Reaching Heights August 2019

Heights Christian Church Icon of Two Followers Lifting a CrossReaching Heights August 2019

Links to this month’s news:

Worship – “Unraveled”
Backpack Blessing – and ice cream social
Along the Path – Thoughts from Pastor Roger
2019 General Assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Mid Week Bible Study – continues through August 27
Community Meal – August 17
Little Free Pantry – Help needed!
Porch Talks – Report
Pub(lic) Theology – August 20
Common Ground – Report

See the Serving Schedule – Go to the church calendar

Worship – In the Campbell Room!

All our worship themes this summer are taken from material called “Unraveled: Seeking God When Our Plans Fall Apart” by A Sanctified Art. Feel free to pick up a Study Journal in the Campbell Room to use weekly in preparation for Sunday worship or as a way to process what you hear.

August 4 – Jochebed’s Choice – Exodus 1:22; 2:1-10

August 11 – Job’s Lament and Loss – Job 28:12-28

August 18 – Jesus Heals Legion – Mark 5:1-20

August 25 – Rizpah Mourns Her Sons – 2 Samuel 21:1-14 (and backpack blessing – see below)

Join us for our Annual BackPack Blessing and Ice Cream Social!

Sunday, August 25th
Worship 10:00 am – in the Campbell Room (main floor)
BackPack Blessing and Ice Cream 11:15 am on the front lawn

People of all ages are invited to bring their backpacks, book bags, briefcases and totes to be blessed for the coming year at school or work.
We will also gather school supplies and backpacks to give to children in need through the Cleveland Christian Home (see list below).
Please invite your friends and neighbors to join us for this community event! And let us know if you would like to help set up, serve, contribute cookies, be a greeter, or help clean up for this event.

School supplies needed:
Art Supplies
Backpacks and messenger bags
Calendars/Day planners
Filler paper
Pencils and Pens

Along the Path:

This month I pass along the text of an email I received from the Sandy Sorensen, the Director of the United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries.  I think it is a good word for all of us.

Prepare for the Advocacy Marathon
Thank you for your advocacy and witness in these challenging times…

…UCC Justice and Local Church Ministries Associate General Minister Rev. Traci Blackmon once said, “I know the struggles will continue. I know that before this day ends, there will be something else. But just for a moment, I invite you to pay attention to the strength of our collective voices. Pay attention to the power of our collective prayers. Pay attention to the miracle working power of God, and allow yourself one moment of joy.” It is important that we take the time to reflect on the power of our stories and voices as advocates. We can and do make a difference each day in seemingly impossible circumstances.

The work of faith-based justice advocacy is a marathon, not a sprint. I have run two marathons in my life, and I learned the importance of pacing, stopping at water stations, and celebrating every small step toward the goal. As we approach the 2019 August congressional recess, remember to take Sabbath time to reset, rest, and recharge. Finding moments and spaces to reconnect in a deep way to the Holy Spirit and our call to do justice is, itself, part of the work. Tempting though it may be to push past the water stations and push ourselves harder, the result is a spirit depleted of the resources needed to do the work.

Maybe take a moment to do some meditation (Meditation Studio App: Free meditations posted weekly), delve into introspection with Rev. Dorhauer’s Into the Mystic podcast, or get inspired with a A Pep Talk from Kid President. Whatever it is, take time this August to tap into those things that sustain our spirits and keep us in the race. I’ll close now with a meditation on hope from Vaclav Havel that I’ve been ruminating on:

Hope is a state of mind, not of the world. It is an orientation of the spirit and orientation of the heart; it transcends the world that is immediately experienced and is anchored somewhere beyond its horizons. Hope, in this deep and powerful sense, is not the same as joy that things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously heading for success, but rather an ability to work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed. The more propitious the situation in which we demonstrate hope, the deeper the hope is. Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.

Thank you for all you do!  ‘Till next time… Pastor Roger

2019 General Assembly

Pastor Roger attended this year’s General Assembly in Des Moines, Iowa.  He reports that he has come back with lots of exciting new ideas that he will share over the next few days/weeks.  Stay tuned!

In the meantime, to find out more about what took place in Des Moines take a look at the following links:
Video of GA Worship Services
Highlights from the Daily Newsletters (and more Disciples news)
Business resolutions and reports

MidWeek Bible Study continues its study of Discovering the Psalms: Passion, Promise and Praise.

We meet each Tuesday through August at Juma Coffeehouse on Chagrin from 1:00 – 2:30 pm. Several psalms are assigned to be read as homework each week, but people are encouraged to attend even when they haven’t done any preparation. Each week stands on its own so people feel free to join any week and invite friends.
You bring your bible and purchase a beverage, we’ll provide the lively discussion!
Aug. 6 – Psalms of Sacred History
Aug. 13 – Psalms of Trust
Aug. 20 – Psalms of Lament
Aug. 27 – Psalms of Promise

Missions: Community Meal

Well we are in middle of Summer. For many it is vacation time whether at a cottage, the beach, a stay-cation locally, or time with family. There is just a little more than a month before we will resume our yearly church routine.

