This summer, we had the privilege of welcoming two new church planters to the Orchard NEO team, Josh and Ray. Josh relocated his family from Southern Indiana, and Ray and his family have joined us from the Chicago area. They are both already hard at work learning about the communities they are planting in, and we can’t wait to see how God uses their ministries!
If you live in or near the areas they are planting in, we encourage you to meet with them to learn more about the church planting process and consider attending. It’s not because we want you to leave, but because we believe in the mission of the local church.
Keep reading to learn more about Josh and Ray, and be sure to say “hello” if you see them around the church!
Meet Josh Hibbard, planting in Canton!
“I have always felt lead to plant a church. I have never fully fit into traditional church culture. Because of my radical testimony, my excitement for reaching others (in a post-Christian world) often rubs against what most Christians are used to. I base every decision about church culture through the lens of reaching lost people, which can make those who grew up with certain church traditions uncomfortable. I am okay with that. Jesus was okay with that.
I have so much hope for Canton, but there is a massive sense of hopelessness in the city. The city is also pretty diverse, similar to the suburbs around Cleveland. While Canton is intergraded, churches are very much segregated.
My hope for church planting in Canton involves creating a space that reveals the hope we have in Jesus around a table of diversity. Somehow, we have to pour the pure gospel message into a variety of very different looking containers. It will be uncomfortable. It will be messy. But it will be worth it!”
Want to know more or get involved? Email email@example.com.
Meet Ray Byrne, planting in Shaker Heights!
“The concept of church planting has been on my and my wife’s hearts for a long time. We know that true hope for all of us is found in Christ, and we know that what communities need the most is more of the gospel, more of Jesus. Planting with Orchard NEO through CCC brought that vision to the forefront of our lives this past summer. WE are planting in Shaker Heights and the community has a lot to be proud of. It is a community that loves and values hope and justice. But it is largely a hope and justice that is believed to be brought about by human endeavor alone. I believe that what we really need to be able to engage with our fellow man in love and true dignity is knowing that we are ultimately made in the image of God; that by entrusting our lives to our Creator, we can only then see each other with the dignity of the image-bearers that we were made to be; and that we access that identity through Jesus. Your prayer for our community, relationships, and trusting in God’s next steps for us is greatly desired. Thank you!”
Want to know more or get involved? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about Orchard NEO and the church planting process, head to orchardneo.com.