The Orchard Blog

BBQ & BAPTISM! by orchardblog
July 31, 2006, 6:53 pm
Filed under: The Orchard


In case you’re not on the Orchard E-List, I wanted to post this email I sent out to everyone today:

Dear Summer Rockers,

All I can say is WOW!!! I just got off the phone with one of our staff who informed me that we have over 77 people signed up to be water baptized this coming weekend at our annual BBQ & Baptism!

Now if that didn’t excite you, you better go back and re-read that again! 77 people! Wow!
I’m excited for a couple of reasons. First of all, this is historic! We have never had the privilege of baptizing this many people at one time! Typically, we have around 30 or 40 people get baptized every year (which is still huge!), but we’ve NEVER had a water baptism of this magnitude at The Orchard!

Secondly, I’m excited because every name on our baptism roster represents a story of someone’s journey from doing life “their way” to now doing life “God’s way!” Without a doubt, this is God’s power at work in these people’s lives!

In fact, as a part of the baptism process, I have asked each person to share their story of how they have become followers of Christ. And believe me when I say this, I can’t tell you how AWESOME it has been reading story after story of how God has used this church community to help these people make some radical decisions to serve and follow Jesus. It just reminds me of the significance of God’s work that WE (you and I) get to be a part. That’s HUGE!

I hope you are planning on joining us this Sunday for the BBQ & Baptism. This event is open to EVERYONE and we hope that you will be a part of it as we celebrate the 77 people who have decided to “go public” with their faith in Jesus. The day begins at 4pm with a great dinner followed by the baptism at Splash Country (next to The Orchard) at 7pm.

If you have not yet purchased your BBQ tickets, PLEASE contact us immediately! The deadline for ordering tickets was this past Sunday, but we were able to extend it until Tuesday at noon. Contact Terri Casey at 630-897-8888 or via email at: Again, the deadline for ordering tickets is TOMORROW (Aug. 1st) at 12:00pm. If you wait until after that, you might be sackin’ it!

We have a lot to be thankful for, don’t we? What an awesome summer this has been! And in case you haven’t noticed, we’ve actually seen numerical GROWTH since the beginning of summer! No summer slump for us, thank God!

Momentum is high. People are excited and GREAT things are happening at The Orchard!

Have a great week ahead, see you Sunday!

Scott Hodge

To join the Orchard E-List, click here and type “ADD ME TO THE E-LIST!” in the subject line. Thanks!

The Art of Self-Leadership by orchardblog
July 26, 2006, 2:27 pm
Filed under: The Orchard

Courageous Leadership

This summer one of the many books I’ve been reading is Courageous Leadership by Bill Hybels. This is such an EXCELLENT leadership book!!!

The chapter I just finished reading discusses SELF-LEADERSHIP. It emphasizes how important it is for us to set aside time to invest in ourselves. Even Jesus took time away to be with the Father.

If you feel yourself becoming burned out, overwhelmed or discouraged…ask yourself how much time you’ve spent being quiet and recalibrating.

If you don’t take time developing your “spiritual” self, you won’t have anything to invest in to your family or those you lead at work and/or at church.

Bill Hybels challenges all Christ followers to ask these questions:

1. What’s my mission, God?

2. Where do you want me to serve?

3. What role would you have me play in your grand kingdom drama?

Take time this week to ask God those question. Take time to remind yourself how much your Father loves you! Allow Him to refresh you, reenergize you, and remind you of your purpose!

Posted by Kathryn Egly

It’s not too late… by orchardblog
July 20, 2006, 8:35 am
Filed under: The Orchard

Join us tomorrow for our “Family Summer Connection.”

We’re meeting at the church at 10:00am to spend a few hours at Blackberry Farm.
This will be a great opportunity for you and your kids to get to know other families from The Orchard.

Last time we went, about 60 people joined in the fun, let’s see if we can increase that number this time…

Bring a lunch and $5 to get in. See the post below for more information.

Hope to see you there!

Posted by Kathryn

Summer Reading by orchardblog
July 18, 2006, 8:34 am
Filed under: The Orchard


Someone asked me the other day to suggest a couple of good reads for the summer, so I thought I’d post a few books that I’ve been chewing on lately.  But I’m also interested in hearing what YOU are reading, so go ahead and leave a comment.  Share with us!
A few of my recent reads:

An Unstoppable Force by Erwin McManus
Wow…what a great book.  I first read this book back in ’02 or ’03 and picked it up again a week or two ago.  For some reason, the book is resonating with me BIG TIME now – way more then the first time around.  Anything by McManus will challenge the daylights out of you!  (Also, check out The Barbarian Way – another great book…)

Breaking the Missional Code by Ed Stetzer
I was sent this book to review on my blog, so I read it more out of obligation than anything, but I am so glad I did!  Great book about churches connecting with our culture.

Change the Way You See Everything by Kathryn Cramer and Hank Wasiak
This was a good read that really helps remind us all how important it is to think right.  It’s all about, what the authors call, “Assett-Based Thinking.”  It’s not a “Christian” book – but it’s certainly principled around Biblical ideas.  We’ve been journeying through this book in some of our staff meetings.  GREAT book for those of you who lead a staff or organization.  Some good exercises at the end of each chapter.

Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell
This is a really great book.  Not a real recent read, but I had to put it on the list.  If you aren’t afraid of asking and exploring questions that pertain to your personal faith, then this is a great book for you.  It’s been considered a bit “controversial”, but I think that’s what makes it great!  Controversy is not a bad thing!

I reviewed a few of these books a little more in depth on my personal blog.  You can find them here.

Black Shirt Day by orchardblog
July 14, 2006, 8:49 am
Filed under: The Orchard

It’s black shirt day @ The Orchard!  🙂  Had to snap a quick photo of this…

Amber Smyder, me, Sheila Montanez (Our newest staff member!) 

Posted by Scott Hodge

Summer Blog by orchardblog
July 13, 2006, 7:01 pm
Filed under: The Orchard

Oh my gosh!  I just found out that Jay-Z and Beyonce have broken up!

Ok, I’m totally kidding….  I just happened to see that on the sign in screen for this blog.  My night really isn’t ruined.

Just wanted to pop in and say hello!  This blog has sure been quiet this past week.  What’s going on???  Is anyone reading?

Leave a comment!  Tell us what you want to see/hear/know – anything!  Maybe I’ll post some pictures up of some of our peeps tomorrow…..

Gotta go – time for dinner!

Posted by: ANONYMOUS (Can you guess?)

Family Summer Connection! by orchardblog
July 7, 2006, 1:17 pm
Filed under: The Orchard



Join us on FRIDAY, JULY 21st from 10:00am – 2:00pm for a fun time at Blackberry Farm!

Connect with and get to know other families at The Orchard.

Things to know: You can sign up and pay at the Info Counter. We’ll meet at the church at 10am and walk over together. And BYOL (bring your own lunch)!

Questions?  Email Kathryn Egly