Orchard Hill on a Mission

Jeff Mickey, Doug Tensen, Brian Steenhoek


Fewer than 1 in 10 senior pastors are able to articulate what they believe is God's vision for their church. We shared this statistic with more than 160 leaders, who joined us for our annual January leadership huddle on Saturday, January 20. This statistic comes from Will Mancini, the author of Church Unique, who suggests that if church attendance in America is in decline and if the influence of the church in America is fading, "the most important problem is the lack of a clear, heart-grabbing vision."

Solomon writes in Proverbs 29:18 (NIV), "Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom's instruction." The King James version is more familiar to many of us - "Where there is no vision, the people perish." Whatever else Solomon is trying to express in this passage, it seems that VISION is really, really important. And, it seems that vision comes from God's word. When people don't engage with God's word and practice his wise instruction, chaos ensues and sometimes even leads to death. As a growing church, on 3 campuses, we must be clear on our unifying vision grounded in God's word if we are going to avoid chaos and stick together on the mission God has given us.

Leadership huddles are mission critical to help us share and continue to develop this unifying vision. Our mission points us in the right direction, like a compass. Vision is like a Polaroid picture of the destination we're heading to. It's dynamic and reveals itself in fresh pictures as you journey on your mission. Sharing stories of God at work in the lives of those on mission with Orchard, and those being impacted by that mission, is one way we share these pictures.

We began the year at The Gathering with a vision of us being like the giant bucket at the swimming pool as it fills up with water and starts to tip over, it spills onto all who get under it. We want to help people encounter the splash of God's love through life with Jesus and join in the journey of following Him to become like the bucket that remains under the flow of God's love, until we are so filled with His love it pours out of our lives. What's cool, is that this is both the vision of the destination God wants to bring us to AND it also forms a virtuous cycle with our mission. As people begin pouring out God's love, they can't help but fulfill the mission of helping next generations encounter and follow Jesus to bless a broken world.

Along the way, there are many expressions of how this transpires. A high school student involved at Big House recently encountered Jesus and it transformed him in incredible ways. After hearing a message one Wednesday night, he took his encouragement back to his school, decorating his locker, he placed several designed notecards in a cardholder and invited people to take one if they would like to know more about God, His grace, love and good news for them. Within one week, all 40 notecards were taken. He is now working to distribute 100 more of these cards to the students in his school. This an incredible Polaroid of our vision being reached. Here's another expression of vision realized: a young woman is invited to come to our Christmas Eve services. She is not a regular church attender anywhere and faith has not been a part of her life. After encountering Jesus through this service, she not only returns the following week, but she invites her friend who also is not a regular church goer.

We thank God and all of you who are helping to provide these amazing Polaroids. We love seeing them and hearing how our mission is being accomplished by God through you. We also know that there are many more expressions of vision yet to be revealed. Curt Patterson, one of Orchard's core leaders and a former leadership board member, reminded us of one of the reasons Orchard is staying effective and relevant is because the board, staff, and ministry leaders continue to listen to people and pay attention to their spiritual gifts, strengths and passions to discover fresh views of vision and new ways God wants to lead us to accomplish the mission. Throughout the years, there have been many fresh pictures and many question marks about what God might do next. At one time starting a campus in Grundy Center was a question mark, as was building a Grundy County worship center and starting a campus in Waverly. These are now realized visions. What's next? There are currently some question marks being thought about and discussed. We are excited to discover these with you.

"Where there is no vision, people perish. But blessed is the one who heeds wisdom's instruction." We encourage you to keep reading the Bible, engaging with God's word and allowing it to stir the passions in your heart as you live it out with others in your family, with your friends, co-workers, neighbors, and Orchard Hill Church family. And don't forget to share your Polaroids along the way!


Ash Wednesday

Wednesday, February 14 | 7:00 pm | Sanctuary

This is a traditional service of ashes and has been well received in the past. Ash Wednesday is the start of Lent, which is the 6 weeks leading up to Easter where we prepare our hearts for Christ's resurrection.

lenten lunch

Begins Ash Wednesday | Wednesdays, February 14 - March 21 | OHC Commons

Meal of soup, bread & dessert (Arrive anytime between 11:30am - 12:10pm) followed by a Lenten message. Meal donation: $4 suggested.

