Happy Thursday, friends! 

Yes. I know. It’s Thursday and not Wednesday. This is the result of me being gone for a couple weeks. I can’t effectively manage my time when I return! Sorry for getting this out a day late!

When I was growing up, we moved a lot…like over 20 times! My consistent, safe place was my grandma and grandpa’s (affectionately referred to as “Papaw” and “Mammy”). They had a beautiful home outside of a small burg called Port Washington, Ohio. The home was/is in “the holler,” as Papaw says. At Mammy and Papaw’s home, we were able to run and play freely. We would find new ways to roll down hills, wade into the creek, and experiment with many of the old “quality merchandise” that was around outside. But, some of the most fond memories I have of Mammy and Papaw’s home were from sitting on the front porch.

We would spend hours on the front porch talking.  Neighbors and other nearby family members would just stop, grab a seat and chat. As a young child and teenager, I seemed to be more interested in what the adults were talking about than what I could get into with my brothers. I’d listen as the adults would talk about religion, politics, work woes, and so on. Relationships seemed to grow through these porch talks. 

That got me thinking about us. This is supposed to be time in our relationship (with new pastor and church) when we are building and growing our relationships. COVID has hindered our ability to learn about each other and even keep the connection we did have pre-COVID. 

It looks like we are going to be practicing social distancing for some time. That doesn’t mean we can’t be growing in our relationships with each other. So, Kevin and I are offering front-porch (or outside) pastoral visits. You don’t have to entertain us, and we won’t overstay our welcome. We’re thinking 30 minutes or less. We’ll bring a chair and mask. We won’t be able to shake hands or hug, but we will love talking with you during our visit. 

If you would like for one of us to come visit, call the church office (330.562.8266) or email the office (koxford@tcia.cc) and schedule a time. 

We miss you all and we look forward to seeing you soon!

In Christ,
Pastor Derek
FROM THE CHURCH OFFICE: 

It’s been 20 weeks since we’ve worshiped together!  Pastor Derek and Rev. Horak have missed meeting and greeting you.  So,  while we can be outside enjoying the beautiful NE Ohio summer weather, they are available for “driveway” visits.   If you’d like either of them to stop by, call (330-562-8266) or email the church office (koxford@tcia.cc), and Kay will schedule this visit for you.

“OUTREACH BUDDIES” needed…
Are you available to make weekly phone calls to “check in and chat” with an Aurora community member who is unable to leave their house during this pandemic?  Our Community Outreach team has identified a few individuals who need this ministry from our church. If you are available, then Liz Sutter asks that you call her (216-570-6394).  

Anna Maria of Aurora asks that we let you know they are looking to hire a Visitation/Hospitality Aid. For more information on this position and how to apply, click here.

 There will be no Fall Rummage Sale this year.
 
For more information about our regathering plan, click here to read the full document.
MORE SIGNS ARE GETTING POSTED IN OUR COMMUNITY, AND WORD IS GETTING OUT THAT THE CHURCH IN AURORA IS HERE TO HELP. 

Email Pastor Derek to get your sign. In return, we ask for two things: Consider making a $10 donationConsider taking picture of you and/or your family in front of your sign for us to shareFriends, The Church in Aurora is a strong church with great people…and one of the things I have loved most about this faith community is that even though we may have differences in our politics or theology, we all have united around helping our community. We don’t let our differences hinder our mission…so, let’s lock arms and continue to stand strong as we commit to serving those who have needs in our community and in the surrounding area.
                                                                                                   — Pastor Derek
 Because we are The Church in Aurora, we are here to help.

VOA’s Food Pantry is in need of salad dressings, BBQ sauces, crackers, juice, and boxed scalloped potatoes. Drop off your donations at 1063 N Aurora Rd, Aurora, OH 44202
Week 18
COMMUNITY RELIEF FUND UPDATE
The Community Relief Fund workers have had a very busy week. A BIG THANKS goes out to the residents of Walden who held a food drive in support of our efforts.

We are now looking for donations of all school supplies including backpacks. Donations may be dropped off in the plastic bin outside the church’s glass doors.

As a reminder:  The Sirna and Sons program continues to help sustain The Community Relief efforts.  Orders for fresh meats, dairy, fruits, veggies and more at competitive prices can be made online and will be placed in your car touch-free at Leighton Elementary School on Thursdays between 9 am and 11 am.  15% of all orders received go to the Aurora Community Relief Fund. You can click here to check out their website and make an online order. If you use the promo code “FLASH20” at checkout you will receive 20% off your orders for the rest of July.


ATTN PARENTS:  Would your family like to help “spread some cheer” to the families we are serving? The plain brown paper bags can be decorated with your child’s artwork. Please let me know if you’d like to have some bags to decorate and I will drop them off.                                                                                                                               —  Liz Sutter
At The Escape:  47 empty bags are ready to be filled with Week 17’s items that include frozen chicken breasts, blueberries, milk, eggs, bread, and more. 
Volunteers were busy at the church this week. One team unloaded and sorted the donated items from Walden.  Another team assembled 100 bagged lunches for Homeless HookUp Cleveland.
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ABOUT THE AUGUST 11 BLOOD DRIVE FROM DOROTHY BELL.