Worshiping in spirit and truth

Matters of Personal Conscience

The Bible makes very clear that certain practices are right and others are wrong. Murder and adultery are always wrong; loving God and loving each other are always right. But there are many practices that aren’t clearly endorsed or prohibited in Scripture. The 14th chapter of Romans warns us not to argue about matters of personal conscience. (And, surprisingly, it’s the believer…

Gender Roles in the Church

Does the Bible teach distinct roles for men and women in the church? This debate is a frequent and sometimes heated one in the church today. We recognize the sensitive nature of this question. It’s understandably an emotional issue, and one that touches people deeply. Naturally, this subject affects women in ways it doesn’t affect men. But most men under a certain…

Sexual Issues

Sexuality is a gift from God. We’re wonderfully created with a capacity and desire for intimate relationship and companionship. We’re able to unite with another person in a way that affects us physically, emotionally and even spiritually, and God invites us to be part of the very creation process through reproduction. But Scripture also teaches that the most intense intimacy is only…

Spiritual Gifts

Christians receive the Holy Spirit when they place their faith in Jesus Christ and become his (1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:13-14; Romans 8:9). Every believer is baptized in the Holy Spirit. We also see in Scripture that God may, at times, specially fill us with his Spirit (Acts 4:8, 31; 13:9), and that we are to continually seek for our lives to…

Baptism

When a person in the first century converted to a new faith, a common way they would publicly demonstrate to everyone their conversion was through baptism. First century Jews saw this as something Gentiles did to show they were converting to the Jewish faith. So for the Jewish people to be baptized by John demonstrated real humility. They were confessing they needed…

Just call me Curt

Curt Parton Since Kelley and I came here in January, some have been surprised that I prefer people to not call me “Pastor” or “Pastor Curt.” For people who are accustomed to using this kind of title, it’s a little odd to call a pastor by just their first name. So I thought I’d explain my reasons for preferring this approach. It’s…

Why we don’t have a senior pastor

The Orchard doesn’t have a senior or lead pastor as many other churches do. To some people this might seem a little odd. Why don’t we have a senior pastor? It might be helpful to look at this question from a slightly different perspective: Why should a church have a senior pastor? Specifically, is there any biblical basis for this special leadership role…

Bylaws

The following constitution and bylaws establish a framework for our fellowship and ministry together as a church. ARTICLE I: NAME The name of this church shall be The Orchard. It is incorporated as a non-profit corporation under the laws of the State of California. ARTICLE II: ASSOCIATION AND STATEMENT OF FAITH The Orchard is an autonomous congregation in association and fellowship with…

Core Commitments

Graciously and uncompromisingly evangelical Everything we are and everything we do is rooted in, centered on and permeated by the evangel, the gospel of Jesus Christ. Before anything else, we are worshipers of God, disciples of Jesus Christ; we seek to love him with all of our hearts, souls, strength and minds. Scripture remains our highest authority and the standard for our faith and lives…

Beliefs

We are followers of Jesus Christ. We believe that Jesus taught us, in his life and words, what it means to truly worship and serve God. We believe he took on himself the inescapable consequence of our sin—death—and that he rose from the dead. Because he took our death, we can now receive his life. We accept the New Testament Gospels as faithful accounts…