Fairmount Presbyterian Church comes to aid of church in Cleveland

At a time when many urban churches are closing, Fairmount Presbyterian Church in Cleveland Heights is joining with 11 other Presbyterian churches to help a sister congregation, North Presbyterian Church.

Opened in 1870 at East 40th and Superior Ave. in the City of Cleveland, North Presbyterian Church is committed to serving the community that surrounds it.

“Many homeless men who stay at a nearby shelter are active in the congregation,” says Martha Shiverick, parish associate of Fairmount Church. “North Church’s efforts have helped many of these men work through issues of substance abuse and move on to lead lives that are meaningful and whole.”

Unable to meet the costs of running its programs and maintaining the church’s deteriorating physical plant, North Church sought partners to keep its ministry going. Fairmount Church is one of 12 congregations that have committed to help support North Church’s ministry. 

“For the five Sundays in November, Fairmounters will cook hot meals and serve them after the 11 a.m. worship service at North Church,” says Shiverick. “Members of Fairmount will also prepare and serve hot meals at North Church on the last two Thursday evenings of the month.”

Fairmount’s members who do not participate in the partnership meals are asked to bring desserts to Fairmount that can be shared with North Church’s congregation. “We want our members to feel the connection,” says Shiverick.

“It is sometimes hard for individual congregations to realize that we don't just look after ourselves but we are very much connected to other congregations,” says North Church Pastor Charlie Hurst. “This partnership is a living example of our connectedness in Christ. It is not just what suburban congregations can give to a poor, urban congregation but what suburban congregations can receive from a congregation like North.”

The Presbyterian churches – all members of the 50-congregation Presbytery of the Western Reserve – participating in this urban ministry are:

  • Church of the Western Reserve, Pepper Pike
  • Fairmount Presbyterian, Cleveland Heights
  • Faith Presbyterian, Lakewood
  • First Presbyterian, Willoughby
  • Independence Presbyterian
  • John Knox Presbyterian, North Olmsted
  • Lakewood Presbyterian
  • Lyndhurst Community Presbyterian
  • Old Stone Presbyterian, Cleveland
  • Parma-South Presbyterian, Parma Heights
  • Rocky River Presbyterian
  • Valley Presbyterian, Chagrin Falls

Fairmount Presbyterian Church is located at 2757 Fairmount Blvd. in Cleveland Heights. Fairmount Church is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church USA and opens its doors to all. Services are held on Sundays at 8:30 and 11 a.m. Evening prayer with Taizé music is held on the first Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m. For more information visit www.fairmountchurch.org, or contact Martha Shiverick at Fairmount Church, 216-321-5800.

Patricia Wren is a long-time member of Fairmount Church.

Read More on Religion
Volume 2, Issue 11, Posted 3:59 PM, 11.04.2009