The service will begin at 7 pm, with a seasonal reception preceding the service at 6:15 pm. Location: The Lakewood Baptist Church (14321 Detroit Avenue; corner of Detroit and Lincoln Avenues)...
The question about the relationship between Church and politics came to the fore of many voters’ minds during the last Presidential election. People were concerned with whether or not Barack Obama was a Muslim and they probed his relationship with his former pastor, The Rev. Jeremiah Wright. They debated the significance of Mitt Romney being a Mormon and how “Pentecostal” Sarah Palin actually was. We are obsessed with the line between religion and politics in this country — those two taboo subjects that your parents warned you never to discuss with friends.
It was more than 50 years ago when the acerbic comedian made that observation, but there are indeed signs that “church-going” could become a thing of the past...
This is the first in a planned series of articles about the wide variety of religious establishments serving the spiritual needs of all Lakewoodites. We encourage our readers to submit articles about their religious experiences.
We live in Lakewood where we have two long-term mainstays of life – taverns and churches. Needless to say, they probably serve the same people, not that there is anything wrong with that!
Currently ministering at the Motherhouse in Adrian, Michigan, Sister Annette served rural and urban people in the Dominican Republic. Her ministry in the Dominican Republic focused on the education and organization of struggling farmers...
There once was a preacher who wasn’t prepared to deliver a sermon one Sunday morning. He prayed to God for inspiration and decided that he would open the Bible to two random sections — one in the Old Testament and one in the New — and that would be the focus of his homily. His finger first landed on Genesis 4:8: “Cain rose up against his brother Abel, and killed him.” OK, he thought. Then he flipped open to Luke 10:37: “Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do likewise.’"
“To different minds, the same world is a hell, and a heaven,” — Ralph Waldo Emerson.“Is Adolf Hitler in Hell?” This is a question that inevitably comes up when I talk to people about God’s grace. If God is all-loving and all-forgiving, why would the Creator of Heaven and Earth condemn anyone to the fires of Perdition? Is there even a Hell?
I think there is…and I think there isn’t. Let me explain before I answer the Hitler query.
The Lakewood Baptist Church is honored to host the Cleveland Metropolitan Chorus for a special benefit concert on Sunday, October 26 at 7:00 pm. All are invited and welcomed!
The Cleveland Metropolitan Chorus is a pan-denominational, non-for-profit group committed to presenting concerts of sacred music and classic favorites throughout the greater Cleveland community.
Once in a while, a name washes upon our shore: one not heard in eons. With those waves come a flood of emotions — emotions no storm warning could forecast.
Facebook and other social media have enabled people to reconnect with friends from yesterday. Recently, a childhood friend I have not seen in about eighteen years found me in cyberspace. It was great to reminisce with Darrell on-line. We recalled growing up on the North Shore of Boston — how we were street hockey fanatics and aspiring audiophiles.
Once I accepted the call to be the new Senior Pastor of the historic Pilgrim Congregational United Church of Christ in Tremont (a Just Peace and an Open and Affirming congregation), my wife and I began looking for communities in which we would raise our three children. It did not take us long to select Lakewood.
One thinks of the memoir Journal of a Solitude by May Sarton. Or the extended essay A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Wolfe. Or maybe even the CD Solitude Standing by Suzanne Vega. I think of the quote at the top of today’s bulletin. Greta Garbo is often quoted as having said, “I want to be alone.” According to her, though, “I never said, ‘I want to be alone.’ I only said, ‘I want to be left alone.’ There is a difference.” Indeed, there is a difference! We all need to be left alone sometimes. We all need space, privacy, room to reflect, time to pray.
An auction will be held on February 18th at 6:00 p.m. at Lakewood United Methodist Church, 15700 Detroit Ave. The proceeds will underwrite the programs at the church that support the community. A buffet dinner will be provided. The tickets are $12.00 for one or $20.00 for two. Childcare will be provided for children under 10 on the premises.
