A Message From Our Pastor

Here We Go!

Well, we’ve had a couple of months now to get to know one another. I have learned a bit about navigating the West Side (thankfully I don’t have to take the 130th St. route!) We changed our worship time to allow us to worship fully together – and I really appreciate not having to rush from one church to another (well, at least not quite as much!) I’ve officiated at a wedding and two funerals, allowing me to celebrate life with many of you.
 
But I have to admit it still is all new to me. I haven’t been able to see as many of you as I would like. I haven’t been able to visit shut ins or sometimes even make hospital visits when I have been out of town. Meeting Pat’s bulletin deadlines sometimes keeps me up late at night, after I do all the kid taxi stuff and the animal care stuff that my home requires. Juggling is hard!
But it’s no more than most of you do every week. I am so grateful to see how volunteers step up to help out, whether with sound and AV on Sunday morning, making marvelous meals, teaching Sunday school, taking care of bills, making sure the building is running smoothly, cleaning out rooms and taking care of kids, and on, and on, and on.
Being the church means more than just showing up on Sunday morning – although if you do that, that’s great! Being the church means answering our membership vows to serve through our prayers, our presence, our gifts, our service and our witness. How are you fulfilling your membership vows, the covenant you have made with God?
 
There is always more to be done. But if our response to God comes out of obligation, I think we’re missing the point. God loves us. God’s love overflows into us – and our response to God is to serve with love.
 
I don’t want any of you to feel as though coming to church, or doing things for the church, is a burden or a task to be dreaded. Sometimes it may be hard work. Sometimes it may not be how you would choose to spend that time. But know that your efforts are noticed, and appreciated. The church would not be the church without you, and I, as your pastor, have already in these two short months, noticed how much you do, and I am grateful.
So let’s go! Let’s jump into fall with the energy of kids jumping into a pile of leaves! God made us to be creatures of joy,
And remember,
Fear Not!
Dianne

Fall Rummage Sale

Oct 5 2017

Thursday, October 5, 9AM – 3PM

Friday, October 6, 9AM – 3PM

Saturday, October 7, 9AM - 12PM
 ($4.00 Bag Sale Saturday only)

The kitchen will be open to serve lunch each day! 

Rummage may be brought to the church on Wednesday, October 5th

 

Craft and Fun Fair - November 11th

Nov 11 2017 9:00 am
Nov 11 2017 3:00 pm

CRAFT AND FUN FAIR

Saturday, November 11, 2017
9 AM - 3 PM

A wonderful selection of hand-made crafts, baked goods and other items will be on sale just in time for the holidays! There will be fun and bargains for all ages and budgets! Hot lunch will be available.

Rental Agreement

Contract

   

 

June 2017

Dear Christ UMC Familiy,

My last letter to you. Wow! I really can't believe that our time together as pastor and congregations will be coming to an end so soon. I really had thought that I would be here longer than just 4 years. Well, once again, welcome to the United Methodist Church pastoral appointment system. It has some good and not so good qualities about it. Anyway, there are so many thoughts running through my mind in terms of all the things I should say and want to say and what I need to say but may forget to say. I had plans for so many other things that we can do in terms of ministry together and making and maturing disciples for Jesus Christ.

Many of you know that we had plans in the works, etc... and things that we needed to complete. Oh well, enough of that. What is done is done and it just is what it is. However, our "just is what it is" is covered in the sovereignty of God, He tells us in Jeremiah 29:11 (New International Version) "'For I know the plans I have for you' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" These plans for a future and a hope that He has is for all of us. This includes you, me, your new pastor, Rev. Dianne Covault and the church where she is currently serving, as well as, the church that I will be going to and also their pastor that I will be following and the new churches that he will be serving!

I guess I will just end with saying thank you! First of all thanks be unto God for His awesome blessings bestowed upon Christ and Simpson United Methodist Churches! Thanks be unto God for allowing me the awesome honor and privilege of being allowed to serve as your pastor. Thanks to all of you for your help, assistance, patience, grace, love, gifts, support, forgiveness for any mistakes that I made knowingly or unknowingly and so much more throughout these past four years with me and my family. Thanks for your unending service to the Lord. So thank you, all of you for whatever you have done to move the ministry forward and build up the Kingdom of God!

