Amanda is a third year social work major and a psychology minor. She is from Belleville, Ontario. Check out here LAUNCH Profile below.
Welcome to Redeemer! If you want to spend your time at Redeemer learning more about Hamilton and serving others then Deedz is a great opportunity to do so. Every Friday night, anyone who is interested will meet at the rec center and then take the city bus downtown. Once we are there, we hand out hot chocolate to people walking by and engage in conversation with them. Deedz is a great opportunity to share God's love with others, whether it's through a smile or offering hot chocolate or sharing the gospel or just listening to others share their lives with us. We go out with the mentality to bless others but we also are blessed in return. Through Deedz I have learned so much about different perspectives on life and have gained a couple of friendships downtown. Deedz is also a great way to meet fellow Redeemer students and make new friends. I was a Deedz leader last year and I will be again this coming year. I consider my fellow Deedz leaders as some of my closest friends. I hope to see you guys on Friday nights once the school year starts!
Amanda is a third year social work major and a psychology minor. She is from Belleville, Ontario. Check out here LAUNCH Profile below.
So you’re all coming with different stories, different backgrounds and different reasons for different majors, different purposes and different goals, but here’s the one thing you all can’t change. You’re all here at a Christian university, and this is my challenge to you: to keep and grow your faith during your time at Redeemer. I can hear your responses already, “How hard can that be? Isn’t Redeemer a Christian university?” Hear me out.
Some of the most wonderful things I have grown to appreciate about Redeemer are that the professors pray before class, chapel is held on campus every Wednesday, and dorms openly hold spontaneous worship sessions on their porches. However, these are exactly the kinds of things that can have a way of making you feel way too comfortable with your spot in the Redeemer bubble. I’m not saying for a moment that the bubble is bad. I like the bubble! But get too comfy in this bubble for one moment, and you will not succeed at meeting my challenge!
The presence of such things on campus (prayer, chapel, worship) does not mean everything is always going to be happy and easy. During your time at Redeemer you will most likely struggle and hurt for reasons that may or may not be school related. When these moments hit, the first part of my challenge to you is not to fall into the idea that just because you’re in a safe, Christian environment, moments of struggle and hurt won’t affect you. The second part of my challenge to you is to use the people and events at Redeemer to help you keep and grow your faith. Whether you choose to interact with professors, RA’s or porchmates will be up to you and whether or not you choose to attend chapel, HotSpot, or Church in the Box will also be up to you. I guess my point is that these people and events are here for you, but it’s kind of a two-way relationship. Your RA will be there for you, but I challenge you to let them be your mentor. Church in the Box will always happen once a month, but I challenge you to attend and make an effort to soak in the worship and the message.
The third and final part of my challenge to you is this: step out of the bubble once in a while. It’s a good bubble, but why keep it to yourself? Perhaps you’ll even surprise yourself at how you might be able to keep and grow your faith when you get off campus and get involved with a downtown ministry or a kids club at a local church. I know it surprised me.
So there’s my challenge to you for this school year. You can take it or leave it, but let me know how it goes for you!
- Sharon Ngai
You begin packing for your first year of university and you suddenly realize how many things you use every single day. The next thing you realize is that you’re really unsure of what you should and shouldn’t bring to your dorm at Redeemer.
1. Bedding. Your bed has to be comfortable and cozy to sleep in, but it might serve a couple of other functions as well. If you’re like me, you’ll already be super excited about decorating your room. One way you can do this is by bringing sheets/pillow cases/a duvet cover with interesting designs on them. Your bed might also turn into a prime hangout spot during the day so a few extra pillows might be a good idea.
2. Alarm clock. This is useful if you have early classes or if you need a wake up call from your afternoon nap. It’s also handy to always know what time it is so you’ll (hopefully) never be late.
Hey there, future friends!
You may notice on your account statement for the upcoming semester a fee called “Student Senate Fee.” You might be wondering, what is that for? Well, Student Senate is the student government body at Redeemer, which is a little bit like your high school student council but with a lot more responsibility (and maybe a lot more fun too)! We act as a liaison between students and administration and provide funding for a variety of clubs and activities, as well as handle the contract with the Redeemer bus system. Our vision is to glorify God through all of our actions, seeking to advance His kingdom and to promote a spirit of service within the student body. Because this is a very broad scope, we narrow it down into thirteen positions filled by dedicated students.
