Media Links


Visit our Facebook site!

 

 

Mailing List

Upcoming events

Donate Online

Poll

What do you think about our new 10:30AM start time?:

Pastor's Blog

January 2014

January 2014

Dear Christ UMC Family,

It is the year 2014!!!! Wow!!!! Praise the Lord!!!! Can you believe it? The future is now. We are not quite like the Jetsons with everyone using flying cars and having robots as maids but still the future is now. Since the future is now, we need to act like it. We can act like it by Rethinking Church. The possibility that the church in general will return to her former days is probably unlikely and so it should be in some things. The growing churches of today do not necessarily resemble churches of yesterday. There are new ministries and new ways of and to worship. That is the direction that both Christ UMC and Simpson UMC will need to move toward in order to grow.

Some aspects of the “world” are enthusiastic about the future, so why can't we also be enthusiastic about the future of our church and what God can do? The SyFy (Science Fiction) channel had a theme entitled, “Imagine Greater.” One cell phone company had as their logo, “ Believe in Something Better.” Oprah was even counting some of the blessings of the world with an article called “100 Things that are (actually) Getting Better.” Now if those outside the church, per se, can be enthusiastic, positive and hopeful, how is it that we, the people of God cannot do the same or believe even more? We, who name Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, must believe that God can and will act on our behalf especially as we are faithful to Him. So as to borrow and add to a slogan I heard a few months back from one of my favorite beauty products, “bliss”, let’s get and stay “Revived, Regenerated and Renewed in Jesus” in 2014!!

God has been doing some pretty awesome things here at Christ UMC. We look forward to the future in terms of what other wonderful and awesome things He will continue to do. Thanks to everyone who has been working so hard to build up the Kingdom of God in this place and time. May God continue to bless you all.

Please consider coming to the North Coast District United Methodist Church Leadership Academy 2014 on Saturday, February 1, from 8:30 a.m.–3:00 p.m., to learn more about leadership roles and church growth. Please see the rest of this newsletter for more detailed information. The theme is “Willing to Risk…Willing to Follow Jesus”. And the question is…Are you? Are you willing to risk and willing to follow Jesus? I hope and pray so. The future of our church and your very lives depend upon it.

Happy New Year to you all!!!

On Jesus we will lean in 2014!!! (I know… kind of corny but I just couldn’t help myself!!!)

Be Encouraged In Christ!!!! and Believe in Something Better....with God!!!!! Pastor

Darlene Robinson

November 2013

"I am grateful for the things that you have done. Yes, I am grateful for the victories we’ve won. I could go on and on and on about your works because I’m grateful, grateful, so grateful just to praise you Lord. Flowing from my heart are the issues of my heart, it is gratefulness. Grateful, grateful, grateful, grateful, grateful, grateful, grateful, grateful, grateful! Gratefulness is flowing from my heart. Flowing from my heart are the issues of my heart. It is gratefulness!" These are the lyrics from the song called, "Grateful" by Hezekiah Walker. As we are all hopefully blessed to see yet another Thanksgiving, we need to ask ourselves what issues are flowing from our hearts?

Are we counting our blessings or are we just dwelling on the negatives in our personal, professional and church lives. Are we spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ and all the good news about God’s bountiful blessings or negative gossip? In the midst of challenges that we face in our lives and our church life, it is my hope and prayer that we would continue to focus on and count our blessings. Why? It is because God has been so good to all of us. Yes, there are stumbling blocks along the way but gratefulness should flow from our hearts. Why? It is because we know that even in the midst of the stumbling blocks, God is with us. I hope that you let gratefulness flow from your heart and from the words of your mouth instead of anything else that registers in the realm of negativity.

I am personally grateful and thankful not only to God but to all of you as well. Both churches have experienced major change and restructuring, yet even in this situation many of you have stayed the course and persevered. You have been faithful in your attendance, your giving, your participation, and most importantly, your prayers. God has seen your faithfulness and has heard your prayers. He has blessed both Simpson UMC and Christ UMC and will continue to do so especially as we continue to lift up the name of Jesus inside and outside of the walls of our buildings. I feel like the Apostle Paul as he wrote to the Thessalonians. I will end this letter with this passage of scripture and my deep gratitude not only for my personal family and friends but also to you, my church family and friends.

Second Thessalonians 1:2-4, 11-12 reads like this,

"Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

We must always give thanks to God for you, brothers and sisters, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing. Therefore we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith during all your persecutions and the afflictions that you are enduring. To this end we always pray for you, asking that our God will make you worthy of his call and will fulfill by his power every good resolve and work of faith, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ."

Love Ya!!! Happy Thanksgiving!!! Please remember our sick and shut-ins!!!!

Be Encouraged In Jesus!!!

Pastor Darlene Robinson

September 2013

Dear Christ Family,

Summer is almost over and it is time to get back to our fall activities. We have been busy meeting and planning and planning and meeting. Special thanks to all of you who have so diligently given of your time and service. I look forward, with great anticipation, to our future together as pastor and congregation. I have found that so many of you are extremely gifted and talented in so many areas.

First of all let me say that I know that CHANGE IS DIFFICULT FOR MOST!!!! We have all been in a season of change and will continue to be for some time. However, we must remember that God is with us, even (and especially) in the midst of change and transformation. We must believe and trust God together.

Many of you already know that we have changed our Sunday morning time schedule. This decision had to be made because I also serve as pastor at Simpson UMC located at 8519 Clark Avenue, also in Cleveland. Christ and Simpson are considered to be a part of a two-point charge within our United Methodist system. Each church worships on Sunday morning and has separate committee meetings.

