Reaching Heights September 2022

Heights Christian Church Icon of Two Followers Lifting a CrossReaching Heights September 2022

Links to this month’s news:


  • Worship – for September
  • Sunday Morning Adult Study


  • Kate’s Cogitations
  • Choir is back – and you can join! 


  • From Education 
  • From Missions
  • From the RenewalWorks Team
  • Unity in Community Food Pantry


  • In the Community
  • Porch Talks
  • Covenant Project Town Hall
  • 2022 Regional Assembly
  • Book Group + Meditative Arts Group 
  • Cleveland Ecumenical Institute
  • Gift Card Reminder
  • Social Media

See the Serving Schedule

Worship and study

Reminder: Our last week of Summer Schedule (with worship at 11:15 am) is September 4.  Beginning Sept. 11, we return to our regular start time of 11:00 am. Our worship is always hybrid (in the Chapel, and on Zoom + Facebook Live).

September 4        Jeremiah 18:1-11     “God the Potter”

September 11      Kick Off Sunday  Worship returns to 11:00 a.m. start
                                    Luke 15:1-10             “99+1”
Installation of Officers and Affirmation of Elders; Choir begins

September 18    Genesis 12:1-9         “The Call of Abram”

September 25    Reconciliation Offering to further the
                                       pro-reconciliation/anti-   racism work of the church.
Genesis 39:1-6 and 45:4-8   “God with Joseph”

Sunday Adult Study (“First Hour”) begins September 18 and meets in the Chapel and on Zoom from 9:30 – 10:30 am. We’ll spend 6 six weeks exploring “Short Stories by Jesus” a Parables study with wisdom from Amy-Jill Levine via video and led by Carolyn Troha.

Mid-Week Bible Study will return in October.


From the staff


Kate’s Cogitations

Make an effort to preserve the unity of the Spirit
with the peace that ties you together.
~ Ephesians 4:3

There are plenty of references to unity in Paul’s letters to the early churches. While he commends radical inclusion and diversity, he also calls followers to recognize their unity in Christ. Our denomination prioritizes unity, as evidenced in the motto: “A Movement for Wholeness in a Fragmented World.”

Modern technology is both a blessing and a curse. For HCC, the technology of Zoom helped to keep us together during the worst of the pandemic. While it was not safe to gather in person, we gathered online for worship, bible study, committee meetings, and some fun events. Having developed that practice of online worship, when the Covid numbers spiked again last winter, we were able to make the swift transition back to Zoom worship for Christmas Eve.

Zoom and FacebookLive continue to provide access to members and visitors alike who, for a variety of reasons, can’t join us in person. So we are committed to maintaining “hybrid” worship, with some people gathered in person in the Chapel and others joining via Zoom or Facebook. In addition to convenience and safety, this represents an opportunity to reach people who have not stepped inside our worship space in person. Practically anyone can join us online and experience the warm faith of our congregation.

We have been averaging about 10 people each week who join worship online. We make sure they have all the information they need to participate fully and welcome them to do so. Our challenge is to continually take steps to knit together the body of Christ. If you worship in the Chapel, I invite you to take a moment before or after the service to greet  folks on Zoom. If you worship with us online, you are invited to offer your prayers and comments, and to remain online to greet those in the Chapel. During the week, reach out to each other in fellowship. In this way, we can make an effort to preserve the unity of the Spirit with the peace that ties us together.

in peace,

Join the Choir!
(no sightreading experience needed)

The Heights Christian Church Choir invites all music lovers to join us.  We hope to continue to create beautiful music with and for the congregation, and ask you to consider taking on a more active role in helping us do so.

During Kickoff Week and the month ensuing, the choir will lead the congregation a number of familiar and comfortable tunes.  If you find that you enjoy the music and wish to sing with the choir, simply email HCC’s Music Director Irwin ( and join our practice sessions in the Choir Room a half-hour before service.  Special tracks will be created for any novice readers, so you can familiarize yourself with the melodies in the days leading up to rehearsal!

HCC has always had a strong musical tradition, and any musical group needs to grow and evolve to stay healthy.  We sincerely hope you will consider adding your voice to our numbers.



  from the Board and Ministry Teams

Education Team

The Education Team Needs Help
Are you young? Young at heart? Or maybe just like to have some Sunday morning fun? The education team is looking for anyone who would like to help lead the intergenerational moments on Sunday mornings. Whether you want to join the regular rotation or just try it for one Sunday, anyone is welcome to participate! We can help provide suggestions for activities, but encourage everyone to use their imagination! We have so many things to wonder together as a congregation.

We are also looking for help in leadership for our Mid-Week and Sunday morning adult studies. Whether you are willing to lead a whole study or just one week, any help is appreciated. The education team is willing to help with curriculum or to help support your ideas. Please reach out to Kate or Carolyn Troha to volunteer.

