Reaching Heights March 2020
Reaching Heights March 2020
Links to this month’s news:
Community Meal – March 21
Lent Worship: Roll Down Justice
Lent is a time of reminding ourselves who we are called to be in this world. Our Lenten worship this year is inspired by Amos, a prophet whose message is that God calls us to let “justice roll down like waters.”
Our worship this season will pull us out of “what we’ve always done” with a rich blend of beautiful music, poetry, and visual arts centered around the waters of justice and righteousness. You will want to be a part of each week’s worship as we explore the following themes:
March 1 – “Child of God: Naming Each One – Romans 8: 31-39
March 8 – “How Long: Renouncing Evil” – Psalm 13
March 15 – “I Dream of a Church: Christ’s Representatives” – Matt. 25: 31-40
March 22 – “I Choose Love: Communities of Forgiveness” – Luke 23: 32-43
March 29 – “God Has Work for Us to Do: Faithful Disciples” – Isaiah 58: 6-12
April 5 – Palm Sunday “The Day is Coming: We Are One” – Isaiah 35: 1-3
Lenten Devotional available – at sanctuary entrances and the Campbell Room
Holy Week April 5-12.
April 9 – Maundy Thursday, Dinner at 6:30 followed by worship
April 12 – Easter Worship
Sunday Morning Adult Study – 11:30 in the Campbell Room
Change, Fear, and Faith
Join us for our Lenten Scripture Study on “Change, Fear, and Faith”
As individuals, as communities, and as nations, we experience a lot of change and a lot of fear. God calls to us to “Fear Not!” and to follow Jesus. Each week we will explore scripture, reflect individually, and share our perspectives as we seek to embrace God’s message and call to us. Led by Pastor Roger.
3/1 Change Repentance and the New
3/8 Fear, part 1 Ethics of Fear; Safety and Recklessness
3/15 Fear, part 2 Fear of God; Courage and Community
3/22 Faith, part 1 New Ways of Seeing
3/29 Faith, part 2 The Paradox of Control
Along the Path
Change and fear…
whether it is the recent wildfires in Australia; the coronavirus outbreak in China, Italy, the world; the current state of politics in our country; or the issues we face as a congregation in Shaker Heights; it would be easy to get wholly caught up in a desire for safety and security.
In times of trouble and uncertainty our tendency is to hunker down, protect our own, and look for someone to blame or scapegoat.
Unfortunately (or fortunately) for us as Christians, if we are truly going to follow Jesus, then we must realize that we are called to let love overcome our fear and approach the changes before us with faith. Faith in the abundance that God provides. Faith in the message of love we find in scripture. Faith in the idea that the arc of the universe does indeed bend towards justice and that we are called to help it bend.
I pray that we might all have the faith to set aside our fears and lean into the change that is always before us, finding the opportunities for new life that we will celebrate in just a few weeks.
Peace… Pastor Roger
The season of Lent is often a time of turning inward, of self-examination, and quiet prayer. We may or may not choose to give something up or take something on, but we find ourselves reflecting more on our spiritual lives. In the early church, Lent was a time of preparation for baptism. It involved a lot of teaching, and it challenged the candidates to reflect and pray upon their decision and commitment for Christ and to the Church.
Too often our prayer lives can become a laundry list of people and things that we bring to God for God’s action. As you pray this Lent, I encourage you to listen more than you talk. Rest assured that God knows what is on your heart. Open yourself to the awareness of God’s presence and power in your life and in the world. Ask God how you can serve, then listen. This spiritual practice of being open to God can move beyond a set prayer time. As you go through your day, listen for God. I believe the more we listen, the more God will show up in our lives.
MidWeek Bible Study continues…
with The Gospel according to John
Join us Tuesday afternoons from 1-2 pm at 3-19 Coffee on Lee Road for lively conversation! All are welcome; bring a friend!
