Dear Hillside,

In my letter last year, I shared that Hillside would continue to see change in 2018, and the new initiatives would be focused on new ways for the Gospel to be preached here at Hillside.  Praise God, that has happened!  The most notable of these initiatives are Foundry, our Monday night young adult ministry, and Hillside Preschool, which has grown dramatically since opening in September.  Each of these initiatives in ministry are providing new ways to be a light to our community.

In 2019, it is my prayer that we will continue to add new initiatives that will allow us to share the Gospel with those around us.  We are committed to only pursuing initiatives that provide an opportunity to witness to our community.  As we are in pursuit of a more robust approach to sharing the Gospel, we are looking to change some of our long-standing ministries to make our mission clearer–to change the world one soul at a time through the message of Jesus Christ.  In addition to these initiatives, we welcome new staff joining us this year, with Pete Killian having started in January, and we hope to have a new Student Ministries Pastor who will join us soon after Josh Coffey takes a Family Pastor position on the Central Coast.

As you see changes at Hillside in 2019, you can rest assured the they are being made so that we can reach more people with the Gospel.  God’s word exhorts us to make disciples of all nations.  There are people from so many nations here in San Jose, and it is my prayer that we will continue to be a light in a dark place and that the diverse people who surround our building will come, feel welcomed, and find new life in Jesus.

 – Rick Maples, Chairman

 

 Outreach continues to be a priority for Hillside Church, and the Local Outreach Team is a primary instrument of Hillside’s community outreach here in San Jose.  2018 was a busy year for the LO Team, as we have seen increased engagement during and following our major outreach events, as well as increased participation in outreach activities by our Hillside Church family. 

We had another very successful Scramble this Spring with over one thousand neighbors coming onto the Hillside campus for the event and, as a result, several hundred heard the Gospel preached.  We changed up our Fall Fest this year and saw our numbers almost double over our first year.  Over $200 raised at Fall Fest was donated to Canoas Elementary School, furthering our relationship with our community.  Praise God!  Many new connections were made with our community as several families toured our new Preschool. 

The LO Team continues to support our Kids Club at Canoas Elementary School, launching an X-Club at John Muir Middle School this year as well.  We are encouraged to have venues to share the Gospel on our local school campuses.

Interacting with our community by meeting the needs of the hurting and hope-seeking, the LO Team supported two sessions of GriefShare this year.  We are finding this to be a vital ministry for those hurting from loss.  In addition, we have presented two sessions of Financial Peace University this year, a nine-week class that teaches people how to handle money God’s way.  Not only do these ministry efforts support our Hillside family, but they directly support members of our community as well.

This year, we launched Hillside Cares, an effort to get Hillside involved in the community.  During the Christmas season, the LO Team partnered with the GO Team to support our first-ever “Cookies for Cops” effort.  Around 50 families baked over 1,200 cookies for our San Jose Police officers and two of our local San Jose Fire stations.

The Lord has blessed Hillside with a body that loves to serve others.  We continue to look for avenues to share God’s love with the people in our community, and thank you for partnering with us in our efforts to share the good news of Jesus Christ.

This year at Farm Drive we saw God move in incredible ways, from connecting neighborhood kids with the Gospel at Bible Club, supporting young students with homework help and mentorship, and reaching our community and neighborhood with the compassion, love, and truth of Jesus Christ.

At the core of what we do at Farm Drive are weekly Bible Club and Homework Center ministries.  At Bible Club, kids learn from Bible stories about the promises that God keeps while hearing real life lessons in respect, honesty, and other biblical truths.  Cheryl Bales and her 12 leaders have kept this ministry going strong.  Thank you, Cheryl and team for your hard work and dedication!  At Homework Club, we have 54 kids attending twice a week for homework help and mentorship.  Thank you to the 26 volunteers that help these kids in elementary through high school with homework, reading, and lending a listening ear–giving both encouragement and hugs.

