Reaching Heights May 2024

Heights Christian Church Icon of Two Followers Lifting a CrossReaching Heights May 2024

Links to this month’s news:

WORSHIP AND STUDY

  • Worship Themes for May 2024

FROM THE STAFF

  • Kate’s Cogitations
  • Listening and Partnering Together and Recent Initiatives 
  • Upcoming Sabbatical for Dr. Kate 

FROM THE BOARD

  • Donation for Humanitarian Aid
  • Education
  • Worship Planning Team
  • Mission Ministry 
  • Fellowship
  • From the Treasurer
  • Thank you note

OTHER NEWS

  • Knitters Needed
  • Memorial Day Parade – Ride or Walk? 
  • Wednesday’s Together
  • Book Group and Meditative Arts Group
  • Gift Cards
  • Social Media
  • Birthdays

See the Serving Schedule

Worship Themes for May

May 5              Sixth Sunday of Easter Resurrection Stories: Exodus 3:7-12  “Liberated”
Guest Preacher:  Nathan Self

May 12            Seventh Sunday of Easter Resurrection
Stories: Philippians 4:4-9  “Calmed”  If this is an “Age of Anxiety,” then we are called to be healers and hope-givers. How can we create safe spaces and times for people to share their struggles and discover they are not alone?

May 19            The Day of Pentecost: The Birthday of the Church          Wear Red!
                            Acts 2:1-7       If we are willing to be amazed, Pentecost is one of the most awe-inspiring days in our Christian calendar. If we are willing to be transformed, it is an opportunity to be renewed in energy and faithfulness.  Come celebrate the power and movement of the Holy Spirit in our midst! 

May 26            Isaiah 6:1-8                 “Here Am I, Send Me”  We may not think we are worthy of serving God, but God calls us anyway. Come hear words of power and comfort as we consider what God may be inviting us into next.

 

From the staff

 

Kate’s Cogitations

Hope
is a word
that starts with a whisper
and ends with the sound
of an exclamation point.
You may not notice
the beginning
but before you know it
you’re there
in Hope.
We think of Hope as
ephemeral, elusive,
hard to grasp at times.
But don’t make the mistake
of thinking she is flimsy,
or insubstantial or weak.

Hope has grit. She has staying power.
Hope is stronger than disappointment,
stronger than grief,
stronger than despair.
Hope isn’t always pretty,
like optimism —
which gets its power only
from things actually turning out ok —
no, Hope has seen dark days.
She knows how to hold on
when everything goes to Hell,
hanging in there long after
optimism gives up and leaves the scene.
Hope may be hard to see at times,
as if she is hiding
more than seeking.
That is the time
to open our eyes
soften our gaze
and stay curious.
What is Hope up to now?

in peace,
~Kate

Listening and Partnering Together — Where We Are Now

We are in the midst of trying some small experiments to see what we can learn about our neighbors, ourselves, and what God might be up to. In May we’ll share some of the themes we heard from the interviews and the experiments.  And we’ll keep our eyes and ears, our minds and hearts, open to the movement and guidance of the Holy Spirit as we consider next steps.  If you have questions or suggestions, please see Dr. Kate or Jane Troha. Thank you! 

Goal #4:        Experiment with some “action items” and events

Invitation:  for ministry team members and others to propose small events for HCC to host (or help with) that allow us to interact with and learn from the community

Goal #5:        Discern next steps based on all we learn through listening, partnering and experimenting.

Invitation: Hold congregational meeting(s) where we share what we have learned, as we hold space for creative imagining together.

Partnering in the Community Initiatives

We always have the opportunity to make someone’s life better”
D. Scot Lee, former Police Chief, Shaker Height  along with his picture, this statement is dedicated to him, and hangs on the lobby wall of the Shaker Hts. Police station.
When we were conducting interviews with community members, I had the opportunity to talk to Annette Amistadi, who works with the Shaker Heights Police Department. In her role as a social worker, she responds to calls with the police to provide assistance on the calls, and to provide resources for those involved.
We discussed ways in which HCC could partner with her as she deals with many mental health issues in the community. She noted that police officers carry stuffed animals in the trunks of the patrol cars to give to children who are in trauma for a variety of reasons. She suggested that HCC could provide stuffed animals as comfort items for the children involved. Only new items can be donated.
HCC Stuffed Animal  Collection
Sunday May 5 – Sunday May 19

