Reaching Heights January 2020
Reaching Heights January 2020
Links to this month’s news:
January Worship: Be the Light
Jan. 5 – “Arise Shine” – Matthew 2:1-12 “The Example of the Magi” – Epiphany observed
Jan. 12 – “Light to the Nations” – Isaiah 42:1-9
Jan. 19 – “Servant’s Mission” – Isaiah 49:1-7 – MLK weekend
Jan. 26 – “People Who Walked in Darkness” – Isaiah 9:1-4
Sunday Morning Adult Study – 11:30 in the Campbell Room
In her book, Grateful: The Transformative Power of Giving Thanks, Diana Butler Bass “explores why gratitude is missing as a modern spiritual practice, offers practical suggestions for reclaiming it, and illuminates how the shared practice of gratitude can lead to greater connection with God, our world, and our own souls.”
This study, based around filmed interviews with Ms. Butler Bass, is a continued dialogue about what we’ve done with/how we misuse power, how to find abundance within, what it looks like to be a cooperative culture rather than competitive. Butler-Bass invites us to reorient, remember and connect—to circle around the feasting table of God together where God is ever-giving, where there is more than enough for everyone. This will complete the study that we began in November.
Along the Path:
A Prayer for Epiphany by Walter Brueggemann [edited]
There is a time to be born and a time to die.
And this is a time to be born.
So we turn to you, God of our life,
God of all our years,
God of our beginning.
Our times are in your hand.
We dare pray that you will do for us and among us and through us
what is needful for newness.
Give us the power to be receptive,
to take the newness you give,
to move from womb warmth to real life.
We make this prayer not only for ourselves, but
for the church at the edge of life,
for our city waiting for newness,
for your whole creation, with which we yearn
in eager longing.
There is a time to be born, and it is now.
We sense the pangs and groans of your newness.
Come here now in the name of Jesus. Amen.
As we move into the New Year, I pray for newness in your life! – Pastor Roger
I’m always intrigued by paradox, and by the contrasts of our faith. The yoke is easy, the burden is light. To live in God, we must first die to our old ways of being. God does not want our offerings of gold, but rather our contrite hearts and willingness to help our neighbor.
The move from our Advent and Christmas celebrations to the time after Epiphany seems to be a contrast as well. In December, we focused on the gift of Incarnation – God coming into the world, into our world. Now in January, we observe the Epiphany, or Manifestation of Jesus as God’s anointed one. The stories we hear between Christmas and Lent have to do with Jesus’ baptism, the calling of the disciples, and teaching regarding this new way of seeing. So now that we have celebrated Christ coming into the world, we focus on our own discipleship and being sent out into the world.
How are YOU sent into the world with the Good News? How might our neighborhood benefit from your faith and discipleship?
Mark Your Calendar
Pull out your recipes, warm up your soup pots, and get ready for the 3rd Annual Chili Cook off on Sunday, January 26 here at HCC.
This will take place after worship with prizes and other activities. More details will follow via email and bulletin inserts.
Worship Ministry Team News
Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!
The Worship Ministry Team wants to sincerely thank CWF for funding the purchase of several new Advent and Christmas decorations for the sanctuary and Campbell Room. Team Leader, Jane Troha, and Assistant Team Leader, Donita Singerman, sorted through existing decorations stored in the balcony closet and repaired, restored or gave away many old decorations that were past their prime. The CWF generously provided $300.00 to purchase new garland for the pulpit and lectern, new swags for the Campbell Room doors and garland for the mantle in the Campbell Room and material and supplies for new Advent banners for the sanctuary. We are very grateful for their support.
Speaking of new banners for the sanctuary, we want to thank Donita for many hours of time and effort in creating the new set of banners! They are gorgeous and enrich our worship this Advent season and will continue to do so for many years to come. Thank you, Donita! Thank you, CWF!
Mission Team Report
Outreach Committee is still accepting grant applications. The next funding will be in March 2020. If you have a suggestion for a group that meets the requirements of this committee, please contact the Outreach Chair person, Freddie Holman at 216-561-1496. The application can be found on the Heights Christian website.
