The Orchard Blog

A few glimpses of Christmas Eve services! by orchardblog
December 28, 2007, 8:39 pm
Filed under: Christmas Eve, The Orchard

(Click for larger images)

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Merry Christmas Orchard! by orchardblog
December 25, 2007, 8:37 pm
Filed under: The Orchard

Bell tree

Whew… I don’t know if I’ve recovered YET! It’s Christmas evening, and I am still pumped about the four great Christmas Eve services we got to participate in yesterday. If you were able to attend, you know how powerful they were!

As I sit here in my living room, surrounded by three boys running around playing with Christmas gifts, I just HAD to take a minute and say THANK YOU…

  • To the passionate energy displayed by EVERY member of our worship team – YOU ROCKED!
  • To the technical wonder our PRODUCTION TEAM brought forward… you guys made it happen!
  • To the warmth of our WELCOME TEAMS… you guys greeted, seated, lit, and collected (as in offering) from more people than in any other time in the Orchard’s history. When people remember the Orchard as friendly, it is because of all of YOU!
  • To the caffeinated display put on by our COMMON GROUNDS coffee bar team… you single handedly got the staff through the event 🙂 Kidding! You provided liquid energy and Christmas espresso to MANY guests. Thanks!
  • To my POLAR BEARS… our PARKING TEAM (great job Ben Hammond!). Those human Popsicles out in the lot made sure we got everyone in and out safely, and ushered record crowds into our building. Thank you so much for all your work.
  • To my fellow staff team members… some of the best I have ever served alongside. Your weeks and weeks of dedication and hard work paid off!
  • To anyone else who served, brought food, helped out, and unselfishly gave of their time on Christmas Eve!

Anyway – thanks to all who played a part! Hope your Christmas was a good one. See you this weekend. We have a great weekend planned!


Countdown to Candlelight by orchardblog
December 20, 2007, 4:51 pm
Filed under: The Orchard

CandleWe are just days away from Christmas Eve, and am I excited! We have handed out over 1200 tickets so far to our four Christmas Eve services (1, 3, 5, and 7pm). Add all of the walk-ins and drive-bys that we get every year, and we are going to have the opportunity to impact a LOT of people with the good story of Christmas! And we are not turning anyone away! Ticket or not, if you want to come to a service we will find somewhere to put you – even if it is standing room only!

This service is one of the GREATEST opportunities we have all year long to tell the story of Jesus to those in our community who don’t normally attend church anywhere! So our parking, welcome, production, worship, coffee bar, and creative teams are all gearing up to be at our ABSOLUTE BEST. We want to remove ANY and EVERY obstacle that hinders our community from connecting with the greatest story ever told – the story of the Savior.

Bring your friends. Come early to get a good seat (get here about 15 minutes before the service starts). And get ready to experience the celebration of a lifetime… Let’s celebrate Jesus’ birth together! See you Monday!


12.08.07 and 12.09.07 – Setlist by Mike Jones
December 15, 2007, 11:20 pm
Filed under: The Orchard

The conspiracy to eliminate the Savior failed. The next attempt has been more effective, and that is to distract us from the true advent.  One way to keep from being distracted is to not be consumed by a consumerist mindset.  Giving gifts that are relational are longer lasting and more memorable.  They resemble the relational gift that God gave us in his Son.

Here’s the music setlist from the 8th and 9th (with links to iTunes to purchase the original recordings):

Resist the push and pace.
Relational gift giving – giving one another a gift as simple as spending time together.
Redistribute – with the money we save by giving relationally we can redistribute the money we saved to the least of these in our communities and world.

Posted by Mike Jones

*****(Please use discretion when previewing or purchasing other songs by this artist as other songs on this album may contain inappropriate lyrical content.)

Christmas Eve Ticket Update! by orchardblog
December 9, 2007, 7:07 am
Filed under: Christmas Eve, The Orchard

It’s official – both the 3pm AND 5pm Christmas Eve Candlelight services are SOLD OUT. Filled.

However…. There are still tickets available for the 7pm service. But it’s already over 1/2 filled.

SOOO…… We have decided to add a fourth service! The time? 1:00pm.

Tickets are available TODAY (Sunday) after each service. OR, you can email us here and reserve your tickets.

A recap:
3pm & 5pm are SOLD OUT.
Tickets are available for the newly added 1:00pm and 7:00pm services.

Relational Gift Giving by orchardblog
December 5, 2007, 6:20 pm
Filed under: The Orchard

GiftSome of my favorite Christmas memories are NOT gifts I received, but times shared with my family. When I was young, my mom used to allow us to invite a friend over…we’d have a fire, drink hot chocolate, she’d do everyone’s hair and take pictures. Another year we all went to see a Christmas movie, then we spent time talking about it afterwards. One favorite memory is when our neighbors came over and built a snowfort with us in the back yard. Why were these experiences so powerful? They are examples of Relational Gift Giving.

Tonight at The Orchard’s First Wednesday service we talked about Relational Gift Giving. The idea is that instead of just giving a gift off of the store shelf, you invest yourself into the gift… you give a gift that only YOU could give. A gift that far outlasts the credit card bill, and leaves memories that stretch for generations!

In fact, at First Wednesday we handed out a helpful tool to facilitate Relational Gift Giving… a worksheet to help you brainstorm Relational Gift Giving opportunities, with a list of ideas on the back. Click on the link below to download that handout.

I hope that you take this handout, work through it as a family, and then set aside some time to Relationally Give Gifts this Christmas season. Imagine how you and your family’s lives will be changed as you pour into each others lives, and the lives of your other significant relationships, this Christmas.

AC RGG Handout


3PM Service FULL! by orchardblog
December 5, 2007, 11:56 am
Filed under: Christmas Eve, First Wednesday, The Orchard


Just got word that our 3PM Christmas Eve Candlelight Service is FILLED. Which means….no more tickets for this service.

There are two other alternatives: 5pm & 7pm.

Free tickets will be available TONIGHT at First Wednesday and also this weekend. You can also email us and we will reserve the number of tickets needed.

Don’t delay!