Friday, February 26, 2010

Cultural Barriers to Renewing Education

We normally try to avoid math, but this might be worth checking out:

An Afternoon with Edward Tom, Principal, Bronx Center for Science and Mathematics

Sunday, February 28, 2010 @ 01:00 pm

Join us as we continue our series on "Cultural Barriers to Renewing Education" and hear from Edward Tom, Principal of the Bronx Center for Science and Mathematics. Mr. Tom has been featured in the NYTimes for his amazing results there.

Sunday, February 28, 1pm
Hunter College
West Building, Rm C-002

Light hors d'oeuvres will be provided. Please register using the link below.

How do you see culture as a barrier to education? Did you experience this?

Gotham Fellowship

This sounds like a good club for Batman:

Sunday, February 28, 2010 @ 12:30 pm

An Informational Reception for The Gotham Fellowship

What is the Gotham Fellowship? How can you get involved?

Join us for a conversation about the next generation of Christian leaders in New York City. An introduction to the Fellowship will be followed by Q&A with the staff of the Center for Faith and Work. Fellows and Alumni will share about their experiences and address questions.

Who should attend?
Prospective Fellows, prospective mentors, prospective supporters. This program represents the investment of the church in its next generation of leaders in the church and in culture.

The Union Club of New York
101 East 69th St. (across from Hunter College)
New York, NY 10021

Light hors d'oeuvres will be served.

Will you be attending?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Writers Group Gathering

Writing can be a really solitary existence. It's good to occasionally pry yourself from your laptop or worn notebook and meet with some fellow scribblers:

Thursday, February 25
Redeemer Offices, 1359 Broadway, 4th Floor (at 36th St.)

George Steiner in Real Presences states "any coherent account of the capacity of human speech to communicate meaning and feeling is, in the final analysis, underwritten by the assumption of God's presence." The possibility of God working in and through our work is why the Arts Ministry has carved out time and space for writers to unite in discussion, practice, and prayer. Each meeting includes discussion based on a short devotional/literary text, a writing exercise, and prayer for one another's creative endeavors. We hope writers will take this opportunity to share their creative processes, literary experiences, and encourage one another towards creating good works.

RSVP is not necessary, just show up!

Save these dates for future Writers Group Gatherings:

April 29
June 24
September 23
November 18

Hey, if you're interested in writing, write for Asphalt Eden!! Contact us at stephanie.nikolopoulos [@] com.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Work on Your Craft with Fellow Actors

If the world is your stage, New York must be a very special scene:

Next Actors Group gathering:

Monday, February 22
Ripley-Grier Studios, 520 8th Ave.
(between 36th and 37th)

All professional and aspiring actors are welcome to join the Actors Group for a time of work and fellowship! Bring something to work on: a monologue, audition piece, sides, etc. (First-timers feel free to just bring yourselves.) Come enjoy theater games, skill-sharpening exercises, and work on your craft in a judgment-free environment. Dinner will be provided.

Please RSVP by emailing See you there!

Let us know about your acting gigs.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

New York Is for Christian Hipsters

New York makes a lot of top 10 lists. Apparently -- or at least according to Brett McCracken (McCracken: what a great name!) over at conversant life -- it's even one of the top 10 cities for Christian hipsters:
As it is for any other hipster, New York is the dream destination for many Christian hipsters. Whether they go there to be actors, artists, designers, or factory workers, hipsters love living in New York. Currently, it’s the city where many Christian hipster icons (such as Sufjan Stevens, Welcome Wagon, and Jay Bakker) reside. It’s also the site of dozens of very hip, urbane, trend-setting churches like Redeemer Presbyterian, All Angels Episcopal, and Journey, as well as ministries such as the International Arts Movement.
[photo by Stephanie Nikolopoulos]

I can't help but recall an episode of That 70s Show when the always tipsy mom, Kitty, called New York "Sodom and Gomorrah with a subway." New York has so often been thought of as a breeding ground for sin. And yet, for centuries, it's also been considered the place for great art, music, and fashion. No other city in the U.S. compares to it. So, it makes sense that, religion aside, you'd be drawn to NYC if you're a creative type.

