Reaching Heights May 2019

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

Links to this month’s news:

Worship – and Adult Study
Along the Path – Thoughts from Pastor Roger
Spring Work Day – May 4
Mission Ministry Updates
Community Meal – May 18
Porch Talks – May 19
Gift Card – Update
Other Events:
Pub(lic) Theology – May 21
Common Ground – June 30
Easter Egg Hunt – Thank You
Staff Updates

See the Serving Schedule – Go to the church calendar

Worship at HCC – Outward Prayer

May 5 – Praying the Ordinary – “We pray the ordinary… by turning ordinary experiences of life into prayer; … seeing God in the ordinary experiences of life; and … praying throughout the ordinary experiences of life.” Scripture: Luke 11:1-4

May 12 – Intercessory Prayer – “If we truly love people we will desire for them far more than it is within our power to give them, and this will lead us to prayer. Intercession is a way of loving others.” Scripture: Ephesians 6:18-19

May 19 – Authoritative Prayer – “In Authoritative Prayer we are calling forth the will of [God] upon the earth…We are not asking God to do something; rather, we are using the authority of God to command something to be done.” Scripture: Matthew 18:18-19

May 26 – Radical Prayer – “[Radical Prayer] dares to believe that things can be different. It’s aim is the total transformation of persons, institutions, and societies. Radical Prayer, you see, is prophetic.” Scripture: Romans 12:1-2

Second Hour Spring Topics:

May 5 Diana Butler Bass
Jesus the Ingrate: The Subversive Politics of Gratitude
Award-winning author Diana Butler Bass explores how cultivating lives of gratitude can help us more deeply experience the transformative and subversive reign of God in our lives and in this world.

May 19 Shane Claiborne (led by Kate)
Resurrecting Church
In this perspective-changing talk, activist and author Shane Claiborne probes what it would look like for the church to rediscover its calling to stand for life and love in the midst of the challenges of poverty and gun violence.

Along the Path:

I am always amazed when May rolls around and I realize that we are approaching our annual meeting and the summer schedule on Sunday mornings.  It typically signals a time of change with programs housed in the building on summer break, vacations, and less activities on the church calendar.  All the plans made last August, and new things added as the year goes on have been accomplished (or, sometimes, not), but May feels like the last big push until we can take a breath before new plans start being made in time for September.

Yet the work of the church continues and that may be more true this year than most.  Yes the Preschool, the Youth Center, and the Getaway will be on break.  And many of us will be taking vacation time, several of the new programs that are serving the community (the community meal, Pub Theology) will continue and Porch Talks, a new way for us to engage with the community on the issues of social justice, will take place May – July.

There are teams in place to lead each of these endeavors but it will take everyone’s help and engagement throughout the summer to make them successful.

So take a break when needed to rest and refresh, but stay active and involved so that the work that God has called us to can continue to change lives and hearts in our community.

Spring Work Day

Heights Christian Church is having our Spring work day on Saturday May 4, 2019; 9:00 am until noon.  We have mostly outdoor work.  Same as previous years.  Rake leaves, twigs, and seed pods.  Pull weeds, and spread mulch in flower beds.  Trim shrubs. Inside we can clean our kitchen cabinets and fridges.  Maybe clean 2nd floor class rooms, closets and nursery.
Everyone is welcome, we can use all the help we can get.

Mission Ministries Report

Peace and Justice – Our annual Peace Award applications have been sent to Shaker Heights High School. The recipient will be chosen by the school staff. The award will be presented on awards night in May by our Moderator, Val McMillian. The winner will be invited to speak at our Annual Meeting.

CWF (Christian Women’s Fellowship) – has redesigned its structure. There are no longer monthly CWF potluck luncheons. Those will take place as needed. However, CWF now operates as an Advisory Committee. The committee is comprised of persons who represent the CWF Circle groups which are: Art Circle, Bridge Circle, and Book Circle. In honor of its previous leaders, the CWF Advisory Committee has developed a grant application (PEM) for distributing funds to the community. The PEM application grants are in honor of Elizabeth Perdue, Jan Everette, and Kathie McWilliams. The application can be found on the church website. The Thrift Shop operates under the direction of CWF Advisory Committee. Volunteers are needed and welcomed.


Build it and they will come. But not a baseball field this time. It is a place for a community meal. The Community Meal event that has been held at Heights Christian Church for the past three months has continuously grown with our community residents attending. The volunteers have included chefs who prepared delicious food. The Shaker Heights Police Department have had several volunteers who help cook, serve, engage in conversations with the residents. The Campbell Court neighbors have been regular attendees and provided help in the clean up process.

At the April meal it was observed that we might have HCC members who can be for hire as dishwashers at your next party. Talk to Jim D., Lloyd A. and Freddie H. They were terrific and left our kitchen clean. Many other members joined with several other community folks to make this event what it has been.