Feb 14: Paul Sabino, Candeo Church
Feb 21: Quovadis Martin, Hope City Church
Feb 28: Tim Boettger, Western Home.


Habitat for Humanity is an active partner in the Walnut Neighborhood. They are doing critical repairs, acquiring partners, and building relationships.

In late November, Orchard Hill hosted an informational meeting for people interested in learning about the mission and volunteer opportunities through Habitat for Humanity. OHC is planning 4 Saturdays to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity this Spring:  February 10, March 3, April 7, and May 5.

There are 10 spots for each of these Saturdays. Let’s fill that February 10 spot! Sign ups are located here: Volunteer Sign Up.


February 9 & 10 | Nazareth Lutheran Church | Women’s Conference

This 2-day simulcast gathering will bring women together from around the world to look at one of Paul's letters to Timothy as he reminded him of the power and responsibility of sharing the gospel. We want to give God away in the very places He's put us, so we're going to gather for the purpose of remembering why following God and making disciples matters. Click to register.  


Family Dance Party | February 23 | 6 - 8 pm | Community Center
This is an event sure to please everyone in the family and one you do not want to miss. Come one, come all to Family Dance Party. Along with all out dancing and showing off your moves, there will be games in the Atrium, light snacks, and, of course, glow sticks to top off the night. Everyone is welcome, so invite your friends, family, and neighbors. See you there!

VBS save the date! | June 10 - 14
We will kick-off on June 10 during the 10:45 morning service in the Community Center followed by a family picnic. Nightly sessions begin on Monday, June 11 and go through Thursday, June 14th. Look for additional information and registration details in the upcoming months. Mark your calendars!!


Love Does Dinner | February 8 | 7 pm | OHC Atrium
All are welcome to join us for a night of putting love into action with our friends from Try Pie! A free lasagna dinner will be served at 7 pm and then we will learn from and help Try Pie make over 160 pies for their business!

FREE College Lunch | February 18 | 11:45 am | OHC Commons All are welcome to join us after the 10:45 am services for a Soup & Sandwich Bar! Bring a friend to church and come hungry!

mens early breakfast

Friday, February 23 | 6:15-7:45 am | OHC Commons

Join us in the Commons for a great breakfast, 5-10 minute sharing, and a chance to get to know other men from the church. Everyone’s welcome, no need to register, come when you can. Contact Jeff Mickey: jmickey@orchardhillchurch.org.




Pensacola, FL | July 20-29 | $649 ($699 after February 14)

Open to high school students. $150 reserves your spot. For registration and more information go to: cedarvalleystudents.org/caravan. Contact: Elliot Tensen.

God mountain

God's Mountain | March 10-16 | ANY 10th-12th graders | $275

This trip is a great opportunity for students to serve, meet new people, have an absolute blast, and grow in their faith while they take steps closer to Jesus. For more information and to register, go to: cedarvalleystudents.org/missions. Contact: Elliot Tensen.

Ski & Shop

February 10 - 11 | Minneapolis, MN | 7th-9th grade students

Ski and Shop is our annual Jr High weekend of adventure. We accomplish a lot in these two days. We travel in excess of 400 miles in five charter buses. We fall down and get back up more times than we thought we could. We eat six meals together. We sleep less hours than could be counted on one hand. We shop till we drop. We blend into a megachurch congregation for a morning. But most importantly we grow in Christ by building a strong community though an opportunity for adventure. For more information and to register go to: cedarvalleystudents.org. Contact: Ben Konfrst.


ROUTE55 Title

winter study

Book of John | Thursdays | 11:15 am - 12:30 pm | Room 111  

No homework or book to purchase. We simply read and discuss the Bible together. Men and women are part of this group - all are welcome to join in at anytime! Contact Jean at 319.486.1340 or via email for more info.