Stuffed animals MUST BE NEW AND MUST HAVE THE TAGS ATTACHED.
If you are unable to bring a stuffed animal to church,
I would be happy to pick it up!
As Disciples, we are called to bring wholeness to a broken world. The stuffed animals we donate will bring comfort to a child in a very stressful time. We have the opportunity to make a child’s life a little better.
~Lynda Ackerman

Literacy Night at Boulevard Elementary School

What a wonderful night celebrating literacy with the parents, children and community partners at Boulevard Elementary School! The energy level was high; smiles were abundant; children were encouraged and supported in growing their literacy skills; Heights Christian Church volunteers partnered with the community to help!
One of the ideas that came out or our series of Listening and Partnering interviews with representatives of community organizations was to partner with our local elementary school in supporting their needs. Out of this contact, HCC was invited to help volunteer to staff the Literacy Olympics held on Thursday, April 18th. Bobbi Phelps, Donita Singerman and Jane Troha volunteered that evening. Our volunteers enjoyed the evening and the school community were very vocal in expressing their appreciation for our help.
It is our hope that this is the start of a meaningful partnership for HCC and Boulevard School Stay tuned for opportunities to participate! It is a wonderful support for the children, families, teachers and staff of our area school and it is just so much fun!!!

 

Upcoming Sabbatical for
Dr. Kate Gillooly

As summer approaches quickly, we are preparing for the much-deserved sabbatical for Pastor Kate. Jane Troha, Moderator and Scott Phelps, Vice Moderator have worked with Kate in order to arrange for preachers for each of the ten Sundays Kate will be away. In addition, Jane has appointed a Sabbatical Steering Committee which will work to facilitate worship and keep other necessary aspects of church life moving forward in Kate’s absence. The members of this committee are Lynda Ackerman, Scott Phelps, Donita Singerman, Larry Watson and Jane Troha.
We are truly grateful that our congregation can provide this important time of rest and renewal for our pastor. Kate’s last Sunday in the pulpit will be June 9th and her first Sunday back in the pulpit will be August 25th. We have lined up an impressive array of preachers to worship with us in her absence. Be sure to watch for the announcement of their names and the dates they will preach and plan on being with us in worship to hear their messages!

From the Board

Board of Trustees Donation
For Humanitarian Aid

The Board of Trustees has authorized a $1,000.00 donation to the International Rescue Committee. This organization works with its partners to deliver urgently needed food, medical supplies and other crucial humanitarian aid to displaced families. This gift helps families in Gaza and conflict zones around the world survive.
The Board acted quickly upon receiving this motion, voting by e-mail in order to disperse the funds before the end of April as there is a matching gift program in place until then. Many thanks to Cindy Maxey for bringing this to our attention!
This donation will be made from the special monies set aside for local and non-local charitable giving from the proceeds of the sale of the Van Aken building. As always, any congregant is free to bring a request to the Board for a donation to a worthy cause or organization. We have $7,000.00  in our annual budget for this purpose.

Education Ministry

During April and May, the Sunday Adult Study Group is discussing Dancing in the Darkness: spiritual lessons for thriving in turbulent times by Shaker author Otis Moss III. In the midst of these dark days of division, anxiety, and looming threats of violence, Dr. Moss instructs us in practices of spiritual resistance by combining justice and love. We meet on Sunday mornings at 9:30 in the chapel and online (same Zoom link as the worship service). Books are available through Amazon or your local library.

The Education Team is grateful for the volunteers who provide creative, thoughtful, and loving Intergenerational Moments during worship each Sunday.

MidWeek Bible Study Spring 2024
Tuesdays 2:00 p.m.                 April 23 + 30; May 7+14  Zoom

What’s Your Superpower?
We live in a world where it is easy to be overwhelmed by evil systems and actions. Yet, we have great God-given power. These four sessions explore the power granted to us through God in the Holy Spirit and how these gifts can translate to making a difference in our day-to-day lives. As it has been said, with great power comes great responsibility. These sessions are highly interactive, include links to cultural connections (movie clips, TedTalks, music) and bible commentaries, and invite participants to apply the learning to their own situations. No preparation is necessary, but plenty of optional follow up resources will be shared. ALL are welcome to participate – for one or all sessions! Invite a friend to join us as we explore the ways we can make a difference.
Session 1: Dominion Is Your Superpower
Session 2: Koinonia Is Your Superpower
Session 3: Paradox Is Your Superpower
Session 4: The Spirit Is Your Superpower
These sessions will be led by Jane Troha and Kate Gillooly

Worship Ministry

During the Season of Easter, our worship theme will be Resurrection stories. We can take the lessons learned from these stories and keep them close to our hearts to bring us comfort and hope.
Unfortunately, there has been a “glitch” with ordering geranium plants for Pentecost this year. We will not be able to order individual plants. We will, however, purchase a few baskets of geraniums to adorn the Chapel on Pentecost.
We would like to remind you to wear Red on Sunday, May 19 which is the day we celebrate Pentecost.

