Redeemer launched the Center for Faith & Work in January 2003 to mobilize the highly educated and motivated Redeemer congregation to make a difference for Christ in their respective professional fields. Our leaders and participants share a number of common characteristics:
- a passion for seeing the hope and love of the gospel renew the workplaces, professions, and culture of the city - which are all too often driven by greed, fear, power, and hopelessness;
- a commitment to the truth that God intended for us to work "in his image" and be stewards of the resources and institutions of our world;
- a concern that our lives are increasingly bifurcated, with little connection between our faith and faith community and our way of working in our careers;
- a willingness to grow in our relationship with God and our relationships within the Christian community that God has provided for our support and refinement;
- a desire to create programs, community, and initiatives that pool the talents and resources of Redeemer toward the goals of renewing our city and culture.
The Center for Faith & Work (CFW) started with a series of Sunday classes, which helped shape the breadth and depth of our thinking about faith and work. Each class was taught by a different person from within our congregation who had wrestled with their own integration of faith and career. Almost simultaneously, people wanted to organize by profession, so we started some vocation-based fellowships. Both the classes and the fellowships continue to grow in quality of programs and leadership.
Prior to the creation of CFW, certain disciplines within the arts were meeting as groups. Musicians, many of whom are important contributors to Redeemer's worship music, have met as ensembles, choirs, song writers, and fellowship groups. In September 2004 CFW hired Luann Jennings to draw together artists of all disciplines, closely link us with the Worship & Music initiatives, and nurture leaders within the arts community. The monthly Redeemer Inter-Arts Fellowship was launched in January 2005, followed by classes, dance performances and art exhibitions. In 2010, Maria Fee and Kenyon Adams are full time staff leading vocation groups for film makers, actors, dancers, writers, and arts leaders.
In April 2005, CFW launched the Entrepreneurship Initiative – gathering influential investors and entrepreneurs interested in stimulating the creation of hundreds of gospel-centered organizations in and around NYC that would bring the hope of the gospel to all sectors of society. Following the initial 2005 Ei Forum, and with funding from Redeemer’s 2005 Vision Campaign, this initiative has grown to include an annual Forum that draws together investors and entrepreneurs from churches around the country, a business plan competition that surfaces promising new ventures and offers consulting and seed capital, and a monthly Entrepreneurs Fellowship that provides peer support. Calvin Chin, a veteran financial services professional, directs this initiative, supported by Christoper Dolan, coordinator of events and communications.
In September 2008, we launched a 9-month intensive theological training program called Gotham Fellows. Drawing from within the Redeemer community, we accepted 24 young people between the ages of 24 and 34 to participate in an evening and weekend leadership development program structured to provide the spiritual and theological foundations for cultural engagement. In its third year and led by Rev. David Kim, this program has become the core training for CFW leadership and is being packaged in a variety of new formats to serve Redeemer’s senior leadership. Working with more than 70 leaders of vocation groups, Amilee Watkins is full time staff responsible for leader development and re-purposing the public theology of our Gotham Fellowship for leaders of all CFW groups.
Thanks to the growing participation in and funding for CFW programs, we are able to work with hundreds of individuals in the Redeemer community on a monthly basis and several times more through special speaker events. In April 2010 we launched a Gospel & Culture Lecture series with N.T. Wright as our first speaker. Continuing through 2011, this series will culminate in a weekend-long conference November 4-5, 2011.
See the rest of the web site for recent history, current programs, and future plans.
Thanks for your interest,
Katherine Leary Alsdorf