Reaching Heights February 2022
Reaching Heights February 2022
Links to this month’s news:
See the Serving Schedule
February Worship – “Beguiled By Beauty”
Current Worship Situation
We have returned to hybrid worship and hope that you will join us in person or online via Zoom or Facebook Live. We do ask that anyone who is not vaccinated, is feeling ill, believes they may have been exposed to someone with Covid, or is at increased risk of serious illness worship with us online. You can worship with us online via Zoom (link info on our worship page) or from our Facebook page.
Feb. 6 – Rev. Allen Harris preaching
World Cafe – Immediately after worship – please plan to participate – more details in the “From the Moderator” article below.
Feb. 13 – “Abyss, Mystery, and Wonder” – Psalm 135: 1-3; 13-21 – Pastor Roger preaching
Feb. 20 – “The Beauty of a World Without a ‘Why’” – Song of Songs 4: 1-7 – Pastor Roger Preaching
Feb. 27 – “From Beauty to Compassion and Justice” – Isaiah 52: 7-10 – Pastor Roger preaching
Lent arrives March 2
This year we will collaborate with Plymouth on two Ash Wednesday services at 12:15 and 7:00. Our Lenten theme this year is “Full to the Brim” an opportunity to explore and reflect on the promises of God’s abundant and expansive grace. More details to follow in the Weekly Update and next month’s newsletter.
Adult Study – MidWeek Bible Study returns!
First Corinthians: Searching the Depths of God
(using material by Jami Clarke-Soles)
Tuesdays at 2 pm on Zoom – January 25 – March 1
1 Corinthians is basically a letter Paul wrote to a people who were trying a wild new social experiment known as a Christian community. Centuries later, our churches deal with many of the same issues Paul addresses: factions, sexual immorality, gender issues, money concerns, theological questions, lawsuits, problems in worship, and problems in leadership. In this six-week study, we will explore 1 Corinthians from a variety of viewpoints and apply its lessons to our own faith.
- Feb. 1 Relationship Status: It’s Complicated
- Feb. 8 Freedom: From What, For What?
- Feb. 15 Gathering for Good
- Feb. 22 Talented and Gifted
- Mar. 1 Bodies This Side of the Grave and Beyond (and In Between)
You can find the link to this study on our Zoom page
Along the Path:
When I (and many of us) were in school there was no Black History Month (at least not “officially” – President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976) and the American and World history I was taught was almost exclusively European and white.
Times have changed, at least a little, but my lack of knowledge about the non-white side of both American and World History is still a huge hole in my education, one that I have been negligent about filling. So I was glad to be offered an opportunity to start to close that gap through the “28 Days of Black History” e-newsletter.
While I know that a relatively brief email once a day for 28 days is only the tip of the iceberg, I’m planning a deeper dive into at least some of the subjects presented and hoping that some of you might also sign up so that we could explore together how that history impacts and challenges us.
So please let me know if you decide to take this journey and later this month (or next) we’ll find a time to get together and share our learnings and experiences.
Until then, see you in church!- Pastor Roger
Kate’s Cogitations – Advantages in Times of Transition
We all have been through times of transition — personally, and as a congregation. The truth is, we are always in transition in some way or another! We know they can be stressful, chaotic, and exhausting. But there are advantages, as well as challenges, during transition:
- Permission to let go of what’s not working anymore
- Ability to bring learnings and practices from the past into the future
- Opportunity for newness – in thought, attitude, or deed
- Sense of hope that springs from new possibilities
- Sense of agency – we can make decisions and take action to shape our future
- Reminder that God is with us in each step
Instead of passively letting change happen to us, we can be involved is what our future will look like. Not every detail, to be sure. But by trusting God, listening for wisdom, and staying true to our call, we can glean insight, energy, and hope and use this time to become stronger in our faith and more effective in our mission. What do you see as opportunities or advantages for this time in our life together?
From the Moderator…
With Pastor Roger’s announcement of his retirement, the Board suspended its normal January 11, 2022 agenda and instead met via zoom with the Rev. Allen Harris, who is both a member at HCC and our Ohio
Regional Minister. One of his major responsibilities is to assist congregations when they face the challenge of changing ministers. While we have had many ministers in the past, this is the first time to have a retirement. We are experiencing so many strong feelings at this time; sadness at having Pastor Roger leave as our minister, great appreciation for Pastor’s 15 ½ years of leadership with us, and joy that he and Debbie can begin together to enjoy flexibility and freedom to travel in their future! And with faithful anticipation we look forward to a transition to new ministerial leadership.
When Rev. Harris met with the Board, he reflected that HCC is in a good place – a strong congregation that is willing to take risks, to make the changes that covid has required, to find a new location. He outlined the process of what we will need to do in the next few months, and he assured us that he will work with us through this period of transition.