I leave with you a few thoughts. One is from John Wesley and his thoughts on Methodism. He stated the following: “Thoughts Upon Methodism” : "I am not afraid that the people called Methodists should ever cease to exist either in Europe or America. But I am afraid lest they should only exist as a dead sect, having the form of religion without the power. And this undoubtedly will be the case unless they hold fast both the doctrine, spirit, and discipline with which they first set out."

The other thought comes from the Breakthrough Prayer Initiative series that I am concluding our time together with on Sunday mornings. The series is based up the book, “Flood Gate: Holy Momentum For a Fearless Church” By Sue Nilson Kibbey and forwarded by our own Bishop Gregory Palmer. The Breakthrough Prayer is used to open the flood gates of powerful, spirit-driven movement by training and leading the congregation to pray together via a simple style that requests God to open up new possibilities.

"This ignites unprecedented and miraculous impact. Breakthrough prayer is asking God to do new works. New miracles we cannot do ourselves, without limits. It does not replace any other forms of prayer. It is additive. And yes, there are results. Sue Kibbey basically states that she has "…celebrated as incredible creativity and prayer passion have risen up. Enthusiasm and faith have surged forward. Hearts have been changed, willingness to dream again renewed!”

I implore you, please don't become a dead sect like John Wesley wrote above. Please don't give up in believing in new miracles and about what God can or cannot do. I implore you to stay open and/or move toward staying open in Holy Spirit Power! Please be willing to dream again and keep your faith renewed as to what God can do with your own life, as well as, the life of the church! Remember our mandate from Matthew 28: 19-20, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Please don't forget about our sick and shut-ins! Love you! I will miss you greatly and you will always be in my prayers!

Be Encouraged in Jesus!

Forgive, Live, Love, Laugh and Prayer! Pastor Darlene and family Dasan, David, Little Dennis and Mother Emma Robinson

Free Community Meal

Sep 30 2017 5:00 pm

 

On the last Saturday of each month, we open our Fellowship Hall doors starting at 5:00PM to anyone who would like to join us for dinner.  Call the Church Office at 216-671-2600 for more information. All are welcome!

 

September 2017

Here We Go!

Well, we’ve had a couple of months now to get to know one another. I have learned a bit about navigating the West Side (thankfully I don’t have to take the 130th St. route!) We changed our worship time to allow us to worship fully together – and I really appreciate not having to rush from one church to another (well, at least not quite as much!) I’ve officiated at a wedding and two funerals, allowing me to celebrate life with many of you.

But I have to admit it still is all new to me. I haven’t been able to see as many of you as I would like. I haven’t been able to visit shut ins or sometimes even make hospital visits when I have been out of town. Meeting Pat’s bulletin deadlines sometimes keeps me up late at night, after I do all the kid taxi stuff and the animal care stuff that my home requires. Juggling is hard!

But it’s no more than most of you do every week. I am so grateful to see how volunteers step up to help out, whether with sound and AV on Sunday morning, making marvelous meals, teaching Sunday school, taking care of bills, making sure the building is running smoothly, cleaning out rooms and taking care of kids, and on, and on, and on.

Being the church means more than just showing up on Sunday morning – although if you do that, that’s great! Being the church means answering our membership vows to serve through our prayers, our presence, our gifts, our service and our witness. How are you fulfilling your membership vows, the covenant you have made with God?

There is always more to be done. But if our response to God comes out of obligation, I think we’re missing the point. God loves us. God’s love overflows into us – and our response to God is to serve with love.

I don’t want any of you to feel as though coming to church, or doing things for the church, is a burden or a task to be dreaded. Sometimes it may be hard work. Sometimes it may not be how you would choose to spend that time. But know that your efforts are noticed, and appreciated. The church would not be the church without you, and I, as your pastor, have already in these two short months, noticed how much you do, and I am grateful.

