On Sunday, October 23, we are planning an “escape room” Halloween party. So, kids can wear their Halloween costumes, enjoy pizza and try to escape from our “escape room”. Fall is here and we plan on celebrating the season!
Grace to you and peace from God our Creator and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Very often lately I have been feeling “stuck.” It has been challenging to muster up a weekly dose of patience with regard to the building and property renovation plan while we wait for our developer to be able to move forward as our partner. I am told often that “these kinds of development projects take time.” Yeah, yeah, I know, but I’m still feeling stuck. Like we can’t make any “concrete” plans for the future while everything related to our renovation project hangs in the balance.
On a particular Thursday recently I was feeling especially frustrated until I actually paid attention to life in our building. On that particular Thursday three generations of a local Nepali family was working hard in our community garden area getting the raised beds ready vegetable plants. In the sanctuary a group of adults from a sheltered workshop in East Cleveland was volunteering to straighten out the materials in our pew racks (they are coming every Thursday now.) A whole bunch of volunteers were hard at work in the Heights Emergency Food Center sorting, preparing, and handing out food to hungry people. Another group of volunteers from a local public school were also at work in the Food Center, getting “pre-vocational” experience. Dylan, who has a percussion studio in one of our Oakridge rooms, was giving a lesson to a student. Amy Campbell and Kathy Smith were working in their offices preparing materials and programs for the congregation for Sunday. I was meeting with someone in my office. Others of you were ready to show up later in the day for our monthly community meal.
And while not all of those events could directly be called “church work” in the traditional sense of the words, every single activity was enriching the lives of the individuals involved. Every single activity was, in some way or another, bringing hope and healing to one or more lives. And because all of these activities were in the place inhabited by Disciples Christian Church, each and every one of them was, directly or indirectly, being done in the name of Jesus Christ, whom we serve, and by whom we “do all things through Him who gives us strength.”
When I noticed all of this, I felt less “stuck.” I felt like we have so much to do, so much healing to offer our community and world in the name of Jesus, and very little of it actually depends on our building or property.
Thank you. Thank you for faithfully serving in the name of Jesus in our congregation and everywhere else you serve others. While we wait for plans to unfold on someone else’s schedule, let’s continue to look for new ways, and strengthen our current ways, of being a movement for wholeness in a fragmented world.
Your partner in ministry,
We have received an updated site plan for our property which shows 12 townhouses and 9 “cottage homes.” The cottage homes are detached townhouses, likely two stories, each with a garage. They likely will be larger in square feet than the townhouses.
The developer has indicated on a preliminary development schedule that they hope to begin construction of the townhouses and cottage homes in February-March of 2019.
We continue to work on a final contract with our developer that will cover the sale of our property and other important issues in the development strategy. Jonathan Kurtz, our architect, has presented us with a contract for completing plans and construction drawings for the remodeling and demolition of our building. Jonathan reports that about six months will be needed to complete that process and get plan approval from the city of Cleveland Heights. We also have been in negotiation with The Krueger Group, a general contraction, to be the builder for the church part of the project. They would begin working with us and our architect at the beginning of the planning phase to help us keep within our allotted budget through the entire process.
Our church board will receive a more complete report on Monday, March 12 at 7:00 pm. All are welcome to attend the board meeting.
As soon as contracts are available we will schedule a special board meeting to discuss approval to the project can enter the next stage.
Our goal is to begin work in late March or early April to complete final plans, then to begin construction on our building in September or October. We will share more information as it becomes available.
Thanks for your patience!
Sunday, April 8th
Our congregation will again put our resurrection faith into action by showing the love our God to our neighborhood and community. On that morning we will gather for a time of serving in our church and our neighborhood. No formal worship will be held that morning. We will divide into groups that will include acts of love inside our buildingfor those who cannot go out to work. Possible projects include: Sorting food for the Food Center Writing cards to homebound members Knitting prayer shawls Cleanup around our property Cleaning up in a nearby park or at Hope Gardens. We will be sure to get a full schedule out on Easter Sunday. After our projects, we will gather at noon in our fellowship hall for lunch and communion around our lunch tables. It will be a marvelous day of living our resurrection faith!
12:00 PM Noon
Join the parade of palms as Jesus makes his triumphant entry into Jerusalem. Our Young Disciples will hunt for Easter eggs and celebrate together at the Bunny Lunch and dessert raffle. It will take some help from you to make the day a success.
The church will supply the main course for the lunch but the following are some opportunities for you to get involved-
- Provide a side dish for the Bunny Lunch
- Bring desserts to be raffled off
- Be ready to compete for some tasty treats!
Please call or email Amy Campbell in the church office with questions.