Weekly Update

LAKEWOOD UNITED CHURCH of CHRIST
2601 54th Avenue South, St Petersburg, FL 33712-4700
(727) 867-7961 ~ lakewooducc.org

COMING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

SAT, DEC 24 CHRISTMAS EVE
Childcare is provided.

  • 6:30 p.m. – Music of the Season
  • 7:00 p.m. – Service of Candlelight and Communion

This service will be a celebration of the light that shines in the darkness, something deeply needed in a time of shortened daylight and dark times in the world. The LIGHT still shines! Please remember to bring your Christmas Offering for The Micah Center. You may bring your Advent can and place it on the altar during the offering.

The Micah Center offers an after school program with homework help, literacy, math development and mentoring free of charge for children on the free/reduced lunch program in Pinellas County schools. It takes $10 to fund a child for a day in this innovative independently organized non-profit ministry program housed at The American Baptist Church of the Beatitudes in St. Petersburg. Zach Blair-Andrews of the LUCC congregation is serving as an intern at The Micah Center. Help break the cycle of poverty. Support The Micah Center!

SUN, DEC 25 CHRISTMAS DAY : The service will be a beautiful celebration of the gift of peace that is given through Jesus. [See Isaiah 9:2-7 and Psalm 148]. Christmas blessings to all as we celebrate the birth of Jesus at this beautiful service! Please note that children are welcome to participate in the whole service. There is no nursery care available this morning.
DEC 26-29 REV. WELLS AWAY: Rev. Wells will be on vacation Dec. 26-29. If pastoral assistance is needed, please contact Sally Purvis (sallybpurvis@icloud.com).
SUN, JAN 1 NEW YEAR’S DAY: On New Year’s Day, the service will be outside around the labyrinth, weather permitting. Bring a lawn chair, if you have one. The theme of the service is Sharing Love’s Pure Light in the New Year. The service will include communion and the opportunity to walk the labyrinth if you care to. There is assistance available to traverse the grass. This will be a beautiful opportunity to set the intention of your heart on Love’s Pure Light for the New Year. This is an intergenerational service. Children are welcome to participate. There will be no nursery care provided.
TUE, JAN 3 WOMEN’S SPIRITUALITY GROUP: The next gathering of the Women’s Spirituality Group with be on Tuesday, Jan. 3 at 6:30 p.m. at the home of Claire Stiles and Ruth Pettis This gathering to welcome the New Year will be led by Claire and Victoria Long. Contact the church office for additional information. All are welcome!
SUN, JAN 8 EPIPHANY: “Light to All Creation” is the theme for the day. [See Isaiah 60:1-6 and John 1:1-18] This service concludes the Advent-Christmas season of the church year. Inspired, renewed, with spirits lifted and light shining, we take joy into the New Year.
JAN 8-13 FAMILY PROMISE REQUEST: LUCC is a support congregation for Family Promise, a coalition of congregations in the St. Petersburg area seeking to help homeless families with children become financially self sufficient and stable. Family Promise has requested that LUCC collect laundry detergent. Do, if you are able, please consider donating a jug of laundry soap. Donations may be placed in the Operation Attack shopping cart in the hallway at church. It will be taken to Family Promise. LUCC is scheduled to staff Family Promise the week of Jan. 8-13. Patti Cooksey is the new LUCC coordinator for Family Promise. Please contact Patti if you are interested in volunteering. Many thanks!
SAT, JAN 21 WOMEN’S MARCH: Realizing that women’s rights are human rights, on Saturday, January 21st, several hundred thousand women will be gathering outside the Capitol Building for a Women’s March on Washington. Beginning at 10 a.m. there will be a rally with speakers raising their voices for justice (whether racial, climate, reproductive, LGBTQ, etc.). The women (and supportive men, youth, and families) will then begin a peaceful march from the Capitol, walking the talk and standing up for “our rights, our health, our safety, and our families – recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country.”

You can find the guiding principles of the march, which align with those of the UCC and LUCC, at womensmarch.com (About/Mission & Guiding Principles). Rev. Kim Wells and several members of Lakewood will be participating in the March. The hope is that the March will inspire and empower more women to speak up and take action for justice in the months and years to come. There will also be a Solidarity March in St. Petersburg that same day – with details to be announced. Hopefully many people from the LUCC family will participate in the local March. Please hold the marchers and the common values and hopes for the United States in your prayers.

