Reaching Heights June 2019

Heights Christian Church Icon of Two Followers Lifting a CrossReaching Heights June 2019

Links to this month’s news:

Worship – Pentecost and “Unraveled”
Summer Choir – Come Sing!
Along the Path – Thoughts from Pastor Roger
Kate’s Cogitations
Youth off to Camp
Mid Week Bible Study
Thank You’s
Community Meal – June 15
Porch Talks – June 23
Pub(lic) Theology – June 18
Common Ground – June 30
New “Our Daily Bread” – Devotionals available

See the Serving Schedule – Go to the church calendar

NOTE: The church office will be closed July 1 – 5.





June 2 – Welcome Dr. Ott!

It is the generous offer of Bexley Seabury Seminary, where Kate earned her Doctor of Ministry degree, to send a member of the faculty to the congregational setting of each graduate in recognition of the accomplishment and to express gratitude to the church for their support and partnership. Accordingly, the Rev. Dr. Emlyn Ott, a Lutheran pastor and current director of the Doctor of Ministry program, will join us in worship on Sunday, June 3. Dr. Ott will preach on the assigned passage from Acts for that day. We welcome Dr. Ott to Heights Christian Church and to our pulpit.

Since earning her Doctor of Ministry degree, Kate has been invited to co-teach a course on Pastoral Care and Counseling at Ursuline College this summer, and to serve as a Core Group Facilitator for the new cohort of DMin students at Bexley Seabury Seminary. Kate will be away June 3-7 to sit in on a class with the new cohort, and hopes to learn new things about “Reimagining Congregations in Mission” to bring back to HCC.

June 9Pentecost
You are invited to wear red to match the red geraniums that will fill the chancel as we celebrate the birth of the church through the power of the Holy Spirit.  Scripture – Acts 2:1-21

June 16 – Summer Worship Series “Unraveled” Begins
This Sunday we move into the cooler Campbell Room for a slightly more relaxed worship service.  Pastor Roger will be preaching on Sarah Laughs based on Genesis 18:1-15 & 21:1-7.

June 23
Rev. Kris Eggert will be preaching on Matthew 14:22-33 – Peter sinks in the water.

June 30
The story of Zacchaeus found in Luke 19:1-10 will be the sermon topic. Dr. Kate Gillooly preaching.




Summer Choir

If you’ve thought about singing in the choir but couldn’t make the weekly rehearsal commitment, then come join the summer choir.  Rehearsal is at 9:20 a.m. in the Campbell Room right before Sunday morning worship beginning June 16.

Along the Path:

Every so often someone stops by the church office to “talk to the pastor.”  Most of the time it’s someone looking for some help – money, pay a utility bill, food, diapers.  Occasionally someone just wants to talk or asks me to pray with them.  I’ll listen and if it is a personal or marital issue, I always try to tell them that while I feel pretty confident that I can give them good advice on matters of faith, I am not a certified counselor or therapist so they may want to consult with someone who is.

Recently I received a phone call from someone who said that he had stopped by many months ago.  I didn’t remember him at first, but after a little conversation I recalled the outline of his situation.  I can’t share any details but we had talked for a good long time and at the end I prayed with him and he headed out.

His call was to thank me for talking and praying with him.  I asked how things were with his situation and he replied that things hadn’t worked, but that was okay.  He just wanted to let me know that our talk and prayer had changed his life for the better and he was going to try and come to worship with us some time.

I tell this story not to pat myself on the back, but to remind each one of us that we never know when we might be in a situation where someone desperately needs our time and attention and, yes, maybe a prayer.  I doubt that my “advice” made much difference.  What helped, I believe, was the gift of presence, prayer, and the assurance that there is a God who loves and cares for each of us.  And that is a gift that all of us can give if we are willing.

‘Till next time… Pastor Roger

Kate’s Cogitations

I was attending a training for Common Ground today and my friend and colleague, Tony Vento, shared some wisdom: “Machines, when we press pause, stop. Humans, when we press pause, get creative!” Although this quote was being used to explain the need for some quiet reflective time in discussion groups (so people can gather their thoughts and participate in the conversation), I think it applies to our life at church and in our families as well. Summer is in many ways a welcome change of pace. Some us take opportunities to press the pause button. This might come in the form of family vacations, casual Fridays at work, increased time with the grandchildren or in our gardens, or more naps in the hammock. If we’ve been running pretty hard during the year, this is our chance to slow down, catch our breath, look around. What if we allowed ourselves to imagine more creativity as a result of pressing pause? What if we opened ourselves up to the many ways we could get creative in our lives? What if we valued creativity as a gift from our loving God? Here’s wishing you plenty of pauses this summer!

Camp Christian!

This year we send Alicia Benson and Madison Durham to Camp Christian for a week of CYF Camp July 7-13. Please keep these people in your prayers that they and their fellow campers might have a fun, safe and fulfilling week!

