Good News, Great Joy, All The People

At Christmas Eve church services growing up, the pastor had an annual tradition. He would split our congregation into 3 groups, and assign them each a phrase to yell out when he pointed at them. One group was “Good News,” another “Great Joy,” and the final group, “All the People.” He would spend several minutes pointing at various groups, conducting them like an orchestra, until the words were really stuck in our heads. And stick they did. While I remember little else about what was said during those Christmas Eve sermons, a few decades later I can still see the congregation shouting, “Good News, Great Joy, All the People!” 

If you’re familiar with the Christmas story, or at least A Charlie Brown Christmas, you probably recognize the reference from the Gospel of Luke. An angel appears to a group of shepherds late at night to tell them about a miracle, saying, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10-11) 

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Volume 19, Issue 24, Posted 3:43 PM, 12.20.2023

Rabbi Lader Retiring

Lakewoodite Rabbi Enid Lader is retiring from being the spiritual leader of Beth Israel – The West Temple, located in Cleveland’s west side, effective June 20, 2023. Rabbi Rachel Brown will take over beginning July 1, 2023.

During the weekend of May 19th and 20th, Shabbat services will have live musical performances, Friday evening Musical Erev Shabbat Service featuring the Ross Family String Quartet & Festive Oneg and Saturday Shabbat Morning Service with members of the Afro-Semitic Experience & Kiddush. The weekend celebration concludes with a retirement party with music by the Yiddishe Cup Klezmer Band.

Rabbi Lader served in her current role for thirteen years. In addition to serving Cleveland’s west side Jewish community, she was involved with many multifaith groups that provided her with a platform to share a Jewish perspective with people who are non-Jews. Lader is a social justice activist involved in RAC Ohio, a coalition of Reform clergy across Ohio and Greater Cleveland Congregations. Her community leadership was recognized in 2018 as one of 18 Difference Makers by the Cleveland Jewish News, as well as the Academy for Jewish Religion for thirteen years of service. Lader previously led Beth Israel – The West Temple as Jewish Educator, volunteer religious school teacher, and high holiday choir director.

Beth Israel – The West Temple continues the legacy of female leadership. In 1972, Rabbi Sally Priesand, a graduate of Beth Israel’s religious school, became the first woman ordained to the rabbinate in the United States. Board President Walter Wright says, “Rabbi Enid Lader is a pillar at The West Temple who has been a community leader in various roles for 40 years. Filling her shoes will not be easy, but Rabbi Rachel Brown is very welcoming and already embraced by our congregation.”


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Volume 19, Issue 10, Posted 3:10 PM, 05.17.2023

Second Annual Car Show At Church of The Ascension - September 11

The Church of the Ascension at 13216 Detroit Avenue in Lakewood is hosting their Second Annual Car Show on September 11th, (Rain Date the 18th) from 10AM until 3PM. There wil be Cars, Raffles, Food and Music,Trophies and Dash Plaques! The Car Exhibitor donation is $10.

Join us as Church of the Ascension prepares to celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2025 on the very same property where it all began in 1875. In 1875 Church of the Ascension was a small wood frame church, known as “the Little White Church,” on property purchased from Lakewood’s pioneer family, the Nicholsons. 

The Church of the Ascension is an Episcopalian Church which embodies the motto “God Loves You, No Exceptions.”

Little did our first parishioners whose names were Kirkland, Fry, Hird, Beach, Hall, and Nicholson, know that the church they built, consecrated in 1875, would evolve into the dynamic church it is today.

Today Church of the Ascension serves three community meals each month and hosts 10 weekly AA meetings. The congregation welcomes the community for a shared Thanksgiving Meal and Christmas Luncheon. Clothes are collected for the ministry at St. Luke’s church on the near westside of Cleveland as well as school supplies. A Shawl Ministry supports those going through transitions in their lives. This year we even hosted a community bike rodeo with free bicycle repairs, partnering with Bike Lakewood, the Ohio City Bike Co-op and the Lakewood Police Department.


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Volume 18, Issue 16, Posted 3:16 PM, 08.17.2022

Back On The Streets Of Lakewood After Pandemic Pause

Jehovah’s Witnesses Resume Public Ministry Two Years After Going Virtual

If you happen to be walking through City Center Park in Lakewood, OH, you may notice that a pre-pandemic fixture is back on the sidewalks: smiling faces standing next to colorful carts featuring a positive message and free Bible-based literature.

Thousands of these carts will be rolling down the streets of communities like Lakewood across the world as Jehovah’s Witnesses recommence their global public preaching work some 24 months after putting it on pause due to the pandemic.

Public Information – Jehovah’s Witnesses 1

For more information, call (718) 560-5600

“We are so happy to be back in our Public Ministry!” said Brad Parsons, local spokesperson for Ohio. "While we never stopped reaching out to people through phone calls and letters, nothing compares to seeing and talking to people in person. That’s the reason it has been our hallmark for more than 100 years.”

While the organization is not yet back to knocking on doors, local congregations have also resumed free in-person Bible studies along with personal visits to those who have invited them back to their homes.

