Orchard's Blog: Stories, News & Events

Picnic in the Park


On summer Sundays in Waterloo’s Lincoln Park, passersby see children coloring with chalk, throwing footballs, playing bean bag toss, and simply enjoying each others’ company.

This summer marked the ninth summer in a row members of Orchard Hill Church have joined members of Harvest Vineyard Church and the community downtown for a free meal and worship celebration on the first and third Sundays of each month, June through September.

Picnic in the Park has allowed Harvest Vineyard and Orchard Hill to be a welcoming presence in the Walnut Neighborhood outside the four walls of our churches. Together, the two churches practice the hospitality and the love of Jesus by reaching out to neighbors through a meal, fellowship, and worship in Lincoln Park.

While the team typically serves about 225 meals, these Sunday morning gatherings provide more than a hot meal. Picnic in the Park provides an opportunity to begin building relationships with people you might not otherwise meet.  "It's important for families to eat together around the dinner table,” remarked one regular attendee at the picnic. “And Picnic in the Park is just one big family eating together in the name of Christ."

Orchard Hill believes God strengthens our partnership with Harvest Vineyard and people living in the Walnut Neighborhood through Picnic in the Park.

For more information about the partnership in the Walnut Neighborhood, please contact Laura Hoy or visit linkccd.org.



Orchard Hill has a long-standing tradition of offering fitness classes several times throughout the week. The Fitness program strives to open the doors of the church in a non-traditional format, offering fitness classes that feature positive music, a great workout and an uplifting message.

The newest class offered is REFIT®, a life-changing fitness experience that rocks your body, heart, and soul with powerful moves and positive music, to inspire you from the inside out. This class has grown in popularity in the 2 years it’s been offered at Orchard Hill, with the class sizes ranging between 20 to 40 participants.

"REFIT® has been a great exercise program for me-both for my body and soul,” said Jane Eilderts. “The music is great as well as the friends I have met in the classes. They have been a great support to me!  REFIT® is for every BODY."

“I love that REFIT® has something to offer everyone,” said Hilary Clark, certified instructor. “It’s for every fitness level and it’s the connection and community that makes it feels more like a family.” Two Instructors lead each class to ensure there are always modifications to cater to every fitness level.

The class starts with a warm-up and builds intensity for a good workout with cool down and stretching at the end. The class ends with an optional community time called “pinky time”, where the community joins pinkies for prayer and to share what they are thankful for.

REFIT® strives to be more than fitness. “Community is not a by-product of REFIT®, it’s the purpose” explains Catherine Ballas, REFIT® founder and CEO.The physical changes are a side-effect of the heart changes. Classes are Mondays at 5:30pm and Tuesdays at 9:00am in the Orchard Hill Church Community Center Wednesdays at 10:30am in the Big House for Mom’s Morning Out, and Thursdays at 6:00pm at Celebration Church in Waterloo. Come for a class; everyone’s welcome!

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