a blog from our pastors and staff
This week has been an odd week at Hillside. Pastor Rick whispered (poor guy has laryngitis) his last sermon to us and he moved the last bit of his stuff out of the church. We had a party for him and Billie Jo back on July 9th as a celebration of their ministry and time with us at Hillside. This past Sunday, we had a quiet send off. And not just because Pastor Rick could hardly speak. After his sermon Pastor Rick donned his bass guitar one last time (at Hillside), the worship team had a guest singer (Melissa Cole) join them to help praise God, playing and singing "You Are Good." This song is one of Pastor Rick's favorites to play on the bass and its message resonates with this situation in both his life and Hillside's, "Lord, You are good and your mercy endures forever. You are good all the time, all the time You are good!" In all things, God is good. God is good in the worst circumstances and the best of times, His mercy endures forever! The congregation surrounded Rick after the song and prayed for him and Billie Jo. We prayed for their healing and the new chapter of their life that they have begun this week. It was a quiet and emotional time with God, a body of people interceding for people we love. There was cake and fellowship and it almost felt like a normal Sunday. It felt like it was time. Pastor Rick resigned back in January and has been preparing his church for this, preparing us to look boldly into the future, excited for what God has in store. I thank God for that and for the Long family. They have left a wonderful legacy at Hillside: they have left Hillside strong and secure in God's hands. I hope that they know that because of their faithfulness our transition has been one of hope.
It is with this hope and knowledge that God is good all the time, we look forward to this upcoming Sunday. The beginning of something new. The installation of our new pastor! The term "installation" seems rather cold to me. I like the idea that we are inducting the Todd family into Hillside. To induct means to admit as a member, and that seems more friendly. We are admitting the Todd's into our church family, and inducting/installing Pastor Dan as our church leader. Overall, I think Hillside is excited (and perhaps a little anxious) to begin this new chapter. We know God is in control, and He is good, all the time, all the time He is good!
In preparation of the upcoming induction of the Todd family, here is a picture and a little bit about them. They are great people and I am looking forward to getting to know them more!
We hope that many of you can come out for the induction of Pastor Dan and his family. After what is sure to be a very exciting service, there will be a summer salad celebration potluck to welcome and fellowship with the Todd family. We hope to see you there!
Plan on joining us this weekend to worship and celebrate Pastor Rick and Billie Jo's ministry at Hillside!
As many of you might know, Pastor Rick respectfully resigned back in January to hopefully make things easier on Billie Jo, as her health has kept her from physically joining us here at Hillside for quite some time. In the months that followed Pastor Rick found out he has lung cancer and is undergoing treatment currently. God's peace is overflowing within Pastor Rick, as he is very calm and confident he will beat this cancer! Needless to say, this transition in the Long's life is an epic one, and I am sure God is moving in their lives.
The Long's are hoping to move to Colorado this fall after Pastor Rick's treatments are completed and as their health allows. Continue to lift Pastor Rick and Billie Jo up as they focus on getting well and whole in this time of transition and prepare their hearts and minds and bodies for whatever God has in store for them.
This Sunday, July 9th, is our celebration, or as some are calling it, the "kick them to the curb" party, to show how amazing our God is and how God has used the Long's to the betterment of our lives. We are hoping that since this service is outdoors that Billie Jo will be able to join us. We will have our service on the lawn, so be sure to bring a chair (chairs will be provided as well), followed by a time of fellowship and food. If you are able, please bring a side dish or dessert to share. Hamburgers and hotdogs will be provided, as well as water and lemonade.
Whilst this is the official "good-bye" party for the Long's, Pastor Rick will still be around and preaching on the 16th and 23rd of July. So if you are unable to make it this Sunday, don't fret! There are still a couple of weeks to let the Pastor know that we will miss him!