the orchard is a non-denominational, independent Christian community. This means that the orchard is led from within and not directed by a denominational office or headquarters. For more info on our basic beliefs click here.
An orchard is a living thing, one thing made up of many.
For us in the orchard, much of the New Testament reads as a record of the sense of community, service, sacrifice, love, and hope that can come out of small groups of people who are committed to each other and to following Jesus.
the orchard is centered on what some might call missional communities, we simply call them churches.
For the orchard, small churches (or missional communities) are the primary way we connect with others and live out following Jesus. These smaller groups of people (10-20) provide an opportunity to know others and be known within the orchard. Through these relationships, we mutually challenge and encourage one another to believe who we are in Christ and live life in an intentional way that shows the world who God truly is.
Each church is unique within the larger community and meets regularly to eat, learn, pray, have fun, and to live out the Gospel in real and tangible expressions.
Whether you consider yourself part of the orchard—or if you’re just checking it out—it is our desire that everyone would be an active member in one of these communities that spur us on in faith, love, and hope.
As the orchard grows there will be many churches meeting in a variety of locations (like homes, cafes, and many places that we haven’t thought of yet!) across Central New York. These churches will take time out to gather together on a regular basis, but these large group gatherings are simply not the focus of the orchard.
Why is the orchard set up like this?
We believe that real change doesn’t happen by sitting in rows listening to a teaching on a topic. Real life change happens by experiencing life with others who are working out how to follow Jesus too. It’s as simple as that, we aren’t re-creating the wheel, we’re looking back to the first Christians for our cues.