Reaching Heights December 2019
Reaching Heights December 2019
Links to this month’s news:
December 1 – First Sunday of Advent – “God’s Promised Day Can’t Wait” – Isaiah 2:1-5, Psalm 122
December 8 – Second Sunday of Advent – “Repentance Can’t Wait” – Isaiah 11:1-10, Matthew 3:1-12 – Children’s choir will be singing
December 15 – Third Sunday of Advent – “Delight Can’t Wait” – Isaiah 32:1-10, Luke 1:46b-55 – Children’s choir will be singing
December 22 – Fourth Sunday of Advent – “Courage Can’t Wait” – Matthew 1:18-25 – Children’s choir will be singing
December 24 – Christmas Eve – “What Can’t Wait?” – Luke 2:1-20, Isaiah 9:2-7
7:15 pm – Preservice music
7:30 pm – Candlelight Worship
December 29 – Relaxed and casual worship in the Campbell Room
Advent Adult Study – 11:30 in the Campbell Room
December 1, 8 and 15
Join us for a time to explore “Transformed Through Love: Participating in God’s Dream of Wholeness.” With video curriculum developed by The Work of the People, we will consider such theological questions such as Who Is God to You? What is God’s Dream? What does the role of the church have to do with God’s dream? Where do you see hope? Video interviews are matched with contemplative prayer and poetry to deepen our experience as we seek to answer the same questions.
Advent Devotional for 2019
We hope that this devotional (which matches the theme of our Advent worship) might awaken you to the ways God can’t wait to create hope, peace, joy, and love.
Beginning with December 1st, 2019, this daily devotional invites you to read, reflect, pray, and color your way through the end of 2019. Each day in the devotional offers something new, including: poetic prayers, original visuals inspired by scripture, written reflections, prompts for visual meditation, prompts for journaling, colorable pages, and active prompts.
Copies will be available in the sanctuary and Campbell Room. If you’d like one mailed to you contact the church office, 216-561-4800.
Along the Path:
Remembering that it happened once,
We cannot turn away the thought,
As we go out, cold, to our barns
Toward the long night’s end, that we
Ourselves are living in the world
It happened in when it first happened,
That we ourselves, opening a stall
(A latch thrown open countless times
Before), might find them breathing there,
Foreknown: the Child bedded in straw,
The mother kneeling over Him,
The husband standing in belief
He scarcely can believe, in light
That lights them from no source we see,
An April morning’s light, the air
Around them joyful as a choir.
We stand with one hand on the door,
Looking into another world
That is this world, the pale daylight
Coming just as before, our chores
To do, the cattle all awake,
Our own white frozen breath hanging
In front of us; and we are here
As we have never been before,
Sighted as not before, our place
Holy, although we knew it not.
+ Wendell Berry
As we move into and through this season of Advent and Christmas, I pray that we might find those holy places in our everyday lives where God breaks in with hope, peace, joy, and love. – Pastor Roger
We have come to learn that Advent is a time of waiting and preparation. I used to think of waiting as still, quiet, passive. And I believed preparation to be active and busy. But what if things are different in Advent – if the spiritual meaning of these words is different from the ways we usually use them in everyday life? What if Advent is a time to slow down, to quiet our senses, AND a time of movement? Too often, we think of spirituality as simply being quiet, being still. Still for what? Why quiet? And we think of our regular lives as being busy, and full. Full of what? Busy to what end?
What if our focus this Advent helped us feel more fully engaged with the spiritual practices of the season? What if our waiting was more active – as if we knew what (or Who) we are waiting for? What if our preparation helped to center us, rather than add to our stress and anxiety? This Advent season, I invite you into a time of active waiting, and quiet preparation. May the hope, peace, joy, and love of the season be yours.
Worship Ministry Team News
Get ready to hear our HCC Children’s Choir!
Our Children’s Choir has been busy rehearsing since the end of October, and are ready to share their music with you! We hope to hear them most Sundays in Advent. The Children’s Choir will continue to rehearse each week during the message and offertory. Children of all ages are invited to join our soprano soloist, Ruby Chen, each Sunday morning in the Campbell Room to learn songs, play rhythm instruments, and make a joyful noise!. If you have questions or want to help, please contact our Director of Music, Ying Tan, at 425-890-1327. Older youth and adults are needed each week to assist with the children.
Mission Team Report
Outreach Committee – Outreach continues to fund application requests from those who meet the guidelines. Recently Outreach Committee approved funding for the East Cleveland Neighborhood Center.
Hurry!!!Don’t forget to get your gifts for the homeless families who reside for a short period of time at the Family Promise facility on Kinsman. There is list of items that the families need. This list has been in our Sunday bulletin for several weeks (you can view it here). The deadline date for bringing your gift is December 15th. If you have questions please call Grace Loudenstein at 216-381-4438.