There are indeed more and more young and creative communities for Christians in New York. (McCracken, who's writing a book on the world's hippest churches, also lists Resurrection Presbyterian as a hipster church in a separate post. I'd add Trinity Grace's Chelsea service and North Brooklyn Vineyard's Trash Bar service to the list above.) But does that make New York Christian-friendly?

Why Does God Allow Tragedy?

Okay, so here's a question that often backs us into the corner: Why does God allow tragedy? We heard it with Katrina, and now we're hearing it again with Haiti. People -- Christians and nonChristians alike -- want to know why if God is so good He would allow bad things -- terrible, devastating things -- to happen to good people. If God loves us, wouldn't He protect us? If God is all-powerful, wouldn't He stop natural disasters? Socrates in the City is never one to shy away from the big questions. Believing that "the unexamined life is not worth living," Socrates tackles the questions that are on people's hearts and minds. Later this month, they're bringing in MIT physicist and author Dr. Gerald Schroeder, Ph.D., to wrestle with the very question of why God allows tragedy to occur:

Conversations on the Examined Life


For an evening of entertaining and provocative discussion
on "life, God, and other small topics"

February 24th, 2010

The University Club**
(One West 54th Street at Fifth Avenue)

with host ERIC METAXAS

and special guest

Gerald Shroeder


MIT Physicist and author of
Genesis & the Big Bang, The Science of God,
The Hidden Face of God, and God According to God.

who will speak on the topic

"Why Does God Allow Tragedy?"

Wine & Cheese Reception from 6:30 till 6:55 pm
Speaking will begin at 7:00 pm SHARP
Dr. Gerald Schroeder will sign copies of his books at 8:15 pm

** Club requires appropriate attire for all persons;
coat and tie for gentlemen.

Please register/rsvp for this event by clicking here to pay online,
or by calling 1.646.201.3375.

Please note that registration before February 18th is $35.
Registration on or after February 18th and before February 23rd is $50.
Registration on or after February 23rd or at the door is $75.

VIP Reception
There will be an hors d'oeuvres and wine VIP Reception with Dr. Schroeder from 6:15pm until 6:55pm. Attendance at this reception (and which includes the event immediately following with Gerald Schroeder) is $75 before February 18th -- or $100 between February 18th and February 22nd, or $125 on or after February 23rd.
To rsvp, please click here.
Please be advised that space for this reception is limited.

SITC Patron's Dinner
There will be a SITC Patron's Dinner with Dr. Schroeder and special guests immediately following the event (approx. 8:45 pm). Attendance at this dinner (and which includes the VIP Reception and the event with Dr. Gerald Schroeder) is open to any persons making a tax-deductible donation to Socrates in the City of $500 or more by clicking here.
Please be advised that seating for this dinner is very limited.

Donations to SITC
If you are unable to be with us on February 24th for this special evening with Dr. Gerald Schroeder but would like to contribute to the work of Socrates in the City by making a tax-deductible donation at this time, we would be very grateful to you. To make a tax-deductible donation to Socrates in the City please click here.

Dr. Gerald Schroeder

Dr. Gerald Schroeder, Ph.D.Dr. Gerald Schroeder, Ph.D., is a scientist, author, and lecturer, who focuses on what he perceives to be an inherent relationship between science and spirituality.

In 1965, Schroeder received his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in nuclear physics and earth and planetary sciences. He worked five years on the staff of the MIT physics department. After emigrating to Israel in 1971, he was employed as a researcher at the Weizmann Institute of Science, the Volcani Research Institute, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His Doctorate was in two science fields, Earth sciences and physics. He teaches at Aish HaTorah College of Jewish Studies.