A new addition to our Homework Club is an extra homework help night on Tuesdays.  This is meeting a huge need for kids who benefit from extra one-on-one help with everything from geography to pre-calculus.  Thank you to the many volunteers who come faithfully every Tuesday.

We have 11 kids currently enrolled in our high school mentoring ministry: CRAM, which stands for Committed, Relational, Accountable, Motivated.  We work with John Muir and Gunderson’s administration, contacting teachers when necessary, to keep kids on task, with the end goal being for these students to graduate from high school prepared to enter either college or a trade school.  We hand out money for A’s every six weeks, and the kids receive other incentives as well when they meet the program’s requirements.  We see CRAM working as kids are succeeding in school and graduating!  Thank you to Coordinator Gary Johnson and the CRAM mentors for investing in these kids’ future, relationally, spiritually, and educationally.

In addition to meeting the needs of kids and students in our community, we also are involved with providing for the needs of families through food distribution and community engagement.  The first Tuesday of every month we partner with Second Harvest Food Bank, using Hillside as a distribution center to distribute food to our community.  Recipients appreciate our smiles and attitudes, and, for many, this is the only time they come to church.  Thank you, Hillside for letting us use the church facility and thank you to the 34 volunteers that make up our team, being the hands and feet of Jesus.  We are constantly working to connect the Farm Drive neighborhood with the ministry and mission of Hillside, with community events including our neighborhood block party, taking kids to Hillside for Sunday morning worship and Wednesday night youth group, as well as integrating Hillside’s members with our neighborhood.

Matthew 5:16 says “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven”.  Our lights can shine in ways as simple as smiling, showing love to a homeless person, helping the elderly, baking cookies, cleaning up the neighborhood, having good attitudes at a hockey tournament, and shaking hands with the police officer that comes to the neighborhood to visit. We teach the kids to be good examples of Jesus, showing respect at all times, because it’s what we have been called to do.  Farm Drive is making a difference in these families lives, as we see kids interacting with the Living God, making good choices, and pursuing better lives.

Thank you to everyone that is involved physically, financially, or prayerfully!  You are a part of a ministry that has been around for over 25 years and still continues to be life-changing.  We appreciate you!

 

Patty Havens: Director, Farm Drive Neighborhood Center
Bernice Dimas: Assistant Director, Farm Drive Neighborhood Center

What a delightful year it was for Children’s Ministries!  As we look back on this past year, we’d like to reflect on a few highlights of God’s goodness. 

Hillside Kids emphasizes the necessity of being spiritually engaged as a family, and this year we saw continued dedication and commitment from our families.  Four families dedicated themselves to being their child’s primary faith trainer through Parent Dedication, a wonderful witness, as our congregation committed to praying for these parents, supporting them as they continue to disciple their children.  “Lettuce taco ‘bout” our second annual Promotion Sunday lunch event (hint: we served tacos)!  Over 100 people attended as we gathered for food and fellowship, followed by an interactive family devotion taught by Pastor Paul where parents learned how to implement devotion time in practical ways at home.

We emphasize spiritual involvement at home and reinforce that commitment on Sunday mornings.  Downstairs in the Kids Zone, second through fifth graders participate weekly in a special prayer gathering between services, a highlight of our ministry.  On the first Sunday of the month, kids spend time separately to complete their prayer journals and then partner in prayer for those specific needs.  On the second Sunday, kids join Hillside in praying for the specific needs of our church and the community around us.  On the following Sundays we pray together for a local outreach (ex. Kids Club, Farm Drive, Hillside Preschool, etc.) and for our missionaries.  We are blessed to partner with the GO Team, enabling us to have current and past missionaries come and speak to the children about the mission field beyond San Jose.

