Beth El dedicates reading corner to Rabbi Adler

Beth El-The Heights Synagogue (BE-THS), on Desota Avenue in Cleveland Heights, dedicated a library corner to the memory of Emeritus Rabbi Moshe Adler on March 18. Rabbi Adler’s most-treasured books, along with a few others, are available for study in this quiet, comfy place: a place for practice of Torah or Haftorah, a place for learning or contemplation, a place for prayer, or simply a place for inspiration.

Rabbi Adler’s faith in HaShem (G-d), and devotion to Torah, both written and oral, were joyous and seemingly limitless. He wore his broad and deep learning with such an unassuming, unimposing, humble sweetness that all who knew him delighted in finding reasons to query him. His lightning sense of humor and beautiful tenor singing voice enlivened the services he so plainly enjoyed. Adler was accepting, respectful, considerate and gracious to everyone. He believed passionately in egalitarianism and inclusion, always in ways that Halacha could accommodate.

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Volume 16, Issue 5, Posted 9:33 AM, 05.02.2023

Synagogue's sign promotes gun-violence awareness

Temple Israel in Canton, as part of its social justice initiative, developed a program called The Silhouette Project, designed to promote awareness of gun violence. It created a sign, with moveable numbers, to display the ever-increasing number of gun deaths in the U.S.

Beth Wachter, a member of Beth El - The Heights Synagogue, and its social action chair, brought to the board the idea of displaying such a sign.

A decision was made to participate by posting a sign on the synagogue’s lawn, at Desota and Berkley roads, to help bolster awareness of this escalating gun-death crisis.

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Volume 16, Issue 3, Posted 10:06 AM, 02.28.2023

Disciples Christian Church offers monthly community meals

Since August 2008, Disciples Christian Church has been hosting a community meal on the fourth Thursday of each month (with the exception of November, when it moves to the third Thursday). 

The event brings together church members and neighbors from the community to share a meal and fellowship. All are welcome.

When the pandemic hit in March 2020, coordinator Sandy Taylor-Welch changed the normal routine, providing “to go” home-cooked dinners that guests could come to the church parking lot to pick up.

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Volume 15, Issue 10, Posted 9:58 AM, 10.01.2022

Christ Culture Church at Severance relaunches on Sept. 12

Christ Culture Church, formerly known as NewSong Church, located within the old Severance Athletic Center across from the Home Depot on Severance Circle, is re-launching on Sept. 12.

In the past three years, Pastors Klen and Audrey Kuruvilla and their family have been part of the transformation of the church.

In that time, the church has grown into a thriving multi-ethnic and multi-generational church. It has partnered with various organizations, locally and globally. Last fall, the church gave away more than 1,000, 40 lb., boxes of food for Heights families in need, through its partnership with the USDA. Its global outreach efforts provide food, shelter and education for teenage mothers, ages 11–14, and their children, in Kenya.

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Volume 14, Issue 10, Posted 10:20 AM, 09.10.2021

First Baptist's Christmas Eve pageant is open to all

A donkey, some sheep and goats, sometimes a camel or a llama—they’re all among the sights one will see at the 20th annual Live Animal Christmas Pageant at First Baptist Church of Greater Cleveland (3630 Fairmount Blvd.)

On Dec. 24, at 7 p.m., humble shepherds, grandiose wise men, a pompous King Herod, the Herald Angel and more will join Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus in a detailed re-enactment of the birth of Jesus, accompanied by Christmas carols and other seasonal music.

Children will have an opportunity to visit some of the animals before the pageant, and may want to sit close to the center aisle to see the animals pass by on their way to the manger. (Audience members are advised to arrive early for the best seats.) 

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Volume 13, Issue 1, Posted 8:49 AM, 12.17.2019

First Baptist hosts Advent service and reception

As part of its Advent season observances, First Baptist Church of Greater Cleveland will present a service of Lessons and Carols, followed by an International Tea reception, on Sunday, Dec. 15, at 4 p.m. All are welcome to attend this traditional service, and the reception afterward, which will be held in the church’s Spahr Center, and feature edible treats from many countries around the world.

The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols is a service of Christian worship that is traditionally celebrated on Christmas Eve. Thanks to the inspiration of Bob Schneider, the church’s late music director, the First Baptist Chancel Choir several years ago began presenting this traditional service during Advent, as a  way to prepare hearts and minds for the coming celebration of the birth of Christ.

