Weekly Update 21 November

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

COMING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

THIS SUNDAY: After a holiday centered on eating, we reflect on the table God prepares for us and taking our place at that table. There is a promise of lavish food and well-aged wine. It’s the last Sunday of the month, but there will not be a Sunday Celebrations Potluck this week.
EXTRA MILE GIVING: The church is facing a $13,500 shortfall in operating expenses for 2018. If you are able to “go the extra mile” to help, please place your donation in an envelope marked “the extra mile” (available in the back of the sanctuary) or indicate this on the memo line of your check. Watch the bulletin board in the narthex to see the progress toward this important goal – each step represents $1000, we’ve raised $10,000 so far. Many thanks in advance for your generosity.
ADVENT: Advent begins Dec. 2. This is the 4 week season of preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus. Advent used to be called “Little Lent.” It was a season of penitence, preparing for the feast of the nativity, as Lent is the season of penitence preparing for the feast of Easter.

At Lakewood this year, the concept of migration will lead us through this season. We are told that Mary and Joseph migrated to Bethlehem. There is a story of the holy family migrating to Egypt for safety. While you may not be involved in a physical migration, every person is making a migration through life. There is migration to new ways of thinking and believing. There is migration in life that comes from knowledge and experience. There is migration that takes place as part of the aging process. Hardship and illness often cause migration in terms of self understanding and abilities. Changes in relationship status and loss involve migration to a new normal. There are many ways that migration applies to life’s journey. In this season of Advent, the theme of migration will be explored hopefully leading us to more fully welcome the new love and life represented by the birth of Jesus. Join in this spiritual journey of migration!

Sunday services will involve readings and time for quiet reflection. The congregation will be invited to join in singing chants in the style of the Taize community in France. This contemplative form of worship was offered last year during Advent and it was very much appreciated as an oasis of calm during what is for many a very busy month. Come center your heart each week and see where the journey leads. Join the migration to Divine Love!

DECORATING THE SANCTUARY: Decorating the sanctuary for the Advent season will take place following worship on Sunday Dec. 2. Please plan to stay and help with the wonderful process of the transformation of the worship space which encourages transformation of our hearts during the Advent season. Many thanks to Colleen Coughenour for organizing this effort.
CHRISTMAS CAROLING: Join in offering the joy of music to those from the church family who are homebound! Meet at church on Saturday Dec. 15 at 3pm. After caroling, there will be a dinner party at Yoko Nogami’s house. Many thanks to the Blair-Andrews family for organizing this expression of seasonal cheer!
CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE: Music of the season begins Monday Dec. 24 at 6:30 followed by a service of readings and reflections at 7pm. The service includes communion and candlelight. All ages are welcome.

COMMUNITY EVENTS

BUY NOTHING DAY: Since the early 1990s, Buy Nothing Day has inspired worldwide personal and collective action against consumerism. This year why not get your family together and do something wildly different: ignore Black Friday. Try buying nothing on Friday, 23 November.
ONE CITY CHORUS: Be uplifted and inspired by the rousing music of the 140-voice One City Chorus, featuring LUCC singers Yoko Nogami and Jeff Wells. The music features themes of social justice, civil rights, diversity and equality. The next concert is Dec. 1 at 7:30pm at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Clearwater (2470 Nursery Rd, Clearwater, FL 33764). Tickets: $18 in advance, $20 at the door. See Jeff or Yoko for details.
ALUMNI SINGERS: The Alumni Singers of St. Petersburg will give a Christmas Concert at 4pm on Sunday, 9 December at Lakewood United Methodist Church (5995 Dr MLK, Jr St S). The Alumni Singers, founded in 1980, is dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of the African-American experience through choral arrangements of African American spirituals, anthems, and gospel music. The choir will be under the direction of Ms. Janice Seay Hogans. A freewill offering will be taken during the event.
RAYTHEON PROTEST: Major U.S. defense contractor Raytheon is the world’s largest producer of guided missiles. Since Saudi Arabia launched its war on Yemen in March 2015, there have been 212 confirmed civilian deaths involving Raytheon’s missiles. During this same time, the company’s stock has almost doubled in value from $108.44 to $210.70 per share. For more information on Raytheon’s involvement in Saudi Arabia’s war on Yemen see this article on the news and opinion website salon.

Pax Christy holds a weekly demonstration of U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia nearby Raytheon’s Largo facility at the corner of Bryan Dairy and Belcher from 4:30 to 5:30pm on Wednesdays and invites you to join. There is plenty of parking in the lot behind the bank on the SW corner.

CONTINUING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

AA: In the Fellowship Hall Thursdays at 7:45 p.m.
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.
THE BIBLE ON REFUGEES AND IMMIGRANTS: As Christians, we are called to love our neighbors. The Bible is unambiguous in calling us to welcome aliens and strangers in our land, and to love them as we love ourselves. In these times, let us listen to the voice of the still-speaking God. Visit ucc.org for a list of biblical references to immigrants and refugees.
ELECTRONIC 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 the church office.
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.
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, or you can download one here. Please take them and share them.
NEW 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 at https://soundcloud.com/luccpodcasts – please tell your friends who might enjoy listening! Keep checking back, more and more will be added each week.
RECYCLE: Recycle your print cartridges! 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.
USHERS NEEDED: Please see or email the church office if you would like to volunteer to usher for services.
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 and on Twitter.
YOUNG PEOPLE AT LAKEWOOD: Children and young people are a vital part of the LUCC family. School age children are invited to participate in Church School and preschool children are welcome in the Nursery under the able care of Claudia Rodriguez. They will join the congregation for the end of the worship service. 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!


CIRCLE OF CONCERN

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