 
 
6F03614E-7A42-4667-8343-DF4AE85421CB.jpg
“I teach Sunday school because I love watching kids make connections and understand difficult parts of Scripture. I love taking difficult concepts and breaking them down and meeting each kid at his or her level. I always appreciated my Sunday school teachers growing up who weren’t afraid to talk about the hard topics or things that they maybe didn’t fully understand themselves. I want to be that for my students!”
— Hillside Kids Teacher
 

Kids Club

 

Hillside has sponsored a Kids Club at Canoas Elementary School since 2005.  This year we had 50 students who learned about God through music, games, and Bible lessons, primarily taught by Pastor Roberto.  Our aim is to connect kids with both what it means to follow God practically in our lives, as well as in following His will.  In covering a seven-week series this Fall, we connected truth in Scripture with the effects of bullying through role playing, Bible lessons, and personal testimonies of a few of our small group leaders.  We want to show our students that God is real, that He has a plan for their lives, and that we need to respect others as God loves us.

Our goal is to continue the effects of Kids Club beyond Tuesday afternoon’s.  In January, we distributed 50 hardcover Bibles and personalized bookmarks to each Kids Club student from our congregation.  Students are learning to follow along with the passages during our Bible lessons and memorization verses, engaging with Scripture on a weekly basis.

This year we began a new initiative called Operation Kindness, with the aim of encouraging kids to demonstrate God’s love to others.  We used a silly skit with Chef Oui (Sarah) and Chef No (Jenneth), showering their Mama (Barbara Uyeda) with cards, flowers, and love.  Students wrote and decorated a letter that was bound into a book presented to Bev Daily, director of Kids Club, and the principal of Canoas Elementary.  These students truly are learning what it means to love God and serve His people each and every Tuesday.

 
“Where do I start? With all that has happened to me this year alone, it fits in perfectly with this year’s theme. I want the kids to know that there are no bad days, just challenging days that will make them stronger if they believe in our Savior. My hope is to show them how God is taking care of me, helping me along, even during bad days. My transparency in my relationship with God has led to kids asking me how God is working in my life, praying for me in the midst of hard times.”
— Kids Club Leader
 
2017_12_12-2017_18_KidsClub-00002.JPG
 

At the end of the year, we sent Jenneth Yepiz, Director of Children’s Ministries, off with well wishes as her family moved to Livermore.  Jenneth, made a tremendous impact on the families here at Hillside and we are thankful for the guidance, hard work, and commitment given in serving faithfully in Children’s Ministries for over 10 years. 

Also, a big thank you to all of our volunteers who continue to serve in Children’s Ministries and Kids Club. You are sincerely appreciated for serving and sharing the Gospel and love of Jesus every week so faithfully to the children.

Sarah O’Donnell: Director of Children’s Ministries

 We are celebrating the second full year of Growth Groups here at Hillside Church, seeing the reward of growth during this time, and we praise God for that!  In December, we had approximately 100 people involved in our Growth Groups.  As Pastor Keith shared during our 2019 Vision Sunday, the staff and leadership at Hillside see growth groups as a core component of Hillside Church moving forward.  With the continued expansion and an increase in focus towards Growth Groups, we are excited as we see them as the primary method for how we engage both new visitors and members of the church in active fellowship and discipleship.  We are looking to double the number of people involved in our group by the end of 2019 and would love to get you connected.  For more information, or to join a group, email Pastor Dave (dave@hillside.org).

 Our Leadership Development Team continues its work of helping find the right leaders to serve in a variety of capacities throughout the church.  For 2019, LDT has two primary goals to share: 1.) We are working to partner closely with Pastor Roberto in efforts to better represent Iglesia across all of our leadership teams, which in turn will allow us to get more visibility into the needs of both our English and Spanish speaking congregants.  2.) We are continuing our effort to emphasize not just the selection of leadership, but our focus on leadership development by providing continued training opportunities and resources to our leadership teams with the aim of equipping ministry leaders.

 Our church facility is an important part of Hillside’s overall purpose.  While our building will not lead someone to Christ, a lack of attention to its appearance, comfort, and maintenance can be a hindrance to reaching people that need to hear the Gospel.  Our Team’s mission is to maintain the effectiveness of our church building, enabling us to share the Gospel.

