ReNew of Northwest Florida (“ReNew”) was founded by Ronnie McBrayer in September 2017, in the face of an historic hurricane season to meet some of the overwhelming needs of those impacted. In the midst of the Covid-19 Pandemic however, a truly “apocalyptic” event in that it revealed and unmasked so much about the world, ReNew began to take a different direction.
Ronnie says, “An apocalypse is not the end of the world. It is a beginning. It is an unveiling – of the status quo to be sure – but it also reveals a possible future. Sitting still in quarantine; observing the deepening social polarization of recent years; conducting the most robust self-evaluation of my life (aided by a months-long recovery from the coronavirus); lamenting the epic collapse of the integrity of many religious communities; and watching the steady stream of people departing the church or faith altogether, has set my feet on the path ahead.”
“I am particularly concerned for those who are recovering from unhealthy religion,” Ronnie says. “This can mean those who are ‘deconstructing;’ those who have hit the theological ‘wall’ (so expertly mapped by Janet Hagberg); those who have exited or who feel exiled from mainline or evangelical congregations; and those looking for an authentic, honest means of renewing their faith. I hope ReNew can capture the ethos of Jesus when he asked: ‘Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Then, learn the unforced rhythms of grace…and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.’”
Thus, through ReNew, Ronnie seeks to create a network of individuals and communities who will cultivate meaningful, personal spirituality; promote healing from toxic forms of religion; and grow a Christ-minded faith expressed through love. When shaped by Divine Love and Christ-mindedness, people deepen their capacity for self-discovery and service to others. Discovering and surrendering to this “life of love” can bring wholeness to both the seeker and the world.