Rise from the Rubble

Renew. Restore. Rebuild.

2015 Annual Report


3 Letter from the Senior Pastor 4 Letter from the Moderator 5 Bearing Fruit in 2014 6 Honoring the Move of God 14 2014 Financial Results 1 4 2015 Budget 1 5 Contact Us

Our Mission South Euclid United Church of Christ exists to GROW as a diverse and faithful community committed to Jesus Christ. PURSUE the joy of discipleship, and SERVE God as we engage in ministry and mission.

Our Vision The vision of South Euclid United Church of Christ to REACH UP to Worship REACH IN with Discipleship REACH OUT in Mission REACH ACROSS for Diversity REACH BEYOND with Imagination

Our Motto When you’re here, you’re home.

Letter from the Senior Pastor Beloved, God has blessed us beyond measure in 2014. I am sure I am not alone when I sit back and marvel at all the Lord has accomplished through us at South Euclid United Church of Christ. To God be the glory! We are a new church with a powerful past. Since 1843, this congregation has been privileged to be a part of God’s faithfulness and purpose. It goes without saying that our founders could not have imagined what would emerge from the initial stirrings of their progressive thoughts and aspirations. Our courageous founders stepped out with belief that a church, strong in worship, diverse in its makeup and committed to the community, could have a tremendous impact on the Greater Cleveland area and beyond. In 2014, we made history yet again – and what an awesome privilege it was! We fully embraced the theme we had set for ourselves to “Rise from the Rubble: Renew. Restore. Rebuild.” Indeed, God enabled us to do just that. A new name. A beautiful new campus that serves as our church home. Fresh and innovative programming. A growing congregation that is filling our sanctuary every Sunday. A clear plan for continuing to fulfill the mission of our church. As a whole, our congregation completely heeded the call to renew, restore and rebuild. The renewal of our commitment to discipleship was evident in the increase of worshippers at our services and the number of new people who volunteered to share their spiritual gifts with the church. We restored the same courage our founders had when they stepped out to start our beloved church. We successfully rebuilt our physical church by completing the first phase of construction at our new home. Indeed, all we had prayed for has come to pass. This annual report serves as a snapshot of 2014 and covers many of the highlights of the year’s activities and accomplishments. We publish this not to brag or for accolades, but to testify to what God can do when people with willing hearts step out on faith and pursue God’s purpose. As we look back over the past year with gratitude, we give God all of the praise, glory and honor for the great things He has done and for all He has in store for 2015. Called for the Purpose of the Kingdom,

Rev. Courtney Clayton Jenkins Senior Pastor and Teacher


Letter from the Moderator Dear Church Family, 2014 has been a very successful year for our congregation and gives us hope for continued growth for generations to come. The year held both change and transition. We went from being renters to being owners and builders of our new church home. Thanks to the efforts of so many in our church family, we successfully made the transition from our temporary home at East 30th and Euclid Avenue to our new permanent home in the city of South Euclid. A new vision for the church came with the move and resulted in a formal name change from Euclid Avenue Congregational Church to South Euclid United Church of Christ. Our 2014 leadership retreats helped provide the tools we needed to grow the church – both in numbers and in spirituality. We have seen growth in membership numbers and attendees at both services. We also have seen an increase in congregants willing to declare their faith on Sundays and declare Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Additionally, we now can look forward to the time when we will be able to meet the church’s operational needs from the Sunday offerings. Looking ahead, a good leader knows that they need to surround themselves with good and effective people. The Pastor and the church community as a whole have done this. We have a dynamic and hardworking staff. They assure that the beacon of light in the community that we have aspired to be since 1843 will continue. The work of our five ministries and the Council of Ministries has been outstanding. Our people poured their hearts and souls into all of the transitions of 2014. Our traditional annual events such as Homecoming, the Back to School Jam (with well over 150 book bags handed out) and this year’s Transition Sunday were all well attended not just by present members but also from our new neighbors in the South Euclid neighborhood. Kudos to all those unsung heroes who didn’t serve on a ministry but volunteered and gave of their time and efforts and helped make everything a success. I continue to be excited and motivated by the number of visitors to our church and our growing membership. Most of all, I am moved by the number of people that came forward to accept the invitation to Christian discipleship. Because when all is said and done that’s why we are here. With all the new resources and the firm foundation that we have laid, I look forward to 2015 as we will continue to grow and move in directions that we haven’t thought were even possible.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to that are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