Adult Study Opportunity
Pull out your calendars! Sunday morning adult Study will be coming back September 18! Join Carolyn Troha and others at 9:30-10:30am on the chapel (or on Zoom) as we study some of Jesus Parables. We will also hear the parables as part of our intergenerational moments. For more information or to  volunteer to help lead a week please let Carolyn know.

College addresses needed! If someone in your family has headed back to school, please make sure we have their current address. You can email or call Kese in the office with updates anytime.

Missions Ministry

Welcome back to our new church year. May we fulfill the plan that God has for us. May we always look for new opportunities to serve others through our generosity of giving of our time, talents, and money.

Missions Moment – This year we will share an update of Missions activities and requests. This will occur once a month during worship service.

Wall of Love – Your were very generous last year in your donations to Lomond School children and families. We will continue our partnership with them. We are requesting donations of hats, gloves, scarves, mittens, socks for elementary school age children and adult items as well. A tub will be provided in the back of the chapel as you enter the sanctuary for the collection. The tub will be available starting on October 2nd through end of March.

Special offering – Our Reconciliation offering will be collected on last Sunday in this month. A letter will be sent via email or hard copy during the week of this collection. Look for more information in our weekly update news.

Afghan Refugee status – It was a year ago when these families arrived in the United States. In late December 2021 and early January 2022 the Disciples Christian Church reached out to support families to settle them in Cuyahoga County. They also ask for assistance from other Disciples of Christ congregations. Heights Christian responded by providing a liaison person and set up an account for monetary donations. Contact with the DCC coordinator for the refugees reported progress from their efforts and expressed appreciation for HCC’s help. Contributions are still needed and can be made by check or Givelify online through our website. Please note in memo where you wish to donate.

War in Ukraine – It is now six months since this war started. The needs of the people of Ukraine continue as they flee for their lives. You may still contribute to this cause by mail or on our Givelify app. Please note to which cause you wish your donation to go.

Thrift Shop – Although the location is the same at 17300 Van Aken, it is now the property of Eastview UCC. Good news! You may still shop and donate to this community cause. The hours are: Thursday 4-8pm; Friday and Saturday 10am-2pm.

The Little Free Pantry – If this is a way you would like to continue giving, there are three locations in Shaker Heights: 1- off parking lot of Plymouth, 2 – at former Heights Christian Church in back circle driveway on Winslow, 3 – Christ Episcopal on Warrensville Center Rd behind the church.

The League of Women Voters

The Shaker League, along with the League of Greater Cleveland and the Cleveland Heights/University Heights Chapter, with cosponsoring Leagues around Ohio, invite the public to attend POST-ROE: Women’s Healthcare in Ohio: Just the Facts, a virtual forum on Thursday, September 8, 7-8:30 pm.
Following the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, there’s been a swirl of information and misinformation about abortion and the impact on women’s health of restrictions on abortion access.
This nonpartisan, fact-based event features maternal-fetal medicine and reproductive health physicians and a noted legal expert to develop a better understanding of these issues. 
David Hackney, M.D.. Maternal Fetal Medicine
Rebecca Flyckt, M.D., Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility
Jessie Hill, J.D., Professor of Law at Case Western Reserve University
Moderator:  Karen Kasler, Statehouse Bureau Chief, Ohio Public Radio and Television.

Register to attend: 
Join 15 Leagues statewide in the discussion.   
This forum began in the Shaker Chapter’s Reproductive Rights task force, led by Joann Watterson and Annette Tucker Sutherland.  It was decided to share the idea with LWV Greater Cleveland, then LWV Ohio. Now there’s a statewide coalition of sponsors and cosponsors:

Get Out to Vote yard signs – The fourteenth amendment gives us all the right to vote. Elections are around the corner. Sometimes we all miss the deadline by a hair for various reasons. Not only because of the 14th Amendment but as believers in Christ, who desire to follow his/her expectations shouldn’t we excercise that right? To help keep you and your neighbors reminded about voting, Missions will provided a limited numbered of yard signs ($8/sign) from the League Of Women Voters (LWV) free to our members. We will have them available on Sunday, September 18th on a first come first served basis. Free will donations will be accepted as a donation to the Outreach Committee fund. Only one sign per household. The signs are good to be used for many more elections. Using your cell phone scan the bar code for information.  Here is the link if you wish to order more: Contact Andrena: email address or call 216-848-0108 to reserve your free sign.

Community partnerships:
We continue to reach out to other congregations, agencies, programs to continue or establish partnerships. Look for updated information in our weekly news update and future newsletter.

Did you Know?

Our new envelopes – Perhaps you have already noticed. I did not. In the past I have decide to give at least one dollar/$1 or more per Sunday to the Hunger Fund which I put in a blue envelope. Since Our move I have not done so.
I guess I was waiting for the color to jog my memory. Note: the new envelopes have a place on them where you can check off where you want your money to go including Hunger Fund.