We are excited that our facility is being used every day of the week to further the Gospel.  However, constant use does have a noticeable impact on everything from mechanical systems to paint and carpet.  Our heating and air conditioning systems are aging, requiring routine and specific maintenance.  Our electrical system is now more than 40 years old and can no longer handle the new electrical demands put on it week after week.   The Facilities Team is aware of these issues and working to make the best use of resources as we develop plans for new equipment.

As we are working on these long-term projects and handling the simple day to day maintenance, we ask for your prayers, that we would be wise stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us.  We want to make good decisions that would benefit our church family and ultimately bring glory to God.

As you are on our campus, please continue to report things you see that need attention to the Facilities team.  We would not consider these reports complaints but rather an opportunity to further the ministry of Hillside Church.

Brian Folden, Facilities Team Leader

As deaconesses, we often get the question: “are the deaconesses the wives of deacons?”
The simple answer is: nope!

Hillside’s Deaconess Team is a group of women who serve the church behind the scenes, involved in everything from pouring communion, assisting with baptisms, preparing the greeting team, and even memorials and bereavement.  Our goal is to help ministry, from Sunday mornings to outreach events, run smoothly, providing an atmosphere conducive to conversation, community, and spiritual disciplines so that Hillside may effectively share the Gospel.  We plan and decorate for church receptions and events, coming alongside those planning wedding ceremonies or memorializing a loved one that has passed.  We delight in keeping the kitchen neat and organized, stocked with what you need, so that ministry may happen effectively. We love our Hillside family and we’re glad to support our church body as we pursue the mission of the Great Commission in reaching the lost with the Gospel.

Sharon de la Cruz, Lead Deaconess
Betty Watson, Hospitality Coordinator
Carrie Maples, Reception Deaconess
Colleen Plaza, Communion Coordinator
Connie Thannisch, Reception Deaconess
Corinne Lake, Bereavement Memorial Service Coordinator
Debbie Bacon, Baptism & New Births
Julia Lee, Kitchen/Supplies Ordering
Julie Wei, Communion Coordinator
Leslie Woody, Kitchen Coordinator
Vevette Warioba, Bereavement Receptions Coordinator
Aurora Melendez, Iglesia Deaconess

 2018 was a year of transition and continued engagement in Hillside’s Family Ministries.  I’d like to highlight a few of the ways that God has been using Family Ministries here at Hillside over the past year to support and advance His Kingdom.

A major component of Family Ministries is supporting and encouraging couples.  In February, we put on our first Valentine’s Banquet, with those attending enjoying dinner, entertainment, and a guest speaker who challenged us to live out God’s love in our marriage.  As a follow-up, we offered the six-week course, The Art of Marriage, which encouraged married couples to invest in their relationships with God and one another.  We’ve continued to invest in the marriages and relationships of couples with young couples growth groups and relationally-based support.

Fun is always a part of Family Ministry, and this summer our children put on the rockin’ musical Danny and the Shacks, an adaptation of the Biblical story of Daniel with a retro rock-and-roll twist.  Truths of God’s faithfulness to His people were reinforced through joyful singing and even a dance in the fiery furnace.  Children’s Musical is not only an outreach ministry to our community, with friends and family at the performances, but also equips children with truths from God’s Word that they can confidently sing at home.  We’re excited to continue producing musicals that exemplify these truths.

 A primary focus in Counseling & Family Ministries at Hillside is Biblical counseling.  In 2018, our counseling team continued to be equipped with tools for effectively supporting our church body and community with Biblically based counseling resources.  For three weekends in August, September and October, six people from Hillside attended the NorthCreek Counseling Training in Walnut Creek, sponsored by the Association of Christian Biblical Counselors.  We want to continue to equip and train Biblical counselors who can support and care for those who are hurting in love and truth.  Different from traditional therapy, Biblical counseling views personal and relational problems through the lens of God’s Word and finds solutions through application of His Word, and accountability.

