Reaching Heights August 2021
Reaching Heights August 2021
Links to this month’s news:
See the Serving Schedule
August Worship – “Summer Psalms”
August 1 – “Create in me a clean heart” – Psalm 51:10-12 – Pastor Roger preaching
August 8 – “My soul waits for the Lord” – Psalm 130 – Pastor Roger preaching
August 15 – “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” – Psalm 111 – Dr. Kate preaching
August 22 – “How lovely is your dwelling place” – Psalm 84 – Pastor Roger preaching
August 29 – Blessing of the Backpacks – “The Lord is faithful” – Psalm 145:10-13 – Pastor Roger preaching
Bring your backpacks, briefcases, laptop bags, canvass totes and any other school + work bags…
to worship on Sunday, August 29 at 10:30 am for a Back to School blessing! We welcome anyone and everyone who is in some way returning to school or work and wants a blessing for the coming year. We will also collect school supplies to donate to folks who need them – so please bring items with you to church that day. In celebration of the new year, we will enjoy special refreshments after worship. Mark your calendars and plan to join in the excitement.
Welcome Mark Laseter!
Ying and Irwin are on maternity/paternity leave for the month of August but we are pleased that Mark Laseter is filling in to provide music for our hybrid worship services. Mark is originally from Chattanooga Tennessee and is currently pursuing a DMA in Historical Performance Practice Voice at Case Western. He also sings with Apollos Fire and will be the tenor soloist at Trinity Cathedral in the fall.
Along the Path:
I’m appreciative that the Salt Project keeps sending links to meaningful poetry into my email folder. The latest was a poem about sabbath by Wendell Berry.
He describes sabbath as a woods and suggests that we get there, “By climbing up through the six days’ field… the body’s sorrow, weariness, and joy.” The way is narrow, he says, and he ends the poem with these words:
Why must the gate be narrow?
Because you cannot pass beyond it burdened.
To come in among these trees you must leave behind
the six days’ world, all of it, all of its plans and hopes.
You must come without weapon or tool, alone,
expecting nothing, remembering nothing,
into the ease of sight, the brotherhood [and sisterhood!] of eye and leaf.
As we enter into the last month of summer I pray that you can find that narrow way into some sabbath time for yourself. See you in church!
In peace and hope! – Pastor Roger
If you’re interested, you can find the whole poem here.
“The Next Right Step”
In my work of discernment (both my own and the courses I teach), we often talk about the power of taking the next right step. When we can’t see the end of the road, or even much past the next bend in the road, we often don’t know what to do. We can become paralyzed with uncertainty. The best thing to do in these circumstances is to shift our focus from the entire journey to the small part that we can see – even if it is only a few steps in front of us. So we focus on where we are in this moment, and what the next right step might be. Then we will find ourselves in a (slightly) different location and see a few more feet ahead. It can be hard to keep going when we can’t see (or even imagine) the destination. We don’t see the whole plan or have a complete map. But right now, here in this moment, we have a choice. If we focus on what’s right before us, we can figure out a next step, and take that. And then another, and another. All of this is made easier when we remember that God is with us for each step of the journey. God is in every moment. Even this one.
Chalk the Walks Sunday, August 22 at 3:00 pm
Calling all children and youth, friends and neighbors, and anyone who wants to have fun! We’ll gather on the church property to Chalk the Walks, leaving colorful and encouraging messages for all who travel along the church property. We’ll provide the chalk, you bring your best ideas for messages and artwork! Refreshments will be served.
On July 16 HCC and Eastview UCC both signed a purchase agreement outlining the terms of the sale and setting dates for its completion. The agreement include a due diligence period of 60 days and sets a closing date for the sale of October 30. While we continue to live with some uncertainty, we are grateful for a signed purchase agreement and clear timeline going forward.
On July 27 a Called Board Meeting was held to discuss how best to move forward with our plans to nest at Plymouth Church. Our lease agreement with them is scheduled to begin on September 1 with our first service there to take place on September 12.
After much discussion, the board decided to move forward in faith and begin the new program year at Plymouth. This will allow for ministry and mission planning to begin fresh in our new space. It also facilitates the planning and implementation of technology and A/V equipment that is needed to continue our hybrid worship service.
We look forward with excitement to this new chapter in the continuing story of Heights Christian Church and our faithful service to the community, and we give thanks to God’s whose Spirit continues to guide us.
Lynda Ackerman, Moderator
Visioning Leadership Team
Feedback on the scenarios about our next chapter is due August 1. The Visioning Leadership Team will meet the first week in August to process the feedback and make recommendations to the August meeting of the Board of Trustees. This will be the final act of the Visioning Leadership Team, as various Ministry Team leaders will decide how best to implement new programs. Thanks to all who served on this Team:
Lynda Ackerman, Andrena Jones-Sharp, Brian McDonald, Val McMillan, Yvonne Smith, Jane Troha, Roger Osgood, Kate GIllooly.
