Reaching Heights October 2023

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

Links to this month’s news:


  • Worship in October
  • Adult Study
  • Mid-week Bible Study


  • Kate’s Cogitations


  • From the Moderator
  • Worship – Flowers
  • Education – College Care Packages
  • Mission Ministry


  • Apple Pumpkin Fest 10/29
  • Shaker Historical Society
  • Spooktacular with Plymouth
  • Wednesday’s Together
  • Book Group and Meditative Arts Group
  • Gift Cards 
  • Social Media
  • Birthdays

See the Serving Schedule

  Worship and study for October



October  1                  The Table of Joy                      Philippians 2:1-4
World Communion Sunday     Reconciliation Offering received
We celebrate our common communion table with people all over the world. This is the last week of our “Come to the Table” worship theme.

October  8          The Thief of Peace                       Philippians 3:13-14; 4: 4-9

October  15        The Thief of Gratitude                Matthew 22:1-14
Children’s Sabbath observed

October 22         The Thief of Trust                        Matthew 22:15-22 
Rev. Roger Osgood preaching

October  29        Two Commandments to Change the World
Matthew 22:34-40 

Adult Education offerings for October

Sunday Adult Study continue with a multi-week look at spiritual practices to help us open to Spirit in our day-to-day lives. Each session will include an experiential activity as well as discussion. We’ll meet at 9:30 am in the chapel and on Zoom. No advance preparation is needed, and each session will stand on its own, so you can join us one week or all. Cindy Maxey will lead the group.

Mid-Week Bible Study to Resume!

Topic – Philippians
Philippians is one of the most winsome of all of Paul’s letters and it provides an amazingly intimate view of the early church. It is largely free of the conflicts so evident in Paul’s letters to the Galatians and Corinthians. In fact, Philippians is often called the “epistle of joy” because of the warmth with which Paul expresses himself toward his friends. There is a poignancy to Paul’s joy, however, because he is in prison and does not know whether he will be set free or put to death.

If you would like to explore this book with us, plan on joining the Mid-Week Bible Study on Tuesday afternoons at 2:00 p.m. (on Zoom) for a study entitled Philippians based on a commentary by Fred Craddock.

You don’t need to be a Biblical scholar to join us; we are all learners together. There is no book to purchase nor any homework to complete. Come for one session or as many as you like as we look at themes in this scripture:

  • “In This Together” (Session 4, Oct. 3)
  • “Christian Identity” (Session 5, Oct. 10)
  • “Mutual Hospitality” (Session 6, Oct. 17)

This study is led by Jane Troha. (Please note that it will be at 2:00 p.m. rather than 1 p.m.) We will be hoping to see you there!


From the staff


Kate’s Cogitations

About a month ago, a Presbyterian pastor posted on his blog that he was leaving the ministry. He was tired of being overworked and underpaid. He tried to make the case that pastors have a uniquely challenging job that no one else understands. He gave some reasons for this claim, which are challenges shared by many pastors that I know. But I found myself uncomfortable with the notion that pastors are the hardest-working, least-respected folks around, and that no one can comprehend the level of frustration, pain and burnout they encounter. What about social workers, nurses, and teachers? Amazon and Starbucks workers? The article went viral, and plenty of clergy members have written in support or in critique of his thought process.

For me, it made me think about the elements that make for a healthy work-life balance. I have only served as pastor for a little over a year, but I have spent the last 36 years employed by the church. As my parents used to say, “It takes 2 to tango!” I think responsibility for mutual thriving is…well, mutual. Both the pastor and the congregation must prioritize self-care, managing expectations, support networks, clear communication, and prayerful attention to the spiritual nature of this work and the passion we all bring to it.

I consider Heights Christian Church to be one of the most supportive and nurturing places to serve that I know. There is a graciousness not found in some churches, an enthusiasm for collaboration, and both a seriousness about the work and a joy in working together. As pastor, I am respected but not put on a pedestal, and  allowed to be human with imperfections and vulnerabilities. I am listened to, by leadership and members alike. You have entrusted me with your stories, questions, griefs, and wonderings. Best of all, we do church together. Thank you.

in peace,





From the Moderator

Donation to Calvary Presbyterian Church

 It has been a summer of unusual weather in Cleveland! When the tornadoes swept through the area last month, significant damage occurred. One of the hard-hit structures was the historic church at East 79th Street and Euclid Avenue, which houses Calvary Presbyterian Church. The roof of major portions of the building was torn off and extensive structural damage occurred.

When HCC divested itself of its building, funds were set aside to be used to help with local and wider-ranging projects worthy of support. At the September meeting of the Board of Trustees a donation from the funds designated for local mission was approved. In support of the rebuilding efforts of the Calvary Presbyterian Church we will be sending a donation of $1000 to them. This is a wonderful way for a portion of our building’s proceeds to help another church restore their building!

If you feel moved to make a personal contribution to this effort, Calvary’s website provides information on how to donate in a variety of ways. This donation reflects one more example of how the congregation of HCC lives out its mission to be a neighbor and serve in our community!

