12 Reasons to Check Out Hillside
1.We don’t ‘do guilt!’ — We don’t care who you are, what you’ve done, or where you’ve been! We believe that God’s mercy and forgiveness in Jesus Christ is the gift that can change your life. We care about who you want to become, and we’ll work really hard to help you get there! That’s what being part of the Body of Christ is supposed to do.
2.We like to laugh! — We believe that Jesus had a deep sense of humor about all things human and we try not to take ourselves too seriously. We agree with Anne Lamott, who said “laughter is carbonated holiness.”
3.We’re not afraid to cry. — We know that life can hurt, and the best way to get through ‘whatever’ is to have someone care enough about you to listen and cry with you. We believe that Jesus shows us how God suffers with us when we feel broken, lost, abandoned, or without a sense of purpose.
4.We call ourselves Disciples. — Disciples in the Bible are learners, people who follow Jesus as he acts out God’s love, looking over his shoulder as he cares for people, listening as he teaches, pondering the challenges he offers, and trying to act like him. We believe people act their way into thinking in new ways, rather than thinking their way into different ways of acting.
5.We don’t think children, youth and young adults are the ‘future of the church.’ — We think they are the church, NOW! When you get involved in any of our outreach ministries, mission trips, worship services, or learning opportunities, you’ll find people of every age group working and playing together.
6.We say about ourselves: We are Christians only, but not the only Christians. — We think that anyone who confesses that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, and proclaims him Lord and Savior of the world is a Christian. We ask nothing more about what you believe, and nothing less. Of course, we’ll want to have many conversations with you about all the other things you might believe, because we may be able to learn something from each other about the fullness of God’s ways.
7.We think the Bible is central to Christian life and faith. — We talk about the ‘common’ sense of the Bible, meaning that everyone has the freedom, and the responsibility, to study God’s Word within the community of the church. We sometimes disagree about what the meaning of a Biblical text is, but we agree to disagree with gentleness.
8.We have a special place in our heart for our neighbors–everywhere. — When we feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, throw a party for the neighborhood, travel to Jamaica or the Pine Ridge Lakota Indian Reservation or Detroit, respond to disasters at home and abroad with dollars, provide a place for Northland Muslims to pray or new Americans to learn to speak English, we believe we are putting ourselves in a place where we can meet the Lord.
9.We love to eat together. — The potluck dinner is alive and well at Hillside, but beyond that, we observe the sacrament of Holy Communion whenever we worship. When we share the Lord’s Supper, we believe we are forgiven, made into new persons, and nourished to continue our growth in discipleship. Because it is the Lord’s Table, everyone who seeks to love and serve God and neighbor is invited to participate. We call it ‘The Welcome Table.’
10.We celebrate Good News when we worship. — Through choral and instrumental music, drama and the arts, challenging and comforting reflections on Scripture, observance of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, meditation and prayer, we encourage everyone to give thanks and praise to God for the experience of creative, beautiful, and life-changing unconditional love. The Good News we celebrate is Jesus Christ, who makes that unconditional love available to each of us and gives us God’s Spirit to strengthen us as we bring love alive.
11.We want everyone to be a minister. — We believe God gives everyone a gift, or many gifts, to share in serving the common good of both the Church and the world. Singing, baking cookies, worship leadership, communicating across cultural barriers, electronic ‘geekiness’, teaching children, praying for others, cleaning up after others, listening, managing money, visiting the ill, building bookshelves, designing Websites—they are all important and useful for serving God and neighbor. We’ll help you find your unique way of sharing yourself in serving others.
12.We claim God’s mission to be caring stewards of creation, and to work for justice and peace in the world. — We believe that to be a child of God is to be connected to every other part of life. Our Lakota brothers and sisters say, Mitakuye oyasin, which means ‘we are all related.’ We are intentionally becoming more and more ‘green’ in our individual lives and our life as a congregation. We seek to respond to God’s activity of merciful justice and peace-making reconciliation with creative and ethical acts of our own.