On Sunday, April 29, members and friends of Fairmount Presbyterian Church headed out to serve the community and participate in educational experiences that raised awareness of issues faced by our community. Participants prepared braille books for preschoolers who attend the Cleveland Sight Center; cleaned up the woods around Dugway Brook; prepared care packages for students away at college; sang hymns with the residents of Judson Park; and learned about the refugee situation locally, nationally and worldwide. Additionally, a group participated in a poverty simulation to better understand the decisions, fears and frustrations facing families living in poverty. There are plans to hold another Serve Sunday later in 2018. Check the church’s website, www.fppcle.org for future Serve Sunday details.
Disciples Christian Church in Cleveland Heights is a diverse congregation that welcomes all.
Once a month, its members host and serve a free community meal to all area residents and friends. Prepared by church members, the dinner is served restaurant-style, on tables decorated with cloths and centerpieces. Such community meals have been offered at the church for about 10 years.
Israeli scholar Noam Zion returns to Greater Cleveland May 18 and 19, Shavuot weekend, for a scholar-in-residence event co-hosted by, and taking place at, two synagogues, Beth El-The Heights Synagogue (BE-THS) and B’nai Jeshurun.
Zion will teach Friday night and Saturday morning and afternoon at BE–THS, then walk the five miles to B’nai Jeshurun, where he’ll be the keynote speaker at its annual Tikkun Leyl Shavuot, spearheading a roster of rabbis and educators from at least 16 shuls and institutions.
Zion has taught in Cleveland many times, beginning as far back as 1989. He has taught at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem for more than 30 years, and is the author of best-selling haggadot, A Different Night, A Night to Remember, and A Day Apart: Shabbat at Home.
Ellen Posman, comparative religion professor at Baldwin Wallace University, will lead a luncheon discussion on Buddhism and Judaism at Beth El – The Heights Synagogue, on Saturday, April 28, after morning services (approximately 12:15 p.m.).
The talk will examine some past interactions between Buddhists and Jews, consider the ways in which Judaism and Buddhism can enter into fruitful dialogue or be at odds, and pose questions regarding whether or why Jews should know something about Buddhism.
One may not think of Buddhism as having much to do with Judaism, yet there are areas in which the two religions intersect.
Four congregations in Cleveland Heights—Peace Lutheran, Noble Road Presbyterian, Disciples Christian, and Church of the Redeemer United Methodist—are working cooperatively to offer a creative form of fellowship and worship as Christians around the globe commemorate Lent. Beginning with Ash Wednesday, Lent marks an annual season to remember Jesus' life and death.
The gatherings are open to not only members of the four congregations, but also to all in the area who would like to deepen their spirituality at this holy time.
The four churches are sharing in what they call “Simple Soup Suppers.” Attendees gather at 6 p.m., attend a program at 6:45 p.m., worship at 7:30 p.m., and are on their way by 8 p.m. This year's program theme is the varieties of spiritual practices.
Beth El – The Heights Synagogue will hold its Purim evening service and Megillah (Book of Esther) reading at Mitchell’s ice cream factory, 1867 West 25th Street in Ohio City, on Wednesday, Feb. 28. The service will begin at 7 p.m.
Why at Mitchell’s? For several reasons: (1) Historically, Jews seem to travel for many holidays, so why not? (2) More fun! It’s amazing to see “behind the scenes” at an ice cream factory, and Mitchell’s has glass walls so visitors can view the whole process. (3) Ice cream! Part of the deal here is that everyone gets a free scoop of Mitchell’s ice cream, in addition to Beth El’s own hamentaschen (traditional triangular pastries with tasty fillings). (4) Outreach. This is a long-shot, of course, but there are unaffiliated Jews living on Cleveland’s West Side, and Beth El wants to meet them.
As part of its ongoing efforts to promote better interracial relationships, Forest Hill Presbyterian Church is again offering an active, entertaining and educational series of programs in honor of Black History Month in February:
Sunday, Feb. 4 - Visit a Black-Owned Restaurant Weekend: We encourage everyone to eat at a Black-owned restaurant or use a Black-owned caterer or deli for their Super Bowl parties, as an expression of financial justice and to appreciate a positive aspect of African American Culture: hospitality expressed through welcome and good food. For a list of more than 50 Black-owned restaurants, caterers, delis, and takeout places, www.fhcpresb.org.
