New to Hillside?
Walking into a new church (even if you have been a life-long Christian) can be intimidating. This guide is here to help you get a sense of what will happen when you arrive so your visit will be as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.
The following FAQ provides a quick summary of our Sunday mornings. For a more detailed explanation, you can scroll down the page to learn more about the parking, the welcome, and the service.
Here are the most frequently asked questions about our services.
What is it like inside your building?
The main parts of our building have recently undergone a remodel. You'll find our campus clean, bright, welcoming, and full of friendly people. Greeters are stationed in the main hallway and narthex, and the Welcome Center is available for any questions you have, with more information about Hillside Church and our mission.
What should I wear if I visit your church?
Wear whatever you think is best for worshipping God. The majority of people dress casually, though you will see some people in business or business-casual attire.
What do you do during your Worship Service?
We pray, sing, read Scripture, hear from God's Word, and receive the Lord's Supper once a month. We also like to have a good laugh sometimes. You'll find worship at Hillside to be non-intimidating and enriching.
What kind of music is sung during your worship?
We offer two worship styles: Traditional (which is more hymnic) and Contemporary, from Labor Day through Memorial Day. In the summer months, we combine our services into one, and the service style is more blended.
Am I allowed to take Communion when I visit?
Anyone who trusts in Jesus as their Savior and is part of his believing Church is welcome to partake with us.
With that said, Scripture mandates a few exceptions. The person must believe in Jesus for their salvation and trust that through Him we have forgiveness of sins. Those who partake must not be withholding forgivness from someone else. Since God gives forgiveness of sins in his Supper, it would be hypocritical to take God's forgiveness while witholding it from our neighbor/s.
If you are struggling with a grudge, the right thing to do is to take time to pray and ask God to work in your heart to help you forgive those who have wronged you. Forgiveness is a process and the Lord can soften our hearts to give grace to those who have wounded us deeply. Use the Communion time to reflect on God's grace towards you and his willingness to forgive your sins.
Are children allowed to take Communion?
Yes, children are welcome to partake, but only under the permission and guidance of their parents. Parents are entrusted by God to shepherd their children spiritually. If you know your child trusts in Jesus for their salvation and they understand Communion is a place where they will receive God's grace, parents may permit their children to partake.
As with any important issue in the Church, if you have questions about Communion please reach out and speak with one of our Pastors. They will be delighted to visit with you.
Will there be instruction for young children?
During our 11:00 AM Contemporary Service, we offer a children's church program called SPROUTS for ages 4-7. Visit our Welcome Center before the service to sign your child up. You can also visit the SPROUTS page on this site to learn more.
Will you ask me to give you any money?
No. Guests are guests and it has been a long-standing custom of Hillside to expect no financial support from visitors. An offertory will be collected towards the end of the service. Although we do "pass the plate"—as the plate comes by, please pass it to the next person. NO ONE WILL JUDGE YOU FOR NOT GIVING.
Who is encouraged to give to your church?
Those who regularly attend Hillside and members are responsible for supporting the church financially. Raising funds is not only a practical matter but a theological one. The New Testament connects giving with worship and so learning to give financially is a way by which Christians worship God. The New Testament does not prescribe a tithe. It encourages cheerful and generous giving, as one is able.
We know that the offertory can be a sensitive issue. Sometimes we run giving campaigns or special collections. But we do not ask for pledges and the Church Council is very sensitive to ensuring public requests for needed funds are restrained and limited to a few times a year.
In our culture, many have a negative view of the Church asking for money. Certainly, some churches use emotional manipulation and pressure to coerce people into giving. Additionally, not all churches are wise in their use of funds.
Are you financially accountable to anyone?
Hillside is completely transparent about our finances. Reports are published several times during the year and the financial books are audited by two auditors each year. Pastors are restricted from seeing the giving lists and so are never aware of who gives what. The Church Treasurer makes themselves available throughout the year to answer any financial questions from congregants. The membership of Hillside Church has control over our church budget. We also give 10% of all donation income to missions.
Step-by-Step into Hillside…
Hillside Church is accessible from either Hillside Avenue or Tonneson Road. There is a small lot that houses minimal handicapped parking in front of the church, but the main body of parking (with additional handicapped spots) is found in the rear of the campus. This main lot is unmissable, and both entrances lead directly to it.
When you arrive, you will see a large overhang. The main entrance is under that structure, and you are welcome to drop-off loved ones and park if that is best for you. You will likely see people making their way through the doors.
When you enter the main double doors you will enter our main hallway. This hallway is the artery and life of the church. On the right, you'll see our Preschool offices and classrooms with a bright display showcasing the children's schoolwork for that month. To the left is our Multipurpose Room which parents use occasionally for their children to let off a little steam before or after services.