Calling All Writers

We have 2 opportunities for you! The RenewalWorks Team is planning an outdoor Prayer Walk for October with the theme of “Experiencing God’s Abundance Together.” We are seeking 8-12 people to write a brief reflection to be paired with a photo for a station on the church grounds and open to the community. If you would like to write a reflection, you can chose one of the photos we have selected and submit your reflection (less than one page) by Sept. 21. Instructions are attached to the photos. Contact Lynda Ackerman, Val McMillan, Jane Troha, or Kate Gillooly with questions.

AND — we are collaborating with Plymouth Church members to create a joint Advent Devotional this year! Details are still being worked out but we will need several writers for this project as well. If you would like to write an entry and/or help coordinate the HCC side of the project, speak with Dr. Kate.

Unity in Community Food Pantry

The Unity in Community Emergency Food Pantry continues as an initiative of Shaker Heights congregations, neighborhood groups, and local residents of the city. Both volunteers and financial support are needed to sustain this pantry.

You can donate through HCC’s Givelify app or by visiting the secure giving site:

and select “Shaker Food Drive (Unity in Community)” as the fund.

Please contact the Pantry Director, Matt Mondry, at with any questions.




In the Community 

HCC is one of many community organizations to help sponsor a Youth Garden Party at the Shaker Colonnade on Sept. 10 from 12-2 pm. Our Mission Team Leader, Andrena Jones-Sharp, will be there to hand out school supplies to anyone who needs them. There will also be games, food, and music, so plan to stop by!


The Shaker Heights Anti-Racism Coalition is holding a meeting open to all at Horseshoe Lake Pavilion on Thursday, Sept. 8th from 6-8 pm to reflect on “Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Going.” Your voice matters – come share your perspective.

Our Porch Talk for a Beloved Community was a success!

It was wonderful to gather together on the lawn of the Van Aken building (now home to East View UCC) and hear from the Rev. Dr. Jack Sullivan, Jr. about the continued need to advocate for racial justice! We enjoyed rousing musical selections by the Greater Cleveland Choral Chapter as well. We have beautiful weather, a great crowd, lovely hospitality, and the joy of partnering with East View UCC and Plymouth Church for this event. Everyone said, “Let’s do it again!”


The future of the church is more connected. The future of the church is in deeper conversation. The future of the church is a future with deeper covenant. The Covenant Project is the work of changing structures to be more just and relationships across the church to be more connected.

Covenant Project Town Hall meetings on Zoom 

The Covenant Project is an initiative to change how we gather and how we make decisions as church so that more people are included in shaping the priorities of the church. You are invited participate in digital town hall meetings.

Register to Attend

You must register via the links below to receive a Zoom link to the digital town hall.

Once you have registered using the link below, Zoom will provide a link for you to attend.

Sunday, September 11, 2022 – 7pm EDT | 6pm CDT | 4pm PDT

Thursday, September 15, 2022 – 1pm EDT | 12pm CDT | 10am PDT

Learn more here:

2022 Regional Assembly

Are you wishing you could have a taste of Camp Christian? Mark your calendars for Saturday, September 24 for our Regional Assembly and Family Reunion! This year’s Assembly will be filled with worship, fun and games, a short business session, delicious meals, and wonderful fellowship with friends and colleagues from around the Christian Church in Ohio and beyond. Adults, youth, and children are invited to attend. The Assembly is designed for all ages, and there will also be child care for Children ages 4 to 12.  We hope to arrange car pools for this event. Please let Kese in the office know if you can drive or would like a ride.

The Book Group will begin again and Everyone is Welcomed!

We meet the first Wednesday of each month at 1:00 at Plymouth Church in Room 102.  Our first meeting will be Wednesday, September 7, Her Hidden Genius by Marie Benedict. Nancy Carpenter has requested the Shaker library to hold 10 copies of Her Hidden Genius.  Check in at the information desk to get a copy.

Meditative Art 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!


Offerings from the Cleveland Ecumenical Institute for Religious Studies Covering broad themes including art, history, and practical approaches to cultivating human spirituality, there is a CEIRS course for every Christian seeker.

The First Christian Bible: An Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures Rev. Dr. Gene McAfee 8 Saturday Mornings, October 8, 15, 22, 29 November 5, 19, 26, December 3, 2022 (No class Nov. 12) 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. $160.00  Zoom Format

John O’Donohue’s Celtic Vision Wayne Simsic, M.A.
Four Mondays, October 10, 17, 24, 31, 2022  7:00 to 9:00 p.m. $80.00
Church of the Gesu Pastoral Center (2470 Mirimar Blvd. University Hts., OH 44118) Sacred Heart Room

Paintings Prompting Prayer: Reflections on Portrayals of Gospel Stories of the Life of Jesus George Matejka, Ph.D.
Four Tuesdays, October 25, November 1, 8, 15, 2022 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. $80.00
Zoom Format

For more information and to register, visit the CEIRS website:

Gift Cards – Support HCC!

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

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! Feel free to “check in” when you come to church, and visit (and like) our pages and posts often!