Sunday, Feb. 11, 12:30 p.m. – Lunch with the Honorable Janine Boyd, State Representative, Ohio District 9: Rep. Boyd will speak with us about what Melissa Harris-Perry, in her book Sister Citizen, calls “standing straight in a crooked room,” i.e., living as a Black woman who is claiming her own power. A light luncheon will be served.
Shulamit Magnus will present a scholar-in-residence program at Beth El - The Heights Synagogue (3246 Desota Ave., at Euclid Heights Blvd.), Feb. 2, 3 and 4. In three sessions, she will address “Who Was a Jew? Views from History on Jewish Boundaries, Boundary Drawing, and Identity.”
Magnus, professor emerita of Jewish Studies and History at Oberlin College, and now teaching at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, will explore the question of Jewish identity in different periods and places in Jewish history, from antiquity to the present. She will look at why, how, and by whom lines of belonging and exclusion have been drawn, and long periods in Jewish history when no such lines were drawn and the question that is so controversial now was, literally, not a question.
Latkes and . . . larceny? This is not your usual Hanukkah dinner.
On Sunday, Dec. 17, beginning at 4:30 p.m., Beth El – The Heights Synagogue invites you to eat, shmooze and solve the “Mystery of the Missing Menorah,” as it hosts a unique Hanukkah Mystery and Dinner.
Throughout the dinner—a four-course kosher vegetarian meal, including latkes and other traditional Hanukkah foods—guests will work in groups to solve the mystery. Those gathered will light Hanukkah menorahs as a group, between courses.
According to event chair, Scott Wachter, “There are many Hanukkah parties in Cleveland. There are also mystery and dinner events. We believe that ours is the first Jewish mystery and dinner in the city. Participants will have a unique opportunity to celebrate the holiday while using their problem-solving skills to figure out who stole a special Hanukkah menorah.”
If the closing of Cleveland Heights’ fair trade stores Revive and Ten Thousand Villages has left you searching for local, fair trade gifts this holiday season, consider attending Forest Hill Presbyterian Church’s annual fair trade bazaar on Sunday, Dec. 3, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Heights community is invited to an interfaith Thanksgiving eve service on Wednesday, Nov. 22, at 7 p.m. Serving as host for this special service will be the congregation of Peace Lutheran Church, 3740 Mayfield Road, just east of Severance Town Center.
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church is offering a new experience of ecumenical worship, All God’s Children, that is designed to appeal to families with children of any age, and is especially appropriate for people with special needs. The community is invited to gather in the church’s Tucker Hall at 5 p.m. on Nov. 19. Services will be held on the third Sunday of the month thereafter.
On Sunday, Oct. 29, Lutherans, Roman Catholics and other Christians around the globe will commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. On the Eve of All Saints' Day in 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the church door in Wittenberg, Germany. Concurrent with the invention of the printing press, this new movement swiftly spread throughout northern and western Europe, leading to other protestant reformations throughout the church catholic. Much healing has occurred through the centuries, and since the Second Vatican Council of the early 1960s, which ushered in the start of the modern ecumenical movement, Lutherans and Roman Catholics have come to realize their oneness in faith.
Autumn is coming, and that means shorter days, leaves changing colors, and the Jewish High Holy Days. For those who may be unaffiliated with a synagogue, or looking to change affiliation, the congregation at Beth El - The Heights Synagogue welcomes you to pray and learn with them.
Beth El is a traditional, egalitarian synagogue, and an independent minyan (quorum required for Jewish communal worship) in Cleveland Heights. It seeks to build a vibrant Jewish community by welcoming all in participatory worship and learning.
The Jewish High Holy Days are around the corner, and Beth El-The Heights Synagogue (BETHS) invites the community to a series of three events in preparation for them.
First up is a Kabbalat Shabbat (welcoming the sabbath) service and dinner on Friday, Aug. 18. Miriam Giardina will speak on “A Convert Looks at Tshuvah.” (T’shuvah means return or repentance, among other things.) The service will start at 6:30 p.m., with teaching starting at 7 p.m., followed by candle-lighting, dinner, and more teaching. The dinner is primarily vegetarian, usually with one fish dish, and the cost is $10. Those who want to attend should register at the synagogue website, www.bethelheights.org.