Join us next time on Saturday, May 18, 2019 from noon to 2 pm. Your friendly smile, serving skills, conversation engagement with others at your table, and whatever else you have to offer can only add to the wonderfulness of this event.

Gardens -April showers bring May flowers and they help to get those garden plots ready for tilling. Mike Droszcz has volunteered as chairperson for our gardens. He and Bryce Mathis have begun work cleaning garden plots. Registration is now open. He reports that already new gardeners have signed up. Mike sends weekly updates to garden members providing them with information on the gardens progress and helpful garden tips. May 4th is Work Day at Heights Christian Church(HCC). If gardening is one of your passions join them in their clean up efforts. If you haven’t signed up for a garden plot yet, contact the church office or go to the website for more information.

Outreach – The Outreach Committee(ORC) has received several request for funding recently. Because HCC is a giving congregation most of the request are approved by the committee. Let us keep in mind that the amount of funds which the ORC has for disbursement is based on a percentage of our pledges to the church. “Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but who is generous to the needy honors him”. Proverbs 14:31.

Green Chalice – Debbie Osgood, Green Chalice chair, continues to provide us with tips that are helpful in protecting our environment. Watch for these in our Sunday bulletin. HCC is a green congregation. We have recycling containers for paper, cans, bottles etc. Our dishwasher is used to wash ceramic coffee cups to replace the use Styrofoam cups. These are just a few ways we can help save our planet.



Porch Talks for a Beloved Community 

We are doing something big, and want you to be a part of it!

In 1965 members of HCC invited Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to speak at our church. While many people reacted with fear and prejudice, our leadership persevered and Dr. King spoke from our porch to a huge crowd. He often spoke of the Beloved Community, which the King Center describes in this way, “In the Beloved Community, poverty, hunger and homelessness will not be tolerated because international standards of human decency will not allow it. Racism and all forms of discrimination, bigotry and prejudice will be replaced by an all-inclusive spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood.”

The work to achieve that goal continues at Heights Christian, in greater Cleveland, and around the world. This year we are instituting a series of three Porch Talks for a Beloved Community, inviting social justice leaders to share their prophetic voices and to sustain the call to do justice and love mercy.

We plan to offer follow-up sessions for each talk to build community, reflect personally and communally, foster multi-racial communication, and invite participants to dream of a better future and work together to implement those dreams. Our hope is to offer 3 talks per year annually in May, June and July.  We are delighted to welcome Amanda King, Founder of Shooting without Bullets to be our speaker May 19 at 4 pm.  She will be joined by the Duffy Liturgical Dance Ensemble Chorus.

Please mark your calendar and plan to be here on May 19. Think about ways you can spread the news, share the flyer and Facebook event, and invite your friends and neighbors.

HCC’s Gift Card Fundraiser

Do You Eat?

Of course you do, and I’ll bet you often buy food.  As a grocery shopper, you could help HCC by purchasing gift cards to pay for those groceries.  It’s a win-win situation!

And the same applies to eating out, travel, clothing and other necessities.  Gift cards can do it all AND help HCC.

Less that 20% of our members and friends are taking advantage of our gift card program.  We really need more of you to participate.  Why?  Because HCC earns something on every gift card you buy from the church.  And every dollar earned goes toward church operations.

We are in the process of changing gift card vendors since our current vendor (the Catholic Diocese) has shut down that service.  We will be buying from a major regional vendor and directly from Heinen’s and Dave’s.  To purchase directly from these grocery chains we have to make bigger up-front commitments with every order.  So we need to up our volume to keep our inventory holding costs reasonable.

Please bring your checkbook or cash to church and purchase gift cards.  Every Sunday Lynda Ackerman sits in the Campbell Room waiting to serve you.  Kese can help during office hours if you forget on Sunday.

We will soon publish a new listing of the cards we will stock and a special order list with many new brands.

Thanks you for your consideration.  Happy shopping!

Next Pub(lic) Theology is May 21st

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.


Mark Your Calendars!

Common Ground returns June 30 – 5 to 7 p.m.  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.



Many thanks to all who helped with our Annual Easter Egg Hunt on April 20. We had a LOT of families present and everyone had a good time. The kids found dozens and dozens of eggs and enjoyed cookies and crafts. And we were able to post helpers in every room and passageway! So even the rain cannot  dampen the jubilant spirit of HCC and Shaker families! It was gratifying to see how many people contributed eggs or cookies and showed up to help out. Special thanks to Lynda Ackerman and Amber Sharpley for leading the effort.

It’s Dr. Kate now! 

Kate Gillooly has completed her coursework and successfully defended her thesis and will travel to Chicago mid-May to receive her Doctor of Ministry in Congregational Development from Bexley Seabury Seminary. She is relieved to have made it through the rigorous process, and stimulated by all she has learned (and is still learning) that directly applies to her work at Heights Christian Church. Most of all, she is deeply grateful for support, encouragement, and collegiality offered so generously by you, the members of HCC! Thank you!


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!