FRI, JAN 27 BOOK CLUB: The church Book Club will meet at church, Friday Jan. 27, 2017 at 12:30 p.m.. Please bring your own sandwich, drinks and dessert will be provided. All are welcome! The book is Americanah by Ngozi Adichie, a great story (2013) about a young couple growing up in Nigeria. She moved to America, where she finds out what it’s like to be black. He had planned to join her, but after 9/11 America is closed to him. He winds up in London. 15 years later they are reunited in newly Democratic Nigeria. A wonderful story about race, love and identity.
NEIGHBORS IN NEED OFFERING REPORT: The Thanksgiving offering at LUCC this year was designated to support Neighbors in Need. This offering is used for empowerment projects especially involving Native American Indian churches and projects. The classic Thanksgiving story tells of the indigenous peoples helping the European immigrants. This was an opportunity to return the gesture by helping our Native American friends. $340 was collected at LUCC and will be a part of the annual offering of the United Church of Christ nationwide.
HELPING A HOMELESS NEIGHBOR: The church has been helping a homeless couple that has been staying outside in the vicinity of the church. They have now been able to move to a hotel. Their situation is much more stable in large measure because of the generosity of the LUCC congregation. Please know that your help is greatly appreciated by our neighbors who have been able to move inside.
FINANCE ANNOUNCEMENT: As we approach the end of the year there are many demands on our financial resources. There are even many good causes that we all want to support in this holiday season. We hope that you will do your best to remember your pledges and tithes to Lakewood UCC at this time, and if possible, consider giving a little extra to help us meet our 2016 budget in a year when we have had some unexpected expenses.
FUNDRAISER IN JANUARY: The church is planning to do some kind of fundraiser in January probably involving Craig’s List and eBay. If you have things to donate, please bring them to the church. If there are large items that need to be picked up, please let us know so we can assist with arrangement.

COMING NEARBY EVENTS

THU, DEC 29 SABAL TRAIL PIPELINE: Several months ago, church members signed a petition against the construction of the Sabal Trail Pipeline which is to carry natural gas through the state of Florida to the east coast to be shipped abroad. The construction of the pipeline has caused several sinkholes and continues to be a threat to the Florida aquifer. On Thursday, December 29th, activists across Florida will be taking to the streets and offices of those who have the power to stop Sabal Trail Pipeline from destroying our beautiful aquifer system.

There is an event taking place in St. Petersburg. You are encouraged to participate Thursday Dec. 29 from 4-6 p.m. in Williams Park, 330 2nd Ave. N.

SAT, DEC 31 LABYRINTH AT FIRST NIGHT – SAT, DEC 31: Gary Crosby, a friend of LUCC, will be setting up the labyrinth for First Night in South Straub Park in downtown St. Petersburg on Saturday morning, Dec. 31. Those who are interested in helping may contact Yoko Nogami.
SUN, JAN 15 WRITERS RESIST: Writers Resist is an international event taking place around the world. Locally, writers and musicians will offer music and the spoken word as a “reinauguration” of the principles of free expression and human rights. All are welcome to participate in this event which is being coordinated by Sarah Lain, Vita Uth’s granddaughter. Sarah read a beautiful poem at the dedication of the Peace Pole at LUCC in September. The event will be held at Mt Zion Progressive Missionary Baptist Church, 955 20th St S, St. Petersburg, FL 33712, on Sunday, January 15th, 2017 from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.
SUN, JAN 15 MLK EVENT: The annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Service, sponsored by Interfaith Tampa Bay (formerly known at the St. Petersburg Interfaith Association) will be held Sunday, January 15, at 4 p.m. at Christ Gospel Church, 2512 22nd Ave. S, St. Petersburg, FL 33712. The service will feature a speaker from Gibbs High School as well as the Tampa Bay Area Youth Choir.
MON, JAN 16 STILL I RISE-STORIES OF RESILIENCE: This event, presented by Living Mirror Playback Theater, is sponsored by the Alternatives to Violence Project. It is inspired by the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the poetry of Maya Angelou. This rejuvenating evening of theater involves enacting true stories of resilience and transformation. It will take place on Monday Jan. 16, 2017 at the Friends Meeting House, 130 19th Ave. S., St. Petersburg, FL 33705. The evening begins with a potluck dinner at 5:30. Please bring a dish to share. The theater presentation begins at 6:45 p.m.

