Reaching Heights January 2022
Reaching Heights January 2022
Links to this month’s news:
See the Serving Schedule
Current Worship Situation
We will be worshipping online only on January 9 and 16. We are hoping to return to in person worship later in the month and will provide an update each week. When we do return we will 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.
Jan. 2 – Online only “Home By Another Way” – Matthew 2:1-12 – Epiphany observed
Jan. 9 – Online only “Chosen Home” – Luke 2:41-52
Jan. 16 – Online only “Mission Proclaimed” – Luke 4:14-21 – MLK weekend
Jan. 23 – Beguiled by Beauty – “Beauty, Contemplation, and Radical Compassion” – Ezekiel 31: 3-7
Jan. 30 – Beguiled by Beauty – “We Are Made for the Beloved” – Psalm 16: 7-11
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.
- Jan. 25 Can’t We All Just Get Along?
- 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)
Along the Path:
“Everything and nothing has changed.”
As we begin a new year of pandemic with vaccines in place but case counts at an all time high it can feel like “deja due all over again.” Having been vaccinated and boosted we know that the risk of hospitalization is negligible, and yet breakthrough infections are happening all around us, and to some of us. It feels like we need to hunker down again, just as we did last year.
The same expression could be applied to Heights Christian Church as well. We have sold the Van Aken building and made the shift to Plymouth Church. For the second half of 2021 we were able to gather again in person, while many folks continued to worship online. And yet our call to mission and ministry has not changed. We still worship together and invite others to join us. We continue to do ministry in Shaker and beyond, including in new ways like the Wall of Love at Lomond Elementary.
With all the changes that have happened around us and to us, we continue to be a community of faith that cares deeply for each other and for the world. Wishing you hope, peace, and joy in the New Year! – Pastor Roger
Kate’s Cogitations – In Support of Resolutions
I am hearing a lot of negative commentary about the tradition of making New Year’s resolutions. Fewer and fewer people that I know share about the resolutions they make on January 1. More and more commercials and commentary make fun of people who decide this is the year they are finally going to eat better, be more active, speak their mind, or go back to school. I am well acquainted with the pattern of making resolutions in January only to abandon them a few weeks later.
But I believe that January 1st offers each of us a(another) opportunity to stop, reflect, and choose differently. Just like Lent, or Advent, or back to school season or our birthdays, on January 1st we are invited to consider what’s important, what’s going well, and what could benefit from some increased attention. And I, for one, need more than one opportunity to get my life back on track, more than one chance per year to take stock, make choices, and try again.
For the Good News of God’s love is that we are given multiple chances. God continually calls us into deeper discipleship, more robust faith, additional opportunities to serve and share. God is there when we succeed and when we fail. Sometimes we start out with the best intentions, and falter quickly. God is there. Sometimes we stay the course for a long time. And God is there. God is with us whether it is our first or 101st time of saying “Yes, Lord, I’ll follow you.” So in this New Year, full of promise and possibility, I invite you to reflect on what has been, ponder what could be, and consider how you might say “Yes” to God in this time.
With God’s blessings and our dedication to follow his word we have made it through 2021: pandemic and the final sale of our building on Van Aken. We are now in a new year. We will continue to pray for our congregation and successes in our new location at Plymouth. Yes, many things have changed from the past. But we look forward to what God has in store for us in the future.
Perhaps the changes prevented many of us from doing what we always did in the past. Previously, we made significant donations to Family Promise, especially to their Holiday Shop. I do understand how time seemed to have crept up this year. For those of you who might have missed that opportunity, another contribution opportunity will be available. Family Promise houses homeless families. Christmas donations were appreciated in order to brighten the lives of parents and their children, but they remain homeless although housing is provided for a limited period. Most other needs they have to provide for themselves. Therefore, if you wish, we are offering you a chance to donate with a Heights Christian Church gift card through January 2022. See Mike Singerman for the cards. Then contact Andrena after worship to give her your card(s) or contact her at: 216-848-0108 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Suggested cards, but other cards and money donations are welcomed: Target, Giant Eagle, Dave’s.
Our Wall of Love bin will remain in place throughout the winter months. We have made one donation of gloves, mittens, hats, scarves, and socks to Lomond School. We will continue these donations as our bin refills. So, continue to donate these items as you can whenever you can.
Rev. Kristine Eggert named Regional Elder for District 2
The Ohio Region is divided into districts (Cuyahoga and Lorain counties are designated as District 2). Each district has a Regional Elder assigned who assists with pastoral leadership in areas of congregational concerns, pastoral concerns, and pulpit committees. We are pleased to announce (belatedly) that Rev. Eggert, an HCC member has agreed to take on those responsibilities for our area. Congratulations Kris!
The Cleveland Ecumenical Institute for Religious Studies (CEIRS) offers additional opportunities for biblical and spiritual education. Consider registering for one of these courses:
The Holy Spirit in the Bible
with Fr. George Smiga, S.T.D.
6 Saturdays Jan 8, 25, 33, 39, Feb. 5, 12 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Zoom Format $120 per person
The central Christian believe that the Holy Spirit is the third divine person of the Trinity was not officially defined until the Council of Constantinople in CE 381. Centuries earlier, however, both the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament were already describing the action of God’s Spirit in a variety of stories literary forms. This course will examine how the scriptures present God’s Spirit at creation, within the leaders and people of Israel, throughout the ministry of Jesus and the early Church, and in the fulfillment of God’s promises at the end of time.
Thomas Merton and Ilia Delio with a Quaker Touch
with Alan Kolp, Ph.D.
4 Mondays, Jan. 10, 17, 24, 31 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Zoom format $80 per person
Merton and Delio join in conversation with a touch of Quaker perspective. Explore how their theologies and spiritualities offer insights on contemporary life. Accept their invitation to become a conversation partner.
Pastor Roger, Dr. Kate, Irwin and Kese, want to express their gratitude for the kind and generous expressions of affection and appreciation form the congregation. Thanks for an assortment of greetings and gifts from the congregation and Elders. It is a pleasure to have the opportunity to serve the members of Heights Christian Church.