Reaching Heights April 2024

Heights Christian Church Icon of Two Followers Lifting a CrossReaching Heights April 2024

Links to this month’s news:

WORSHIP AND STUDY

  • Worship Themes for April 2024

FROM THE STAFF

  • Kate’s Cogitations
  • Listening and Partnering Together
  • Welcome New Members

FROM THE BOARD

  • Education
  • Worship Planning Team
  • Mission Ministry 
  • Fellowship

OTHER NEWS

  • Knitters Needed
  • Wednesday’s Together
  • Book Group and Meditative Arts Group
  • Gift Cards
  • Social Media
  • Birthdays

See the Serving Schedule

Worship Themes for April

 

 

Sunday, April 7     Second Sunday of Easter
“Here’s My Heart” John 21:1-19

Though Peter’s story does not end with the conclusion of the Gospels, we finish our series with Peter’s encounter with the risen Christ. In this final week, we come full circle with Peter. He has dropped his nets, walked on water, professed his faith, been rebuked, received footwashing, denied Jesus, and run to the tomb. And now, Jesus once again meets him at the shoreline where Peter is casting his nets. Jesus offers abundant nourishment and also a new command: “Feed my sheep.” Then he turns to Peter and asks three times, “Do you love me?” It’s as if Jesus says, “Here’s my heart,” which washes over Peter’s three denials like a healing balm. No matter how far we wander, may we entrust our hearts to God. No matter if our faith is strong or weak, what we can give is our love.

Easter Season: Stories of Resurrection using materials developed by
Dr. Marcia McFee and Worship Design Studio
Over the course of the next 6  weeks, we will be telling Resurrection Stories about real people who found new life. Just as we work to bring heaven on earth, we can also expect that resurrection is possible within our own life-times. We can be resurrected from despair over many things. It is not easy, for sure. But we are not alone and we already have in our possession the key to new life… anytime.

April 14            Third Sunday of Easter Resurrection Stories:
Acts 16:16-34 “Freed”

We may be imprisoned by many things. Jesus’ declaration that he had come to “set the prisoner free” can be interpreted for all of us, whether or not we’ve ever experienced being behind literal prison bars. This day, we will hear a Resurrection Story that moves from chains to freedom. We will reflect on how we can each step into freedom from whatever binds us.

April 21            Fourth Sunday of Easter Resurrection Stories:
Luke 24:36-43 “Found”

What is it like to literally not have a home, a place to lay your head at night? “Homeless” can also mean a sense of not feeling “at home,” lacking a feeling of belonging, feeling alone even in the midst of others. So many in this world are isolated. How can we find, and offer each other, “home” with the assurance of the presence of God and a beloved community?

April 28            Fifth Sunday of Easter  Resurrection Stories:
Genesis 32:24-32 “Healed”

Illness of mind, body, or spirit can sap us of our life passion and energy. Sometimes illness can change the course of our lives forever, asking us to adapt in ways we never imagined. And while illness is not visited upon anyone by God’s design, sometimes limitations open our eyes to other possibilities. We will look for a different perspective on how we deal with any life-altering situation.

From the staff

 

Kate’s Cogitations

Years ago I read a book by Nora Gallagher, called “Practicing Resurrection.” Part memoir, part musing on how best to live out her faith, Gallagher’s work explores topics I have often wondered about myself. Since then, other books featuring similar titles began to appear – some offer commentary on a specific book of the bible, others suggest specific actions to do when adopting “resurrection” as a spiritual practice of sorts. 

This season of Easter-tide (the Great Fifty Days between Easter Day and Pentecost) seem like the perfect time to consider how we might live “resurrected” lives while we’re still here on earth, and how we might make the story of Jesus’ resurrection mean more than a past event and more of an ongoing movement. 