So let’s go! Let’s jump into fall with the energy of kids jumping into a pile of leaves! God made us to be creatures of joy,

And remember,

Fear Not!

Dianne

August 2017

What’s Your Story?

Behold, I have redeemed you, I have called you by name, you are mine (Isaiah 43:1)

This is one of my favorite passages of scripture. God has called us by name, claimed us as God’s own, and has redeemed us, saved us, for new life!

I am so excited to begin my ministry among you at Christ and Simpson UMCs! Although my “official” start date is July 1, I have had the opportunity to meet some of you already, and to tour the beautiful buildings you inhabit. I am working on my first worship services for July 2, and am so looking forward to sharing worship with you!

Transitions are hard! I am sure you know this, but transitions can also be exciting and fun. One of my favorite things to do is to hear people’s stories, and church’s stories. In our first weeks together, I will be doing as much as I can to get to know you better – what is your vision for the church? How has God worked in your life thus far? What do you expect God to do in the future? What excites you about being a part of Christ Church?

The Hebrew Scripture lessons for the months of July and August focus on the stories of the Hebrew people in Genesis, and specifically on Joseph and Jacob, of Rachel and Leah and Miriam. How do their stories parallel your story? How can we learn about who God is through these faithful, flawed, passionate people?

I invite you to stop by my office at Christ on Mondays, Tuesdays or Wednesdays, or at Simpson on Thursdays. Give me a call or text to let me know you’re coming – I also want to learn the stories of your neighborhoods, so I might be out and about.

If you can’t come by, or even if you can, do me a favor and leave me an index card with answers to these questions (my own answers are below), with your name, or text to me at 216-509-4229 with a picture! Names are hard for me, so please be patient – God has called you by name, and I want to as well.

1. What’s your favorite passage of Scripture?

2. Who is in your family?

3. What do you like to do for fun?

4. What’s your favorite thing about church?

5. What’s the last good fiction book you read? (bonus – last great movie you saw?)

6. What’s your favorite hymn/worship song?

My answers:

1. Isaiah 40:30-31 (but Isaiah 43:1-7 and 1 John 4:7-21 are also right up there, actually there are too many more!)

2. I have three children – Louis (18) who will be attending the Cleveland Institute of Art, Glennis (16 on July 21) who is a rising junior at Heights High, and Estelle (13) who will be in the 8th grade at Roxboro Middle School in Cleveland Heights. I also have three cats (Lucky, Tumnus and Ezri) and two dogs (Dunstan and Fenway). Fenway is training as a service dog so you will see him around!

3. I love spending time with my kids and being outside – hiking, running, walking, playing sports. I’m a Red Sox fan and an Indians fan. I love to read!

4. I love pretty much everything about church and have since I was a little kid growing up in a small town outside Boston. But the best part is being with a community who loves God and loves others.

5. I really enjoyed A Man Called Ove. We just watched Wonder Woman, and that was fun!

6. Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing has the best line of any hymn, in my opinion. I also really like Every Praise, and Gather Us In, and, well, there are too many of these too!

I’m looking forward to being in ministry with you! I’ll sign as I always do, with a message God gives to God’s people over and over again:

Fear Not!

Dianne

April 2017

April is here! Yea!!! Spring is here! Easter is on the way! It is an absolute privilege and honor for us to be able to share the greatest story ever told yet again. God in his wisdom has allowed all of us to be here to continue the legacy of communicating the Good News. We need to share the life, death and resurrection of Jesus with as many people as possible in our world, our neighborhoods, our families and even the neighborhood surrounding our church building. People need to hear about the Good News of Jesus and about how much He loves all of us especially in this day and age of fear, change, uncertainty, violence, poverty and economic challenges. Jesus is the answer and He reminds us in John 10:10 that he has “…come that they (we) might have life, and that they (we) might have it more abundantly.” Thank you Jesus for your Word that gives us hope, especially as we celebrate Easter this month.