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

Education Ministry

Care Packages for HCC College Students
This year we have many college students! We would love to let them know we are thinking of them and wishing them well this semester. We need your help to fill care packages for them with snacks, candies, notes, stickers and baked goods.  Donations can be brought to church on Sunday Oct. 15 and October 22.
Baked goods should come in on the 22nd only.  There will be cards to sign for all of the students as well.  Please help to shower them with some love from all of us!  Contact Lynda Ackerman with questions.

Missions Ministry

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 clearly marked will be 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 on the 31 from 6-8pm. The place is Stephani Tubbs-Jones building. If there is a change, the  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.

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. If more details are needed contact Andrena at 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 at (

Adult Family Life at Plymouth UCC: Heights Missions Team Leader will continue to meet with this committee and share information that will include community support needs and activities. More to come related to Plymouth’s social justice advocacy plans for this church year.

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.

Thank you for voting on August 8th. Please take note: there is an election in November. The Mission Team will do its best to provide information to the community so that you can make an informed decision of your choice. Are you registered? Remember there are recent changes for voting now. Go to to see changes and what you need to know to vote. Thank you, League of Women Voters, a non-partisan organization who provides up to date information related to social justice issues. Our own member Annette Sutherland is chair of the Shaker chapter.

Ohio Election Information from LWV:
October 10 registration deadline
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

On August 12th Heights Christian, Eastview UCC, and Plymouth sponsored Porch Talks at 17300 Van Aken Blvd. This event has occured for several years reflecting Martin Luther King’s speech on the steps of the church related to racism. This month the Ohio Council of Churches has designated October 15th as Ohio Anti-Racism Sunday. For more information on the web go to

Moment for Mission – is shared during worship on the fourth Sunday of the month from October to June.

HCC’s weekly update is usually emailed out on Tuesdays and has information that is current for that week and future events.

National Faith & Blue weekend October 6-9.

SGORR celebrating their 40th anniversary. Official celebration will be October 13-14. Banquet dinner with with keynote speaker, Wesley Lowery. Flyer on table in narthex.

October 9 6:30 Shaker Heights High School Meet the Shaker Heights candidates.

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.




Save the Date to Celebrate Two Fall Food Favorites!

Mark your calendar for Sunday, October 29th after church for a potluck coffee hour celebration of two of our favorite, Ohio fall favorite foods…apples and pumpkins!  In place of our 100 Mile Potluck this year, we are asking HCC members and friends to bring a dish that features apples or pumpkins – the food can be sweet or savory as long as it contains either apples or pumpkins, or both!  If you can use local apples or pumpkins in your recipe, all the better!  Plan now to join us Oct. 29th for a fall food extravaganza coffee hour in the Parlor.  Questions? See Debbie Osgood…hope to see you and your yummy apple/pumpkin creations there!

Looking for Volunteers

The Shaker Historical Society is seeking community volunteers for AppleFest, our free, fall festival on Saturday, October 7th.  AppleFest is a historical event for SHS, held annually from 1989-1998 on museum grounds that were once home to the Shaker’s apple orchards. We are in need of volunteers to assist with event set-up, staff activities during the event, and event clean-up. This event is located at Shaker Historical Society, 16740 South Park Blvd., Shaker Heights, OH 44120.
Please sign up here:

Questions? Please contact Please share this call for volunteers widely. Thank you!

Plymouth Church invites HCC to “Spooktacular”

Saturday, October 21 from 3-4:30 in the church parking lot.  There will be  a sign-up sheet out this Sunday in the Plymouth Welcome Area.  Plymouth are looking for volunteers to “host a trunk” by decorating their car trunks and passing out candy. Looking forward in you joining us!


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 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. Suggested donation is $8 for lunch. RSVP to Pastor Dillon at, which is necessary for food preparation.

This month, Lunch Club is on a field trip, and meeting on the fourth Wednesday (October 25)! Bring back memories of fall days on the farm and in the country.  We will gather at Patterson Fruit Farm at 11:30 am to enjoy a wagon tour of the orchard, a tour of the sugarhouse, lunch, and finishing with a slice of apple pie! We’ll also also get a chance to sample seasonal apple slices and fresh apple cider!  Suggested donation is $20 for a homemade lunch as well as the cost of the tour. RSVP to Pastor Dillon at or sign up in the Plymouth Welcome Area. Meet at Patterson (8765 Mulberry Road, Chesterland, Ohio 44026) or make arrangements with friends to carpool from Plymouth.

Book Group

The Book Group will meet – Wednesday, October 4th 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 Lessons in Chemistry written by Bonnie Garmus.

Meditative Arts Group

Meditative Arts Group will meet at 1:00 pm October 11 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.

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!



1 – Lynda Ackerman     3 – Anita Watson     3 – Ann Weisheimer
4 – Debbie Osgood     5 – Linda Durham     18 – Jeff Fronck
18 – Amber Sharpley     19 – Florence Chase     30 – Tommy Dunn

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

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!