On the weekend of Sept. 8–9, Beth El will present two programs. Both will look at the machsor—the rich but often bewildering prayer book for the High Holy Days—and both will feature singing.
The members of Bethlehem and Hope Lutheran churches are swiftly moving ahead on their decision to consolidate ministries. In early April, during one of their monthly joint worship services, the congregations voted on the new name of the consolidated church, to be located in the current Bethlehem Lutheran Church building, at 3740 Mayfield Road—Peace Lutheran Church.
Congregants selected this name after several votes were taken on the 80 names that had been nominated.
Various ad hoc committees are hard at work to consolidate the two ministries—each with 100-plus years of service—into one.
Don't let the repair of Noble Road keep you away from Noble Road Presbyterian Church's May and June events.
On Saturday, May 20, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the church’s biannual rummage sale will take place. Proceeds from the sale, scheduled to coincide with Noble Neighbor's We Are Noble weekend (May 19, 20 and 21), will benefit the church's many mission projects.
As the 2016 Christmas season approached, Amanda Powell, music director at Disciples Christian Church, had a vision—to bring together a choir that would promote, through singing, a sense of community and connection.
Because many people are unable to commit to a full year of singing, the commitment would be for the Christmas season only, comprising the three Sundays prior to Christmas.
Powell hoped that church members who were not part of the choir would join the current choir members, and that members of the community that had no connection with Disciples Christian Church would participate as well. People of all musical abilities would be welcomed.
It’s not often that one sees the words “Orthodox rabbi” and “woman” in the same sentence. June 16–18, Beth El-The Heights Synagogue (BETHS) will host Rabba Rahel Berkovits, who was recently ordained—along with three other women—at the Jerusalem Orthodox center Har’el.
Berkovits will be participating in a celebratory weekend in honor of Rabbi Moshe Adler, who is retiring as rabbi of BETHS after 17 years. Berkovits is the granddaughter of Rabbi Eliezer Berkovits z”l, who was Adler’s teacher and mentor.
The weekend will kick off with a lecture and dessert reception on Thursday June 16, 7 p.m., at the Siegal Lifelong Learning facility, 26500 Shaker Blvd., where Berkovits will speak on “Darkhei Shalom: The Path to Building Community.” For more information, and to register, visit www.case.edu/lifelonglearning, or call 216-368-2091.
On Friday, June 3, 6–8 p.m., Noble Road Presbyterian Church (at the corner of Noble and Kirkwood roads), will host its 25th annual Strawberry Festival.
Celebrate the end of the school year by joining with neighbors and friends at this free event. Strawberry shortcake, ice cream, music—provided by local bluegrass group Squirrel Jam—and fellowship will be plentiful.
Recognizing that summer, now just around the corner, is a great time to get outside and meet one’s neighbors, Noble Road Presbyterian Church will offer several opportunities for its congregation and the church’s neighbors to get to know one another better during the next few months.
The church will participate in the May 13–15 Noble Neighbors community event, hosting urban line dancing on Friday at 7 p.m., and a Saturday program—from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.—that will include a plant sale and bake sale, and a craft activity for the young and young at heart.
On Friday, June 3, 6–8 p.m., Noble Road Presbyterian will host its 25th annual strawberry festival. The free event will feature strawberry shortcake and live music by Squirrel Jam.
Cleveland Heights is home to a number of beautiful churches, many with strong, historical roots in the community. So, why another church in the area?
"The story of Jesus doesn't grow old," said Pastor Mark Robertson, planter of The Heights Presbyterian Church, "and with new churches, communities are awakened to encounter an authentic Christ, whose beauty and truth transcends time and place.”
The Heights Presbyterian Church is a member church of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), a denomination with roots that date back to the Protestant Reformation. It was born out of a mission of Harvest Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Medina. Harvest Church and the NEO Church Planting Network seek to bring similar gospel-centered [churches] into several Greater Cleveland neighborhoods.
Some Americans have an irrational fear of those of the Muslim faith, called Islamophobia. Some Muslims have been intimidated in public, had their jobs threatened, and have seen their mosques burned or defaced—a state of affairs that harms everyone.
Isam Zaiem, co-founder and Cleveland-chapter president of Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Ohio), will speak about Islamophobia: Causes, Impacts and Solutions, on Sunday, April 10, at 4 p.m., at the Church of the Redeemer, 2420 South Taylor Road, Cleveland Heights.
