Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Starting this month we will be featuring a book that the Pastor is currently reading.  This month's book is entitled "David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants" by Malcolm Galdwell.

The description reads:
Three thousand years ago on a battlefield in ancient Palestine, a shepherd boy felled a mighty warrior with nothing more than a stone and a sling, and ever since then the names of David and Goliath have stood for battles between underdogs and giants. David's victory was improbable and miraculous. He shouldn't have won. Or should he have?  In David and Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell challenges how we think about obstacles and disadvantages, offering a new interpretation of what it means to be discriminated against, or cope with a disability, or lose a parent, or attend a mediocre school, or suffer from any number of other apparent setbacks.  Gladwell begins with the real story of what happened between the giant and the shepherd boy those many years ago. From there, David and Goliath examines Northern Ireland's Troubles, the minds of cancer researchers and civil rights leaders, murder and the high costs of revenge, and the dynamics of successful and unsuccessful classrooms---all to demonstrate how much of what is beautiful and important in the world arises from what looks like suffering and adversity.

The book retails for $29.00 (hardback) and is available on Amazon.com for $19.14.  If you don't have access to Amazon please contact Diana Scott to purchase a copy for $20.00
Join Pastor Jenkins on Wednesday, January 28th from 6:00 PM -7:30 PM for a "Chat and Chew" around the book.  Bring a dish to share with the group and your thoughts about the book for discussion.


On Wednesday, December 17th, the Christian Education and Faith Formation Ministry sponsored a round table discussion and teach-in with youth, their parents, guardians and interested adults of South Euclid United Church of Christ.  The goal for the evening discussion was to give young people the tools necessary for surviving an encounter with law enforcement personnel.  The objective was to strengthen them with the knowledge of what their civil rights are and to give examples of how to conduct themselves when approached by the police.  Members of the panel were James W. Barrett, former Safety Director of the City of Cleveland, Shakyra Diaz who is Program Manager for the American Civil Liberties Union, B. Mae Payne, Lieutenant of the Cleveland Clinic police force and Earl Williams, Esq., Councilman for the City of Shaker Heights.

The discussion was lively with panelists giving examples of when and how to extract information which can be used later if need be.  By the same token youth were encouraged to show respect for the law and what actions would most likely lead to successful results for both the youths and the police officers.

This teach-in was representative of how South Euclid UCC can be the catalyst for reaching out to the community and our church membership to provide help on critical issues. The event was very well attended.  Discussion centered on a publication produced by ACLU called What to do if you’re stopped by the police that clearly listed what to do and what not to do in a given situation.  This publication can be secured from Rev. Danage or Rev. Carla Jo Howlett. 

Members of the team who helped to make this a dynamic evening possible were Rev. Avery Danage, Aubrie Erkins, B. Mae Payne, Manual Roderick and Eleanore Dees. We want to thank our staff for their assistance, Kathie Buckner for capturing the images of the evening and Leon Bibb who stated so well that the purpose of this type of discussion was to teach youth how to survive an encounter with the police.  Reporters and photographers from station WKYC captured the discussion and aired it on the eleven o’clock news on two occasions that very evening.


The end of the year 2014 and the start of 2015 in the life of the Church will merge together on January 25th. On that day we will, after a Blended Worship Service held at 11:00, and as per our Constitution, hold our Annual Meeting and our 3rd regular Congregational Meeting of the year.  Your attendance at this very important meeting is requested. Some of the key points of business to be addressed will be the presentation and the approval of the New Officer slate for 2015 and the presentation of the 2014 Annual Report. Please plan to attend.


7:30 AM – Join Pastor Courtney Clayton Jenkins for the Fifteenth Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Breakfast Celebration.  This is a scholarship breakfast and tickets cost $20 for adults and $15 for students.  Join us at the DoubleTree Hotel located at 1111 Lakeside Avenue.  Tickets may be purchased after worship.  Please make checks payable to South Euclid United Church of Christ with “MLK-PVF” in the memo line.  We hope you will join us. 

