It all started with a small group of faithful brothers and sisters from Radiance Christian Church in SF and an idea to plant a new church in South Bay. In the spring of 2016, Lead Pastor Mark Chun invited Ulysses and Christine Wang and their children, Audrey and Noah, to move from New York City to the Bay Area. Both lifelong New Yorkers and after serving at Remnant Church for almost 13 years, Ulysses and Christine believed that God was calling them to go. It was a difficult decision but they packed up their bags and moved across the country in August 2016, trusting God had new things in store for them.
Over the next year, the Wangs attended Radiance while they planned and prepped. A pre-launch team was formed in February 2017 and small group meetings of about 25 people began in March 2017. After much wrestling and prayer, they believed God gave them the name Renewal and the verse “Behold, I make all things new.” (Revelation 21:5). Their desire was to see people experience the power of the Gospel and be made new in Him!
Renewal Church officially launched on October 1, 2017 at the Sunnyvale Community Center. It has been amazing and exciting to see God unfold His plans for this church!
Ulysses has been heavily involved in Christian ministry since his college days. After graduating with a degree in finance from New York University and working in business for a couple years, Ulysses felt the call to vocational ministry. He received a Master of Divinity from Westminster Theological Seminary in 2006. For the past 14 years, he’s served as youth pastor, associate pastor, interim lead pastor, and missionary in Asia. He has a real heart for church planting and desires to cultivate a church where believers are passionate about engaging both in the Word of God and with the Spirit of God.
Christine was also very involved in campus ministry during her undergraduate years and counts that period of her life as very critical to her spiritual formation. She has served alongside Ulysses from the moment they were engaged, bringing a God-given creativity, wisdom, and compassion to their relationship. She worked as a project manager at a media agency in Manhattan until she had their first child. Christine is now a stay-at-home mom to their children – Audrey & Noah – fun and awesome kids who have run alongside their parents since they were born. She also oversees both the Renewal Kids and Youth ministries and takes care of church administration. Christine has a passion to see families be ministered to holistically so that parents can feel equipped to raise Christ-centered children!
Renewal’s beliefs can be summarized as evangelical, Reformed, and continuationist.
Evangelical because at the heart of all our beliefs is the Gospel of Jesus Christ – the marvelous truth that Jesus died and was raised so that sinners could be reconciled to God.
Reformed because we are committed to the doctrines of grace and an unshakable belief that the Bible is the sole infallible source of truth of authority.
Continuationist because we believe that the supernatural manifestations of the Holy Spirit, commonly referred to as the “gifts of the Spirit,” are both active and to be sought after in the church today.
STATEMENT OF FAITH
The Statement of Faith affirms the church’s commitment to sound biblical doctrine and to the core beliefs to which it is committed. Christianity involves essential truths which are taught in Sacred Scripture and are meant to embody our faith and guide our practice. These truths—which reveal the nature, character, work and promises of God in the gospel—form the foundation of our faith and the center of our fellowship.
The theological distinctives within the Statement of Faith reflect what distinguishes Renewal Church from other churches who would affirm the basic doctrines. These distinctives indelibly shape the way that Renewal is led and the direction the church is headed. We do not expect all members to embrace all aspects of these distinctives, but members should expect that the distinctives will be maintained in all ministry environments at Renewal, and members may not teach contrary to them.
We accept the Bible – the 39 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament – as the written Word of God. The Bible is the only essential and infallible record of God's self-disclosure. It leads us to salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. Being given by God, the scriptures are both fully and verbally inspired by God. Therefore, as originally given, the Bible is free of error in all it teaches. Each book is to be interpreted according to its context and purpose and in reverent obedience to the Lord who speaks through it in living power.
All believers are exhorted to study the Scriptures and diligently apply them to their lives. The Scriptures are the authoritative and normative rule and guide of all Christian life, practice, and doctrine. They are totally sufficient and must not be added to, superseded, or changed by later tradition, extra-biblical revelation, or worldly wisdom. Every doctrinal formulation, whether of creed, confession, or theology, must be put to the test of the full counsel of God in Holy Scripture.
2 Tim. 3:14-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21; Matt. 5:17, 18; John 10:34, 35; 1 Cor. 14:37; Ps. 1:2; 19:7-11; Acts 17:11; James 1:18-25; 2 Tim. 2:15; 2 Peter 3:14-17; Gal. 1:8, 9
There is one God: infinite, eternal, almighty, and perfect in holiness, truth, and love. In the unity of the godhead there are three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – co-existent, co-equal, co-eternal. The Father is not the Son and the Son is not the Holy Spirit, yet each is truly Deity. One God and Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is the foundation of Christian faith and life.