CONTINUING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

CIRCLES OF CARING: Lakewood UCC has chosen to be one of the three local congregations participating in “Creating Unbroken Circles of Caring,” a program to help seriously ill people maintain meaningful contact with their spiritual communities. If you are interested in participating in this project contact Lakewood UCC member, Jim Andrews, Director of Spiritual Care at Suncoast Hospice (JamesAndrews@thehospice.org).
USHERS NEEDED: Please sign up to usher for services during the month of December. The signup sheet is on the bulletin board at the back of the church.
GUN VIOLENCE INFORMATION PAMPHLET: Copies of a Gun Violence information pamphlet are available. This resource was created by Grace Lewis of the LUCC congregation to educate the public about gun violence. They are located at the back of the sanctuary. Please take them and share them.
ANNOUNCEMENTS WELCOME: To have an announcement put in the bulletin or weekly update, please turn it into the church office by Wednesday at noon. Email, or voicemail, as well as written material is welcome. The church is glad to share activities and news from members and friends.
CREATION CARE TASK FORCE BEING FORMED: The church is forming a group to encourage ways that we can impact global climate change and the condition of the environment. This will include consideration of LUCC becoming a Creation Justice Church, a covenant process similar to Just Peace and Open and Affirming. Those who would like to work on creation care at LUCC are asked to speak with Claire Stiles. The first meeting will be Sunday, January 8, after morning worship. Lunch will be provided.
Screenshot 2016-08-08 18.34.07NEW EZ PODCASTS!!! No downloading! Just click and play! Try it! Just click on the little orange circle with the white arrow in it. Only one click and it plays! Every week, a new podcast is posted on the church website. All our streamable podcasts are athttps://soundcloud.com/luccpodcasts – please tell your friends who might enjoy listening! Keep checking back, more and more will be added each week.
childrenYOUNG PEOPLE AT LAKEWOOD: Children and young people are a vital part of the LUCC family. All children participate in the beginning of the worship service. Elementary age children and younger are invited to participate in Children’s Time during the service. After Children’s Time elementary children are welcome in Church School Grace Lewis with assistance from others in the congregation are the teachers this year. Preschool children are welcome in the Nursery under the able care of Claudia Rodriguez. Middle and High School students participate in the Lakewood service on Sunday morning and attend the youth groups at Pass A Grille Beach Community United Church of Christ on Sunday evening during the school year. Children and young people are an integral part of this church family and the intergenerational relationships that form in this small congregation are truly a blessing!
roofRAISING THE ROOF! The church has been informed by competent professionals, that the roof will need to be replaced probably within a year or two. The Advisors do not want to jump up one Sunday and beg for a huge amount of money. Therefore, you are being asked for Shekels for Shingles. Have you a few spare coins…$1’s,…. $5’s? If we scrape now, we won’t have to dig as deeply later. Please place donations in the bottle on the back table in the sanctuary.
givingELECTRONIC GIVING: The church offers several options for electronic giving. There are information sheets and sign up forms available in the sanctuary and the church office. For additional information, please contact Bill Parsons or Adrien Helm.
FREE BOOKS: Did you know that there are not only books to borrow in the church library but books being given away for free. Take a peek at the great selection. Many new titles have been added including a selection of books for children.
WEBSITE — lakewooducc.org: Everything you always wanted to know about the church. Go ahead and ask. The information is probably at the church website. You can subscribe and have updates and comments automatically sent to your email address. See the homepage for details. You can also keep connected with on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LakewoodUCC and on Twitter at twitter.com/lakewoodUCC.
recycle1RECYCLE: Recycle your print cartridges, cell phones, and all paper. At this time we CANNOT recycle toner cartridges, only inkjet cartridges. Keep it coming in! Many thanks to all who contribute to the church recycling. This income stream helps the ministry of the church.
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LUNCH BUNCH: This informal and open group gathers at a local restaurant for lunch and lively conversation after the service. Please check with one of the regulars – Don Ritchie or Ruth Halderman – about the details each week.
AA: In the Fellowship Hall Thursdays at 7:45 p.m.


CIRCLE OF CONCERN
Jean Johnson, Lloyd Conover, Jill Presley Cox and family,
Betty Harris, Gertie Pirazzini, Carolyn Moore,
Virginia Bodendorfer, The USA

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