ROCKY RIVER, Ohio – The West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church in Rocky River celebrated its 75th anniversary on September 19.
Church officials have said that banners will soon be displayed on the poles of lampposts outside the church, announcing that West Shore is “celebrating its 75th birthday.”
Founded in 1946, West Shore is the largest Unitarian Universalist church in Northeast Ohio, with over 500 members.
The mission of the church is to “help people lead lives of meaning and purpose” through a tradition of liberal faith based on the principle that people do not need to think the same way. to love in the same way. Church leaders said it was a welcoming congregation, open to all.
In 1945, the Reverend Everett Moore Baker, a prominent minister, envisioned a liberal religious presence on the west side of Cleveland and began to organize efforts. Less than a year later, West Shore UU had its first service on September 15, 1946, at the Masonic Auditorium in Lakewood. Over 200 people attended and 75 children signed up for the Sunday School program.
In 1949, West Shore purchased land in Rocky River. The first services at the current location, 20401 Hilliard Blvd., were in 1952. Since then, West Shore UU has become known for its outreach, advocacy and justice work in Greater Cleveland.
The Prime Minister was Reverend Wayne Shuttee. Seven ministers have served the congregation since then. The church’s senior minister, Reverend Anthony D. Makar, joined the church in 2019 after serving as senior minister for 12 years at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta, one of the largest UU congregations in the country.
âSeventy-five years ago the very first sermon preached at West Shore was titled ‘Today’s Need and Our Response.’ This response was to need more love in the world, more understanding, more compassion and more fairness, âsaid Makar. âThis continues to be the answer we provide to the world now and into the future. Unitarian universalism is a deep and meaningful spiritual path. Come join us.”
Rocky River residents Gaile and Joe Schafer are the honorary co-chairs of the one-year anniversary celebration, which includes adult and family events throughout the church year ending in June 2022.
The Schafers have held many leadership positions at the church since joining in February 1977. Joe Schafer is in his 34th year as director of the West Shore Junior Choir. He was Chairman of the Board of Directors 2019-2020. Gaile Schafer has been a Church historian for 15 years and a member of the Religious Education Committee.
âIn our more than four decades as members of the West Shore, we have experienced life-changing learning, personal growth, joy, challenge and solace in this loving community of religious liberals. We hope our West Shore community will continue to grow in its ability to change lives in positive and meaningful ways, both within our walls and beyond, âsaid the Schafers.
Strongsville resident Karen Kircher and Westlake resident Suzanne Rusnak are co-chairs of the 75th Jubilee Celebration Committee, made up of volunteers and staff.
For more history on the church, visit wsuuc.org/our-history.
Due to COVID-19 church security protocols, reservations are required to attend worship in person. Call the church office, 440-333-2255. In-person worship begins at 10:05 a.m. and ends around 11:15 a.m. on Sunday. The worship service can also be viewed live on facebook.com/WestShoreUU.
Pet Blessing: Lions, tigers and bears are not welcome, but pets and their families are invited to the 16th Annual Pet Blessing from 6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on September 30 on the church lawn. St. Raphael, 525 Dover Center Road, Bay Village.
Individual blessings will be given to each animal. Dog and cat treats and Hot Diggity Dog Pet Sitting gifts will be distributed and there will be a design for a garden statue of Saint Francis.
The event, which began in 2005 to commemorate the feast of Saint Francis of Assisi, is free and everyone is welcome.
âWe missed seeing all of our parishioners, neighbors, friends and their pets last year,â said Reverend Tim Gareau, pastor of Saint-RaphaÃ«l. âWe invite everyone, near and far, to join us on September 30 in thanking all of God’s creatures – especially our faithful animal companions – and asking Him for His continued blessings on our families, our community and on all living beings entrusted to our care, âhe added.
Event organizers said dogs should be kept on a leash; cats and other pets in cages or cages.
The event will be canceled if it rains.
Advantage of the Farrell Foundation: The Benefit and Celebration A Decade of Joy: Living Well with Dementia takes place on October 2 from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Westwood Country Club, 22625 Detroit Road, Rocky River. The event will celebrate the passion and dedication of Dr. Charlie Farrell to inspire and improve the lives of people struggling with brain health issues.
The evening will feature music, artistic experiences, presentations, a silent / live auction and dinner in honor of the past and current work of Dr. Farrell and the more than 500 people with dementia and their families served by the foundation since its founding in 2011.
Tickets are $ 150 per person or $ 1350 for a table of 10. For tickets, visit farrellfoundation.org. Proceeds from the benefit will be used to enhance the foundation’s arts enrichment programs in music, visual arts, dance / movement, creative writing and exercise for people with dementia / Alzheimer’s and their care partners. All programs are coordinated by professionals in their fields and are provided free of charge to participants.
A virtual program will also be available from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Those wishing to attend virtually should contact the foundation at 440-414-0434 to register. They will receive an email invitation with the Zoom Before Event link. A donation for virtual participation can be made to the foundation.
The emcee will be WKYC Channel 3 reporter Lindsay Buckingham. Co-founder and author Katie Farrell Norris will honor the work and programs of the foundation that was named in honor of her mother. In addition, Anne Basting, recipient of a MacArthur Genius Fellowship and author of âCreative Care: A Revolutionary Approach to Dementia and Elder Careâ, will be the guest speaker. The activities will also honor Dr. Farrell for his work at the foundation.
The silent auction for the benefit runs until September 30, featuring a variety of professional works of art such as paintings, photographs and prints as well as special events and experiences. Details can be found at farrellfoundation.org.
In 2011, Dr Farrell and his daughter started the foundation. For more information, visit farrellfoundation.org.
Back home: Rocky River High School Homecoming begins with the traditional return parade at 5:30 p.m. on October 1, which will have a temporary impact on traffic. The parade will depart from the west exit of the St. Christopher’s Church parking lot on Detroit Road in Rocky River. It will travel south on Northview, west on Westway, north on Wagar, and east on Detroit, ending at the north end of RRHS Stadium. Parents are requested to look after the children.
There will be tailgating and food trucks from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the RRHS, before the kick-off of the homecoming soccer game featuring RRHS and Fairview High School.
Duck races: The Westlake Historical Society Duck Races will be held on October 2 at noon at the Westlake Recreation Center, 28955 Hilliard Blvd., Westlake. Ducks can be “adopted” for $ 5 each, $ 25 for a “six charlatans” or $ 49 for a “pack of charlatans” (12 ducks).
To adopt ducks, visit westlakeohiohistory.org or call 440-610-2728.
Volunteers are needed to help prepare for the event on October 1 and to help out on race day, October 2. Call or text 440-610-2728.
The silent auction committee prepares baskets for people to bid on at the event.
Get well: Best wishes for a speedy recovery to Lysa Stanton, President of the Westlake Historical Society, who is recovering from surgery.
Information, please: Readers are encouraged to share information about themselves, their families and friends, organizations, religious events, etc. from Bay Village, Rocky River and Westlake for the West Shore Chatter column, which I write as a freelance writer. Awards, honors, milestone birthdays or anniversaries and other items are welcome. Submit information at least 10 days before the requested publication date to [email protected]
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