New York Fellowship

This site will later post every monthly newsletter. Please scroll down for three salient samples.

     ----------------------------------------------------------
    From Robert A. Case, Chairman of New York Fellowship Board of Directors, November, 2011

     

    Dear friends,                                                                                                             

     Allow me to share with you a few written comments that our friend B.J. Weber received on the occasion of his recent birthday:

    • “I’d be dead, in jail, or divorced 5 times without B.J.”
    • “You helped me build a strong marriage…you helped to put me on the right path…”
    • “I have to thank you for saving me… thank you for the peace and harmony you have brought to my household.”
    • “There would be no new Christian School in urban Chicago…no college for its countless graduates who have no fathers at home….no Chicago Little League, no East Harlem Little League.”
    • “The orphans, the widows, the voiceless and the unseen, you gave them all a platform.”
    • “You sat by my dying wife’s bedside and helped lead her to faith.”
    • “From B.J., my wife received three sacraments in one day—baptism, her first-ever communion and marriage—after months and hours of counseling us toward Christ.”

     

    These are typical of the many attestations we hear regularly about the powerful impact B.J. Weber has on people’s lives.  B.J. has a unique ministry to reach those in crisis, estranged from God, or challenged in their personal faith.  B.J. engages these problems head-on, with a joy and discernment that is powerfully effective in reaching people with the healing power of faith in Christ. 

     

    For those of you who may not regularly read B.J.’s monthly newsletters, or have not known the inspiring stories over the last 33 years, we can cite just a few highlights:

     

    • B.J.’s 25 interns over the years have gone on to become ordained clergy, run NYC FOCUS, launch programs for homeless men, and create ministries similar to the New York Fellowship in other cities.
    • B.J. has helped countless unwed mothers choose life, then helped place more than 30 babies in adoptive homes.
    • B.J. has served not only as chaplain for the NY Yankees during their World Series winning years, but also as chaplain to NFL teams, the Mets, and most recently the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, the 3rd largest international sporting event. 
    • B.J.’s pastoral care has helped launch many start-up churches, and helped renew a dying church.
    • He and Sheila host the annual Ambassadors Dinner in conjunction with the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., and they continue to meet with ambassadors from the United Nations to help them see the transformative power Christianity can bring to their home countries.
    • A teenager who landed on B.J.’s doorstep from Nicaragua, with no money and no passport,  is now a physician’s assistant; a Russian orphan now has a loving home with one of B.J.’s friends in the Midwest; and hundreds of Bolivian orphans have stable homes and futures through B.J.’s initiatives to launch the Amistad Mission
    • Recently a taxi driver picked up B.J. and said “I know you, you’re B.J. Weber!” The driver was one of 27 Cambodian boat people B.J. personally helped to find jobs, education and housing 25 years ago.  He now has a family, a B.A. and is working on a Masters degree, and he thanked B.J. profusely for “saving my family’s life and giving us a future.”

     

    Nevertheless, B.J.’s ability to continue this powerful work is in jeopardy.  B.J.’s work, through the New York Fellowship, depends entirely on the voluntary generosity of people like you.  The Fellowship has been operating at a deficit in the recent past, in spite of aggressively restricting costs.  Its ability to continue to maintain a hospitality location, lead outreach functions and engage in many ministry activities will depend on your financial support decisions in the near term.

     

    We are deeply thankful for your thoughtful and generous support throughout the years. Would you please consider a meaningful yearend gift at this time, and monthly commitments toward our annual budget going forward for 2012? We deeply appreciate your support of B.J. Weber’s ministry at this time.

     

    Yours in Christ’s Service,

    Robert A. Case

    Chairman, New York Fellowship

    -------------------------------------------------------------

    In Commemoration of NBC Reporter David Bloom

    B.J.'s newsletter from April, Easter 2003                                                           “I am the resurrection and the life….”

    Dear friends,

     NBC national news correspondent, David Bloom, was a friend of ours.  He came to faith in October, 2000, at The Friday Group Bible Study held at Jim Lane’s home.  David loved Jesus, loved to sing, loved to praise God and was dear to me.  We spoke often, prayed together, laughed, cried, discussed sermons, and shared God’s mercy.

     

    David died at the gates of Baghdad on assignment with NBC.  His hair windblown, his voice rising with excitement, always pressing on in the midst of sandstorms, David died instantly from a blood clot, which may have likely formed from his long hours in the “Bloommobile,” a specially outfitted tank he created for his energetic coverage of the push toward Baghdad.

     

    I called David’s special overseas satellite phone on a regular basis.  Our mutual friend, Jim Lane, called David in Kuwait and Iraq every day to encourage him and pray for his life.  David had been experiencing leg cramps for several days.  On April 6th, his cameraman watched him retrieve his voicemails and then collapse.  In addition to a loving message left by his wife, the last words David heard were a voicemail from Jim Lane, reading a portion of Oswald Chambers’ April 5th devotional from “My Utmost for His Highest:”

     

    “The agony in Gethsemane is the agony of the Son of God in fulfilling His destiny as the Savior of the world. The veil is drawn aside to reveal all it cost Him to make it possible for us to become sons of God.  His agony is the basis of the simplicity of our salvation.  The Cross of Christ is a triumph for the Son of Man.  It was not only a sign that Our Lord had triumphed, but that He had triumphed to save the human race.  Every human being can get through to the presence of God now because of what the Son of Man went through.”

