RENEW COVENANT CHURCH
by Dave Sim
I am the pastor of Renew Covenant Church, a new multi-ethnic, intergenerational church with a vision to be renewed by God for the renewal of our neighborhoods. In 2017, our congregation move to a permanent location in Lynwood, Washington.
As we settled into the property, we found the outline of what was once a community garden, and before too long there was interest in resurrecting it with the hope that it could serve to connect the church to our community through getting our hands dirty and cultivating the land. We saw a way to live out our vision in a creative, holistic, and God-honoring way opportunity that would bring renewal to our church, our neighborhood, and the earth. Speaking from experience working with many young adults and millennials, I also saw this as a way to connect with those who want to integrate their faith and practice in ways that are truly meaningful in the world.
We began the work of restoring the garden the fall of 2017. Circlewood is helping us make our hopes and dreams into reality through strategizing, mentoring, and resourcing the garden project. They are also giving us a Biblical, theological framework for Creation care and mission which works within the context of Renew's mission and values. They are helping us connect this project to our wider mission, and we are excited to watch it grow.
(You can check out Renew Covenant at www.renewlynnwood.church)
A GARDEN STORY
by Christy Thwing
One evening while my husband and I were working in the garden with our two kids, a husband and wife walked through the parking lot. They stopped and asked if we had any jobs they could do for pay. My husband and I only had $14 cash between us, but we said, “Sure! You can help us as long as you like for $14.” We asked them to help us clean dead leaves off the parking spaces so the lines and entrance to the garden would be visible. It was a bigger job than we had anticipated, and it was great to have the help! That’s how we met William and Joyce.
While we were talking, we invited them to church and asked if they’d be interested in tending a plot in the garden. They said they were very interested. They had farmed in Kenya to supplement their family income, but since coming to the USA they had been quite isolated; they mainly spent time with their grown children. It has been such a blessing for us to get to know them. They have taught us a ton of practical farming tips about mulching, hand tools, and using water efficiently. They have also blessed us with their faith. Some of my favorite words of wisdom from them have been, “You never lose when you help someone.” and “The Devil is just trying to ruin our fun!” We are so blessed to have them in our garden community. In addition, one of our garden members spent several days driving William and Joyce to the library to use the computers to apply for jobs, and then to job interviews. It has paid off! William and Joyce have both found jobs! Praise God!