Missions Ministry

Spring really! Are we there yet? Just with off and on temps. I heard from Channel 3 weather team tonight, it feels like Fall temps. What’s your vote.

Egg Cartons collections were in operation prior to our move to Plymouth. The cartons have contributed to help preserve/improve the environment, ” God’s creation”. Connee has been very dedicated to this cause. It is a year-round contribution local in the narthex. Due to fire codes, some areas for collections may not be in the same area.

Flower vase collections – we have done this in the past. Debbie Osgood, HCC church member, and Susan Buddenbaum, former member are primary volunteers for this operation. Connee has volunteered to coordinate collation here at HCC. She is one of God’s soldiers who will need our support given her physical issues. Due to fire department regulations, the collection tubs are now at the back door entrance of the chapel, If you can, please wrap your vase donation in paper.

Neighbor Night convenes year-round on the last Tuesday of the month. This is the Moreland Neighborhood Association. All are welcome. This month the date is May 30th from 6-8pm. The place is Stephani Tubbs-Jones building. Consider attending. Often a person from Hunger Network rescue delivers produce which is available to those who want it. Come by and stay awhile. A light meal is always served. Note: as always the weekly email updates provide  new events or updates.

Remember: Missions has yard signs with QR codes for the November general elections. In October we will again put out a reminder if you would like one. Thanks for VOTING. This is one way to have your voice heard.  Remember only 5/6 months to go before Presidential Elections. Things happen oh so fast. Consider making your plan to vote. Missions and many organizations will nudge and provide information when early voting starts. Citizens Not Politicians groups are looking for signatures on the ballot in November.

Outreach applications for funding will be received from March through May. Go to our website Heightschristianchurch.org to make a request. The criteria is listed. Heights Christian has and will do its best to serve those in need as volunteers and funds allow.

Adult Faith and Life at Plymouth UCC: Heights Missions Team support community partnerships and will continue to meet to find ways to join our partner however we can as they reach out and stand up for those who are marginalized locally and throughout the world.

If you are interested in joining Plymouth volunteers at the Food Bank, contact Paul Qua; pqua@classicautocampus.com.

Donations to the Little Free Pantry are available for non-perishable food at any time.  It is located just off the parking lot here at Heights Christian and Plymouth Church. Stats from Cleveland Food Bank: Do you know that 1 out of 5 children live in poverty. 1 in 7 people are food insecure while there is about 40% of food in U.S. is wasted. Our Little Free Pantry is used regularly and is in need of more contributions. Please remember: No glass containers.

Continue praying but also doing for others. Some of us learned that as recent events in our lives has led to more thinking/dreaming of what’s next. Micah 6:8. Missions is a community issue beyond the brick and mortar of the building.

Remember to visit the clip board in Narthex to sign up for community engagement events.

Please share with mission’s ministry other events that you know and feel this might be one way to share the good news.

Consider the following community events to add to other opportunities.

On Tuesday, May 7 at 7 PM, Greater Cleveland Congregations will have a public hearing at Olivet Institutional Baptist Church in Cleveland. The purpose of the public hearing is to educate on the issue of pretrial incarceration and the impact of jailing those who are accused of non-violent crimes are too poor to afford cash bail or sent to jail primarily for mental health and/or addiction issues. There are significant and long lasting financial, psychological and emotional consequences to being jailed before trial even for those found not guilty of charges. GCC believes that jail before trial violates the rule of law – the presumption of innocence and the constitution’s prohibition against excessive bail.

May 18, Saturday afternoon, at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Cleveland  (21600 Shaker Blvd., Shaker Heights 44122) join us where we will explore Malcolm X, the man, his life, legacy, and continued relevance. The doors open at 3. The program will begin promptly at 3:30 and conclude by 6:30. Light refreshments will be offered.

Did or do you know how to think/say: STOP!!!!!!! Do not throw that away? Well, if you know of and have tried ideas that you got from someone else or experience yourself/ let’s talk. We certainly always pray for better angels in humanity to prevail; donate items and money to worthy causes ie see previously mentions. Added to many other ways/partnerships, but very simple, is to share ways in writing to make the giving reciprocal because this will not put a burden on the less fortunate or those with more. If interested, please email Andrena: peristroik@aol.com or peristroik@gmail.com or call 216-848-0108 or 216-650-654688.

