ReNewing Church in Oregon

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“Let me just admit, we’re not perfect. If you’re expecting perfect people, you’re not in the right place,” declared Rev. Josh Van Til, pastor of ReNew, a Christian Reformed Church plant in Corvallis, Oregon.

The newly renovated ReNew building, formerly Knollbrook Christian Reformed Church.

On Sunday, December 4, about 70 people worshiped together for the first of four monthly “preview gatherings.”

ReNew CRC will officially launch regular Sunday morning worship services beginning Easter Sunday 2012. “This is one of the ways that you can create momentum while growing your core group without burning everyone out,” said Van Til, “and still have time and energy to invest in community connection, meeting with neighbors, training leaders.”

Van Til said that he was called “to plant a new church where an old church once was.”

Two years ago Knollbrook CRC closed its doors. A group from the former congregation desired a church that could reach people in their community who are not connected to Jesus and his church. Currently a core group meets for prayer and leadership meetings.

ReNew is also sponsoring monthly community events this winter such as Christmas caroling and a Super Bowl party.

Many volunteers from the core group and community volunteered their time this summer and fall to renovate and repair the original Knollbrook building. “The purpose was to create the right tool for the job,” explained Van Til. “The building was not only in disrepair but was culturally irrelevant. The building is located next door to an elementary school and only one mile from Oregon State University, [but] the space would have been working against us as we try to reach young families and college students.”

Approximately ten people from the original Knollbrook CRC congregation attended the first preview service. Peter Carlson, former member of Knollbrook said that he is “really excited to see changes [and the] impact on community.”

About the Author

Amy Toornstra is a freelance news correspondent for The Banner. She lives in Salem, Oregon.

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