The seed for Renew San Diego was planted when Matt and Florence were ministering in the Mission District of San Francisco, welcoming and seeing transformation in people of every background. Over the years, friends from San Diego visited their church community and would say things like, “I don’t normally go to church. I don’t consider myself a Christian. I’m spiritual but not religious… and I love this. If a community like this existed in San Diego, I would be a part of it.”
After years of hearing this compelling invitation, in the summer of 2017 Matt and Florence sold their home in SF, packed up their kids and moved their family back to San Diego where they were both born; in order to start a church for all their thoughtful, skeptical, curious friends to grow in connection with God, community and their truest selves.
Upon moving back to San Diego, Matt and Florence built nothing for the first 6 months of Renew’s inception. There were no public gatherings and no official meetings… we didn’t even have a name. Before we launched anything, we met with hundreds of people to find out what our neighbor’s hopes, dreams and fears are. We explored the pain points of our neighborhood, and discovered amazing organizations and people doing great work to meet people in their need. With all this information, understanding, and relationships… we were ready to start meeting!
Our first official meeting was in January 2018 in Matt and Florence’s living room. It was a vision-casting bible study, white-boarding strategy session to best welcome and serve all our neighbors, and an incredible community meal. After months of envisioning what a church would look like that embodies good news to all our neighbors, that is accessible and attractive to our friends who are skeptical and spiritual but not religious, we prepared to meet for public Sunday worship gatherings in March 2017.
Since Easter of 2017 we’ve met weekly on Sundays and developed our capacity to serve our neighbors, especially those in great need spiritually, physically or emotionally. At Renew, you’ll find a community that reflects the diversity of center-city San Diego. We include people of every ethnicity and culture, wealthy and poor, orientation and marital status. It’s common to find a new friend who is coming off the streets and out of addiction sitting next to another member who holds multiple degrees and a high-powered career. You’ll find people who vote on different sides of the aisle in elections and have different tastes and preferences on everything from music to the best burrito spot in town. And we come together around Christ, who calls us all to himself and makes us family.
We are truly becoming a church for the spiritually thirsty and physically hungry, and we invite you to join in the mission of Renew San Diego!