March 3 “Strange Conversations” Read Chapters 3-10
March 10 “Life, Death, and the Church” Read Chapters 11-17
March 17 “Trial, Death, and Resurrection” Read Chapters 18-21
Mission Ministry Team
Community Meal – On February 15th our Community Meal was supported by the Settler group. They provided almost all of the financing and approximately twenty volunteers to do the meal. Karen Garback, chef, led the the kitchen crew in making a wonderful meal of pasta primavera, sliced ham, cornbread, apple sauce, toss salad. Brownies were donated by several Settlers members. The police provided their usual sheet cake. Our guests for the meal included children of church members who attended with their children. New faces from the congregation also attended. This was the Settlers community service project. At is meeting in August the members felt the group should support our community meal. Our meals started in February ’19 and have taken place every third Saturday of the month since then. We are certainly grateful to the Settlers for their contribution. Unfortunately, their monthly events take place on the 3rd Saturday of the month the same as our Community Meal. Therefore, they are not available to repeat the February event monthly. We invite you to come, volunteer, eat, and engage with our guests. We would love to have you next month on March 21st. Contact the church (216-561-4800) or Andrena Jones-Sharp (216-848-0108) if you wish to volunteer in March. Our led chef will be Vel Scott who was featured in a Plain Dealer article several weeks ago. Her focus is on how plant based foods are nutritious and can be flavorful as well. She is a member of the Heights Christian Church congregation. Remember: Saturday, March 21st from noon until 2pm.
CWF- provides funding to the church for numerous community needs through PEM grants, youth programs, and others. These funds come from the Thrift Shop sales. Jim Nicks and a crew of volunteers are hard at work weekly in the Thrift Shop. It is open 1-4 on Friday and Saturday. Making purchases there is another way to give to the community outreach funding.
Outreach Committee – March is the month when the Outreach Committee will make allocation funding to groups who apply for and meet its criteria. The application is on the Heights Christian Church website. If you know of an agency/group that is servicing those in need and could use help in its efforts, share with them the website for application. Freddie Holman is the chair of the Outreach Committee.
A Star Word for HCC – “THANK YOU”
[Note: This article was to have been in the January Newsletter as we began to look toward our New Year at HCC. Even though it is a little late, this thought can still apply.]
“THANK YOU!” Could be one of our Star Words for the year. Often, we do not take a moment to actually say thank you or express how much we appreciate something that someone has done that was meaningful to us. Whether it be through mission projects, sharing in worship, or special offering of their gifts such as April and the Children’s Choir and Donita’s new Worship Banners;
HCC Members and Friends give of themselves to enhance our lives, as well as the mission and life of Heights Christian Church. Could THANK YOU be our Star Word for the year? Let’s try!
And speaking of thank you’s…
HCC Members and Friends,
Thank you so much for your expressions of care, concern and encouragement. It is a special gift to experience being lifted and surrounded by healing prayer and positive thoughts as I continue to recover.
Hugs of thanksgiving to you all! (Even those who think they don’t like hugs. (smile)). Rosalind Powell
Stories of Caring
The Little Free Pantry (off Winslow, in the back of the church property) continues to serve the community!
Shaker Heights Resident Susie Sharp, posted on “Living in Shaker Heights” Facebook group:
“Today when I stopped by the Little Free Pantry on Winslow, there was a nice lady in her 60s looking through the box. I pulled up to her and asked “Deposit or Withdrawal?” to which she said, “I’m looking for peanut butter or tuna fish and can’t find it.” I suggested she try the one behind Christ Church, but she said she would have to walk there. She was so nice and polite and kind of embarrassed to have been found scavenging for food. Since she was walking, I gave her $10 to go pick some up at the nearby Heinens – and she cried. “This little box has helped keep me alive – I am so grateful for it.” she said. Armina Robinson, you and our other neighbors are surely doing God’s work. Protein resources are so important! “
Many thanks to all who contribute to the Pantry – your offering makes a world of difference! The Little Free Pantry is getting lots of use – it can be re-stocked and depleted and stocked again daily, or more! Folks from the community have made a habit of contributing regularly, and it is clearly much appreciated.
Enrich your new year with a daily diet of Our Daily Bread devotional literature available on the Campbell Room table and Narthex.
Let the select, diverse group of talented, international authors touch your life and inspire you with their biblical insights.
Prayer List Requests
A new procedure has been established for listing names of individuals to remember in prayer. As of September, each name will be listed on the bulletin insert for a period of one month. If anyone wishes for a name to be included for a longer period, please call the church office to continue listing that individual for a subsequent month. The list will be kept on a rolling basis. As always, the congregation of Heights Christian Church welcomes and honors any requests for prayer support.
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!