This chant bellowed from my television in the waning hours of May 1. CNN reported that Osama bin Laden had been assassinated in a secret Pakistani bunker by a covert, United States military task force. A few dozen people gathered outside the White House waving Old Glory and singing "The Star-Spangled Banner.” The ad hoc gathering swelled as fast as the news spread nationally. Similar celebrations took place in New York City, near Ground Zero, and others erupted in bars across America. Napkins shredded into confetti. Pints of beer hoisted for a toast. Beaming smiles carved into patriotic faces.
“Excuse me, sir. Do you have any spare change?”
Apparently, Harold Camping was wrong. Family Radio’s president’s prediction did not come to fruition. The world did not end at 6:00 pm on May 21, 2011, just as it did not end in 1988 and 1994 as Camping previously surmised. This eschatological prognosticator has since said that a symbolic rapture took place on May 21; the physical one will occur on October 21.
Liberation United Church of Christ, located at 13714 Madison Ave. at the corner of Madison and Parkwood Avenues, is one of many wonderful spiritual communities in Lakewood that offer encouragement and an enriching spiritual experience to everyone who enters. This year, as the Spring and Easter seasons approach, Liberation UCC would like to extend an invitation to those who may be thinking about attending a church service. Liberation UCC is an inclusive community that truly embraces the United Church of Christ theme of “No Matter Who You are or Where You Are on Life’s Journey, You Are Welcome Here.”
Three new Lutheran pastors will be ordained Saturday, September 10 in a service at Faith Lutheran Church in Lakewood.
Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton of the Northeastern Ohio Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) will preside and preach at the service and ordain the new pastors as ministers of word and sacrament.
The service begins at 10:30 a.m. and will be followed by a reception at the church, which is located at 16511 Hilliard Road (the corner of Hilliard and Woodward). Parking will be available across the street at Harding Middle School.
As Episcopalians, we are followers of Jesus Christ, the second person of the Holy Trinity. During this time in the calendar of the Episcopal Church, we celebrate the “Great Fifty Days of Easter.” Also called, “Eastertide,” this is the period lasting from Easter Sunday to Pentecost Sunday. These fifty days represent an especially joyful time for us as we remember the wonderful gift of Jesus’ salvation given to the whole world in His life, death, and rising again to new life. The seven Sundays of Eastertide are commemorated at The Church of the Ascension, here in Lakewood, at 13216 Detroit Avenue by the seven crosses dressed in white and adorned with flowers. These same crosses had been dressed in purple during Holy Week and used in a rite of the church called “The Way of the Cross” on Good Friday. Jesus’ victory over sin and death is now celebrated with crosses that shine white. During Eastertide, we also celebrate the feast of the Ascension of the Lord, the festal day of our own church, and one of the “Principal Feasts” of our faith tradition.
You will most likely be reading this article the day before Ash Wednesday — the day before Lent begins — or maybe during the initial days of Lent. Lent is the forty-day penitential season (not including Sundays) when the Christian community prepares for Easter.
Saxophonist John Coltrane, perhaps the greatest icon of jazz spirituality once said, “My music is the spiritual expression of what I am — my faith, my knowledge, my being… When you begin to see the possibilities of music, you desire to do something really good for people, to help humanity free itself from its hang-ups… I want to speak to their souls.”