Zaiem, who was born in Syria and is a member of the Islamic Center of Cleveland and the Uqbah Mosque Foundation, will discuss the impact of Islamophobia on his community.
Forest Hill Church Presbyterian is beginning Black History Month by inviting the community to a panel discussion of Ta-Nehisi Coates’s groundbreaking work “A Case for Reparations,” on Sunday, Feb. 21, 1–3 p.m.
Bakari Kitwana, author, political analyst and activist, will lead a panel of experts, including Amilcar Shabazz, Deadra Farmer-Palleman and local policy experts and advocates. A breakout session will follow.
Kitwana, whose commentary on politics and youth culture has been heard on NPR and seen on CNN, C-Span, and “The Tavis Smiley Show,” is currently senior media fellow at The Jamestown Project, a diverse action-oriented think tank at Harvard Law School. He is also CEO of Rap Sessions: Community Dialogues on Hip-Hop, which facilitates discussions throughout the country on the issues facing the hip-hop generation.
The classic Christmas opera Amahl and the Night Visitors will be performed at Forest Hill Presbyterian Church on Sunday, Dec. 20, at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.
Gian-Carlo Menotti's uplifting opera tells the story of Amahl, a disabled boy who walks with a crutch and likes to tell tall tales. When he and his mother are visited by the Three Kings, faith and generosity lead to an emotional miracle.
Menotti specified that Amahl should always be played by a boy, not a young adult. A fortuitous casting opportunity has eight-year-old Cleveland Heights resident Henry Dyck singing the role of Amahl alongside his own mother, soprano Lara Troyer, as Amahl’s mother.
To help everyone get into the Christmas spirit, and as a gift to the community, Disciples Christian Church is hosting a live Nativity on Sunday, Dec. 13, 2–5 p.m.
Attendees will see the Holy Family, and have an audience with King Herod. There will also be wise men and shepherds, as well as live animals, including a camel.
Afterward, guests are invited to listen to music performed by members of the church’s music ministry, and enjoy refreshments.
Noble Road Presbyterian Church (NRPC) has announced that Meredith Anne White has been called to serve as its new pastor. In a way, White is returning home—she grew up in Cleveland Heights, and even attended Girl Scouts at the church. She is one of those rare individuals who has successfully managed to make the transition from east side to west side, and now lives with her partner, Susan Strohm, in Lakewood.
White earned a B.A. in peace and conflict studies from Kent State University in 1996, and received a Master of Divinity from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in 2003. Underscoring her versatility, White has worked as a church secretary at Fairmount Presbyterian, coordinator of a women’s center, a Hebrew tutor, and a chaplain intern in a hospital.
In the United Methodist Church (UMC), when candidates for the ministry are ordained as elders, they agree to become itinerant pastors. This means they follow in the footsteps of John Wesley and are moved from one congregation to another, at the discretion of the conference bishop. So, when Reverend Dr. Charles Yoost announced he would retire as the senior pastor of Church of the Saviour, effective June 30 of this year, Bishop John Hopkins, resident bishop of the UMC’s East Ohio Conference, began a search for his replacement.
The result of this search was that Reverends Judy Wismar Claycomb and Andy Call were introduced to the staff-parish relationship committee for approval and, on July 1, joined Reverend Dianne Tobey Covault, to become the pastoral ministry team at the church.
As a new fall worship and program year begins, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church welcomes two new leaders to its clergy and staff. The Rev. Jeanne A. Leinbach will assume her duties as rector on Sept. 1, and Miguel Covarrubias became youth minister in early August.
In the Episcopal Church, a rector is the priest in charge of a self-supporting parish. Leinbach is the 16th rector of St. Paul’s, the largest parish in the Episcopal Diocese of Ohio, and the first female rector in its 169-year history. Since the mid-1980s, four women have served as associate rectors: The Revs. Charlotte Dudley Cleghorn, Harper Turney, Angela Ifill and Lisa Hackney-James.
Leinbach comes to St. Paul’s from Winnetka, Ill., where she was associate rector at Christ Church.
Every two years, Noble Road Presbyterian Church, located at the corner of Noble and Kirkwood roads, hosts the ultimate recycling event—a community rummage sale.