     

    David was 39-years-old and left behind three young daughters—Christine, Nicole, and Ava—and his dear wife, Melanie.  He was our pal, our brother, our young man who was the “next generation,” the guy who would “carry the ball,” who caught the meaning of Jesus’ love.  In this life, we will always miss him.  Our sorrow is deep and our sadness is unrequited.  And now like generations before, we long for the day when “there will be no more pain and suffering on all God’s holy mountain.”

     

    We will all press on to trust in Christ, embracing the blessed hope of the resurrection and the joy of seeing our dear friend David Bloom once again.  Both Jim and I had the bittersweet privilege of speaking at David’s funeral services.  Please pray that our message planted seeds of faith in the many, many people who loved David Bloom.

     

    In Christ,

    B.J. Weber

     

    In Commemoration from September 11, 2001

    In Commemoration

    Reprinted from the New York Fellowship newsletter following September 11, 2001

    Dear friends,


                I do not know what to tell you or what to say. Everything seems so trifling. I have a difficult time praying.  Sleep is irregular at best. A week after the bombings, the most common emotion is a deep, deep sadness. Yesterday before I had my coffee, I wept three times. After the second day a film of ash covered our backyard and porch, a reminder of the inferno and holocaust just a few miles from our home.

                It’s a horror beyond one’s imagination. “And Jesus wept.” Trying to be useful, I spend my days at the “bereavement center” at the Armory, only a few blocks from our home. Thousands of people line up, filling out missing person reports describing their loved ones, and collapsing under the weight of the reality that their loved ones would not be found.  Asking for DNA material/dental charts was perhaps the most difficult of my tasks. Tearfully, they know that rescue was not possible and recovery remote.

                New York stories abound…A Muslim woman lost three family members and she asked me “Is your God a God of love?”  I prayed with her and told her that Jesus was also the God of life as well as love.  A Hispanic woman, who lost her husband, has three kids to support. She buckled under the grief and sorrow that lies before her. A medical doctor gave her a Benadryl. She fell into my arms and responded, “I don’t need drugs; I need God and prayer.”  A family from Jamaica lost a son/brother. I spent three hours listening to their sadness as they came to grips with their worst fears.  After we prayed together the mother invited me to their home for “real Jamaican food.” A new friend. “And Jesus wept.”

                The stories are legion: family friend Tom Duke was on the 105th floor of the second tower and he and a handful of colleagues showed up at our door in shock—they had survived; however, 60 of their company are unaccounted for…family friends, little league sponsors, good and gracious people gone and unaccounted for…Father Michael Judge, chaplain for the fire department and co-laborer in Christ, died with his men.

                Except for the sirens which blare day and night, the city is amazingly quiet. Cars don’t honk their horns; people are eerily silent and stunned. Generosity and graciousness abound. People stop and comfort others; flags fly everywhere, but a subtle hope is beginning to emerge.

                Two cops, sitting in their cruiser, were weeping. I offered to pray with them and they offered me a ride home.  Heroes are everywhere: More than 300 firefighters are dead as well as 60 cops and death has not yet abated.  We received hundreds of phone calls, many concerned wives and many seeking news of loved ones. Dutifully, I would scan the DOA list and hospital lists in hopes of finding news of lost family members and friends. It’s a horror.

                My children are struggling.  Max’s hands were shaking at school and he has lost many nights sleep.  We later discovered that Rachel’s close friend’s mother died in the Tower 2 collapse.  Rachel spent September 12th at her friend’s home, calling hospitals in the search effort, then fell into bed after bouts of nausea.  That same night, our neighborhood was evacuated from a bomb threat to the Empire State Building nearby.  Just as Sheila was deciding to pull the children out of bed and head to the East River, the police sounded the all clear.  The following day Grand Central Station was evacuated, several times, and this is where our children must pass twice a day to and from school.  The trauma became even more real to us.

                Acts of heroism and generosity are commonplace.  People from around the world have shown tremendous love and support.  One of the biggest needs is temporary housing.  Tens of thousands are displaced. It’s a horror.  “And Jesus wept.” Personally, we are inconsolable. We are trying to help and serve, but the truth is the funerals have not yet begun.

                Thank you for your loving responses, concern, prayers and friendship.  It is our calling to be in New York City during the nation’s and city’ hour of sorrow—September 11, 2001—a day that will be our generation’s “Day of Infamy.” People are open to the Lord as we’ve never seen in all our 23 years here.  Please continue to pray.

     

    In Christ’s Service,

    B.J. Weber