>> LAB HAS ENDED <<
Wednesday, July 24, 2019: LAB had its final service of the year.
Read a letter from Michael Smith, LAB Site Pastor, about the change.
LAB's Original Vision
Redeemer Downtown launched a new Wednesday congregation — Downtown LAB (DT LAB) — in November 2018.
After meeting at Baruch College's Mason Hall for six months, LAB relocated to St. Paul's Church in the Chelsea neighborhood. LAB continued building its family feel by meeting on Wednesdays from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., with the aim to serve a community that was not familiar with church or was looking for a fresh worship experience. LAB invested deeply in the lives of its congregants to see them flourish spiritually and equip them to live out the gospel in their relationships, workplaces and neighborhoods.
LAB was not church as usual — it sought to innovate, try new things and create a community and worship space that invited a wide variety of people and backgrounds. LAB provided opportunities for everyone to hear the gospel message and worship with modern music, and it regularly offered a Spotlight feature to focus on a guest performer, artist, or mercy and justice cause.
Forming community and training together
To prepare for LAB's official launch (Wednesday, November 28), the team had a series of prayer walks every Wednesday night during summer 2018. In the fall, Redeemer Downtown focused on an eight-week Catalyst series during the 5 p.m. service. Each week during this series, the pastoral team gave a Catalyst Talk on a specific theme related to our core values, with staff-led discussions after service. All this helped prepare the Downtown congregation with the opportunity to be trained through a Gospel in Life curriculum, in order to form a new community.
On Wednesday, November 7, LAB hosted a Vision Night, where the core team discussed their hopes for the new congregation and gave the congregation a taste of worship. For Soft Launch (Wednesday, November 14), gospel and R&B singer Liz Vice led worship and also gave a special performance while sharing her journey as an artist. The Official Launch opened with hip hop/rapper Genaro Ortiz and featured a Spotlight on Hope for New York and Restore NYC.
Throughout the year, LAB encouraged congregants to connect with each other during extended passing of the peace and during post-service dinners (first at Schnipper's near Baruch; then at NY Burger Co. near St. Paul's). LAB also challenged its congregants to connect more with the city (through a Generosity Challenge) and with each other (through a Hospitality Challenge). To help congregants discuss difficult topics, Downtown ALL was launched in May to have conversations about being lonely and single in New York City. LAB also hosted additonal prayer walks around the Chelsea neighborhood and potluck dinners with discussions.
After almost a year, LAB held its final service on Wednesday, July 24. LAB is thankful for everyone's prayers and support!
What LAB Aimed to Accomplish