hillside Elder Letter

Greetings Hillside Church Family,

I was checking my calendar this week to make sure I hadn’t missed my own birthday.  As I flipped calendar pages it dawned on me that we are more than half way through another church year!  Seems like we just celebrated together in worship, community, food, and fun. Perhaps I shoved that experience way back in my memory bank as it involved a dunking booth. One of my personal goals this year has been to communicate with our congregation on a more consistent basis.  With that goal in mind, I’d like to walk you through some significant efforts we’ve made over the past six months which show how Christ is using Hillside, our body of believers, our ministry team, and our facilities to further our mission and vision.

The Elder Team has worked closely with Dave and his staff team in putting meat on the bones of our four pillars of ministry: Gatherings, Groups, Equip, and Empower.  Team leads are in place for three of the four pillars. Emphasis is being placed on living out our core values, realizing that “how” we carry out ministry is often more impactful than “what” we do.  A sustainable structure is being formulated for our Groups, providing for training, equipping, and resourcing of leaders, coaches, and participants. We truly believe the Church is not a place but is the life of Christ being lived out in our individual lives through the inspiration and power of the Holy Spirit.

We realize the effectiveness of our ministry as a body of believers is often frustrated by our facilities.  Parking transitions between worship services often resemble a game of chicken. Classrooms are overcrowded. Finding a place suitable to just hang out and share meaningful time with others is challenging.  The Elder and Staff teams remain committed to a process that will transform our physical infrastructure in such a way that it will facilitate our vision and mission rather than frustrate them. In an attempt to alleviate these current facility frustrations, we have taken some steps to see what our options might be:  

We refreshed information concerning the possibility of physically relocating to a different site.  Although interesting, the results of this effort were similar to previous attempts. Properties that were preferably located were cost prohibitive or, if affordable, the properties were neither reasonably located near our current attendees nor generally accessible. Our focus returned to our current location.

We engaged Plain Joe Studios (PJS) to update the master site plan for the existing fifteen acres.  PJS is an architecture firm located in California. A major segment of their business is designing physical spaces in support of church ministries all across the US.  Their charge was to revise our master site plan in a way that fully supported the Hillside philosophy of ministry, including a vision of serving as a “launchpad” for proclaiming Jesus to more people in more places for the glory of God.  The updated master site plan was finalized near the close of 2018.

At the most recent Elder meeting, approval to execute a professional services agreement with PJS was approved.  The scope of this agreement includes the first two steps in the design of new and repurposed spaces: Schematic Design and Design Development.  A target completion date for these two phases of work is fall of 2019.

We look forward to keeping you updated as we get further along in the process. Based on current timelines, we expect to share additional and more specific information late summer or fall as we schedule town hall and membership meetings. Please pray with us and for us as we seek to provide facilities that support and enhance our ministry efforts.  Your Elder Team is always available should you have questions or concerns. Feel free to approach any of us at Sunday services, community groups, or through our email address at

In service to the One who changes everything!

Ralph Huber and Your Elder Team