Mountainside – a.k.a. the ‘chicken church’

From Tamara

Mountainside is the first “small” church I’ve ever consistently attended. I was instantly amazed by a few key distinctives: no amplified sound, children worshipping with instruments and dance during service, spontaneous sharing and reflecting during service, prayer requests and praise reports during service.

I remember visiting my “old church” on Christmas Eve and passing by the tinted-window, soundproofed mother’s room. Such a contrast to our scene of mothers and newborns in the basement space God has given us to gather in for so many years. I see the space as our manger – an unlikely environment, but one that has helped shape who we are and who we are becoming.

It’s somewhat ironic that in a space that barely has walls or doors and is filled with cracks, holes and crevices I’ve discovered a place for my spirit to be so renewed and my faith refreshed.

I believe church searching is much like courtship. I’m glad I married my spouse, but I could have chosen to marry someone else and invested in a different life-long relationship. Even though God is sovereign and already knew my partner – the fact is love is a choice. We’ve visited and worshipped in many churches. Over the past two years, we’ve simply chose to invest in Mountainside.

If I’m honest, I chose Mountainside mostly for its proximity to my home. What a gift to worship alongside my neighbors. One of my biggest joys is bumping into Mountainsiders all around town. Now, I stay for many more reasons than the walkable distance! Such rich relationships and how fun to experience God with skin on.

These are a few of my (Mountainside) favorite things:

  • Authentic. Real. Less produced.
  • Consistent candle-lighting
  • Brewery tours
  • My first introduction to Cards Against Humanity
  • Opportunities to steward my time, talents and treasures
  • Getting to be a church Auntie
  • Craft night
  • Communion gathering feasts
  • The Doxology – those precious seconds just after the last note is sung – the supernatural acknowledgement of the sacred and the common, the divine and human, the ritual and tradition mixed with the new and mystery.