Our worship theme for this season will be “Resurrection Stories.” Each week we’ll read stories of resurrection, new life, or hope kindled from scripture and also hear a current story of a life changed or a transformation in progress. These stories are meant to help us discover signs of resurrection all around us each day.  In our relationships and in nature,  in our spiritual lives and in our congregation and community, God is doing something new – something with promise and potential, something that invites us to take a second look and possibly to remove our shoes to walk on holy ground. 

in peace,
~Kate

Listening and Partnering Together

We are so grateful to all of you who returned a self-interview form or took the time to interview someone else.  We’ll share with the congregation some of the themes we hear and some suggestions for how HCC might be involved in mission to the community as a result. This Spring we will try some “mini-experiments” to learn even more about our community and ourselves. And we’ll keep our eyes and ears, our minds and hearts, open to the movement and guidance of the Holy Spirit!   If you have questions or suggestions, please see Dr. Kate or Jane Troha. Thank you! 

Goal #4:        Experiment with some “action items” and events

Invitation:  for ministry team members and others to propose small events for HCC to host (or help with) that allow us to interact with and learn from the community

Goal #5:        Discern next steps based on all we learn through listening, partnering and experimenting.

Invitation: Hold congregational meeting(s) where we share what we have learned, as we hold space for creative imagining together.

We welcomed 3 new members Sunday, March 3! 

What a joy is was to extend the hand of fellowship to Donna Mattox, Alexis Puruleski, and John Weber on March 3! All three have been attending regularly and have found a home with HCC. They  participated in our Newcomer Gatherings, and made the decision to join HCC. Their presence and participation is a gift to our congregation.

 

 

News from the Moderator

Charitable Giving

Homeless Stand Down
At its March meeting, the Board of Trustees authorized a $500.00 to the Business Volunteers Unlimited in support of their Homeless Stand Down project. This group collects new shoes, socks and underwear and gives them to homeless individuals. Next year HCC plans to collect items in support of this worthy cause.

Address Change
Longtime members will remember Michael “Doc” Murray, HCC’s former Director of Music and Organist. He continues to live in Columbus, but has a new address. In case you are, or wish to be, in touch with him his new address is 4590 Knightsbridge Blvd., Apt. 223, Columbus, OH  43214. Many thanks to Martha Cubberley for passing this information on to us!

Education Ministry

During April and May, the Sunday Adult Study Group will read and discuss Dancing in the Darkness: spiritual lessons for thriving in turbulent times by Shaker author Otis Moss III. In the midst of these dark days of division, anxiety, and looming threats of violence, Dr. Moss instructs us in practices of spiritual resistance by combining justice and love. We’ll meet on Sunday mornings at 9:30 in the chapel and online (same Zoom link as the worship service), starting April 7. Books are available through Amazon or your local library.
The Education Team is grateful for the volunteers who provide creative, thoughtful, and loving Intergenerational Moments during worship each Sunday.

MidWeek Bible Study Spring 2024
Tuesdays 2:00 p.m.                 April 23 + 30; May 7+14  Zoom

What’s Your Superpower?
We live in a world where it is easy to be overwhelmed by evil systems and actions. Yet, we have great God-given power. These four sessions explore the power granted to us through God in the Holy Spirit and how these gifts can translate to making a difference in our day-to-day lives. As it has been said, with great power comes great responsibility. These sessions are highly interactive, include links to cultural connections (movie clips, TedTalks, music) and bible commentaries, and invite participants to apply the learning to their own situations. No preparation is necessary, but plenty of optional follow up resources will be shared. ALL are welcome to participate – for one or all sessions! Invite a friend to join us as we explore the ways we can make a difference.
Session 1: Dominion Is Your Superpower
Session 2: Koinonia Is Your Superpower
Session 3: Paradox Is Your Superpower
Session 4: The Spirit Is Your Superpower

These sessions will be led by Jane Troha and Kate Gillooly

Worship Ministry

We had a very meaningful Lenten season with shared meals (Ash Wednesday and Maundy Thursday) with Plymouth and a shared service with Plymouth on Ash Wednesday.
We are so pleased to have new members join HCC during this significant season in our Worship year.
Thank you to all who contributed to the Palms on Palm Sunday and purchased flowers for Easter Sunday.
In this month of April, we celebrate the second Sunday of Easter and start preparing for Pentecost.