We have a President (that’s me, Danica), who chairs our meetings, provides direction, and regularly meets with administration. We have three vice presidents: Finance (TBD), who handles the budgets for clubs and advises on financial issues; Student Affairs (Keith), who brings student concerns to Senate, assists the President, and organizes panels; and Communications (Hayley), who handles all correspondence through email@example.com, puts announcements in the daily Timeout email, sends out weekly emails, and manages the Senate Facebook Page. We have two committee chairs: our Spiritual Activities and Services Committee (SASC) Chair (Laura), who runs events such as 24/7 Prayer Week, Hotspot, and Fall and Winter Retreat; and our Activities Chair (Jackie) who puts on events such as Coffeehouse, Harvest Hoedown, and Banquet.
To say I was really excited to live in Hamilton when I first came to Redeemer is a bit of an overstatement. I grew up in a town just outside of the city, where most people choose to go in the opposite direction of Steeltown. As I ventured off campus, however, I discovered a city completely opposed to everything I grew up hearing described. I discovered a vibrant and ambitious city with a flourishing arts scene and beautiful natural landscapes. It’s safe to say that I fell head over heels in love with Hamilton throughout my first year at Redeemer – so much so that I now live downtown! As a result, here I am writing a blog post to YOU, the incoming student, about why you should love Hamilton too. So here are my top five reasons why you are bound to fall in love with your new city of residence:
1) Art Crawl – If there is one thing you can do at least once during the school year, it is attend one of the monthly Art Crawls on James St. North, which take place every second Friday of each month. After attending my first crawl (which is aptly named as you slowly ‘crawl’ between art galleries), many of my misconceptions about Hamilton disappeared. I found myself walking along a funky street, looking at the work of some really creative artists and passing by talented buskers. Eat a meal at one of the many nearby restaurants or food trucks, grab a warm drink at the Mulberry Coffeehouse, and take a stroll with some friends!
2) Waterfalls – When you drive by this sprawling city on the highway, you might discount it completely based on its industrial appearance. You will soon discover, however, that Hamilton is actually a city of natural splendor! Hidden along its tree-covered escarpment are many wonderful trails leading to beautiful waterfalls. These are great places to take photos, and even take a shallow dip (if you’re really adventurous!). Check out www.cityofwaterfalls.ca for a comprehensive list of waterfalls in the area!
Redeemer has a rich live music scene involving current students, alumni, and other local musicians. This music scene has grown organically with intentional additions of fertilizer from the university administration to assist students who are exploring their gifts of song-writing and performance. Performing in front of audiences are great learning opportunities, so Redeemer tries to create a variety of options for all skill and commitment levels. Below, I’ll outline some of these different venues of live performance available (in order of commitment).
Coffeehouse is a monthly gathering of students organized by Student Senate that includes skits, comedy, poetry, and live music. Any student can sign up to perform and are given time for one or two songs. Many students enjoy this outlet and are content playing at coffeehouses but have no interest in other opportunities.
If a band forms out of coffeehouse performances, or a student is a member of a local band, another opportunity is the annual Battle of the Bands in which 5 finalists are given 20 minutes to perform. These finalists are chosen by a student vote and a panel of judges. Usually there are 10 – 12 entries and some bands enter multiple years in a row and have to work hard to gain a finalist spot. This work is just a taste of the practice and skill needed to gain fans. Some bands work hard to craft a 20 minute set that they can show off to their friends and family under professional lights with professional sound and the memories, a few pictures and video is enough. The winner, as chosen by a panel of professional judges, is sent to a provincial competition with bands from other universities. The Arkells represented McMaster at this competition several years ago.
You’ll notice that once you get to university you suddenly have to pay for those textbooks that your high school classes provided for you. The good news is that there are several different and equally easy ways to save money and find the textbooks you need.
1. Once you know your class schedule for the Fall Semester, the best way to find out which textbooks you’ll need is by checking out the textbook list provided on Redeemer’s website. It’s updated on a regular basis and can be found by going to
clicking on future/current students
choosing “bookstore” from the drop down menu
clicking “textbook list” on the left side
choosing the appropriate semester: fall 2013
Click here if you have any trouble navigating the website.