In the service, the story of the fall of humanity, the promise of the Messiah, and the birth of Jesus is told in short Bible readings—or “lessons”—from Genesis, the prophetic books, and the Gospels, interspersed with the singing of Christmas carols, hymns and choir anthems.

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Volume 12, Issue 12, Posted 11:52 AM, 12.03.2019

Rabbi to speak on human rights in Israel

Rabbi Arik Ascherman will speak on human rights in Israel at a Lunch and Learn on Saturday, Nov. 16, at Beth El - The Heights Synagogue. While the political climate in Israel has become increasingly conservative in recent years, there are still several groups promoting human rights for all. Among these groups is Rabbis for Human Rights, which Ascherman has led for many years. 

Ascherman has been involved in direct action to protect the olive groves of Palestinians from Israeli settlers and to protect the homes of Bedouin citizens in the Negev. In 2017, he founded Torat Tzedek (Torah of Justice).

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Volume 12, Issue 11, Posted 9:25 AM, 11.01.2019

First Baptist summer services will feature multiple themes

The First Baptist Church of Greater Cleveland, 3630 Fairmount Blvd., is expanding on its successful summer worship format. Beginning with the 10 a.m. service on Sunday, June 9, services will be preceded by fellowship time at 9:30 a.m., where coffee, tea, juice and food will be provided. Late arrivers will be invited to bring their refreshments into church.
Each service will include a mix of traditional and contemporary music typical of the church’s separate traditional and contemporary services held during other seasons. For example, on one Sunday a powerful organ prelude will start things off; on another, the church’s talented praise team and band will assume the opening role.

Anyone interested in giving singing in a church choir a try is welcome to join the church’s Sometime Sunday Singers, a group of regular choir members and congregation volunteers who meet at 9:15 a.m. to learn a simple song that is then sung during that day’s service. No audition is required.

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Volume 12, Issue 6, Posted 9:46 AM, 06.03.2019

Register now for Peace Lutheran's free day camp

Peace Lutheran Church, carrying on the tradition of Hope Lutheran, one of its predecessor congregations, will offer its 19th annual Christian Day Camp June 10–14. The camp is free of charge and runs 9 a.m to 3 p.m. daily at the church, located at 3740 Mayfield Road in Cleveland Heights.

The camp is open to all children who will have completed any grade from kindergarten through grade five as of the end of this current school year.

Registration is open now, with a June 3 deadline, and is limited to 30 campers.

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Volume 12, Issue 6, Posted 9:24 AM, 05.21.2019

Goines installed as Forest Hill co-pastor May 5

On Sunday, May 5, 4 p.m., Forest Hill Church, Presbyterian, begins a new era of pastoral leadership and ministry. The Rev. Dr. Veronica R. Goines will be installed as co-pastor. All are welcome at this service of installation.

A nearly lifelong resident of California, Goines is excited by the call to work collaboratively with co-pastor John C. Lentz Jr. in leading the church. She brings extensive ministry experience in cross-cultural and multicultural contexts to her post.

Forest Hill has a legacy of being a leader in the community and in its PC(USA) denomination.

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Volume 12, Issue 5, Posted 11:24 AM, 05.02.2019

Beth El invites community to two March events

The foreclosure crisis wreaked havoc on many American cities—Detroit, Flint, Youngstown and Cleveland are prime examples. Beth El-The Heights Synagogue will present a Lunch and Learn event on the subject after services on Saturday, March 16, at 12:15 p.m. The luncheon and talk are free and open to all.

Robin Dubin, professor emerita in economics at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University, will be the featured speaker. 

In her talk, “Saving Our Older Cities,” Dubin will discuss the causes of population decline in many of the nation’s cities, including the wildcat lending that preceded the foreclosure crisis, resulting in an epidemic of vacant and abandoned properties.

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Volume 12, Issue 3, Posted 10:05 AM, 03.04.2019

Beth El hosts lunch-and-learn about autism

Beth El - the Heights Synagogue will host an open lunch-and-learn, "The ABCs of Autism Spectrum Disorder: A First-Hand Account," on Saturday, Jan. 12, at the synagogue (3246 Desota Ave.).

Attendees will receive complimentary lunch and valuable information about autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The talk will be facilitated by Mia Buchwald Gelles, co-founder of Milestones Autism Resources, a nonprofit located in Warrensville Heights that works to improve the lives of individuals with autism.

