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Renew begins in Greenway

Renew begins in Greenway

Wed 26 April 2017

Renew Anglican Church publicly opened on 19 March 2017. Steve Boxwell shares, “Ever since I was 18 I’ve been praying for Canberra. I’ve been praying for the Anglican diocese and I’ve been praying for a movement of the gospel in this city, such that 10% of Canberrans would be part of gospel-hearted churches of all denominations in my lifetime. That looks like a quintupling of the churches in this city. At the time I had no plans of living in Canberra, or being in ministry in Canberra… But here we are! With a stellar team, a small army of prayer backers and an excited mother church, Renew
Anglican church has been birthed into South Canberra.”

Renew Anglican Church’s vision is to see Canberra transformed by the love of Jesus. Reverends Steve and Anna Boxwell gathered a team to start the church, which has been meeting and praying for the past 18 months. Most of the team members come from Lanyon Valley Anglican Church in far south Canberra, which was itself started 11 years ago by St Matthew’s, Wanniassa.

The team has been learning more about Tuggeranong, listening to the community, and considering their hopes, dreams, and fears. Anna Boxwell comments, “It’s normal for all of us to pursue safety, security and purpose in things other than God’s love for us in Jesus, but that will ultimately be futile. In light of what we’re learning about our local community, we’re seeking to shape each aspect of our church to demonstrate how the good news of Jesus meets all our deepest longings. The love of Jesus brings supreme safety, joy, hope, and transformation.”

On launch day Steve preached on 2 Cor 5:16-6:2, noticing Jesus’ loving
death in our place and our ambassadorial response to a message that extraordinary. Steve comments, “This has been a special passage for us as we’ve thought about starting a church for Canberra. Renew Church is an embassy of the Kingdom of God in the midst of a diplomatic town.”

At the first public gathering Renew had about 40 adults and 20 kids. The new church is meeting in Lake Tuggeranong College in Greenway, right on the banks of Lake Tuggeranong, and has been having BBQs after church to raise awareness amongst Tuggeranong’s dog-walking and active-wearing public.

As well as meeting together on Sundays, Renew has three Community Groups so far. These smaller groups meet weekly in homes, caring for one another, studying the Bible and praying, and seeking for God to use them to share the love of Jesus. Renew are also running a three-week introduction to what Christians believe, and a partnership course for people who would like to be part of the church.

Members of Renew, Tim and Marion McLaren (pictured top right), share about their involvement with this new venture: “We love and are also daunted by being involved in setting up a church and shaping its culture. What a challenge and privilege! Renew is close to where we live, so inviting our friends and neighbours works quite naturally. We love how our kids enjoy church and feel a sense of ownership; we love our church family; and we are so excited to see Canberra transformed by the love of Jesus, because it’s like nothing else in existence.”

Renew is supported by the church planting organisation, City to City Australia.

Find out more: renewchurch.org.au

Please join Renew in prayer:

• We’ve begun our first intro to Christianity evenings using the course called 321. Please pray that those attending would hear the gospel, see it ‘lived in’ and come to faith.

• Pray for our church – that we’d be frank and fearless in holding out the message of Jesus’ love.

• Thank God for the team of people who have counted the cost of starting our new church and are working at it with all their heart. Pray that God would sustain our efforts and we’d be quick to disciple others into service, for God’s sake.

by Reverend Anna Boxwell

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