He professes Orthodox Judaism, and his works frequently cite Talmudic, Midrashic and medieval commentaries on Biblical creation accounts, such as commentaries written by the Jewish philosopher Nachmanides. Among other things, Schroeder attempts to reconcile a young earth creationism Biblical view with the scientific model of a world that is billions of years old using the idea that the perceived flow of time for a given event in an expanding universe varies with the observer’s perspective of that event. He attempts to reconcile the two perspectives numerically, calculating the effect of the stretching of space-time, based on Einstein's theory of general relativity. Schroeder holds to a theistic evolution view.

[image of Schroeder via Socrates in the City]

Socrates in the City was founded and is run by Eric Metaxas, author of the New York Times best seller Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery. Hitting bookshelves soon is his biography on Dietrich Bonhoeffer, which will feature a foreword by Redeemer's Tim Keller.

Register TODAY for the discounted ticket price for the Socrates in the City event.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Fair Grounds Coffee House

All coffeehouses need a catchy name, right? There was Holy Grounds, the Christian coffeehouse and music venue in Allendale, NJ. And now we discover Riverside Church's Fair Grounds Coffee House. The open-mic-like coffeehouse encourages social-justice through fair-trade beverages and an empowerment of artists:

Date: Sunday, February 14, 2010
Time: 8:00PM - 9:30PM
Location: Room 10T

The Fair Grounds Coffee House is an opportunity for people in the NYC area to express their inner artist. Be it music, poetry, interpretive art, storytelling, or visual art, this is a creative and welcoming space. In our effort to foster community and support the creative endeavors of our peers, we have decided to sponsor a Coffee House once a month.

It will take place every 2nd Thursday and feature Fair Trade Coffee and Tea as well as light snacks. In order to promote social and ecological justice, we ask that you consider bringing a mug from your own collection so as not to pollute the earth with more junk for the landfills. Mugs can be stored at the church if you wish to leave them here for the next month.

Will you be attending? If you're an artist looking to promote your work, contact Asphalt Eden at stephanie.nikolopoulos [@]

Branded for Life

E - n - t - r - e - p - r - e - n - e - u - r. Entrepreneur. That's a hard word to spell. If you are one -- and aren't we all? -- check this out:

Monday, February 15, 2010 @ 07:00 pm

Redeemer Offices, 1359 Broadway, 4th Floor (at 36th Street)

Brand, Branded, Branding. What are they? How can you do this?

Come and learn more about the fundamentals and necessity of branding today for your business and personal purposes. Strategic design and brand communications experts from the Longitude will share with us perspectives and practices about how your brand can speak powerfully in the world.

Our speakers are Jess Lin and Greg Wong who are founding partners at the Longitude, a strategic brand communications group helping innovative brands that add value to the world. Using human insight and Fortune 100 consumer brand expertise, they craft and spread brand stories for meaningful dialogue. You can learn more about them at

Please RSVP to or to Redeemer's Entrepreneurship Initiative Facebook Group page.

What sort of business do you do?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Sips & Snack's from a 1950's Cookbook for Lovers

They say the way to a man's heart is to through his stomach. For women in the 1950s, cooking wasn't so much a romantic gesture as it was a duty. Well, Mad Men is bringing all that antifeminist nostalgia back! Whoopee! Tonight at 7:30 at Greenpoint's WORD bookstore is the retro-inspired shindig Venus in the Kitchen Valentine's Cocktail Party: Sips & Snack's from a 1950's Cookbook for Lovers:

Time Table presents a Valentine’s cocktail party featuring aphrodisiac food and drink from the 1952 book, Venus in the Kitchen: Or Love’s Cookery Book. Come single or with a sweetie and spend some time sampling love potions of the early 50’s. We can’t make any promises on the power of these wacky concoctions—but we can promise a good time. Feel free to dress the part, though modern-day attire is just fine. Tickets are $5 each and can be purchased at WORD or through our website here.

(Book purchase not required but books will be available for sale.)

With a menu like this, be sure not to miss it! See the full menu here.