Soon, churches will be celebrating what is often called Rally Day. This marks the beginning of a new church year as choirs and Sunday school classes (along with many members) return from summer’s rest. And to their congregations, leaders of faith communities will be proclaiming messages of hope – hope that allows us to believe life can be a pageant of joy. It is the right message for just these times. It will not be some sweet, saccharine statement that dares to suggest all moments in life are victorious. It is not a proclamation meant to insult the intellect by denying there are real problems to face and overcome. We know our businesses do not always flourish. Our relationships are not always vibrant, and hard work and constant study do not guarantee success.Those who speak of faithful hope and life as a celebration of joy will not be suggesting that life is without anxiety. It does mean, however, that because of our trust in love’s ultimate victory over the powers that would diminish us, we can live with triumphant hope even in the face of difficult times and circumstance. Our faith calls us to reach for the horizons beyond our own troubles and radiating hope to others. Off the coast of Labrador, you will find the towering icebergs that soar high in the air. What is most surprising is that they all sail south. While that might not seem strange at all, it is important to know that they are sailing south against the strong winds that blow against them. What allows the icebergs to move against the wind and waves crashing against them? The answer lies in the fact that the vast majority of their mass is below the surface, and beneath that surface is the mighty Labrador Current. In spite of the buffeting strength of the wind and waves, the icebergs sail south as they are carried along by the unseen current below the surface.The triumph of faithful hope moves in the same way. Against the difficulties of life and the challenges before us, it can carry us through the trials and limitations of life. It is easy to become cynical with our world: unspeakable horrors are visited upon people every day, physical and emotional abuse is all too common in the homes of every neighborhood. We witness how ancient hatreds, made even more deadly through modern weapons, can wreak havoc on a people. So, is it possible to proclaim that life can be filled with the triumph of hope and the celebration of community? I would ask: Do we dare think otherwise? Do we dare give in, believing ourselves to be powerless to confront the forces that would diminish even one member of our human family?There are times when it would seem God asks the impossible of us. There are moments when faith demands more than we think we can bear. Faith in God demands that we not only see a light at the end of the tunnel, but to also know that the light is calling us to move forward, to step with confidence and trust into the darkness that sometimes stands before us. This journey of life is not without its detours and difficult obstacles – but it is our journey to make. And it is our time to make it. Our communities are best served when the power and enthusiasm of faithful hope are brought to bear on the difficulties before us. Lakewood and the surrounding area are well served by many faith communities, each bringing to bear their vision of a better world, and seeking to bring the faithful message of hope to all. by Reverend Mark Thomas,
Senior Pastor, Lakewood Congregational Church
Ministerial Musings: Common Courtesy
When I was a kid I loved the hymn, “I Sing a Song of the Saints of God.” It sounded very British to me and it seemed to transcend time. It sounded as if it was all about knights, and princesses, and tea time. These are the people of legends and fables and Buckingham Palace. It is not a whole lot different than the characters we see in Disney movies.
Calvary United Methodist Church is please to announce that on November 4, 2011 the Ambassadors will be performing at Calvary, which is located at 16305 Hilliard Road in Lakewood.
Saturday. 10:32 am. Lakewood, Ohio.
I open the door. “Hello.”
“Hi. How are you this morning, sir?”
“I’m fine,” I say. “Can I help you?”
“I was just wondering if you ever read The Bible at all,” the nicely-dressed, handsome gentleman at my front door asked. I did not have the heart to tell him what I do for a living.
“A bit,” I said.
“Well, if you read it regularly, then you would realize that all ‘the signs’ are happening.”
We are in the throes of Lent: the forty day penitential season (not including Sundays) when the Christian community prepares for Easter: the day of resurrection.
Renowned Methodist theologian Laurence Hull Stookey (brother of Noel “Paul” Stookey of Peter, Paul, and Mary fame) reminds us that “In the early centuries, forty days was the time sufficient for converts to make their final, intensive preparation for baptism; and thus a pattern for Lent developed. So also the ancient baptismal preparation dictated this period to be a time of particular devotion and discipline” (Stookey 1996: 79). When I was growing up, I had many friends who were Catholic. They had to attend CCD and loathed it, although I was envious — I wished my local United Church of Christ congregation required such formative, religious training. (Yes, I was destined to be a minister!) These same friends used to discuss “the thing” they had to give up for Lent. Often times it was chocolate, playing baseball, or watching the Boston Bruins…something that would help them identify with the passion of Christ. As if Jesus is a Boston Bruins fan. A Red Sox fan, DEFINITELY, but I’m not sure about the Bruins thing. (Besides, I don’t think Jesus could skate. Walk on water? Sure. Skating? That’s another thing. But I digress…)
In recent years, many Christian traditions have taken a different slant when it comes to Lent. Instead of asking their adherents to give something up, they have encouraged them to adopt a spiritual practice over these six and a half weeks. First of all, this presents a more positive, life-giving theology. It is not just shrouded in the doom-and-gloom of the cross (although that is certainly a crucial Lenten symbol). Developing a Lenten discipline will hopefully follow us beyond the empty tomb.
