Reaching Heights November 2023
Reaching Heights November 2023
Links to this month’s news:
- Worship in November
- All Saints Sunday
- Adult Study
- Mid-week Bible Study
- Kate’s Cogitations
- Administration Ministry
- Mission Ministry
- Wednesday’s Together
- Book Group and Meditative Arts Group
- Gift Cards for the Holidays
- Social Media
See the Serving Schedule
Worship and study for November
November 5 ALL SAINTS SUNDAY
Annual Stewardship Campaign Kick-Off
Matthew 23:1-12 “The Strange Way to Sainthood”
During worship we will read the names
of loved ones who have died in the past year.
November 12 Matthew 25:1-13 “Ready or Not…!”
A special hospitality time after worship takes place in the Chapel.
Please join us as we celebrate Carolyn and Jefferson’s marriage!
November 19 Matthew 25:14-30 “All That We Are and All That We Have”
Annual Stewardship Campaign Ingathering of Pledges
November 26 Matthew 25:31-46 “The Least, the Last, and the Lost”
All Saints Sunday, November 5
We will observe All Saints Sunday, November 5. If you have family members or loved ones who have died in the past year, submit their names(s) to the church office Wednesday, November 1. They will be remembered as we light candles during the service.
Sunday Morning Adult Study
The Sunday Morning Adult Study group will start a three-session series on Writing a Rule of Life, led by Dr. Kate Gillooly on October 29.
During the first three weeks of Advent (December 3, 10, and 17) we’ll take a close look at some of the assigned Scripture readings from the Revised Common Lectionary. See below or contact Cindy Maxey for more information.
Mid-Week Bible Study for Advent
The Mid-Week Bible Study group which meets on Tuesdays at 2:00 p.m. will be reading and discussing the book, Stay Awhile, Advent Lessons in Divine Hospitality by Kara Eidson. This book will be a good follow-up to the worship theme we have been exploring this fall. The study will run for 4 Tuesdays, beginning with the last Tuesday in November, November 28th, continuing on Tuesdays December 5th, 12th and 19th. See below under Education for details.
From the staff
The Gift of Gratitude
Like other forms of practice, gratefulness makes us more resilient and flexible, and also offers a way to frame and learn from everything that unfolds in our lives. ~ Kristi Nelson
Practicing gratitude as a spiritual discipline is much more than remembering to send a thank you note or hosting your family for a big turkey dinner. Gratitude can be practiced as an intention, a perspective, and as action. Rather than just feeling grateful or thinking grateful thoughts, we can actually practice being grateful. And when we practice gratitude as a spiritual discipline, we open the door to transformation – of our spirituality, our relationships, and our identity. In her book Grateful, Diana Butler Bass likens our practice of gratitude to tending a garden. She writes, “Gratitude is not only an emotion, it is something we do. But it is not a program. It is like tending a garden. It takes planting and watering and weeding. It takes time and attention. It takes learning. It takes routine But, eventually, the ground yields, shoots come forth, and thanksgiving blooms.” Happy Harvest season!
May your thanksgivings be abundant.
2023 HCC Directories are available in the Narthex
If you would like to have one mailed/emailed to you, notify the church office.
Also in the Narthex is a booklet of fall meditations called “Experiencing God’s Abundance Together.” These photos and reflections were contributed by members of HCC and used in an outdoor Meditation Walk last fall. We are pleased to share them in print form this year. This is a project of the RenewalWorks Team.
The Administration Ministry has planned and will lead the 2024 Stewardship Campaign over the first three Sundays in November. You will receive correspondence and there will be special activities during Sunday Morning Worship regarding the Campaign. The theme for this year’s Campaign is, “Because of You Our Church Changes Lives”. Commitment Sunday for the next Pledge Year will be November 19th.
Word from the Worship Ministry
We are re-instituting donations of flowers for our church services. If there is a special occasion someone would like to acknowledge, they can bring a flower arrangement or flowers in a vase to be in the front of the church. We ask that the flowers not have a scent or at best not an overwhelming scent in consideration of those with allergies. Please let Kese know in advance so that names and the occasion for the flowers can appear in the bulletin. She should be notified by the Tuesday before the Sunday the flowers are being donated.
~The Worship Ministry
Looking forward, the Education Ministry Team invites your participation in activities this November and December.
