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Volume XLXIII                                                     December 2009                                                        Number 11


A Message from the Minister – According to the vendors at our Eldercare events, The Church in Aurora is unique in bringing together in one place the vast array of resources available for those caring for elderly loved ones.  Still, absorbing such wide-ranging options and information is a challenge for a single afternoon.  That is why one consistent request is found in returned feedback instruments: could a support group be gathered where folks could network for more information and coping support?

I am pleased to report that The Church in Aurora is stepping up to the plate in partnership with HomeInstead Senior Care.  Beginning on January 6 from 6:00 – 7:00 PM a support group called "Care for the Caregivers" will meet in our Harris Study (downstairs) and continue the first Wednesday of each month.  Resource personnel from HomeInstead will be available and guide discussions focusing upon specific issues as needed such as: residential and home-based living options, geriatric medical and mental health alerts, shifting family roles, legal/financial/tax concerns, government programs, products & services, dietary requirements, medication monitoring, social interaction needs, responding to critical incidents and so much more.

If you are doing your best to care for an elderly loved one, or know someone who is, and might welcome a monthly opportunity to learn from the experts and to find support with others sharing the same responsibility, we need to hear from you so that we can gather a core group and plan accordingly.  With prior arrangement, HomeInstead will provide (without charge) an elder caretaker to stay in your home if needed so that you can attend the support group.  You may express your interest and find answers to your questions by calling Dorothy Bell (330/541-4106).

As others endeavor to keep the commandment to Honor your father and your mother, and to otherwise care for those God has given them to love, The Church in Aurora endeavors to support them by being More Than a Landmark.  -Bill

In The Pulpit during October

December 6 Rev. Schnell (Communion)   December 24 Rev. Schnell (Christmas Eve)
December 13 Rev. Livingston   December 27 Rev. Horak (Heritage Sunday)
December 20 Rev. Schnell   December 31 Bicentennial Vesper Service 5:00 PM

Worship Attendance

Date 9:30 11:00 Total
October 25 132 170 302
November 1 (Necrology Sunday) 192 120 312
November 8 174 145 319
November 15 (Honor a Friend Day) 183 174 357

News of Members and Friends

First Time Visitors – (11/8) Dorothy Lytle of Aurora

Weddings – Shannon Modugno & Jason Allenspach; Pat Albrecht & Jack Waltz

Memorials – Fred Wilkins; Sally Leib, mother of Chris Leib; Jennifer Teller’s Father

Baptisms – Emma Lee Hilliard, daughter of Brad & Alyssa Hilliard

Meet Our Newest Members

Sylvia McBride has been visiting The Church in Aurora for several years now.  She is the mother of Jaime Calder as well as two grown sons who have together given her six grandchildren.  Sylvia enjoys playing cards, exercise and reading (she is now in the process of reading through the Bible a second time).  She comes to us from the Maple Heights United Methodist Church where she was exceedingly active in a plethora of roles.

Karen Mitchell is a Client Services Manager with RL Stevens & Associates where she helps people find jobs. This is a service she generously wishes to offer free to our members as they have need. She enjoys music (having already linked up with our choir) and volunteering with the Aurora Historical Society where she serves as Treasurer. A special talent is long-term planning for corporations and non-profits.

Kevin Bartlett is an Automotive Mechanic with Classic Honda in Streetsboro. He enjoys playing golf and watching baseball with his wife, Holly, who is a true fan and avid kickboxer, which means that Kevin does not argue with her about baseball or anything else. Holly is a fulltime homemaker immersed with Kevin in raising Charlotte (6 ½) and Carl (4 ½). They come to us from the Presbyterian Church.

Jan Beatty and her beloved late husband raised four children, who have brought nine grandchildren into her life. She comes to us from the First Presbyterian Church in Bellefonte, PA, where she was actively involved in Bible study and working the church kitchen to feed the needy warm meals three times each week. Among her present interests are reading, needlework and playing bridge.

Melissa Creamer is a High School Spanish Teacher with Solon City Schools. Her interests include travel, photography and scrapbooking. She is married to Kyle, who is in sales with Petroliance. He enjoys watching football and playing golf. The Creamer’s have one daughter, Katelyn (3 ½). They come to us from the Solon Community Church where Kyle served on the Growth Committee and Melissa served on the Board of Christian Education and as the Craft Show Chairperson.

Sharon Jenkins is a Social Worker for Jennings Center for Older Adults, which equipped her to be an excellent volunteer for our last Eldercare Expo. She has been very active with the Macedonia United Methodist Church in a variety of roles, most recently leading the Lay Readers Program and serving as an usher. Sharon loves dogs and currently cares for three, one of which was rescued following hurricane Katrina.