Deacon Al Parks Moderator, Council of Ministries





Number of new members

Number of baptisms

1000+ Number of visitors

Bearing Fruit in 2014

$200,135 Total giving through tithes and offering

800+ Number of donors




Number of baby dedications

Total allocated for mission work

Total hours of community service


Rise from the Rubble: Renew. Restore. Rebuild. In March 2010 a bolt of lightning struck the church building at 9606 Euclid Avenue. The lightning hit the top of the building and ignited a fire which swept the premises. The blaze claimed the building and everything inside. March 2010 — Within days the congregation moved temporarily into the former First United Methodist Church building at East 30th Street and Euclid Avenue where they stayed until July 2014.

In July 2013 Euclid Avenue Congregational Church purchased the former St. Margaret Mary Church, a 10-acre site in South Euclid, Ohio from the Cleveland Catholic Diocese. August 2013 – July 2014 — Planning and development went into overdrive as church leaders worked with Ziska Architecture and Craven Construction to prepare the South Euclid property to accommodate the congregation’s needs.

“In 2014, South Euclid United Church of Christ experienced amazing growth and renewed energy, after finally moving in to its new home. To see the church’s membership rise, and programs popping up, constantly brings back memories of the sixties. Our church has risen from the fire and ash and will continue its journey toward the work of our God Almighty.” Kenneth Crawford Member since 1960



In June 2014 the church voted to formally change the name from Euclid Avenue Congregational Church to South Euclid United Church of Christ. On June 29, the church held its last worship service in the sanctuary of its temporary church home on Euclid Avenue. By July 2014, the first phase of construction at the new campus was completed on time and on budget. Upon completion, worship was held in our temporary sanctuary and the church staff moved to their new offices.

The first day of worship at the new location was held on July 6. Following the July 20 worship service, a festival called “Celebration Sunday” was held for congregants, neighbors, friends and local public officials. Held on the ground of the new campus, the festival offered food, music, displays, inflatables, face painters, DJ, games, storytellers, puppets, stilt walkers and more.

Throughout the year, the church experienced tremendous growth in membership. By the end of December 2014, South Euclid United Church of Christ welcomed 78 new members. The second phase of construction, including the completion of the new permanent sanctuary (illustrated above) will continue throughout 2015.

“I am filled with love and joy at the multitude of accomplishments in our youth ministry at South Euclid United Church of Christ. Seeing the passion and dedication to Christ in our youth is nothing short of glorifying God. I couldn’t be happier with the direction our programs are headed and the phenomenal leadership of Rev. Danage and our ministry team.” Al Heartley Member since 2013


REACH UP Worship

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with your mind.” Matthew 22:37

Worship is at the heart of our identity at South Euclid United Church of Christ. In the presence of the Holy Spirit, we facilitate an atmosphere that honors God in ways that are reverent and relevant. Cherishing both traditional and contemporary styles of worship and music, we come together to celebrate, honor and praise God. Our traditional worship service is typically held on Sunday mornings at 9:55 and the contemporary service, called The Well, begins at noon. Powerful Preaching Our congregation was blessed by a year of powerful sermons, led by our own clergy and distinguished guest preachers. Pastor Jenkins delivered series after series of powerful lessons from scripture and life with themes on discipleship, forgiveness, community service, stewardship, the Holy Spirit, and more. She ended the year with a creative series that appealed to members of all ages. Called “Unwrapping the Christmas Classics,” the series

combined scripture with the wisdom found in secular holiday film classics such as A Christmas Story to How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Cutting-Edge Technology Our worship space at the new campus allows churchgoers to be more engaged in the services with comfortable seating, updated lighting, and a state-of-the-art multimedia system for improved sound and visual qualities. Scripture passages, the music lyrics and images that support the sermons enhance the worship experience. Wi-fi access allows worshippers to share their experiences through social media to family and friends in the midst of worship as a form of evangelism. For the convenience of members, the church introduced new electronic giving tools for tithes and offerings. New functionality of church’s website allows donations to be made online. Another new avenue for giving enables worshippers to donate via text through their cell phones.

