Faith & Spirituality

St. Raphael offers small-group retreats

Father Michael Gaitley, MIC visited St. Raphael Parish on March 10 and moved our hearts with the urgent message of mercy for our time. Now is the time to listen to the message of God’s merciful love.

Fr. Gaitley, a member of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception who lives and works at the Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, is an international speaker and best-selling author of several retreat books beginning with "33 Days to Morning Glory." Fr. Gaitley’s books form the core of a series of lay-directed retreats that introduce the participants to the role of Mary in our lives, what it takes to become a saint, how we can console Jesus, what we can learn about the trinity, and the saving graces of Christ's Divine Mercy.

He shows us that in just 33 days, the love and mercy of Jesus can set our hearts on fire. In 33 days the Holy Spirit can enter more fully into our lives. This all happens through the gentle and guiding hands of Mary. "33 Days to Morning Glory" has been described as “the surest, easiest, shortest, and most perfect way” to becoming a saint.

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Volume 10, Issue 7, Posted 9:39 AM, 04.03.2018

'Kosher for Passover' products available at Rocky River Heinen's

With the Jewish community growing in Cleveland's western suburbs, the Chabad Jewish center in Westlake arranged a convenience of popular demand: a fully stocked "Kosher for Passover" section at the Rocky River Heinen's!

Kicking off the milestone on March 13, members of the local Jewish community gathered to toast one another and taste fine wines and chocolates. The fresh and dry products will be available until the holiday of Passover, which occurs this year on eve of March 30.

Traditionally, Jewish people refrain from eating leavened products for the eight days of Passover, reminding us of the haste in which we left Egypt 3,330 years ago, when the dough of our ancestors did not have time to rise. Instead, we eat the unleavened cakes known as "matzahs" and celebrate with a special "seder" dinner.

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 10:15 AM, 03.20.2018

Experience Good Friday in your own way

You've heard it said or sung, "Do your own thing," or "Have it your way." Even Frank Sinatra melted many hearts when he sang, "I did it my way." Can this guidance be rightly applied to things of a spiritual nature? With Good Friday approaching, Unity Spiritual Center Westlake has an open-minded, open-hearted approach to the ancient tradition of the Stations of the Cross. 

Why the Stations of the Cross, and where did this practice originate from? After the crucifixion, the disciples of Jesus would consistently tell the story of the walk to the cross, explaining the physical sites and events that took place at each particular location. The story of death and resurrection was told over and over again to pilgrims who came from all over to see the sites where Jesus had been. Walking the sites and contemplating the events became a vital part of pilgrimages to the Holy Land.

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 10:12 AM, 03.20.2018

Catholics Coming Home

St. Raphael Church in Bay Village, will conduct a series called "Catholics Coming Home" on seven Wednesday evenings, April 11 through May 23, from 7-8:30 p.m. These sessions are for non-practicing Catholics interested in returning to the Catholic Church. There will be informal sharing and an update of the Catholic faith in a support-group format.

One former participant of the program stated, “The sessions provided a sense of community with the other participants as well as with the team leaders making me realize how much I had missed that sense of community.” Join us and reconnect with our Catholic community.

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 10:16 AM, 03.20.2018

Celebrate spring equinox with labyrinth walk

There are many things, I will call them circumstances, that keep us feeling, perhaps believing, that we are separate and very different from our fellow man. Some would point out the "generation gap," emphasizing age as a factor that makes us so different from other human beings.

For example, those that are so much younger than us, don't they just seem, well ... so darn young?! Then, there are those who would point out the color of skin, and isolate themselves away from those of a different race.

Would you talk to a homeless person, or judge their circumstances as too different from yours? At work, do you feel it is only worthwhile to converse with those who can help you get ahead?

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Volume 10, Issue 5, Posted 9:26 AM, 03.06.2018

Rooted in peace

Who among us can truthfully make the statement, "I don't need any more peace in my life, I have enough"? Such an important possession, yet so little of it to go around. The message of peace comes on strong at Christmas time, blankets us in its stillness, then often melts like the snow. 

