about

 

Church of the Redeemer UCC:

Grounded in Christ, growing in service.

 
our mission
God calls us to a mission that includes an expanded program of worship, music, Christian education, outreach, caregiving, spiritual development, family ministries, fellowship, and more. Such growth in service come from the devoted efforts of the whole church. A growing ministry invites more people to be part of “a community grounded in Christ, growing in service.”
 
our vision
The mission of Church of the Redeemer UCC is to invest in children and youth; widen our community service; deepen our faith and share it with others; and attract and nurture the next generation of Christians.
 
our values
Our values include a diverse membership and an inclusive spirit; service to our community and the world; fellowship and hospitality; member support through prayer and care giving; and the nurture of the Christian life in all. Church of the Redeemer is a Just Peace and Open and Affirming congregation of the United Church of Christ.
 
our denomination
Learn more about our denomination, the United Church of Christ.
 
 

history

 
our story

Church of the Redeemer was established just over sixty years ago on the site of a former vineyard—a powerful Biblical image of human community and God’s presence in it. It was “planted” by First Evangelical & Reformed Church of Lakewood and became part of the United Church of Christ when that denomination was founded in 1957.

Shortly after its 50th anniversary, Redeemer undertook a study of its internal life and the surrounding communities. On the basis of that work, we developed a Plan for Renewal, which included the development of a new statement of mission, vision, and values and led to the expansion of staff and programs and a focus on inviting and welcoming new people to our life and work.

In 2006, conversations with the members of our parent church, First Church Lakewood, led to a (re)union of the congregations to form a new and larger Church of the Redeemer. The union has enlarged the scope of our community ministries and caused us to think more about the best ways to help new people quickly feel at home.
 
our denomination
Learn more about our denomination, the United Church of Christ.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

symbols of faith

 
our symbols

Church of the Redeemer UCC has a unique history. Started in 1954 as a “church plant” of First UCC, Lakewood, Ohio, the two congregations became one in 2006. Two images are important to the life of Church of the Redeemer UCC:

In addition to the Scripture reference, “I am the vine, you are the branches,” the Grapevine is particularly appropriate to Church of the Redeemer UCC because the land on which the building sits once was a vineyard. A few of the old vines still grow in the wooded area on the church’s property. The grapevines are symbolic of the growth and vitality of Church of the Redeemer UCC’s members, and their ministry. We are the branches of Christ, the true vine.

The White Rose is a symbolic tradition brought with Redeemer members who decided to join the congregation when First UCC in Lakewood, Ohio, closed. In 1883, a white rose bush was planted beside the original West 32nd Street church building in Cleveland. As new churches grew from that first church, shoots from the original rose bush were planted at each one. First UCC in Lakewood was a recipient of such a shoot, and it bloomed just outside the pastor’s study. When First UCC became part of Redeemer, the white rose bush was planted near the entrance, and First’s stained glass white rose panel graces the Gathering Room of Church of the Redeemer UCC with its light and beauty … a reminder of a proud tradition and the faithfulness of the congregants.

 
our denomination
Learn more about our denomination, the United Church of Christ.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

meet the staff

 
 

R. BROOKE BAKER

 LONG-TERM PULPIT SUPPLY & PASTOR
R. Brooke Baker is our Interim Pastor. Brooke is in her final year of seminary completing her Masters of Divinity from Lexington Theological Seminary. She  has served several UCC congregations across Northeast Ohio in a variety of capacities. She served as music director at Old South Church in Kirtland, and as seminary intern at Amistad Chapel in downtown Cleveland. Currently, Pastor Brooke also is serving as student pastor at Pilgrim Congregational in Tremont. Brooke lives with her spouse in Lakewood.
 
 
 

MARGARET BORRELLI

FAITH FORMATION MINISTER
Margaret G. Borrelli began serving as Minister of Faith Formation at Church of the Redeemer UCC in October 2006. She has served as a Church Educator in the United Church of Christ since 1978. She is certified by the UCC as an Accredited Church Educator and is authorized by the Western Reserve Association as a Commissioned Minister of Christian Education. Margaret grew up in Cleveland and received her BA from Ohio Wesleyan University. She lives in North Olmsted where she and her husband have raised three daughters. Her interests include writing poetry, reading, and scrapbooking.
 