We are grateful for their careful shepherding of this process, and excited by the possibilities before us! Thanks to everyone who conducted interviews, offered ideas, asked questions, and provided feedback along the way. We are poised to start our new program year with joy!
Community Conversations reveal Common Ground
On Sunday, July 25 HCC offered a different sort of worship experience. As final week of our summer series called “I’ve Been Meaning to Ask…” we held “Conversation Church” which focused on building connection through sharing stories and perspectives. We used this Conversation Church as a Common Ground event – an annual gathering of community members for discussion and collaboration. This is our 5th year with Cleveland Foundation’s Common Ground events. The service offered discussion prompts to help people share their stories in small groups, and we reflected on our experience afterwards by posting our thoughts on a “Reflection Wall.” This event was hybrid (both in person in the Sanctuary and online via Zoom), just as every week’s worship service is. HCC members and guests alike commented on the sense of connection from hearing each other’s stories, both joyful and “dark.” Cookies and bottled water were enjoyed on our front steps immediately afterward.
I felt connected because the share responses reflected the commonality of humanity – links of love, warmth, humor.
Learned how others are coping during COVID-19
Everyone has hopes and trials
Connected through humor and thoughtful reflections shared – hearts open to each other
I learned that hope is what helps us move forward
Good questions that helped you learn easily about each other
I learned that people can choose to be resilient
I learned that family is central to who I am, who I have been, and who I will yet become.
Sharing personal stories makes me understand a person more. I got to know a new person.
How freely everyone shared without attacking.
I learned that people are/can be willing to hear difficult/dark things.
We are finding comfort in our family and friends.
You never know what someone is really going through.
I learned others are compassionate and concerned.
Thrift Shop News
Thrift shop has been open for over a month. We are open Friday and Saturday 1 to 4pm. We have sold $495 through July 10th. Everything is half off listed price. We are doing this with (10) volunteers. Thank you very much volunteers.
Our plan is to remain open until the building sells. Then we close. The inventory will go to the building buyer. However, we will have a liquidation sale the last month which will consist of selling bags and/or boxes for $5 each. Customers may fill the bags like the library book sale. Rumor has it the building will sell near the end of September. We will continue our present half off store sale and accept donations through August. The liquidations sale will begin Labor Day weekend, and no more donations afterward.
Working the shop has been very similar to before Covid. Customers still carry cash, and few wear mask. Most of our customers are regulars, and they still like our store.
Jim Nicks Thrift Shop Manager
Prayer List Requests
Don’t be anxious about anything; rather, bring up all of your requests to God in your prayers and petitions, along with giving thanks. (Philippians 4:6)
Our Hearts Together in Prayer group meets each Wednesday evening at 7:30 p.m. to share prayer concerns and updates, and to spend time in prayer together via Zoom. (contact Kate or Val for the link if you’d like to join).
We begin and end with a set of prayers that change each month and are read by the facilitator, and the time in the middle offers opportunity for everyone to share their own petitions, intercessions, and thanksgivings.
All are welcome and encouraged to join us as you are able; praying together is powerful and lifts the spirits. Prayer requests can be submitted via the form on the HCC website (https://www.heightschristianchurch.org/prayer-request/) or send an email to Pastor Roger.
These requests will be lifted up on Wednesday evenings and forwarded on to the Elders, and our Prayer Ministry Team.
The HCC office is closed on Mondays and open Tuesday through Friday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. Our staff meeting typically takes place on Tuesdays at 11:00 am.
Pastor Roger will typically be in the office on Tuesdays from 9:30 to 3:00. Kate’s office hours will be Tuesdays from 10:00 to 2:00. Please call ahead to set up an appointment, if at all possible, as pastoral needs or other commitments could call either of them away.
Staff Email Updates
As of April 29, 2021
Some time ago we created new email addresses for staff based on our website domain (heights.org). However we have continued to use the old sbcglobal.net addresses as well (like firstname.lastname@example.org).
Due to a variety of issues, Kate’s and Kese’s sbcglobal accounts have ceased functioning so we are moving away from all of those accounts and will begin using the heights.org addresses exclusively. If you have recently sent an email to email@example.com please resend the email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, please update your address books with the following:
Qin Ying Tan: email@example.com **NEW ADDRESS**
Pastor Roger: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kate Gillooly: email@example.com
Kese Webb: firstname.lastname@example.org
General Mailbox: email@example.com
Social Media outreach
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!