Some will tell us that inner peace is very possible, even as the world is in turmoil. This valuable prize of peace can bring along with it clarity, calm, confidence and carry us towards the path of successful living. Living life successfully is no easy task, so it seems we would wisely seek out peace wherever it is offered. Some find it in nature, as they trust the wind to blow through the trees, and surround them in fall's leaves.

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Volume 10, Issue 3, Posted 9:55 AM, 02.06.2018

Find your path to prosperity

Hurrah. It's a new year, and a few days ago, a new moon. Think about two words for your life plan, sustainability and prosperity. What do you think of when these two words circulate your cortex? Money? Many would answer so. What if money is only part of the answer, only a small slice of this sweet pie? Would you eat just one slice of your pie and throw the rest away? That's what it's like when you think of prosperity as money only. 

Thinking and acting differently in regards to your perspective on prosperity will take time. Change takes time. The fullness, the completeness of what prosperity is, and can be, will take time to learn and blend into your every day living. Do you really know something if you know it half way? Do you really understand something, or someone, if you have just scratched the surface?

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Volume 10, Issue 2, Posted 9:17 AM, 01.23.2018

Understanding your power, superhero style

Action figures! Superheroes, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Captain America, Wonder Woman ... from mythology to modern fiction, why do they captivate and fascinate us so? Why are millions spent in the movie industry to watch them pummel the bad guys, the super villains, and fight evil at large? What makes us "ooh" and "ahh," and marvel at these marvelous super-human beings? Do we secretly wish we had more power, and if possessing it, would make the world a better place?

Well, don't sell yourself short too quickly, for the force, the real power is within you. We tend to look far and wide for power, looking outside of ourselves, even at the big screen, instead of looking closer to home, reminiscent of Dorothy's journey which took her so far away from Kansas.

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Volume 10, Issue 1, Posted 9:32 AM, 01.09.2018

Walking the season at Unity

Why do people walk labyrinths? More to the point, why do people walk labyrinths at certain times of the year? And what is a labyrinth anyway? From its shape, it looks like a puzzle, or a maze. Are there actual benefits to labyrinth walks, or is it just walking in  circles? 

It may help to define it, and look at the history of labyrinths, which take us back 4,500 years ago to some of the earliest discovered constructed labyrinths of ancient Egypt. A labyrinth is unicursal, meaning it has only one entrance, goes in one direction, and has a heart center.

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Volume 9, Issue 24, Posted 9:56 AM, 12.19.2017

Giant menorah to light up Crocker Park

For the third year in a row, locals of Cleveland's western suburbs will enjoy Hanukkah celebrated in style with a giant menorah lighting and grand Hanukkah party at Westlake's Crocker Park.

With crowds growing from year to year, a new venue will be hosting this year – the new Market Square at Crocker Park. Attendees will enjoy great music, traditional Hanukkah treats, and lots of games and crafts, including a moon bounce, air hockey and much more.

For more than 2,000 years, the menorah has symbolized the triumph of light over darkness and spirit of religious freedom towering over oppression. In recent years, giant menorahs have sprung up all over the United States and around the world, bringing the timeless message of light and freedom to people everywhere.

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Volume 9, Issue 23, Posted 10:33 AM, 12.05.2017

Compassionate friends at Unity

What comes to mind, what song plays on your heart strings when you hear the word "loss"? Does your mind go blank? Or does a list of names of those you've lost rise up?

Have you lost a loved one, or know someone who has this year? Is the one you've lost a mother, daughter, child, brother, a dear friend, close cousin, husband, mentor, or beloved pet? Do tears still fall, and your heart still ache as you think of this beautiful one? Did they leave a crater in your soul that has left you feeling numb, or lonely or depressed?

No matter who you've lost, how they died, or when they passed, the combination of love and loss needs special care and compassion. Losing a loved one needs honoring the feelings you feel after experiencing the loss of someone you have cared for deeply with a true heart.