We are still moving forward with our hospitality ministry. We are currently working on getting made or built a holder/stand for our new name tag ministry. We are moving forward with more networking and outreach to the community through our Reaching New People ministry and our coach Paul Nickerson. Messy Church is one of the ministries that we are planning to implement, hopefully, during the month of May. Messy Church is a monthly new, different and creative time of worship designed to reach the unchurched and for those who are not necessarily interested in a traditional worship service. It is open to all but it is especially designed for children and their families. It is intergenerational. Some of us by the time that you read this letter will have gone to our North Coast District Leadership Academy. The theme is called, “Weird Church: Welcome to the Twenty-First Century.” We look forward to bringing back some “weird church” ideas to be able to implement as the Lord would have us to do.

The key however to all of the above ministries that I have mentioned and even the ones that are coming in the future is prayer. We must pray and pray and pray and pray more and pray again and pray even more! We must have be a part of the Breakthrough Prayer Initiative. This initiative will help us to be a congregation that unites to pray collectively and consistently for God to break through in new and miraculous ways. We must have an atmosphere of possibility and continue to shift our focus up-and-outward.

As we think about new possibilities, how awesome it would be to fulfill a dream and a vision that started out as nothing but humor. It would be great if we could acquire the now vacant Giant Eagle building across the street from the church and turn it into the Christ UMC Mission Center. It would include such things as a free pharmacy, free medical clinic, worship space that is handicapped accessible, a parking lot, basketball, hand ball, tennis courts and a green gym facility that would produce energy to run certain things, daily food panty- or co-op, homeless shelter especially for families, homeless mail boxes (so they can have an address to get mail and be contacted for jobs), shower and laundry facilities for homeless, daily free community meals, job

creation using discarded tires, glass, wood, an inner city shark tank program,( i.e.… LeBron James show), free thrift store, empowerment classes on finances, crock-pot cooking, infant mortality classes for pregnant moms, computer center for job searching, etc.…. What? Crazy you say? Maybe? Impossible? Yes, in the natural but NO in the Spiritual, especially when God is involved and we believe! Remember the Word, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” Luke 1:37

Happy Easter!!

Be Encouraged In Jesus!!

Pastor Darlene

March 2017

Dear Christ Family,

God-Sightings have been awesome here at Christ UMC and in the lives of some of our members/attendees! God-Sightings are those places where we have seen God

working in our lives, others' lives or in the life of the church. We thank God for touching the hearts of a local grocery business that has contributed to our monthly Community meal with not only food items but workers that come to assist with serving and clean up! We also have been blessed with other volunteers as well. We are also so very thankful for those of you who have been contributing as well in your own way to make our community meals one of the best outreach ministries that we have going now.

We are still moving forward with ways to increase our hospitality here at the church, especially during Sunday morning worship. We are hoping to implement the hospitality of name tags. Why name tags? Name tags help us to get and remember the names of those with whom we worship on Sundays. They will also help us get to know the names of visitors as well. The name tags have been bought. We are now waiting on a structure to display the name tags for easy organization and access. See Sandy Foster if you would like to help out with this new part of our hospitality ministry.

We are also still moving forward with our Reaching New People ministry. Our Reaching New People ministry coach is Mr. Paul Nickerson. We hope that as many of you as possible will be able to make it to what is called a Tune-Up day. This Tune-Up day will help us to review what we have done this past 6 months in terms of reaching out to make disciples for Jesus Christ and to plan action steps for the next 6 months. Mr. Nickerson will also give a brief review of the workshop that some of us attended in the fall of 2016. We will meet not only with him but with the teams from other churches that attended the same workshop this past fall. This Tune-Up day will be held on Sunday, March 12 from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, 127 Park Place in Wellington, OH 44090. So, come on out and meet our coach, Mr. Nickerson as well as a few of our fellow clergy and lay brothers and sisters in Christ! Come and learn about how other churches are making disciples for Jesus Christ and growing. Also, come and help plan our next 6 month action steps for reaching new people. 