Michael Keckan is a Financial Analyst for Jo-Ann Stores, Inc. A graduate of OSU with a degree in Finance, he is a die-hard Buckeye fan to this day. Michael also enjoys golf and spending time with his growing family. He is married to Sandra who actually grew up attending The Church in Aurora but never did get confirmed, so we are pleased to make her membership official. She loves reading, cooking and caring for son Benjamin (9 months).

Barbara Dennis (Bobbie) is a former tour guide whose passion for European travel resulted in her making a home base in England for a combined total of 25 years. While not living in England she made one home in New Jersey where she attended the Community Church in Medford, Lakes. She has four children, 8 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. She now enjoys knitting with our Prayer Shawl ministry.

Linda Fritz is a retired educator with the Hudson School District who now enjoys hiking, traveling, attending theatrical performances and singing (with a little prompting she might consider our choir). Linda is married to Mike, who is the former Director of Community Education for Hudson (with a little prompting he might consider our community education program). Mike’s interests include golf, golf and golf, plus a little tennis and skiing. The Fritz’s enjoy five children and two grandchildren.

Ruth Bullock comes to us from the Macedonia United Methodist Church where she served with the Women’s Society, a Shepherd Care group and where she prepared meals for memorial receptions. Her current interests include knitting, reading and playing card games. Ruth has four grown children and nine grandchildren.

Audrey Cash is Ruth’s sister and has also been a member of the same Macedonia Methodist Church working with United Methodist Women. She is a retired RN, having worked with the Visiting Nurses Association/Hospice. Audrey enjoys singing and spending time with her three grown children and seven grandchildren.

Theresa Roberts is the Vice President of Administration for Rehabilitex in Solon. She is married to Matthew and together they are helping two daughters navigate high school and college. Rounding out the family are two cats. Theresa enjoys reading, gourmet cooking, hiking, birding and vegetable gardening. She is becoming active in our newly formed "Neighbor-to-Neighbor" collaboration with the Mennonite Church.

William Boyd is the President and CEO of Corus/Thomas Steel Strip. As a British expatriate he is new to American football and is quickly becoming an enthusiast at Aurora High School games. He also enjoys golf, tennis and physical fitness. William is married to Bridget, who is trained as a Physician in England and is now seeking to transfer her credentials to America. She is an avid reader and informed movie buff. She comes to us from the Roman Catholic Church and he from the Anglican Communion.

VOA Food Pantry Needs – This month the Food Pantry is focusing on their needs for holiday meals: canned yams, cranberry, stuffing, turkey gravy, corn and green beans. Help make the holidays special for someone in need. Thank you in advance for your generosity.

LOST AFTER GUILD – A Longaberger pie carrier disappeared after the Women’s Guild luncheon.  It was either on the rolling cart next to the freezer in the kitchen or on the floor under the coat racks in Fellowship Hall.  It had an empty glass pie plate in it!!!  It should have Tanya Shively’s name somewhere on it.  If you know anything about it, please call Tanya or the office.  There may even be a reward!!!!

Toddy's Christmas Shoppe will soon be open!  Please put gently used Christmas donations on the tables in front of the stage in Fellowship Hall on November 22, or place them "in the wings" after that.  Contact Flip E. at 330-995-6268 for more information.  Join us for a delightful, "by donation only" shopping experience after services and during special events November 29 thru December 20, 2009.  The proceeds will help send over 55 youth and adults to our two Workcamps this summer! 
Women’s Guild – The Women's Guild Christmas Luncheon will be at Club Walden on Wednesday, December 9th, at 11:30 AM.  We will be treated to a delicious lunch for only $22 per person. You must make a reservation to attend by December 6th.  Make your reservation soon as seating capacity is for 88 this year.  There will be someone taking reservations between services in the Great Hall for the next four Sundays.  If you can't make one then, just put your check in the Women's Guild mailbox to the attention of Anne Ramsay or send it to her at 483-15 Concord Downs Lane, Aurora, OH.

We have a wonderful program for the day to get us in the Christmas spirit.  "Just Among Friends", a five piece combo from the larger "Sophisticated Swing" band, will entertain us with holiday music and a Christmas sing-along just for fun.  We will also find out the final "count and amount" for a very successful Nutcracker Sweets.  Each year we look forward to Sally McGill's devotions. I'm sure we will once again laugh and/or cry as she shares a Christmas story.  It is a wonderful day of Christian fellowship as together we anticipate the joy of Christmas.   

Please be sure to join us and bring a friend or even put together a full table of eight.  Whether you are able to come or not, the Women's Guild wishes you a Very Merry and Blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year! 

