Reaching Heights October 2021

Heights Christian Church Icon of Two Followers Lifting a CrossReaching Heights October 2021

Links to this month’s news:

Worship Schedule – for October
     Including All Saints Sunday!
HCC Celebrations in September
Introduction to Plymouth Church
Children in Worship – an update
Covid Protocols – a reminder

Along the Path  – from Pastor Roger
Kate’s Cogitations
Moving Along – from the Moderator

Adult Studies: Opportunities for study and growth
Bread for the Journey – Sunday mornings
MidWeek Bible Study – Tuesdays at 1:00

From the Mission Ministry Team
Lunch and Learn – 10/1
Critical Race Theory Panel (with our own Larry Watson) – 10/18

Apple picking – 10/3
Plymouth Lunch Club – 10/20
Church Picnic – 10/17

Stewardship – Together for Joy

New Team Formed
Thank You!
Rev. Harris Installation as Regional Minister
Office Transition

Staff Office Hours
Staff email
Social Media

See the Serving Schedule

October Worship – HCC (at Plymouth) – 11:00 am

October 3 – World Communion Sunday offers us the opportunity to experience Communion in the context of the global community of faith. On this Sunday Christians in every culture break bread and share the cup to remember that we are part of the whole body of believers.  Galatians 3:26-29 – Pastor Roger preaching

Fellowship event after worship – Apple Picking – details here

October 10 – “New Songs” – Psalm 98:1-3 – Pastor Roger preaching

October 17 – Installation of Officers – “Creation Songs: – Psalm 98:4-6 – Pastor Roger preaching

Fellowship event after worship – Picnic lunch – details here

October 24 – Giving Sunday and Celebration of HCC’s 92nd Anniversary – “Together for Joy” – Psalm 98:7-9 – Pastor Roger preaching,

October 31 – All Saints Sunday – Isaiah 25 (selected verses)
HCC has traditionally celebrated the lives of Christians who have passed from this life to the next close to the first Sunday in November.  We will remember with thanksgiving the lives of HCC members who have died in the last year.  In addition, we extend the opportunity to remember anyone in your family who has passed away since last fall.  Please email Kese at or call the church office at 216.561.4800 with your information as soon as possible so that the name of your loved one can be included.  All names are needed by noon on Wednesday, October 27th.

A “Last” and a “First” and the Beat Goes On

On September 5, we held our final service in our building on Van Aken. We did what we always do in worship – we sang, prayed, praised, heard a sermon, offered our resources and very selves to God’s service, celebrated communion together, and were sent out into the world to live for God. We also acknowledged the mixed emotions of leaving our beloved building, filled with cherished memories of family and faith, while looking forward to continuing our presence in Shaker from a new home. We made a verbal commitment to continue our spiritual practices and to follow God wherever God leads. And we processed out of the church some of our significant items of worship, including our Bible, communion ware, candle, etc. We enjoyed cake afterward in the Campbell Room and looked through old photos of our time together in that space. It was a bittersweet day for many, and an important moment of closure in this transition.

On September 12, we held our first service in our new church home of Herr Chapel in Plymouth Church. We processed in with the same worship items, sang songs of joy, and celebrated communion with our same communion table in our new space. We asked God’s continued blessing on our church as we pledged to continue our service to God and to the community. We marveled at the flexibility of seating with groupings of chairs (for Covid safety), the way the light shines in the space in the morning, and the warm hospitality of the Plymouth congregation and leadership. We enjoyed a joint ice cream social outdoors afterwards. While we are still awaiting solutions to some tech issues, we can still offer our services both in person and online.

Photos from the two services:
Closing Worship at Van Aken 9/5/21
Opening Worship at Plymouth 9/12/21

Introduction to Plymouth Church

We’ve created a two page document with all the information you need to find your way to HCC at Plymouth Church (UCC) this month. Click here to open and download the document. If you’d like a printed copy mailed to you, reach out to the church office and Kese can mail you one.

Children in Worship

We continue to welcome children of all ages into full participation in our church life, including weekly worship and fellowship. We have books, art supplies and other items to help little ones respond to scripture and prayers. In addition to our Children’s Worship Space up front with a rug, soft toys and  book rack, we also have an art supply cart near the entrance with trays to take to your seat, and our stands with Activity Bags available in different locations of the Chapel. Children may sit with their families anywhere in our Chapel to worship and learn together. Our weekly Intergenerational Moment may be a picture book, Worship and Wonder story, skit, interactive prayer, or other brief teaching on the theme of the day. We encourage people of all ages to participate. We are grateful for all who light the peace candle at the beginning of worship, and for all the ways children enrich our life together.