Finally, 2018 brought my role as Pastor of Worship Ministry to a conclusion.  Our new Pastor of Worship & Creative Arts, Pete Kilian, has begun to fill that role and lead Hillside into a new chapter of worship ministry. I am very excited to see how God will use Pete to continue to grow us all as worshipers.

As I transition out of my role as Worship Pastor and focus on Counseling & Family Ministries, I am excited to spend more time focusing on Family Ministry and Counseling.  I covet your prayers and support as we seek to grow this area of ministry to be effective in building parents, children and couples in their relationship with God and one another.

“Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.” Colossians 1:28

– Paul Brown, Pastor of Counseling & Family Ministries

 Our Women@Hillside have seen God do exciting things this year!  We kicked off 2018 with a wonderful retreat to Mt. Hermon, looking deeper at how God has uniquely wired us to fulfill His purposes and passions.  This summer, the Hillside ladies met in homes all across San Jose for our Breakfast & Dinner events, sharing a great time of fellowship.  In August, Aimee Joseph from Desiring God ministries led Women@Hillside in an evening of teaching, challenging us to find our treasure in God alone.

This year, we also watched God fulfill a need by calling Julie Umstetter to be our new Women’s Ministry Director.  Since then, the Women@Hillside Team has been working hard behind the scenes to develop creative new programs to support the needs for the ladies of Hillside in 2019 and beyond!

– The Women@Hillside Lead Team

Melissa Altknecht, Abby Borders, Susan Burlini, Brittney Bylund, Sandy Cheney, Sharon De La Cruz,
Jennifer Fasani, Bev Hiatt, Becky Kompelien, Carrie Maples, Marilyn Reid, Julie Umstetter

 God is using Hillside Preschool to transform the way that our community interacts with Hillside Church.  Families from our neighborhood and beyond are entering our building when they had no other plans too, yet the preschool brought them in.  Some of these same families had received our Easter invitations, our Christmas Flyers, and even seen our events advertised before, yet never entered our doors.  We are encouraged and hopeful that this new ministry will do just that, bring the un-churched into the doors of God’s house.

Hillside Preschool has just begun in 2018, but we are already so excited to see the growth ahead of us!  We have an amazing team of teachers (Director, Marlene Allen; Teacher, Pattie Zylka; Teacher, Karla Munguía) who are dedicated to serving our students and sharing the Gospel.  We consider sharing the Gospel to be our highest priority, with our classrooms and weekly schedules supporting this aim.

We have now doubled in size the few short months since September of 2018, and the tours being scheduling now are from word of mouth from the community outside of Hillside Church.  This is very encouraging!  We have seen our prayer being answer, as we ask: “God let us meet real needs in our community and touch a life in your heavenly name.”  Each of the families that have found our school have such unique stories to share, oftentimes finding us through friends, the internet, flyers, and often, simply God’s perfect timing and providence.

Another one of our goals has been to connect with our growing community of families.  We want to show our families the love of Christ, and we have several families from nearby on Communication Hill, some from further away in Willow Glen, and some from as far as South San Jose.  We are so grateful to reach many neighborhoods, sharing the Good News with many.  We continue to expand relational efforts in supporting our Hillside Preschool community, including:

  • 75% of our Families accepting our invitation to attend our Fall outreach event.

  • Many of our mom’s attending Women@Hillside’s Fall Frenzy Event.

  • A Mom’s Night Out dinner at Pattie’s house.

One of the highlights of our relational outreaches has been the Mom’s Night Out, a night filled with fun and laughter, evolving into deep and meaningful conversations in which we saw moms opened up about difficulties in their lives.  Praise God that we get the opportunity to share these moments with our families.  God also answered a specific prayer of mine, allowing me the opportunity to share a difficult time in my life where I so clearly saw God show up.  I shared God’s character of peace, comfort, and love, and what it means to put my hope and trust in a good and loving God.  We treasured every moment of it.  When I left that night, I realized we had made many new friends that evening.  My heart was touched that night and I actually teared up because I was reminded that sometimes (well, most times) we are simply called to take a leap of faith and let God do the rest.  Please pray with us as we deepen these relationships with our families and our community.

