Reaching Heights March 2022
Reaching Heights March 2022
Links to this month’s news:
See the Serving Schedule
Worship for Lent – “Full to the Brim”
March 2 – Ash Wednesday – “With all that you are”
This year we will collaborate with Plymouth on two Ash Wednesday services at 12:15 and 7:00 pm. In the chapel and on Zoom (Sunday morning worship link)
March 6 – “Even in the desert” – Luke 4:1-13 – Dr. Kate Gillooly preaching
March 13 – “Under GOd’s wing” – Luke 13:31-35 – Pastor Roger preaching
March 20 – “You are worthy’” – Luke 13:1-9 – Pastor Roger Preaching
March 27 – “Prodigal grace” – Luke 15:1-3 – Pastor Roger preaching
About this year’s worship theme
Full to the Brim is an invitation—into a radically different Lent, into a full life. It’s an invitation to be authentically who you are, to counter scarcity and injustice at every turn, to pour out even more grace wherever it is needed. It disrupts the scarcity mentality that capitalism, oppression, or hierarchy can plant inside of us. When we allow ourselves to be filled to the brim with God’s lavish love, that love spills over. It reaches beyond ourselves; like water, it rushes
and flows, touching everything in its path.
Traditional iterations of Lent often emphasize restraint, confession, and piety. The origins of Lent were that one was to leave their old life behind to fast and prepare to be baptized into a new way of living. In essence, this was a practice of stepping away from the rat race, corrupt power, scarcity mentality, and empty rituals in order to live a more expansive and full life of faith. And so, Full to the Brim trusts the promise of our baptisms—God has already claimed us as God’s own and nothing we can do will ever change or erase that.
Come join us as we worship this Lent “Full to the Brim“!
First Hour Adult Class – Sunday mornings 9:30 – 10:30 March 6 – April 3 (In Herr Chapel and on Zoom)
The Sermon on the Mount: A Beginner’s Guide to the Kingdom of Heaven, with Dr. Amy-Jill Levine
Facilitated by Carolyn Troha, Rev. Roger, and Dr. Kate
Explore the most popular sermon ever delivered! Matthew 5-7 contains some of Jesus’ most profound and memorable teachings. What might these teachings have meant to his disciples and the others who first heard them? How do they speak across the centuries to listeners today? How does Jesus provide us a road map to living as God would have us live? Join us for lively discussion, rich learning, and a deeper appreciation of the life God is calling us to live. You don’t need to read the book to participate, but for those who wish, it is available from Cokesbury or Amazon for under $15.
Zoom link will be the same as Sunday morning worship.
MidWeek Bible Study – Tuesdays at 2pm on Zoom March 8, 15, 22, 29, April 5+12
“Depicting Abundance” – contemplating images and phrases of Lent
Using visio divina, poetry, and creative response, we will explore scripture, artwork, and written reflections on the weekly themes of our “Full to the Brim” worship materials. These materials build on what we will experience in worship and invite a deeper look at the parables and promises of God’s abundant and expansive grace. Join us for a chance to see and hear differently, to craft our responses, and to grow closer to God.
Meeting ID: 865 4906 1235
From cell: +19294362866,,86549061235#,,,,*431738# US (New York)
You can also find the link to this study on our Zoom page
Along the Path:
It is 2022 and time to begin another season of Lent. Much has changed since we began this same journey two years ago. Much that we never thought might happen has happened and our world is not the same as it once was.
It would be easy in this season so often devoted to abstinence and “giving up” to concentrate on what has been lost. But I invite you to enter fully into our theme for this Lent, Full to the Brim. I invite you to keep your focus on all that you have, all that we have been given, and to look for the signs of God’s abundant love that continue to be evident, even in the ongoing difficulties of these days.
So come along on the journey, let go of your expectations and see where God may be leading you, and us, in these forty holy days.
Looking forward to seeing you…along the path!- Pastor Roger
Kate’s Cogitations Making Connections
I often tell people that what I love most about what I do is helping people make connections. Usually, I am referring to that light that goes on when we discover parallels between scripture and lived experience or between church history and present-day cultural messaging. But the most important connections are person to person. Whether it is someone we have known most of our lives, a new neighbor, or a sister in faith halfway across the globe, relationships matter.
For most of us, the pandemic has presented challenges to our ability to connect. Zoom and email have certainly helped hold us together as a congregation, but we’re all yearning for more in person, tangible (huggable) ways to be together. My hope is that we reach out to connect with people outside the congregation right along with our renewed connections within HCC.
I invite you to spend some time considering what new connections God might be offering you. Take a walk, read a community newsletter, scroll social media, hang out in the newly refurbished Shaker Library, and open yourself to God’s invitation to new relationships.
Trustees Authorize Formation of
Pastoral Leadership Committee
At its February meeting, the Board of Trustees explored the avenues available to begin the process of finding pastoral leadership for the congregation following Pastor Roger’s retirement. The Board evaluated both the traditional search process and a newer transitional model as recommended to the Board by Regional Minister Allen Harris. The Board voted unanimously to proceed with the transitional model and determined that a committee should be established to work on this.