We are also excited by a new ministry we hope to begin soon. It is called, “Messy Church”. A few of us attended the Messy Church workshop in February in North Canton, Ohio sponsored by our East Ohio Conference. Messy Church is a fun, innovative, Christcentered ministry that engages people on the fringe of the church family. Messy Church is designed to help churches reach new people for Jesus Christ. It is a way of being church for families involving fun on a monthly basis. It is a church, not a craft club, that helps people encounter Jesus as Lord and Savior. It is found across the world. Its’ values

are about being Christ-centered, for all ages, based on creativity, hospitality and celebration. For more info on Messy Church, go to messychurch.org/uk/.

Also, hope to see you at our combined Ash Wednesday service with Simpson UMC to be held here at Christ UMC at 7:30 p.m. Lent begins this month. Look in the bulletin soon for our Lenten Bible Study topic or theme for 2017!

 

Be Encouraged In Jesus!!

Pastor Darlene

February 2017

Dear Christ Family,

Are you tired of hearing about the presidential inauguration and transition of power in our country yet? Well, hopefully you can tolerate just one more thought. Okay, a few more thoughts. My thoughts however in this letter have to do with, of course, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. So keep reading. We know that some appreciated and some did not appreciate many facets of what was said last month during the inauguration. I did however appreciate the fact (and not the alternative fact) that Jesus got some air time across the world. I appreciate the clergy who chose, rather bravely in this day and age, to use the name of Jesus in their prayers. I also appreciated the media in showing bits of footage of the church and prayer services that were a part of the transition of governmental power. This should remind us that Jesus is alive and His message of salvation, love, justice and unity reign supreme and really should overshadow some if not all of the negativity. This helps us to know that we are not alone in our mission to make disciples for Jesus Christ!

Last month our Mission, Vision and Goals were put in the bulletins. If you did not get a copy please make sure to check the back tables in the sanctuary or call the office. I hope that this will help us to be on one accord and know what we are trying to do and how we are and will be trying to move forward in 2017. Our Assimilation and Shepherding Ministry is stalled for right now. Hopefully, we will be able to get it going soon.

However, we do have a few people who are working on a little part of it. The Kirkpatricks, along with office secretaries Pat and Jo, help keep track of attendance names on the computer. This is one of the reasons why it is so important for you to complete and turn in the weekly attendance slips found in the bulletin. A report is generated and one person from the Nurture/Care committee sends out cards or post cards to those whose names we have that have not been in attendance during a particular month. Our hope is that this will help us to keep up with those of you who are members, regular attendees, as well as, guest/visitors. There is still much to do in terms of moving this ministry forward. We will do our best to keep you informed as we move forward. Please let me know if you have any interest in working to get this ministry moving quicker than it is now. Our next need will be for people to sign up to be a part of the phone calling and note writing team.

Also, as a part of some of us attending the Reaching New People workshop this past October, everyone is invited to be a part of our team call and tune up day or follow up day. This will give everyone an opportunity to meet our Reaching New People coach, Paul Nickerson. You will also be able to find out more about the ministry as well as see why some of us are so excited about the Reaching New People workshop. The team call is on Thursday, February 16, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. You can access the call from anywhere you have a phone or internet connection. Some of us are planning to meet at the church on that evening and others are welcome to call in at your homes or other places, etc.… The tune up day or follow up day meeting is scheduled for Sunday, March 12 from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at a location to be announced. I will try to put the ZOOM link (conference call) numbers and website address in the bulletin so you can join in.

It is time to get excited!!! God is doing great works here in our church. He is moving be His Spirit and the best is yet to come!!! Remember to invite someone to church and then not only invite them but also bring them, especially to hear our AWESOME choir!!! Look for other great ideas as to how we can Reach New People for Jesus Christ! Happy Valentine’s Day! Happy President’s Day and February is Black History Month!!! Don’t forget to send a card or call our sick and shut-ins! (Don’t know who they are? Call the office.)

Be Encouraged In Jesus!

Pastor Darlene 

Forgive, Live, Love, Laugh and Pray!!!