The 2015 sale will be held on Saturday, Sept. 5, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The purpose of the sale is twofold: to provide a place where items can be recycled through re-use, and put in the hands of new owners; and to raise money for the church’s mission activities.
This year’s sale will feature living room and dining room furniture, as well as some smaller pieces. All the usual garage sale items will be offered for sale, including adult and children's clothing, books and plants.
Beth El - The Heights Synagogue (BETHS) is offering free tickets for the High Holy Days again this year.
“We’ve never charged for High Holy Day tickets,” said Erica New, Beth El’s co-president. “It’s kind of a ‘homecoming’ and we’re happy to have anybody join us.”
BETHS is a traditional-egalitarian synagogue located at 3246 Desota Ave., at the corner of Berkeley and Desota avenues, and a stone’s throw from Lee Road and Euclid Heights Boulevard. The main entrance is on Berkeley Avenue.
Children in kindergarten through sixth grade, who have completed any one of those grades this current (2014–15) school year, are invited to the 15th annual Christian day camp at Hope Lutheran Church, located at North Taylor and Northvale roads.
The camp runs from June 29 to July 3, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. It is free, but registration is required. Families are asked to supply a brown-bag lunch. The church’s hospitality committee will keep them cold and serve them with Kool-Aid.
This year's theme is "A Love That Never Ends." Each day, Biblical stories will be told through the lives of Abraham, Moses and the Israelites, Ruth and Naomi, Jonah and the whale, and the prophet Jeremiah. Other activities will include outdoor games, indoor crafts, songs, skits, nature walks, a visit from the police and fire departments, snacks and more.
The Jewish Secular Community of Cleveland invites interfaith, humanistic and secular Jewish families to attend an open house on June 14 to learn more about the bar and bat mitzvah class being offered this fall.
The goal of the program is to connect b’nai mitzvah candidates—children ages 11½ to 14—to the 3,500-year-old traditions of Judaism, the history of Israel, and the vast array of Jewish activities and community services in Greater Cleveland, all presented in a nontheistic, humanistic manner.
Well-known theologian, author and preacher Walter Brueggemann will speak at Forest Hill Presbyterian Church on Sunday, June 14. He will teach a Bible study class at 9:30 a.m. and preach at the 11 a.m. worship service.
At 2 p.m., Brueggemann will discuss the economics of extraction, or wealth inequality. As he explains, both biblical and present-day economic powers thrive by extracting wealth from the vulnerable and transferring it to a powerful elite. The result is a concentration of wealth in the hands of a few at the expense of the many.
An international assembly of Unitarian Universalist (UU) ministers and interfaith representatives gathered with community members and congregants on April 19 to ceremonially install Reverend Joseph M. Cherry as the Unitarian Universalist Society of Cleveland's (UUSC) official minister.
In May 2014, the UUSC congregation chose Cherry to lead them. Asked then to define his ministerial mission, Cherry said, "I'm a minister in a worldwide and lifesaving faith. Part of our mission is to say that persons can be unsure. You can say you do or don't believe in this or that God, and that's OK. It's to say that, at this moment, you are OK as you are and don't need saving or redemption. At the same time we are all capable of spiritual growth."
The Noble neighborhood of Cleveland Heights is home to several long-established congregations.
Situated next to Denison Park, Church of the Master, 4050 Monticello Blvd., traces its history to a merger of congregations, one of which included John D. Rockefeller. Rockefeller’s legacy continues in this newer congregation through the Cleveland Baptist Association. Rev. Rena Baker has pastored this church for 12 years and leads the services on Sundays at 10:45 a.m. Rev. Joyce Butler leads a Bible study and prayer service on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m., and Rev. Julia Moses ministers to many of the boys and young men who play basketball in the park. Contact the church at 216-381-1001.
February is Black History Month and, for the fourth consecutive year, members of Forest Hill Presbyterian Church, 3031 Monticello Blvd. in Cleveland Heights, have organized events for each weekend of the month, designed to “educate ourselves, strengthen our ties with one another and stir our souls.” All events are free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.fhcpresb.org or call 216-321-2660.
Feb. 1: A talk by LaDon Headon, hip-hop historian and former musician, on Hip Hop 2.0, 12:30–2 p.m. This presentation will explore the history and development of this genre of music, and the hip-hop culture.
Feb. 8: Cajun Treats and Jazz Music, 12:30–2 p.m. This event, for all ages, features a Mardi Gras masks activity, in anticipation of Fat Tuesday.