COVID Protocols

A reminder that we want to do all we can to keep everyone safe during this pandemic.

We are following the “2 out of 3” rule:

Masking/Social Distance/Outdoors

So while inside the building, we ask that everyone wear a mask (over both your nose and mouth) and keep a 6 foot distance from all others not in your household.

(Worship leaders will be unmasked when speaking/singing in order to be heard. They will keep their distance from the congregation, and wear masks at all other times.)

You’ll notice our worship space has chairs in groupings for families of all sizes. Please sit only next to people in your household.

(Before and after worship, if the weather allows, please enjoy fellowship with others outside, where you can either remove your mask or stand closer together.

Hand sanitizer and extra masks are available in the narthex.
We’re grateful to be able to gather in person, in ways that are safe for all!
Thank you for considering the needs of others in these ways.

Along the Path:

“And miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep.”

These words from the Robert Frost poem came to mind as I thought about all the work that has been done over the last few months to get HCC to the point of worshipping in our new space, and all the work left to do to finalize the sale, get the HCC office and everything else moved, and work out all the technical and other details to make the transition complete.

It has been a long journey already, with many miles yet to go. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Larry Watson and Neil Chase who have shepherded the sale of the building; to the Ackermans and Singermans (and many others) who have dedicated many hours to packing and pitching stuff; to Scott and last year’s board, and Lynda and this year’s board for their leadership; to Kate, Kese, Irwin, and Danielle, who have tap danced their way through all the changes; and to all of you who have remained supportive or our community of faith through your gifts of time, talent, and treasure.  We are also grateful for the many people who helped make the final service at Van Aken and the first service at Plymouth special. 

Most importantly we give thanks for the many ways God has been with us through these months of discernment and transition. And we look forward to this next chapter of our life together, as we continue to worship, learn, fellowship, and serve God in this community.

Thanks be to God!  – Pastor Roger

Kate’s Cogitations

“Bless the poets, the workers for justice, the dancers of ceremony, the singers of heartache, the visionaries, all makers and carriers of fresh meaning—We will all make it through, despite politics and wars, despite failures and misunderstandings. There is only love.”
Joy Harjo, Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings: Poems

When I first read this beautiful dedication in Joy Harjo’s book of poetry, I tried on each of the groups she mentions to see which fit me. Then I hit her line about how we will all make it through, and I wondered if that was true. Do we all make it through? But of course, I cannot argue with her final line: There is only love. That is true for me, and it seems to be the most important statement. But that last statement would not hold the power it does without the preceding list and claim. And as a whole, this paragraph offers us hope, before everything works out, before we’ve won, and even before we know what “making it through” looks like. There is only love. How will you live this truth today?


Moving Along – Some Updates

What a wonderful start we’ve had for this new chapter in HCC’s life – fifty people in worship plus our Zoom worshippers, a beautiful space complete with our banners and communion table, and a warm welcome from the Plymouth community!  Technology is coming along and we look forward to a time (supply chain delay) when it will be fully up and running.

In the midst of these exciting and challenging times it is important that we remain grounded in the realities of the move. Currently the sale of the church building continues to be moving forward but is not yet completed. The projected closing date is October 31, 2021.

Costs and maintenance of the Van Aken building are ongoing. We have needed to address issues with sidewalk repairs, the purchase and installation of carbon monoxide detectors, inspection of the fire door in the kitchen, and exterior landscape maintenance. A very big thank you goes to Jim Nicks for handling these concerns.

The move itself has financial expenses that have not been included in the operating budget. These include costs for movers, new technology, dumpsters, and other related expenses. The Board has authorized the use of remaining Capital Reserve funds (some of the Campbell Court monies) to cover these expenses. In addition, we have begun making rental payments to Plymouth Church as of Sept. 1, 2021.

Throughout 2021 we have been operating under a budget deficit, something that has been ongoing for a number of years, as we balanced the budget with monthly draws from Endowment Funds. The Board has worked diligently during those years to minimize expenses. As with any church, the majority of our fixed expenses are personnel oriented. You may recall that in all the years Pastor Roger and our staff have faithfully served our congregation they have received little or no increase in their salaries. Personnel related expenses will continue to be a major, ongoing and necessary part of the budget.

