An Evolution

The Story of 

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a Church on the Edge

North Highland Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) began December 12, 2010. That day, the congregations of North Presbyterian and Highland Park Presbyterian dissolved in order to form a completely new church: North Highland.

Highland Park Presbyterian began in 1887 and served the Highlands / Sloan's Lake neighborhoods, reaching 1,500 members in its heyday of the 1950s. North Presbyterian began in 1925, as a society church closely related to the Free Masons, with 1,700 members in the 1950s. Even though these congregations were less than a mile apart, they were each active, large communities with very different identities.Like most mainline churches, these congregations declined in membership in the decades that followed, and by the turn of the millennium, they were struggling to keep up their buildings and ministries.

The core of each congregation, however, was a group of people (even numbering 10-12 people), committed not only to each other but to God's work of justice, inclusivity, and love through their churches. North decided to sell its 33,000 square foot building and remain as a congregation - a church without a building. Highland Park had the same commitment to staying together as a faith community. The two groups came together with ease -with a common vision.

The new church occupies the building that Highland Park first established. To become a new church, both congregations have re-claimed the reality that "church" is not “how we’ve always done it”; church is an ever-living, ever-dying, ever-rising experience that follows Jesus' example of living, dying, and rising through God's grace. God’s new thing in Church History – lived out in North Highland’s experience – and throughout the world – seems to be joining together what has been seperate – creating new unity in order to witness to the world that strangers really can become friends and that those united friends can serve the world’s greatest loneliness and hunger.

Being together, being new, North Highland discerned that the new work God has called us to is to foster life-giving experience for as many people in the neighborhood as possible. Neighbors have expressed the need for space to host classes, workshops, meetings, reunions, parties, weddings, etc. Various organizations that work for justice and healing ask to use the church buildings for their work. God is making a sacred co-operative in our midst, giving the church the opportunity to acknowledge everyone who enters the buildings or gardens as sacred beings doing sacred work.   


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