Christian Women’s Fellowship(CWF): The Thrift Shop is where funds for the PEM grants are generated. PEM is in recognition of the former CWF members who were long time advocates for Heights Christian Church’s missions to serve others. So visit and shop at the Thrift Shop. Read Jim Nick’s article which provides information about what is going on in the Thrift Shop. Call Martha Cubberley at 751-3419 if you would like to become a volunteer.
Campbell Court Liaison. A very big Thank You goes to Val McMillian and her team of volunteers who again took time out of their day to cook and serve a Thanksgiving meal for the Campbell Court residents. This is something that Val has done for several years.
Community Meal – Heights Christian Church and its partners continue to serve those in the community who are in need of food and/or just fellowship. Come join us and bring a friend. You wont be disappointed in the food or fellowship. The next meal is on January 18, 2020 from 12-2pm. Volunteers are always needed and welcomed.
From the Missions Team Leader – You are welcomed and invited to share a cause that meets what our faith tells us we should do. Pastor Roger has invited us to connect to a link where this can be done. We do recognized our limitations and its my opinion that given that we are a small congregation, we do a lot to serve others. But I am thinking there might be more that wont take a lot of time or money to which engage. I am exploring some options that I will share as my exploration suggests what is feasible.
Thrift Shop News
Shop has been expanded to now (3) rooms. Our new room will be a children’s clothes, dolls, book and game room. We will open with a half off sale on those items. We are also having a January half off sale on carpets, drapes, pillows, blankets and bedspreads. Come see us. We are open Friday and Saturdays 10 am to 4 pm.
Jim Nicks Thrift Shop Manager
Count Your Blessings – Be a Blessing
The RenewalWorks Team is delighted to announce that the Board of Trustees has approved a request for the donation of $2000 from the Tithing Reserve Fund to the Capital Fund of the Dougbe River School. It is an example of another way in which HCC can actively be a blessing to the larger world community!
At the Fall Spiritual Retreat held on November 2, 2019 here at HCC, we were blessed with a presentation from the Reverend Francis Miller, a Presbyterian minister from Lyndhurst Presbyterian Church. In getting acquainted with Rev. Miller, we learned of his work in founding a faith-based school for children from 12 wide-spread villages in Liberia. The school began operations in 2012 and educates about 200 children from preschool through 9th grade. The students are both boys and girls, with girls comprising around 50% of the student population, rare in Liberia where educating girls is not routinely done. These children are taught by a staff of 10 qualified and degreed educators. They are supported largely through charitable giving from the Cleveland area.
Currently about 84 children are living in the cottages of staff because it is too far to walk to school each day from the remote villages. Another 8 young girls live in an orphanage which has been built on the 150 acre campus. Most students walk about 2 ½ miles to school and back home each day. More and more families are requesting that their children be able to reside on campus, hence the need for dormitories.
Our Tithing Reserve Fund was established from Campbell Court monies intended to go to deserving projects outside our church, especially capital development projects. Support of the Dougbe River School Capital Fund drive fits this purpose precisely.
I would encourage each of you to visit the school’s web site for further information and for an emotional lift as you see what is being accomplished by these wonderful folk! The web address is https://drpsl.org/safespaces. Many thanks to the Board of Trustees for authorizing this gift!
Many in our congregation will remember Jonathan LaGuardia, son of Bernadette and the late, Joe LaGuardia.
It is with great pleasure that we announce his recently-awarded degree of Doctorate of English Literature. This follows his ten-year tenure as professor of English in the Undergraduate Program of the University of Arizona, Tucson.
Jonathan, an active member of Heights Christian Church prior to college years at the Ohio State University, was the popular Senior Prom King at Shaker Heights High School. CONGRATULATIONS Jonathan!
New Daily Devotionals
Enrich your new year with a daily diet of Our Daily Bread devotional literature available on the Campbell Room table and Narthex.
Let the select, diverse group of talented, international authors touch your life and inspire you with their biblical insights.
Roger, Ying, Kate, Bryce, Rosie and Kese want to express their gratitude for the kind and generous expressions of affection and appreciation from the congregation. Thanks for an assortment of Christmas greeting and gifts from the congregation and Elders. It is a pleasure to have the opportunity to serve the members of Heights Christian Church.
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!