Messy Church

Augustine often talked about a church being a school of love. At Hillside Community Church we couldn’t agree more! Nowhere is that expressed more for fully than in our Sunday School program, which we call “Messy Church.”

Each week in Messy Church, through songs and art and other engaging activities we teach our youngest members that they are loved by God just as they are and that they were made to share that love through lives of compassion and justice.

About Our Curriculum

Our Messy Church program is based on the innovative Grow Curriculum. Used by churches throughout the country, Grow uses a series model with a different theme every month.

What that means is that your child won’t be walking into a boring classroom to sit at a desk and be talked at. Rather, one month they’ll walk onto a desert island replete with palm trees and beach towels to sit on. The next month they’ll walk into outer space and be surrounded by planets, stars, and rocket ships.

These themes filter into each week’s games, songs, and art projects, keeping them fresh, fun, and engaging!

Meet The Messy Church Team

All of our team is vaccinated and background-checked. On Sunday mornings, they will always be masked.

John Sinclair

Originally from Santa Barbara, CA, John is a second-year Masters of Divinity student at the Boston University School of Theology. With a background in theater and running arts camps, he has a wealth or artistic and musical skills he loves sharing with kids.

Jen McGinley

Born and raised at Hillside Community Church, Jen has overseen our Sunday School program for years. With two kids of her own and the patience of several saints, she comes to this work with a passion for teaching little ones.

Here’s a play-by-play of what you can expect on your first visit

Find a Spot

We're located at 144 North Street in Medford, MA. On-street parking is available all around the church. On Sundays no permits are needed anywhere.

Put on a Mask

At Hillside, we take loving our neighbors very seriously. As COVID numbers continue to surge around the country, an easy way to love our neighbors is to wear masks in order protect each other and our community. As such, masks are mandated for participation in our in-person worship services and Sunday School program.

Arrive at Hillside Community Church

While our worship service and Sunday School begin at 10:30am, we recommend arriving about 10 to 15 minutes early to get your child checked in. You can enter our building via the ramp door to the left of our main entrance.
You'll be greeted by our Sunday School staff who will check in your child and print off a nametag for them and a pickup tag for you. You can then head out to the church's back yard where we'll worship as a full intergenerational community for the first 15 minutes of the service. Children will then be led back inside for fun, age-appropriate activities with their Sunday School teachers.

Pickup Time

Our worship services end at 11:30am. At that time, you can go back into the church via the ramp door, present your pickup tag our Sunday School staff, and then head out with your child (and potentially and amazing piece of art that they have made!)

Our Commitment to Inclusivity

Sanctuary United Church of Christ is an open and inclusive church. What that means is that we welcome, honor, and affirm people of every race, ethnicity, socioeconomic background, gender expression, and sexual orientation. We want you to know that you can trust your child to our educators without fear of them being judged or shamed for how God made them.

If you have any concerns or questions, you can contact our pastor using this form. 

Send a confidential message to our pastor