Office Help Needed – We are looking for volunteers who are willing to learn how to produce the bulletin so that they could substitute for the Church Secretary if she needs to be gone on a Friday.  The bulletin is a Word document.  You need to be able to remove last week’s information and type in what is new for this week.  Then you may need to adjust the font size or the spacing to fit the bulletin format.  If you are able to help us out, please call the office (330-562-8266).

AUDIO CD’S of the Sunday services are available in the library in the top drawer of the cherry chest to the right of the door. If you would like to purchase a CD, contact Phil Ticer at 330-995-9318.

The next WORK CAMP Participant/Parent meeting will be held January 10, 2010, at 5 PM in Fellowship Hall. Planning for the Super Bowl Sub Sandwich/Bake Sale event, which will take place Sunday, February 7, 2010, and the Circle 3 H boxed-chocolates sale on VALENTINE'S DAY, February 14, 2010, will be finalized at this time. Please plan to attend!

The CARE TEAM is available for those who need meals during a time of recovery or a ride to an appointment or someone to pick up prescriptions or just a friendly visit. If they could help you, call Pat Way at 330-673-7917 or Rita Suchanek at 330-562-3273 or 216-570-9808!

3H PM – Please come on Thursday, December 10, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at The Escape.  Christmas carols, baby blankets, prayer shawls and sharing about Hannah from Twelve Extraordinary Women will be our time together. ~ Kathleen Horak, 562-1930

Circle 3-H Circle 3-H will meet Friday December 4, 2009 at 9:30 AM. This is the meeting where we wrap the gifts of gloves, socks, hats, and candy filled mugs for the men’s shelters. This is always a fun meeting and full of the Christmas spirit. Please try to attend and bring a friend to share in the joy of giving at Christmas. A reminder: No meeting in January.

Who Are Stephen Ministers? – They are members of The Church in Aurora who have gone through 50 hours of training in providing high-quality Christian care to individuals experiencing a crisis or challenge such as divorce, grief, loss of a job, hospitalization, relocation or loneliness. Stephen Ministers are each assigned a care receiver and meet with that person for about an hour a week. This caring relationship will last for as long as the care receiver needs it. If you would like more information on how to become a Stephen Minister or to receive care from one, please contact Russ Post (330/562-9789) or Susan Kray (330/562-1344).

CHURCH LIBRARY: Christmas stories are not just for children any more. We have a number of good ones for adults, which are at this time on the library "truck", which is usually in the Great Hall. Some new ones are: The Christmas List, The Perfect Christmas and The Christmas Secret. We also have Nicholas Sparks’ newest best seller, The Last Song, and Mitch Albom’s best seller, Have a Little Faith. Well, don’t get so busy during the holidays that you don’t have time to read a good book.

Used ink cartridges and cell phones are accepted year-round. A collection basket is on the desk in the Great Hall near the Nursery. Help keep our landfills free of these items and support the Workcamp Fund at the same time! Thank you!

Mission of the Month – This month the Missions Committee has chosen to donate the Vespers and Christmas designated offerings to Haven of Rest Ministries and Volunteers of America, respectively.

Haven of Rest Ministries is the largest private social service organization in the Summit/Portage county areas. Its purpose is to serve God through a Christ-centered outreach of love and compassion that responds to the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of disadvantaged men, women and children.

Volunteers of America (VOA) is a national, nonprofit, faith-based organization dedicated to helping those in need rebuild their lives and reach their full potential. This year Volunteers of America will help over 2 million people in more than 400 communities.

The Missions Committee regularly supports the local VOA with financial donations, food collections, Thanksgiving food baskets and Christmas presents for less fortunate children through the Caring Tree program.

Behind the Scenes – Don and Rebecca Bliss joined the church just 13 months ago. They attended the very first Open House here at the church on the Fourth of July and joined the following November. Already they have made a very big mark on the church. Don stepped up to the plate and became the Church School Superintendent this year. He is working to computerize our CE attendance figures (finally!) and bring us into the 21st century. Rebecca has also been very involved in the Church School program, teaching in Promiseland and A Touch of God, as well as volunteering to buy supplies for Promiseland. Rebecca also volunteered at Vacation Bible School over the summer. She was here to help tear down the classrooms before Nutcracker, and the family stayed around afterwards to help put things back together. Outside of the CE department, Rebecca is a member of the Care Team and has taken over as the Coordinator for our Habitat for Humanity lunch opportunities. Together, Don and Rebecca both serve on the Receptions Committee. So as you can see, they have been very busy during their first year as members! Thank you, Don and Rebecca, for all that you do to help make The Church in Aurora….