The first step in this process is for the congregation to gather either in person or on zoom for a meeting called “World Café” under the leadership of Rev. Harris. We will meet on Sunday, Feb.6, immediately after worship to join together to discuss questions in small groups that will rotate during the meeting time. This is planned to be a time for everyone to have a voice in the process. There will be a scribe in each group to record the thoughts and ideas presented. Rev. Harris will then collate these materials and present the information to the Board at the Feb. 8 Board meeting.
Please plan on joining in this group conversation on Feb. 6. Come be a part of laying the ground work for the next ongoing chapter in the life of HCC.
World Café conversation
Sunday, Feb. 6, 2022 directly after worship
A Special Gift
Over the holidays I enjoyed a visit with Ellen Donald, daughter of Sally and Jim Donald. Ellen, who lives in Portland Oregon, has been spending the past month with her Mom. We talked of her Dad and his love of Heights Christian. We talked about Jim and his passion for politics and the strong beliefs he held. He was never hesitant to express his point of view. He was always one of the first to volunteer to help with whatever was needed – lawn care, building maintenance, moving furniture in and out of the Elegant Flea (thrift store), or helping folks in the congregation.
Ellen reflected that Heights Christian Church was such a supportive community for her Dad. It is a place where people can express differing viewpoints, but still respect each other and remain friends. She was so thankful that her Dad had a church family that loved and cared for him. With gratitude to the congregation, Ellen presented me with a check for $5000 which Jim had bequeathed to the church in his will. It was as if Jim was still reaching out and saying – just wanted to know how much I cared, and just wanted to help keep HCC being the very special place that it is.
Thanks to Ellen for the wonderful talk about her Dad and the church.
Thanks to Jim always.
Let it snow! Let it snow! or Maybe Not!
If you are like me, don’t you wish this were December and happening during the holidays. That’s when some of us were on vacation or being visited by our children, grandchildren and other family and friends. Many of them from warmer climates asked where is your white Christmas? Or you have a grandchild who calls after Christmas and asks, “Do you have snow Grandma?” and wants you to send a picture from your phone.
When you read this it will be February. January has been filled with lots of snow and cold weather. There are many who are still in need of food, clothing and shelter during this time. That’s why we are continuing to collect items for “The Wall of Love” through March. So when you are out and about and get the chance, please pick up an item like these to put in the bin located at the entrance of the Chapel: socks, gloves, mittens, scarves, hats. Remember: we are donating these to Lomond School for children whose families are in need of support from those of us who are more fortunate.
Information from the Vision Leadership Team formed last Spring prior to our final sell of the building, presented how there would be changes from how we at Heights had always done things. Much has changed. But in that report there was also suggestions that new opportunities would emerge. We know as Christians and from long standing emphasis in our life at Heights how God is always with us no matter what ere be our challenges. We don’t have to take the leadership role in all of our community outreach activities. The following is one of those times when we are showing our Love for God to do his will by supporting another congregation.
A request was sent to Pastor Roger from the Disciples Christian Church Pastor asking if we would be supportive in their work with the Afghan Refugees who are settling in our area. The Mission Team Leader and Assistant Team leader discussed this and agreed that Heights Christian Church would be represented in a supportive role. Connee Choi who has expressed an interest in doing something to help the refugees since early in the Fall, was approached to be the liaison from Heights Christian Church(HCC) to Disciples Christian Church(DCC). She agreed and was linked with the DCC representative. DCC is working with U.S Committee for Refugees and Immigrants.
Here is the most recent report from Connee.. Follow up information and requests will be made as needed which could include transporting the refugees to school, to doctor’s appointments, setting up a household, purchasing household supplies and more. The present need is for food for a family with five children ages 6-12 and the parents. The suggestion for gift cards doesn’t work because HCC doesn’t have cards to fit where they would need to shop. Therefore, monetary contributions are being sought. Checks may be mailed to the church or put in church envelopes. Be sure to write in the check memo: for Afghan Refugees. You can also make a donation in the church’s Givelify account. Mike Singerman and Connee have worked out a plan of how to get our donations to DCC. If you wish to have direct contact with the refugees, you will need a security clearance. Contact Connee for more information at 216-283-1769. Please give as your heart leads you.
In the meantime, because food is a daily necessity and ongoing supplies are needed, until donations begin to come in and afterwards as well, the Outreach Committee has approved $300 from the Hunger Fund which will be given to DCC for food immediately.
Meditative Art circle…
Is switching to the 2nd Wednesday of the month and will meet on Wednesday, February 9 in the Atrium at 1:00