We Love Bellingham

Post written by Brandon Adent

Some years ago, I had a conversation with a friend. I think he was in his mid-late 40s, and I in my early 20s. At the time, I was quite free-spirited in my thinking. I had no emotional attachment, I thought, no reason to stay in Bellingham. I’d moved from the Portland, OR area and had no intention of returning. I’d get my degree and chase whatever dream I had when I was done.

I’d do what I came to do, and move on.

As I explained this, my friend looked at me and said, “Save yourself the trouble. I’ve been a lot of places, and this is the place to be.”

I half chuckled. Sure. Whatever.

But now, seven years later, I’m still here. And Bellingham is still growing on me.

Redeemer Church is a community of people from a variety of backgrounds, with a variety of preferences. Some of us live in Lynden, or out in the county. Others would prefer not to wake to the smell of cow manure (kidding... love you, Lynden!) Here's two of many reasons that Bellingham is really, really awesome.

The People

I often joke that in Bellingham, 5-10 minutes late is still on time. This unspoken rule has definitely saved my tofu a number of times.

Our slogan is “The City of Subdued Excitement”. People tend to be mellow, friendly, and perhaps a bit private. But once you start developing friendships and make connections in the community, you see people you know everywhere, and you realize how small Bellingham is for being 80,000 people large, in addition to the 13,000 students that call Bellingham home during the academic year while attending Western Washington University.

A lot of people are into biking, hiking, rock climbing, mountaineering, skiing, boating, or one of a number of other outdoor activities due to our incredible location, and many people are into sustainable living and trying to be good stewards of the planet.

Over all, Bellingham is full of chill, awesome people. Honestly, if the people weren't as cool as they are, there's not a whole lot that could compensate.

The Location

Bellingham is basically close to everything.

The beautiful San Juan Islands are only a ferry ride away.

Mountain escapes are easy, if you’re into that sort of thing; less than an hour to the national forest and Mt Baker Ski Area, and about two hours to the North Cascades National Park. The Canadian Coast Range is about two hours to the north, and Whistler Ski Resort just over a three hour drive away.

And that’s travel time relative to what? The ocean. Yes. Beach to mountains in about an hour.

Maybe the mountains aren’t your thing? There’s parks everywhere, and trails connecting them. There’s lots of community events like Ski To Sea, movies on the Fairhaven green, Downtown Sounds, minor league baseball games, First Friday Art Walks, and so much more. We’re also driving within an hour and a half from Seattle to the south and Vancouver, BC to the north.

Whatever environment you’re into, you’re not far from it in Bellingham. Unless, I guess, you want coconuts and palm trees... and hundred degree heat... yeah. We don't have those. But there's nothing like a PNW summer.

There's A Lot To Love

There’s a lot to love about Bellingham. I asked our community group what they loved about the place we live, and here’s what they had to say.

  • Most of all, I love the community.
  • I love Bellingham because I feel like it has the amenities of a city with the feel of a small town.
  • I love the good schools.
  • I love the mountains and the lakes and the streams and rivers and oceans.
  • I love that we do progressive (annoying) things like banning plastic bags and having a thousand different garbage can options.
  • I love the focus on sustainability and how bike friendly the city is.
  • I love all the events put on by the city that encourage us to love Bellingham and get to know one another.
  • It’s not pretentious.
  • I love the non-for profits that focus on making our community a better place.
  • I love the many churches that I see come together for events and that make a difference in our community.
  • There is a large focus on loving the city and those in it.

Redeemer Church is a community of people who love Jesus, love where we live, and want to see Him glorified in our lives as we interact with the people in our city. If you have lived here for awhile, take a second and reflect on why you love it here.

If you’re moving to the area, have no fear! We trust that you’ll at the very least find it a beautiful place filled with friendly people.