 
 

CAROL PEDDIE

DIRECTOR OF MUSIC
Carol E. Peddiehas been a church music director for over forty years and has been at Church of the Redeemer since 2005. She has directed numerous choirs and has served as a soloist in Cleveland, Avon Lake, Lorain, Miami and Boca Raton, Florida, and San Diego, California. Carol taught high school vocal music for thirty years both in Lorain and Boca Raton. She grew up in Lakewood and received her bachelor’s degree in music education (voice and violin) from the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida, and her master’s degree in education from Baldwin-Wallace College. She resides in Avon and enjoys travel and sports.
 
 
 
 

JASON AQUILA

 ORGANIST/BELL CHOIR DIRECTOR

Jason Aquila, Redeemer’s Organist and Carillon Bell Choir director, holds a Master of Music degree in Collaborative Piano and Chamber Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music. He spent 10 years as Coordinator of Accompanying at Western Illinois University, during some of which he was the organist at Trinity Lutheran Church in Macomb, Illinois. Jason is currently teaching private piano lessons as well as coaching chamber music and accompanying students and faculty at the Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music.
 
 
 

GAYLE DONAHUE

FAITH COMMUNITY NURSE

Gayle Donahue, RN, has been involved in parish nursing since 1992 and Church of the Redeemer in February 2015. Previously, she provided management to a hospital-based parish nurse model. Her bachelor’s degree is from Roberts Wesleyan College and her master’s in Community Health is from Case Western Reserve University, Francis Payne Bolton School of Nursing. Gayle lives in Avon Lake, where she husband Brad raised three children, Matt, Katie and Marc. In addition to time spent with family and traveling Gayle enjoys snowshoeing, swimming, golf, biking and attempting to capture funny behavior of wildlife on film.
 
 

JANET KRAMER

LEADERSHIP TEAM PRESIDENT

Janet Kramer is the current president of the Redeemer UCC Leadership Team. In February 2017, she retired as president of the National Multiple Sclerosis Sociey’s Ohio Buckeye Chapter covering 64 counties and serving more than 16,000 people in Northeast, Northwest and Central Ohio. She was responsible for more than $4.5 million of activity. She supervised a staff of 20. Prior to the MS Society, she held numerous positions in a variety of businesses. She has extensive experience in marketing, development, public relations, advertising and retailing: conceiving, designing, executing and managing a wide range of programs.

an open and affirming church

 
our ona statement

We, the congregation of Church of the Redeemer United Church of Christ, believe that no matter who you are, or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here.

We seek to proclaim Christ’s selfless and unconditional love in what we teach and how we live, together in our congregation and in our community.

We welcome equally people of every race, nationality, ethnicity, economic and social status, marital standing and family structure. We welcome fully people of diverse mental and physical abilities, ages, faith backgrounds and beliefs.

We welcome wholly people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. We welcome unconditionally people struggling with addictions and those who are in recovery.

We value and celebrate the rich diversity of all Gods creation. Therefore, we honor the unique expression of God’s image found in each individual and we encourage all people to develop their relationships based on the model of Christ’s acceptance and love.

Truly, all are welcome here in this United Church of Christ, and we proclaim Church of the Redeemer to be an Open and Affirming congregation.
 
– Adopted by the Congregation, October 2017
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

a just peace church

our just peace covenant

As a congregation of the Church of Jesus Christ, we believe that the church exists in and for the world, and that peacemaking lies at the heart of the Christian gospel. We acknowledge hostility and alienation in our own lives, in the community and throughout the world. We also recognize our threat to the environment and to the integrity of creation. We accept these concerns as challenges to our individual and corporate lives.

We, therefore, resolve to seek ways of justice and peace within and among ourselves, so as to make a difference in our lives and in the lives of all who experience injustice and violence in our community, nation, and world. We shall strive in every way to live in friendship, fairness and non-violence; and to work for peace with justice in interpersonal, social, racial, economic, political and international relations.

To this end we, as members, families, church groups, committees and boards will strive to be alert in responding to human needs, to conditions that threaten human community and well-being, and to opportunities for turning back the reign of hostility and oppression. Where we can speak with one voice, we shall do so, always respecting the right of conscientious dissent. In every aspect of our ministry and mission, we shall hold ourselves accountable for the effect our policies and actions have on God’s purpose.

Relying on the continued guidance of the Holy Spirit, we shall seek to grow as a Just Peace Church by pursuing the fourfold journey commended in the General Synod XV Proposal for Action through prayer, study, service and action.

May we accept God’s help in our search for peace.

 
– Adopted by the Congregation, 1990
Learn more about the UCC as a Just Peace Church.