25 Years of Gratitude, By Carole Kleinknecht (New York, NY)

From the hopeful fledgling meetings of a Redeemer core in 1989, I have been utterly grateful to be part of this church.  The dreams of Redeemer – to love New York in many light-giving ways – were exactly what my husband and I dreamed of, too.  We were eagerly IN!

I heard the gospel in a new way, right from Tim’s first sermon, “Jesus, Our Advocate.”  As a long-time Christian worker, my heart needed to grasp that my blameless standing before God was totally due to His grace, to Jesus paying my debt – not because of my ministry job or clean living or kind deeds.  I knew that – but I didn’t know that!  I don’t have to serve – I get to serve!  Thank you, Redeemer pastors, for patiently explaining the crux of the gospel again and again!  Because I know that the gospel is going to be clear in every sermon, I can invite others with confidence that they will hear the truth at any service.

Thank you, Redeemer pastors, for patiently explaining the crux of the gospel again and again!

Since there were only five children in the church for nearly a year (our two, the Kellers’ three), our children had the unique gift of many young adult friends who loved them and modeled Christ for them (and bought so many boxes of Girl Scout cookies that our daughter was the top cookie-seller in Manhattan!).  Many of those connections became lifelong friendships!

As more families came to Redeemer in the early ‘90s, couples groups began, and then moms groups.  We loved our early couples groups, and my weekly moms group has been my main source of delightful companionship through all these years to the present day.  We’ve supported each other through husbands losing jobs and family tragedies, new babies and children with exhausting special needs.  On Sept. 11, 2001, our first moms group gathering of that fall, we cried and prayed through that terrible morning together. I will never forget that.

It would take many more paragraphs to adequately describe my gratitude for the teaching and the friendships and opportunities of our wonderful church. I’m thrilled to have been here long enough to celebrate its Silver Anniversary!

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