Because we take off from the usual during these months , most committees don’t have any active news to report. However, our Community Meal project is a year round activity. The July meal was well attended considering the 90 degree weather. We built it and they are still coming. Jim Donald while dripping with sweat continued his task of washing pots and pans. Chris Crosby was simply busily doing numerous things. Chef Q made a tasty lasagna and of course many others performed various tasks. Remember, you too can be a part of this event on the third Saturday of the month from noon to 2pm. Your help is always welcomed and needed.

By the way: Mike Droszcz and Brigette attended the Community Meal all sweaty after working in the garden on Saturday. If you wonder how he and others who have plots are doing, just go over after church and take a look.

Our Little Free Pantry Needs Your Attention!

LFP Founders, Katie and Amy, will be out of town this coming week (August 4-12). They faithfully check the Pantry every day or two and restock as needed from our cupboards in the basement. If you can stop by sometime this week to check on it and replenish the food, please let the church office know.




Porch Talks for a Beloved Community 

2019 Report of Porch Talks Planning Team

We are happy to announce the completion of a very successful first season of Porch Talks for a Beloved Community at Heights Christian Church.

Our Porch Talks project was inspired by the 1965 visit from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who spoke to a crowd of hundreds who gathered on the lawn and sidewalks around Heights Christian Church while Dr. King spoke to them from a porch. While the visit by Dr. King provoked controversy within the church, the courageous and determined Heights members who overcame the obstacles to Dr. King’s visit were rewarded with a great moment in the history of our church and our community.

Our goal for Porch Talks was to invite speakers who, though respectful of Dr. King’s message, would address today’s social justice and racial reconciliation issues. We invited each speaker to challenge us to continue forward toward a beloved community. We were very blessed that our invitations were accepted by a very talented and inspirational group of speakers.

Our first Porch Talk in May featured Amanda King, a young Cleveland artist and activist who reminded us that “Everyone is entitled to love, resources, justice, and protection under the law.” She also encouraged us to be “creatively maladjusted to anything that does not align with a morally just and ethical society.” Our second Porch Talk in June brought Rev. Dr. Mendle Adams, a retired minister who serves on the Board of Directors of Ohioans to Stop Executions, who spoke powerfully of capital punishment as “torture” and described the arbitrary, racist, and inhumane aspects of Ohio’s capital punishment policies. Our series reached a climax with Rev. Dr. Marvin McMickle, recently retired president of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School in Rochester, NY and a community leader in Cleveland and Shaker Heights in years past. Dr. McMickle’s speech, “Freedom’s Work is Never Done,” remembered his personal contacts with Dr. King while taking us through different stages of America’s march for racial and gender equity and urging us to continue the work.

Our Porch Talks each included wonderful musicians, including the Duffy Liturgical Dance Ensemble Chorus in May, the musical quartet “Elegie,” and the Leon Lawrence Memorial Choir led by Bishop Steve Gulley in July.

We are proud to say that many members of Heights Christian Church were actively engaged in the different phases of preparation for these three events. Our planning team worked for approximately five months to confirm speakers and musicians and to publicize the events. Many others were engaged on the days of the events and at the receptions and the follow-up Conversations held after each event. We also received significant financial contributions from Ron & Freddie Holman, from the Christian Women’s Fellowship, and from Plymouth Church.  This project would not have succeeded without this strong and active support.

On behalf of the Planning Team I thank all who worked to make the Porch Talks a success. We are already planning our second year in 2020. We will work to continue the successes of 2019 and consider ways to continue building this exciting ministry.

David Eggert
For the Porch Talks Planning Team

Next Pub(lic) Theology is August 20th

Pub(lic) Theology continues to meet the Third Tuesday of each month at Craft Collective at 7 pm. Consider joining us one evening as we discuss things that matter over a beverage of choice. Craft Collective serves craft beer, cider, and mead. Food can be purchased from restaurants in Market Hall and eaten anywhere. Several folks who found us through Meet-Up join us each month.
Tuesday August 20 – “Neighbors, Friends, and Soul-Friends”
Find us on Facebook and Meet-Up!

Common Ground 2019!

“My Environment was…
My Environment is…
My Environment will be…”

On Sunday, June 30, over 40 people from HCC and the community came together for community conversation at our third annual Common Ground night. Sponsored by the Cleveland Foundation, this is a day where over 100 gatherings occurred all around Cleveland to further community conversation and engagement.

This year was our best yet, and people had such a good time they want to continue the conversation! If you want to be part of what happens next, let Kate Gillooly know (! A meeting is being planned for August, and many are hoping to move to collective action! Many thanks to all who helped HCC host such an important and enjoyable evening! (Photo Credit: Randy Blackford)


HCC is on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and 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!