Moving Music and Dance Music has always been an important part of the worship experience at our church. Historically, the church’s music ministry welcomed congregation members and soloists to participate in either the chancel or gospel choirs. In 2014, the two choirs were combined, creating a broader spectrum of music offerings including chancel music, classic hymns, Negro spirituals and gospel music. The combined choir is comprised of 30 members with diverse vocal talents. The Well Worship services feature contemporary Christian music thanks to the vocal and instrumental talents of the Praise Team and Praise Bands. During some worship experiences, the intergenerational Liturgical Dance Ministry ushers in an atmosphere of celebration, praise and worship. They employ a variety of dance styles including ballet, modern, creative, mime and flagging.

“Being a part of the congregation at South Euclid United Church of Christ has been incredibly rewarding. With one of us having served in ministry for years and feeling burned out by church-politics-as-usual, and the other having never previously been to church, we didn’t think we would find the church for us. Pastor Jenkins inspires us weekly with her passion and intellect. Her support, along with the support of the congregation as a whole, has been a welcome breath of fresh air into our lives.” Justin and Allie Markert Members since 2013



REACH IN With Discipleship

South Euclid United Church of Christ strives to provide our members with opportunities to grow in discipleship by study and faith formation. As a congregation and individuals, we are committed to nurturing, inspiring, caring for, and learning from each other throughout our journeys of faith. We encourage lifelong learning that helps each of us to follow God with our whole selves: mind, spirit and body. Our beliefs are simple enough for our young members, yet deep and multifaceted enough for the most mature members of our congregation. Focus on Youth In 2014, the church strengthened its focus on Christian education and discipleship, placing an emphasis on reaching into to the lives of young people. Christian education and faith formation is provided to youth through relevant, relational programming, encouraging them to grow, pursue and serve in their individual walks with Christ. With a new strategic plan in hand, the following programs were established in 2014: Wiggling Worshippers — All of God’s children, even the very young, can benefit from structured, meaningful,

age-appropriate learning. Wiggling Worshippers is the church’s nursery program for children up to five years of age. Offered during worship services, the program helps children learn about faith through play with pictures, books, music and videos. The LID — Short for “Living into Destiny,” the LID is designed for youth in kindergarten through grade 12. This youth church incorporates many components of the larger SEUCC worship service structure, including prayers, singing, offering, sermon and benediction. At the conclusion of each sermon, youth are divided into age groups for breakout (“Talk Back To Me”) sessions, allowing them to discuss the message and how it relates to their stages of life. The Summit — This new midweek Small Group is designed to engage teenagers in an intimate, safe setting that allows them to be free in expressing themselves and their values, create meaningful relationships with each other and delve deeper in their faith. Strengthening Leadership Every member of the congregation and staff who served in any capacity had the opportunity to participate in

Quarterly Leadership Retreats. Again in 2014, the retreats were given high marks by those who attended. Inspired by expert speakers and reviews of the latest literature about church leadership, such as the book Cracking Your Church’s Culture, staff and lay leaders worked together to drive the transformation and growth of the church. The fourth annual Vision Conference held September 9-11 provided another opportunity for the staff and members to be enlightened and reinvigorated by lectures from nationally renowned guest speakers. Sick and Shut-In Program Established All members of the church are important and recognized, regardless of their ability to physically participate in worship services and programming. With Deacons in place to support the new Sick and Shut-In Program, elderly church members and those who are living with illnesses or recovering from surgery are engaged by other members with meaningful conversation and visits. Additionally, sick and shut-in members receive CDs with the weekly sermons, meals, Bulletins, and help with household chores.

“This past year, South Euclid United Church of Christ held me together. The church staff and members alike sustained me through my husband’s illness and death, and stood by and helped me during the period afterwards. It meant the world to me to have my church family and staff at a really difficult time. The church has been my solace and sustenance.” Deacon Kathy Smith Baker Members since 1980


REACH OUT in Mission

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” Matthew 25:35-36

South Euclid United Church of Christ is committed to service that has a strong impact beyond our church walls. By sharing our unique abilities and serving as a witness for Jesus Christ, we help to create long-term sustainable change within our community and beyond. Becoming engrained in a community was an important part of the church’s move to South Euclid in July 2014. The new church campus allows South Euclid United Church of Christ to be more hospitable and to serve the overall community more than ever before. Even before moving the church to South Euclid, members began reaching out to their new community. In May, church members participated in the South Euclid Memorial Day Parade to introduce themselves to their new neighbors.