The Rev. Joseph M. Cherry sometimes uses his high school marching band experience as a metaphor for his new role as minister of the Unitarian Universalist Society of Cleveland (UUSC). "We UUs don't march lockstep to outside imposed authority—musical, religious or otherwise," said Cherry. "We're noted for personal autonomy and, within traditional association principles, we compose our own congregational objectives. The band metaphor portrays UUSC as a principled, socially active and diverse religious organization whose members play different roles with different abilities in collaboration with a trusted elected leader."
Cherry was chosen to lead the UUSC congregation on May 4 and commenced his ministerial duties on Aug. 1. He succeeds the Rev. Dr. Douglas Wadkins, who completed a two-year interim ministry.
Renowned Canadian Jewish scholar, Ira Robinson, will address the topic, How the Zohar Came to Be, at a Lunch and Learn event at Beth El – The Heights Synagogue, on Saturday, Nov. 15.
Kabbala (Jewish mysticism) is one of the most significant ways of understanding Judaism that developed in medieval times. It started out as the expression of a closed circle of scholars and transformed itself in the 16th century to become a popular movement. One of the ways this happened is through the emergence of the Zohar as the primary Kabbalistic text.
Boston University’s Agganis Arena was transformed from sporting arena to sacred space on Saturday, Sept. 13, as the Episcopal Church ordained and consecrated the Rev. Alan M. Gates as the 16th bishop for the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts. Gates, 56, served as rector of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Cleveland Heights from 2004–14.
More than 3,000 participants and guests from around the country and across the globe—including 28 bishops—attended the event. Among them were 115 supporters from St. Paul's Church.
The Rt. Rev. Mark Hollingsworth Jr., Bishop of the Diocese of Ohio, and formerly a priest of the Diocese of Massachusetts, served as the event’s preacher. Hollingsworth and his family reside in Shaker Heights.
The sign at the corner of Euclid Heights Boulevard and Edgehill Road reads: “Labyrinth. Garden. All Are Welcome.”
It is a high-traffic area for runners and cyclists, elderly couples, moms with strollers, and students. Until April, it was an empty, grassy triangle in front of St. Alban’s Episcopal Church.
That’s when Agape members Jessica Miller and Josh Handley attended a workshop on straw-bale gardening at a local plant store. They dreamed up a way to construct a straw bale garden in the form of a labyrinth that would incorporate food, beautification, sacred space and a community project. Agape is the young adult community at St. Alban’s.
Lisa M. Wolfe, professor in the Endowed Chair of Hebrew Bible at Oklahoma City University, will be at Church of the Saviour, 2537 Lee Road in Cleveland Heights, from Oct. 17–19. A native of Stow, Ohio, Wolfe also teaches at Saint Paul School of Theology.
On Friday evening, Oct. 17, Wolfe will meet with junior and senior youth to explore the topic "Get Ready for Ministry." Her Saturday workshop, Oct. 18, from 10 a.m. –noon, will discuss "Judith and the General’s Sword: The Difference Between Self-Defense and Revenge." The story of Judith is one of the lesser-known tales from the Apocrypha. Like Esther and several other biblical books, Judith raises the issue of violence. Is violence ever appropriate? How can the Bible be our conversation partner on this topic?
When Joshua Ritchey heard a presentation at his church, Disciples Christian Church, about working to become an environmentally friendly “Green Chalice” congregation, he wondered how he could help.
A Life Scout in the Boy Scouts of America, Ritchey is on his way to earning the rank of Eagle Scout. Perhaps he could craft an Eagle project that would contribute to the church's efforts, he thought.
With the encouragement of Mark Ritchey, his father and scoutmaster, and his Troop 461, Ritchey decided on a rain barrel installation.
He found the planning and approval process challenging. He drew up the plans and took photos to get approval from the troop committee and the church board. A detailed PowerPoint presentation to the church board resulted in approval and also inspired individual church members to contribute funds to the project.
The Rt. Rev. Margaret Vertue, Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of False Bay, South Africa, will preach at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on Sunday, Sept. 7, at the 9 and 11:15 a.m. worship services. She will also lead the Forum at 10 a.m.
