Well, it appears we know where we are moving. Drumroll, please...
It's Waltham (WAWL-tham).
After several trips and a lot of study, it appears Waltham will be the choice of where we will be planting Renaissance Christian Church. It is a unique community on the fringes of the city; one that is going through a major transition. Historically, Waltham was a blue collar city full of factories and working class people, and also one that was a social service center for those not going to downtown Boston for such needs. Thus, the hub of Waltham still features lots of diversity and is full of need. Ethnic restaurants and grocery stores are in store fronts everywhere on Moody Street, the hub of the city life. Lower income housing and poverty are obvious needs that are visible in areas of the community.
At the same time, Waltham is an up and coming city. The population has surged over the last 15 years, and continues to do so (while also becoming increasingly secular). Besides being perfectly positioned in proximity to downtown for those commuting, it also has seen a major rise in tech start-ups due to its positioning at the corner of I-90 and I-95. Dozens of software and cybersecurity companies have made Waltham home, meaning young professionals are moving into the community at an unprecedented rate. Combine this with the two universities, Bentley and Brandeis, that call it home (Lasell and Boston College nearby), and you have the exact kind of community we went to Boston to find.
There are only a couple of English-speaking, Gospel-preaching churches in the community, which we've already connected with. We met briefly with the team at one of them who opened their doors to us and even encouraged us to come to Waltham. The lead minister upon meeting us actually said, “You’ll hear some church folks tell you there are too many churches here. They are wrong. We need so many more Gospel-preaching churches in this part of the city. I hope you’ll come.” How's that for an invitation?
So, be praying for our team as we begin the process of relocation. Both the Thurmans and the Rasches are currently trying to sell their homes and find new living situations in Waltham. We move out this summer! Let the adventure begin...