Who We Are.
A church is a lot like a person. It has a distinctive personality with a distinctive mission. It's true that all of Jesus' churches have the same overarching mission, but it looks different in different places--different emphases, different flavors, different tactics, different styles. This is because churches are not machines. They are amazingly complex mosaics of complex people. And every mosaic is like a snowflake--utterly unique. Thus it is important to get to know a church--what they believe, how they live out their mission, how they treat each other and the world, how they worship, how they play, how they relate.
But getting to know a church is not fully possible from a Web Site. The pages that follow will give you an introduction to the things we believe and the way we are going about ordering our life together. It is a beginning. But nothing substitutes for an actual visit! And know that you are welcome to take us up on that anytime.
What We Believe.
If one were to summarize Hillside Covenant Church, the pivot point would simply be this: centered on the good news that in Jesus Christ we have found, as the Bible puts it, the “way, the truth, and the life,” we are a community of people where Jesus is our focus, our foundation, our message, our hope.
We are an apostolic church. We confess Jesus Christ and the faith of the apostles as recorded in the Holy Scriptures. We believe the authority of the Bible is supreme in all matters of faith, doctrine, and conduct, and it is to be trusted. “Where is it written?” was and is the Covenant’s touchstone of discussion with regard to faith and practice.
We are a catholic church. The word catholic literally means universal. This means we understand ourselves to be a part of the community of believers that began with Jesus’s first followers, is alive today, and will continue until Christ comes again.
We are a Reformation church. We stand in the mainstream of a church renewal movement of the sixteenth century called the Protestant Reformation. Especially important is the belief that we are saved by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, not by anything that we can do. The Covenant Church is also shaped by Pietism, a renewal movement that originated in seventeenth-century Europe and emphasized the need for a life that is personally connected to Jesus Christ, a reliance on the Holy Spirit, and a call to service in the world.
We are an evangelical church. A series of religious awakenings flowered in Europe and America during the nineteenth century and provided rich soil for the early growth of the Covenant Church with our passion for mission. Evangelicals historically have been characterized by a strong insistence on biblical authority, the absolute necessity of new birth, Christ’s mandate to evangelize the world, the continuing need for education and formation in a Christian context, and a responsibility for benevolence and the advancement of social justice.