Yes, I know. The "Cleveland Rocks" reference is pretty easy, but hey, like I keep telling folks, I am just NOT that creative. In any case, after hanging out in Pittsburgh for a bit, my journey took me to Cleveland where I again was introduced to a great city, connected with old friends and was touched by some uber-cool God stuff.
And while driving back and forth from the Eastside to the Westside about a bazzilion times was certainly a highlight, here are my TOP FOUR Cleveland memories in no particular order:
The Pheonix Project // Spent some time with the folks at this new church development and I must say, wow. While still small in number they are mighty in passion, focus and commitment. These folks are reaching people where they are and clearly the group is forming some bonds that are living witness to the healing nature of Christian community.
Sokolowskis University Inn // After this wonderfully authentic experience of the eyes, ears and
stomach, you will get a taste of Cleveland in all it’s starchy – but
yummy – glory! Tastes like Cleveland. In a good way.
Indians v. A’s // Just so happened that my beloved Oakland A’s were in town to play the Cleveland Indians. And while I do love baseball, I admit that there was a little guilt about supporting the team that still does not see the why the whole Chief Wahoo thing really does need to change.
Presbytery of the Western Reserve // On Monday I was invited to be a part of a series of coffee talks that the Presbytery had been having on New Church Development. Previous folks had been Karen Ward from Church of the Apostles in Seattle as well as Joy Douglas Strome from Lakeview Presbyterian in Chicago so these folks are not playing around. Good coffee and conversation at Trinity Commons. Despite some of the other turmoil taking place in the presbytery, I sensed a real hopefulness and openness to what might/could be.
Thanks to the Presbytery of the Western Reserve, Kerri, Francis and Jeff for inviting me to hang out, listen and talk. I learned a great deal about this part of the country that made real the unique and common realities of God and community. Thanks!