The Sunday Morning Adult Study group will start a three-session series on Writing a Rule of Life, led by Dr. Kate Gillooly on October 29 at 9:30 a.m. in the Chapel and online at https://zoom.us/j/94662430683?pwd=dnhrcDZUUmk3eXlpRTRZalRORjdiQT09
The prospect of writing a rule of life might feel intimidating, but it’s actually a pretty cool tool for helping us each examine our values and intentions and live a life congruent with them. And it’s a great way to gain a measure of control over our days. How do we spend our time doing what we intend to do instead of just reacting to the latest demand on our attention? You’re more than welcome to join the group. This topic will last through November 12. We’ll then take a two week break before starting our Advent Study.
During the first three weeks of Advent (December 3, 10, and 17) we’ll take a close look at some of the assigned Scripture readings from the Revised Common Lectionary. While we will consider the background and historical context of each of the readings, our emphasis will be on what these readings say to us in our own lives and the life of our congregation. We’ll include a different form of prayer each week to help us respond to the Spirit teaching us through the Scriptures. All are welcome to any and all of these sessions. Each will stand on its own.
The Mid-Week Bible Study group which meets on Tuesdays at 2:00 p.m. will be reading and discussing the book, Stay Awhile, Advent Lessons in Divine Hospitality by Kara Eidson. The publisher provides the following description:
While the world tries to rush us into Christmas, decorating the day after Halloween and packing it all up once the gifts are opened on December 25, Advent is a season of preparation that—like our holiday gatherings themselves—takes time and care. Think of the anticipation that comes with hosting loved ones for Christmas dinner: We begin by extending an invitation. We make plans, and as the event draws closer, we begin our preparations. Ultimately, we open the door and welcome our guests, and that is when, finally, we celebrate. Advent should feel the same way, a time to make ready for the long-awaited event of Christ’s birth.
In Stay Awhile, pastor Kara Eidson presents a banquet table of inspiration for Advent, including weekly reflections for personal and small group use, brief daily devotions, and ideas to involve the whole congregation.
This book will be a good follow-up to the worship theme we have been exploring this fall. The study will run for 4 Tuesdays, beginning with the last Tuesday in November, November 28th, then continuing on Tuesdays December 5th, 12th and 19th.
This study will have different individuals leading, each taking one of the weeks. So far Dr. Kate Gillooly, Carolyn Troha and Jane Troha have agreed to lead.
Come and join us as we try to center our Advent this year on the idea of preparing and waiting for an exciting event! We would love to have you at the table!
Advent Craft Kits will be available for families to take home as of the first Sunday in Advent, December 3. There will be a craft for each week of Advent to help observe this season of preparation at home.
Wall of Love – for past two years Heights Christian has partnered with Lomond School to provide mittens, gloves, hats, scarves for children who need them for various reasons including homelessness. We are committed to continuing our partnership and will collect items for donations to Lomond School from October 15th-March 10th. A tub for collection is now in the narthex. To keep from the potential of spreading colds or other contagious diseases, we ask that you put your donation of new or nearly new clean items in gallon Ziploc bag. If you don’t have a bag, don’t worry, we keep a supply in the narthex near the tub.
Neighbor Night convenes year-round on the last Tuesday of the month. All are welcome. This month the date is November 28 from 6-8pm. The place is Stephani Tubbs-Jones building. If there is a change, our weekly update will have the information or contact Theodore Darden at 491- 1333: he is the Neighborhood and Housing specialist for City of Shaker Heights. He sends a monthly event calendar to email addresses from attendance sign in sheet. Consider attending.
Family Promise has a new opportunity. For those who have expressed an interest in reading to pre-school children, you can sign up on the clipboard located on table in the Narthex. Background checks will be conducted and paid for by Family Promise. Other opportunities will also be listed for volunteering with Family Promise. Forms are on the table in the Narthex. If more details are needed call Family Promise contact number on form or Andrena at firstname.lastname@example.org or 216-848-0108.
Partnerships with Plymouth continue. Food Bank volunteering is available with Paul Qua and others. Usually that is the second Tuesday and third Wednesday of the month 6-8pm. If you wish to volunteer, contact Paul email@example.com. This opportunity has been offered for several months. Heights Christian has had one volunteer to join the group on two occasions. We will provide the invitation in the monthly newsletter. Here are the stats received for volunteers on 10/18/23 from Food Bank staff.