Your continuing presence, faith and support is so appreciated and so vital to HCC. We are optimistic that we can sustain our ministry and significant mission to the community as we move forward together. For surely God has a plan and a future for our congregation!

Lynda Ackerman, Moderator and Jane Troha, Vice Moderator

First Hour Adult Study continues with “Bread for the Journey”

Sundays – 9:30 – 10:30 am  in person and (eventually) on Zoom
(look for the Zoom link in a future weekly update)

As we settle in to our new location, we will continue the Transforming Congregations Bible Study materials. Unit 2 focuses on Traveling with the Psalmists and Prophets and will last for 7 weeks. Materials are available on our website here:

We invite you to read over the scripture and reflection before our Sunday morning gathering.

Oct. 3      Have You Not Heard?  (Isaiah 40:21-31)
Oct. 10    You Are to Be (Isaiah 42:1-12)
Oct. 17    What Hope?  (Ezekiel 37:1-14)
Oct. 24    I’ll Do It, But I Won’t Like It (Jonah 3-4)
Oct. 31    What Does God Want? (Micah 6:6-8; Habakkuk 3:17-19)

MidWeek Bible Study returns! 

Tuesday afternoons 1:00 pm beginning Sept. 14
(We’ll begin with Zoom & may evolve into hybrid)
Facilitated by Dr. Kate Gillooly

Join us for an exploration of GALATIANS! In a letter that is called by many “the Magna Carta of Christian liberty,”

Oct. 5      What is the Law for?
Oct. 12    An Appeal to Friendship
Oct. 19    Living the Faith in the Faith Community
Oct. 26    Living the Gospel


Missions: A Gentle Reminder

The collection for the Wall of Love continues throughout the month of October and beyond if needed. The bins for this collection are located in Narthex area in our new location at Plymouth. These items will be given to Lomond School. Winter is fast approaching and there will be some families unable to purchase needed clothing. We want to provide support for children and families in need of items such as hats, gloves, socks, mittens, scarves especially for elementary age children. Adult items are also welcomed. Giving to those in need is something Heights Christian has always done and we expect to continue our mercy giving. Because of Covid-19 protocol, please only NEW items can be accepted. Please place them in gallon ziplock bags if possible or the Mission Team will do so for you. If you are not attending worship in person please let us know and we will pick up your item. Call Andrena at 216-848-0108 or email at Hebrews 13:16 “And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”

We know that there are many community needs/issues out there that are not affiliated with those initiated by our Missions Team. The team focus is on mercy giving, but social justice issues as well. If you are involved with something that you would like us to know about or something that you have a passion for, please share with us so that we can engage in conversation to explore how this congregation might fit in/address the issue. Missions Team: Team Leader, Andrena Jones-Sharp; Assistant Team Leader, Cindy Maxey; members, Larry Watson, and Carl Cormany.

Birthday Celebrations

*Kese is waiting to hear from you. When is your birthday? We would very much like to know. Only month and day are needed.

Lunch & Learn

Honesty for Ohio Education presents engaging, online “Lunch & Learns” on the first Friday of each month – building our capacity to ​know better and do better for Ohio!

Connect across Ohio,
Learn from practitioners, advocates & experts
Get updates and actions to oppose HB 322 & 327
The first Friday of each month
12:00-12:45 pm
Register here for the Zoom

October 1
Rev. Marvin McMickle, PhD, Senior Pastor (interim) at Antioch Baptist Church (Cleveland), retired president of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School and Professor Emeritus at Ashland Theological Seminary, on the importance of knowing and facing our American History

October 18 Critical Race Theory: A Panel Discussion – Online

Critical Race Theory is in the news a great deal these days, but not all of the discussion is well-informed. NewOneShaker is partnering with the Shaker Library to present 3 evenings full of information and perspective. Heights Christian Church and the Shaker Historical Society are proud co-sponsors. All events are online and free.

On October 11 at 7:00 pm,  Professor Ayesha Bell Hardaway of CWRU and the Shaker School Board will present an  overview of the theory, its history, and application.

On October 18 at 7:00 pm, we’ll hear from four panelists who use concepts derived from CRT in their work. Join us to hear from Dr. Mark Chupp of Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, anti-racism educators Jessica Colombi and Erica Merritt, and retired Federal Employment Law Attorney Larry Watson.

