What is Hillel?

We get that question a lot! We are a Friends Meeting-most commonly referred to as “Quakers”-that formed in 2004. We are not Jewish, but our name reflects the relationship of Quakers to Jews in that we are followers of Jesus Christ, who was of course Jewish.

Hillel is an emergent meeting (also called a “church”). The emergent movement is not so easy to describe, but we’ll do our best! There are many things that comprise the emergent church, but what we have listed below is what makes Hillel emergent:

  • Small church-ours is a house church that rotates between member’s homes every three weeks
  • We observe a “generous orthodoxy” (as Brian McLaren has so beautifully put it)
  • We emphasize story and post-modern hermeneutics
  • Story, or narrative, is the starting point for emergent teaching, worship, and even format (Hillel has a very basic format: eat, talk, and then enter into traditional Quaker silent worship. Messages, be they in the form of spoken words or even music, are given only when one is led to do so)
  • We believe authentic community is at the heart of church. We get together frequently for dinner, volunteering, movies, and other things that friends do
  • We believe that a healthy faith community is interdependent upon God and each person in the Meeting
  • We recognize multiple voices and viewpoints when encountering the narrative of history, and in particular, the Biblical narrative. We understand that scripture was written in a particular place and time, and that although we can and should glean lessons from it, we must not think it’s a “black and white” rulebook for all of time.
  • We have a love and respect for all of creation, many of us honor a variety of “lifestyles” and family systems, and we all have a concern for true justice
  • We strive to live in God’s kingdom now-as opposed to waiting for Christ to return

So, we hope you’ll join us sometime. Just call first to see where we are meeting the particular Wednesday that you want to drop in!