God Sightings!

One of our core practices at Sequoia is to celebrate the ways we see God working in our midst.  We start most staff meetings and leadership meetings with the question:  “Where have you seen God working?”   We call this time – “God sightings” because these highlights are evidence of God’s on-going presence with us as we serve Christ and help others experience His Kingdom.  God sightings help align us to the workings of the Holy Spirit and they keep us encouraged in the journey.  We thought it would be helpful to recount some of our God Sightings from 2022.  

• God used the emphasis on the rhythms of the COMA method and ACTS prayer to help us grow as disciples within our Impact Communities throughout the year.  
• God used the Wisdom that Works sermon series at the start of the year, based on the book of Proverbs, to encourage and equip our people to live with wisdom.  
• In February we had an inspiring Vision Night and Annual General Meeting (on-line) and 83 people joined in to hear about God’s faithfulness to our church family.  
• God blessed our 6 Impact Communities that engaged with the Coldest Night of the Year (in support of Jericho Road, & The Mission) by raising over $11,000 to help the hurting and homeless in our city.  
• Our Youth enjoyed Snow Day at Camp Cherith, where they were encouraged to live for Jesus.  
• Our Sequoia Kids Min team ran a fun March break day camp in partnership with Bethel Church.
• We launched Bible Buddies in Kids Min, to encourage our young ones to read and study the Bible and we learned that several of our Sequoia children committed their hearts to Jesus!  
• Our Guest Services team added the Welcome Video and several other elements to our services to help us stay connected and foster greater discipleship engagement.  
• Ottawa was blasted by a May storm and people sprung into action to serve at The Haven, the Barrhaven Not-for-Profit, and other areas impacted by the devastating storm.  The storm cleanup took several weeks and many people served the City in partnership with Samaritans Purse and Respond Ottawa.  
• God blessed the Big Give at Ottawa Christian School in June, and we had the most volunteers and donations to date, and we were able to bless so many people from our community.
• We enjoyed celebrating Canada Day with our community and we hosted a mission team from Louisiana, who helped us proclaim and demonstrate God’s love in tangible ways.  
• 60 children attended the Sequoia Day Camp in July, to hear about God’s amazing love, led by an incredible team of adult and youth leaders.    
• We partnered with Athletes in Action in August for our multi-sport Camp and 60 campers were encouraged and empowered by a dedicated team of adults and youth leaders.  
• We hosted 5 Movies in Park throughout the summer in the Barrhaven area and partnered with Southeast City Church on a 6th MITP.  It was so fun to be back in the park having conversations with friends and neighbours from our community, trusting God to water these seeds.
• The Youth were challenged and inspired at the No Other Name conference on Good Friday as well as the Change Conference in the Fall.
• Sequoia Youth implemented a youth core team to help develop our youth towards becoming multiplying disciples of Jesus.  
• God raised up Abby Stewart as our first Sequoia intern and she added great value in Kids Ministry, Youth Ministry, and with Guest Services.    
• We launched our 4th Servant-Leadership Cohort with 15 people excited about growing in their faith and leadership.  We see God working in significant ways through this helpful 10-month faith journey.  
• We saw God’s people fill 100 shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child.  
• We launched a new Sequoia website in November, and we are seeing God use this to help more people connect to Christ and His Church.  
• We were so blessed to see 7 people publicly declare their faith through the step of baptism in November.  (Dave, Emma, Steve, Ehi, Happy, Jonah, & Ryder all took the plunge and it was a celebration of God’s  grace and goodness.  
• We celebrated God’s heart for family with 4 families who dedicated 7 babies/children to the Lord one Sunday in November.  
• We celebrated the 3-year mark in the Greater Impact Capital Campaign where we have seen God raise up over $600,000 through the generosity of His people towards the Impact Centre vision.  
• By God’s grace we saw two new Impact Communities launched in 2022 in the Barrhaven area.  
• We saw the heart of God displayed in our people as they gave generously towards the Christmas Star Outreach, where we supported 35 local families for Christmas.
• We continue to marvel at God’s work as He draws many new people and new Canadians to our church family.
• We thank God for the faithful group of people who continue to pray for Sequoia, every week on our Tuesday night Zoom call.  

We thank God for all the ways we see Him at work.  We also thank God for the ways He has been working that we haven’t mentioned.  God is faithful to build His church.  So we pray alongside the Psalmist when he writes in Psalm 115…

“Not to us, Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.”

We pray that Sequoia brings glory to God because He has been so kind to us.  It has been an incredible year and we thank God for His ongoing goodness to our church!  We also thank you for the ways that you reflect the love of God through your heart and service.  You play an important part in the life of our church family and we count it the highest privilege to serve the Lord and our city alongside you, and we look forward to the year ahead.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  

With love in Christ,

Ryan, Vanessa, Donna, Heather, Jeremy, & Abby (Sequoia Pastoral Team)