Hold that thought! (Temporary Technical Issues)

To all of my faithful readers, I appreciate you so much! You’re the reason why I do this. And I want to do it as effectively as possible. So I’ve decided to move my website to another host. For those who are curious about this sort of thing, I’ll be migrating this site from WordPress.com to Squarespace. You may have noticed some links that aren’t working, etc. This will all be fixed soon as I finish moving the site. In the meantime, this means a couple of things for you:

  • I’m temporarily turning off comments. I value your comments a great deal, and want to make sure none of them slip through the cracks. If anyone were to comment after I’ve copied over the posts, the new comments would be lost. So I’m turning off the ability to make comments for now (you can still read all the existing comments, of course), and I’ll enable them again when everything is switched over.

  • For those of you who have subscribed to Exploring the Faith by entering your email, you don’t have to do anything more. You’ll continue to receive an email whenever I post something new on the blog. For those of you who are (or were) WordPress users and who “followed” this blog, you’ll need to subscribe by entering your email address to continue being notified of future posts.

Thank you all for your patience! I’ll try to get the comments back on as soon as possible.

New “Exploring the Faith” Podcast

The Bible: Are We Reading What They Wrote? Exploring the Faith

When we read the Bible today, are we relying on "translations of translations of translations"? How can we be confident that what we're reading now is what the original biblical authors wrote? We're exploring these issues this week.Note: There won't be an episode next week, but we'll be back May 26!And another note: We're in the process of moving the website in order to more effectively host the podcast, so there will be a delay in posting the transcript and show notes. As soon as we've finished migrating the site, you'll be able to comment on podcast episodes and join the discussion. You can still send your questions or issues you'd like us to explore to curt@exploringthefaith.com. Thank you for your patience during this transition."Exploring the Faith" is sponsored by The Orchard, a Jesus-following church that meets in Rancho Cordova, CA and also in weekly, interactive, online studies. Curt Parton serves as teaching pastor for The Orchard. You can find out more at orchardonline.org.
  1. The Bible: Are We Reading What They Wrote?
  2. Why Should We Believe the Bible?
  3. Special Guest: Mona Brackett from Hope for the Future
  4. Should We Promote "Judeo-Christian Values"?
  5. What's a Fundamentalist? (And Am I One?)

It’s always been challenging to be a Christian, to truly live in the world without becoming of the world. And, for many, this has become even more confusing in recent years. As followers of Jesus Christ, we need to know what we believe and why, and how to genuinely live every day what we believe. So I’m inviting you to join us for a new podcast called Exploring the Faith. I’m Curt Parton. I serve as a teaching pastor for The Orchard, a church that meets in Rancho Cordova, CA, and also online. In this weekly podcast, we’ll examine any question or issue related to what we believe as Christians, and how to most faithfully live out a Christian life in our world today. I’ll be posting each episode at exploringthefaith.com so we can discuss these things together online. And feel free to send in, through the website, questions and issues that you’d like to see us explore. Our first episode will be available Friday, February 17, so be sure to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. And join us as we begin Exploring the Faith.

Dipping my toe



It’s been far too long since I was blogging regularly. There are a few reasons for this, some more legitimate than others. Kelley and I have been through some huge changes in the last few years: moving from Puerto Rico back to the States, trying to get settled in the Placerville area, eventually moving to Sacramento to help The Orchard begin an intensive period of replanting and revitalization, as well as other studies and responsibilities that have occupied my time. But I’ve also felt a draw to be back here posting and interacting. I don’t know how unique my contributions are, but I do feel I should be utilizing this medium and investing my gifting as best I can. So, I’m not guaranteeing anything, but I’m going to try to begin posting again at least somewhat regularly. Stay tuned!

The Orchard: Emerging from our chrysalis

030616As some of you know, earlier this year Kelley and I moved to the Sacramento area to help a church here begin a process of replanting and revitalization. We’ve been calling this our “chrysalis” phase. Sunday, September 28, we officially “emerged” from our cocoon! This is what—in church planting parlance—is known as a soft launch. We haven’t yet held any large events, but we have signs posted, we now have a public presence and we’re seeking to make ourselves known in the community. (You can check out our new website here.)

I hope to get back to blogging here in the not-too-distant future. But please be patient! At times, I’ll be teaching as much as 7 times a week. We’d deeply appreciate your prayers for needed team members, teachers and leaders. And especially pray that we’ll be faithful to reach out as missionaries to our community and effectively share the truth and love of Christ. Thanks!

Exploring a possible church plant

As many of you know, my wife, Kelley, and I moved back to California earlier this year, returning from over 13 years of ministering in Puerto Rico. Looking strictly at circumstances, it would seem the economic situation in Puerto Rico forced this move. But we believe God is sovereign over circumstances, and that the timing of this change was—and is—in his hands. The church there has transitioned from being overly dependent on one paid elder/pastor to being served by three unpaid, bi-vocational elder/pastors (along with others stepping up to do their part in ministry). They are now realizing the level of team leadership and teaching to which we always aspired. Although it was sad for us to leave, this is a good and healthy change.

imagesAs for us, we’re now in Placerville, CA (between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe). The transition for us hasn’t been as smooth as we had hoped. Over the past few months, we’ve had trouble finding good jobs, finding a place to live, and dealing with ministry opportunities that didn’t pan out. But we still trust God’s timing and believe that he has been working through these circumstances. We’re praying for wisdom and the sensitivity to be aware of any guidance God is giving us.

We’re prayerfully considering planting a church in the Placerville area. Some have asked me what a new church would look like (whether here or somewhere else). So I’ve written out four core commitments I see as essential for a new church. I’ll post them here one at a time. I’m not implying that these commitments would be unique to us. Some could prove to distinguish us from other churches, but this isn’t really the intent. The idea is that these four core commitments, together, would constitute the DNA of a new church. All other distinctive strategies and methods we might develop would be built on the foundation of these core commitments.

You may notice these posts don’t include a detailed description or vision for this new church. This is intentional. As you read through these commitments (or if you’ve read many of my posts on church leadership), you’ll see why for me to plan out in detail my vision for a church plant—and then look for people who will support my unique vision—would be contradictory. It’s not that I don’t have a vision or a lot of ideas for a new church! But the plan is to first establish a consistently biblical vision for a church plant. Then, as a team, we can brainstorm how to best apply these biblical principles to our specific context. The comment threads of these posts are a great place for this kind of discussion!

Been a long time

I know it’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything here. Well I’m back, and I’ll be blogging more regularly again. I’ll finish up my series on the historical Jesus (two final posts planned for that), I have some new series ready to start, and I’m going to be adding some shorter posts here and there. Thanks for checking back to see if anything’s finally going on here!

Dear folks, sorry I haven’t written lately

imagesThe last few weeks have been very busy ones, and not just because of the Christmas season. As much as I love writing for this blog, my pastoral ministry to our church family has to take precedence. Whenever there are pressing needs that require my time, this tends to limit the time I have available for writing. Such is the nature of ministry when one is the sole paid staff-person of a church. (You can be sure I thank God every day for our wonderful volunteer leaders!)

Along with the usual time demands this past month or so has been the need to coordinate some potentially exciting changes for our church. I’ll probably be writing about these developments in the coming weeks. And I hope to get back into the swing of things with this blog next week. To those of you who’ve inquired, thanks for your interest and patience!