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Volume 18, Issue 15, Posted 8:09 PM, 08.03.2022

Homeless Jesus Arrives At Lakewood United Methodist Church

On Monday, April 11, the traveling Homeless Jesus statue arrived at Lakewood United Methodist Church. The installation of this artwork is intended to raise awareness of the unsheltered in our community. The traveling resin statue, along with a full set of six bronze statues, are owned by Community West Foundation. This set of statues were created by Canadian Timothy Schmalz and the six distinct figures are based on the scriptures in Matthew 25: 35 – 40, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you did it to me.” They were designed to spark conversations around social justice, privilege, compassion and empathy.

During the eight weeks that the traveling Homeless Jesus statue will reside at Lakewood United Methodist Church, the church will sponsor programs to highlight this important community issue. On Sunday, May 1, during the 10:00 am worship service, Rev Robin Dillon and Rev Laura Jaissle will interview Jonathan Gray, the Executive Director of Trials for Hope. Trials for Hope is a non-profit on the West Side of Cleveland whose mission is “to deliver dignity and hope to those who fall between the cracks, bringing wholesome food, personal care items and warmth to the Greater Cleveland Area.” Lakewood United Methodist Church has also recently sponsored a sock drive, collecting nearly 500 pairs of socks for those in need.

Stop by to visit the statue at 15700 Detroit Ave and to pray and reflect on how you might help the unsheltered in our community.

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Volume 18, Issue 8, Posted 2:58 PM, 04.20.2022

Finding Real Hope In Times Of Trouble

While other boys were shooting hoops last summer, Lakewood resident Bryce Walden was learning to walk again. 

At the end of 2020, Bryce received an emergency diagnosis of a large mass at the base of his brain. During the next several days, he had grueling surgeries. The bad news: he is now legally blind and has a permanent shunt to reduce fluid pressure on his brain. The good news: he is alive and with his family. 

For Bryce and his parents, Jake and Rachel, their Bible-based faith and the hope of living forever on a beautiful, peaceful earth was their lifeline. “Honestly, in the hospital, I wasn’t scared at all,” said 12-year-old Bryce. “I knew that whatever happened, Jehovah would make it right in his promised paradise. I felt he was right by my side, keeping me strong.” 

This spring, the Waldens join millions of Witnesses worldwide, inviting all to hear about that hope in a Bible-based lecture “Where Can You Find Real Hope” on April 3, 2022. The public is also invited the following week to the annual Memorial observance of Jesus Christ’s death on the evening of Friday, April 15, 2022. 

Admission to both programs is free, and no registration is required. Information on attending locally is available at

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Volume 18, Issue 7, Posted 9:33 AM, 04.06.2022

Pastoral Care And Pastoral Counseling

Pastoral care and pastoral counseling are integral concepts necessary for effective ministry within institutional settings and church communities. It is vital to identify, recognize and differentiate between these two vocations. Although pastoral care and pastoral counseling are very similar, they have striking differences that one must understand to properly pursue and satiate our spiritual needs.[1] This essay will briefly demarcate pastoral care in light of pastoral counseling.

Pastoral care “historically included any activity of the church that meets the needs of its members and its community; thus, activities of pastoral care can include preaching, visitation, performing funerals, counseling parishioners, outreach to the homeless, and many more”.[2] Pastoral care represents the reaching out of Christians to help, heal, or aid in the spiritual advancement and betterment of mankind. The duties of the chaplain are to give primary care to all those in need who seek the help and compassion of one dedicated to the holy life lived out in Christlikeness. Pastoral care does not require the regimented psychological background that pastoral counseling requires. In essence, anyone who cares can provide pastoral care. 

While rooted in pastoral care, pastoral counseling differs in specialization and need. “Pastoral counseling is both a specialized form of pastoral care and a specialized form of counseling.[3]” It is ethically important for the chaplain to understand how pastoral care transfers over to counseling so that he/she will know when, where, and how to get help or help others. Whereas pastoral care is the reaching out of one Christian to another, pastoral counseling involves deeper levels of therapy not afforded by regular parishioners, patients, or clergy.


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Volume 18, Issue 3, Posted 7:12 PM, 02.02.2022

Grace Lutheran Church Donates Backpacks To Garfield Middle School

For twelve consecutive years, Grace Lutheran Church has provided backpacks and school supplies for students at Garfield Middle School at the beginning of the school year. In year's past, the members of the congregation would be informed of the supplies needed, and on a designated Sunday, backpacks would be filled with the supplies.

This year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the congregation solicited financial donations so that a limited number of people could purchase the supplies for the backpacks. Approximately 16 people donated $1100 for the supplies. In all, a total of 50 backpacks with school supplies and 14 surge protectors were gratefully received by Garfield Middle School.

Grace Lutheran Church is grateful to those who provided financial donations and to Thrivent Financial which provided seed money for the project. The congregation looks forward to being able to continue this ministry in the next academic year.

Grace Lutheran Church is a member congregation of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. Located across from Madison Park at 13030 Madison Avenue, the congregation offers worship service on Sundays at 9 AM with a Christian Education Hour following at 9:45 AM. On September 20th, the congregation began live-streaming its services on Facebook.

