Reaching Heights July 2024

Heights Christian Church Icon of Two Followers Lifting a CrossReaching Heights July 2024

Links to this month’s news:


  • Worship Themes for July


  • Kate’s Cogitations


  • Constitutional Amendment Adopted
  • HCC Affiliates with IGAH
    Peace Award Winner
    Mission Ministry
    Thank You Note


  • Interfaith Guardians Game Gathering
  • Porch Talks – Save the Date
  • Wednesday’s Together
  • Book Group and Meditative Arts Group
  • Gift Cards
  • Social Media
  • Birthdays

See the Serving Schedule

HCC Worship  for July

July 7     Rev. Matthew Wooster, preaching
“Empty Hands, Full Hearts”   Mark 6:1-13

July 14     Rev. Roger McKinney, preaching     Mark 6:14-29

July 21     Minister Ericka Harris, preaching     Mark 6:30-34, 53-56

July 28     Rev. Roger Osgood, preaching     John 6:1-21



Kate’s Cogitations

Part of my sabbatical time will be spent learning – through reading books and articles and viewing webinars. But for 3 weeks in July, I will be going back to school! Eirc C. Smith is a biblical scholar who offered brief, informative presentations at General Assembly last year. He was compelling enough that I now follow him on substack. He posted about an online course he is offering this summer through Iliff School of Theology, where he serves as Assistant Professor of Early Christianity and Contemporary Christian Practices. The course I’m signed up for is called “Following the Lectionary Postcolonially.”  It will focus on the readings for Advent 2024 and Lent 2025, and offer framework and tools to read the bible with a postcolonial lens. I’m hoping to try out some new approaches to these familiar scripture passages! Wish me luck!

in peace,
~ Kate


From the Moderator

Constitutional Amendment Adopted

At the Annual Meeting of the congregation held on Sunday, June 2nd, the congregation adopted an amendment altering the administrative structure of the Endowment Board. In order to more accurately reflect the way that all church monies are held and invested, the congregation agreed to change the former Endowment Board to the Investment Ministry Team. This committee, headed by the Investment Ministry Team Leader will work with the Treasurer, the Pastor, the Moderator and Assistant Moderator and other congregants, as needed, to monitor and manage all financial resources of the congregation.

Neil Chase was elected as Investment Ministry Team Leader and will continue to provide his expert leadership regarding HCC’s invested funds. Many thanks to Neil for his willingness to continue this important work for our congregation!

IF anyone has questions or would like to see the amendment or the newly amended Constitution, please contact Larry Watson or Jane Troha. If anyone has questions regarding the investments or monies of the church, please contact Neil Chase  or Mike Singerman.

HCC Affiliates with IGAH

At the June meeting of the Board of Trustees, the Trustees unanimously decided that HCC would affiliate with IGAH, the Interfaith Group Against Hate. IGAH is a group of faith-based congregations from various religious traditions who have joined together to challenge the movement of White Supremacy and all of the hateful words and actions that come with it. They hope to provide a different vision for our society rooted in our common faith values which promote peace, justice and the basic human dignity of each person.

This group was founded by five congregations seeking to work together to eliminate hate language and hate actions in the Greater Cleveland community. The founding congregations are the Islamic Center of Chagrin Falls, Olivet Institutional Baptist Church, Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple, St. Dominic Catholic Church and Fairmount Presbyterian Church. After a year in existence, the group has invited several additional congregations to join, including HCC.

IGAH meets monthly in a general session. In addition, it has three sub-committees which meet monthly – Community, Education and Research. Several members of HCC have attended the past two general meetings and felt strongly that this is a worthwhile organization. HCC will have 3 – 4 representatives who will serve for a one-year term. Pastor Kate will also participate with the group. Connie Choi, Cindy Maxey and Lynda Ackerman will serve as representatives. If you are interested in serving, please contact Jane Troha or Pastor Kate.

In July IGAH will host an educational forum at Oliver Institutional Baptist Church. All members of the congregation are invited and encouraged to attend. Please see the flyer included in this issue of the Reaching Heights for details. Hope to see you there!

Education Forum Flyer

Ms. Nolan Jones Receives Peace Award

Heights Christian Church is delighted to this year’s Peace Award to Nolan Jones. Nolan is a member of Shaker Heights High School’s Class of 2024.

On Sunday, June 2nd, Nolan and her family attended worship with us. What a joy it was to meet her wonderful family! Following worship, Nolan spoke on her future plan and her goals, as well as relating some of her many activities that demonstrate her commitment to be a peace-maker.

Nolan was highly recommended for this award by her school counselor and teachers. They described her as a “determined and compassionate student who is well respected by her peers and the school staff.” She is a “very bright student with great potential” and “takes on leadership roles in group activities.” She has managed to excel academically while working part time and also has been a cheerleader and involved in many school and church activities. She and her family are active members of Aldersgate Methodist Church where she is very active in spreading the Word of God through ministry and service. She has also been an active Girl Scout.

