For all who come to read here, please know this website will stay active and we may continue to post from time to time, but The Orchard Community itself is no longer meeting. Our gatherings were always in fits and starts, small groups of 2-5 people for brief seasons that never lasted long.
And while "that's all it ever was" makes it sound like there was 'failure' involved, since it didn't grow and become what we thought it should, what we hoped it could, what we dreamed it would -- nothing could be further from the truth.
God met us and sustained us, and still is. We are different people now, in more dependent relation to God than ever before, even if our paths are diverged from what we once saw.
And we trust that God will continue to uphold us as we walk into the future. But for now, The Orchard is in hibernation for however long this beautiful but uncertain winter wilderness lasts
For now, here is a parting thought to remind us all:
The Powerful Reason Why We All Have To Keep Getting Out of Bed -- That Changes a Broken World
Go read the full post -- you'll be glad you did. And here's an excerpt to whet your appetite...
Nothing is more necessary than finding God and falling in love and deeper into Him.
Love decides everything.
What you are in love with decides what you live for.
What you are in love with decides what decides what you get out of bed for.
Fall in love with the Hands that shaped your heart, that cup your face, that trace your scars, that caress you with grace. Fall in love with His face in a thousand faces, in the baby that meets you at the crib rail and the teenager that doesn’t want to budge and man that find that never fails to put feet to the floor and find his Levis and the back door to brave the world for Love.
Fall in love with the One who fills your lungs with this breath and all these people and this sky and all this light, all this glorious light.
You have to fall in love because this will get you up and keep you going every day. Because —- Love decides.
Go fall in love with grace and mercy and the only One who has ever loved you to death and back to the realest life —- because the world is begging us all to get out of bed and sacrifice for someone hurting, for someone different, for someone forgotten or marginalized, to hold the hand of someone who doesn’t look like us, to lean in and listen to someone angry and grieving and doubting the likes of us, to give a bit of ourselves to those who feel like they aren’t given much real space at the table.
Fall in love, stay in love, stay sacrificing, and you live the most satisfied.
What you are in love with in your life — decides everything about your life.
Love decides everything.
The sun can rise, and we all could rise, falling around each other, falling all around, healing rising.