For more information about Grace Lutheran Church, go to their website at

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Volume 16, Issue 20, Posted 10:13 AM, 10.22.2020

The Need For Self-Care Amid A Pandemic

The last few months have had a crippling effect on America and its compatriots. Normal people living out their lives in peace and hope have been sidelined by political opportunist and bureaucratic tyrants. This has caused great distress in family structures and organizations that exist to serve the public good. It is all too common for these structures to be caught up in the wellness of others that they forget the concept of self-care and how important that is to the efficacy purpose of caring for humanity.

If proper self-care is neglected, it leads to irrational thinking and a push toward “doing good” despite what that good may lead to. Good intentions, in most situations, lead to bad decisions made under the guise of peace and unity.

Temperance is a key component of self-care and it undergirds the biblical understanding of how to measure oneself in the light of the Gospel; “So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified” (1 Corinthians 9:26-27 ESV).

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Volume 16, Issue 14, Posted 4:19 PM, 07.15.2020

Holiday Service Project

Do you know what "food insecurity" means? The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines food insecurity as a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active healthy life. What that means in our world is that some people are unable to afford healthy food- or any food at all- for a brief or extended period of time. It may mean that people have to choose between housing and needed medication over food for themselves and their families. In Cuyahoga County 233,500 (or 18.6%) experience food insecurity at one time or another.

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Volume 15, Issue 22, Posted 4:39 PM, 11.20.2019

God Of Our Fathers

On July 4th, the United States of America will celebrate its 243rd birthday. Among the hymns that are traditionally sung on or around July 4th is our National Hymn, “God of Our Fathers.” This hymn has been a favorite of mine since I first sang it in the Children's Choir at St. Luke's Lutheran Church in Richardson, Texas. As I've reflected on the words of the hymn, I've discovered some great truths that all people in general and all Americans in particular should consider and take to heart. Here they are for your consideration.

God of our fathers, whose almighty hand Leads forth in beauty all the starry band Of shining worlds in splendor through the skies, Our grateful songs before Thy throne arise. The first settlers of what would become The United States of America were believers in God. Not just any God, but the Triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the God who created all things, the heavens and the earth and all that is in them. He is the God that still guards and preserves His wondrous creation. It is to this God that all honor and praise and glory and worship is to be rendered.


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Volume 15, Issue 13, Posted 6:32 PM, 07.03.2019

Baldwin Wallace Professor Alan Kolp To Facilitate Discussion On Quaker Spirituality At Centering Space

Dr. Alan Kolp’s career teaching religion and spirituality took an unusual turn nearly two decades ago when he joined the Baldwin Wallace faculty and struck up an unlikely alliance with colleagues in the business school. Together, they entwined business concepts such as leadership, innovation and culture, with the classical virtues of courage, justice, hope and love to pen three books, highly prized by businesses trying to build more holistic and integrity driven companies for the 21st Century.

Born and raised in the Quaker faith, Kolp has relied on the tenets of his faith in both his teaching and writing.

On Saturday, May 11, Kolp, a birthright Quaker, is sharing his spiritual message during a day-long retreat at Centering Space in Lakewood. But as with his co-authored business books, he invites participants to examine these ideas in light of their own lives.

“I will present some of the basic Quaker spiritual perspectives and practices, but more than theology, I want to work in the area of spirituality,” Kolp said. “I am hoping whatever your tradition, you can see a way to relate to Quaker beliefs. I will focus on the basic Quaker spirituality and do some segments on silence, peace, testimony and social justice.”


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Volume 15, Issue 10, Posted 7:51 PM, 05.08.2019

Grace-est Show On Earth To Feature "Slider"

Grace Lutheran Church welcomes the Greater Lakewood Community to join them on Saturday, May 11th from 11 AM to 2 PM for their annual Grace-est Show on Earth Carnival and Grace Preschool Open House. This year's event will feature the Cleveland Indian's "Slider" joining the celebration from 11 AM to 12 Noon.

The Grace-est Show on Earth with feature carnival games and prizes, face painting, and balloons, all of which is free of charge to the public. In addition to Slider, there will also be a Nora the Explorer Animal Encounter. Hot dogs, drinks, and a bake sale will also be a part of the day's festivities.

The Grace-est Show on Earth includes an Open House for Grace Preschool. Grace Preschool serves children ages 3 to 5 and is a ministry of Grace Lutheran Church. The public is invited to take a tour of the preschool. Enrollment is now open for all classes.

So, come and enjoy The Grace-est Show on Earth! Grace Lutheran Church is located at 13030 Madison Avenue in Lakewood, directly across the street from Madison Park.

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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 8:01 PM, 05.08.2019

Successful Convention Hosted By Grace Lutheran Church

Over one hundred twenty delegates and guests from 12 states and 2 Canadian provinces gathered at Grace Lutheran Church in Lakewood April 26th-29th for the triennial District Convention of the SELC District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. The Convention met under the following themes: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength" (Deuteronomy 6:5) and "Therefore honor God with your body" (1 Corinthians 6:20b). Among the guests was the Rev. Dr. Matthew Harrison, President of the 2.1 million member Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS). The SELC District is one of 35 districts of the LCMS and is one of two that are "non-geographical." The SELC, once its own church body known as the Slovak Evangelical Lutheran Chuch and later as the Synod of Evangelical Lutheran Churches, merged with the LCMS in 1970. This year's convention marked the second time in the history of the SELC as a district of the LCMS that the convention was held in Lakewood.

