In my short time at Hilltop, I have tried to honor what has been “normative” at Hilltop. This has been a consistent ethos in multiple areas. As it relates to worship, I have been sometimes amused where my questions of “what is normal” for a particular element of worship are answered with “we don’t have a ‘normal’ on that.” For a new guy this is actually good!
I pray that as it relates to worship and worship design we can be evolutionary rather than revolutionary.
Roberta and I work hard to create a truly worshipful aura or atmosphere for our worship time. An example is we want there to be a clear beginning and end to worship and what happens in between that start and end is a combination of praise, prayer and proclamation. That said, we are hopeful changes are subtle and enhance worship to the point they are not noticed. We come back to the objective of creating an aura, an atmosphere, a mood. It is our clear prayer that those who come to worship will depart spiritually fed by the harvest of music, word, prayer and sharing that goes on during our time together. The entire worship experience contributes to a feeling of being spiritually sustained.
The church year is important to us. For the foreseeable future, we will follow a flow of scripture provided by the church year along with special days designed to awaken in us memories from our past in community and how those memories and ideas shape us in the present and provide us an anticipation of the future. The rhythms and themes of the year has historically given us a rich symphony that challenges us to live out our lives as Christians. You will see us occasionally make a particular religious day important on a Sunday. We will also endeavor to encounter some of our secular holidays and frame them looking for a less secular meaning.
French, Jesuit priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin wrote: “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.” We pray that as you enter into the space that is our sanctuary you have a spiritual encounter with the sacred.
By Pastor Dennis but written on behalf of all who contribute to worship leadership at Hilltop.