Reaching Heights July 2022

Heights Christian Church Icon of Two Followers Lifting a CrossReaching Heights July 2022

Links to this month’s news:


  • Worship – for July
  • Mid-Week Bible Study


  • Kate’s Cogitations
  • From Pastor Roger


  • Pastor Roger’s Retirement Celebration
  • From the Treasurer
  • From Missions
  • Assistance Needed
  • Unity in Community Food Pantry


  • Graduate Recognition
  • Summer Camp Send Off
  • 2022 Peace Award Winner
  • 2022 Regional Assembly
  • Shaker’s Got Talent!
  • Book Group, Meditative Arts Group, and Plymouth Lunch Club – on break until September
  • Gift Card Reminder
  • Social Media

See the Serving Schedule

  Worship and study

Worship – We will continue to follow the Revised Common Lectionary readings for the summer. July brings us some familiar Gospel passages from Luke that may speak to our current context in new ways.

Reminder: Summer worship begins at 11:15 am and is hybrid (in the Chapel, and on Zoom + Facebook Live). With Plymouth Church worshipping in the Chapel at 10:00, we ask that you gather on the front lawn (weather permitting) or in the Fellowship Hall (lower level) for a time of fellowship before 11:00 am.

July 3       Sent Out By Jesus”                     Luke 10:1-11

July 10     “Compassion Overflowing”     Luke 10:25-37

July 17     “Do-Be-Do”                                      Luke 10:38-42

July 24    “Ask, Seek, Knock”                       Luke 11:1-13

July 31    “Bigger Barns, or…?”                    Luke 12:13-21


Mid-Week Bible Study
Summer Offering, 2022
Hymns for Today

Come and join the Mid-Week Bible Study which will be exploring Hymns for Today. This study will be based on Hymns written since the 1960’s and how they express themes of faith in new ways. We will examine broad themes and how music impacts us as we live out our Christian lives.

The study will meet every Tuesday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. on Zoom. It will be led by the Troha women, Carolyn and Jane. We will begin with an introductory session on July 5th and follow this schedule of themes:

July 5th – Introduction

July 12th – Jesus

July 19th – Spirit

July 26th – Church

August 2nd – Worship

August 9th – Witness

Come examine some hymns with us! No singing required! Let’s see how “modern” hymns have added to and enriched church life!



From the staff


Kate’s Cogitations

An old song has been playing in my head recently: “All My Life’s a Circle” by Harry Chapin. The tune is a bit of an “earworm,” and the words describe the cyclical nature of the human experience. It seems that the author of Ecclesiasticus is correct “there is nothing new under the sun,” AND Isaiah is correct that God is “doing a new thing.” Our lives are full of cycles and interruptions. We revisit themes and lessons of our lives, and we are invited into new experiences all the time. I believe transitions are made easier when we observe, celebrate, mourn, or otherwise mark them and their impact on our lives. We may do this liturgically (a Liturgy of Farewell for a retiring pastor, for instance, or a house blessing), or it may be less formal or overtly religious (candles on a birthday cake). Saying goodbye well helps us say hello well too.

Harry Chapin’s song ends with these words, my sentiment for you in this time of pastoral transition:

As I find you here again;
A thought runs through my mind;
Our love is like a circle;
Let’s go ’round one more time.


in peace, 

A note from Rev. Roger:

Off the Path…
The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way,
Where many paths and errands meet.
     And wither then? I cannot say. (-J.R.R. Tolkien)

Debbie and I are looking forward to our retirement and the new adventures that lie ahead. So as my very last pastoral word I want to say…

There really are no words to express my gratitude
            for the overwhelming celebration this past Sunday
            (including the equally overwhelming love offering)
            for all the kind and loving messages
            for being able to be part of your lives for nearly 16 years

I am deeply honored to be recognized as the Minister Emeritus of Heights Christian Church and we look forward to being with you all again in the fall.
Until then, have a wonderful and blessed summer!

