50th Anniversary Celebration Focuses on our Future!

>> Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Sunday was a great morning at the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center as Orchard people from our 2 campuses (4 worship sites) gathered together for two worship services.

We gathered to remember what God had done and to prepare ourselves for what He will do in our future.  This gathering which had an attendance of 2,122 people and then this was followed by a lunch in our Cedar Falls facility for which the first 150 members of Orchard were invited including our Charter Members.

Here's a picture of our Charter Members who attended the lunch.  What an amazing history these folks have at Orchard.

Here's a picture of our Charter Members and their children who were a part of the founding of our church.  These people were a part of the small group that first met in the basement on Clearview Drive.

Our focus upon the future of our church was captured in the following four thoughts--

1.  It is a privilege to serve Christ...not a duty!
2.  Following Christ into the future always requires courage!
3.  We will all have "Surely not, Lord" moments where we are totally surprised by where Christ wants to take His Church.
4.  God is able to do more than we can ask or imagine!

The key verse for our celebration was Ephesians 3:20

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ jesus throughout all generations, for ever, and ever! Amen"


Global Summit Inspires and Challenges

>> Saturday, August 11, 2012

Three years ago Willow Creek asked us to consider being a Premiere Satellite Site for the Global Leadership Summit.  It was an honor to be asked but I drug my feet on this one.  Did we really want to make the staff and energy investment in this event during the first weeks of August when we were already working so hard to get our fall ministries ready for takeoff.  On top of that, I loved getting away to go to Chicago each August with a small team of folks from Orchard to attend the Summit there.

Our Management Team and the Leadership Board both thought we should do it and so we took it on.  In three years this has become a powerful spiritual event for many in our congregation and the entire Cedar Valley.

Most of our staff and Leadership Board attended.  In fact 269 people from our congregation alone attended this powerful and spiritual challenge these last two days.  God's Spirit was present and we have become one of the larger satellite sites with over 550 participants from 35 churches and many different businesses.

Our staff and volunteers did fantastic and served all of these churches and business teams so very well.  Here's a picture of some of our volunteers....

Here are some other pictures to give you a sense of the magnitude and power of this event.  We are so thankful to God for His work through Orchard's partnership with Willow Creek and the Global Summit.


Beautiful Day for Baptisms

>> Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Sunday was a beautiful day for baptisms.  We had 14 infant baptisms in our morning services and then 21 baptisms at the lake on Sunday afternoon. 

As each lake baptism took place, Doug read the testimony of each of the participants.  Approximately (my guess) 200 people cheered these followers of Christ on in this new commitment they were making.  The event is always deeply moving to my heart as I watch both young and old take next steps in their journey with Jesus.

I love the way that we allow for all types of baptisms and parent dedications as so many people from so many different backgrounds follow Jesus here at Orchard.  It was a great day!


Sometimes I'm so glad....

>> Saturday, August 4, 2012

Sometimes, I'm so glad to be a part of the church family at Orchard Hill Church!

Yesterday morning I arrived at our building at 7:00 a.m. and Melinda Cook was waiting by the entrance to deliver a cake for Drake Martin's funeral dinner before she left town for the day.  I opened the door and thanked her.  Before long, salads and desserts were be carried in one after another by women who mostly were on their way to work. 

The stream of desserts and salads continued as volunteers from our church family arrived to prepare and serve the lunch for Drake's family. Drake's daughters wanted this dinner to have a party atmosphere so our volunteers helped decorate the tables.  Our sound, music and tech volunteers helped with the music in the funeral service.   I believe very few of our volunteers personally knew Drake Martin, who died from a fall at Backbone State Park about a week ago.  But they were eager and willing to serve this member of their church family.

This is simply one small picture from among many each month.  It is a privilege to be "salt and light" in the name of Jesus Christ!


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