Monday, December 13, 2010

Hillsong NYC

This video's not mine and it's not from the night I went, but it helps show the praise and worship part of the service :)

Rock instruments and rhythms and waving arms greeted us as we walked into Irving Plaza last night. I was with my friend V and her parents, we were going to church. But, I grew up Catholic, got confirmed as a Catholic, and continue to attend Catholic mass every Sunday. We walked into a concert hall instead of a church with a rock band instead of a choir and a woman preaching. Hillsong NYC was not my typical church experience, but it was an amazing spiritual and faithful experience.

Hillsong is a pentecostal church that started in Australia in 1983. It has spread around the world: London, Kiev, Capetown, Stockholm, Paris, Moscow, and now, New York City, can all claim Hillsong congregations. Brian and Bobbie Houston founded Hillsong with the desire to create a fresh and contemporary atmosphere for worship and praise to Jesus Christ.

As a Catholic, that part wasn't so different. The service seemed like an evening event at a youth conference or retreat. It was calming and exciting at the same time and, personally, it was relevant and enlightening. I felt Christ's spirit in the crowd and through the words of the preacher, Christine Caine. She spoke about our need to understand that God has a place for us, and that that place is different than whatever positions in life we might seek. This message is often repeated in Christian circles, but it's important that it is, especially for students (like myself) who are nearing graduation. God has a plan for each one of us and our responsibility is to be open to His plan and accepting of His love, and if so, things will work out with patience and with faith.

I enjoyed the service a lot and I had some good prayerful moments. I'm all about striving toward a personal relationship with God and it helped me feel that a little bit more again. If you're not familiar with Catholic mass,  they can be a little impersonal and formulaic, but that tradition is part of what I love about it. And the Eucharist is so incredibly important that any service without it is merely supplemental. I would go to Hillsong again, but I would still go to mass too.

1 comment:

  1. zach!! yay!! i'm so glad you came with us and you liked the service :) we are going to have to make sunday night dinner and church a weekly ritual next year. and maybe you'll be able to convince me to wake up for sunday morning mass a few times too :)