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Volume 9, Issue 23, Posted 10:34 AM, 12.05.2017

Unity activity uses cardboard squares to transform problems into solutions

Who would have thought that a piece of cardboard with a word or phrase written on it could mean so much? Turns out, at Unity Spiritual Center of Westlake, there is a great deal of meaning, insight, enlightenment and emotion poured into this cardboard experience, for both the observer and the participant. 

With strong encouragement from Rev. Joanne Rowden, usually 40 people participate in "Cardboard Testimonies," and this, the third year, could be more dynamic  than ever. The format is simple. On one side of the cardboard is written a problem the person is experiencing, on the other side is written the solution. Problem – solution, easy ... well, maybe not that easy.

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Volume 9, Issue 22, Posted 9:55 AM, 11.21.2017

The talking parking lot

Tap, tap, tap go the sound of my feet, as I walk out of Unity Spiritual Center Westlake after Sunday Service. As my feet hit the newly poured asphalt, I am impressed by how smooth, black and finely lined it is. Then there "they" are – bright, white, and one on each parking space. 

The words, so white, so bright, and painted just right. The power of words, such as Joy, Hello, Elimination, Forgiveness and more are under my feet. They are painted in white on each parking space, the brainchild of longtime congregant Ted Brewer, stenciled neatly on each space by Ted, Carl Collins and James Van Hala.

Why words on parking spaces? I wondered that myself, as I'd never seen a parking lot like this. The "Pave It Foward" Project, named so by Deb Larsen, has a definite function of providing additional parking, especially for Sunday services. It could have stopped there, but words have power, and positive, affirming words even more so. Words can become thoughts, and thoughts can become positive actions.

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Volume 9, Issue 20, Posted 9:48 AM, 10.17.2017

St. Raphael rocks the challenge!

On Sept. 13, St. Raphael School truly "rocked the challenge"! Rock the Challenge (RTC) is a day where the students run a faith-filled obstacle course and celebrate their beliefs through service and prayer.

Every moment of the day truly exemplified the 2017 school theme: "Be Kind. Be Giving. Be Holy."

The kids started the day learning that “It starts with Me and It starts with Prayer.” From there, kindness and generosity extends to our family, friends, school, community and even across the globe!

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Volume 9, Issue 19, Posted 10:13 AM, 10.03.2017

At Unity, a day dedicated to prayer

We have a day dedicated to St. Patrick, to good ole St. Nick, even a day for administrative assistants, and the one I saw most recently was a day for redheads. There are still a lot of "untaken" days in the year; Unity has chosen Thursday, Sept. 14, as World Day of Prayer, with 24 hours devoted to the sacredness of prayer. Not just for redheads or admins, but for all faiths; this is a day to honor your prayers, to honor you, and the personal and detailed intentions that are woven into your heart.

The theme of this beautiful day is "Peace in the Midst," with many interactive, sacred activities both at Unity headquarters in Missouri, and here at Unity Spiritual Center in Westlake. There are many activities and paths to choose from, all created to strengthen your spirit, and connect you to the Divine.

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Volume 9, Issue 17, Posted 9:38 AM, 09.06.2017

Two centuries on, Westlake's first church continues to grow

In the spring of 1811 a small group of members of a church in Lee, Massachusetts, received permission from their church to travel to Dover Township (which is now Westlake, Bay Village and part of North Olmsted) to establish the first church in the area.

There was no church building so they met in homes and barns until a small log cabin school house was built and they were given permission to hold their Sunday Services there. The first church was built in 1822 and was the first church in the township. After six new buildings and an addition we arrive at our current building on Dover Center Road.

Dover Congregational United Church of Christ is an open and affirming church under the direction and ministries of Rev. R. Keith Stuart. We continue to grow, adding 10 to 12 new members every quarter.

