," we will talk about how our relationship with food may have been broken, and practical skills to help mend it.Read More
Mark your calendars for the All CIP (Central Indiana Presbytery) Youth and Friends Kickball Tournament on Sunday, June 11 from 6-9pm at Crossroads. Redeemer and Fountain Square Pres youth (grades 6-12) are welcome to attend and bring their friends! In addition to kickball there will be cornhole, frisbee, music, and good times all around!
If you can attend, please plan to meet at Redeemer by 5:30. We will return to Redeemer by 9:30 pm. The event will be held at Crossroads Community Church (14885 Southeastern Parkway, Fishers, IN 46037)
There is no cost to attend but please RSVP to Caroline (email@example.com) by June 4.
Our Race + Redeemer series concludes this Sunday, 5/7, from 4 - 5:30 PM in Speck Gallery with a special guest speaker. Join us to hear from Dr. A. Charles Ware, president of Crossroads Bible College, a biblically conservative evangelical institution dedicated to training Christian leaders to a reach multiethnic urban world for Christ. Dr. Ware speaks in many venues and serves as a consultant on racial reconciliation and leadership, and has authored, co-authored, and edited several books including “One Race One Blood”. Light refreshments will be served. Childcare for ages 0 - 6 will be provided. To take advantage of the childcare, please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.