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Volume 14, Issue 11, Posted 10:43 PM, 06.05.2018

Something New Is Growing In Lakewood & Rocky River

There’s a new ministry in town: Good Soil Lutheran Ministries is one of the newest congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), created through the consolidation of Faith Lutheran Church in Lakewood and Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Rocky River.

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Volume 14, Issue 4, Posted 12:12 PM, 02.20.2018

Trinity Lutheran's Deconsecration

Trinity Lutheran Church is a congregation that was founded in 1912 in a rented chapel on Andrews Avenue and was to be in ministry with English speaking Lutherans residing in Lakewood. The name became Trinity Lutheran Church in 1921. The building to be deconsecrated was completed in 1922, the education unit in 1953, interior renovations to the sanctuary in 1966, and muraling throughout in 1999 by members under the leadership of member artists. Leaving a church building is an occasion filled with mixed emotions of varying degrees. There is grief and nostalgia about what has gone before, as well as hopefulness for the future. 

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Volume 14, Issue 1, Posted 4:06 PM, 01.09.2018

Trinity Lutheran Church's Next Chapter

Trinity Lutheran Church has called a new pastor, the Reverend Sara Cogsil, and together they began serving alongside one another on August 15, 2017. They will officially mark the occasion with Pastor Cogsil’s installation service to be held on Sunday, November 12 at 4:30. The installation service will be led by Bishop Abraham Allende and will be held in the chapel of Lakewood Congregational Church, Trinity’s future home.

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Volume 13, Issue 21, Posted 5:02 PM, 11.08.2017

Grace Lutheran To Celebrate The 500th Anniversary Of Reformation

Grace Lutheran Church, located at the corner of Madison and Grace Avenues in Lakewood across from Madison Park, will be celebrating the 500th Anniversary of The Reformation on SUNDAY, OCTOBER 22ND, AT 4 PM. The service will feature a processional by Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) clergy, a procession of banners made by congregations from Ohio and Pennsylvania, special music by The Lutheran Wind Ensemble an adult mass choir, and the bell choir of Grace Lutheran Church. The entire Greater Lakewood Community is cordially invited to attend this once in a lifetime celebration.

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Volume 13, Issue 20, Posted 12:05 PM, 10.17.2017

"Grace-Est Show On Earth" Returns To Grace Lutheran Church

On Saturday, May 6th, Grace Lutheran Church, located at 13030 Madison Avenue in Lakewood, will once again present their “Grace-est Show on Earth.” This annual event features carnival-style games with prizes, face-painting, balloons, and a bounce-house. Children ages 4-12 are assured of having a wonderful time. Building Hope in the City plays a key role in the event through its City Serve program which utilizes high school students from the Greater Cleveland area in assisting with servant events around the city. Students involved with City Serve will be supervising the carnival games as well as assisting the congregation with a couple of projects around the church.

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Volume 13, Issue 9, Posted 4:19 PM, 05.02.2017

Lakewood Welcomes Prominent Cleveland Area Pastor

On May 1, the Rev. Dr. Charles Yoost will arrive at Lakewood United Methodist Church as Interim Pastor, following the ten year pastorate of the Rev. Bruce Hartley. Dr. Yoost was Senior Pastor at Church of the Saviour in Cleveland Heights for seventeen years, where his sermons and “Thoughts for the Day” were broadcast on radio stations WCLV, WHKW and WDOK. He is a frequent workshop leader and guest preacher. In November, 2016, he led seminars on “Discipleship and Church Renewal” and “Pastoral Ministry – Past, Present and Future” at his Alma Mater, Boston University School of Theology.

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Volume 13, Issue 8, Posted 10:01 PM, 04.18.2017

Community Baptisms Offered At Faith Lakewood

“Look, here is water! What is to prevent me from being baptized?” -- Acts 8:36

On the eve of Easter Sunday, Faith Lutheran Church will offer baptism to anyone who desires it for themselves or their child.

The baptisms offered at the Easter Vigil service on April 15 are especially intended for those who desire baptism but aren’t presently part of a Christian community.

The community baptism service will begin at 7 p.m. and last about 45 minutes to an hour, with scripture, simple songs and the baptisms. A celebration with Easter Sundaes and other desserts and refreshments will follow. All are welcome to attend and participate in worship.

People who would like to be baptized or would like their children baptized, must contact Pastor Mark Rollenhagen in advance by calling Faith at 216-226-6500 or e-mailing him at They also must arrive at the church by 6:30 p.m. for a half-hour conversation about baptism before the service begins.

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Volume 13, Issue 7, Posted 5:10 PM, 04.04.2017

Grace Lutheran Celebrates Mission Festival With "Common Threads"

Grace Lutheran Church, located on the corner of Grace and Madison Avenues across from Madison Park, will host a Mission Festival on Sunday, March 26th. The Guest Speaker for the occasion will be Mr. Jeff Stredney, director and founder of Common Threads, a unique ministry of Building Hope in the City.

