Come: you are welcome, wherever you are in life. (“For you are all one in Jesus Christ” (Galatians 3:28). We are an Open and Affirming Cleveland, Ohio church, and as such, welcome people of all ages, abilities, stages of faith, racial and cultural backgrounds, sexual orientations, gender identities, family structures, marital and economic statuses to participate fully in the life, leadership, ministry and mission of this church.)
Stay: celebrate, explore, and connect with God, each other, and yourself. (“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers” (Acts 2:42). Deepen your experience of God through faith formation for all ages, prayer, worship, worKship, and fellowship by living out the great commandment to “love God, love your neighbor, and love yourself.” (Matthew 22:36-40; Mark 12:30-34; Luke 10:27))
Go: actively share God’s love, fearlessly champion social justice, and faithfully serve God’s Creation. (“…for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me.” (Matthew 25:35-36) Individually and collectively, share the love and light of God by supporting and lifting up each other. Work toward a world where systems are fair and equitable to all … a just peace. Be good stewards of all creation as Jesus taught.)
Through the power of the Holy Spirit, and in accordance with God’s covenant with us, we individually and collectively covenant to:
This intentional path is anchored in our commitment to create an inclusive community of faith where we follow the guidance in Galatians 3:28 – “there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female, for all of us are one in Christ Jesus.”
Open and Affirming (ONA) is the United Church of Christ’s (UCC) designation for congregations, campus ministries, and other bodies in the UCC which make a public covenant of welcome into their full life and ministry to persons of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions. Click here for more information about ONA from the UCC.
In October 2016, we enthusiastically voted to become an ONA church and adopted the following covenant intended to a pledge of extravagant welcome to all:
Middleburg Heights Community United Church of Christ affirms that every person has worth as a unique creation made in the image of God and that, as Christians, we should follow the command of Jesus Christ to love all people. We recognize, celebrate and give thanks for the many diverse God-given gifts among us. We welcome people of all ages, abilities, stages of faith, racial and cultural backgrounds, sexual orientations, gender identities, family structures, marital and economic statuses to participate fully in the life, leadership, ministry and mission of this church. We believe through our diversity, we become stronger as a congregation and can grow and practice a faith that transcends our differences, enabling us to become a faithful community of worship and service.
The United Church of Christ (UCC) is a distinct and diverse community of Christians that come together as one church to join faith and action. With over 5,000 churches and nearly one million members across the U.S., the UCC serves God in the co-creation of a just and sustainable world. The UCC is a church of firsts, a church of extravagant welcome, and a church where “…they may all be one” (John 17:21). More from the UCC website here.
You can find us on the corner of Bagley Road and Big Creek Parkway in Middleburg Heights, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland.
7165 Big Creek Parkway
Middleburg Heights, OH 44130
Worship with us on Sundays at 10:30 a.m. We are currently requiring reservations to attend in-person. We also offer our services live on Zoom.
Our service includes a children’s message and vibrant music from one of our groups. Communion is also taken on the first Sunday of the month. In addition, our Nursery is staffed by our CPR and first aid-certified caregiver, and faith-filled learning opportunities are available for children and teens. From September through June, an ASL interpreter signs for our hearing impaired friends.
*We believe all people of faith are welcome at Christ’s table.
We have ample parking available, with plenty of handicap spaces. Sunday visitors, there are spots just for you near our entrance! Just look for the signs near the fence and garage.
We are an energetic, progressive and multi-generational gathering of people who seek to follow Jesus and be his heart, hands and feet in this world. Expect to find friendly folks of all ages and life stages – lots of different kinds of families, dressed in whatever they feel is comfortable for worship. The music tends to be more traditional: choir, organ, hymnals. Our messages are bold, justice-centered, and uplifting. We value creativity in worship, so you never know if there’ll be dramatic readings, live painting, or even a balloon drop!
Vicki McGaw joined the staff of MHCUCC in July 2012 as part of a transitional faith formation team and was called as the pastor in November 2013. She brings her passion for justice, extravagant welcome and multi-sensory worship to her ministry. A graduate of Eden Theological Seminary and Michigan State University who has worked on the national staff of the United Church of Christ, Vicki also brings administrative and financial skills developed in her previous career as a bank manager.
She and her husband, Mike, proudly raised a daughter and son. The couple live in Lakewood and enjoy traveling.
Sue Pray has been attending MHCUCC since 2018 and joined the staff in January 2021. Sue is a second career seminarian, completing her M.Div. officially in May of 2021. She is a Member in Discernment with the Living Waters Association and is on a path for ordination with U.C.C. She holds an M.Ed. in counseling and her professional career was in Vocational Rehabilitation where she counseled people with disabilities as well as serving many years in supervision, training, and administration.
Sue is a lifelong member of the United Church of Christ. She lives in North Ridgeville with her 3 dogs, and a collection of sewing, quilting, and embroidery machines.
Children's ministries coordinator
Jeany Tri became a member in 2018, then joined our staff in May 2020. With degrees from the University of Akron including a B.A. in psychology and German, and a M.Ed. in counseling, Jeany brings years of experience in education and training of both children and adults, excellent organization and volunteer management skills, and extensive community involvement in non-profit organizations.
Jeany and her wife, Nicki, have two children in high school, Jayden, and Halina, one of our youth interns. Jeany is an avid reader, likes solving complex puzzles and using creativity, and volunteers with their therapy dog, Buckeye.
Youth Ministries Coordinator
Director of Music
Jarred is from Dayton, Ohio, and lives in Westlake. As an organist, Jarred has performed in concert series in churches throughout the Cleveland area, and toured historic instruments in Europe, including the Chapel of São Miguel at the University of Coimbra, Portugal, and the Church of Saint-Sulpice and the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris.
Jarred teaches Piano Skills classes at Cleveland State University, from which he holds a Masters of Music Degree, with graduate studies in organ and choral conducting from The Cleveland Institute of Music, plus a Bachelors in Music from Wittenberg University, and the CAGO level of certification through The American Guild of Organists.
Congregational life coordinator
Alicia has over 20 years of experience in office management and program development, much of that with nonprofits. She joined the MHCUCC staff in May 2018 and handles all the front office duties. She is a graduate of Cleveland State University.
Alicia has two grown daughters and four grandchildren. She is married to Kevin, and they reside in Berea. Alicia loves morning walks and is a certified yoga instructor.
Michelle graduated from Cleveland State University in 1998 with a Bachelors of Business Administration, majoring in Finance.
She is married to Steven, and they are very busy with their two young boys. Michelle enjoys gardening and volunteers by helping to maintain our church gardens. She loves to spend time with her family playing and watching sports. Michelle’s parents and twin sister also attend MHCUCC, so church is definitely a family value!
Gary is a graduate of Midpark High School and worked in the machine trades for over 30 years before coming to MHCUCC. On a typical day, you can find Gary setting up a room for a rental or meeting, coordinating maintenance of something on our campus, or juggling a number of odd tasks and solving issues that pop up at the last moment.
Gary and June live in Parma and are very involved with their grandkids and extended family. Gary loves fishing and hunting on their property in northern Canada.
One important reason Athena Mericsko and Melissa Zagata chose to become members in 2017 was their son, Henry. “He's already a member of the community, even if he doesn't know it yet,” Melissa says. “He's going to grow up with these values.”
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