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Free & Fit - Hillsong East Coast Wisdom Year by Tim Cheux

Free & Fit - Hillsong East Coast Wisdom Year by Tim Cheux

The past two year period has seen much change for Faith communities across Dioceses, Denominations and Disciplines. Yet, Church life has continued, like in many other students contexts, at my field education placement for my Wisdom Year. For the past two years I have served at Hillsong East Coast which includes campuses in Montclair New Jersey, Boston, Massachusetts and of course Hillsong, New York City.

Supporting Baby Dedications at Christmas Service in Hillsong Boston, MA.

Hillsong has an exceptional culture of Hospitality. Similar to a familiar greeting when you walk into General Seminary you will receive a signature “Welcome Home” from staff members and volunteers. It is the global expression used when greeting people with pre-pandemic hugs and handshakes or post pandemic air fives and elbow bumps at a Hillsong Church. This is true whether you are in London, New York, Berlin, Sao Paulo, Kiev or Sydney. To thousands of different people around the world Hillsong is their Spiritual place to be Welcomed Home.

Greeting Congregants at Salvation Army, Hillsong NYC as part of Wisdom Year

My first experience of Hillsong was in 2013 when I was exploring the possibility of moving to Australia. When living in London I planned to make Hillsong my home Church in Sydney. Instead, I stayed in the UK and found full-time Ministry opportunities in an Anglican context, and two years later, in the US, a much wider Ecumenical context. The past six years I have been working as a School Chaplain, Children's Education Director, NYU College Pastor, UMC Associate Pastor and Youth Worker all coinciding with my arrival at General Theological School in 2018 to start my Masters of Divinity and certificate in Spiritual Direction.

Youth Worker role at Church St Marks Kennington, UK

However, Hillsong has always helped sustain, support and encourage me on my Spiritual journey. To support my work in Ministry I attended post work Church services at Hillsong during lunch time or evening services at Hillsong Bermondsey (Church Plant) and Hillsong London (Central Campus) in the United Kingdom. Throughout my time working in Ministry I have always made sure I still attended Hillsong. So then when I, along with my wife Liza, moved across to New York in December of 2016 when we moved to the United States Hillsong New York City became our evening Church Home. It is often not encouraged for Seminarians or Church Leaders to attend additional Church services, but my faith has been fully supported, nurtured and sustained through Worshipping, Praying and Reading the Bible within my Hillsong Church family context in both London and New York.

Attending Hillsong New York City United Palace location after PTM2 visits in New York City

These past two years I have been completing my field education more intentionally on staff at Hillsong East Coast. Firstly, in the context of New Jersey at our Montclair Campus in my Middler Year, 2020-2021, and more recently at Hillsong East Coast as part of my Wisdom Year, now, in 2021-2022. As I write to you we are preparing for Christmas services, small group celebrations and Campus specific staff and volunteer events. It is much like many other Churches I have worked st just different from a main line denominational context, but obviously with a very different polity, liturgy and worship context to an Anglican or Episcopal context.

Hillsong Church Service at the Salvation Army theater in person at New York City

This Christmas, like many other Churches, why don't you check out an online service for yourself. All our services are recorded live, with Worship and interactive chat groups. Even this month I had the privilege of welcoming our own fellow student Frank Hakola to our Prayer Ministry gathering at our New York City Chapel.

Welcoming fellow GTS student Frank Hakola to Hillsong Church Prayer Gathering

Often we hear about Churches, but we don't always Taste and See them for ourselves. Having been to many beautiful Episcopal Churches across New York and New Jersey, I thoroughly recommend attending one of Hillsongs Christmas or New Year services online or in person. Welcome Home!

Hillsong Church East Coast Online Services can be accessed online via Youtube here:

Hillsong Church East Coast In-Person Services can be accessed here: Blessings and Prayers,

Timothy Cheux

GTS Seminarian at Hillsong East Coast Mdiv & Spiritual Direction Senior 2022

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