Fritters of Elderflower
Marmalade of Orange and Red Carnations atop Shortbread Hearts
Pistachio Cream
Quince Jelly served with Swiss Cheese, Cubed

An Aphrodisiac Drink
Lovage, on the Rocks
Shirley Temples (non-alcoholic)

About Jessica Reed and Time Table: Jessica Reed is a Greenpoint-based artist, writer, and amateur culinary historian interested in the intersections between food, history, art, and culture. Time Table, her most recent project, invites guests to taste the past at small gatherings serving food and drink made from period recipes, and utilizing period serving pieces and decorative elements whenever possible. Her ambition is to bring people together with food as a means of connecting with our shared history.

Kinda want to go, don't you?

Play Group: Valentine's Day

The good thing about going to the movies is you don't have to talk to anyone. The good thing about The Journey's play group to the movies is that afterward, if you like the people enough and are feeling brave enough to make conversation, you can go out with them to eat BBQ. I guess it all comes down to the movie. This month's movie is the seasonally appropriate, "Valentine's Day":

Most of us spend too much time working, studying and fighting the crowds - and not enough time playing. Journey Play Groups are an easy way to check out The Journey, meet new people, and just have a good time. The Journey's next Playgroup will be on Friday, February 12 to see "Valentine's Day."

Here are the details:

Movie synopsis: Intertwining couples and singles in Los Angeles break-up and make-up based on the pressures and expectations of Valentine's Day.

When: Friday, February 12 @ 7:00 pm

Where: Regal E-Walk on 42nd Street (Between 7th & 8th Ave)

All you need to do is arrive 15 minutes early in the lobby of the movie theater and look for the Journey sign that I'll be holding.

Afterward, we'll grab a bite to eat across the street at Dallas BBQ!

To sign up or to receive more information, email Christel at

What do you think of this star-studded movie?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

"Share Your Anxieties and Excitement"

College students aren't the only ones with ministries specifically devoted to them:

Thursday, February 11, 2010 @ 07:00 pm

The PhD Students Group will get together on Thursday, February 11 from 7:00PM to 9:00PM at the Redeemer Offices, 1359 Broadway, 4th fl (between 36&37th st).

There will be plenty of time to catch up with fellow grad students, and to share your anxieties and excitement about the current semester.

We will have food so please RSVP using the link below. We'll ask you for a small contribution.

What are you getting your PhD in?

Preparing to Lead, Preparing to Follow

Follow the pack. Come to Redeemer's Business Fellowship on Thursday, February 11:

Join us for our monthly fellowship as we continue our series on "Leadership," with our discussion entitled "Preparing to Lead, Preparing to Follow."

We will continue at our new location:
IAM Offices
38 W. 39th St. 3rd Floor
(Btwn. 5/6 Ave.)
New York, NY 10018
Light dinner provided. Suggested donation. Please RSVP.

Are you more of a leader or a follower?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Apparently the Super Bowl in coming up:


Please join The A.D. Agency and our panel of talented ad pros, for our annual Super Bowl Ad Review on Wednesday, February 10 starting @ 7pm. We'll discuss and critique a select group of commercials that air during the big game.

We'll kickoff the night with some noshing and networking so bring some friends and coworkers.

WED, FEB. 10, 7 - 9:00PM
Redeemer Offices
1359 Broadway, 4th Floor
(Btwn. 36/37 St.)
New York, NY 10018
Suggested donation $5.

What is your all-time favorite Super Bowl commercial?

Friday, February 5, 2010

A Unified Front at the Redeemer Arts Blog

Last month Redeemer launched its new arts blog, Redeemer Arts. The articles are all posted by "Redeemer Arts" but are written either by Maria Fee, Luann Jennings, or Kenyon Adams, all of whom work for Redeemer's Arts Ministries. Although they sign off at the end of their posts, we wonder why they weren't each given their own profile? After all, they each represent a different facet of the Arts Ministry, and it would be interesting to follow them accordingly.

What do you think? Do you like blogs that have a unified voice or do you prefer to get to know each of the writers individually?

Open Bible Study: Black History Month

As part of its celebration of Black History Month, Riverside Church is hosting a series of open Bible studies that show how real-life people overcome life crises. These testimonies sound incredibly powerful:

Time: 9:30AM - 10:30AM
Location: Room 10T

Four ordinary people who confront extra-ordinary crises, become giants of faith, and share their stories.