2. Redeemer’s on-campus bookstore has all of the current semester’s textbooks organized by course code. It makes shopping for all the books you need really easy and efficient. For returning students, the bookstore buys back textbooks at 50% of the original price (as long as the textbook is in good condition and is the current edition). These textbooks are then sold through the bookstore to other students at a reduced price.
The on-campus bookstore is open Monday to Friday from 9:00am – 5:00pm and has extended hours during the first week of classes.
3. Located just outside of the bookstore is a bulletin board that students use throughout the semester to post the titles they are selling or are looking to buy. Since the location is right in the middle of the academic building, it usually has quite a bit of traffic between classes.
4. For today’s online generation, the bulletin board has conveniently been taken online. There is an open Facebook group, which describes itself as “a group to help everyone find the textbooks they need for the [current] school year and to sell those they no longer need.” It has served as a really helpful tool for incoming, returning, or previous Redeemer students. Just search “Request or Advertise your books – Redeemer U/C” in the Facebook search bar.
Having to buy textbooks may seem like a chore, but it can be made a lot easier if you check out the tips above. You’ll save money on the textbooks you need, earn some money back with the textbooks you sell, and maybe you’ll even find a few books that you’ll want to keep!
Prior to beginning my studies at Redeemer, I spent 6 months serving a church community in the urban metropolis of Manila, in the Philippines. Coming out of this experience and entering an academic community, finding ways to serve the poor and finding opportunities to pursue justice were priorities. Thankfully, I found myself in a community filled with people with similar passions, and opportunities to serve were not hard to find. I soon found myself being mentored and encouraged in my endeavours by a Redeemer staff member.
Around the same time that I began my studies at Redeemer, Steve Dykstra began his role as Community Development Coordinator. In this role, Steve has worked hard to connect students with volunteer opportunities in the city while also developing a Community Service-Learning program at Redeemer. This program aims to provide students with the opportunity to learn experientially by integrating community service with academic learning. As I became more involved in the leadership of Redeemer service activities, Steve was always available to help me reflect on how and why we serve. Furthermore, he challenged me to think differently and wrestle with the implications of service to the poor. Steve lives downtown with his wife and his baby boy Samuel, and as I fell more and more in love with the city of Hamilton (yes, it’s possible!), he served as an example of living intentionally in all areas of life.
You probably know that going into first year with a little bit of fear is inevitable. Maybe you’ll be moving to a new city, into a new community, or maybe just away from the comfort of the home you grew up in. But you probably also know that beginning post-secondary education is exciting and opens up so many new opportunities.
You’ve heard it all before: university is a time to make new friends, a time to learn (even if it is just how to cook for yourself) and a time to experience life in ways you never thought were possible. But university is also a time of transition, a time of unknowns, and a time that will challenge and stretch your faith – and let me tell you… this is the stuff I underestimated.
The aspect of my first year experience that taught me these things the most was dorm life. It might be easy enough to read up on the classes you might be taking and the professors you’ll have and maybe even the orientation events you’ll be participating in as a first year student at Redeemer, but it might not be so easy to prepare for dorm life (trust me, preparing for this requires a little more than stalking your new housemates on Facebook).
How many universities do you know that will pretty much stop and gather together to devote an hour for worship each week?
Redeemer understands how stressful university life can be for students with readings, papers, etc… We have to do the work, but at the same time we must humble ourselves and listen to He who is above all. Chapel is offered once a week – every Wednesday at 11 AM – where the president, staff, faculty, and students are all equal under God our heavenly Father; it is beautiful to see over 50 Christian denominations come together and worship the One True God, the Alpha and Omega.
Chapel consists of a worship team – predominantly made up of students and our chaplains of course. These 50 minutes is a time not only of prayer, songs, and reflection of the Word of God, but it is also a time to unwind and unload from the busyness of university life – to be at rest in the Fathers arms. A cell phone can’t go for a long time on one charge, can it? So it is the same with you and I; we can’t go for long on one charge, we need to plug ourselves to that Life source and get a energy boost, this one is closer then Starbucks and its FREE lol…
One of my favorite songs we sign is called “My Friends May you Grow in Grace” (I get choked up even watching it on youtube lol). Here at Redeemer we are more than a university, there is always something new that we find that makes Redeemer home away from home – chapel is one of those things.