Deut. 6:4; 1 Cor. 8:4-6; 1 Tim. 1:17; 6:15, 16; Daniel 4:34, 35; Isa. 44:6, 8; 45:5, 21; Matt. 28:19; 1 Cor. 12:4-6; 2 Cor. 13:14; Eph. 4:4-6; John 1:1, 14; Acts 5:3, 4; Titus 1:13; Heb. 1:8-12
God the Father is the Creator of heaven and earth. By his Word and for his glory, he freely and supernaturally created the world out of nothing. Through the same Word he daily sustains all his creatures. He rules over all and is the only Sovereign. His plans and purposes cannot be thwarted.
He is faithful to every promise, works all things together for good to those who love him, and in his unfathomable grace he gave His Son Jesus Christ for mankind's redemption. He made man for fellowship with himself, and intended that all creation should live to the praise of his glory.
Gen. 1:1-31; Ps. 104:1-35; Heb. 11:3; Isa. 40:26; Daniel 4:34, 35; Ps. 115:3; Eph. 1:11; Rom. 4:20, 21; Titus 1:2; Heb. 6:17, 18; 10:23; 2 Cor. 1:20-22; 2 Peter 1:3, 4; Rom. 8:28; James 1:17; Gen. 2:8; 1 John 1:2, 3; John 17:3; Rev. 4:10, 11; Isa. 43:7
Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, was the eternal Word made flesh, supernaturally conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary. He was perfect in nature, teaching, and obedience. He is fully God and fully man. He was always with God and is God. Through him all things came into being and were created. He was before all things and in him all things hold together by the power of his word. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation, and in him dwells the fullness of the godhead bodily. He is the only Savior for the sins of the world, having shed his blood and died a vicarious death on Calvary's cross.
By his death in our place, he revealed the divine love and upheld divine justice, removing our guilt and reconciling us to God. Having redeemed us from sin, the third day he rose bodily from the grave, victorious over death and the powers of darkness, and for a period of forty days appeared to over five hundred witnesses, performing many convincing proofs of his resurrection. He ascended into heaven where, at God's right hand, he intercedes for his people and rules as Lord over all. He is the Head of His body, the Church, and should be adored, loved, served, and obeyed by all.
John 1:1, 2, 14-18; Matt. 1:20; Luke 1:34, 35; Heb. 1:2, 3, 8-12; 4:15; 7:26; Col. 1:15-19; 2:9; 1 John 2:2; 4:14; John 3:16; Isa. 53:3-6; Matt. 20:28; 1 Peter 4:18; Rom. 3:23-26; Heb. 7:26, 27; 10:5-12; Matt. 28:1-6; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-12; John 20:1-29; Acts 1:3, 8-11; 2 Tim. 2:8; 1 Cor. 15:1-11; Heb.2:14, 15; Rev. 1:17, 18; Rom. 5:6-11; Rom. 8:34; Heb.7:23-25; Eph. 1:19-23; Col. 1:15-20; Rev. 5:1-14; 1 Cor. 1:22; John 14:21, 23, 24
The Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life, convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment. Through the proclamation of the gospel, he persuades men to repent of their sins and confess Jesus as Lord. By the same Spirit a person is led to trust in divine mercy. The Holy Spirit unites believers to Jesus Christ in faith, brings about the new birth, and dwells within the regenerate.
The Holy Spirit has come to glorify the Son who in turn came to glorify the Father. He will lead the Church into a right understanding and rich application of the truth of God's Word. He is to be respected, honored, and worshiped as God the third person of the Trinity.
Gen. 1:2; Rom. 1:3; 8:2, 6; John 16:7-11; 1 Cor. 2:8-13; 12:3; Eph. 3:16-19; John 3:5-8; Titus 3:5; 1 Peter 1:2; John 16:13-15; 14:17, 25, 26; Acts 5:3, 4; 2 Cor. 13:14; Matt. 28:19; Gal. 5:16-25; Eph. 1:13, 14
The Holy Spirit also imparts his supernatural gifts for the edification of the Body and for various works of ministry in the world. All the gifts of the Holy Spirit at work in the New Testament church are available today, are vital for the mission of the Church and are to be earnestly desired and practiced.
Acts 2:17-19; 4:29-31; 1 Cor. 12-14; Rom. 12:3-8; 1 Thess. 5:19-21; 1 Peter 4:10, 11
God made man – male and female – in his own image, as the crown of creation, that man might have fellowship with him. Tempted by Satan, man rebelled against God. Being estranged from his Maker, yet responsible to him, he became subject to divine wrath, inwardly depraved and, apart from a special work of grace, utterly incapable of returning to God.
