Matt's Story //
Good morning. My name is Matt Hill and I'm a member of Holy Spirit and I've been involved in the formation of Salt House. I'm here this morning to speak briefly about my faith journey, my involvement with Salt House and how I see value in this new ministry.
To start, my faith journey truly begins at birth as I have been a part of this church my entire life, including my baptism, which is 23 years ago this month. Being confirmed in fall 2007 and joining the church council this summer. Growing up I was involved with typical church activities, Sunday school, confirmation, and regular church attendance throughout high school. Faith was always a part of my life but I wasn't entirely sure how or why. I guess it was something that I just did.
More recently my faith journey evolved during my time at the University of Washington. Upon arriving at UW in 2010 I was referred to Pastor Scott Postlewaite and the Lutheran Campus Ministry by Pastor Mike. Overall it was a great experience and I'm genuinely glad I found it. For worship we would meet Wednesday evenings for a casual and to-the-point service specifically intended for college students, followed by dinner. The atmosphere and purpose of the service felt very authentic and the community, while not large by any stretch, felt natural due to the common thread of the university. I looked forward to that hour, or 90 minutes, one evening each week as a chance to pause and reconnect to my faith. The three years I was a part of the Lutheran Campus Ministry at UW was a truly memorable experience and, more importantly, fostered my faith journey.
As for Salt House, my involvement starts the summer of 2013. After three years in the fraternity house I was, let's say, tired of the energy. And for my senior year, I did the millennial thing: move back home. Being back in Kirkland, I was asked to be a member of the call committee that eventually found Pastor Sara and a member of the young adult community that was formed to help launch what is now Salt House. Additionally, I felt that my experience in campus ministry could help form a ministry that could attract Salt House's target audience.
Moving to why I feel Salt House is important, I want to look in a slightly different direction. What I'd like to bring attention to is the potential to strengthen the faith journey of Holy Spirit's confirmands and teenagers, the future target audience of Salt House. While we have commonly said that Salt House will attract young adults for a plethora of reason, principally centered around being more young adult and millennial focused, I hope this ministry will address another critical reason why I believe young adults do not continue with, nor join faith communities. Disconnected experiences with church from when they were younger. Why teenagers enjoy or may not enjoy church is another discussion, but there is a common decision frequently made by teenagers and young adults today: leave the church.
Specifically for Holy Spirit, I hope that our confirmands and high school students who may or may not feel as connected to the church as we would hope, look forward to joining Salt House as an option to stay engaged with the church when they enter their twenties. Salt House, being intrinsically different, yet preserving Holy Spirit's values will not only serve as the conduit for young adults faith journeys, but also the potential reset of previous church experiences. Ultimately, while Salt House will open its doors and invite young adults to be a part of its community, I hope this ministry will also call to our younger members as they approach adulthood and allow them to continue their faith journeys.
Finally, I'd like to thank the congregation for the opportunity to share my story, for your overwhelming support and your willingness to pursue this endeavor. Unequivocally, the achievements we've realized to date would not have been possible without the courage of Trinity Lutheran Church, the vision of Holy Spirit, and the generosity of this congregation. Thank you.