Manhattan

City to City Projects Update

City to City Projects Update

Every month CTC sends you news, videos, blogs, photos, and tweets about new churches. In response, you gave over $80,000 to help 14 new churches get started in global cities. Thank you!

Goodness, Truth, and Beauty

Recently two Chinese grad students came to faith through a course at Dwell Church, and one of those students is studying film. Jesus hasn’t just changed one heart—He will affect thousands more through the films this student makes. The focus of his life isn’t just thriving financially in New York, but bringing goodness, truth and beauty to his craft. So many in the neighborhood have been given tremendous educational and economic resources.  Now there’s an opportunity to see them use these gifts for the growth of His Kingdom.

You can partner with Pete and Dwell Church and help them reach their goal of $5,000. 100% of your gift goes to this project.

A Reflection of Diversity

Pete hasn't always lived in The Bowery.

As time and opportunity played out, he and his wife Lily moved cross-country from Seattle to The Bowery to begin their ministry of sharing the gospel with New Yorkers. Upon their arrival, he was especially struck by two themes which always seemed to emerge when thinking about The Bowery: loneliness and economic disparity.  

Each Sunday at Dwell Church, Pete preaches to a congregation that reflects this diversity—men who were homeless a couple weeks prior, now living at the Bowery Mission, yet also, Ivy League graduates working on Wall Street. The disparity between the two groups is striking. Musicians and actresses move into new luxury apartments (across from the Bowery Mission) where a 2,000 square foot apartment costs $5.75 million. At the Bowery Mission, they sleep 90 men to a room. The one common denominator? The gospel has something to say to both the penthouse and the flophouse. We all need Jesus. And so do the people of The Bowery neighborhood.

You can partner with Pete and Dwell Church and help them reach their goal of $5,000. 100% of your gift goes to this project.

A Church in the Cross-Section

I first visited the Bowery ten years ago while volunteering at the Bowery Mission. In those years, the neighborhood has changed dramatically. Although the industrial restaurant supply shops remain, many have been replaced by high end food establishments, boutiques, and expensive housing. However, the Bowery is still a cross-section, not only of different ethnicities and economic backgrounds, but of tradition and progress. As we walked with Pete Armstrong around his hood, we tasted this variety that energizes the community:

  • We stopped by Gimme Coffee for a pick-me-up. Pete said hello to a Chinese couple that has lived in the neighborhood for a long time. They were his old neighbors in his father-in-law’s apartment building on Mott Street. Chinatown is southwest of the Bowery, thus many Chinese families live in this part of town.

  • At the Elizabeth Street garden, Pete talked to a woman he had met at a Community Board 2 event. Neither of them wanted the garden, a 30 year-old fixture that brought the community together, to be replaced by a residential building. She asked about Dwell church; he said, “It’s a Protestant church,” and gave her the address and time.

  • He talked about the friendship he formed with Broadway actress Melissa Errico and her children through Bowery Babes, an organization she founded. Melissa is married to former tennis star Pat McEnroe.

Dwell meets on Bond Street, in the heart of the Bowery, where the homeless and hedge fund managers converge. Pete’s desire is for the church to occupy that space in the center of the cross-section, where people from all walks of life will come to know Christ and “live out the good news of Jesus Christ.”

You can partner with Pete and Dwell Church and help them reach their goal of $5,000. 100% of your gift goes to this project.

The Penthouse and the Flophouse

There's a new church in the Bowery and they need folks like you to help.

Dwell Church seeks to, through worship and outreach, connect the Mission of God to the Bowery. They are a group of people who are trying to discover and live out the good news of Jesus in a dynamic urban context. Their prayer is that you connect with God and your neighbor today.

In this video, Pete and Jeffrey talk about their dreams of how the rich and poor will come together to worship Jesus in their neighborhood. That's why the Bowery needs a church like Dwell, but they can't do it alone. 

You can partner with Pete and Dwell Church and help them reach their goal of $5,000. 100% of your gift goes to this project.

Oldest Street in Manhattan

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The Bowery is the oldest street in Manhattan. Long before the Dutch arrived it was a Native American foot trail, but it has an even more fascinating story to tell. Prior to the Civil War it was the place where Peter Stuyvesant retired to his farm, George Washington had a beer, James Delancey built a house and the Astors expanded their real estate holdings. It continued to be deeply influential throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, especially in the area of arts and culture.

Despite having a positive impact on American culture, the neighborhood also saw very bleak times. When the elevated train was installed along the Bowery in 1878, times grew dark. It cast a metaphorical and physical shadow on the entire street, and men and women sought refuge in darkness instead of light. Cheap flophouses – a few of which still remain today – came in to “serve” the population. Even when the train was removed in the 1950s, it took the Bowery decades to experience economic stability. And eventually, as The Bowery epitomized the grit of Manhattan in the 70s and 80s, Patti Smith rocked CBGBs, beautiful arias streamed out of the Amato Opera house, and Roy Lichtenstein redefined pop art from his loft at Bowery and Spring.

Even though this neighborhood in lower Manhattan hasn’t always been associated with stability and prestige, Pete Armstrong felt called to the neighborhood long before he ever lived in New York City. His interest in serving in New York City began in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 2004, when he was managing a coffee shop.  One of his friends had recently returned to Michigan after an 18 month stint in New York.  Pete had only visited New York once, but enjoyed listening to his friend’s stories. The more Pete listened, the more captivated he was by these conversations and he began to pray about one day serving Christ there, although church planting was not on his radar at the time.  As he continued to pray and dream, Pete saw himself at the jazz clubs and museums of New York and training for marathons in Central Park. He began to see himself sharing the gospel with New Yorkers.