new york city NYC Semester

A church that occupies all streets: Hillsong New York City

This Sunday, I was moved to tears. Not only because the worship in church was amazing, the message insightful and the production a set that every media lover dreams church could be, but because it was my last Sunday being able to call Hillsong’s New York City campus home. This church has been my place of refuge, my safe spot– a place where I could escape the chaos of the city and just breathe, but also learn how to fully embrace everything New York is, through Jesus’ eyes and grace. This church has taught me so much about life in the last four months, and I absolutely have loved getting to experience the way they do life.

Every Sunday I’ve spent in Hillsong there’s been an abundance of joy, grace, gratitude, peace and open arms. Hillsong says their goal is to make everyone feel welcome, and every single weekend I’ve gotten to witness them really live that out. I have never experienced a church so focused on loving and reaching people the way Hillsong does. It’s a place that feels like home, no matter what you’ve been through or continue to go through. My church occupies all streets and meets people where they are, and I truly admire and respect them for that.

Living in New York is crazy. There’s so much constantly going on here that is all consuming and all distracting–which is why I knew I wanted to make Hillsong such a priority. While the city is every traveler’s and journalist’s dream—it’s also a city full of a lot of darkness and brokenness. Hillsong has made this city feel more like home, it’s been incredible to be surrounded by people who share the same faith and also want to share light with a city that so desperately needs it.

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While it’s an incredible place full of an outpouring of love, it’s also a church that is fun. Hillsong rocks, literally. The music is what gets me every service–it’s upbeat, moving and beautifully written and composed. The band sings Hillsong songs, which is what I’ve grown up on and have been so plugged into lately. I love the spirit-filled energy during services and how their music connects people, and the worship connects people to God.

Some Sundays, I have attended more than one service with friends. Hillsong has been a place where I’ve met so many new people, and also grown in friendships with people I’ve met at school. It’s been a common bond and a place for me to learn more about New York, how to love others and myself. I’ve gotten to hear many times from lead pastor Carl Lentz, who is one of my biggest role models that I adore. I can’t believe I’ve gotten to call him my pastor and sit under his teaching.

I’ve also loved getting to witness in person the production side of Hillsong church. Hillsong is so artistic–in everything they do. From the design, to the visuals, to the videography and to the music, everything is so thought out and creative. Hopefully, someday, if I come back to New York, attend another campus or maybe even Hillsong college, then I’ll get to be a part of that.

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I’m going to miss New York Sundays in Hillsong beyond words. My heart and soul will be counting down the days until I get to walk through those doors again… Here’s a huge thank you to the church that made my short time in NYC feel more like home. I’ll never be able to thank you enough for all you’ve done in my life. Maybe I’ll make it back next year for conference xx

A glimpse into today’s message:

 

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