World Renew Imagines More at Building Dedication
More than a hundred people gathered at 8970 Byron Commerce Drive SW, Byron Center, Mich., in the warehouse of the newly-completed World Renew U.S. headquarters to dedicate and bless the space and all of the work that will be accomplished there.
Over the next few weeks, World Renew employees will make the 10-mile trek from the denominational headquarters of the Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRCNA) on 28th Street in Grand Rapids and move into the new facility, making better use of the space available in both locations.
“Since the ministry began its outreach to people affected by poverty, hunger, disaster, and displacement worldwide,” said World Renew U.S. Director Carol Bremer-Bennett, “World Renew has been ‘imagining more’ in God’s presence according to Ephesians 3:20-21. ‘Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!’”
Bremer-Bennett opened the celebration with a brief history of the organization’s roots in the deacons’ ministry of Christian Reformed congregations which resulted in the denomination’s decision to form the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (now World Renew) on February 21, 1962.
This year World Renew celebrates its sixtieth year of ministry in a new location, celebrating God’s faithfulness and direction.
The themes of hope and gratitude were evident throughout the event, which included denominational and organizational leaders: Colin Watson, Executive Director of the CRCNA; World Renew U.S. Board President Becky Vander Zee; Canadian Board President Andrew Geisterfer; World Renew Canada Interim Director Kenneth Kim; World Renew U.S. Director Emeritus Andrew Ryskamp; World Renew DRS Director Robert Laarman; and President of Pinnacle Construction Michael Garrett.
“This building is a gathering place for people,” Watson said, “for those who work and those who are served. We are here to thank God for his faithfulness and from here, to disperse to do God’s will in the world. In all things, for his purpose, we serve Christ, the cornerstone. God is already at work through World Renew in this place, and we dedicate ourselves to what he will do in the future.”
Along with words of dedication, Watson anointed the main entrance of the building with oil. Attendees participated by praying quietly for the work of World Renew and marking their prayers with small pieces of ribbon throughout the building.
In addition to incorporating representative materials of World Renew’s work in the building’s global decor, such as raw wood and corrugated tin roofing, Saturday’s event also included rich cultural representation through a presentation by The Uruyange Rwandan Dance Group and a wood carving from World Renew’s Canadian Board.