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Volume 9, Issue 17, Posted 9:38 AM, 09.06.2017

Unity program helps to tame 'the shadow'

Have you ever tried boxing with your own shadow? Or called it a few choice names because it wouldn't stop following you around? Some psychiatrists consider the shadow the dark side of human nature. Our beautiful country has seen a rise in violence, mass shootings in public places and suicides – results of the dark side, or shadow.

Unity Spiritual Center of Westlake is pleased to present a transformational program designed to bring deep peace and healing. Who among us couldn't use less stress and more peace in our lives? Dr. Shariff Abdullah's 12-week program, Shadow to Light, or S2L, will be held Tuesdays, Aug. 29 through Nov. 21, from 7-9 p.m.

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Volume 9, Issue 16, Posted 10:06 AM, 08.15.2017

Dover UCC to host faith-based discussion on climate change

Dover Congregational United Church of Christ, located at 2239 Dover Center Road in Westlake, is continuing its series of monthly Sacred Conversations on Sunday, July 9, at 7:00 pm. Guest speaker Dr. Brooks Berndt, UCC Minister for Environmental Justice, will lead a discussion regarding climate change from the perspective of being stewards of God’s creation. He will be suggesting what churches can do to be Creation Justice Churches.

Dover UCC’s monthly Sacred Conversations was inaugurated to address current issues from the perspective of Dover UCC’s vision – to seek justice, love kindness and walk humbly with God. All are welcome to attend.

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Volume 9, Issue 13, Posted 9:32 AM, 07.05.2017

Hope in the midst of the heroin epidemic

The heroin epidemic in Northeast Ohio is devastating. Families are being ripped apart; grief and overdose deaths are front page news. But there is also hope, and transformational stories being written in the lives of young men and women. I feel compelled to share some of these stories.

Ten years ago, Linda (who has since died from a minor scrape of her toe, thus I use her name) came to us at CrossPointe Community Church in Westlake wanting out of a drug and prostitution lifestyle. After being encouraged to post Bible scriptures on index cards on her bathroom mirror, and after two-plus years of sobriety, Linda was transformed. She became our CrossPointe Community official greeter. Years passed. I visited her before she moved to Florida. I looked in the bathroom and there I saw not only the mirror, but also the wall surrounding it, covered in index cards.

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Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 9:25 AM, 06.20.2017

Growing into diversity

We've all become more familiar with the term diversity lately, as well as its meaning. We "get" that it can apply to cultures, lifestyles, business, even ideas and constructs.

Even so, our lives may still be relatively homogeneous, through no fault of our own. We may still live in the same neighborhood or town in which we grew up. Perhaps the neighborhood hasn't changed much; maybe the Millers still live next door and the same cashier works at the local gas station. 

So how do we insert diversity into our very own lives? How do we embrace it, experience it and practice it? Local is great, home-grown is delish, and the Millers are nice, but let's weave some diversity into the mix.

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Volume 9, Issue 11, Posted 10:14 AM, 06.06.2017

Unity responds to human trafficking

You've heard this recommendation for living your best life, and will likely hear it again: "Be part of the solution." To be part of the solution, one must be aware of, recognize and understand the problem. It may be that you are experiencing the problem yourself, or it has rooted itself within your family, or you have given your time to learn about "the problem" at depth.

Although this problem may not be affecting you directly, it is the second largest criminal industry in the world, and sadly, is on the rise. It yields the criminals in this illicit, highly organized industry approximately $32 billion to $150 billion per year. Almost every country around the world is affected by human trafficking.

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Volume 9, Issue 9, Posted 9:30 AM, 05.02.2017

Bethesda hosts Festival Celebration for new pastor

Bethesda-on-the-Bay Lutheran Church will formally welcome its new pastor, the Rev. Angela Jean Freeman-Riley, at a Festival Celebration and Installation at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 7. A reception will follow the Installation Service. The public is welcome to attend.

Pastor Angela arrived at Bethesda Feb. 20 following a 16-month search led by the church’s nine-member Call Committee. Bethesda’s long-time pastor, the Rev. Dennis Stylski, retired Oct. 1, 2015, after 38 years of service at Bethesda.