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Volume 13, Issue 6, Posted 8:14 PM, 03.21.2017

Advent: A Season of Hope

Can’t It Be December 26 Already? Exploring Hope in Hardship

For some of us, the statement “It’s the most wonderful time of the year” couldn’t be further from the truth. With all the decorations and merriment December brings, the day we’re most anxious for is the 26th.   Grief, apathy and hardship can make the Christmas season anything from annoying to unbearable. So this year, instead of focusing on Christmas day, concentrate on Advent. Advent isn’t about presents, trees, dinners and decorations. It invites you to a place of quiet and reflection. And it challenges you to both look into and past your circumstances.

“Hope is the power of being cheerful in circumstances that we know to be desperate,” writes G.K. Chesterton in an essay discussing virtues.1 The difficulty of this statement is obvious. Desperate circumstances seem to call for despair, not hope.

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Volume 12, Issue 25, Posted 7:29 PM, 12.06.2016

Advent: A Season of Love

In the year and a half since having my son, I have received a wide range of parenting advice (some solicited and some not), but the most helpful advice was also the simplest: “Just love him lots.” It sounds easy but has proved to be unexpectedly challenging. From sleep training to tantrums, I find myself regularly wondering how best to “love him lots.” Is it through discipline and firm boundaries? Is it through tenderness and letting go of my plans for the day? Most often I have found the truest love to be somewhere within a difficult balance of many extremes.

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Volume 12, Issue 25, Posted 7:29 PM, 12.06.2016

Advent: A Season Of Light

We are fast approaching a season of light. From the twinkle of Christmas lights, to the flicker of Advent candles, to the metaphorical glow on children’s faces, we are coming upon a time filled with light. However the irony isn’t lost: the days are shorter, the nights longer, and a cloudy gloom is building over the lake. The winter darkness is settling and Advent comes during the bitterest of those times.

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Volume 12, Issue 24, Posted 4:35 PM, 11.22.2016


Spunky. Perseverant. Patient. Adaptable. Loving. Kind. Open Armed. Home. These are all words that describe, Calvary United Methodist Church. Calvary has gone through a lot over the years: Fires, broken windows, broken ovens, new pastors, parishioners coming and going, debating whether or not it’s the right choice to close, however; here we stand. At the corner of Northland and Hilliard, a beautiful brick building, beautiful trees in the front yard, a wittily worded sign and a little family of faith inside. Calvary has seen its ups and downs but we have refused to give up. We provide the community with as much as we have in us and we want you to know, we’re still here. And we’re planning on staying. So why not familiarize yourself with everything we have to offer? A free Carnival every spring, with bounce houses, free food, games and prizes; outdoor praise services in the summer, a prison ministry which provides the children of inmates Christmas gifts and a big Christmas party, crafts fairs (We’re having one on October 22 from 10-2!), 4th of July parades, community meals, and an open pantry of toiletries, along with food and clothing located at the churches next door and potlucks galore. We open our doors to any and all. If you are looking for a place to fill your heart, to energize your spirit and give you the opportunities for love and kindness that you’ve been looking for, we’re the place.  The congregation and Pastor Nick are ready to set things in motion this year and we hope you remember that Calvary is booming on the inside and we are coming outside to the community to make sure you know we’re here! Lakewood is abundant in churches, but there is only one Calvary United Methodist and we may be exactly what you need. 

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Volume 12, Issue 21, Posted 4:56 PM, 10.11.2016

Grace Lutheran Church Celebrates Rally Day

Grace Lutheran Church, located at 13030 Madison Avenue across from Madison Park, kicked off Children's and Youth Bible studies with their annual Rally Day. Rally Day is a tradition started from the early 1900's to welcome back families from summer and to kick off a new year of Bible study.

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Volume 12, Issue 20, Posted 5:03 PM, 09.27.2016

Grace Preschool Open House & Ice Cream Social

Grace Preschool, located at 13030 Madison Avenue in Lakewood across from Madison Park, will be hosting a Preschool Open House & Ice Cream Social on Thursday Evening, August 4th, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. This event is for families with preschool age children.

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Volume 12, Issue 16, Posted 6:37 PM, 08.02.2016

Holy Week For The Ordinary Life

Steve Sink, the owner of Belle Barber, was cutting my always-overgrown curly hair. “I think I saw you in your robes the other day with your congregation out in the courtyard of the church.” “Was it a wedding?” I asked. “Perhaps,” he replied. “Were we walking around with Palms?” I continued to guess. No, that wasn’t it. “Was there a lot of smoke? Was I lighting a fire?” He wasn’t sure. After some conversation we settled on the idea that it must have been a procession of some sort, the haircut continued, and the conversation moved on.

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Volume 12, Issue 6, Posted 12:14 PM, 03.16.2016

Advent Service At St. Luke Church

On Sunday, December 6th at 7 p.m., St. Luke Church will celebrate an Advent Family Prayer Service to include a Procession of Creation, Scripture, prayer, and song featuring the St. Ignatius High School Music Chorus and the St. Luke Choir. All are very warmly welcomed! A Social will follow.

