Do you have questions about whether Hillcrest is really what you are looking for in a faith community, spiritual outlet, or church? Maybe you’ve never been to church before. Maybe it’s been a long time since you went to church. Maybe you’re a life-long Christian looking for a different faith experience. Maybe you’re a long-time UCC member, new to this area. Maybe you fit into some or none of the above “maybe’s”, but you still have questions. Here are some answers to questions we are often asked.
The following questions and answers are for a non-COVID environment. We hope to be safely returning to such an environment before long and will make those decisions and plans following state and guidelines and the best information available to us.
DURING THIS PERIOD OF COVID:
You May join us for Sunday Worship on our YouTube Channel. Sunday worship services post at 8 a.m. each Sunday.
Our live Fellowship gatherings (Sundays at 11:00), Children and Youth classes (Sundays at 1:30), and Adult Education sessions (Wednesdays at 11:00) are available by Zoom links which are circulated weekly. To join contact us.
Who worships at Hillcrest Church?
We are a progressive-leaning congregation that is Christian and Protestant in approach and teachings. We also learn from and engage other faith traditions in our social service ministries, fellowship, meditation, Christian Education, Interfaith and Multifaith programs, and community outreach. We welcome you regardless of race, ethnicity, culture, age, sexual orientation or other labels that could divide or distinguish one from another. We affirm the oneness of the human family and embrace all of God’s children. We are an Open and Affirming Church of the United Church of Christ. Members and friends join together from Pleasant Hill, Martinez, Pacheco, Concord, Walnut Creek and other surrounding communities to participate in worship and church activities.
What is a typical worship like?
Hillcrest worship is organized around a theme which is explored in various ways throughout the season. Each worship service is different; no two are the same! Some weeks may be more contemplative, while others may be more rousing!
Prior to the beginning of the service you will be welcomed by a Greeter who will offer you a Sunday bulletin. If you’d like, you will be offered a seat with another church member, and asked to complete our Visitor contact form. Strategically placed screens in the sanctuary provide special videos, participatory prayers, and focus for the order of worship.
The worship service begins with our accompanist (an accomplished pianist and organist) playing an instrumental prelude alone or with other musicians. The minister enters the sanctuary from the back and moves toward the front of the church. During our service, you will be invited to sing, pray, participate in responsive readings; witness the Children’s Moment, and; listen to Bible readings, the minister’s message and musical presentations from one of our choirs or instrumentalists. Communion is served the first Sunday of the month (during the season of Lent, leading up to Easter, Communion is available every Sunday).
Before and after worship service
Christian Education for both children and adults starts at 9:30 a.m. Sunday School for children begins in the classrooms on the Upper Campus (or West side of our campus), up the stairs or the winding path from the Fellowship Hall. You will find a nursery/preschool room and an elementary classroom supervised by Hillcrest staff and volunteers.
Adult “Bible Study” meets in our Fellowship Hall or Parlor, usually with our minister as the facilitator. All are welcome to join in study and discussion. We use the Bible, video resources, and other materials, all of which will be provided to participants.
After our worship service, we invite you to join us in Fellowship Hall, located directly across the patio from the front entrance of the church. Join us for refreshments and snacks so you can get acquainted with us and we with you.
How are children welcomed?
We have an active children’s ministry. Children join adults in the church sanctuary at the beginning of the worship service, gathering together with Sunday School teachers at the front of the church. They typically remain in the worship service for about 15-20 minutes. Following the “Children’s Moment,” they leave with their teachers to return to Sunday School classes.
Hillcrest Church takes the safety and well-being of our children and youth seriously. All staff and volunteers who work with children are required to complete a background check and follow our Safe Church policies.
What should I wear?
The typical dress style of our church attendees is “work casual.” However, others attending worship service dress in a range of styles from very casual to dressy. From jeans, shorts, t-shirts, and sandals to dresses and suit and tie…whatever your style, it is fine with us.
Where do I park?
When approaching Hillcrest on Gregory Lane from Pleasant Hill Road, you will see the church complex on the right-hand side of the street with the Sanctuary’s stained-glass windows in the distance. Access to the parking lot entrance is immediately following the traffic light at Gladys Lane on your left and Rolling Green Circle on your right. Turn right (small sign with arrow says “Church Parking”) into the parking lot which forms an L around the church complex, and continue to the left down the gradual hill. The Sanctuary entrance for worship is near the bottom of the hill and will be clearly visible on your left beyond the rose garden.
When approaching Hillcrest on Gregory Lane from Contra Costa Blvd., you will see the Church at the corner of Gregory and Kahrs Rds. Continue past the Hillcrest sign on the side of the sanctuary and approach the next intersection traffic light slowly. Turn left into the church parking lot from the left turn lane just before the traffic-controlled intersection at Gladys and Rolling Green Circle. Once in the parking lot, follow the directions above.
Is a bus stop nearby?
Contra Costa Transit Bus #116 runs up and down Gregory Lane with a stop in front of Hillcrest Church.
Are you handicapped accessible?
Easy access to the church sanctuary and other facilities is at the entrance for those using wheelchairs and other assistive devices. Special parking is located close to the sanctuary entrance.
Social Media Policy
Easy access to the church sanctuary and other facilities is at the entrance for those using program volunteers when social media tools are used to share Hillcrest Church news and information.
Social media provides a great opportunity to share information about church programs, events, and the activities of members involved in various ministries and programs. However, social media also presents certain risks and responsibilities.
Hillcrest Church UCC takes the privacy of individuals and their family members seriously. Below you will find some of the steps we are taking to ensure your privacy and confidentiality while communicating via social media.
Hillcrest Social Media Policies to ensure the privacy and confidentiality of church members:
- Only designated clergy, staff, volunteers or approved contractors will have permission to post and delete information on Hillcrest Church social media platforms. This permission requires administrative log-in and password approval.
- To ensure the safety of communications with youth, Hillcrest clergy, staff, and Children’s Ministry volunteers must complete a background check and follow Safe Church policies of Hillcrest Church and of the United Church of Christ.
- Photos of a minor will not be posted without receiving a completed Hillcrest Photo Release Form from the child’s parent or guardian.
- The names of minors will never be published when posting on social media or in print.
- Permission will be obtained in writing (can be in the form of an email or text message) prior to posting a photo and name of an adult church member.
- Personal, confidential or sensitive information regarding a church member or their family will not be published via social media (includes online newsletter, eblast, text messages, Facebook, Instagram, or any platform that may be used in the future) without the individual’s or family’s consent.