We’re excited to share that we were able to accomplish the following:
258 Families Served at the Euclid Food Pantry
5,041 Lbs. of Meat Packed
760 Backpacks Assembled (4,560 bags)
38 Partner Programs Served in the Marketplace
2,472 Children’s Programing Meals Assembled
5,506 Senior Programming Meals Assembled
Thank you for supporting our mission to ensure that everyone in our community has the nutritious food that they need every day!
We’d like to give a special shout-out to the groups that participated in the day’s projects:
PNC- Grow Up Greater Cleveland Food Bank
Adult Family 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. To that end, Plymouth is sponsoring a Pilgrimage to the Southern Border. Heights Christian is invited. However, it is urgent that interested persons contact Brenda Grauer as space is limited. Information from AF&L can be gotten on table in Narthex or contact Andrena at 216-650-4688 to give Brenda’s information. Prayers for their safe travels and blessing for their courage.
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.
It’s Time to Vote yard signs are still available. If you wish to have one, there were eight left when this was submitted for newsletter entry. Although optional, our church treasurer has established place for donations to be given through Heights Christian website via Givelify. These signs have a QR code and can be used several times for future elections. They do not endorse any candidate. It is a reminder for you to vote as you choose but VOTE! Some have not taken them down since our August special election.
Ohio Election Information from LWV:
October 11 Early voting begins by mail/in person
October 31 Vote by mail application deadline
November 6 Vote by mail ballot postmark deadline
November 7 Election Day
Moment for Mission – is shared during worship on the
fourth Sunday of the month.
HCC’s weekly update has information that is current
for that week and future events.
Remember to visit the clip board in Narthex to sign up for community engagement events.
Continuing subjects to be explored with community partners: These were generated from interviews with Shaker residents prior to HCC move and/or from everyday interactions with citizens: Spring Festival; topics for seniors who live alone; “Listen to Me, I Have Story” or Nobody ever listened to me session; a bike ride and a cup of coffee.
Come Celebrate With Us!
Donald and Jane Troha would like to invite the church family to gather for cake and punch on Sunday, November 12th in celebration of the marriage of Carolyn and Jefferson! We will gather informally following worship in the Chapel to greet them and wish them well as they begin their married life together. Please join us on this joy-filled occasion!
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 share 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 – 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, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, which is necessary for food preparation.
This Month’s Lunch Club in the Parlor
Wednesday, November 15 at 12:30 pm
Join us for lunch and fellowship, as well as a time of getting to know about Greater Cleveland Congregations. Leaders from GCC will share their work with us of being a non-partisan organization of faith communities and partner organizations in Cuyahoga County working together to build power for social justice. The suggested donation for lunch is $10. RSVP to Pastor Dillon at email@example.com, which is necessary for food preparation.
The Book Group will meet – Wednesday, November 1st 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 The Good Earth written by Pearl Buck.
Meditative Arts Group
Meditative Arts Group will meet at 1:00 pm November 8th 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 for the Holidays in 2023
Christmas shopping has started. Retailers are advertising early sales in the hopes of earning your purchase dollars with good prices. But is that what your giftee wants?
Try gift cards! Gift Cards let you avoid the crowded stores and the post-season credit card bills. And your loved ones can spend the card(s) where you know they shop or eat. They are good in person and for internet buys. Don’t know what store card to buy? Amazon and Target are easy choices. Grocery cards, like Heinen’s or Giant Eagle, can make the holidays brighter. Many restaurant cards, like Panera or Starbucks are available. And gas station and airline cards can help pay for family to join you for the holidays.
The earlier you shop for gift cards, the sooner you can sit back and relax. We have a Special-Order Form (available in the Chapel). Special orders are accepted through Sunday, December 10th. We will then place a consolidated rush order so we can get your cards to you on or after Sunday, December 17th. We can arrange delivery if needed. Don’t see what you want? Please ask – our vendor has Disney, airlines, restaurants, and other cards too numerous to mention.
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!
6 – Mark Cubberley 13 – Joan Brown Campbell 13 – Ratt Woods
16 – Carl Cormany 21 – Dennis Mehring 26 – Yvonne Mullen
26 – Chris Crosby, Jr. 28 – Irwin Shung 30 – Daphne Broun
3 – Andrena Jones-Sharp 7 – Val Sgro 10 – Bernadette LaGuardia
16 – Bridget Peterson-Droszcz 23 – Doug McWilliams 26 – Roger Osgood
27 – Aliyah Benson 29 – Lloyd Ackerman
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!