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Volume 11, Issue 24, Posted 3:38 PM, 11.24.2015

'Dog Night' At Lakewood Park

The pet-friendly, midsummer outdoor worship series offered by the PLUM (Presbyterian, Lutheran, United Methodist) congregations of southwest Lakewood kicks off Wednesday, July 8, with “Dog Night” at the gazebo in Lakewood Park.

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Volume 11, Issue 14, Posted 3:05 PM, 07.07.2015

Here Come Grace Community Days 2015

Grace Lutheran Church is making final preparations for its fifth annual Community Days, which will take place the week of June 22, 2015, “under the tent” on the lawn in front of the church.

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 5:52 PM, 06.09.2015

Community Baptisms Offered At Faith

“Child of God, you have been sealed by the Holy Spirit and marked with the cross of Christ forever.” -- from the Lutheran Book of Worship.

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Volume 11, Issue 7, Posted 7:10 AM, 04.01.2015

Tenebrae - The Service Of Shadows

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil…”

When I first joined the Anglican Church, I felt a bit like a schoolchild who showed up for a vocabulary test and hadn’t been privy to the study materials. As someone who had attended church her entire life and felt well-educated, there was an element of unexpected culture shock. Thankfully I was not being graded, and I had teachers not only willing but excited to help me learn these new terms. I began to understand the foreign traditions, their roots in both scripture and the traditions of the ancient church, and they enriched my faith in new ways.

One of these learning experiences was the service of Tenebrae, which I attended for the first time last year.  The word “tenebrae” is Latin for “darkness” or “shadows,” and it describes the service well. A tradition established during medieval times, Tenebrae takes place during Holy Week, occurring on different days of the week depending on the Christian denomination. Holy Week is full of traditions that are sensory – the washing of feet on Maundy Thursday, partaking in remembrance of the last supper, the songs of joy on Easter Sunday. Tenebrae is a very visual service, gradually plunging the congregation into darkness as it progresses.

Tenebrae, at its core, is a funeral ceremony. A dark sanctuary is lit only by candles, and passages of scripture are read that address the suffering of Christ during the last days before his death.

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Volume 11, Issue 6, Posted 4:41 PM, 03.17.2015

Soup's On!

Yes, friends, cold and flu and more cold and snow. It is time for SOUP! 

Trinity Lutheran Church is  holding a fundraiser Sunday, March 1, from 11:30-1pm. Amazing soups from mom's recipes to that yummy, spicy Thai dom yam will be ready for you to take home! Chili, too. Pint and quart containers will be available. Some pop up shops might be in Trinity's Community Room as well. Enter through the rear/north door. 

In January the chili fundraiser brought in monies to assist a neighbor needing a new boiler. March is set for funds dedicated to the "Pastor's Discretionary Fund". This fund assists folks in need of rent, emergencies, temporary housing, and bus tickets. So many folks come to churchc doors these days. Often churches are their last resort. Referrals and resources are also provided to those whose next step might be sleeping outdoors. This winter is no time for being outdoors overnight!

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Volume 11, Issue 4, Posted 4:49 PM, 02.17.2015

A Pastor's Thoughts On Light Up Lakewood

Lakewood is a wonderful place to live year-round, but there is something special about the Fall and Christmas time. Whether walking in the Metroparks or down the multi-colored canopy of one of our charming streets, this is a special time in our city. I moved to Lakewood in 2010 but it has taken me some time to find all that Lakewood has to offer, despite my periodic reading of The Lakewood Observer. For the last several years friends and I went on the Chocolate Walk put on by Lakewood Alive and last year a group of us went Christmas Caroling through the Downtown Detroit Avenue business district.

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Volume 10, Issue 24, Posted 11:45 AM, 11.25.2014

Anglican Church Dedicated In Lakewood

Lakewood Anglican Church was dedicated as mission church of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) at 5 p.m. on October 5th, 2014. The Archdeacon of the Great Lakes Diocese of the ACNA, Reverend Mark Scotton, was present as a representative of the Diocese and delivered the sermon. The dedication marks a shift as Lakewood Anglican moves from holding monthly services, which began in March of 2014, to holding weekly services. Services are held Sunday evenings at 5 p.m. at Gethsemane Lutheran Church, 14560 Madison Avenue, Lakewood.

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Volume 10, Issue 22, Posted 5:40 PM, 10.28.2014

Grace Lutheran Church To Celebrate Rally Day

Grace Lutheran Church, located across from Madison Park at the corner of Madison and Grace Avenues, will celebrate their annual Rally Day under the theme "Be Bold" on Sunday, September 7th. The Greater Lakewood Community is invited to join the congregation on a day typically reserved to celebrate and advance the Christian Education ministries of the congregation and to set the ministry direction of the congregation in the new program year.

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Volume 10, Issue 18, Posted 4:26 PM, 09.02.2014

Community Days At Grace Lutheran Church

The big white tent goes up on the front lawn of Grace Lutheran Church on Monday, June 16th, serving as a prelude to a week of activities to which the entire Greater Lakewood Community is invited. The church, located at the corner of Grace and Madison Avenues across from Madison Park, has hosted evangelistic and community activities under a tent in mid-June for the past 8 years.

