Sunday Morning Service Times

Traditional Worship: 9:00 am

Praise Worship Service: 11:05 am

A long time ago in a land far away, Sandy Hillis and her husband, Lee, moved here from Connecticut in 1984 and joined River Hills UMC. “I was born in Cooperstown, NY, and grew up on a farm about 8 miles away in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains. I attended Draper Central School (now renamed Schenevus Central School) – when you moved up to the 6th grade you moved up to the second floor! I attended State University of New York at Albany and graduated with a secondary Math Education degree. When we moved to Minnesota, I got my MBA from the Carlson School at the University of Minnesota.”

Sandy’s music experience began early. “I went to a small church in Upstate New York and sang in the choir. I also went to a small school and, generally, you were involved in everything. Therefore, I played the trombone in band and sang in the chorus, too. All of my siblings played brass instruments, and we played a few selections together as part of the Spring Concert.   Currently, I have decided that I would like to learn how to play the piano and our own Cathleen Harris has agreed to take me on as a student. No plans on a recital anytime soon though!”

When asked about how she found herself in the alto section of the Chancel Choir, Sandy replied, “Music is such an important thing to me. It makes each day more enjoyable.” She was originally in the Catch Fire contempo-rary singing group, but moved to the Chancel Choir around 1990/1992. “I was asked to join the Chancel Choir by Lee Covart, and I was very happy to join them. We get to learn some beautiful music and have some smiles and laughs along the way. There are all levels of musical knowledge, so you don’t need to be afraid that you won’t fit in!”

What does Sandy enjoy most about being in the Chancel Choir? She replied, “The chance to learn new songs and to keep improving on old favorites. The choir members are also very interesting people, who are very supportive and caring folks. We are also blessed to have a wonderful director and accompanist!”

Sandy enjoys a variety of music, especially classical music and “really good tenor singers.” Bach and Handel are two of Sandy’s favorite classical composers. “Favor-ite hymns include, ‘Fairest Lord Jesus’ andIn the Garden’ (which always reminds me of my mom and makes me smile). Otherwise, I really enjoy ‘sappy’ show tunes on occasion.”

Sandy has previously served as Chair of the Finance Committee and a member of the Mission Committee. She currently works with the Hospitality group and the Welcoming Committee. “It’s a great way to meet others on a more personal level. We have some really wonderful people here at River Hills. There are so many areas where you can plug in and benefit from it as much as others will benefit from your involvement!”

When asked what she enjoys doing in her free time, Sandy replied, “I enjoy knitting hats and scarves, which I add to the ones our church donates to Sioux Trail School. I also volunteer at The Open Door in Eagan and donate platelets to the Red Cross, thanks to Terry Moore’s influence. Working out at the gym or taking a long walk each day is something I enjoy, as well. I’ve even found that I enjoy cooking and baking bread! And, of course, there are always activities to attend for our grandkids!”

Until December 2016, Sandy was a Director of IT at St. Jude Medical, where she led the Finance team in implementing a new ERP system globally for SJM. “It was a very rewarding job which enabled me to meet coworkers around the world and to help us work much more efficiently and accurately.” Sandy is now officially retired.

Sandy and Lee have twin sons, Mike and Matt, who are both married. Mike has 3 girls and Matt has 3 boys. “Luckily, they live close enough for us to see them often. We get to enjoy many soccer and lacrosse games, as well as gymnastic meets and band concerts.”

Sandy concludes by saying, “It’s true that God will provide. Rely on him and don’t feel that you have to solve and control everything. One of my favorites is, ‘Don’t worry, it won’t add a day to your life.’ Give it up to God!”