This depravity is radical and pervasive. It extends to his mind, will and affections. Unregenerate man lives under the dominion of sin and Satan. He is at enmity with God, hostile toward God, and hateful of God. Fallen, sinful people, whatever their character or attainments, are lost and without hope apart from salvation in Christ.
Gen. 1:26, 27; 9:6; James 3:9; Ps. 8:3-8; Gen. 2:8; 3:1-13; Rom. 5:12-14; Gen. 3:23, 24; Rom. 5:6-14; 1 Cor. 15:22; Gen. 6:5; Ps. 51:5; 58:3; Isa. 53:6; John 3:3, 19, 20; 8:34; 2 Peter 2:12, 18, 19; 1 Cor. 2:14; Phil. 3:18, 19; Rom. 3:9-18; 8:7; Eph. 2:1-3, 12; 4:17-19; Isa. 64:6
Men and women are absolutely equal in essence, dignity and value, but are distinct by divine design. As part of God’s good created order, men and women are to have different yet complementary roles and responsibilities. We believe in the servant-leadership role of men in both home and church, and in the complementary function of women in contributing their abilities to supply the inadequacies and support the leadership of those men.
The position of this church is consistent with that articulated in The Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, by The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, www.cbmw.org. However, it should be noted that Renewal Church is a member church of Acts Ministries International, an association of churches representing a plurality of views on the roles of men and women in the church, including both complementarian and egalitarian views. Member churches, while free to govern according to their own Biblical convictions, should also treat with charity the convictions of churches with differing views, seeking a spirit of unity in the midst of diversity. It is here that the timeless words of German Lutheran theologian Rupertus Meldenius are most instructive: “In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things charity.”
We believe that, due to universal death through sin, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless born again; that salvation is only by grace through faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ; and that all who receive the Lord Jesus Christ through faith are declared righteous by God and become children of God.
We believe the Scriptures teach that regeneration, or the new birth, is that act of God by which the Holy Spirit imparts a new nature and a new spiritual life, not before possessed, and the person becomes a new creation in Christ Jesus. The mind is given a holy disposition and a new desire to serve God, the dominion of sin is broken, and the heart is transformed from a love of sin and self to a love of holiness and God.
John 1:12; 3:5-8; 6:44; 14:6; Heb. 10:19-25; Gal. 2:20; 3:26; 1 John 3:1-2
The salvation of humanity is fundamentally the work of God. Before the foundation of the world, God elected His people, setting his affection and grace upon them. In love God predestined his people for adoption. Faith is a gift of grace that is given by the mercy and pleasure of God, so that no one may boast. Apart from the intervention of God, humanity cannot choose of his own accord to worship God and pursue righteousness. God’s sovereignty in salvation is comprehensive: from first to last, all of salvation is the work of God.
Rom. 8:29-30; Eph. 1:4-6; Rom. 3; Eph. 2:1-3
God, by his Word and Spirit, creates the Church, calling sinful humanity into the fellowship of Christ’s body. By the same Word and Spirit, he guides and preserves that newly redeemed humanity. The Church is made up of those who have become genuine followers of Jesus Christ and have personally appropriated the gospel. The Church exists to worship and glorify God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The ministry of the Church is an extension of the ministry of Jesus in the power of the Spirit.
The ultimate mission of the Church is to bring glory to God by making disciples. The Church is called to make disciples through worship, prayer, teaching of the Word, observance of the ordinances, fellowship, the exercise of our gifts and talents, and the proclamation of the gospel both in our community and throughout the world.
We believe there are two ordinances of the Church. One is that of believer’s baptism in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and the other is the Lord’s Supper.
Matt. 16:18; 28:18-20; Acts 2:40-47; 13:1-3; 14:27; 15:41; 1 Cor. 1:2; Gal. 1:2; Col. 4:16; 1 Thess. 1:1; 1 Cor. 12:12-31; Eph. 4:8-13; 2 Tim. 2:2; 4:5; Heb.3:12, 13; 10:23-25; Acts 20:28-31; 1 Peter 5:1-5; Heb.13:7, 17; 1 Thess. 5:12-14; 1 Peter 4:10, 11; Rom. 12:3-13.
Water baptism is only intended for those who have received the saving benefits of Christ through the new birth of the Holy Spirit. In obedience to Christ’s command and as a testimony to God, the Church, oneself and the world, believers are baptized by water in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Water baptism is a visual and symbolic demonstration of a person’s union with Christ in the likeness of his death and resurrection. It signifies that a former way of life has been put to death and vividly depicts the release from the mastery of Satan, sin and death.
