Reaching Heights May 2023

Heights Christian Church Icon of Two Followers Lifting a CrossReaching Heights May 2023

Links to this month’s news:


  • Worship in May


  • Kate’s Cogitations
  • Taking Our Pulse 


  • From the Moderator
  • It’s a Good Sign! 
  • Annual Meeting
  • Education Ministry
  • Mission Ministry


  • Book Group and Meditative Arts Group
  • Gift Cards 
  • Social Media
  • Birthdays

See the Serving Schedule

  Worship and study


Worship in May

May 7       Fifth Sunday of Easter
1 Peter 2:2-10             “Living Stones”

May 14      Sixth Sunday of Easter
1 Peter 3: 8-12            “Inheriting Blessings”

May 21      Seventh Sunday of Easter
1 Peter 5: 6-11            “Standing Firm in the Faith”

May 28      Feast of Pentecost
Numbers 11:24-30      “The Spirit Upon Us”
You are invited to wear red to match the red geraniums that will fill the chapel as we celebrate the birth of the church through the power of the Holy Spirit. Geraniums can be ordered by filling out the bulletin insert (beginning May 7), by calling the church office at 216.561.4800 or emailing to


From the staff


Kate’s Cogitations

With its typical craziness, Cleveland weather has been all over the map this spring! From sunny, warm days to thunderstorms and hail, to frost warnings, we’ve gotten a little bit of everything! And through it all, we keep looking for budding trees, early flowers, and any sign of spring we can find. The smallest shoots of crocus, the tulips and daffodils at Easter, the shock of forsythia – these all remind us that warmer weather is on its way. They provide a glimmer of hope, no matter what the forecast says. 

Which makes me think about how we, as disciples, are called to be living signs of hope in our world today. As we fashion our lives around Jesus, we have opportunities to provide hands-on help to people, to bring cheer to those who are lonely, encouragement to folks feeling frustrated or disappointed, and to work for justice for all. It may be a special project, or it can be in how we live our daily lives. It might be connected to a church program, or we might just be in the right place at the right time to make a positive difference. 

Thanks for the many ways you make a positive difference in the lives of your friends and neighbors, and in the world. Each act of kindness brings hope to someone else, and reminds us all of the Good News of God’s love for us all. 

In peace,

Taking Our Pulse – the next listening session for Dr. Kate and the congregation is scheduled for Sunday, May 21, right after worship. If you have thoughts about HCC or ideas for our future, plan to attend to share your ideas and hear from others.



At the April meeting the members of the Pastoral Relations Committee were appointed.

The purpose of the Pastoral Relations Committee is to facilitate open and caring communication between the congregation and the minister. The Committee members are Rosalind Powell, Carolyn Troha , Carl Cormany and Dr. Kate. They will be meeting quarterly to share ideas, support and suggestions from the congregation.

The Board also approved a revised Employee Handbook which will soon be given to all staff.  The Board also approved a Volunteer Guideline.  Thanks to Carl Cormany for chairing the Handbook Committee whose work spanned months of gathering information, revising and editing the Handbook and Volunteer Guidelines. Members of the Committee are Carl Cormany, Jane Troha, Dr. Kate Gillooly and Lynda Ackerman.

It’s a Good Sign!!

Have you driven by the front of Plymouth Church and seen the two new HCC signs?  In March the HCC Board approved the purchase of two signs and on April 13 the signs were installed. The larger one is near the Plymouth sign in the front yard; the smaller one is on Drexmore closer to the Chapel part of the building.  These signs will clearly show the community that HCC is an active congregation now in this location.
Many thanks to Larry Watson for managing this project!

Save the Date!

This year’s Annual Meeting will be held on Sunday, June 4, immediately following worship in the Chapel. Snacks and beverages will be provided. Please plan on attending to hear from the Peace Award winner, to vote on the slate of officers presented by the Nominating Committee and to hear remarks regarding our future from Dr. Kate.

Nominating Committee Formed

Vice Moderator, Jane Troha, has convened a Nominating Committee to recruit candidates to assume positions as church officers, Ministry Team Leaders and Assistant Leaders, Endowment Board Supervisors and other responsibilities. The slate of candidates will be presented to the congregation at the Annual Meeting on June 4, 2023 for consideration and election.