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Volume 9, Issue 9, Posted 10:01 AM, 05.02.2017

Unity to host peacemaking retreat

What is inclusivity anyway? Is it when you smile at a stranger? When you encourage your child to invite the child who's "different" to the upcoming birthday party? When you attend a same-sex marriage? Is it when you drop your guard and allow yourself to be hugged by someone you hardly know? Or, is it when you take a homeless man job-hunting if he is willing to go? Do you "include" yourself in knowing you are a spiritual being worthy of immeasurable greatness? Does inclusivity encompass kindness, compassion, letting go old ideas, even love?

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Volume 9, Issue 8, Posted 9:50 AM, 04.18.2017

Westlake honors influential rabbi

Westlake joined communities worldwide on April 7 in marking the 115th anniversary of the date of birth of the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, of righteous memory.

Often described as the most influential rabbi in modern history, the Rebbe’s visionary efforts to reconnect Jews everywhere with their Jewish heritage have touched millions of lives and forever transformed the landscape of Jewish life. His teachings, which emphasized the inherent goodness of mankind, the infinite potential within every individual and the profound value of even the smallest good deed, inspired multitudes around and resonated globally.

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Volume 9, Issue 8, Posted 9:49 AM, 04.18.2017

Dover UCC to host conversation on the Muslim experience in America

Dover Congregational UCC will welcome Isam Zaiem to the Sacred Conversations series on Sunday, March 12, at 7:00 p.m. Isam is the Board President Emeritus of the Cleveland and Northeast Ohio chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and will share with us how it is to be a Muslim in America these days.

A lot has happened since Isam joined the members of Dover last year in conversations about Abraham, our common religious father, and since we prayed with him in the Islamic Center mosque. Wars continue in the Middle East. ISEL continues its attacks on civilians in cities that used to be centers of civilization, some even mentioned in the Bible. The headlines have carried news of terrorist attacks in major European cities, the latest an attack in London.

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 9:23 AM, 04.04.2017

St. Raphael to host series for non-practicing Catholics

St. Raphael Church in Bay Village will conduct a series called Catholics Coming Home on seven Wednesday evenings, April 19 through May 31, from 7-8:30 p.m. These sessions are for non-practicing Catholics interested in returning to the Catholic Church. There will be informal sharing and an update of the Catholic faith in a support-group format.

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 9:20 AM, 04.04.2017

St. Barnabas offers interactive Stations of the Cross

As part of St. Barnabas Episcopal Church's “Connecting with God” program series, on Saturday, April 8, come prepare your heart for Palm Sunday and Holy Week by reflecting with us on Jesus’ journey to the cross. This very special program was well received last year as participants engaged all five senses while walking the Stations of the Cross. At each of the Stations you will experience a prayer, a reflection and an activity.

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 9:16 AM, 04.04.2017

Unity celebrates Good Friday, Easter

The community is invited to walk in Jesus’ shoes at Unity Spiritual Center’s Good Friday Experience. This all-day service is for everyone seeking a deeper personal meaning of the Crucifixion.

The USC sanctuary is turned into nine stations: Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus picks up the cross, Jesus falls for the first time, Jesus meets Mary, Jesus is helped by Simone of Cyrene, Veronica wipes the face of Jesus, Jesus falls a final time, Jesus is nailed to the cross and Jesus is placed in the tomb. Participants can come in anytime during the day and journey through each of the nine stations. There they can sit and reflect while doing an activity that pertains to their life and that of Jesus.

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 9:22 AM, 04.04.2017

The mystery and mastery of Lent

The nights are growing shorter and the days are getting longer, to the delight of many, unless you own stock in the electric company. Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, has already come and gone, and spring, Easter, bright daffodils and balmy weather aren't far behind. I was surprised to learn that Ash Wednesday, not Easter, has the second highest church attendance after Christmas, according to priests across the globe.

