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Serving Through Music

Hilary Ritchie on theology, community, and leading worship at Bethel.

I’m majoring in both History and Biblical & Theological StudiesI love theology and I love history, and seeing the way the two interconnect. I think it’s important to understand that our theology doesn’t just come out of nowhere, that it was developed in a context. The reality is that we’re part of a tradition and part of this big story that God’s been working on for a long time.

I’d love to teach Theology. I think it scares people, and people don’t always understand it. I’d love to make it accessible.

We were made for community. The fact that the trinity is a community in itself. Countless times in the Bible we see that we’re meant to be in relationship with one another. In Acts you see the believers sharing everything in common.

I’ve had a taste of that at Bethel. Especially with my roommates. Being able to share all things with them. My roommate lets anyone use her car. Whoever needs it can use it. Sharing physical possessions is a mark of community. But also being able to share our lives with each other.

It reminds me that we weren’t meant to embark on our faith alone. Through community we see who God is and come to know Him better. People to have accountability with. Somehow, God uses that to bring you to Himself.

The most challenging part about community is doing the dishes, for sure. How is that the number one source of roommate conflict?

We live in a broken world, and we don’t always want to be in community. We don’t always want to serve each other. We don’t always want to see the best in each other. It can be difficult to try to figure out how to navigate those times. And to figure out what community looks like even in the midst of a broken world. It’s difficult when we remember that it’s not always going to be super easy. Sometimes we want things for ourselves.

But the good thing about Christian community is that there’s grace in that. I feel like I’ve experienced that at Bethel. With my roommates, there’s grace. And understanding that we’re all moving towards God together.

Take advantage of the community you’re in. Pursue it. Pray for it. When else do you get to live with your best friends like this? Only in college. Don’t let that go by without getting everything from it.

I got involved in worship at Bethel my freshman year.  I started playing violin when I was 5. And I had a cheap toy guitar, I think I got it when I was about 10. I played some bad pop-punk music in middle school. Then I led worship in high school. My freshman year I led the worship band for Bodien. I signed up to be a part of United my sophomore year.

It’s a really humbling opportunity to be a part of the worship on this campus. I know how to play music, so I can bring that offering. It’s such a humbling experience to see how God uses just what we have. God is doing big things regardless of what happens on stage.

Sometimes we have sets that we feel go terribly. But later we’ll find out that God did a lot in peoples’ lives. It’s good to remember that He’s in charge.

Leading worship, it’s an outpouring of yourself. I wouldn’t be able to have that outpouring if I wasn’t receiving from God. I wouldn’t be able to do it if I wasn’t in relationship with God. If I wasn’t spending time with Him every morning. Just being intentional about receiving from God. And being rooted and grounded in His truth.

God’s given everyone certain passions and gifts. When we live into those passions and live into those gifts, then we’re living full lives as we’re meant to. That’s what God creates us for. Do what you love.

More info about Hilary

History, Biblical & Theological Studies

College of Arts & Sciences

St. Paul, MN

Music, church history, backpacking, graphic design