New York Fellowship

Click here to edit subtitle

Please scroll down to sign up to receive monthly newsletters. 

Reflections
-------

June 2020  

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had. Romans 15:5


Dear friends,


I feel like I am in some sort of apocalypse movie! Manhattan is boarded up and abandoned. Last week looters, co-mingled with legitimate demonstrators, became a force of terror for the denizens of the city. The elderly are routinely mugged and intimated. The thought of business as usual is a far-fetched dream. Thousands of restaurants are closed; many will not reopen. Many Manhattanites are fleeing the sorrow, illness and confusion of the city. Each day on our block moving vans roll up and still another person leaves. A recent article about NYC pointed out those who have resources can replant themselves, still others embrace the “sea change“ of current social and economic challenges and wait for the day of the city’s renewal, as we do.

 

Uncertainty seems to be the common denominator, but there is a deeper, often unspoken, concern that permeates the front page story. How do people stand by and do nothing as a man cannot breathe and dies? What happened to our sense of mercy and justice? One man’s tragic death is more than a banner to be raised, a demonstration to be formed, or a riot to be incurred. This is about getting it right. It is about a common man whose life was a struggle, who loved his family, and needlessly was murdered before our eyes.

 

In the 1960’s, I was involved in the anti-war movement. It meant something to me, and to millions of Americans, that the unjust and quasi-imperialist war had to end. It was a cause--a real effort where millions were coming together to say “Stop.” During college, I had two black roommates for two years. When Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered, grief and rage washed over me.  I wanted to be helpful as I sat with my friends and asked “what can I do?”  Both in tears, they said “B.J. you cannot understand...you are not black.”  Maybe that is true today as well. I see the injustice. I want to see people held accountable. It is my hope that I can do more than march or be in solidarity with people of color. But what?  Leading up to the 1968 Democratic Convention, our heroes Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. were murdered. We marched for change, to get it right, to stop the war. The power brokers at the convention ended our hopes as our favorite candidate Eugene McCarthy was pushed aside for a more mainline candidate. The ensuing demonstrations were being crushed by Mayor Daley’s cops. Demonstrators were bloodied and battered (hey, I was a rugby guy--a couple of stitches seemed normal). We cried out “the whole world is watching.” Indeed the whole world was watching; and a generation later, once again, the whole world is watching.

 

In the midst of all the confusion of the Chicago convention, I noticed a rather diminutive black guy wearing a clergy collar and holding up a 4-foot wooden cross. As the waves of that crowd ebbed and flowed, he stood untouched as both demonstrators and cops allowed a circle of safety around him. Unmoved with head bowed, he held the cross high and planted himself in the middle of the storm. Speaking not a word, the cross said it all. I was only 23-years-old at the time and still years away from being found by Christ, but I remembered that moment. That cross is locked in my memory.

 

I don’t have any real answers right now, except to show up and love people who are in your life, and to not be afraid to get out of your comfort zone and ask the question: how can we do a better job to work and live together in peace and harmony?

 

The peace of Christ be with you,

B.J. Weber

**A new book, "FELLOWSHIP: Stories of Transformation through Grace and Spiritual Friendship. B.J. Weber’s 40 Years in New York City," is now available on Amazon.com and recounts 50 inspiring stories about B.J.’s encounters and service, written by others—best-selling authors, professional athletes, leaders in arts and business and more.

 

November 8, 2019 Letter from N.Y. Fellowship Board Chairman, Robert A. Case

 

Dear Friends,                                                    

 

2019 marks B.J. Weber's 40th year of ministry in New York City!  To recount some of the landmark events of this period, Sheila Weber has collected numerous stories, edited and compiled them into a book entitled FELLOWSHIP: Stories of Transformation through Grace and Spiritual Friendship.  B.J. Weber's 40 years in New York City.  Each chapter provides a firsthand account of a notable or striking event from B.J. Weber’s ministry, told by the participants themselves.  I am also pleased to report that the book is now available on Amazon.

 

To whet your appetite, here are a few of the book’s chapters:

 

In 1979 a 19-year old immigrant arrived in Times Square from Nicaragua, penniless and homeless. Seeing his genuine desire to study medicine, B.J. became his legal guardian and arranged for tuition and educational support.  Today William Gadea is Chief of Physician Assistants at the Heart, Lung & Vascular Center at Travis Air Force Base.  He travels abroad regularly to provide care in remote places where cardiac treatment is not available.

 

An actor who was at the edge of a nervous breakdown relates how B.J. just showed up in his life, changing his entire perception of the love and mercy offered by Christ’s message.  His friendship with B.J. helped him through a 12-step program and his recovery from addiction.


Anne Grizzle tells how B.J. teamed up with Father William Wilson to found the Amistad Mission school, clinic, and orphanage in Bolivia, which she ultimately helped transition into a self-sustaining institution, and which thrives to this day.

 

Bob Muzikowski writes how B.J. led him away from a life of recreational drugs and fistfights to one of faith and genuine purpose.  Bob and his wife Tina went on to found the largest inner city little league in America, as well as Chicago Hope Academy, which together have transformed thousands of young people’s lives.

 

"Bonhoeffer" author Eric Metaxas relates the moving story of his and B.J.’s friendship with NBC reporter David Bloom, who tragically died on assignment covering the Iraq War.  It holds an amazing story of the strength of David’s faith in his final days. 

 

There are 50 stories in all, including those by a former Soviet bloc diplomat, best-selling authors, adoptive families, nuns, clergy, leaders in business and the arts, and essays from each of the Weber family members themselves. 

 

You have played an important part in making these stories possible through your generous support of B.J.’s ministry.  We believe the book will provide you with encouragement, joy and gratification at the return on your investment in the New York Fellowship.  We are sadly limited in our ability to gift a book to every friend, so we do encourage you to purchase one or more copies on Amazon.com.

 

Finally, as a good friend of the New York Fellowship, I need to ask you once again to faithfully consider making a gift at this time to support B.J.’s ministry.  Almost none of the stories told in this book could have happened without the quiet and loyal support of donors like you.  Your generosity at this time would be a tremendous way to honor B.J. during this 40th anniversary year.  He is as busy as ever and plans to continue serving Christ in this unique ministry for years to come.

 

With deep gratitude,

Robert A. Case

Chairman, New York Fellowship


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

In Commemoration with NBC Reporter David Bloom

In Commemoration

Contact Us if you would like to be added to our Newsletter List. 

Thank you for contacting us. We will get back to you as soon as possible
Oops. An error occurred.
Click here to try again.