This Sunday begins a new chapter for the Hinsdale congregation. We begin worshiping at our new home in the Hinsdale Seventh Day Adventist Church (hereafter HSDAC). In a few weeks’ time, our offices will also be moving, right next to the church. I’m excited to see how God will use these new facilities in our church life.
For those who are interested, I thought I’d share some info about our new neighbors. While the building in which we’ll be worshiping was built in 1970, HSDAC began many decades earlier, in 1908. It currently has around 800 members, and its stated mission is “Worshiping God, Growing Families, Reaching Community.”
When we think of the Seventh-Day Adventists, if we know anything about them at all, we likely think of some of their unique distinctives. Most noticeably, they believe that obedience to the fourth commandment means that Christians are still commanded to worship on the last day of the week (hence their name). They have a strong commitment to physical health, abstaining from caffeine and alcohol and establishing many hospitals throughout the world. Their theology is deeply shaped by Ellen White, whose teachings are considered by their church to be significant and prophetic. Perhaps their greatest doctrinal distinctive is the belief that in 1844 Christ entered a new and final phase in his atoning work before his return.
Yet while the SDA has clear (and not insignificant) differences from our denomination, we also have very much in common. On the HSDAC website, it identifies their denomination as being part of “the rich protestant and evangelical tradition that includes Methodists and Baptists.” Significantly, the SDA affirms orthodox trinitarian theology. It upholds Scripture as the inspired, authoritative Word of God. It proclaims a gospel in which salvation is through Christ, the Son of God, alone.
Also striking to me is the attitude of welcome I have personally experienced from this church. In all of my conversations with Travis Sager, their senior pastor, as well as with others of their leaders, I have been struck by how kind, hospitable, and accommodating they have been to us. Inevitably, there will be an adjustment phase, when both congregations become accustomed to sharing this space, but I am deeply encouraged by the spirit of generosity I have sensed in them, and I look forward to experiencing a kind of partnership with HSDAC.
Please pray for this transition, that God would use this new setting to accomplish his purposes in the life of our congregation. And for those of you who are in our Hinsdale congregation, don’t forget to come to 201 N. Oak Street at 9:30 AM this Sunday!