From our Fellowship Team Leaders:

Hospitality Hour

Hope you all have been enjoying our Hospitality Hours on the first Sunday of each month.

It does take a team to put this together and we need some volunteers to assist by providing snacks for these gatherings.   It seems to work well if we have two (2) people provide snacks, one a sweet and the other a savory snack.  We also like to include the bread from the communion table with some butter and perhaps some jam.  Could you host in May?

Please contact Linda Durham or Nikki Crosby if you can provide a snack in an upcoming month.  Thank you for your generosity.

From the Treasurer

The congregation gave $710.00 for the Week of Compassion.  This went to the national organization to support mission and other works.

 

HCC thank you so much for the beautiful Easter Flowers!  Its so wonderful to be remembered in this special Season of Easter as well as receiving a lovely note and beautiful flowers that uplift my spirit!

May the God of Peace fill everyone’s heart with the Hope and Promise of the Resurrection!

Rev. Rosalind Powell

 

 

 

Knitters Needed! 

HCC has been making and sharing Prayer Shawls for the past twenty years, and we have shared over 90 shawls. Our supply of shawls is running low, and we could use more to have available to share.  Each shawl requires three six-ounce balls of yarn, and using Size 11 needles makes a generous comfortable shawl.  All colors are needed – we have shared Prayer Shawls with men and women within our congregation as well as outside of our congregation.
Details are available from Donita.

Memorial Day Parade – We need you to ride or walk! 

On May 27, 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 and/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. Please email the church office at kese@heightscc.org, or let Donita Singerman know if you can join us.  It’s a great opportunity to be in our community and promote our church!

Wednesday’s Together

Plymouth Church, UCC and Heights Christian Church are both blessed to call our building at 2860 Coventry Road home. This coming year, both congregations are looking forward to growing friendships between our members, as well as discerning what ministry opportunities and events we can embark on together! One way we will seek to expand our relationship is through sharing “Wednesdays Together.” On the first three Wednesdays of each month, we will share8 in fellowship and formation with one another. We look forward to seeing many folks from HCC and Plymouth at each gathering!

On First Wednesdays, join us for Book Group. Come and be in conversation around a different chosen book each month. You’re welcome even if you haven’t read the book to enjoy the discussion together.

On Second Wednesdays, join us for Meditative Arts Group. We will provide projects or you can bring your own.  Everyone is invited to color, doodle, draw, paint, knit, sew – whatev8er fits your interest and provides soothing quiet for you. We will gather with fellowship, then listen to calm, soothing music while we break out our pens, crayons, colored pencils, and knitting needles.

On Third Wednesdays, join us for Lunch Club. We gather for a homemade meal and fellowship, and then listen to a speaker from the community or one of our churches. We will occasionally take a field trip out to a destination in Northeast Ohio, so be on the lookout for where we will meet each month. There will be a suggested donation amount  for lunch each month.   RSVP to Pastor Dillon at dshipman@plymouthchurchucc.org, which is necessary for food preparation.

This Month’s Lunch Club
Wednesday, May 15 at 12:30 pm in Fellowship Hall

Join us for lunch and fellowship, as well as a time of discussion as about health and wellness. We will hear about the expanding health and wellness programs of the YMCA, which in addition to physical fitness classes and activities, is now providing educational programs to promote healthier lifestyle decisions, offering a variety of wellness programs that support physical, intellectual, and spiritual strength.  The suggested donation for lunch is $10. RSVP to Pastor Dillon at dshipman@plymouthchurchucc.org, which is necessary for food preparation.   Reservations are due Sunday, May 12.

Book Group

The Book Group will meet – Wednesday, May 1 at 1:00 pm in Room 102 at Plymouth Church. If you would like to have lunch before the meeting, bring your own and come at 12:30. We will be discussing the book
Sag Harbor, by Sunny Hostin.

Meditative Arts Group

Meditative Arts Group will meet at 1:00 pm May 8 in the Atrium.  We will provide projects or you can bring your own.  Everyone is invited to color, doodle, draw – whatever fits your interest and provides soothing quiet for you. We will gather with fellowship, then listen to calm, soothing music while we break out our pens, crayons, colored pencils, etc.

Gift Cards

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

Support Heights Christian Church while you shop.  Get your shopping done early.  And make your life less stressful.  Gift cards are easy and appreciated.  (Cash or check only, please)

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!

 

 

May
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

                                                         June
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!