2/7: Joy Night
Esther Birchett encountered a storm of life-threatening diseases, but faith in God was her solid rock.

Facilitators: Colleen Birchett and Laura Harris
Scriptures: Job 1:1-5, 13-22, II Corinthians 7:14

2/14 God’s Invisible Hand
Near the turn of the 20th Century, George Liggins became homeless, living in the back of trains and off of random day jobs, only to collect skills that helped him later found a church in Chicago.

Facilitator: Barrington Wright
Scripture: Job 23: 3-17

2/21 No Time to Cry
Mamie Till Mobley lost her child, Emmett Till through an act of racial violence, but her faith turned her grief into action, adding momentum to the mid-20th century Civil Rights Movement.

Facilitator: Rev. Fred Dennard
Scripture: Psalm 78

2/28 A Woman with an Issue of Blood
Rev. Diana Timberlake nearly lost her life through complications of giving birth to a child, but her faith drove her to Jesus in the midst of the crisis, giving her a testimony to share with the world.

Facilitator: Dr. Marjorie Horton
Scripture: Psalm 30

These stories are published in the book, How I Got Over by Dr. Colleen Birchett.

There will be book signings following the Sunday morning worship services.

Have you come face-to-face with a personal crisis? How did you deal with it? Did it make you grow closer to God?

Melody of Dragon Celebrates Chinese New Year

Get into the spirit of Chinese New Year with Melody of Dragon. The ensemble will perform at Riverside Church as part of the Christ Chapel Chambers Series on Sunday, February 7, at 3:00:
Come help us kick off the Chinese New Year!

We welcome to the series the astonishingly talented ensemble Melody of Dragon, led by virtuoso dizi (Chinese bamboo flute) player, Chen Tao. The group will introduce us to traditional Chinese music throughout the centuries. Come learn about the amazing history and diverse colors of Chinese instrumental music in this spectacular presentation by one of the world’s finest traditional Chinese ensembles.

FREE. An offering for the artists will be taken at the door.

[image of Melody of Dragon via Riverside]

Melody of the Dragon is a New York-based not-for-profit ensemble that was founded in 1998. The Chinese ensemble utilizes both classical and folk music as well as contemporary music. In addition to the dizi, mentioned about, Melody of Dragon also features the yangqin, which is a hammered dulcimer; an erhu, a two-stringed fiddle; and a guqin, a seven-stringed zither.

How do you like to celebrate Chinese New Year?

East Village Musicians' Fellowship

If you're a musician looking for fellowship, you may be interested in Forefront's musicians' group, which meets on Monday evenings:

East Village - Janet Kim & Erica Soto
This group is for musicians & songwriters/lyricists interested in experimenting with worship, with the ultimate goal of collaborating to write original worship songs. We will also be studying the Word in our fellowship with one another.
Are you a member of this group? What do you have to say about it?

Tribute to the Father of Gospel Music

Celebrate Black History Month by learning about the Father of Gospel at Riverside Church:

Date: Sunday, February 07, 2010
Time: 2:00PM - 4:00PM
Location: South Hall

Join us as we begin begin a tribute to American Master Thomas A. Dorsey, blues pioneer and “Father of Gospel Music.”

An interactive workshop, to be led by vocalist, music historian, and lecturer Tami Tyree, will highlight many aspects of his life and music. Ms. Tyree, a member of Riverside and longtime soloist of its Inspirational Choir, is founder and facilitator of Echoes of our Ancestors. Wycliffe Gordon, world-class trombonist and composer, will perform at the workshop.

The workshop is free, but space is limited. Registration is required to receive instructional materials for this course. Please call the Education office at 212.870.6833 to reserve a space. The deadline for registration is February 1.

The tribute to Mr. Dorsey will climax with a concert on Sunday, February 21 at 3:30 p.m. featuring Ms. Tyree and guest artists.

