Andy Madsen

 Andy was first drawn to Oakland in his High School years, where he would take part in the worship gatherings of a great church on Lake Merritt called  Regeneration   Church . He witnessed a vibrant community that was full of imperfect people, and yet, it was clear that these folks who might not fit in anywhere else had found a  home and   community.  Regeneration was managing the tension of re-centering their lives around the teachings of  Jesus , and also doing this in a way that made sense for their Oakland  context .   His initial  call to church planting  began more than 15 years ago, when he was at a  Passion Conference , and heard God speak to his heart:  create environments where people can have an encounter with me.    (In case you're wondering, no - Andy doesn't usually hear from God like that.  But it's pretty cool when it does happen! )  One of the many reasons Andy knew that it was time to plant a church in Oakland was simply because he really  loves  Oakland. It's his favorite place to hangout on his day off, meet up with friends, read, hike, explore, and people watch.  Andy will gladly  nerd out  with you about Jesus, being a dad, graphic design, Legos, Star Wars, dinosaurs, and whatever book he's currently reading. (Sarah would also appreciate it if you took a few books from his collection, as it's creating a  space problem  in their home.)  It's a dream come true to live in  North Oakland , get to know his neighbors, and go on coffee dates with Sarah, David, and their dog Leia (named after everyone's favorite galactic princess).

Andy was first drawn to Oakland in his High School years, where he would take part in the worship gatherings of a great church on Lake Merritt called Regeneration Church. He witnessed a vibrant community that was full of imperfect people, and yet, it was clear that these folks who might not fit in anywhere else had found a home and community. Regeneration was managing the tension of re-centering their lives around the teachings of Jesus, and also doing this in a way that made sense for their Oakland context

His initial call to church planting began more than 15 years ago, when he was at a Passion Conference, and heard God speak to his heart: create environments where people can have an encounter with me.

(In case you're wondering, no - Andy doesn't usually hear from God like that. But it's pretty cool when it does happen!)

One of the many reasons Andy knew that it was time to plant a church in Oakland was simply because he really loves Oakland. It's his favorite place to hangout on his day off, meet up with friends, read, hike, explore, and people watch.

Andy will gladly nerd out with you about Jesus, being a dad, graphic design, Legos, Star Wars, dinosaurs, and whatever book he's currently reading. (Sarah would also appreciate it if you took a few books from his collection, as it's creating a space problem in their home.)

It's a dream come true to live in North Oakland, get to know his neighbors, and go on coffee dates with Sarah, David, and their dog Leia (named after everyone's favorite galactic princess).

 

Sarah Madsen

 Sarah grew up in Oakland's  Dimond District , and she'd tell you that growing up in Oakland was awesome. It's always been a  wonderfully diverse ,  culturally rich   city.   At the same time, it can also be a very  lonely  place. It can be hard to connect and know where you fit in. As a child, her family attended a church in Oakland almost every weekend. But  her church   never touched her home.   She would tell you:  We were never taught how to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. There were a lot of empty rituals that were never explained to us. When our family was experiencing pain from death and divorce, instead of help and encouragement, we experienced judgment. Thankfully, God was faithful to draw me back to him after my college years, but I wonder how things could have been different for our family if we had a loving church community that helped us to know Jesus?   It's her hope and prayer that this new church community will  create for others what was lacking when she was growing up  - a place where everyone has a place to  belong , and where they will have transforming encounters with  Jesus .  Sarah loves to create space for people to encounter God through  music and the arts . She sings and plays guitar, and her favorite person to sing to is her son  David . Whenever she has the opportunity, she's taking  dance classes  at Shawl-Anderson Dance Center in Berkeley.  Sarah is finally embracing the truth that she is, in fact, an  extrovert . (Absolutely no one in her circle of family and friends was surprised about this recent discovery. She is reluctantly embracing the category, while maintaining plenty of introverted tendencies.)

Sarah grew up in Oakland's Dimond District, and she'd tell you that growing up in Oakland was awesome. It's always been a wonderfully diverseculturally rich city.

At the same time, it can also be a very lonely place. It can be hard to connect and know where you fit in. As a child, her family attended a church in Oakland almost every weekend. But her church never touched her home.

She would tell you: We were never taught how to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. There were a lot of empty rituals that were never explained to us. When our family was experiencing pain from death and divorce, instead of help and encouragement, we experienced judgment. Thankfully, God was faithful to draw me back to him after my college years, but I wonder how things could have been different for our family if we had a loving church community that helped us to know Jesus?

It's her hope and prayer that this new church community will create for others what was lacking when she was growing up - a place where everyone has a place to belong, and where they will have transforming encounters with Jesus.

Sarah loves to create space for people to encounter God through music and the arts. She sings and plays guitar, and her favorite person to sing to is her son David. Whenever she has the opportunity, she's taking dance classes at Shawl-Anderson Dance Center in Berkeley.

Sarah is finally embracing the truth that she is, in fact, an extrovert. (Absolutely no one in her circle of family and friends was surprised about this recent discovery. She is reluctantly embracing the category, while maintaining plenty of introverted tendencies.)