As you proceed down the hallway, our space will open up to your left revealing our Coffee Room. Depending on the time you come you are welcome to get a cup of coffee, tea, and a snack. Standing right before the Coffee Room steps will be your first interaction with a Hillside Volunteer. A Greeter is stationed there to welcome people and direct you as needed. Greeters are identified by Hillside Church lanyards which they wear. Feel free to ask a Greeter any questions you may have.
At this point, you are almost near the Sanctuary. As you continue down the hallway, you will walk by our Fireside Room on the right. This room was the original church when Hillside was founded. It now acts as a favorite room for our ministries to gather and for luncheons.
The hallway will lead into a large open space called a Narthex. Before you enter the narthex you'll encounter another Greeter who will hand you a Church Bulletin. You will also notice the prominent Welcome Center to the right. The Welcome Center is more than just a place to get information about Hillside Church. You can also check your children into the SPROUTS Children's Church program, access the nursery and sign up for events. Be sure to visit the Welcome Center if you'd like more information about Hillside or if you are unsure of what to do or where to go. Our friendly staff will be happy to help you!
From the Narthex, you can access any of the three double-doors into the Sanctuary. You are welcome to sit anywhere you like. You'll also notice about half-way down the center aisle there are spaces for wheelchairs near the pews. If you have a wheelchair, you do not have to use these spots but they are open if you prefer to sit closer to the front.
Grab a spot, settle in, look over the bulletin or watch the slides showcasing Hillside's ministries and opportunities. Take a breath. We are happy you are here. New experiences give way to familiarity over time.
The service starts promptly on time, though you will notice some people continue to come in a bit later. If at any point during the service your infant is fidgety feel free to get up and access the Nursery located in a room behind the Welcome Center. The Nursery on the left is for mothers who are feeding and the Nursery on the right is for young children. If you drop off your young child you will receive a vibrating-beeper in case you are needed and you decide to return to the service.
Most weeks, the service opens with a video that announces upcoming events and will make everyone feel comfortable and give you a sense of our community. You will also be invited to fill out one of our Communication Cards located in the pew if you'd like which allows us to get to know you or receive a prayer request. At no point will we make mention of you being new or call attention to you publically. You will not be asked to raise your hand or sign a visitor's book. As a guest you will never be put on the spot, so relax and enter into the rhythms of worship—we are glad to worship beside and with you!
After the announcements, the Worship Leader will invite the congregation to greet one another. People shake hands and the service opens in prayer. Worship ensues with music and readings from Scripture, and then the pastor will get up to preach.
The pastor will dismiss the children to children's church (called SPROUTS). There is no obligation to have your child/ren attend. It is optional and some parents choose to leave their child/ren in the entire service which is fully welcomed.
After the sermon, the pastor will lead the congregation in praying the Lord's Prayer. At that point, music will be played or sung and an offering will be collected. While we do not announce it every week, we try to remind those present that guests are never expected to contribute to the offertory. The offertory is for those who call Hillside home and have committed themselves to its mission and work. As guests, no one will judge you for not contributing. This has been our culture for many years and so please do not feel pressured to give. We are simply glad you are here!
After the offertory, the pastor will receive the offering with a prayer of thanks, and then one of the pastors will get up to close the service. The closing prayer is called a benediction. "Benediction" comes from two Latin words, bene (good) and diction (to speak). So the benediction is to "speak good or kind words" to people. We want you to leave hearing God's good words and promises to you!
After the benediction, there is a closing song. The pastors will walk out at this time so that they can be in the back to greet parishioners as they leave. Our services are generally an hour long—though if there is a Baptism or Communion on a given week they may go a few minutes longer.
When the service is over, it's likely some people will say "Hello." We are a friendly church and this is part of the culture. It is not a planned or organized encounter. The Welcome Center will be open after the service if you choose to visit, or, if your child attended SPROUTS, you can pick them up at their classroom.
And that's it! You just made it through your first service at Hillside! We're glad you came and we hope it was edifying, enjoyable and honoring to God's Word. We hope you'll come back and maybe even make Hillside your home.
SOME OTHER DETAILS
Nursery care is available during both services, and our SPROUTS ministry is available for children ages 4-7 during the 11:00 AM service. Children are dismissed to go to SPROUTS before the sermon.
Sunday Worship Schedule
- Fellowship Time @ 9:30 AM in the Coffee Room
- Education Hour 10:00–10:45 AM throughtout the building
- Worship Service @ 11:00 AM
Summer Worship Schedule
- One Service @10:00 AM
- Memorial Day through Labor Day