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Volume 9, Issue 5, Posted 9:23 AM, 03.07.2017

Westlake church to host LBGTA discussion

Dover Congregational Church’s “Sacred Conversations” series will continue on Sunday, March 19, at 7:00 p.m. when the Reverends Joe Cherry and Denis Paul will help us consider the continuing concerns of the LBGTA community.

Adults fear that being “outed” may cost them their jobs. Schools, parents and students ponder the use of bathrooms. Many members of the LBGTA community live in fear of physical harm. The display of the rainbow flag becomes divisive.

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Volume 9, Issue 5, Posted 9:23 AM, 03.07.2017

Bay Presbyterian Church welcomes transitional senior pastor

On Sunday, Feb. 12, Bay Presbyterian Church (BPC) welcomed Rev. Bob Hopper to the church to shepherd the congregation as the new transitional senior pastor. He was called by BPC’s Session to help prepare the church for the subsequent calling of a new senior pastor.

"We are excited to welcome Bob and his wife, Tacey, to the Cleveland area. We believe that under his leadership, this will be a time of spiritual fruitfulness and growth," said John Meaux, a member of Session, the local governing body of Bay Presbyterian Church, comprised of church elders and pastors. "Rev. Hopper gives BPC a unique outside perspective in leading us forward. This experience will help the congregation through the transition from one senior pastor to another."

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Volume 9, Issue 4, Posted 9:50 AM, 02.21.2017

Spiritual workshop to focus on contemplative coloring

The next workshop in St. Barnabas Episcopal Church's series on connecting with God will be held Saturday, March 4, 10 a.m.-noon. "Praying With Mandalas: A Colorful, Contemplative Practice” will be facilitated by Sharon Seyfarth Garner. Praying with mandalas, or geometric figures, is a refreshing new method of prayer that weaves together the contemporary interest in coloring with classic Christian spiritual practices such as lectio divina, intercessory prayer, centering prayer and the Ignatian Examen. Contemplative coloring is a simple and tangible way to let go of your distractions and rediscover your sacred center.

Join us for this sacred time of creativity and prayer – a breath of spiritual fresh air! A suggested $10 donation is appreciated but not required.

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Volume 9, Issue 4, Posted 9:50 AM, 02.21.2017

2 Westlake churches team up for Lenten services

Two local churches – Dover Congregational United Church of Christ and Westlake Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) – will hold four joint, weekday, community-focused worship services during Lent.

Members of both congregations will participate. Worship and communion will be offered to believers of all denominations.

The first service will be on Ash Wednesday, March 1, at 12:30 p.m. for anyone who may be working or living nearby and wishes to receive the imposition of ashes in a brief and informal service. Later, a more traditional service at 7 p.m. will offer communion and imposition of ashes.

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Volume 9, Issue 4, Posted 9:47 AM, 02.21.2017

Westlake church to host monthly conversations on current concerns

Because we believe that God is incarnate in history and that “God is Still Speaking,” Dover Congregational UCC will initiate a monthly series of conversations on a variety of social and community concerns. The first conversation will be held at the church on Sunday evening, Feb. 12, at 7:00 p.m. in Thomas Hall. Dover is located at 2239 Dover Center Road in Westlake.

The Reverend Richard Gibson, pastor of Elizabeth Baptist Church and co-chair of Greater Cleveland Congregations, will be with us to discuss the racial/class divide in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County from the black perspective of life in Cleveland’s inner city. Pastor Gibson is also an attorney working to overcome the inequities of the criminal justice in Cuyahoga County.

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Volume 9, Issue 3, Posted 9:46 AM, 02.07.2017

Experiencing God in the wind and water

Are you aware of how you connect with God? Would you like to explore ways you can increase your connection? Join us at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church on the corner of Bradley and Wolf roads in Bay Village to reflect, learn and experience different ways to interact with God. Each program will focus on a different way to connect. Attend one, or attend many! A suggested $10 donation is appreciated but not required.