2:00 PM – Attend a viewing of “Hate Crimes in the Heartland,” a groundbreaking new documentary exploring race relations in America that focuses on the 1921 Tulsa race riot and the 2012 Good Friday murders.  The viewing will be followed by a panel discussion of community members who will respond to the film, consider local challenges to diversity, and share thoughts on service-related responses to hate. This program is co-sponsored by our church, the Western Reserve Association of the UCC, Pilgrim UCC, and the Cleveland Museum of Art.  Free tickets to the film can be reserved through the museum’s ticket center.  Please check our website for more details.


For those who choose to participate, South Euclid UCC will be inviting members to participate in a 21 day Daniel fast. The Daniel fast consists of consuming mostly fruits and vegetables for 21 days while entering into an intentional time prayer, devotion and discernment.

The Daniel fast is a wonderful way to begin 2015 as we explore our theme "Rooted in Growth."  Our fast will begin at 6:00 AM on Monday, January 5 and end at 6:00 PM on Wednesday, January 28th. A fasting guide will be available on Sunday, January 4th to assist you with preparing for this special time. The Fasting Guide is full of information, recipes and devotional reading material.

Finally, throughout the 21 days we will have a daily prayer call Monday through Friday. It will begin at 6:00 AM. You can access the call by dialing (712) 775-7000. The access code is 710579#. Once on the call please press *6 to mute your phone so that background noise does not disturb the other callers.  A leader will be assigned each day to lead us in prayer. The call should last no more than 10 minutes.

Additionally, you are strongly encouraged to join us for prayer in the sanctuary on Saturday mornings at 9:30 AM.

We are asking each leader to record the prayer call daily. Therefore, if you cannot make the 6:00 AM call you may dial in later and hear the recording. You can do this by calling the Playback Number: (712) 775-7099. The access code is 710529#. The recording will last for 24 hours.

It is my prayer that you will consider joining us on the fast, that your relationship with Christ will grow exponentially and that you will receive great clarity around your call in 2015.


(PULSE: Place U Love Serving Effectively)
On Sunday, January 11, 2015 immediately following our blended worship service, we will be having a Ministry Fair.  At the Ministry Fair you have an opportunity to ENGAGE 2015 Ministry Leaders, LEARN all the ways you can serve at SE-UCC in 2015, and SIGN UP to serve on whatever matches your gifts and interests.

The Ministry Fair  will give you the opportunity to ACCEPT a 3 FOR 3 COMMITMENT Challenge.   Each person will be encouraged to sign up for a minimum of 3 PULSE Opportunities – 1 Small Group, 1 On-Going Ministry, and 1 Annual Ministry Event.   There are over 60 PULSE opportunities and each will have a ministry leader at a table to answer questions about the ministry and receive commitments.   Alexandra Edwards is the Lay Leader and Rev. Carla Jo Howlett the Staff Leader for this ministry event, so if you have any questions, please see them.

You don’t want to miss this opportunity to find your 2015 PULSE!


Please sign up at the Information Table for the next session of Small Groups, meeting weekly from January 11 until February 8. Our 2015 Church theme is ROOTED IN GROWTH.  Please make a commitment to grow in your Christian Discipleship by participating in one of our 12 small groups during this first session of the year.  If you have any questions, please see Rev. Carla Jo Howlett.


The South Euclid United Church of Christ BEACON NEWSLETTER is one of the primary ways in which we communicate to our church family.  It provides important celebrations/joys about our church family members, information about upcoming events, reflections from past events, and information about our denomination.   This newsletter is the “hub” for information about our church.

In an effort for our church to move towards being GREEN and to REDUCE COSTS, we would like as many persons as possible to receive and read the monthly Beacon Newsletter electronically.   Our monthly Beacon Newsletter will continue to be available on our website, www.southeucliducc.org.  We will begin sending it to everyone who has an email address in our weekly Weekend Announcements eblast, and when we launch our new SE-UCC Church APP, it will also be available on the app.

We know that there are members of our church family who do not use email or the computer, so we will make copies available to them at the church every FIRST SUNDAY of the month.  The Beacon will be located in the Welcome Center and on the Information Table where “Church Happenings” are displayed.   For those persons who are unable to get a copy of the monthly Beacon Newsletter at the church and who need it sent to them in the U.S. mail, please contact the church office.