Faith & Spirituality

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

Candlelight ceremony to honor the loss of a child

On the evening of Sunday, Dec. 11, Unity Spiritual Center of Westlake will acknowledge and honor anyone who has ever experienced the loss of a beloved child, with The Compassionate Friends. This is a special event that happens once a year, locally and worldwide. The candlelit evening acknowledges grief, allows for tears, honors the lives of those lost but never forgotten, and opens the door to greater healing.

Around the globe, at 7 p.m. local time on Dec. 11, candles will be lit for one hour uniting families and friends to honor the memories of children, grandchildren, brothers and sisters who can no longer be hugged. Though they left too soon, they will never be forgotten. Their memories will be shared through love and understanding by hundreds of thousands across the globe.

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Volume 8, Issue 22, Posted 9:46 AM, 11.15.2016

Finding common ground again

St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Bay Village is hosting a series of workshops on reflecting, learning and experiencing different ways to interact with God. Each program will focus on a different way to connect.

The next workshop, “Finding Common Ground Again," will be held Nov. 19, from 10 a.m. to noon. This workshop will offer a faith-based approach to dealing with disagreement, offering both practical strategies and theological underpinnings for the healing of relationships and the bridging of divides. Within a family or neighborhood, in the workplace, within our nation, we can have respectful, meaningful conversations that move our understanding forward and “turn down the heat” in conflicts.

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Volume 8, Issue 22, Posted 9:46 AM, 11.15.2016

Westlake church launches Operation Christmas Child

"Let my heart be broken with the things that break the heart of God." These words by Bob Pierce, who in 1970 was president of Youth for Christ, were written after visiting children suffering in Korea. His mission for this organization was "to meet emergency needs in crisis areas through existing evangelical mission agencies and national churches." Since 1993 the leadership of Samaritan's Purse (Franklin Graham) have delivered more than 124 million gift-filled shoeboxes. There are 500,000 volunteers worldwide.

Today, some 46 years later, Operation Christmas Child continues to make a difference in the lives of children throughout the world. This year six unreached groups of people will be the recipients of shoeboxes filled with toys and other items for the first time along with shoeboxes being delivered to over 100 countries. There are so many millions of children in our world who have never received a gift of any kind, much less a shoebox filled with gifts.

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Volume 8, Issue 20, Posted 10:24 AM, 10.18.2016

Saint Raphael students 'Rock the Challenge'

Last month, Saint Raphael students in Bay Village participated in their second Rock the Challenge. Rock the Challenge (RTC) is a faith-filled day where the students learn a little more about themselves, and explore the needs of others and work together to provide for those less fortunate. This day is made possible by the help of many volunteers and donations, and special help from Fit Me Up and Coach Theo.

Coach Theo brings a challenging obstacle course and encourages the students to run it with intention. He stresses to the children to run it for someone they wish to lift up, such as a grandparent, parent, sibling or friend. It does not matter how fast or well you complete the course. What matters is that you try, especially in the name of others who can't.

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Volume 8, Issue 20, Posted 10:26 AM, 10.18.2016

Harnessing the benefits of meditation

Meditation has many forms, and many faces. It can be done for a few minutes, or hours. Some Indian gurus have been known to meditate for years in caves. Meditation can be done alone, or in groups.

There can be calming music, or no music at all. It can be done with prayer, or without. It can be guided by a lead, a minister, a master, or you can do it yourself. It can be done sitting in a Yoga posture with palms upward, or just sitting in a comfy chair. It can be done during Sunday church service, or in your own home. You can find it as a portion of some Yoga classes.

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Volume 8, Issue 20, Posted 10:27 AM, 10.18.2016

Workshop uses collage to connect with God

St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Bay Village is hosting a series of workshops on reflecting, learning and experiencing different ways to interact with God. Each program will focus on a different way to connect. All are welcome.

The next workshop will be held Saturday, Oct, 8, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., titled "Adhering to the Holy through Collage." Collage means to paste, stick, connect, adhere. This workshop will explore several types of collage art-making processes. Engage in the actions of selecting and arranging colors, textures and images, then pasting these in pleasing ways as a visual vehicle for connecting with God.

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Volume 8, Issue 19, Posted 9:01 AM, 10.04.2016

Westlake's Knights of Columbus organize golf outing

The Knights of Columbus, Bishop A.J. Quinn Chapter, will host their first annual golf outing at Red Tail Golf Course in Avon on Monday, Sept. 26. The event will feature a shotgun start with box lunch, cocktails and dinner to follow golf. Proceeds will benefit the Alzheimer’s Association and the local Special Olympics office.