(Former Pastor) Roger


  from the Board and Ministry Teams

Pastor Roger’s Retirement Celebration

June 26 was a bittersweet day as we said “Well done, thank you, and farewell” to Pastor Roger upon his retirement. The worship service included a surprise choir anthem directed by Irwin Shung, a Liturgy of Farewell led by our Regional Minister Rev. Allen Harris and Regional Elder Rev. Kris Eggert, and a lovely postlude duet by Roger and Debbie. At the luncheon following, The Moderators performed their own version of Top Hat, the honor of “Minister Emeritus” was bestowed upon Roger, gifts and appreciation were shared with Debbie, Doug and Jani McWilliams sang an original song, and Pastor Roger offered his thanks to the congregation, its leadership, and his family for supporting him in his ministry. We were grateful to see friends and colleagues and some church members we haven’t seen in person since before the pandemic. Tears and laughter and hugs were shared all around.
Many thanks to the planning committee: Lynda Ackerman, Nancy Carpenter, Grace Loudenstein, Val McMillan, Bobbi Phelps, Donita Singerman, and Jane Troha. Thanks also to Scott Phelps for being our Master of Ceremonies for the occasion.

From Treasurer

The Trustees authorized a $1,000 donation to repair fire damage to The First Christian Church in Lipsic, OH.

The Trustees also authorized a $1,000 donation to First Christian Church of Wilson, NC.  This will fund a leadership Endowment Fund named for Gary & Linda Walling.  Gary was our pastor in the 1990’s and until 2004.

For our donation we received 3 copies of a book of Gary’s sermons.  See Kese if you would like to borrow a copy.

Both of these donations were made from the Tithing Fund.  These are funds from Campbell Court set aside for aiding other churches.

In June the Outreach Committee made donations of $1,000 each to the Achievement Center and Family Promise.  The Trustees authorized $500 to come from the CWF Legacy Fund to supplement the funds available in the Outreach account.

The Outreach Account is funded by setting aside 4% of contributions.  About 55% of these funds are donate to the regions.  The other 45% funds our regular Outreach giving.

In addition, the Trustees authorized $9,000 in the 2022 budget to be directed to local and national outreach.  Part of these funds are from our giving and part from the Van Aken Funds – the proceeds from the sale of our building.

Missions Ministry

Giving thanks to God knowing that he/she has brought us safe thus far. Yes, this year has brought many changes for us at Heights Christian. But, we made it. Our time in the desert presented new opportunities. May we go forth with some of the old and look forward to finding new missions that are in need of our support.

The Wall of Love for children and families at Lomond School was successful due to your generosity. We look forward to continuing this partnership this Fall.

Our partnership with Disciples Christian Church for donations for the Afghan refugees continues. Your may donate by check or by using our Givelify app on the church website. Also donations to Ukrainian crisis donations may still be given.

Outreach Committee – The Outreach Committee received and approved two agency applications. They were: The Achievement Center and Family Promise. The approval amount for each was $1,000.

Andrena Sharp and Cindy Maxey will have a post card writing opportunity for congregants to share their concerns  with state legislators on matters of education. This will occur in July.

We will look forward to continuing to build a partnership with Plymouth’s Social Justice committee.

Assistance Needed

We need a couple more volunteers who will be willing to assume the role of Zoom Host even if you cannot commit to doing this on a regular basis. Anyone who has some familiarity with Zoom (even just connecting to our worship service once in a while) could step into this role. It can be done either from the Chapel or from home, and we will give you plenty of training so that you will feel fully comfortable. If you are willing to consider this or have any questions please contact Dr. Kate.

Unity in Community Food Pantry

The Unity in Community Emergency Food Pantry continues as an initiative of Shaker Heights congregations, neighborhood groups, and local residents of the city. Both volunteers and financial support are needed to sustain this pantry.

You can donate through HCC’s Givelify app or by visiting the secure giving site:

and select “Shaker Food Drive (Unity in Community)” as the fund.

Volunteers are needed on the following days this month; July 11. Please use the Sign-Up Genius page to register for a volunteer shift. Most shifts are one hour in length. You can find additional information and register at:

Please contact the Pantry Director, Matt Mondry, at with any questions.