As soon as the church relocated to South Euclid from midtown Cleveland, members immediately began working on ways to engage the community, including: • Celebration Sunday on July 20 served as an official kick-off to the church’s life in South Euclid and an introduction to the community. • With the theme of Workshop of Wonders, this year’s Vacation Bible School, held July 30-August 1, encouraged 45 area children to discover how the ordinary becomes extraordinary with God. • The second annual Back to School Jam on August 16 welcomed more than 250 school children and their families to the church’s campus for a day of fun and fellowship. It was a day of outreach to introduce the church to neighbors and the community while serving local youth. Children enjoyed a free cookout, haircuts,

entertainment, games and more. Some 150 students were given free backpacks full of supplies to ensure they were equipped to return to school. • In a joint project with Shiloh Baptist Church, members of our church paid for, packed and delivered 150 food baskets to hungry families across Greater Cleveland. This year’s baskets contained traditional nonperishable Thanksgiving foods plus a gift card to Dave’s Market. Other donation drives included collecting blankets and winter coats for the homeless and toiletries for victims of domestic violence. • For the Christmas season, we partnered with Cleveland’s East End Neighborhood House for the Angel Tree program. Our members purchased gifts for local children, including many whose parents are incarcerated.

“My daughter and I felt welcome at South Euclid United Church of Christ right from the start, and after only a few visits, I knew I wanted to become a member. I love how inclusive the congregation is and appreciate the overall spirit of giving.” Amy Eagleeye Member since July 2014



REACH ACROSS for Diversity

“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.” 1 Corinthians 12:4-6

At South Euclid United Church of Christ, we appreciate and celebrate our rich racial and cultural diversity – and other dimensions of difference in our staff and congregation. We strive to create an environment in which God works through the lives of church leaders, members and regular attendees to build lasting, meaningful and reconciling relationship across all aspects of congregational life

New Associate Pastor In January 2014, Rev. Carla Jo Howlett joined the church as Associate Pastor of Administration. She is responsible for assisting the Senior Pastor with implementing the church’s strategic plan, as well as managing the program staff and ministries. With a Master of Divinity degree from Vanderbilt University School of Divinity, Rev. Carla Jo previously served as a staff minister at four congregations in Chicago and Nashville. She brings a wealth of experience and skills that strengthen and improve the effectiveness of the church staff. Embracing Our Differences Our church is open and affirming in the way we welcome and include gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) members into the full life and ministry

of the church. Again in 2014, as we have done for more than 15 years, members of our church participated in the annual Cleveland Gay Pride Parade held in June. We also held a special day dedicated to the women of our congregation and a service celebrating the Latino influence in our church and community. Wheelchair-Accessible Van Purchase In order to ensure that church members without reliable transportation can attend worship services, we purchased a wheelchair-accessible van to complement our non-accessible van. Members of the transportation ministry drive the newly purchased Chevrolet Starcraft van for both Sunday worship services.

“South Euclid United Church of Christ has restored hope and faith in my life and my daughter’s life. Pastor Jenkins continues to challenge the congregation to be shepherds of Christ and embrace each other through all diversity.” Vernique Lamar Member since September 2014


REACH BEYOND with Imagination

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!” Ephesians 3:20-21

Our faith at South Euclid United Church of Christ allows us to reach beyond the ordinary, the usual, the mediocre and mundane with great imagination. We seek excellence in everything that we do with great expectation. Our aim is to go beyond the superficial to the supernatural through God who strengthens us. Innovative Worship Services In October, we held a worship and empowerment service for domestic violence victims and their families on Friday, October 17. The evening offered a safe place where victims of domestic violence could receive emotional and spiritual support in the company of others who have shared similar experiences.