St. Paul’s enjoys a special relationship with two parishes in the Diocese of False Bay—St. Clare of Assisi in Ocean View and St. Matthew’s Chapelry in Masiphumelele. Parishioners Mary and Rich Nodar began this partnership in mission to Masiphumelele when they traveled there in 2002. They returned each subsequent year, for three months, until 2012. Over the years, the partner churches have sent their members, including their youth groups, on numerous exchange visits. St. Paul’s also helped establish two foster homes in the Diocese of False Bay.
Forest Hill Presbyterian Church will hold its annual Outdoor Worship Service and Community Supper at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 16. Friends and neighbors are invited to enjoy a thought-provoking sermon, along with music by Mother Willie Mae Wright and the Wright Family Singers, a popular Cleveland gospel and praise group.
After the service, a free supper of hamburgers and hot dogs with all the trimmings, fresh fruit, baked beans, coleslaw and desserts will be provided by members of the church.
The Cleveland Zazen Group, a Zen meditation group that has been in Cleveland Heights for more than 40 years, is offering an Introduction to Zen Meditation on Aug. 2, at 1813 Wilton Road. The group practices in the tradition of the Rochester (N.Y.) Zen Center, founded in the 1960s by Roshi Philip Kapleau, author of The Three Pillars of Zen.
The one-day introductory workshop is aimed at providing a useful introduction to Zen Buddhism, demystifying the religion and giving basic instruction on how to practice zazen (Zen meditation). It’s a unique opportunity to learn firsthand from seasoned practitioners.
The group is made up of lay people from all walks of life—from college professors and students to the unemployed—and of all ages—from 20-somethings to seniors. Some sit on cushions on the floor; others sit in chairs.
The Rev. Dr. Harold T. Lewis will become interim rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, beginning Aug. 3.
Lewis recently retired as rector of Calvary Church in Pittsburgh, a congregation of similar size to St. Paul’s. A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., he holds a bachelor’s degree from McGill University, a master’s of divinity from Berkeley Divinity School at Yale and a doctorate in theology from the University of Birmingham (England).
Lewis has distinguished himself as a scholar and an author, and has taught at the George Mercer School of Theology, General Theological Seminary, New York Theological Seminary, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and Anglican seminaries in the Congo, South Africa, Mozambique and Barbados. In 1996, Lewis’ doctoral dissertation from the University of Birmingham was published: Yet With a Steady Beat: The African American Struggle for Recognition in the Episcopal Church was the first book about the history of black Episcopalians since George Freeman Bragg’s History of the Afro-American Group of the Episcopal Church in 1922. Lewis is a pianist who enjoys accompanying soloists, and several of his hymns appear in Lift Every Voice and Sing II and other hymnals.
Disciples Christian Church (DCC) in Cleveland Heights is on its way to becoming a certified Green Chalice congregation, and is taking three needed steps: create a Green Team in the congregation; have the Green Team sign the Alverna Covenant, promising to take care of God’s earth; and make three changes toward the church becoming more green.
For its three changes, DCC plans to have more types of recycling at the church, use environmentally friendly cleaning products, and use less paper during church services.
Rev. Derek Starr Redwine will be formally installed as the new senior pastor of Fairmount Presbyterian Church in Cleveland Heights on Sunday, Sept. 29. The installation will be conducted during a special 4:30 p.m. worship service in the church’s sanctuary.
The special guest preacher will be Rev. Amy Miracle, the pastor of the Broad Street Presbyterian Church in Columbus. Also taking part in the service will be officials of the Presbytery of the Western Reserve and two Fairmount choirs.
The church's newly elected lay leaders—elders, trustees and deacons—will also be installed on Sept. 29. A dinner at the church will follow the service.
In honor of all touched by cancer, and specifically member and elder Gail Haverdill as she journeys through her cancer treatments, members of Disciples Christian Church in Cleveland Heights donned hats at the Sept. 8 outdoor service for the “Hats On!” celebration. Kristine Eggert, pastor, helped increase this awareness and support.
The Unitarian Universalist Society of Cleveland will celebrate Oct. 13 as Sexual Justice Sunday, adding a vegetarian luncheon and screening of the documentary "God Loves Uganda" to a special 11 a.m. worship service. The film was an official selection at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. The screening and luncheon are open to the public.
Karen LoBracco, program consultant for United Universalist Association, who recently visited Uganda, will lead a discussion following the 80-minute film. Passing the hat donations to continue UUSC's sexual justice efforts will be gratefully accepted.