Charity has been the first principle of the Knights Of Columbus since the founding in 1882. Charitable activities and partnerships encompass an almost infinite variety of local, national and international projects including: Special Olympics, the Global Wheelchair Mission, Habitat for Humanity, Food for Families and Coats For Kids.

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Volume 8, Issue 17, Posted 10:58 AM, 09.07.2016

St. Barnabas celebrates one year of walking the labyrinth

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 beautiful 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! All are welcome. A suggested $10 donation ($20 for the Oct. 8 collage workshop) is appreciated but not required.

The next workshop will be held Saturday, Sept. 10, 10 a.m.-noon, titled "One Year of Walking the Labyrinth," to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the installation of our labyrinth. During this celebration, we will show you how to use the labyrinth as a tool for contemplative prayer and centering activity for our hearts, minds and souls. Following the walk, there will be a simple celebration in the parish hall.

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Volume 8, Issue 17, Posted 11:06 AM, 09.07.2016

World Day of Prayer at Unity Westlake

How important is prayer to you? For Unity churches worldwide, World Day of Prayer is a sacred tradition, a 24-hour prayer vigil held annually on the second Thursday in September. Come celebrate the power, strength and energy of prayer with Unity Spiritual Center of Westlake's World Day of Prayer (WDOP) from Wednesday, Sept. 7, starting at 7 p.m., through Thursday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m.

Twenty-four straight hours of prayerful activities will be dedicated to the action, and non-action (meditation) of praying. You can join in for five minutes, or 24 hours. Design the time around your schedule, but be sure not to miss this sacred event.

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Volume 8, Issue 17, Posted 11:06 AM, 09.07.2016

Keeping spiritual in this time of changing politics

Change is a big topic for our country these days. There are many famous quotes on change, and some of them fit well with New Thought philosophy and way of life. Mahatma Ghandi said, "Be the change you wish to see in the world." Norman Vincent Peale said, "Change your thoughts and you change your world."   

Understanding plays a big role in the way we navigate through these volatile, political times. Understanding ourselves, and others is powerful because it expands itself into love and connectedness.

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Volume 8, Issue 16, Posted 9:44 AM, 08.16.2016

St. Lad's hosts Catholics Coming Home

Were you raised Catholic but seldom come to church anymore? No matter how long you have been away and no matter the reason, this invitation for more peace, love and joy is for you. Our faith community misses you and is incomplete without you.

St. Ladislas Evangelization team wants to welcome you back home. There will be four evening sessions on Mondays from 7-8:30 p.m., Sept. 19, Sept. 26, Oct. 3 and Oct.10 in Cullen Hall. St. Ladislas Catholic Church is located at 2345 Bassett Road in Westlake.

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Volume 8, Issue 16, Posted 9:43 AM, 08.16.2016

Unity to host workshop on coping with grief

Loss and grief are inevitable parts of our lives. How do we grieve the many forms of loss that life brings to us? Is there a right or a wrong way to grieve?

Tears are a common form of expression understood across cultures, particularly when a death occurs. For men, it is still somewhat unacceptable; a quick tear or two seems okay, but not outright sobbing.

Is there a correct length of time to express your grief? Wearing "widow's weeds" is a term for a mourning custom where the woman donned heavy, concealing, black clothing, and veils. Even today, in some countries such as Italy, Greece and Portugal, widows will wear black for the rest of their lives.

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Volume 8, Issue 14, Posted 9:45 AM, 07.19.2016

Bay congregation finds new home Avon Lake

Christ Church Westshore, an Anglican church most recently worshipping at Bay Middle School, has moved to Avon Lake, sharing the building with Calvary Baptist Church at 32607 Electric Boulevard. The first service sharing the building was on June 12.

For now, the two congregations of two different denominations will share the building, with Calvary Baptist services remaining at 9 and 10:45 a.m. in the Worship Center on Sundays and Christ Church Westshore services being held in the Fellowship Room at 8, 9:30 and 11 a.m. Eventually, Calvary Baptist hopes to build a new church on land purchased several years ago by the congregation and located at Lear and Krebs roads in Avon Lake. Christ Church Westshore would then purchase the Electric Boulevard property.

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Volume 8, Issue 12, Posted 9:31 AM, 06.21.2016

Plenty to do at Unity Westlake

Unity of Westlake always has something new to learn, a familiar concept to get a deeper understanding of, a night of family fun, or a way to help yourself or others. From senior lunches to yoga to anger management groups, the offerings are a veritable smorgasbord of education, spirituality and fun.