The members of the Nominating Committee were elected by the Board of Trustees at the April meeting and serve for a two-year term. Members completing their second year this spring are Linda Durham, Grace Loudenstein and Valencia McMillan. New members serving their first year are Shirley Blackwell, Scott Phelps and Mike Singerman. Dr. Kate and Jane Troha serve ex officio.

The Nominating Committee has begun meeting and will continue to meet each Tuesday evening via Zoom until its work is completed. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to contact any member of the committee. If you have any questions, please direct them to Jane Troha.

A Saturday of Service

On Saturday April 22 twelve members of HCC joined with representatives from other District 2.

Disciples churches to celebrate the collection of household goods for refugee families. These collections were gathered during Lent, and then transported to Disciples Christian Church.  The items are being taken to the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (Cleveland office).

There was an overflowing abundance of goods – from port-a-cribs to pots and pans and everything else a family could need!  In a time of sharing each church presented their outreach activities so we could learn from each other, and then there was a tour of the building and lunch.  The household goods has been transported to the Cleveland field office of the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants. .

Many thanks to everyone from HCC who donated goods, and to all those who helped to transport them to the event! Many families will be blessed in receiving these items to help them feel at home here in Ohio!


HCC participated in the Week of Compassion offering in March.  A total of $1,753 was donated to WOC.  A portion of that was directed to earthquake relief in Turkey and Syria. The balance is directed by our national organization.
Thank you for your donations.

Education Ministry Team

Eggs Everywhere!

Much thanks to everyone who helped make our first ever Easter Egg-Stravaganza a huge success. We had so many wonderful donations from Easter eggs to baskets! Everything was much appreciated. Also many thanks to all the volunteers who helped put baskets together and helped to deliver them as well. We were able to successfully deliver 9 baskets this year and are excited to learn from the experience to do it even bigger and better next year. If you have any extra Easter eggs or baskets make sure to save them for next year!

Attention Graduates!

If you are graduating from high school or college, please take a moment to let the church office know your name, major, and future plans.  please call the office or email us at

Adult Education – stay tuned for information about our spring offerings for MidWeek Bible Study and Sunday morning First Hour! We’ve got great things planned!

Missions Ministry

Thank you for your donation to the refugee Disciples in Action during Lent. As expected you were very generous. The event ended on Saturday, April 22 at the Disciples Christian Church.

Neighbor Night – Neighbors meet the last Tuesday each month at Stephanie Tubbs-Jones community building from 6-8pm. This where conversations about what matters to you are discussed. This is where new ideas and support systems can be developed around the City of Shaker Heights. It is where various age groups participate and networks to help each other are formed. For more information contact Theodore Darden at 216-491-1333 or

Outreach Committee – Although there have been two requests for funding the website is still open for applications through May ’23. An application from the Shaker Heights Public Library was approved. It will be used to provide snacks to children and others who frequent the library. Stats from the Cleveland Area Food Bank show that 1 out of five familes don’t know where their next meal will come from. Unfortunately those numbers impact the Shaker area as well. The Outreach Committee will make a decision soon about the other application. The application form  is on Heights Christian Church website. Share the news with others in the community to apply.

An invitation: Racial Equity Buddies book group has offered an invitation to Heights Christian congregants. To: a movie and a meal and discussion on May 13th from 4- 6:30 to be held at Forest Hills Church in Cleveland Heights on Lee Rd. Movie: I Am Not Your Negro. There is a limited number available to this event. The name of who wants to attend and if a vegan meal is requested has to be turned in by May 6th. If you are interested, please let Andrena know at 216-848-0108 or at

Partnerships with Plymouth – We continue look for new opportunities and continue with those that are in motion. Volunteer opportunities continue to be available with Plymouth for the Food Bank. Paul Qua, the coordinator for this opportunity,  stated that it occurs each month on the second Tuesday and third Wednesday from 6 – 8pm. In May the dates are the 9th and 17th. Please contact Paul at: sign up or if you have questions. He is very good about responding quickly.

Little Free Pantry – is located off the parking lot near Heights Christian Church entrance. Non perishables may be placed there at anytime so that those who in need may get them. When you can and remember periodically grab a can good that is within six months of its expiration as you leave for worship on Sunday.