In case you didn’t bring a can good for the Little Free Pantry in November, this outreach is ongoing and there is a container in the hallway near the office where can goods can be left at anytime.
Christian Women’s Fellowship – Christmas Shopping at the Thrift Shop can be an exciting adventure. There is a special Christmas pop-up shop that Jim Nicks and the volunteers have set up. You might find that once in a lifetime item you are looking for. A portion of the Thrift Shop funds are donated directly to the church budget for missions. I often find items for my kitchen and surprisingly also items for birthday gifts and things I send to my sister in South Carolina. Give it a try!
From the Thrift Store Manager – The shop will be closed for the Thanksgiving Holiday Day weekend, November 29th and 30th. Afterward, December is half-off sale month on lamps, Christmas items and anything colored red or green. We have a good collection of puzzles, $1 each. We have great prices on Christmas lights and ornaments. We have a St. Nicholas Square village for a fraction of normal price, in boxes almost new. We also have winter jackets, knit caps and sweaters. Come see us. We are open Friday and Saturdays 10 am to 4 pm.
Want to learn how to be a shop keeper? We work two volunteers 10 am to 1 pm and two more 1 pm to 4 pm. Work includes, sales, pricing, sorting new donations, and helping customers. We presently have (12) volunteers, but more are always needed and welcomed. If you would like to volunteer call Martha Cubberley at 216-751-3419. – Jim Nicks, Thrift Shop Manager
Community Meal has continued since February this year. It takes place EVERY 3rd Saturday of the month from noon to 2pm. Volunteers are always needed and very much welcomed. To volunteer just show up by 11:30 and offer your services or call Andrena at 216-848-0108 or Nikki at 216-287-6518.
We are now getting most of our foods from the Food Bank at a lower cost. With our savings come some Food Bank guidelines which will be shared with our volunteers and guests. Your contributions to the Hunger Fund (an Outreach line item) through the blue envelopes makes this community meal program possible.
Sometimes we have a local chef. But, last month Freddie Holman did a terrific job developing a marinade/and doing the prep for the entree of chicken. Then Joan Fronck monitored the cooking process making sure it was timed just right. Jim Donald was there after everyone else had left finishing off the cleaning of those pots and pans. Marie Taylor from Campbell Court was constantly busy doing numerous tasks from the kitchen to serving and decorating with Nikki. Nikki’s suggestion of having a raffle for turkeys went over big. The four winners were excited and grateful. And oh! We can’t forget how wonderful our police officers have been since the beginning. Two officers are assigned to the meal monthly. They perform whatever tasks are needed. Just as important, they engage with the guest and provide a beautifully decorated sheet cake each month.
Christmas Caroling – Sunday Dec. 15th at 5:00 pm
Come be a part of this intergenerational event as we package fruit baskets and then travel to Campbell Court to carol and visit with the residents there. Each family is asked to bring one bag of fruit (10-12 pieces). Please select according to your last name. (A-H: red apples, I-P: green apples or pears, Q-Z: oranges).
A light dinner will be provided by Pastor Roger and Debbie and we will enjoy punch and cookies at Campbell Court. We are also asking for contributions of 1 dozen holiday cookies from anyone who can contribute. A wonderful way to share the Christmas spirit of love. Come, join the fun!
Gift Cards for the Holidays in 2019
Christmas shopping can be a trying experience. Did you buy and get everything you wanted on black Friday? Which site crashed? Who did you forget? What about the dealing with the crowds in the brick and mortar locations? And then the charges hit in January!
Why not try gift cards? They let you avoid the internet, the crowed stores and the post-season credit card bills. And your ‘giftee’ can spend them as they wish at Target or their favorite stores.
The earlier you shop for gift cards, the sooner you can sit back and relax. We have a Special Order Form (view and print from here or pick up a copy at church). Special orders are accepted for pre-Christmas delivery until Tuesday December 3, 2019. We will then place one consolidated order on 12-3 for delivery by about December 13th. Don’t see what you want? Please ask and we can see if it is available. Our card vendor has Disney, airlines and other cards too numerous to mention.
Support HCC while you shop. Get your shopping done early. And make your life less hassled. Gift cards are easy.
Prayer List Requests
A new procedure has been established for listing names of individuals to remember in prayer. As of September, each name will be listed on the bulletin insert for a period of one month. If anyone wishes for a name to be included for a longer period, please call the church office to continue listing that individual for a subsequent month. The list will be kept on a rolling basis. As always, the congregation of Heights Christian Church welcomes and honors any requests for prayer support.
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!