Reaching Heights March 2019

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

Links to this month’s news:
Worship – What to look forward to in our weekly and special services
Lenten Study – Sunday morning and Tuesday afternoon
Along the Path – Thoughts from Pastor Roger
Movie Premiere – Conversations in Courage: The Visit
Spiritual Retreat – From the RenewalWorks Team
Devotionals for Lent
New Initiatives Retreat – follow up
Mission Ministry – Update
A Bet Away – recent happenings
Common Ground 2019

See the Serving Schedule
Go to the church calendar

Spring Ahead

Daylight Savings Time begins – March 10

Worship for Lent

March 6 – Ash Wednesday Dinner and Service
We will break bread and worship together with Disciples Christian Church (in their building – 3663 Mayfield Rd., Cleveland Heights)
6:00 pm Dinner
7:00 pm Worship

March 10 – 1st Sunday in Lent
Cultivating Trust; Letting Go of Temptation
Scripture reading, Luke 4:1-13

March 17 – 2nd Sunday in Lent
Cultivating Courage; Letting Go of Fear
Scripture reading, Luke 13:31-35

March 24 – 3rd Sunday in Lent – Healing Service
Cultivating Wholeness; Letting Go of Anxiety and Doubt
Scripture reading, Luke 13:1-9

March 31 – 4th Sunday in Lent – Family Fifth Service
Cultivating Grace; Letting Go of the Past
Scripture reading, Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32

Lenten Study:

Entering the Passion of Jesus
We hope everyone will join us for our Lenten Study. We will offer the same program at 2 different days and times of the week. On Sundays during Second Hour (11:30 – 12:30 pm) Pastor Roger will lead a combined study in the Campbell Room. On Tuesdays from 1:00 – 2:00, Kate Gillooly (and others) will lead a group in the Campbell Room at church. The material for this study is written by Dr. Amy-Jill Levine, Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt University. Renowned scholar and prolific author, Dr. Levine brings energy and humor to biblical teaching.
About the book and companion DVD: Jesus’ final days were full of risk. Every move he made was filled with anticipation, danger, and the potential for great loss or great reward. We take risks as we read and re-read these stories, finding new meanings and new challenges.  In Entering the Passion of Jesus: A Beginner’s Guide to Holy Week, Amy-Jill Levine shows us how the text raises ethical and spiritual questions for the reader, and how we all face risk in our Christian experience.
March 10 and March 12    Jerusalem: Risking Reputation
March 17 and March 19    The Temple: Risking Righteous Anger
March 24 and March 26    Teachings: Risking Challenge
March 31 and April 2         The First Dinner: Risking Rejection
April 7 and April 9              The Last Supper: Risking the Loss of Friends
April 14 and April 16          Gethsemane: Risking Temptation
The book is available for purchase from the church ($14).  We will also have a couple of copies that can be borrowed.  Note: while it will be helpful to read the book, it is not necessary in order to participate.

Along the Path

As we move into the season of Lent I am reminded of the somewhat passe tradition of “giving something up” (like chocolate or meat).  This year our worship will be centered on the more profound ideas of letting go of something that is holding you back and cultivating some trait or practice that will enrich your spirit and carry you into the future.

Given our full and busy lives it is important that we pair these two activities, because without letting go of something, we can easily find ourselves overwhelmed by the taking up of something new.

If you look over the worship information in this newsletter you’ll see some examples of things that you might cultivate and let go.  I urge you to give some thought to what you might begin or expand that would deepen your spiritual life and what you could give up to make room for that.

Joining you on the journey, Pastor Roger

Conversations in Courage: The Visit Film Premiere

March 24 at Cuyahoga Community College – East Campus

On Sunday, March 24, 2019, MetroHealth System will present the premiere of the Shaker Arts Council’s documentary film, Conversations in Courage: The Visit. The film, directed by Marquette Williams, depicts the events surrounding Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 1965 visit to Heights Christian Church and Shaker Heights and includes interviews with many of those involved, including several church members. The premiere will be held at. Tri-C East Simon and Rose Mandel Theatre, 4250 Richmond Road, Highland Hills, OH 44122. 

The afternoon begins at 2:00 pm with a Director’s Reception attended by veteran Civil Rights activists including Edwina Moss, the Reverends Joan Campbell and Albert Pennybacker. The film begins at 3:00 pm followed by a panel conversation moderated by Dee Perry and an audience Q & A. Tickets for the pre-screening reception are $35 and include a ticket to the screening. General admission tickets are $5 for students and seniors and $10 for adults. For reservations and more information, call 216.916.9360. Tickets can also be purchased at

Whispering in the Ear of God:
An Active Prayer Retreat

Give a gift to yourself and join us for a time to reflect, recharge, and renew.
Looking for some spiritual nourishment? Join us on Saturday, March 30 from 9:00 – 11:30 am for a congregational spiritual retreat – a workday for your heart!
All are welcome as we gather in prayer, worship, and contemplation during this holy time of Lent. Various prayer activities will be available for corporate, small group, and individual practice. Light refreshments and all supplies provided – just bring your self! Please let us know you plan to attend so we can prepare accordingly. This event is sponsored and led by members of the RenewalWorks Implementation Team: Lynda Ackerman, Kate Gillooly, Val McMillan, Rosalind Powell, and Jane Troha. Questions? Want to help? Contact Kate Gillooly.