Joining Gelles is Molly D. Dann-Pipinias, a young adult on the spectrum, who will share her personal insight as a member of the autism community.

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 11:01 AM, 01.02.2019

Forest Hill Church introduces new co-pastor

Forest Hill Presbyterian Church is changing to a new ministerial model. On Jan. 2, the Rev. Dr. Veronica Goines will join the Rev. Dr. John C. Lentz Jr. as the church’s new co-pastor.

The new co-pastor model reflects the church’s mission and vision [to be] a church where all of God’s children are heard, seen, exalted and equal.

After an extensive national search, the church called Goines to share equally in leading the 100-year-old congregation further along the path of restorative justice.

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 1:45 PM, 11.29.2018

Church of the Saviour is 90 years old

On Nov. 25, 1928, Church of the Saviour held its very first worship service. This year, on Nov. 18, the Cleveland Heights church will celebrate its 90th anniversary with a worship service held in the building’s original sanctuary, essentially unchanged since its inception.

The Lee Road building, designated a Cleveland Heights Landmark in 1975, is now home to more than 1,400 congregants from the Heights and surrounding communities. Reverend Andy Call, lead pastor, describes the congregation as “diverse in every way—racially, generationally, economically, politically, and theologically—but united in the mission of bringing new life to Greater Heights by living and sharing the Gospel.”

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 3:01 PM, 10.31.2018

Beth El celebrates 20th anniversary and a new rabbi

Beth El – The Heights Synagogue announces a gala event, planned for Dec. 1, that will mark two special occasions in the life of its community: the 20th anniversary of the founding of the synagogue, and the installation of its new rabbi, Michael Ungar.

The event will be intertwined with regular Shabbat services at the synagogue.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 2:57 PM, 10.31.2018

Disciples Christian Church plans downsizing rummage sale for Nov. 10

The upcoming rummage sale at Disciples Christian Church is a result of the church building’s downsizing. With a building that is now too large for its current vibrant congregation, Disciples Christian Church has been working with a developer to downsize its building and open up a large part of its property to the development of a condominium community, to be built along the rear of the property and at the corner of Mayfield and Yellowstone roads.

Two large sprawling wings of the building would be demolished, and its sanctuary reconfigured to comprise a smaller sanctuary as well as offices, classrooms, a fellowship hall and kitchen, all occupying a little more space than the current sanctuary itself. Space is also planned that will enable the Heights Emergency Hunger Center to continue to operate in the church building.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 2:51 PM, 10.31.2018

Reverend Don King to retire after 40 years of ministry

The Reverend Don King, currently serving Peace Lutheran Church on Mayfield Road, will retire Aug. 1 after 40 years of ordained ministry in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).

King was ordained in June 1978. He served pastorates in various settings in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio, including a pastorate with the campus ministry at Cleveland State University. He began a call at Hope Lutheran Church on Taylor Road in Cleveland Heights in September of 1999. King served at Hope for 18 years until Hope and Bethlehem Lutheran Church (Mayfield Road) merged their congregations in July 2017 to become Peace Lutheran.

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Volume 11, Issue 7, Posted 11:24 AM, 06.26.2018

Disciples Christian Church hosts free monthly dinners for community

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.

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Volume 11, Issue 6, Posted 3:15 PM, 05.31.2018

Noam Zion will be scholar-in-residence May 18 and 19

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 NightA Night to Remember, and A Day Apart: Shabbat at Home.

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Volume 11, Issue 6, Posted 9:20 AM, 05.15.2018

Fairmount Presbyterian hosts Serve Sunday

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, for future Serve Sunday details.

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Volume 11, Issue 6, Posted 11:46 AM, 06.01.2018

Beth El luncheon will explore Buddhism and Judaism

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.

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Volume 11, Issue 4, Posted 9:24 AM, 03.30.2018

Churches work together to host Lenten Wednesdays

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.

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Volume 11, Issue 3, Posted 10:32 AM, 02.27.2018

Beth El to hold Purim at Ohio City's Mitchell's

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.

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Volume 11, Issue 2, Posted 11:51 AM, 01.31.2018

Forest Hill church hosts Black History Month programs

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,

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.


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Volume 11, Issue 2, Posted 10:20 AM, 01.30.2018

International scholar to address modern Jewish issues at Heights seminar

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.



