Orchard's goals and the denomination's goal match
“Wow – it’s stunning how in sync Orchard is with these RCA 15 year goals,” said Maribeth Boelts, a member of Orchard Hill’s leadership board.
Orchard Hill Church is a congregation of the Reformed Church in America (RCA), the oldest protestant denomination in the United States consisting of approximately 1,000 churches and about 200 new church starts.
At a recent national conference (called The General Synod), the RCA committed to focus its efforts for the next 15 years on the following three interconnected strategic priorities:
- Cultivating Transformation in Christ… developing passionate disciples filled with the Holy Spirit and the truth of the Word who effectively make followers of Jesus who live and love like him.
- Equipping Emerging Leaders of Today and Tomorrow… increasing the awareness that God is calling youth and young adults to become leaders.
- Engaging in Christ’s Kingdom Mission… expanding mission that is both local and global with equal passion and commitment.
According to Dave Bartlett, the RCA and Orchard Hill leaderships operate somewhat independently, so he finds the similarities affirming. “It’s uncanny how the leadership of the RCA and Orchard have tracked so much toward the same goals,” Dave said.
You can learn more about the RCA at www.rca.org.
Dave Bartlett says a church can be like a La-Z-Boy recliner sitting in the corner of the family room, or like a white water raft careening down a raging river. For years, Dave has challenged people at Orchard Hill Church to “pick up a paddle” and participate in the adventure.
“We need to be on mission taking waves and risks for God’s kingdom,” Dave says. “We need to pick up a paddle and serve – every one of us.”
Brenda Patterson, a volunteer at Orchard, told a story from one Friday evening in July:
Brenda was in the kitchen at 9:00 p.m. doing preparation work for Sunday’s Picnic in the Park lunch. She heard noise in the sanctuary and found Steve Sesterhenn, another Orchard Hill volunteer who was there to practice mixing sound on the new digital sound board. He wanted to be ready to use the new board on Sunday morning. Later Brenda ran into Tom Peterson, yet another volunteer, who came collecting cardboard. Tom leads the collection of Orchard’s office paper and cardboard for recycling. Brenda was struck by the realization that on this one Friday evening, three volunteers were quietly “picking up their paddle” and serving Christ’s mission at Orchard.
Because we believe in the priesthood of all believers – the belief that all believers are to minister to one another – we hope and expect that everyone who calls Orchard Hill their home will “pick up a paddle” by giving resources and volunteering time. Do you have a paddle in your hands?
If you’d like help finding a place to serve, contact Pat Oehler at firstname.lastname@example.org