Redeemer Presbyterian Church, a prominent congregation of the Presbyterian Church in America in New York City, has announced Sunday afternoon dance classes. The January, 1999, edition of Redeemer Report, the church's monthly newsletter, details the various classes available for both beginners and intermediate dancers.
Sponsored by Redeemer Sports Network, the Ballroom Dance classes "have drawn dozens of people each Sunday afternoon . . . over the past three months," according to the article by Alina Oh. The swing and salsa dance classes are offered every Sunday afternoon from 2:00 to 5:00. Tickets are sold at each class and after church services for $8.00, and are available for $12.00 at the door.
The newsletter story states that "simply meeting with people from Redeemer motivates them to attend. 'It's great to see people in your fellowship group here. It's a wholesome environment-not like a club,' said Rich Rodriguez."
The article continues: "Some come to the dance classes to learn dance moves and then join other Redeemerites for dancing at places such as Windows on the World, Supper Club and Swing 46. 'I usually pick up something new, or it's a good review,' said master dancer Brennan Smith."
The article concludes: "Future plans include offering workshops on waltz, tango and fox trot, and a fundraising ball in the spring. When the new West Side worship site begins, classes may be moved to another location to accommodate both congregations. Look for announcements in this newsletter, the worship bulletin and in the East Lounge at Hunter College [where Redeemer Presbyterian meets-Ed.]."
Two of the congregation's pastors, Dr. Timothy J. Keller and Dr. Richard P. Kaufmann, have signed A Statement of Identity for the Presbyterian Church in America, which has been recently distributed throughout the denomination. That document states: "We affirm that the moral law does forever bind all persons, those who are justified and those who are not justified, to obedience to it. . . . Christ in the gospel does not in any way dissolve, but rather strengthens, our obligation to keep the moral law (WCF XIX.5)." The Westminster Confessional Standards teach that the Sabbath is to be given totally over to public and private worship and to acts of mercy and necessity. These historic Presbyterian standards also teach that the Fourth Commandment prohibits unnecessary deeds, words, or thoughts regarding worldly employments and recreations.