Stories from Renew Covenant’s Relaunch in Lynnwood, WA
By Dave Sim, Lead Pastor of Renew Covenant Church
5am Thursday. Our crew is starting the coffee up and setting up shop in the front of our church. At around 6am commuters begin parking in the church lot, a designated park-n-ride through Community Transit. Renew Covenant Church is now located in North Lynnwood on the very busy intersection of 164th ST SW and Manor Way. This is the former meeting place of Martha Lake Community Covenant Church which closed its doors this past Summer after 70 years of ministry. A young man, who had come by a few weeks earlier, stops by the coffee stand saying, “I was hoping you guys would be here!” After several minutes of conversation he says to our crew, “I think I want to check out your church.”
“Actually, the music wasn’t too loud for me . . . it was wonderful actually.” This from a young woman in her 60’s, a member of the former Martha Lake church. Eighteen or so former Martha Lakers returned to the sanctuary to join Renew for our Grand Opening worship and building dedication. We had 75 plus adults and children at this first service. More beautifully our gathering was the Creator’s mosaic of different generations, of diverse socio-economic and racial-cultural backgrounds, and of souls journeying on such a variety of vectors and relative position to the church and Jesus. “And thank you pastor for bringing the word! It was so good and so refreshing.” I just wanted to hug this lady as I thought to myself, “Yes, this is all so refreshing! God is doing something new!”
A woman in a nice business suit shakes my hand and introduces herself. I recognize her from our Grand opening worship service. “I’m here to meet with Christy about the community garden.” Christy is heading up Renew’s community garden ministry. Renew has inherited from Martha Lake 14 raised garden plots that we are now offering to our neighbors to tend and plant. We are hoping to intersect a robust theology of creation care, our missional intentions to reach neighbors with the Gospel, as well as a strong desire to foster meaningful community in a culture of isolation, all through this garden. I leave Christy and Sarah to their meeting. An hour later, Christy emails our leadership team clearly excited. She says, “I had such a great meeting with Sarah. She wants to help me with the community garden! And she wants to help serve park-n-ride coffee! And did I say she was asking me if we had small groups?”
These three stories are snapshots that demonstrate why Renew is so excited to be re-launching in Lynnwood and stewarding this boon opportunity towards the embodiment of our vision and mission. The Renew dream is for people in North Lynnwood and beyond to experience the grace and mercy of God and to be transformed as images of God. We believe we are given to in order to give away, and so we will endeavor to love and serve our neighbors in tangible ways. At Renew we are renewed by God for the renewal of our neighborhood. Please join us in celebrating what God has already been doing and revealing to us!