Tricia and I served as co-pastors of Noble Road Presbyterian Church in Cleveland Heights, Ohio from September 1985 through September 2000. There Eric was baptized, Sean and Eric joined the church, Sean and Eric were ordained as elders, and Eric was ordained as a minister of the word and sacrament.
After a prayerful process of discernment, the congregation made the faithful, courageous, and probably a bit painful, decision to sell the building. This week the sale of the building was approved by the Presbytery of the Western Reserve and the Heights Libraries Board of Trustees (the purchaser). The church is located next to the Noble Neighborhood branch of Heights Libraries. The purchase will allow Heights Libraries to expand the Noble branch building to broaden the services it offers to the surrounding community. It will allow the church building to continue to be used as a place where the community is served.
Because the church is not a building, the congregation will continue in ministry. The congregation is in the process of discerning what that ministry will look like. No doubt it will be faithful, creative, welcoming and including, and committed to justice.
A prayer for Noble Road Presbyterian Church
God of all places,
we thank you for your gift of the place
known as Noble Road Presbyterian Church.
We remember with gratitude
all who worshipped in the sanctuary,
all who provided music in any form,
all who affirmed faith at the font,
all who proclaimed the gospel in the pulpit,
all who received assurance at the table,
all who studied in the classrooms,
and all who went out with the support of the community
to witness and work for justice
in Cleveland Heights, Greater Cleveland, Ohio, the United States, and around your world.
For all whose lives were touched, blessed, enriched, challenged
by the people of Noble Road Presbyterian Church,
we give you thanks and praise.
Guide the congregation members as they
discern new ways to be a community, to worship, and to serve.
Lead the Heights Libraries as they repurpose the building
to continue to serve the Noble community and the world.
With thanks for what was,
some tears for what is,
and profound excitement for what will be,
we offer all praise to you, O God,
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
in the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
this prayer draws on some images from a prayer in the Book of Common Worship