We are mired in an age where the left and the right are drifting further apart, becoming ever-more polarized. Democrats and Republicans no longer talk to each other. They shout across the aisles and sling pejoratives in self-righteous contempt. Compromises, in the best interest of the citizenry who elected these officials, are rare. The desires of the military-industrial complex take precedence.
What are such “political” musings doing in a “religion” column?
Numerous social programs are on the cutting block as a result of the recent debt ceiling “negotiations.” Don’t be fooled: when all is said and done CEOs will still receive tax breaks on their corporate jets. The military will get all the money they need (and then some) to fight the two wars in which we are currently embroiled. (Or is it five?) Wall Street will still receive bail-outs while Main Street becomes a ghost town.
Children in Lakewood Park were treated to games, face painting and hundreds of free snow cones on Saturday afternoon, June 18, as City Edge Christian Church celebrated the warm weather with their Kids’ Summer Kickoff event.
CityEdge Christian Church is a new church in Lakewood with a focus on public service and community outreach. According to lead minister Kevin Rush, events like the Kids’ Summer Kickoff are one of many ways CityEdge Church seeks to enrich the lives of Lakewood residents.
Stop. Take a moment to read Ephesians 4:25-5:2.
In my Easter sermon, I mentioned that I am not much of a “blogger.” I simply do not have the time. My wife, Susan, however, recently launched her own “blog” entitled, “Learning to Love and Live the Questions.”
Acting on a recommendation from its Faith Mission Board, Faith Lutheran Church (ELCA), Lakewood, Ohio, has extended a call to Seminarian Mark Rollenhagen to direct the Faith Mission Project. He began work on July 1 as a lay outreach minister and will be ordained and installed as Mission Pastor on Saturday, September 10, 2011.
A congregational meeting of Faith Lutheran Church, Lakewood, Ohio, voted unanimously on June 26 to call Seminarian Mark Rollenhagen as Mission Pastor with the task of leading and driving the Faith Mission Project.
I received a phone call from my eldest brother the other day. He called to inform me that his father-in-law died. He was 82 years old and was in relatively good health. He had an unexpected coronary.
My brother and sister-in-law live on the North Shore of Boston. The father-in-law lived in Florida. My brother and sister-in-law have not seen him in over a year. They were planning on visiting him in just a week and half- ten days too late, unfortunately.
Yes, Lakewoodites, as we saw animated in a recent edition of The Observer, I am often late getting my articles on the editor’s desk. More often than not, I run into my good friend and publisher Jim O’Bryan at the Root Café — on our way to our respective offices — and I ask him if I still have time to get my Musings in before the paper goes to print. Jim is always gracious, and I am always grateful.