Everything has basically been pushed back one hour for Christ. The task was given to and the decision was made by the combined Staff Parish committees of Christ and Simpson UMCs. Both churches were accustomed to meeting for Sunday morning worship at either 10:30 am or 10:45 am. The committee needed to come to a compromise about how to set times that would be somewhat accommodating and acceptable (not perfect) for the most part for both. I want you to know that this decision was not made lightly or in a matter of minutes.

There was a process involved that included many, many ideas, suggestions and configurations. One suggestion was to have Simpson meet in the afternoon just like First Hispanic UMC did when Rev. Nazario was here. Simpson cannot do that because they have another church that rents their building during that time and that church cannot meet in the mornings. There were separate meetings, emails, more emails and eventually another combined meeting with Simpson UMC to come to the decision that was made. It was a very stressful, frustrating and at times painful process. The new times were chosen in order for our church to still be able to do all the wonderful things on Sunday morning that you have been doing over the past years as well as still be able to have the pastor present after worship. Some configurations included cutting the lengths of some of your Sunday morning activities and rescheduling all meetings to weekday evening hours. That was unacceptable for some on the committee.

Therefore, each church had to come to a compromise and sacrifice their usual Sunday morning schedule. Simpson UMC now will worship at 10:00 am and Christ will now begin worship at 11:30 am. Once again, know that each church is making a sacrifice. Please also know that the Staff Parish committees have worked extremely hard over the summer on this problem. I want to personally thank them for their dedication in serving the church on this, at times, very stressful committee. We will trust that God is moving by His Spirit and the best is yet to come!!!

Be Encouraged and Hopeful for the future with Jesus!!!

Pastor Darlene Robinson

 

Be Transformed

John Motley, Dee Dee Rencehausen, Ruby Cunningham and I attended the fortieth annual session of the East Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church at Lakeside, Ohio last week.  We were blessed with wonderful weather (in the 70’s), a minimum showing of Canadian soldiers (bugs), and great speakers.  The theme for this session was “Be Transform - Transform Our Hearts, Transform Our Minds, Transform Our Doors.”  Let me share with you some thoughts and challenges brought to us by some of the speakers that week.

Bishop John Hopkins challenged the delegates from our churches to re-think church - to seek to engage our community outside the traditional ways.  He mentioned that if the church does not adapt to the changing world, the world will pass it by.  And he offered three ways to rethink church:  1. we need to be more reflective than reactive – paying more attention to what God is doing, 2. be more concerned with who is around the church than who is in it, and 3. encourage the creation of new worship services to meet the spiritual needs of people.

Rev. Orlando Chaffee, our new District Superintendent, was the speaker at the Religion and Race dinner.  Utilizing the biblical passage of the Good Samaritan, he talked about the need to build bridges out of our fences.  He described some of the fences we have created that hinder us from entering meaningful relationships with others - fences that exclude rather than include.  And that if we are to be a transformed church, we need to tear down those fences to build bridges instead.

Renewing Our Spiritual Journey

The adventures and fun of summer are about over.  People have been or are returning from their vacations and students are returning to school.  Where did summer go?  For many, it has been archived en family photo albums as treasured memories.  Time certainly does go by flying. 

Well, just because the summer is about over, doesn’t mean that there is not much to look forward to.  Many church activities and programs for children, youth and adults are about to resume in September and in the coming months.

Our marvelous choir is about to restart their choir rehearsals to provide inspiring music and songs for the glory of God and the edification of our congregation.  We have purchased a drum set to augment our already talented group of musicians and instruments, and hope to incorporate more contemporary praise songs to our worship service.

Sunday School will also restart next month including a longer confirmation class for our new group of confirmands.  In both of my Wednesdays Pastor’s Bible Studies we will be watching and discussing 30 minute lectures on the Old Testament given by professor, author and lecturer Amy-Jill Levine, who is professor at Vanderbilt University Divinity School.

On Saturday, August 29th we will be having a planning session at our church from 9:00 am until noon to discuss our current and future goals and activities for our church.  We will be sharing some insights we received from a Rethink Church training offered for West and East Ohio Annual Conferences that John, George, Sandy, Joan and I attended last week.  Everyone is invited to attend. 

The Journey through Lent to Easter

            By now we are about halfway through the observance of Lent.  Easter this year falls on Sunday, April 12, 2009.
 
            Lent as you know, is that season in the Christian calendar of forty days (plus six Sundays) of preparation for the celebration of Easter.  Christians in the past, and many today, have used and are using this period of Lent to prepare candidates for baptism that were and are going to be baptized on Easter Sunday.  What was an observance and practice for those who were going to be baptized became an observance and practice for all Christians.
 
            During Lent, Christians have been reflecting on temptation, sin, repentance, God’s grace, God’s will and the cost of following it or not.  We have heard how Jesus was triumphant over the temptations he confronted while fasting for 40 days and nights in the wilderness, in contrast to the people of Israel who where unfaithful to God as they were tempted in the desert while wandering there for forty years.  Jesus was triumphant and was able to teach and live the kingdom of God by example, while the Israelites failed and none of those who were wandering in the desert (with the exception of two) were allowed to enter the Promised Land.
 

Rethinking Church


 

On February 7, 2009, I attended our North Coast District Leadership Academy held at Lakewood United Methodist Church. Bishop Sally Dick was the keynote speaker for the event and spoke of the need to rethink the church since we are living in a world and society where everything else is undergoing changes at a rapid pace.