Friday, February 2 | 6 pm | Commons

Jay Gaard will share stories & photos of 200+ unique bikes that he has restored, bought and sold across the world. Not a motorcycle enthusiast?  Please come for the great food and fellowship. Loose meat sandwiches, chips and root beer floats will be served at 6 pm—$3/per person. Invite a friend!


3rd Tuesday @ 8:30 am | February 20 | Gravy’s Diner.

Contact Marv Cook via email for more info.


Sunday, February 18 | 5 pm | Commons

Bring a dish to share. Table service and beverages will be provided. We hope you will stay for games. Sign up in the Route 55 binder or just show up!


Trip to Anamosa | Friday, March 2 | 8:30 am departure from CF Campus

Stops at the National Motorcycle Museum, Penitentiary Museum or shopping downtown - you choose! Lunch at The General Store Pub in Stone City. Cost TBD (~$15 + lunch). Sign up in the Route 55 binder by February 25.




Monday, February 12 | 7 -8 pm | Conference Room

Learn about baptism and ask questions. Baptisms on Sunday, February 18th.

growing up

Sundays, February 18 - March 25 | 9:00-10:30 am | Conference Room

An opportunity to belong in community and grow in your faith! Please sign up at orchardhillchurch.org/belongincommunity.

women's bible study

February 5 | 6:30 pm | Small Group Room

Join us as we begin a Max Lucado study on the Gospel of Matthew. Contact Diane Adair via email.

Lenten Lunch

February 21-March 21 | GC Community Center

Join us as we prepare our hearts for Easter by attending the community Lenten lunches.




Wednesday, February 7 | 5:30-6:30 pm | Grace Baptist Church, Waverly

Waverly Cafe is a partnership of local churches serving a FREE community meal every Wednesday night. If you are interested in helping prepare or serve the meal, contact Amanda Schara via email or 319.721.2502. Come to serve or just come to eat. Follow the Waverly Cafe on Facebook at /waverlycafe1.


Sunday, February 25 | 10:45 am | W-SR Middle School

All college-age people are welcome to join us for a FREE brunch immediately following the worship service in the Middle School Commons. All are welcome!


Monday, February 19 | 6-8 pm | 211 W. Bremer Ave.

Are you seeking a place to connect and belong in community? Join other women at The Table for conversation about life, relationships, faith and belonging. Bring an appetizer to share, bring yourself and some friends, and bring an open heart. Everyone is welcome! For questions and more information contact Meredith Smith via email.


February Schedule
Feb. 7: CHAOS @ Naz, carpool at 5:45 pm at Prairie Links
Feb 14: Waverly @ 211 W. Bremer 7:00-8:00 pm
Feb. 21: CHAOS @ Naz, carpool at 5:45 pm at Prairie Links
Feb. 28: Waverly @ 211 W. Bremer 7:00-8:00 pm


Weather Cancellation Policy

Subscribe to our texting service for all weather-related closings. To subscribe, send a text message to 319.553.6690 with a message of WEATHER.

Cedar Falls Campus - OHC activities will be cancelled whenever Cedar Falls schools are closed or let out early due to weather.


Congratulations to:

Seth & Danielle Martens on the birth of their son, Bentley Samuel, December 12
Brian & Cara Hintz on the birth of their son, Beckett Benjamin, January 10
Brian & Ashley Mader on the birth of their daughter, Elizabeth Marie, January 13
Josh & Rachel Blough on the birth of their son, Huxley Trice, January 16
Christina Rich who celebrated her 101st birthday January 27



As of January 28:

Needed Giving:  $168,707
Actual Giving:    $154,729

We encourage every follower of Christ at Orchard to give generously to provide for the needs of the church. Financial contributions may be placed in the offering on Sundays, sent to the church office, or set up electronically through Pushpay at orchardhillchurch.org/give.


Statistics for January

(4 weeks Average)

Cedar Falls Campus             1,264 
Grundy Campus                      276
Waverly Campus                     166

Total Average Attendance    1,706