There is a simplicity to Sequoia. We have no denominational affiliation, nor are we beholden to heritage (though we honor it). We care deeply about being our authentic selves. We are learning to be “comfortable with being uncomfortable,” as Jesus leads us to the unknown, the uncertain, the unforeseen, and the unexpected. We truly embrace the wonderful mystery that comes with a faith that is often risky and frequently whimsical. Our hearts are open and willing to behave in new ways as the Spirit leads and guides. We are, in all of those senses, simply following Jesus, wherever he may lead us. And by having the courage to follow in faith, we are fulfilling the biblical definition of discipleship and the human experience of faith. All this is summed up in our mission,
As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him.
Everything that Sequoia is ultimately about as followers of Jesus is captured in the following two phrases.
A safe place to heal
A Challenging Place To Grow
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
- Jesus (Matthew 11:28-30, MSG)
All of our ministry activity is anchored in three elements: Love Unconditionally, Question Boldly, and Serve Humbly. Together, these three values invite us into a process that we call "Spiritual Formation."
LOVE UNCONDITIONALLY // We have been captivated by the overwhelming, unconditional, and reckless love of God. We believe it is our highest calling and most central value to extend that same love to others. That love manifests itself in cultivating relationships where we sincerely know and are truly known by others. In this loving community, only Jesus' standards and his conditions are measured.
[Deuteronomy 6:4-5; Psalm 133:1; Mark 12:28-34; John 13:34-35; Romans 8:38-39, 12:4-5; 1 Corinthians 12:24-27; Galatians 6:2; Ephesians 3:14-19; 1 Thessalonians 5:14; 1 John 4:7-12]
QUESTION BOLDLY // We believe every honest question and every sincere questioner deserves a nonjudgmental and respectful response. We believe there is a wonderful joy in discovering more of God through study, devotion, contemplation, meditation, and conversation. We also believe that faith is not blind but rather wide-eyed, and open to the entirety of the world. We frequently doubt, question, misunderstand, and want to dig deeper. Through this kind of curiosity, we grow, we mature, we discover, and we wrestle with God.
[Joshua 1:8; Psalm 119:33-40; Proverbs 4:1-13, 18:15; Matthew 7:7-11, 16:19; Acts 17:10-12; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Timothy 3:16-17]
SERVE HUMBLY // The heart of the Gospel—the good news of Jesus—is a life laid down in service to others. We care deeply about the suffering that exists and work hard to alleviate that suffering with compassion, mercy, sacrifice, and dignity. We give our time and our abilities to care for those in our spheres of influence. By serving, we ourselves are also transformed.
[Matthew 20:26-28; 25:31-46; Philippians 2:1-11; James 2:14-17; Galatians 5:14]
SPIRITUAL FORMATION // Ultimately, this is all an invitation to a way of living that deepens our connection with God and strengthens our connections with our community. These behaviors make up a lifelong process that works in our hearts and transforms our lives.
[Psalm 51:10; Romans 12:1-2; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Philippians 1:6]