The cost - sometimes free, sometimes a heartfelt love offering, but always reasonable. Ongoing classes and workshops below are open to all.

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Volume 8, Issue 12, Posted 9:33 AM, 06.21.2016

Amma Sri Karunamayi at Unity

Amma Sri Karunamayi has been described by many as the embodiment of love. She describes herself as our soul-mother who loves her Cleveland babies. She is here to uplift everyone, of all faiths, or no faith. Her purpose for being here is to give love. Her guidance for all is "love and serve."

Amma was born in India, but travels the world giving discourses on the fundamental truths that support all faiths. Her charity, SMVA Trust, has built two schools, whose students otherwise would be child laborers, and 32 water treatment plants, with more villages waiting for them. Her 21st annual tour of America began in March. She'll be in the U.S. for five months, giving individual blessings and group meditations, traveling from Los Angeles, to Dallas, to Cleveland.

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Volume 8, Issue 11, Posted 9:49 AM, 06.07.2016

Children and spirituality

Prayer is the cornerstone of the Unity philosophy, and a way of life. Children our are future. How do we teach children that they are spiritual, not just physical beings, living in a very physical world? How do we explain that the Divine Source is within, and follow up with how to go within? How do we reinforce that faith, hope, love and compassion are important, and can be practiced in everyday life? Not only is "how" a consideration, but what age is appropriate to instill these critical concepts? 

Unity believes that their teachings can make a positive difference in the lives of children and families. Unity minister Rev. Jim Fisher created three guiding principles for the Youth Ministry that supports the healthy development of the spiritual and emotional lives of individuals. He gives insight into the particulars of how to accomplish these. Children who have participated in the Youth Education Program regularly will understand these principles; the first has to do with love.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 9:48 AM, 05.03.2016

Transform your life with retreat weekend

Unlike the butterfly, who transforms itself from a caterpillar through a series of orderly and distinct steps, we humans have many choices for transformation. For spiritual transformation there is prayer, meditation and chanting. Alone or collectively they can prove to be powerful. For healing wounds of the past, psychotherapy can bring about transformation through introspection. For physical transformation one can implement change by eating lots of veggies, and participating in exercises such as lifting free-weights or yoga.

Simply transforming a gloomy mood can be a project of self-love. Enter a more blissful state by listening to your favorite brand of music, talking to supportive friends, or watching comical YouTube videos like "Baby Panda Sneezes."

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Volume 8, Issue 8, Posted 9:44 AM, 04.19.2016

The meaning of 'Christianity Evolved'

The sign on the front lawn of Unity Spiritual Center displayed just two words: Christianity Evolved. Those two words sparked a lot of curiosity, started new conversations, and in general stretched people's cerebellum into new pathways. What exactly did the sign mean?

These two words lead us to the works of Ken Wilber. If you've never heard of Ken Wilber, author of the "Sex, Ecology, Spirituality: The Spirit of Evolution" and "Integral Psychology," he's worth knowing. He uses a quadrant to suggest the breadth of all human knowledge and experiences. His quadrant explains a comprehensive metatheory proposing that all forms of knowledge and disciplines are coherent. It's heady stuff that requires more research if you choose, but within the quadrant the interior and the exterior of the individual and the collective are the focus.

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 10:08 AM, 04.05.2016

You are invited to a free, interactive Stations of the Cross and labyrinth walk

Please join St. Barnabas Episcopal Church on Saturday, March 19, from 1-3 p.m. for reflection, prayer and an interactive experience.

Come prepare for Palm Sunday and Holy Week by reflecting with us on Jesus’ journey to the cross. All are welcome, no exceptions. The interactive stations will engage all five senses. The pilgrimage will start in the Sanctuary, and is designed for you (and your family) to go at your own pace. Please dress comfortably for the weather as the final Stations will be outside in the prayer garden and in the labyrinth.

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Volume 8, Issue 6, Posted 10:05 AM, 03.15.2016

What does the cross mean to you?

I find it fascinating that the cross is the symbol of the Christian faith. Crosses are everywhere in our culture. When you pause and think about it, a cross is an odd symbol. An execution tool would come to embody a movement of hope. Would you wear a tiny electric chair around your neck, or on a business card? I don’t think so, yet we do so with the cross.

Why is the cross the symbol of the Christian faith? The cross is where God forgave the world without lowering His standards. How could He do this? In a sentence: God put our sin on His Son and punished it there.