The last program in the series will be October 25 and will be a Community Conversation.

All will be held over Zoom. Please register with your email address to receive the link.

Register through Shaker Library events:

Apple Picking – October 3

On 10/3 everyone is invited to join our HCC Field Trip to Apple Orchards! Bring a bag lunch to enjoy right after worship. Then at 12:30 pm we will head to Eddy’s or Patterson’s Fruit Farm. Everyone will have a chance to pick their own apples (dependent upon what’s ready to pick) and/or shop for apples and other goodies in the Farm Store. Thanks to Lloyd Ackerman and Scott Phelps for helping make this event happen!

You’re Invited to the Plymouth Lunch Club – October 20

The Plymouth Lunch Club takes place on the 3rd Wednesday of the month from 11:00 to 12:15. Folks gather for a presentation, fellowship time with those gathered, and then there will be an option to take home a boxed lunch or have one delivered if you are participating virtually. For those joining in person, the location will be Room 102. You can also participate via Zoom. The suggested donation for the boxed lunch is $7.  Reservations are required.  Please email Rev. Matt Bauhof at or you can sign up in person at Plymouth’s Welcome Center located in the main hallway just outside their sanctuary.

On October 20, Pastor Roger and Jane Troha have been invited to talk about HCC, its history, the domination, similarities/differences and our own faith journeys.  If you’d like information about future speakers/topics the full schedule is HERE.

You are all invited!! – October 17

After church lunch picnic
Outdoors at Plymouth – Sunday 10/17 Immediately after worship ( 12:00 pm)
Bring your lunch, beverages and chairs
Dessert will be provided
Fun, games and a time to be together!
*Covid protocols followed*
In case of rain, we will cancel.

Stewardship Campaign

We have tackled the move and nearly completed it. The sale of the building on VanAken continues to move forward. The Church has a lot on its plate at this time and it is time to add something else, albeit a very important item. We must also plan, prepare and budget for the operation of the Church and its Ministries in 2022.

With that in mind the 2022 Stewardship Campaign will be conducted in October this year. The Campaign will run October 10th thru October 24th.  While that is a month or so earlier than in recent years, October, for those of you who remember, had in fact traditionally been the month for Stewardship Pledging.

Please prepare your minds and hearts for this very important effort. Plan to participate in this effort for “True Stewardship”.  This idea asks that in making your pledge you consider not only the numbers, cost and deadlines but to also give prayerful consideration to your relationship with God and his Church, and allow those fundamental things to also be reflected in your pledge.

Larry Watson                                                                                                                                       Administration Ministry

HCC and Plymouth form Space Agreement Team (SAT)

Part of our agreement with Plymouth Church includes the formation of a 6 person team (3 from HCC, 3 from Plymouth) that will meet on a regular basis “to communicate any issues or concerns” and “encourage a positive dialogue between the churches.” Jane Troha, Val McMillan, and Scott Phelps have been selected to represent HCC. This team will “not have decision-making authority, but instead will serve as the primary communication vehicle between the churches.” Thank you Jane, Val, and Scott for being willing to serve in this capacity.

Thank You!

Thanks to all who contributed school and art supplies for our annual Backpack Blessing at the start of the school year! We were overjoyed to offer a van load of supplies to Keith Langford for use in the Shaker schools!


On Saturday, October 23 at 2:00 p.m. (virtually and in person at Gender Road Christian Church, Canal Winchester) there will be the service of installation of the Rev. Allen Harris (an HCC member) as our Regional Pastor and President and a celebration of the Christian Church in Ohio! The Rev. Teresa Hord Owens, the General Minister and President for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is scheduled to be with us to preach. Mark your calendar and stay tuned for the link!

Office Transition

As previously announced, there are still technical issues that are being straightened out so that we can move the office to Plymouth Church.  Look for the latest information in the weekly updates.

Office Hours:

The HCC office is closed on Mondays and open Tuesday through Friday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. Our staff meeting typically takes place on Tuesdays at 11:00 am.

Pastor Roger will typically be in the office on Tuesdays from 9:30 to 3:00.  Kate’s office hours will be Tuesdays from 10:00 to 2:00. Please call ahead to set up an appointment, if at all possible, as pastoral needs or other commitments could call either of them away.

Staff Email Updates

As of August 1, 2021

Please update your address books with the following:

Pastor Roger:
Kate Gillooly:
Kese Webb:
General Mailbox:

Social Media outreach

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!