Moderator Lynda Ackerman has named Jane Troha to chair this committee. Members will include Carl Cormany, Val McMillan, Scott Phelps and Larry Watson, with Lynda serving ex officio and Treasurer Mike Singerman consulting regarding matters of finance. The committee will begin its work by reviewing the congregational input from the World Café and follow-up surveys. Many thanks to everyone who provided such thoughtful information on these.
Please remember this committee in your prayers. Feel free to communicate your dreams, visions, hopes and concerns to any of them!
Thank you for your contributions of items for the children at Lomond School. We have it on good authority that they are needed and very much appreciated. We in Cleveland however know that Winter is not over which is why we are continuing to collect items for “The Wall of Love” through March. So when you are out and about and get the chance, please pick up an item like these to put in the bin located at the entrance of the Chapel: socks, gloves, mittens, scarves, hats. Remember: we are donating these to Lomond School for children whose families are in need of support from those of us who are more fortunate.
We continue our connection with Disciples Christian Church related to support for the Afghan refugees. You can continue to make financial contributions by mail, using envelopes when you come for worship or other times, as well as via Givelify on our website. The money will be for food. We all know that trips to the grocery store isn’t just a one time thing but ongoing whether weekly or like me maybe every three weeks. But, the point is that it is ongoing. Thank you for your previous donations. Besides $300 from the Outreach Committee, you as individuals have donated at last count an additional $300+. Connee Choi is our representative liaison. There will be other ways how we might be invited to help. Check with Connee if you have questions.
Heights Christian has a long history of helping refugees. The most recent is with Afghans through Disciples Christian Church. But there are other refugees in our Shaker community. The Shaker Heights Library has provided tutoring for an inclusive number of refugees from other countries. Presently, there is a need for more tutors. Our own Cindy Maxey, a library supervisor, has shared the status and need for volunteers. More detailed information coming soon from Cindy. Look! This could be your opportunity to engage in something new and old at the same time.
The Outreach Committee will be meeting in the near future to review its financial status and to make a decision for distribution. We will share with the congregation an updated status.
Remember: You can still make non-perishable food donations to the Little Free Pantry at our former Heights Christian Church location as well as here at our Plymouth location.
Please share with us any suggestions you have for Missions involvement to be discussed/considered. We are your representatives, but we don’t know everything that our community needs.
During Lent this year HCC will center on the theme “Full to the Brim.” Devotional materials, Sunday worship and Tuesday Mid-week Bible Study will explore the many facets of this theme. A set of daily prayer cards will be available to anyone who wants them for daily devotional use. In addition to all this, the RenewalWorks Team would like to encourage another means of finding meaning in this theme!
“Full to the Brim” encourages us to look at our lives through the lens of “abundance”. How can we observe Lent in a way that helps us live into the abundance that God provides for us? We are offering six “abundance” scriptures, one for each week. Read the scripture, pray on it, live with it for a few days and then find something that represents your musings and capture it in a photograph. You might look in nature, in your home, you might draw, paint or color something. You might write a poem, prayer, song or meditation. Whatever and wherever it is, snap a picture and send it to Kate (email to Kate@heightscc.org or text to 216-408-9512). We will use the photos to enrich our worship, to decorate the Chapel and to capture our journey together visually!
The scripture passages for each week are:
Week 1 (March 6-12) Psalm 23:5
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Week 2 (March 13-19) John 10:10b
I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
Week 3 (March 20-26) James 1:17
Every good gift, every perfect gift, comes from above. These gifts come down from the Father, the creator of the heavenly lights, in whose character there is no change at all.
Week 4 (Feb. 27-Apr. 2) 2 Corinthians 9:8
And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work.
Week 5 (April 3-9) Luke 6:38
give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.”
Holy Week (Apr. 10-16) Psalm 65:11a, 12a, 13b
You crown the year with your bounty;
The pastures of the wilderness overflow,
they shout and sing together for joy.
Join us in this challenge! Let’s immerse ourselves in God’s abundance as we walk our Lenten journey together this year!
Yours in faith, The RenewalWorks Team – Lynda, Val, Kate and Jane
is reforming and inviting anyone who would like to be a part of the discussion and fellowship to join them. The book for March is The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles and the gathering is at Plymouth in Room 102 on Wednesday March 2 at 2:00 pm.
Meditative Art circle…
has switched to the 2nd Wednesday of the month and will meet again on Wednesday, March 9 in the Atrium at 1:00 pm.
Plymouth Lunch Club…
Wednesday, March 16th, Regennia Williams from Western Reserve Historical Society will present Praying Grounds: African American Faith Communities. She will discuss the evolving and influential role of religion in Black America based on her ongoing research the Praying Grounds Oral History Project. The Lunch Club meets in room 102 and on Zoom. Boxed lunch is available after the presentation. Please RSVP to Matt B. at firstname.lastname@example.org