Missions Ministry

Spring has sprung or has it?
On March 19th around 11pm this happened. Wow! Yes, even as I type this, it is snowing on March 20th. The Holy Spirit loves us all and so there is something for everybody in Metro Cleveland. According to Al Roker, Cleveland is the best location in the nation, Do you agree?

Wall of Love – Thank you Heights Christian! Your generosity as usual to take care of the least of these did not fail those in need. Our collection of winter gear for Lomond students ended on March 10th. The last collection was taken to Lomond the following week.

Egg Cartons collections were in operation prior to our move to Plymouth. The cartons have contributed to help preserve/improve the environment, ” God’s creation”. Connee has been very dedicated to this cause. It is a year-round contribution local in the narthex.

Flower vase collections – Debbie Osgood  has volunteered for Big-Hearted Blooms, which was founded by Sue Buddenbaum and delivers recycled flower arrangements to people facing a variety of life challenges . Connee has volunteered to coordinate another vase collection at HCC. Stay tuned for details.

Neighbor Night convenes year-round on the last Tuesday of the month.  All are welcome. This month the date is April 30th from 6-8pm. The place is Stephanie Tubbs-Jones building. Often a person from Food Network rescue delivers produce which is available to those who want it. Come by and stay awhile. A light meal is always served.

Sussex Community Association: On April 20th from 7-10pm at the Shaker Family Center is having its annual Sussex Social. There will be games music, dancing, raffle, appetizers, desserts. More information and tickets available on Facebook and Instagram.

Remember: Missions has yard signs with QR codes for the November general elections. In October we will again put out a reminder if you would like one. Thanks for VOTING. This is one way to have your voice heard.

April 15th is fast approaching for tax returns. AARP and IRS provide assistance for those who qualify. Many trained volunteers are hard at work throughout Cuyahoga County area. Hurry as available slots have or are filling up.

Outreach Committee grant applications for funding will be available from March through May ’24. Go to our website Heightschristianchurch.org to make a request. The criteria is listed. Heights Christian has and will do its best to serve those in need with volunteers, funds, advocacy.

Adult Faith and Life at Plymouth UCC: Heights Missions Team support community partnerships and will continue to meet to find ways to join our partner however we can as they reach out and stand up for those who are marginalized locally and throughout the world.

If you are interested in joining Plymouth volunteers at the Food Bank, contact Paul Qua; pqua@classicautocampus.com.

Donations to the Little Free Pantry are available for non-perishable food at any time.  It is located just off the parking lot here at Heights Christian and Plymouth Church. Stats from Cleveland Food Bank: Do you know that 1 out of 5 children live in poverty. 1 in 7 people are food insecure while there is about 40% of food in U.S. is wasted. Our Little Free Pantry is used regularly and is in need of more contributions. Please remember: No glass containers.

Continue praying but also doing for others. Some of us learned that as recent events in our lives  led to more thinking/dreaming of what’s next. Micah 6:8. Missions is a community issue beyond the brick and mortar of the building.

Remember to visit the clip board in Narthex to sign up for community engagement events.

Please share with mission’s ministry other events that you know and feel this might be one way to share the good news.

From our Fellowship Team Leaders:

Hospitality Hour

Hope you all have been enjoying our Hospitality Hours on the first Sunday of each month.

It does take a team to put this together and we need some volunteers to assist by providing snacks for these gatherings.   It seems to work well if we have two (2) people provide snacks, one a sweet and the other a savory snack.  We also like to include the bread from the communion table with some butter and perhaps some jam. April 7 has a host. Could you host in May?

Please contact Linda Durham or Nikki Crosby if you can provide a snack in an upcoming month.  Thank you for your generosity.

 

 

 

Knitters Needed! 