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Volume 8, Issue 6, Posted 10:03 AM, 03.15.2016

Dover UCC leads interfaith study of Abraham

At a moment when the world is asking, “Can the religions get along?” one figure stands out as the shared ancestor of Jews, Christians and Muslims. One man holds the key to our deepest fears – and our possible reconciliation. Abraham.

Beginning on Feb. 21, three faith traditions will convene to discuss Abraham, the man at the heart of the world’s three monotheistic religions. Members of Beth Israel – The West Temple, Dover Congregational United Church of Christ, and The Islamic Center of Cleveland will meet on four consecutive Sunday evenings to learn what each sacred text says about Abraham and his role in their faith understanding.

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 9:32 AM, 02.16.2016

Young Life to host 75th birthday fundraising banquet

Young Life, an international outreach to middle, high school and college-age students, is celebrating 75 years of impacting kids’ lives. Begun in 1941 in Gainesville, Texas, Young Life arrived in Cleveland’s Westshore communities in 1970 at the invitation of area churches and adults who loved kids and wanted each one to have a chance to consider the Christian faith in terms they could understand.

Young Life Cleveland invites area adults to join in the celebration of this milestone birthday at our annual fundraising banquet on Sunday, March 13, 5-8 p.m., at the newly opened Emerald Event Center in Avon.

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 9:55 AM, 02.16.2016

Enter the Stillness

Scores of books have been written on the subject, but coming up with a clear, concise definition is quite another matter all together. Some call it prayer's partner. In the quiet, in the stillness, the moment presents itself. When the outside world fades into nothingness, and the inside heart space becomes the reigning kingdom, thoughts like tiny boats on a glistening sunlit river drift by.

This is meditation, at least one description of it. Meditate alone wrapped in a blanket, meditate in a group sitting in a comfortable chair, meditate with a guide or a guru, read a book on it, take a class on it, load an app on it, listen to meditative music during it, use a mantra, light a candle, find your own meditation path.

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 9:34 AM, 02.16.2016

How to walk like Jesus

It seems like we just put away the Christmas decor, got into the swing of our New Year's Resolutions, then, as they say, Easter comes early this year. Along with Easter comes Lent, and even though it sounds mighty early, Lent will begin on Feb. 10. Lent is 40 days before Easter, or one-tenth of the year, like a tithe of time, spanning from Feb. 10 to March 27, Easter Sunday.

In many faiths, Lent begins with Ash Wednesday and ends with Holy Saturday. Sundays are not included in the six weeks of Lent as they represent mini-Easters. The word Lent is derived from the Anglo-Saxon word "lencten," meaning Spring. Mardi Gras translated from French means Fat Tuesday and is the day before Lent. It is the feasting and partying just prior to the fasting and preparation of Lent.

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 9:51 AM, 02.02.2016

Prayer hotline offers strength in Silent Unity

Are you finding the New Year not quite so new, because the "same old, same old" followed you right in with it? Are New Year's Resolutions harder to keep than you thought, while old habits seem to cling like sticky store price tags, or spidery cob webs?

Some troubles just seem to continue year after year. It might be health problems, or a car that constantly needs fixing, or an adult child that can't seem to find his or her way. It might be your finances: bad investments, high credit card interest rates, or college loans due. Perhaps a dream has stalled, hasn't come true, and now it seems like it never will.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 9:55 AM, 01.19.2016

'Catholics Coming Home' program at St. Raphael Church

For the 11th year, St. Raphael Church in Bay Village, will conduct a series called Catholics Coming Home on seven Wednesday evenings, Jan. 27 through March 9, 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. Join us and reconnect with our Catholic community.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 9:58 AM, 01.19.2016

Local rabbi chosen for groundbreaking national program

Rabbi Melinda Mersack, Director of jHUB, a joint initiative of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland and the Jewish Education Center of Cleveland that connects interfaith families to Jewish life in Greater Cleveland, was chosen to participate in the prestigious Rabbis Without Borders (RWB) program. This is the sixth class selected for RWB, Clal’s landmark initiative that helps rabbis make Jewish thought and practice more available for improving people’s lives.

Rabbi Mersack has led jHUB since its inception in May 2014. The need for this new initiative came out of the strategic planning process of the Federation and the work of its Engagement Task Force, chaired by Kevin Margolis.