In December, we held a nontraditional Blue Christmas Service. This solemn worship service was designed to help those who were experiencing emotional suffering during the holiday season. It provided participants with a safe environment to reflect on scripture, relax with music, and share stories with new friends. In addition to staff and ministers, volunteer counselors were on hand for one-on-one sessions for those in need. Servolution Our church has always offered numerous opportunities for its members to serve each other and the local community. In 2014, we took service to a higher level with an ambitious new program called Servolution. Held in October, we engaged members in 18 service projects over a two week

period. In total, more the 70 members participated and contributed 436 service hours that touched the lives of 1,500 people in Northeast Ohio. Taking place across the Greater Cleveland area, projects included volunteering at homeless shelters and senior centers; preparing and distributing lunch bags to the homeless; donating care kits to cancer patients; coordinating a free garage “sale” at the church campus; providing lawn care for residents of South Euclid; and distributing over 300 cookies to every public school teacher and administrator in South Euclid.

“I have grown quite a bit in the past year due to the new and different church initiatives. I loved working with the Back to School Jam and the Servolution projects… I’ve been a member for a long time, but I find things especially exciting right now.” Alma Mozley Member since 1964

“Servolution was the first time I felt like I was able to really serve the way I’ve always wanted. I was humbled to serve and to be a blessing to others. It was so fulfilling to be doing God’s work by loving others and blessing them wholeheartedly. I can’t wait to see what amazing things God has in store for us next year.” Amber Robinson Member since February 2014 



2014 Financial Results

INCOME Total Contributions


Total Endowment Income


Total Other Income


Total Income

$ 846,691

EXPENSES Total Salaried Expense


Total Pastor’s Expense


Total Salaried Benefits


Total Other Personnel Expense

Total Personnel Expenses

18,666 570,838

Total Building Maintenance Expense


Total Office Expense


Total Other Administrative Expense


Total Administrative Expense


Grand Total Administrative Expense


PROGRAM EXPENSE Total Pastor’s Initiative Expense


Total Christian Education & Faith Formation


Total Fellowship & Community Life Expense


Total Church in the World Expense


Total Worship & Arts Expense

Total Program Expense

Total Operating Surplus

9,048 86,018 $ 24,704


2015 Budget


Contributions 344,000 Endowment Income 797,632 Other Income Total Income

$ 1,259,682

Personnel Salaries


Personnel Expenses


Building Maintenance


Office & Admin Expenses


Pastor’s Initiatives


Christian Ed & Faith Formation


Fellowship & Community Life


Church in the World


Worship & Arts


Special Programs Total Expenses




209,615 $ 1,259,682

Church Staff Rev. Courtney Clayton Jenkins Senior Pastor & Teacher [email protected] 216-791-5200

Minister Jeremy Stenger Minister of Special Projects [email protected] 216-658-4258

Diana Ellington Scott Administrative Assistant to the Senior Pastor [email protected] 216-658-4262

Rev. Avery J. Danage Youth Minister [email protected] 216-658-4257

Rev. Carla Jo Howlett Associate Pastor of Administration [email protected] 216-658-4263

Rev. Delmarshae Sledge Minister of Worship [email protected] 216-658-4264

Marilyn Murphy Administrative Assistant [email protected] 216-658-4252

Alcee Chriss III 9:55 a.m. Worship Leader [email protected] 216-658-4264

Sharon Cooper Ministry Assistant [email protected] 216-658-4269

Victoria Hubbard Barnes 12:00 p.m. Worship Leader [email protected] 216-658-4267

James Rutledge Finance Manager [email protected] 216-658-4260

Terrance Eady Chief Sexton [email protected] 216-658-4259

Shoantah Harrell Bookkeeper [email protected] 216-658-4265

Emanuel Franklin Sexton 216-658-4259 Michael Lowery Sexton 216-658-4259

Special thanks to McKinley Wiley, Rosemary Rozell and others who helped document the story of our church in 2014 through their beautiful photography.


Rev. Courtney Clayton Jenkins, Senior Pastor and Teacher

4217 Bluestone Road South Euclid, OH 44121 216.791.5200 SouthEuclidUCC.org

SEUCC 2015 Annual Report Web.pdf

on the Greater Cleveland area and beyond. In 2014, we made history yet again – and what an awesome privilege it was! We fully embraced the theme we had.

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