Adult Faith and Family Life at Plymouth – We are having conversations about just how we might continue to develop our relationship for the good of the greater community. More clarity will occur as we/they continue conversations. After a committee meeting on May14th, it is hoped that many team efforts will be established. In the meantime: Ken Rogers shared another community opportunity. Film: White Savior: Racism in the American Church facilitated by the Anti Racism for Equity (ARE) on Saturday, May 20th at 3pm at Plymouth. A discussion will follow. All are welcomed.

Ohio’s change in voting laws. Go to to get up to date information on changes. Your vote is important. Be an informed voter. Collect information and make your own decision. Information can be found about your district representatives and how they vote on issues. Google Ohio State Legislators and how they vote. As information becomes available we will provide links or flyers  that support the community. Heights Christian has been blessed to have members who are talented and follow where God leads them to serve. We have had petitions available for signatures. If you have questions about any of those you are encourage to talk to those soldiers for social justice issues who may not formally be on the  Missions team but are doing missions work.

Why We Walk – remember as a follow up to the film documentary on Saturday, April 22 in Fellowship Hall of Plymouth, there will be an actual community walk on May 6th at 12:30.

There are many websites which provide what we can do to protect God’s creation. As a Christian Church Disciple congregation here is what will be offered related to our regional newsletter. then go ; about us scroll to regional newsletter and choose Green Chalice or put in bar where requested.

Exploring future opportunities/events:

-letter writing event around Bread for the World (the Farm Bill)
– honest/open expression (not a conversational exchange just listening to each other session(s)

Do you have mission ministry thoughts/ideas for reaching out to the Shaker and other surrounding communities? Let us know.

Why We Walk Community Walk . . .

will take place on Saturday, May 6, 12:30 pm.  Please gather on Shaker Square at the original Edwins.  From there our walk will take us to Larchmere ending at the Edwins Bakery on Buckeye.  Please sign up at Plymouth’s Welcome Center with your name and email address.   All are welcome.  This event is sponsored by ArtsPlymouth and ARE (Anti-Racism for Equality).

Memorial Day Parade

On May 29, we invite everyone to participate with us in Shaker’s Memorial Day Parade.  We are looking for volunteers   to drive or ride in one of our decorated cars or march in the parade and toss candy to the spectators.  The parade will travel east on Van Aken from City Hall to Van Aken District.  The Mayor has invited Dr. Kate to deliver the invocation this year,  at the ceremony just prior to the parade. Please email the church office at, or let Donita Singerman know if you can join us.  It’s a great opportunity to be in our community and promote our church.





Book Group

We meet the first Wednesday of each month at 1:00 at Plymouth Church in Room 102.  The book selected for May is The Library Book by Anne Tyler called The French Braid. Our next meeting will be May 3rd .  Hope to see you then.  (Come, even if you haven’t read the book and enjoy the discussion.)  Contact Nancy Carpenter for more information and for questions.

Meditative Arts Group

We meet the second Wednesday of each month at 1:00-3:00 at Plymouth Church in the Atrium. We will provide projects or you can bring your own.  Everyone is invited to color, doodle, draw, paint, knit, sew – whatever fits your interest and provides soothing quiet for you. We will gather with fellowship, then listen to calm, soothing music in the Atrium.
So break out your pens, crayons, colored pencils, knitting needles and join us! It should be a lovely respite each month! Hope to see you then!

Gift Cards

Remember gift cards are available on Sunday mornings and in the office every weekday during normal office hours.

We have on hand a limited supply of $100 Amazon, Lowe’s and Home Depot cards.

If you want them for your gardening and home update projects pick them up now.  Your demand will determine whether we order more.  We also have a few $25 Lowe’s and Home Depot cards from a prior purchase.  Help HCC while you brighten your yard and home.

Social Media outreach

HCC is on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and You-Tube and Linked-In!  Several recordings of special worship services have been uploaded to our channel on 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!




  5 – Val McMillan                8 – Felix McDonald              15 – Cindy Maxey
15 – Brian McDonald      20 – Nancy Carpenter          22 – Autumn Mehring
25 – Claire Dunn               26 – Sylvia Farley                    30 – Connee Choi

   2 – Annette Sutherland             3 – Grace Loudenstein             6 – Mike Droszcz
17 – Sally Donald                           27 – Donita Singerman             29 – Kate Gillooly
29 – Carolyn Troha

We are glad to share the birthdays we have on record each month and encourage members to reach out with greetings. We apologize if someone’s name has been omitted – please call Kese in the church office to share your birthday if we don’t have it in our list. We want to celebrate you!