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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 6:28 PM, 06.10.2014

Episcopal Youth Gathering: Keep Lakewood Beautiful Day Of Service And Christian Rock

More than 50 youth in grades 7-12 will spend the morning on Saturday, May 3, helping the Lakewood community through the Keep Lakewood Beautiful organization. As part of the Spring Youth Gathering, an annual event for teens sponsored by the Episcopal Diocese of Ohio. The kids will lend a hand with clean-up and Earth Day activities, including cleaning city sidewalks, and downtown parks, litter pick-up, collecting household waste for recycling, and planting flowers and trees.

This year's Spring Youth Gathering is hosted by the Church of the Ascension in Lakewood,  and will commence with program activities on Friday evening, the Keep Lakewood Beautiful project on Saturday morning, followed by a concert by notable Christian rock band, The LivingStones. Having released their first full-length album, "Glow," in 2011, the band has been a part of worship services and youth gatherings in the US and Mexico, and performed at The Big Ticket Festival, a three-day Christian music festival which hosts more than 10,000 people per day.

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Volume 10, Issue 9, Posted 11:13 AM, 04.29.2014

A New Sanctuary At Lakewood United Methodist Church

Lakewood United Methodist Church will be moving into its new sanctuary on Easter Sunday, April 20. After only four months of intensive work, a beautiful new worship space has emerged. It features a large stage which can be used for many different kinds of musical and drama programs and an area for the congregation with moveable chairs, in addition to traditional pews. Nearby is a fellowship area and a cafe with coffee and refreshments available.

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Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 2:32 PM, 04.15.2014

Museum Celebrates The Season

The Museum of Divine Statues is offering guests the opportunity to visit on Sunday, December 8, for half price admission, $4, to honor the Feast of the Immaculate Conception and to celebrate the Christmas season. The museum hours are noon till 4 p.m. with the reciting of the rosary, led by Father Ron Wearsch, at 3:00 p.m. The museum is located at 12905 Madison Avenue in Lakewood, Ohio. For additional information, call (216) 228-9950.  The museum is open each Sunday from noon until 4 pm.  Group tours are available during the week upon request.  Make a visit to the Museum a part of your holiday tradition.

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Volume 9, Issue 25, Posted 5:42 PM, 11.28.2013

Grace Lutheran Church Welcomes Radio Personality For Rally Day

Grace Lutheran Church, located across from Madison Park on the corner of Grace and Madison Avenues in Lakewood, will be celebrating their Sunday School Rally Day on September 8th with a special guest. Mark Rein, radio personality at WFHM 95.5 The Fish, will provide contemporary worship music and the message at the 10:30 a.m. worship service. He will also bring greetings and a brief presentation to the Sunday School Children & Staff during the Sunday School hour beginning at 9:15 a.m.

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Volume 9, Issue 18, Posted 1:37 PM, 09.05.2013

St. James Parish Celebrates Its Anniversary

St. James in Lakewood is celebrating the first anniversary of the reopening of its parish on Thursday, July 25. The festivities will begin at 7:00 p.m. with Mass. A reception will follow immediately afterward in the courtyard. Kristie the balloon-twister will be on hand to make balloon animals for the kids. This event is free and open to the public. Come and celebrate this happy occasion with us.

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Volume 9, Issue 15, Posted 10:38 PM, 07.24.2013

Grace Lutheran Church To Hold Blessing Of The Pets Service

It’s that time of the year again when Grace Lutheran Church of Lakewood puts up a big white tent on their front lawn and holds activities and services to serve the community in the Name of Jesus Christ. In years past, the congregation has hosted a three-day evangelistic crusade, but this year they are trying something a little bit different. Instead of being a blessing to people only, they will seek to be a blessing to people’s pets as well.  The Greater Lakewood Community is cordially invited to come to a Blessing of the Pets service on Tuesday, June 25th at 7 PM under the tent. Grace Lutheran Church is located across the street from Madison Park at 13030 Madison Avenue. All animals are welcome! The Rev. George Hansell, Pastor of Grace, requests that the owners please ask their animal companions to be well-behaved.

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Volume 9, Issue 13, Posted 11:03 PM, 06.26.2013

The Dougbe River Presbyterian School

The story of young Isaac Monah's escape from the war torn nation of Liberia in 1989 and of his subsequent arrival in America, is in and of itself a story of biblical proportions.

When civil war erupted in Liberia in 1989, the Monah family fled to the Ivory Coast where Isaac worked for a time in the Tai National Forest where he met Scott McGraw who helped him emigrate to America. Isaac settled in Philadelphia, and eventually moved to Cleveland Heights where he began attending Noble Road Presbyterian Church. 

In 2007 Isaac returned to a Liberia still recovering from the wounds of the war, and recognizing that one of the resources unavailable to those living in the Konobo district of Liberia was education, Isaac embarked on a crusade to bring a school to the citizens of the Konobo District of Liberia, the rural area which was his home. Returning to Noble Road, he allied himself with several resourceful church leaders including: Pastor Francis Miller, John Luttermoser, Ted Roos, John Benko and others; together they formed the organization that became known as the Dougbe River Presbyterian School of Liberia or DRPSL.


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Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 11:51 AM, 06.13.2013

The Church Of The Ascension

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.