Our congregation was very impressed by Nolan’s poise and commitment. She plans to continue her education and hopes to pursue a career in Family Law. Congratulations, Nolan! We couldn’t be prouder to provide this award and a financial stipend to help you reach your future goals!

Missions Ministry

Summer really has arrived. Most of our activities and events will remain the same. New opportunities are always on the way. Although during the summer, many of us are on vacation but the work of the church does not stop. At the time of this being written, Ohio and many other parts of our country is experiencing a heat wave. Please take care of yourself and neighbors too. That may only be a knock at the door to say, “do you need anything/are you alright?” or a phone call. Do whatever you can especially our seniors.

Connee’s egg cartons collection remains in the same space and continues.

Neighbor Night convenes year-round on the last Tuesday of the month. This is the Moreland Neighborhood Association. All are welcome. This month the date is July 30th from 6-8pm. Consider attending. Often a person from Hunger Network rescue delivers produce which is available to those who want it. Come by and stay awhile. A light meal is always served. Note: as always, the weekly email updates provide new events or updates. Missions will seek hand copies of Neighbor Notes to be available on table in Narthex.

Remember: Missions has yard signs with QR codes for the November general elections. In October we will again put out a reminder if you would like one. Thanks for VOTING. This is one way to have your voice heard.  Remember only 5/6 months to go before Presidential Elections. Things happen oh so fast. Consider making your plan to vote. Missions and many organizations will nudge and provide information when early voting starts. Citizens Not Politicians groups have collected signatures for several months to get the on the ballot for November. Last year, folks like us made sure our voices were heard and got the signatures needed on the ballot for abortion to be decided by the people. For those who are tech savvy google for more information. Missions will provide as much info as possible to bring awareness to the community to be well informed.

Adult Faith and Life at Plymouth UCC: Heights Missions Team support community partnerships and will continue to meet to find ways to join our partner however we can as they reach out and stand up for those who are marginalized locally and throughout the world. During the upcoming months, Missions hope to continue work with AFL for social change involving voting efforts. Note from AFL meeting on June 9th;

Ken reported that Marcus Henry, Ella Davis, and Pam have expressed interest in helping with voter registration. Mary and Andrena also offered to share information they had on this effort.

If you are interested in joining Plymouth volunteers at the Food Bank, contact Paul Qua;

Donations to the Little Free Pantry are available for non-perishable food at any time.  It is located just off the parking lot here at Heights Christian and Plymouth Church. Stats from Cleveland Food Bank: Do you know that 1 out of 5 children live in poverty. 1 in 7 people are food insecure while there is about 40% of food in U.S. is wasted. Our Little Free Pantry is used regularly and is in need of more contributions. Please remember: No glass containers. Info is not available at time of the publishing of this newsletter, however, ongoing contacts with Plymouth AFL and City of Shaker and schools will work in partnerships to care for those in need.

Continue praying but also doing as the spirit leads us. Some of us learned that as recent events in our lives have led to more thinking/dreaming of what’s next. Micah 6:8. Missions is a community issue beyond the brick and mortar of the building. What does the Lord require of us? “Do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with God.”

Remember to visit the clip board in Narthex to sign up for community engagement events.

We certainly always pray for better angels in humanity to prevail; donate items and money to worthy causes ie see previously mentions. Added to many other ways/partnerships, but very simple, is to share your story in writing through available means; in your home while breaking bread with those you do not know and listen to theirs. Attend others worship services events activities.

Words for thought; Think about it

* When you share the hard parts of your story, you make room to invite others in. What struggles can you open up about this month even on a small level to let others in?

* Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.” Henry van Duke

* The love we have for ourselves sets the bar for all other love we experience. It starts with us.

* Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. Ralph Waldo Emerson

* Understand that the right to choose your own path is a sacred privilege. Use it. Dwell in the possibility.

Oprah Winfrey:  Prayer always  New opportunities  Partnerships
Community engagement


Many Thanks to Board Members!

As we wrap up our program year, I (Jane) would like to extend my personal thanks and the gratitude of the congregation to the members of the Board of Trustees. These individuals have put in hours of service on behalf of our congregation and have done so willingly, cheerfully and expertly! The church could not operate without the efforts of congregants who step forward and accept positions of leadership.

Our Ministry Team Leaders and Assistant Team Leaders serve one-year terms. This past year the Administration Ministry has been led by Larry Watson and Shirley Blackwell has been Assistant Team Leader. The Education Ministry Team has been led by Cindy Maxey with Lynda Ackerman as Assistant. The Hospitality Ministry has been in the capable hands of Linda Durham, Team Leader and Nikki Crosby, Assistant Leader. Heading the Mission Ministry Team has been Andrena Jones Sharp with Connee Choi as her Assistant. Bobbi Phelps has led the Worship Team and Donita Singerman has been the Assistant Leader. They are all amazing!

