Weekly Update 5 December

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


THIS SUNDAY: This Sunday is the second Sunday in Advent. Lakewood UCC will offer an oasis of calm during what is for many a very busy month. Come center your heart and see where the journey leads. Join the migration to Divine Love! Come a little early (10:15am) to sing favorite Christmas Carols.
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 $11,400 so far. Many thanks in advance for your generosity.
LEADERSHIP SELECTION: Would you like to be an Advisor? Are there people in the congregation you would like to be an Advisor in 2019? In addition to stewarding the finances, property, and staff, the Advisors also have a significant role to play in guiding the overall ministry of the church. Your help is needed identifying those who will lead in the coming year. Please fill out a Leadership Selection form and place it in the envelope on the bulletin board.
ADVENT: This season the Advent services at Lakewood UCC will be contemplative services patterned on the style of Taizé in France. In what is often the busiest, most hectic time of the year, the church is offering a window of calm and quiet for reflection, re-creation, and rest. In Christianity, as in most religious expressions, quiet is an important spiritual discipline. Quiet creates space to listen, to feel, to be. It may be an opportunity to experience God, however you may understand God. In this season of Advent, a time to prepare for the celebration of the birth of Jesus, may these contemplative services create space for love.
LETTER WRITING: During the season of Advent you are invited to write to inmates on death row in Florida. This is a time of year when they can feel especially hopeless and alone. Letter writing materials are available in the back of the sanctuary.
LUCC CONCERT SERIES: The Stillhouse Shakers are a string band based in the Tampa Bay Area. They strive to authentically represent the music of America’s past while blending their own unique styles into a high-energy show, filled with history, hilarity, and a wide variety of Fiddle Tunes, Folk Songs, Blues, Ballads and Breakdowns. They will perform at Lakewood UCC (2601 54th Ave S) on Friday, January 11 at 7pm. There is a $20 suggested donation for the band.

The band is comprised of three young, award-winning musicians: Tyler Nall from Florida on the Fiddle, Camden Pugh from Tennessee on the Banjo, and Holly Foss from Minnesota on the Guitar. The three long time friends formed the band in 2015, and since then they have relentlessly performed their music at festivals, farms, bars, breweries, weddings and many other venues throughout Florida as well as many other states throughout the Southeast.
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.


CAROLING FOR THE HOMELESS: Still No Room in the Inn, the annual carol sing at downtown homeless shelters, will begin at 6:30pm on Friday, December 7 at the Unitarian Universalist Church, (100 Mirror Lake Drive). The caroling is sponsored by Celebrate Outreach, a coalition of St. Petersburg area faith groups that provide aid to those experiencing homelessness, including three weekly meals and the Tiny Homes for Homeless Veterans program. This will be the 29th year of Still No Room in the Inn. Still No Room in the Inn takes its name from the Christmas story, when Jesus was born as a homeless refugee. He was put in an animal’s feeding trough because there was “no room in the inn” for him and his refugee family. The name is a reminder to us that two thousand years after the first Christmas there is “no room in the inn” for many in St. Petersburg. Contact sjstew@gte.net or (727) 894-2832 if you have questions.
CONCERTS: The Tampa Oratorio Singers (LUCC’s Claire Stiles is a member) will perform the Christmas portion of Handel’s Messiah with the Palma Ceia Presbyterian Church Chancel Choir and orchestra on Sunday, December 9, at 7pm and again on Tuesday, December 11, at 7pm at Palma Ceia Presbyterian Church (3501 W. San Jose St., Tampa). There will be a free will offering collected.

They will perform a second concert, Carols of the Season, on Saturday, December 15, at 4pm at Pass-A-Grille Beach Community Church (107 16th Ave, St. Pete Beach) and again on Sunday, December 16, at 4pm at Palma Ceia Presbyterian Church. Contact Claire Stiles for more information.

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.
CHRISTMAS DINNER: Celebrate Outreach sponsors an annual Christmas (December 25th) dinner from 3-6pm at Trinity Lutheran Church (401 5th St. N) for over 150 homeless people who would otherwise go without. Workers will be needed all day to prepare, cook, serve, and clean up after the meal. To give food, funds, and volunteer help, and to schedule your work time: G. W. Rolle at gwrolle@gmail.com or (727) 424-1088.


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 LUCC 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!

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