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Volume 9, Issue 8, Posted 9:37 PM, 04.16.2013

"Put Your House In Order"

You are invited to a special presentation to be made at Lakewood United Methodist Church on Sunday afternoon, March 3 at 12:15 p.m."Put Your House in Order" is the topic, which will focus on plans for leaving your estate and personal affairs in order at the time of death. There is no charge for this event, and there are no reservations necessary.

Leader for this seminar will be Dr. William McFadden, a retired United Methodist pastor. Dr. McFadden frequently serves as an adviser to individuals and local churches on matters of Christian stewardship.

The church is located at 15700 Detroit Ave., at Summit, in Lakewood. For additional information, call 216-226-8644.

Carolyn Rummery is in charge of publicity for Lakewood United Methodist Church.

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Volume 9, Issue 4, Posted 9:31 PM, 02.19.2013

Grace Lutheran Church To Celebrate 10th Anniversary

Grace Lutheran Church, located across from Madison Park at the corner of Madison & Grace Avenues in Lakewood, is celebrating its 10th Anniversary in 2013 under the theme “More Grace to Come.” “The congregation is planning a number of special worship services, servant events, and other activities during the course of the year,” says the Rev. George R. Hansell, Jr., who has served the congregation for eight years of its ten-year history.

The congregation came into existence on January 1, 2003 when the congregants of Pentecost Lutheran Church and Saints Peter & Paul Lutheran Church, both of Lakewood, decided to come together as one congregation to more effectively carry out mission and ministry in Lakewood. The congregation adopted as its mission statement, “Grace Lutheran Church shares the Good News of Jesus Christ with all people.” To help advance that mission, in 2008 the congregation organized Grace Preschool under the auspices of the Lutheran Development Ministry of Lakewood, a separately incorporated entity of the congregation. The congregation will celebrate the fifth anniversary of the preschool ministry in a special service on April 28.

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Volume 9, Issue 3, Posted 9:58 PM, 02.05.2013

Lakewood Congregational Church To Host Public Lenten Event On Forgiveness On February 27

In nearly 14 years since her son's death, Rachel Muha of Westerville, Ohio, has learned much about walking the path of forgiveness, even in the face of tragedy and adversity.

On May 31, 1999, her son Brian, 18, a freshman at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, and his friend Aaron Land, 20, were killed when intruders randomly broke into their off-campus house. The intruders assaulted them and ultimately killed them, leaving their bodies off an abandoned stretch of Route 22 in Washington County, Pa., nearly 20 miles from Steubenville. The killers were caught soon after and convicted.

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Volume 9, Issue 3, Posted 9:58 PM, 02.05.2013

Annual Advent Concert At Faith Lutheran

The eighth annual Dorfmeyer Memorial Advent Concert is set for Sunday, December 9, at Faith Lutheran Church. The concert will feature pianist David Robison playing the music of George Gershwin.

The music begins at 3 p.m. and will be followed by a gala reception in the church's Ada Doepker Lounge. A freewill offering will be accepted. Faith is at 16511 Hilliard Road (at Woodward) in Lakewood.

Mark Rollenhagen is the pastor of Faith Lutheran Church in Lakewood.

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Volume 8, Issue 25, Posted 10:01 PM, 12.11.2012

Calvary UMC 100th Anniversary Celebration

Calvary United Methodist Church
Birthdate: November 9, 1912

Mission Statement:
"God calls us to reach out to the spiritually and physically hungry."

The Calvary United Methodist Church will complete her year-long celebration of 100 years of mission and ministry in the name and for the sake of Jesus Christ at a special banquet, program, worship service and potluck dinner to be held on the evening of Saturday, November 10 and the morning of Sunday, November 11.

The Saturday evening banquet and program will begin at 6:00 PM and will feature a catered meal, remarks from former pastors, a power point presentation and the singing of the "Ambassadors."  The "Ambassadors" will be coming to Calvary and Lakewood from Detroit. In addition to sharing the love of Jesus through song, the "Ambassadors," a group of men who have overcome great challenges in life, will praise God through personal faith testimonies. They are and they will be an inspiration to all who see, hear and interact with them. The following morning, at our 11:00 AM worship service, their pastor, the Rev. Dr. Faith Fowler, will deliver our morning message. Rev. Fowler, who is the executive director of Cass Community Social Services in Detroit, is the senior pastor of the Cass United Methodist Church and is a preacher in great demand.

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Volume 8, Issue 22, Posted 1:55 PM, 11.01.2012

The Art Of Marriage Conference

Cross Point Church will be hosting a marriage conference Friday and Saturday, November 2-3, 2012. The Art of Marriage event is a video guided conference divided into six dynamic sessions. This event will provide couples with the opportunity to grow and strengthen their marriage relationship.

Location for the conference will be held at The Winchester Music Hall, 12112 Madison Ave. The event runs from 7 - 9:30 p.m. on Friday, November 2 and 9 a.m.-  4 p.m. on Saturday, November 3. Total cost for the conference is $40 per couple, which includes manuals, refreshments and lunch on Saturday. 

Registration deadline is October 15. Visit for more information.

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Volume 8, Issue 20, Posted 8:58 PM, 10.02.2012