– Marlene Allen, Director, Hillside Preschool

As a result of several incidents around the country, in 2018, Hillside formed an Emergency Response Team (ERT) to help provide a safe environment for our church body.  This year, four of our ERT members attended a two-day training provided by Strategos International, a recognized leader in security in churches.  We were then able to conduct a training session for almost 50 interested people here at Hillside as we take further steps in maintaining safety and security for everyone who steps onto our campus. 

As part of our continued work in maintaining security, we provide a constant presence on Sunday mornings, with ERT members provide a low-key presence to monitor Hillside’s campus.  We have trained medical personnel available to address medical emergencies during our services and have been instrumental in upgrading and adding automated external defibrillators (AED) and other equipment on the Hillside campus.  It can be difficult to think of an emergency occurring on the Hillside campus, yet we must nonetheless be good stewards of the Lord’s people and resources.

Please continue to be in prayer for our team as we protect and serve Hillside as we see continued growth and change in 2019.

Douglas Gerbrandt, Emergency Response Team Leader

 God blessed Hillside Church in 2018, with our Hillside men being able to share in those blessings and actively praise the Lord together, study His Word, and consistently learn how to be better followers of Christ, husbands, fathers, sons, brothers and friends. 

This year, we saw the Lord continue to work in us through study, accountability, and.  ROMEO (Retired Old Men Eating Out), led by Pastor Marvin Francine, brings 20-25 men together every other week to regularly study God’s Word, followed by lunch together at a nearby restaurant.  Our men’s Tuesday evening bible study continues to be a place of fellowship and study, with series in Revelation, Old Testament leaders, and Job taught by Keith Crosby, AJ Hart, and John Scianna respectively.

What would men’s ministries be without food?  Our bimonthly Men’s Big Breakfast continues to be a hit, with our men enjoying a hot breakfast together on the first Saturday morning of every other month, forging new friendships and strengthening old ones while interacting with a challenging devotional message.  Over 50 men join us at each event, organized by Mark Burlini.  Additionally, we got together at Mike Wass’ home this summer for our annual Men’s Barbecue, with over 80 men enjoying hamburgers, hot dogs, and ice cream.  What a great time of fellowship, prayer, and encouragement. 

As we closed out 2018, we enjoyed Men’s Retreat together at Mount Hermon’s Ponderosa Lodge.  Over 110 men joined together as we focused on building a Christian legacy.  Pastors Keith Crosby, Paul Brown, Roberto Munguía, and Josh Coffey motivated us to live today to make a difference tomorrow, both in the physical and the spiritual lives of those we influence.

 This past year for the Go Team has been a year of transition and of new beginnings.  At the beginning of the year, four Go Team members completed their terms of service and commitment to the Hillside Missions Team.  Kim Coutts, Margaret Coutts, Audrey Brown, and Debbie Deason served for many years, and we are grateful for their faithful work in our global ministry.  While these leaders were departing, the Lord called Mike Becket, Flora Becket, and Emily Holmes to join the Go Team, serving as Finance Coordinator, Communication Coordinator, and Education Coordinator respectively.  Welcome to the team!  Additionally, with the retirement of Pastor Scott Owsley, we sought a new pastoral liaison, a role filled by Pastor Keith.  We are grateful for the continued support and investment of our pastoral staff.

Another transition from this past year included the retirement of one of our missionaries, John Dupree, a Hillside missionary since the mid 1990’s.  To celebrate their many years of service, the Go Team threw John and his wife Marielle a going away party with current and past team members.  John’s work helped mobilize the local church to understand missions by providing the “Perspectives” course at countless churches across the West Coast.  Previously hosted at Hillside, this six-month weekly course centers on missions and God’s movement in the world.