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Volume 11, Issue 2, Posted 12:28 PM, 01.23.2018

Beth El hosts Dec. 17 Hanukkah mystery and dinner

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.”

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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 11:12 AM, 12.04.2017

Forest Hill church hosts annual bazaar

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.

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Volume 10, Issue 11, Posted 2:00 PM, 11.01.2017

St. Paulís offers new adaptive worship service for families

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.

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Volume 10, Issue 11, Posted 1:56 PM, 11.01.2017

Peace Lutheran Church set to officially begin

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.

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Volume 10, Issue 10, Posted 1:43 PM, 09.29.2017

Celebrate the High Holy Days at Beth El

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.

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Volume 10, Issue 9, Posted 11:27 AM, 08.31.2017

BETHS offers programs in advance of High Holy Days

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,

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.

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Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 12:10 PM, 08.01.2017

Introducing Peace Lutheran Church

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.

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Volume 10, Issue 5, Posted 10:57 AM, 04.18.2017

Noble Road church plans May and June events

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.

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Volume 10, Issue 5, Posted 12:21 PM, 05.02.2017

Disciples Christian Church Christmas Choir welcomed voices from the community

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.

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Volume 10, Issue 2, Posted 11:25 AM, 02.02.2017

Pioneering woman rabbi part of weekend honoring retiring Adler

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, or call 216-368-2091.

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 4:25 PM, 06.12.2016

Noble Presbyterian celebrates 25th annual strawberry festival on June 3

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.

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 10:09 AM, 05.31.2016

Noble Road Presbyterian welcomes neighbors to its spring and summer activities

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.

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Volume 9, Issue 5, Posted 10:06 PM, 04.29.2016

New church in the Heights moves to new home

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.

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Volume 9, Issue 4, Posted 9:01 AM, 03.28.2016

Zaiem to speak on Islamophobia at Church of the Redeemer

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.

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Volume 9, Issue 4, Posted 8:52 AM, 03.28.2016

Forest Hill Church announces Black History Month events

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.

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Volume 9, Issue 2, Posted 12:26 PM, 01.29.2016

'Amahl and the Night Visitors' visit Forest Hill Church

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.

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Volume 8, Issue 12, Posted 3:10 PM, 12.01.2015

Disciples Christian Church invites community to live Nativity on Dec. 13

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.

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Volume 8, Issue 12, Posted 10:48 AM, 12.01.2015

Noble Road Presbyterian Church welcomes new pastor

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.

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Volume 8, Issue 12, Posted 10:46 AM, 12.01.2015

Church of the Saviour welcomes new leaders

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.

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Volume 8, Issue 11, Posted 10:22 AM, 10.30.2015

St. Paulís welcomes new rector and youth minister

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.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 2:26 PM, 08.31.2015

Noble Road Presbyterian hosts Sept. 5 rummage sale

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.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 2:19 PM, 08.31.2015

Beth El offers free tickets for the High Holy Days

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.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 10:56 AM, 08.25.2015

Hope Lutheran Church's 15th annual day camp gears up

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.

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Volume 8, Issue 6, Posted 8:43 AM, 05.29.2015

Jewish Secular Community offers bar and bat mitzvah class

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.

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Volume 8, Issue 6, Posted 4:10 PM, 05.28.2015

Master theologian to speak at Forest Hill Presbyterian Church

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.

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Volume 8, Issue 6, Posted 4:08 PM, 05.28.2015

Rev. Cherry installed as UUSC minister

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."

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Volume 8, Issue 6, Posted 3:56 PM, 05.28.2015

Noble churches serve neighbors

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.

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 2:18 PM, 02.26.2015

Forest Hill Church celebrates Black History Month

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 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.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 10:33 AM, 01.27.2015

Unitarian Universalist Society elects new minister

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.

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Volume 7, Issue 12, Posted 10:21 AM, 11.18.2014

Canadian scholar explores 'How the Zohar Came to Be' at Nov. 15 lunch

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.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 4:47 PM, 10.30.2014

St. Paul's former rector ordained as Massachusetts bishop

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.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 9:31 AM, 09.23.2014

St. Alban's Church labyrinth garden welcomes all

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.

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 10:05 AM, 09.30.2014

Author of 'Uppity Women' to speak in Cleveland Heights

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?

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 2:22 PM, 09.29.2014

Scout installs rain barrels at Disciples Christian Church

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.

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 10:30 AM, 08.29.2014