“Peace is not the absence of affliction, but the presence of God.”— Author Unknown Take a moment to read Matthew 6:25-34. Got it? Good. We’ll come back to it in a minute. I came home the other day and found my pension plan fourth quarter statement waiting for me in the mailbox. I opened it slowly, hoping that it might include one of Willy Wonka’s five golden tickets. Instead, it contained a message written in numbers: Pray all you want, Rev. Tamilio, but you will never be able to retire. And then, after I put the statement aside and opened the newspaper, I read even more dire headlines: corporate downsizing contributes to the rising unemployment rate nationwide; more and more urban families lose their homes to mortgage foreclosures; fraudulent investors cost retirees their life savings. I exhaled and looked around the room. There was my wife and our three children. All of them healthy and laughing. Susan had just returned from Giant Eagle, so our refrigerator was filled with food. There were clothes on our backs, a roof over our heads, and I had a job waiting for me in the morning. Pray all you want, Rev. Tamilio, but you will never be able to retire. Maybe that is true. Maybe it isn’t. Regardless, in the midst of a dismal economy, I realized that I had no right to have a pity-party over a piece of paper with numbers that would not concern me for twenty-five years. I am part of a culture that is richer than the vast majority of the world’s population. Something else struck me in the midst of this reflection: the words from the middle of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. (I said we would get back to them.) Jesus was speaking to a multitude of poor folks assembled on a hillside. Many of them did not know where their next meal was coming from, let alone how they would pay the heavy taxes levied upon them by the Roman Empire. They gathered around this itinerant rabbi looking for an answer—a word of liberation. Instead, they were told not to fret: “do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear.” Can you imagine them turning to one another in astonishment and asking, “What did he say? Don’t worry? All we do is worry! Do we have a choice?” But Jesus’ words to them are the same words that he speaks to us today. “Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your God feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” We need to trust God. We need to trust that God will provide for our physical needs no matter what the stock market or the morose economic prognosticators say. True freedom comes when we realize that we are not in control of our lives—as much as we like to think that we are—and that we need to trust in the grace of our benevolent God to see us through whatever curve balls life throws at us. Is this easy to do? No. But it will enable us to plumb our spiritual depths and uncover an abundance of hope, which is probably what the world needs now more than anything else. — The Rev. John Tamilio III is the new Religion Columnist for The Lakewood Observer. JT3 is the Senior Minister of Pilgrim Congregational United Church of Christ in Tremont. He, his wife Susan, and their three children live in Lakewood.
When Christmas falls on Sunday, a Church has many decisions to make. Are we going to have a worship service on Christmas Day? Should we do a big Christmas Eve Service instead? We have to do something, right? After all it is Jesus’ birthday!
At CityEdge, we believe that God is always pursuing people. He is always speaking to them in subtle ways, inviting them into a bigger story, into his grander narrative of amazing life-changing love. So instead of calling everyone to get out of bed and short-change their traditional Christmas celebrations with family, we decided to meet people where they are. In this case, it happens to be their couches, via the internet, with something we called the Online Christmas Worship Experience. We had everyone invite their friends and family to join us at www.cityedge.org/online on Christmas Day for a very unique 20-minute Christmas experience.
Dear Church Trailer Thief,
On New Year's Day we picked up our trailer from its regular spot to find that you broke in and stole our equipment. You nabbed our church’s speakers and subwoofers, microphone stands, drum shield, bass cabinet and amp, and all of the cases that carry the items. All in all it was over $7,000 in losses.
My first reaction was anger. I wanted our church’s stuff back. I wanted justice. I wanted nothing more than to hunt you down and find you, but then I remembered why I am a follower of Jesus. I am a follower of Jesus because God paid a great price to put my relationship back together with him and with others. I am a follower of Jesus because he pardoned my offenses and debt against him.
In the spirit of pushing the envelope and tackling controversial issues (which I am wont to do), I want to elucidate a national campaign that was birthed in Tremont.
Earlier this year, the church I serve (Pilgrim Congregational United Church of Christ) decided that our clergy would no longer sign state-issued marriage licenses, nor would we allow them to be signed on our property. To us, this is a pertinent social justice issue. Because same-gender couples are not allowed to get married in Ohio (and many other states), we feel that as officers of the state — which clergy essentially are when they sign that piece of paper — we are complying with a blatant injustice.
But it goes further than that.
This piece is much more controversial than what I usually write in this column, but I feel the need to get these thoughts out on paper.
“I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19). This is one of the verses that the Pro-Life movement employs; it was one of the verses that an evangelist recently recited to me as he distributed anti-abortion literature (which included graphic images of aborted fetuses) in downtown Cleveland.
Before the steam rises from your ears, nota bene: if you are Pro-Life, fine; if you are Pro-Choice, fine. This article does not seek to engage in that debate; that is not my intention.
After thumbing through the salvation salesman’s pamphlet, I asked him what his position was on the death penalty. He said, “The Bible says ‘an eye for an eye’ so I am for it.” I then asked him to share his views on war. “If you mean the War in Iraq,” he said, “I am definitely in favor of it. This war is helping us spread the Christian message and our way of life around the world!”
