Our values are our ethos, and are perhaps the most important words to describe 40 Orchards. We know what rooms should feel like, whether they are for Scripture Circles, board meetings, or community gatherings. We desire for what we do and how we do it to be...
We believe we are designed to be face-to-face with God and with one another. We desire for those who gather with us to experience what it is to see and be seen, to love and be loved. We believe our communities should reflect the camp of Israel, centered around the tabernacle, with the Spirit of God residing above it in a cloud. In such an encampment, when people looked at each other, they saw God, and when the looked at God, they saw each other. We hope for the same.
The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
- Numbers 6:24-26 (ESV)
We believe the first step towards growing new life is creating space. Time is not the ruler of our content. We desire to listen to the Spirit of God, be comfortable with silence, and make room for all who chose to gather. We chose also to embrace the holiness of stepping away from the chaos of our daily lives into an environment of peace.
Then God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.”
- Genesis 1:6 (NASB)
We believe each person has unique gifts they are meant to bring to the world, which rest within them like seeds, waiting to burst forth. We believe the full goodness, or tov, of those seeds is seen not just when they grow, but when they grow fruit with the seeds of future life within them. We believe the greatest value from our gatherings is displayed not in the space itself, but in the life that is generated in the world through what people claiming their identity and living out their sacred future.
And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
- Genesis 1:11-12 (NASB)
We desire to dive into the rich abundance of the Scriptures. We approach the Text with the assumption that God is still speaking through it, that there are threads connecting passages into the larger Story of God and humanity, and that language roots and history can help us unlock meaning beyond the surface level. Our teachers come prepared and our communities come expectant.
But blessed is the man who trusts me, God,
the woman who sticks with God.
They’re like trees replanted in Eden,
putting down roots near the rivers—
Never a worry through the hottest of summers,
never dropping a leaf,
Serene and calm through droughts,
bearing fresh fruit every season.
- Jeremiah 17:7-8 (MSG)
Seeds have to wrestle their way through the dirt before they break through into life. We believe that it is not incidental that the people of God were named the people of Israel, or the people of wrestling. We understand faith as a process of trust, which begins with honesty. We desire for our spaces to be places of safety to come as we are, with our doubts and fears. We teach not based in lecture, but in dialogue. We believe questions are the gateway to discovery and intimacy.
You will no longer go by the name Jacob. From now on, your name will be Israel because you have wrestled with God and humanity, and you have prevailed.
- Genesis 32:28 (The Voice)
We believe that it is not incidental that the original dwelling place of earth, where humans and God walked side-by-side, was named Eden, or delight. We trust that an intimate connection to the Living God, the Living Word, and a living community, invites us to be present to a greater sense of wonder and joy. We look to the future with the eyes of sacred possibility.
Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart.
- Psalm 37:4 (NASB)