Devotionals Available

The season of Lent is a time for reflection and spiritual growth, and therefore a great time to begin or increase your daily devotional practices.
This Lent, we have a devotional booklet from A Sanctified Art, which ties in to our worship themes. Called, “CULTIVATING & LETTING GO “ it is a simplified coloring calendar and devotional booklet with prompts, prayers, and coloring for you to complete at your own pace week-by-week.
“Our Daily Bread” is available year-round as daily devotional booklet.
In case spring IS just around the corner, a springtime prescription:  Enjoy the sweet singing of the birds again, while you digest the memorable Daily Bread offerings over morning coffee at the breakfast table.
A year of daily readings can be found in the new book “You Are the Beloved” by Henri Nouwen. (A resource copy is available in the church library, or you can purchase your own.)
Looking for something different?  Here’s a couple of options that will come to your inbox:
1. Us, Them, and the End of Violence: A Lenten Journey – Brian McLaren and Gareth Higgens – includes access to a weekly conversation.  Sign up at:
2. Lent Another Way – from The Plural Guild, the group that wrote the This Is My Body liturgy that we used in worship last fall.  There is a cost for this resource – $39, with significant discounts for multiple registrations.  You can sign up here:

New Initiatives Retreat Update

Our Leadership Retreat in November and our New Initiatives Retreat in February were both very successful! In each group we considered together new ideas for becoming more engaged in our community, and what assets we already posses to make that happen. Some ideas have been around for a while, such as serving a Community Meal. Others have cropped up recently, like Porch Talks for a Beloved Community. Each participant at the retreats was invited to indicate the level of support they felt called to give at this time: prayer, assisting, leading, or inviting community members into partnership. Some of the initiatives are already underway (Community Meal, Pub(lic) Theology) and others will take some time to develop (Intergenerational Mission Trip, Anti-Racism Work). All of the projects have room for more people to be involved. They do not need to be implemented at the same time, but will develop as the energy and focus becomes available. If you want to know more, or you have a great idea for community engagement, contact Kate Gillooly.

Mission Ministry Update

On February 16 we hosted our first Community Meal – and it was a success! Plenty of people from HCC and the community gathered to prepare and enjoy lunch and conversation together. We are partnering with individuals and organizations in Shaker to put this meal on once a month (on the third Saturday) and welcome involvement and assistance from all directions. Feel free to join us if you want- our next meal is Saturday, March 16 from noon-2:00 pm.



Greetings All,

In October 2018, I wrote the following in response to a request for workshop proposals for the 16th Annual Ohio Conference on Problem Gambling (February 28-March 1, 2019). The theme of the conference is “Mitigating Harm: Maximizing Effectiveness.” In December, 2018 the awards were made and this was selected and I am listed as primary presenter in the conference materials. Faith-based solutions have not been explored in previous conferences. Looking forward to how the community responds.


In northern Ohio, since August 2014, three casinos opened and are accessible from communities of every socio-economic stratum within 15 to 30 minutes. Before then, casino gambling was more than three-hours away and out of state. A major population being attracted is retired seniors, 55 years old and older. This group has constructively contributed to society, has considerable leisure time, and steady income. Their family traditions include weekly religious participation and leadership. If gambling became sufficiently problematic for them to call the gambling hotline; the first form of care would come from mental health providers. These seniors may have never had mental health issues which prevented them from gainful employment or positive social responsibilities.

It is time for Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and other faith institutions to create solutions to problem gambling which may be affecting seniors and others in their congregations. What can ordained and lay leaders provide to mitigate harm and maximize effective spiritual treatment and recovery for their members? Can faith be combined with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)? Can faith practices become the CBT? Bring your thoughts.

Rev. Michele L. Moreland is an Ordained Minister serving the Heights Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Shaker Heights, OH. She has a vision for ministries of congregational support groups dealing with inner healing and faith-building. She is a Member of the Problem Gambling Network of Ohio and the National Council on Problem Gambling.

            Michele L. Moreland

Mark Your Calendars!

Common Ground returns June 30! Mark your calendars now for our third annual Common Ground Community Conversation. We hope to host people for a simple supper in the evening, and a conversation on the theme “My environment was…My environment is…My environment will be…” If you would like to help plan or host this event, please see Kate Gillooly.


HCC is on Facebook, Instagram, 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!