It’s back! MidWeek Bible Study will start up again mid-summer!

Mark your calendars and plan to join us for a 7 week study of the Psalms: Passion, Promise, Praise. We will begin mid-July and meet each week through August. We’ll meet at Juma Coffeehouse on Chagrin – you purchase your own beverage and we’ll bring the lively discussion! All are welcome, invite a friend to join you.

7/16                 Overview of the Book of Psalms
7/23                 Prayers and Poetry
7/30                 Prayer Book for God’s People
8/6                   Psalms of Sacred History
8/13                 Psalms of Trust
8/20                 Psalms of Lament
8/27                 Psalms of Praise




To the Heights Christian Church Congregation

Thank you so much for your many prayers, words of condolences, cards, or flowers. They meant so much to me as my siblings and I grieved my mother’s death but celebrated her life. Of course, we think of her as a wonderful loving mother and we will miss her. But we will move on to do some of the things she did as reflected in her life..

From:Andrena Jones-Sharp

Thank You

We are so grateful for our dedicated team of Sunday School Teachers! As we wind down the program year, we want to take a moment to recognize and thank them for all their efforts. Each week HCC offers a safe space for bible stories, lively conversation, music, and crafts to help children learn about God and grow in their faith. Our teachers make it all happen! So offer praise and thanksgiving to:

Lloyd Ackerman
Lynda Ackerman
Kellie Brown
Nancy Carpenter
Connee Choi
Bill Dunn
Andrena Jones-Sharp
Amber Sharpley
Donita Singerman, thanks for filling in!
Annette Sutherland
Michelle Vazquez
and plan to be in church on June 2 to say a word of thanks in person.

Community Meal

Our Community Meal continues to attract residents of the community. This past meal on Saturday, May 18th, included  Shaker Heights  Mayor Weiss and council person Earl Williams. They spent a lot of time engaging with the attendees. The police department has had two officers at all of the meals. This time they provided a cake with wording celebrating the Community Meal.The officers have cooked, engaged in conversation with the attendees, served food, help set up and did numerous other things. The Kiwanis provided the food for this meal along with several volunteers. Chef KC and Chef Q were preparers of the meal. There were ingredients to build tacos or a salad. It was delicious. SAMS as usual was there to do whatever was needed. The 911 dispatchers volunteered along with a representative from the Shaker Heights Library. Jim Donald from HCC was again chief dishwasher. Other Heights member were there to help wherever it was needed. Come join this wonderful community gathering on Saturday, June 15th from noon to 2pm.




Porch Talks for a Beloved Community 

Amanda D. King, Founder and Creative Director of Shooting Without Bullets started our Porch Talks for a Beloved Community series on Sunday May 19th. Continuing Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s message fifty-four years ago, Ms. King spoke about the injustice experienced by black, brown, and other marginalized people in our country. “Everyone is entitled to love, resources, justice, and protection under the law.” She also encouraged us to be “creatively maladjusted to anything that does not align with a morally just and ethical society.”

Our next speaker is Rev. Dr. Mendle Adams a retired pastor and a board member of Ohioans to Stop Executions.  He will speak on Sunday, June 23, at 4:00 pm.  As we did in May there will be a follow up conversation with the speaker. This will take place on Tuesday, June 25 from 7:00-8:30 pm at Plymouth Church (Dr. Adams is a member there).  Our final Porch Talk will be July 28.  Arrangements for that speaker are being finalized.

Please mark your calendar and plan to be here on June 23 and at Plymouth on June 25. Then think about ways you can spread the news, share the flyer and Facebook event, and invite your friends and neighbors.

Next Pub(lic) Theology is June 18th

Now meeting at the Craft Collective in the Van Aken District. Come bring your questions, your curiosity, and pull up a chair. This group meets at 7:00 pm on the 3rd Tuesday of the month.Hope to see you there.

Join us in hosting Common Ground – a Community Conversation!

Sunday, June 30 from 5-7 pm we open our doors to whoever wants to join us for a simple catered supper and conversation. This is an annual program sponsored by the Cleveland Foundation and this year the theme is” My environment was…My environment is…My environment will be…” We will focus on community – yours growing up, now, and what you most want to see in the future. We will discuss how our upbringing shapes our thinking, and how everyone can work together to build community wherever they are – community that respects all and equips all, in love, for justice and peace – beloved community. We will need greeters, table hosts, and cookie bakers!

Please sign up here: and let Kate know if you’d like to help at the event.

New “Our Daily Bread” Devotionals

The lazy days of summer, soon to be upon us, provide an opportunity to rearrange our priorities and get better acquainted with the devotional, Our Daily Bread.  It’s a great little companion, designed to broaden one’s relationship with God.  Find it on the Narthex or Campbell Room tables.


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