I expected that he would respond that way.
Many (though certainly not all) of the Pro-Life people I have encountered are also in favor of capital punishment and war, especially when the latter is advanced under the banner of the American flag, which they equate with the cross of Christ. Call it Constantinianism or Manifest Destiny gone amok. Either way, you get my point.
Are religious doctrines that are used to advocate for the sanctity of life reserved strictly to a woman’s uterus? Are not the lives of the young men and women called to bear arms — not to mention the civilian casualties that inevitably lie in the wake of combat — also sacred? And why do we continually quote the three “eye for an eye” commandments in the Torah, but turn a blind eye to the clemency-laden teachings of Jesus, such as “I desire mercy not sacrifice,” “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” and dare we forget Christ’s response to the mob who wanted to stone the woman caught in adultery: “Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Jesus valued life…all life.
Is this not an ethic for us all to endorse?
I do not know a single Pro-Choice advocate who is Pro-Abortion. The issue for them is about a woman’s right to chose and to not allow the government to interfere with an individual’s reproductive rights. Believe it or not, you can chose not to have an abortion yourself, but feel as if this delicate and complex decision needs to be determined by each person in a country that advocates freedom for all.
What baffles me is the itinerant preacher I met, who claims that abortion is the killing of human life, but that the life of the individual on death row or on the battlefield is not as sacred. I do not understand this quandary at all.
As God spoke to the Israelites through Moses and Aaron, so God is still speaking to us. We are called to choose life by honoring the dignity and the sanctity of all people, not just some.
The Rev. John Tamilio III is the Religion Columnist for The Lakewood Observer and the Senior Pastor of Pilgrim Congregational United Church of Christ in Tremont. He can be reached at email@example.com. JT3 lives in Lakewood with his wife and their three children.
Like many communions, the United Church of Christ has a Statement of Faith. It is not so much a test of faith, as many of the historic creeds are, but rather a testimony of the common faith shared by the 5,320 autonomous congregations that comprise this united and uniting denomination.
Dear Representative Bachmann,
Recent news reports have highlighted the work of your husband, Dr. Marcus Bachmann, President of Bachmann & Associates— work that you fully support, recent retractions notwithstanding. Among his clients are members of the LGBT community (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) whom you and your husband claim can become heterosexual through “reparative therapy.” Popular culture refers to such treatment as “pray the gay away.” While such language is inflammatory and offensive, it is no less deplorable than your husband’s claim (on the conservative Christian radio program Point of View on May 12, 2010) that gay people are “barbarians” that need to be “educated” and “disciplined.”
As some of you may know, I am a poet. Poetry, for me, is one of the ways to capture the indefinable — however partial. It is a means of tapping into the divine essence that surrounds us and infuses us, yet, ironically enough, often goes unnoticed.
Last night as I watched the final embers fade to ether in the fire-pit in my backyard, a few lines came to mind. This is what I scribbled on the back of an envelope when I went into the kitchen:
Fire. There is nothing sadder than a fire going out. Embers struggling to breathe. Gray smoke rising. An ashen dance beneath. The patient on the bed, motionless. A gulp of air. A hiss. Little more…
Every once in a while a reader will ask me a question. This one comes from a friend in Boston. She asked, “If a person is brain dead, where does his/her soul reside?”
That’s a good question. I’ll take a stab at it.
Medical science used to define the time of death as the moment the heart stops beating. According to the popular online encyclopedia Wikipedia, brain death “is a legal definition of death that refers to the irreversible end of all brain activity.” This has been the clinical definition since 1981 with the publication of the Uniform Determination of Death Act (UDDA). Section One of the act clearly states, death is determined when “An individual…has sustained either (1) irreversible cessation of circulatory and respiratory functions, or (2) irreversible cessation of all functions of the entire brain, including the brain stem….”
On September 11, 2011 City Edge Christian Church launched "a church for the rest of us" with 112 people in attendance. City Edge's mission is to Love beyond reason, Journey with God, and serve the City. Since launch the church has averaged 89 people in attendance through September.