Summer of 2018, the Go Team partnered with Africa Inland Mission (AIM) to offer a short-term missions trip to Spain.  Led by Rick Maples, this two-week trip took Hillside members to Spain to minister to African immigrants by witnessing and preaching the Gospel.  The Go Team will continue to be partnering with Rick and AIM to offer another trip to Spain summer of 2019.  We are excited to see how God moves!

In 2018, we have seen God move throughout the world through our Hillside missionaries.  Month after month, our missionaries (pastors abroad) share stories of evangelism to people who have never heard the Gospel.  These are stories of hope and healing being shared with our broken world.  We look forward to this next year of ministry as we see God continue to use our missionaries to share the Gospel and bring new brothers and sisters into the Kingdom of God.

 Foundry has been an amazing ministry for young adults here at Hillside Church.  We started the ministry because of a felt need to bring the entire young adult population together in one place.  Combining the college and young professional groups under one roof for worship, teaching, and community on Monday nights, we have continued to see God bless this new ministry here at Hillside.  It has truly been a team effort and we continue to see God reaching people from throughout our community to be encouraged and challenged by God’s Word.  Foundry is relational and dynamic, seeking to reach those who are lost in San Jose.  There are many growing pains that come with launching a new ministry, and we are constantly changing and adapting to fit the direction God is taking us.  We covet your prayers as we enter into our second year of ministry here at Hillside, seeking to further the Kingdom of God.

Student Ministries have undergone a complete makeover.  From paint on walls and stages to new curriculum and structure, Student Ministries has undergone more change in the past year and a half than most other ministries here at Hillside.  Seeking to unite our staff, both the junior high and high school volunteer staff work more closely together to maximize the unity and cohesiveness of both programs.  Amidst this change, we now operate both ministries under the same schedule and teaching curriculum on Sundays and Wednesdays.   This change allows us to plan and operate more effectively and more efficiently, with both ministries meet together on Sunday, keeping the same curriculum but separate programs for Wednesdays.  These changes continue to enable us to engage with our primary goal: reaching students with the Gospel.

For the first time in many years we ran and fully staffed our own Winter Camp, one that was wildly successful. While Santa Cruz and sand are far different from the mountains and snow we typically see at Winter Camp, this renewed and refreshed vision of what camp looks like along with the intimacy of our own camp provided for a weekend of profound spiritual growth.  Over 30 students attended, with over 20 leaders running everything from worship and teaching to food and games.  What an incredible opportunity to see God move through His people in advancing His Kingdom!

 Iglesia Libre en Cristo is the Hispanic ministry of Hillside Church.  We function with the same vision and purpose of the Church, with the added calling of reaching the Spanish speaking population of San Jose.

Probably the greatest challenge during 2018 was the transitioning from 1pm to 10:45am services on Sunday.  This move meant not only a shift to an earlier hour but also logistical difficulties of preparing the Fellowship Hall for teaching and integrating Iglesia’s children and students into Hillside’s Sunday morning programs.  This transition has been beneficial on many fronts, with the children and youth ministries of Iglesia now fully integrated with Hillside, continuing our commitment to unity in Jesus.  We continue to see the fruit of these unification efforts in events like our all church picnic after Unity Sunday in September, a fabulous event to promote the fellowship of the English and Spanish congregations.

2018 has also been a year of growth, with new families joining our Spanish speaking congregation.  For example, a young couple is now attending after seeing our sign while fixing a tire in the parking lot.  Combined with outreach events, Pastor Keith’s radio ministry, and continued efforts to engage our community, we are grateful for God’s providence and purpose in providing us with His blessings. 

This past year we also said farewell to our admin, Glenda De La Mora, who retired after 14 faithful years of service at Hillside and Iglesia Libre.  As we continue to advance the Gospel to the Spanish speaking community around us, we are grateful for all the support and prayers for this ministry of Hillside.

Grace and peace, Pastor Roberto Munguia