Pentecost Worship and Baptisms

On Pentecost Sunday (June 5) we held Sunday worship at Euclid Beach Park. The service began with baptisms in the waters of Lake Erie! We were glad to welcome Chris Crosby and Aaron Sharpley into church membership. While the water was chilly, the Spirit was warm! Our Tech Assistant, Levi Horn, did a wonderful job as videographer, and the service was streamed to Zoom as well. We enjoyed a picnic lunch afterward, complete with Tongues of Flame cookies, baked by Donita Singerman. What a grand day of celebration of the Spirit of God among us!

High School Graduates recognized

In worship on Sunday, June 12, we were pleased to recognize Madison Durham and Thomas Dunn for their recent graduation from Shaker Heights High School. Maddie will be attending Otterbein College in Westerville, Ohio, in the Fall, where she has a scholarship.  She plans to major in Political Science with a minor in Philosophy.  Her long-term goal is law school after which she plans to work with those wrongfully incarcerated.  She will also be playing Lacrosse as a goalie for the Otterbein team.

Thomas will be heading to Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire for a post-grad year before entering college. Phillips Exeter is a highly selective, coeducational independent boarding and day school for grades 9-12 and secondary postgraduate program. Approximately 15% of the senior class is new to Exeter each fall, and the majority of one-year seniors are postgraduates. We wish both Maddie and Tommy well in this next chapter of their lives!

Campers Sent off with Blessings

On June 12, Aaron Sharpley and Chris Crosby headed off to Chi Rho week at Camp Christian. They were both in worship that morning and we were able to send them off with our prayers and blessings. We hope they had a great week, and we look forward to sending Madison Durham off on July 17 for her CYF week. Campers love to receive messages while at Camp Christian. Please plan to send a note to Maddie either by USPS (allow plenty of time!) or via fax.

Please keep these people in your prayers during their week away. If you wish, you may send a message of greeting and support to them while they are at camp.  Please note:  There is not an option to email the children and youth at Camp Christian.  Letters can be faxed to (937) 348-2845, or mailed to 10335 Maple Dell Rd. Marysville, OH 43040. It’s always fun to get mail while at camp!

More details on camp can be found here:

2022 Peace Award Winner

We were delighted to present our Peace Award to Alina Roach at our Annual Meeting on June 12! Alina is an amazing young woman with a heart for justice and equity and plenty of experience with activities and organizations that provide community and support for a wide range of participants. She is the founding member of the Science Technology Engineering Medicine club.  Alina launched the Girl Who Code program and is a member of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). Alina is involved in The Student Group in Race Relations and a leader in the MAC (Minority Achievement Committee) Scholars program. Alina is a youth member of her church. She volunteers at the Make Cleveland Better campaign that provides service and support to Northeast Ohioans experiencing hardship. Alina has been described as a “ray of sunshine” and that is obvious the first moment you meet her.  She has a long list of academic achievements as well, but it is her compassionate leadership and generous spirit that made her such a worthy recipient.

2022 Regional Assembly

Are you wishing you could have a taste of Camp Christian? Mark your calendars for Saturday, September 24 for our Regional Assembly and Family Reunion! This year’s Assembly will be filled with worship, fun and games, a short business session, delicious meals, and wonderful fellowship with friends and colleagues from around the Christian Church in Ohio and beyond. Adults, youth, and children are invited to attend. The Assembly is designed for all ages, and there will also be child care for Children ages 4 to 12. More information will be shared closer to the date.

Call for Performers

Shaker Arts Council (SHAC) is sponsoring Shaker’s Got Talent (SGT), a juried event shining a light on Northeast Ohio’s hidden talent. Amateur performers – from poets and dog owners showing off their pets’ amazing tricks to singers, dancers and magicians – are welcome to audition with their family friendly talent.

Date of Event: August 7, 2022 – 4-6 pm
Location: Van Aken District in Shaker Heights – 3401 Tuttle Rd, Shaker Heights, OH 44122
Application Due Date: June 30, 2022
View Call & Submit Application Here 

Gift Cards – Support HCC!

Remember gift cards are available on Sunday mornings and in the office every weekday during normal office hours.

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! Feel free to “check in” when you come to church, and visit (and like) our pages and posts often!