Admission to the concert is $10.00 at the door.
[image of Dorsey via Gospel City]

Are you a fan of
Dorsey's? Who is your favorite Gospel singer?

Redeemer's Filmmakers Group Discusses Brooklyn Filmmaker's "The Fountain"

Redeemer's Filmmakers' Fellowship meets on Saturday to talk about a Brooklyn-born filmmaker:

Saturday, February 6
Redeemer offices, 1359 Broadway (at 36th St), 4th floor

All professional and aspiring filmmakers are invited to continue exploring the intersection of our faith and our vocational lives as filmmakers. This month we are considering the work of Brooklyn-born filmmaker Darren Aronofsky, including a screening of the film The Fountain, followed by a discussion. The Fountain is a three-pronged narrative that ultimately seeks to find a cure for what is wrong with the human race and tries to reconcile the inevitability of death.

Dinner will be provided. Please RSVP to

Sign up for the Filmmakers Group eNews to receive updates on future Filmmakers Group events.

Questions? Email or contact Kenyon Adams, Vocation Groups Coordinator (info below).

What type of film would you like to make?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Riverside's Requieum Benefit for Haiti

Riverside Church is hosting a Benefit Concert for Haiti featuring Brahms' "Requiem":

Date: Friday, February 05, 2010
Time: 8:00PM - 10:00PM
Location: Nave

IFCO/Pastors for Peace presents

Brahms Requiem Ein Deutches Requiem

Join us for this concert to benefit Haiti.

Featuring performers Michelle Trovato, and Austin Larusson

With Fear no Frontier Symphony of Dreams, conducted by Joseph Jones

Proceeds will go to IFCO Haiti Medical Relief Fund

For tickets, call 888-71-Tickets, or visit for advance tickets.

Ticket prices are:
$15 in advance
$20 at the door
$10 Seniors & Students
Representatives will be on hand to accept your tax-deductible donations.

Encore performance on February 6 at 8:00 p.m. at Our Lady of Refuge Church, 2020 Foster Avenue, Brooklyn, NY

For more information on IFCO, visit their website at

Will you be attending?

Save the Date for City Grace's Haiti Benefit Concert

Save the date::: City Grace is hosting a benefit concert for Haiti at the end of the month:

Haiti Benefit Concert
Friday, Feb. 26th
Recommended Donation $15
Doors Open 8pm

Come out for a wonderful evening of art and music to raise money for earthquake relief in Haiti. 100% of donations will go towards Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC), a wonderful organization that is on the ground in Haiti providing food and shelter for those displaced by the earthquake.

Performers will include:
Ryan and Friends
Ashley Gonzalez
and Rachel Zylstra

There have been a lot of Haiti benefit concerts in New York since the earthquake. It's awesome to see everyone reaching out to help our neighbors.

Arts Devotionals: A Great Resource for Arts Fellowships

Seriously loving Redeemer's arts ministry's arts devotionals. For Arts Month, the art ministry is posting a devotional-a-week that features Scripture, engaging questions, suggested reading, and suggested art and architecture viewing.

The current devotional is entitled "God the Designer," based on 1 Chronicles 28, and asks such questions as, "How could a commitment to beauty impact a Christian’s life and journey of faith?"

This arts devotional is a great resource to the arts fellowships around the city (see blog roll in the right-hand column).

[image via Redeemer]

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Preview of Center for Faith & Work's February 2010 Events

Just a little preview of what's to come at Redeemer's Center for Faith & Work:
February 4
Lawyers Evening Fellowship: The Lord's Prayer
A gathering of people in the legal profession on the first Thursday of every other month.
February 11
Business Fellowship
A discussion group for business people.
February 11
February PhD Students Group
PhD/EdD Students and Post-Docs - come out for food, fellowship and conversation!
February 28
2010 Info Session for The Gotham Fellowship
What is the Gotham Fellowship? How can you get involved?
February 28
An Afternoon with Edward Tom, Principal, Bronx Center for Science and Mathematics

Check back at Asphalt Eden the day before each event for details.

Which fellowships are you interested in? Is there anything that isn't covered that you think should be?