As with water baptism, the Lord’s Supper is to be observed only by those who have become genuine followers of Christ. This ordinance symbolizes the breaking of Christ’s body and the shedding of his blood on our behalf and is to be observed repeatedly throughout the Christian life as a sign of continued participation in the atoning benefits of Christ’s death. As we come to the table with an attitude of faith and self-examination, we remember and proclaim the death of Christ, receive spiritual nourishment for our souls and signify our unity with other members of Christ’s body.
Matt. 28:19, 20; Acts 2:38, 41; 8:35-38; 9:16-18; 10:44-48; 22:16; Rom. 6:1-14. Matt. 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:14-20; Acts 2:42; 1 Cor. 10:16, 17; 11:17-34. John 3:23; Mark 1:9-10; Acts 8:36-39; Rom. 6:4; Col. 2:12
The precedent we find in the New Testament is baptism following conversion by immersion into water. Baptism by immersion is meant to symbolically depict the believer’s real union to Christ in His death and resurrection.
John 3:23; Mark 1:9-10; Acts 8:36-39; Rom. 6:4; Col. 2:12
The consummation of all things includes the visible, personal, and glorious return of Jesus Christ, the resurrection of the dead and the glorification of those alive in Christ, the judgment of the just and the unjust, and the fulfillment of Christ's kingdom in the new heavens and the new earth. In the Consummation, Satan with his hosts and all those outside Christ are finally separated from the presence of God, enduring eternal punishment, but the righteous, in glorious bodies, shall live and reign with Him forever.
Married to Christ as his Bride, the Church will be in the presence of God forever, serving him and giving him unending praise and glory. Then shall the eager expectation of creation be fulfilled and the whole earth shall proclaim the glory of God who makes all things new.
Matt. 24:29-31; John 5:28, 29; 14:1-3; Acts 1:11; Rom. 8:18-25; 13:11, 12; 1 Cor. 15:20-58; 2 Cor. 4:16-5:10; Phil. 3:20, 21; 1 Thess. 4:13-5:11; 2 Thess. 1:5-12; 5:23; Titus 2:13; 1 Peter 1:3-9; 2 Peter 3:8-13; 1 John 3:2, 3; Jude 1:24, 25; Eph. 5:25-27; Rev. 1:7; 5:9, 10; 20-22
We uphold the following six values at Renewal Church:
We hold unwaveringly to the Bible as our ultimate guide for life and ministry.
Central to the life of any community of believers must be a commitment to faithfully study, meditate upon, teach and preach the Scriptures. Though millennia have passed since most of the Bible was written, its teachings and principles are timeless in their relevance to and applicability for our modern condition.
Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.
We relate to one another as members of the family of God.
The church is not primarily a social club, bound together by common backgrounds or similar interests, but rather a spiritual community founded upon our adoption as sons and daughters of God. With love as our rule, we seek to encourage, build up and correct one another, that each person may fully realize his or her potential in Christ.
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
—1 Peter 4:8
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
We realize that spiritual growth doesn’t happen by accident, but through an intentional decision to pursue Christlikeness.
One of the primary functions of the church is to provide an environment where everyone, regardless of where they are on their spiritual journey, can take the next step toward knowing and becoming like Christ.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”
Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.
—1 Corinthians 11:1
We believe that apart from God we can do nothing.
The true depth of such dependence is evidenced most clearly in a church’s commitment to prayer, both personal as well as corporate. Throughout history, the most powerful moves of God have invariably been precipitated by a renewed devotion to prayer, and we believe the same to be true for today.
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
— 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
—2 Chronicles 7:14
We seek the power and leading of the Spirit in everything we do.
The Holy Spirit is not a theological concept – He is the third Person of the Trinity who actively empowers us to live according to God’s Word and to participate in His mission. In addition to birthing faith within us and helping us to grow, the Holy Spirit’s presence is also manifested through spiritual gifts, healing and signs and wonders.
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.
—1 Corinthians 4:20
As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.
We endeavor to fulfill the Great Commission.
The second coming of Jesus is not a future event to be passively awaited, but a new era whose dawning we can participate in hastening. We seek to spread the Gospel locally, globally and among unreached people groups through witness, church planting and missions.
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.
—2 Peter 3:11b-12a
ACTS MINISTRIES INTERNATIONAL
Renewal Church is a member of AMI – a community of churches seeking to model the spirituality, vision, and partnership exemplified in the book of Acts. AMI is committed to developing disciples of Christ within our churches and spreading the gospel message to those who don’t know Christ through church planting and missions work.