The next workshop, “Experiencing God in the Wind and Water: A Sailor's Story of Spirituality,” will be facilitated by John Johanssen and held Saturday, Feb. 18, from 10 a.m.-noon. Come swap stories and experiences of our lives on the water, on any kind of vessel, and to search those experiences for the presence of God. John enthusiastically said, “I look forward to reflecting on some of my adventures on the water that have shaped and formed my spirituality. I hope there will be many connecting points from which we can each share our own journeys.”

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Volume 9, Issue 3, Posted 9:50 AM, 02.07.2017

Learning to practice inclusivity

We tend to gravitate to people who are like us. Do we tend to put others in boxes? Do we tend to put ourself in a box thinking this is a good way to protect ourselves from hurt? Can this box create a sense of isolation, loneliness, perhaps even depression, when our original intent was to stay safe? We let go of each breath, and we can learn to release, but what do we allow to come in?

Corporate America has discovered that diversity without inclusivity is useless. Am I building relationships with people who are different from me? Is there a way to live outside the box and release loneliness? Rev. Joanne Rowden of Unity Spiritual Center of Westlake feels that there is no time like the present to live inclusively, and every first Sunday of the month, from 10:15-10:45 a.m., holds open conversations on Shariff Abdullah's book, "Practicing Inclusivity."

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Volume 9, Issue 3, Posted 9:50 AM, 02.07.2017

Film night of 'power' at Unity

In today's fast paced, multi-media world there are so many ways to be entertained. From Netflix to YouTube to Hulu, the eyes have it. So what to watch next? What if your next movie choice was both entertaining to your psyche, and enriching to your heart and soul? A double-your-fun kind of event!

If you've heard of James Tyman, also known as the Peace Troubadour, you know he is a unique individual with a variety of successes. He is the author of 10 books, including "The Art of Spiritual Peacemaking," and a world renowned folk musician. He has been invited by world peace organizations to perform peace concerts in war-torn countries such as Serbia, Bosnia and Iraq. He is also a film producer with movie credits such as "Indigo" and the documentary "The Moses Code."

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 10:11 AM, 01.10.2017

Unite to bring in the light

A lament I hear continuously these days is about how soon the daylight turns to darkness. I hear, "Is it dark already?" Or, "It's 5 o'clock, and it's already dark?!" Or, "I leave work, and it's dark outside. Hurry back, summer!" 

Summer may not return soon enough for some, but there is light at the end of this winter time tunnel. The winter solstice has been described in many ways, such as – the shortest day and longest night, or as a marker for the first day of winter. The exact time of the December solstice in Cleveland is Wednesday, Dec. 21, at 5:44 a.m.

Simply put, the solstice is an astronomical event, caused by the earth's tilt on its axis. On Dec. 21 we have a day with the greatest amount of darkness in the entire year, but then on Dec. 22, it reverses. The daylight starts to get longer until six months later on June 21, when the summer solstice gives us the greatest amount of light.

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Volume 8, Issue 24, Posted 10:05 AM, 12.13.2016

Celebrate Christmas at Bethesda-on-the-Bay

Bethesda-on-the-Bay Lutheran Church invites area residents to celebrate the birth of Jesus at special services this Christmas season.

The children of the congregation will present their annual Christmas Program at the 11 a.m. service on Sunday, Dec. 18.

Christmas Eve candlelight services will be held at 5, 7:30 and 10 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 24. The 5 p.m. service is focused on families with young children, while the 7:30 and 10 p.m. services will feature special music. All services will have Holy Communion.

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Volume 8, Issue 24, Posted 10:03 AM, 12.13.2016

Creating a garden haven

St. Barnabas Episcopal Church's monthly workshop series on connecting with God continues in December with landscape artist Julia Shutt. On Saturday, Dec. 3, 10 a.m.-noon, learn to take a portion of your yard and make it a place to rest and observe nature. By creating a space to just be and not do, we also allow a connection with God and nature. It is through this divine connection that the creative power of the universe will bless us. Gardening is really learning how to co-create with love. A $10 donation is appreciated but not required.

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Volume 8, Issue 23, Posted 9:39 AM, 11.29.2016