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Volume 8, Issue 1, Posted 9:52 AM, 01.19.2016

'Good tidings of great joy'

A nearly life-size crèche representing the first Christmas in Bethlehem is displayed in the outpatient lobby at St. John Medical Center in Westlake. The traditional scene contains Mary, Joseph and the Three Wise Men – Melchior, a Persian scholar; Caspar, an Indian scholar; and Balthazar, a Babylonian scholar – bringing their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. A shepherd boy, with a lamb around his shoulders, and an angel who visited the shepherds bringing them “good tidings of great joy,” announcing the birth of Jesus, complete the nativity scene.

The newborn baby Jesus will be placed in the manger on Christmas Eve.

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Volume 8, Issue 1, Posted 11:15 AM, 12.15.2015

Resolutions: So easy to make, so hard to keep

They're a great idea, and a holiday tradition – just like decorating Christmas trees, sipping eggnog, baking Christmas cookies with sprinkles on top, or singing carols. It is easy to create them, yet so hard to follow through with ... those New Year's resolutions.

It's a brand new year and starting fresh, shaking off the dust of the old, hoping for a better year, a better you, and embracing transformation is right up there with transforming the house with Christmas lights and decorated stockings. Funny how things sound good in theory, yet prove difficult when attempting to put them into practice. Most resolutions are set with sincerity, enthusiasm and interest, and fall by the wayside due to the passage of time, the difficulty of the resolution, or even forgetting what those resolutions were, as life becomes busy and complicated.

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Volume 8, Issue 1, Posted 9:57 AM, 01.05.2016

Care trip to Africa leaves lasting impact

Imagine losing your job and being disowned by your spouse, family, and friends because of an HIV/AIDS diagnosis. This is the reality in Africa.  

But CARE for AIDS (CFA) holistically and lovingly addresses the emotional, social, financial, physical and spiritual needs of such a person. With help from CFA, people with HIV are living an additional 20-25 years. And because these people, many of them parents, are living longer, there will be approximately 18,529 orphan-less children raised by one or both parents!

In September, along with my husband and three other couples, I left Bay Village and traveled to Nairobi, Kenya, on a CFA “Impact Trip” to learn more.

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Volume 7, Issue 24, Posted 9:44 AM, 12.15.2015

Finding joy in the Christmas story

Christmas 2015 has arrived and I hope for you and your family, you will have the opportunity to take a deep breath and relax amid the frenetic pace of the season. Like every year, this Christmas season will be filled with joy and much activity. Cookies are baked, cards sent, school concerts are performed, and presents of all shapes and sizes will be exchanged. We all have been on the lookout since Thanksgiving for the perfect gift, the one that will bring great delight to our loved ones.

And as always, you know the story of what Christmas is all about. You know the characters, you know the plot and you know the climax. I know that you know all of that, but I would ask you to stop for a moment and reflect with me. It’s the Christmas story – Christ’s mass story. You’ve made this journey, what – 15, 25, 45, maybe 90 times! Is this story nothing more than a Christmas Day yawn for you? Or, are you amazed all over again?

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Volume 7, Issue 24, Posted 9:43 AM, 12.15.2015

Sunday TV or Sunday service

There is no denying it, we live in an age of convenience; we value things that give us the gift of no fuss. Take food for example, many meals are prepared in the microwave because it's quick and convenient. Almost gone are meals cooked from scratch on a daily basis. Have we sacrificed quality for convenience? Many of us would agree there is nothing like a home cooked meal, but on the other hand many wouldn't be without a microwave. 

Television can do a world of good, and churches and centers across the country have boarded the technology bandwagon as well. So why not just get up on Sunday morning, grab a cup of coffee or orange juice, stay in your PJ's, turn on the TV and see what one of the popular TV ministers has on their minds? It gets back to quality over convenience! It's not to say that some of the popular TV ministers are without a good message, many deliver fine, uplifting sermons, but there is a vitality, an essence of humanity that is missing.

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Volume 7, Issue 24, Posted 9:42 AM, 12.15.2015

Dec. 13 candle lighting connects grieving families

Buddha says life is suffering. Some can only imagine the agony of losing a child, while others experience this extreme loss each and every day, some ... every moment. When the pain becomes unbearable, where do you turn, who can help, what can be done? The unbearable can become bearable when your pain evolves into trust, realizing you are not alone, and an entire new family of friends is here for you. Connected by loss, they understand your pain. Tears can fall, but they need not fall in the illusion of solitude. If you are open, they can unfold, and be gently scooped up by caring, earth angels.

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Volume 7, Issue 23, Posted 9:49 AM, 12.01.2015