Finding a group of alumni that meet in your local area:
SOUTH WEST WASHINGTON
Where: Living Hope Church – 2711 NE Andresen Rd, Vancouver, WA 98661
When: Every Tuesday evening, you can come for whichever parts you want! Dinner is from 5:30-6:30, Worship/message is from 6:30-7:15, small group breakout time (the main part of URCH) is from 7:15-8:15.
What: Note that there is childcare available. Also, note that our gathering is embedded into Living Hope Church’s “Living Free” service. More information can be found here.
Where: The home of Lowell & Bonnie Meznarich, 2821 Rocky Road #75, Cody, WY
Where: 2533 Furmint Way, Rancho Cordova CA 95670
When: The last Friday of every month, beginning at 6pm
What: A shared meal, followed by separate activities and/or studies for youth and adults.
We believe that staying connected with like-minded people is vital to continuing to grow. See the bottom of this page for some scriptures that inspire this belief. We call it “URCH” because just like Mr. Erfect is one “P” short of perfect, our gatherings of believers are not “church” in the traditional sense, so we’re a CH short of “church.”
Below is information about alumni groups that meet in various regions. Though each region has it’s own unique identity, we do aim to have some consistency in how the following principles are implemented in any Organic Gathering alumni groups:
Rules – When groups meet, we want for each person to remember:
Confidentiality – it stays in the context it’s shared in. If you want to share something from a workshop (“brag on God time”), it must be YOURS to share. What’s shared at URCH must only be re-shared among the SAME people who originally heard it, unless you’ve obtained permission.
First person sharing – These aren’t opportunities to preach – they are opportunities to share. Yes we do want the body to minister to each other, but we don’t want it to be preaching. Sharing and serving are great, and encouraging/exhorting someone is good, when it has been asked for.
No Side talking – Please respect the people talking and the people listening.
Tell the truth – No masks. If you’re hurting or have a need, share it, don’t put on the happy christian face :-). If your rejoicing, be honest about it, so we can rejoice with you.
Guiding principles for URCH:
- God does not work through program, but through gifting. So the program is something to allow a person to operate in their gifting, not to replace a person’s gifting.
- We have routines & main elements, but we want to always hold it loosely to allow God to work.
- God is the Mighty Counselor. It’s not anyone’s job to “fix people” but to care for their heart and point them to Him.
- As a general rule, for the emotional safety of the environment, we only allow alumni of the workshop.
- URCH is non-denominational. If it is hosted at a certain church, it doesn’t reflect that church’s denominational beliefs. We want URCH to major on the major’s & not focus on doctrines or practices that can be divisive.
Some elements you may find at an URCH gathering:
- Meaningful but organic fellowship.
- “Large” group sharing – a chance to check in and introduce new people.
- Regular announcements, to help people stay informed of what’s going on in the ministry (overall, or in the specific region).
- Review a tool from the tool sheet or a principle of living a heart-changed life (can use the workbook, but doesn’t have to)
- “Small Group Sharing” – Our default pattern is gender specific groups (but always listen for God’s preference). This is a chance to connect more intimately by praying for & ministering to one another. We typically end with this and say, “when you’re done, you’re free to go.”
Scriptures that inspire our model of URCH gathering:
23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; 24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
1 Corinthians 14:26
What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.
18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 20 always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; 21 and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.
16 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.
42 They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. 44 And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; 45 and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. 46 Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.