We are excited that you are interested in learning about membership at Hillside! Membership has two senses, a theological and formal one. Theologically, all who trust in Jesus as their Savior are members of Christ's universal Church; we are all "one bread and one body." But formally, churches use membership as a way for congregants to more sincerely commit themselves to the local church's mission and to ensure denominational integrity in certain doctrines.
Membership is a commitment to the local congregation. It is commitment to pray, volunteer, financially support and affirm the mission of Hillside. Membership can be likened to a dating couple that decides to get married. The marraige vows add a deeper sense of belonging, affection and commitment to the relationship. At Hillside all members must agree to the Lutheran Brethren Statement of Faith. But they do not have to believe it. This means that we accept into membership those who want to commit themselves to the ministry of Hillside but who, for various reasons, might not believe all aspects of the Statement of Faith. Some aspects of the Statement of Faith, essentials like belief in Christ are necessary, while others (like one's view on the End Times/Eschatology) are not. "Agreement" means that (1) You understand and agree that the Statement of Faith is biblically plausible and possible--that the position is held because an exegetical case can be made for it. It does not mean it is your personal, trusting belief.
Because of our view on biblical Eldership and the power granted to members (see below) we can make this distinction. However, when it comes to those who serve in the office of pastor or elder we require they believe in the Statement of Faith.
Since Hillside follows the Elder-driven model of church governance the Elder Board (Church Council) remains the local spiritual head of the church. The Church Council has authority over all matters spiritual in the church's polity and remains the "governing board" of the church. Members vote on nominated elder candidates for office as well as for pastors, deacons, trustees and church officers. Members vote to approve the church budget, make constitutional changes, and matters of importance deligated to the congregation by the Church Council.
Members are distinct from non-members at Hillside only in the abovementioned privileges and in their exclusive right to be nominated for certain offices in Church leadership that are not open to non-members. Only members may be nominated for the positions of Elder, Deacon, Trustee, Congregational Secretary, Treasurer and Missions Treasurer.
If you are interested in being a member please fill out the membership form below, and it will be received by the church office. Your application will be sent to the Church Council who will reach out and contact you. Two elders will set up a time for a meeting where you can discuss if membership at Hillside is right for you. If you are approved for membership the Church Council will send your application to the congregation at the next scheduled business meeting. Members are fully inducted into the roll when the congregation, by majority vote, accepts the application.