Valencia McMillan has led the Elders throughout the year and will continue to do so in the coming year. Connee Choi, Larry Watson, Carolyn Troha, Don Troha and Val have also served as Diaconate Captains this year. My thanks to all of them!

The Officers of the congregation serve two-year terms and will continue in their positions for the 2024 – 2025 program year. They include Jane Troha, Moderator, Scott Phelps, Vice-Moderator, Grace Loudenstein, Secretary and Mike Singerman, Treasurer. Their love of this church and the care they take in performing their duties is noteworthy!

Of course, Pastor Kate is central to all that we are and do. It is impossible to find words to adequately thank her for her wisdom, guidance and enthusiasm in keeping us moving in positive directions. Likewise, Kese is the institutional memory of the congregation and provides loving service in performing her many and varied tasks; Irwin brings so many musical gifts and talents to us, week in and week out which enrich our worship life immeasurably; Levi Horn keeps us functioning in the technical end of worship, with grace and skill.

An addition, there are so many people in the congregation who help in so many ways from Zoom Hosts to Liturgists, IG Moment Leaders, Candle Lighters, Elders, Diaconate, Choir members and song leaders/soloists, Greeters and ever so many more. It is through the work of all of us together that we remain a faith-filled, faithful church, doing our part to continue God’s work in our community. Many, many thanks to all! I look forward to the year ahead as we continue congregational life and embrace new opportunities for worship, service, ministry and mission!




Interfaith Guardians Game Gathering – Thursday, August 1st

Love the Guardians!   Come out for an IGAH (Interfaith Group Against Hate) group trip to a game! We want to let you know that IGAH’s Community Committee has planned an interfaith outing on Thursday, August 1st to attend a Guardians Game. See the link below for information and to register for the game.

This link will take you to the form used to reserve your tickets as part of the group. Tickets are $17 each. You can meet members of the group at the Shaker Rapid or at Progressive Field. The first pitch is at 6:40 p.m.

For any further questions about the outing, please contact Christine Winters from Fairmount Presbyterian Church at

Save the Date!

Porch Talks 2024 Coming on August 23rd
The Porch Talks series will continue this summer with a presentation by Connie Schultz on Saturday, August 24th at 5:30 p.m. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to hear from her! Details will be coming soon!

Wednesday’s Together

Plymouth Church, UCC and Heights Christian Church are both blessed to call our building at 2860 Coventry Road home.  Both congregations are looking forward to growing friendships between our members, as well as discerning what ministry opportunities and events we can embark on together! One way we will seek to expand our relationship is through sharing “Wednesdays Together.” On the first three Wednesdays of each month, we will share in fellowship and formation with one another. We look forward to seeing many folks from HCC and Plymouth at each gathering!

Note: there is no Wednesday’s Together in July and August
We will resume in September.

On First Wednesdays, join us for Book Group. Come and be in conversation around a different chosen book each month. You’re welcome even if you haven’t read the book to enjoy the discussion together.

On Second Wednesdays, join us for Meditative Arts Group. We will provide projects or you can bring your own.  Everyone is invited to color, doodle, draw, paint, knit, sew – whatever fits your interest and provides soothing quiet for you. We will gather with fellowship, then listen to calm, soothing music while we break out our pens, crayons, colored pencils, and knitting needles.

On Third Wednesdays, join us for Lunch Club. We gather for a homemade meal and fellowship, and then listen to a speaker from the community or one of our churches.

Book Group

Book Group will resume again in September.
Nancy Carpenter, leader

Meditative Arts Group

Meditative Arts Group will resume again in September.
Donita Singerman, leader

Gift Cards

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

Support Heights Christian Church while you shop.  Get your shopping done early.  And make your life less stressful.  Gift cards are easy and appreciated.  (Cash or check only, please)

Social Media outreach

HCC is on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and You-Tube and Linked-In!  Several recordings of special worship services have been uploaded to our channel on 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!



5 – Greg Gillooly     6 – Carson Crosby    13 – Chris Crosby, Sr.
20 – Alicia Benson     31 – Ed Weisheimer

2-Lyubov Nikolenko      6- Jan Everett     8- Kellie Brown     11-Tim Damon
11-Alice McDonald     12-Rosalind Powell     12-Scott Phelps     16-Terri Mehring
17-Levi Horn     24-Larry Watson     29-Billy Dunn

We are glad to share the birthdays we have on record each month and encourage members to reach out with greetings. We apologize if someone’s name has been omitted – please call Kese in the church office to share your birthday if we don’t have it in our list. We want to celebrate you!