Church of the Saviour (COTS) is pleased to welcome The Rev. Dr. M. Craig Barnes, president and professor of pastoral ministry at Princeton Theological Seminary, on Sunday, Sept. 29. Barnes will preach at all three morning worship services (8:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.) that day. His Scripture is Colossians 1:15–20. His sermon is titled “Holding It Together.”
Forest Hill Church, Presbyterian will hold an outdoor summer worship service and community supper on Saturday, Aug. 17. The informal service will begin at 5 p.m. Immediately after the service, all are invited to stay for a free community supper provided by members of the church and open to everyone.
For the seventh year in a row, the First Baptist Church of Greater Cleveland (FBC) will forgo worship on the first Sunday in June in order to use the day to engage in projects of service to the wider community. Members of the church have organized 12 projects that will enable people of all ages and abilities to serve.
Faith in Action Sunday began as a suggestion from one of the members of the congregation who had heard of another church doing it. In recent years, 200 people from the congregation have participated.
“I’ve been asked many times why we would miss a Sunday of worship to hold Faith in Action Sunday,” said Rev. Dr. Martin Rolfs Massaglia, senior pastor of FBC. “We are doing it as an outreach and as a witness—as a visible testimony to our neighbors and to the city that service and mission is one of the highest priorities of our congregation.
In about a year’s time, the 101-year-old home that served as the residence for Fairmount Presbyterian Church’s pastor will be gone.
From 1968 until early 2011, the house served as the church’s manse for four consecutive pastors.
After more than two years of deliberation, during which the structure was unused, the congregation has decided to try to sell the house to someone who will move it to another location. If such a buyer cannot be found by June 30, 2014, the church will demolish the house. In either case, the church intends to retain the property.
There currently is no plan for how the property will be used.
On June 9, members of Fairmount Presbyterian Church in Cleveland Heights voted to call Rev. Derek Starr Redwine as their new senior minister and head of staff. The 262-6 vote was overwhelmingly in favor of the appointment, with seven abstentions.
Redwine has been the senior minister at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Akron for the past seven years. Before that, he was an associate pastor and acting head of staff at Central Presbyterian Church in Denver, and interim director of families and young adults at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Miami University and Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary.
Fairmount Presbyterian Church will hold a public meeting on the future of its former manse on Tuesday, May 7, at 7:30 p.m. The meeting will be held in the church’s chapel at 2757 Fairmount Blvd.
The church had used the house at 2765 Fairmount Blvd. as the manse for its head pastor from 1968 to 2011. The almost 9,000-square-foot structure was designed by Meade and Hamilton, a prominent Cleveland architectural firm, in 1912 as a single-family residence. The building has not been significantly altered since it was built; however, the church currently uses a portion of the backyard for parking.
Church of the Saviour will host singer-songwriter Chip Richter for a Christmas concert on Sunday, Dec. 16, at 7 p.m. in Calvary Hall. The performance will include stories, songs and laughter, for all ages to enjoy.
Richter tours nationally as a solo artist and with his band, The Munks. His gentle spirit and winsome style are particularly well-known to families who vacation at Lakeside in the summer. There, Richter and his family lead the popular God Squad program of stories, songs and Bible lessons for kids.
Enjoy an evening of Christmas cheer with Chip Richter and Church of the Saviour. This 45-minute free concert is just the right length for getting kids home for bedtime—in fact, bring them in their pajamas for extra cozy fun. For more information, go to www.chiprichter.com.
To help get into the Christmas spirit, immerse yourself in the marketplace of Bethlehem at the time of Jesus’ birth. Enjoy the holiday season with a Journey to Bethlehem on Sunday, Dec. 9, from 2 to 5 p.m. at Disciples Christian Church.
Journey to Bethlehem is a free walk-through drama that recreates the sights and sounds of Bethlehem’s marketplace—without cell phones, text messages, Facebook or Twitter. GPS may get you to Disciples Christian Church, but you will not need it to get to Bethlehem.
With so many challenges facing married couples, it is more important to find time to nurture and renew relationships.
On Saturday, Nov. 10, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Doug Swink of Winning at Home, a Christian marriage and family support organization, will lead a workshop, Stay Married for Life, at Church of the Saviour in Cleveland Heights.