HCC has been making and sharing Prayer Shawls for the past twenty years, and we have shared over 90 shawls. Our supply of shawls is running low, and we could use more to have available to share.  Each shawl requires three six-ounce balls of yarn, and using Size 11 needles makes a generous comfortable shawl.  All colors are needed – we have shared Prayer Shawls with men and women within our congregation as well as outside of our congregation.
Details are available from Donita.

Wednesday’s Together

Plymouth Church, UCC and Heights Christian Church are both blessed to call our building at 2860 Coventry Road home. This coming year, both congregations are looking forward to growing friendships between our members, as well as discerning what ministry opportunities and events we can embark on together! One way we will seek to expand our relationship is through sharing “Wednesdays Together.” On the first three Wednesdays of each month, we will share8 in fellowship and formation with one another. We look forward to seeing many folks from HCC and Plymouth at each gathering!

On First Wednesdays, join us for Book Group. Come and be in conversation around a different chosen book each month. You’re welcome even if you haven’t read the book to enjoy the discussion together.

On Second Wednesdays, join us for Meditative Arts Group. We will provide projects or you can bring your own.  Everyone is invited to color, doodle, draw, paint, knit, sew – whatev8er fits your interest and provides soothing quiet for you. We will gather with fellowship, then listen to calm, soothing music while we break out our pens, crayons, colored pencils, and knitting needles.

On Third Wednesdays, join us for Lunch Club. We gather for a homemade meal and fellowship, and then listen to a speaker from the community or one of our churches. We will occasionally take a field trip out to a destination in Northeast Ohio, so be on the lookout for where we will meet each month. There will be a suggested donation amount  for lunch each month.   RSVP to Pastor Dillon at dshipman@plymouthchurchucc.org, which is necessary for food preparation.

This Month’s Lunch Club
Wednesday, April 17 at 12:30 pm in Fellowship Hall

Join us for lunch and fellowship, as well as a time of discussion as we approach Earth Day. Rev. Brooks Berndt, the United Church of Christ’s Environmental Justice Minister, will be with us to talk about climate care and creation stewardship.

The suggested donation for lunch is $10. RSVP to Pastor Dillon at dshipman@plymouthchurchucc.org, which is necessary for food preparation.
Reservations are due Sunday, April 14.

Book Group

The Book Group will meet – Wednesday, April 3 at 1:00 pm in Room 102 at Plymouth Church. If you would like to have lunch before the meeting, bring your own and come at 12:30. We will be discussing the book Tom Lake, by Anna Patchett

Meditative Arts Group

Meditative Arts Group will meet at 1:00 pm April 10 in the Atrium.  We will provide projects or you can bring your own.  Everyone is invited to color, doodle, draw – whatever fits your interest and provides soothing quiet for you. We will gather with fellowship, then listen to calm, soothing music while we break out our pens, crayons, colored pencils, etc.

Gift Cards

Remember gift cards are available on Sunday mornings and in the office every weekday during normal office hours.

Support Heights Christian Church while you shop.  Get your shopping done early.  And make your life less stressful.  Gift cards are easy and appreciated.  (Cash or check only, please)

Social Media outreach

HCC is on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and You-Tube and Linked-In!  Several recordings of special worship services have been uploaded to our channel on You-Tube. If you see something you like, share it on your page! This will increase our reach and may draw in our next visitor!

 

 

  April
9 – Shirley Blackwell     23 – Bobbi Phelps     28 – Bill Dunn

May
5 – Val McMillan     8 – Felix McDonald     15 – Cindy Maxey
15 – Brian McDonald     20 – Nancy Carpenter     22 – Autumn Mehring
25 – Claire Dunn     26 – Sylvia Farley     30 – Connee Choi

We are glad to share the birthdays we have on record each month and encourage members to reach out with greetings. We apologize if someone’s name has been omitted – please call Kese in the church office to share your birthday if we don’t have it in our list. We want to celebrate you!