Podcast: 50th Anniversary Celebration — Guest preacher, Rev. Angela Wells

Rev. Angela Wells, photo by Yoko Nogami

Sunday, April 15th, 2018 Lakewood UCC celebrated its 50th Anniversary! The anniversary celebration included a beautiful worship service with guest preacher Rev. Angela Wells. In the 50 year history of the church, Angela is the one person from the congregation to become an ordained pastor. After the service, a group picture was taken around the Peace Pole, followed by a festive lunch.

Click on the orange circle in the widget above to listen to Angela’s sermon!
To download Rev. Angela Wells’ sermon click HERE.

GUEST PREACHER: The Rev. Angela Wells grew up in Lakewood United Church of Christ, the daughter of Kim and Jeff Wells. Following graduation from New College of Florida in Sarasota, she attended Union Theological Seminary in New York City. During seminary, she served two Florida churches over the summer while the pastors were on sabbatical leave: The Venice United Church of Christ and St. Andrew United Church of Christ, Sarasota. After graduating from Union, Angela was called to serve the United Church of Christ Congregational in Burlington, MA and ordained into the ministry of the United Church of Christ at Lakewood, her home church. Angela continues to serve in Burlington. As part of that ministry, Angela serves on the Board of Directors of People Helping People, a non profit organization established to meet the needs of the residents of Burlington. She is a past president of the board. Angela serves on the Metropolitan Boston Association Committee on Ministerial Standing. She is a former chairperson. Angela is part of NGLI, Next Generation Leadership Initiative, of the Pension Boards of the United Church of Christ. This program equips select young pastors for future leadership in the UCC especially in light of the changing landscape of ministry. Angela is active in the Burlington Interfaith Clergy group. She is an on call chaplain for the Lahey Clinic. AND, Angela is a newly elected commissioner of the Housing Authority of Burlington which oversees managing affordable senior housing. Angela is engaged to Andy Bean, director of the Boston Climate Action Network, a community organizer and public policy specialist. And Andy is a newly elected town meeting member in Burlington.


2018 Palm Sunday at Lakewood UCC

The service started outside around the cross and after the blessing of palms proceeded with a processional inside. Later in the service new members were received into the church.

photos by Yoko Nogami



Lakewood UCC presence at 2018 students’ MARCH FOR OUR LIVES, St. Pete

2018 March for our Lives LUCC folks & banner

2018 March for our Lives LUCC folks & banner

Banner was designed and constructed by Yoko Nogami, using salvaged materials from shed cleaning.

2018 March for our Lives panorama

2018 March for our Lives panorama

Below is a gallery of candid shots by Sue Sherwood of some of the sites plus pics of UCC folk actually marching!


Update for Pax Christi newsletter regard March for Our Lives



There have been changes in the local March for Our Lives events since the last newsletter, and some of the information in that newsletter is now outdated. To get the latest information, go to




A global map showing the location of over 840 worldwide marches will appear. Type in your city or zip code for information on the events near you.


WEARING ORANGE: Many activists will wear orange at the marches. Wearing orange dates to 2013 when 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton was shot and killed in Chicago. Pendleton was an honor student who was killed in a case of mistaken identity a week after she performed at one of the events surrounding President Obama’s second inauguration. Her parents, Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton and Nathaniel Pendleton, ask gun reform advocates to wear orange to honor their daughter.


From the Wear Orange website:


We wear orange for Hadiya and to honor the more than 90 lives cut short and the hundreds more injured by gun violence every day — and to demand action. Orange is what hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves and others from harm. Orange is a bright, bold color that demands to be seen. Orange expresses our collective hope as a nation — a hope for a future free from gun violence.


The Wear Orange website is at https://wearorange.org/about/



REPORT ON THE NRA: The National Rifle Association (NRA) promotes itself as an organization whose purpose is to speak for gun owners. However, an extensive report by the watchdog group Bridge Project has revealed that this is a deception:

  • Fewer than 10% of gun owners are NRA members and 62% of gun owners say the NRA does not represent their thinking on guns
  • In direct opposition to NRA 74% of NRA households favor making private gun sales and gun show sales subject to background checks
  • The bulk of NRA funding comes from the gun industry, not member dues
  • The NRA’s executive leadership and board of directors are deeply tied to the firearms industry and uses the NRA to promote increasingly deadly weapons

“Marketing Death: How the Gun Industry Uses the NRA to Boost Profits and Undermine Public Safety” is available at file:///C:/Users/Owner/Documents/NRA-Report.pdf


Pax Christi Tampa Bay



Pax Christi Tampa Bay E-mail Newsletter

Ongoing Weekly Events Calendar


  1. Local action if Trump fires Mueller
  2.  FAST action for affordable housing and youth arrest reform Monday
  3. Workshop: What Will It Take to Win in November?
  4. March for Our Lives against gun violence
  5. Laundry Love: clean clothes for people experiencing homelessness
  6. Dolores Huerta documentary and lecture at Eckerd College
  7.  Earth Day St. Pete
  8. United Faiths Walk of Peace

Women’s March St. Pete Events Calendar


Below is information on joining thousands of Pinellas County residents to stand for affordable housing and youth arrest reform this Monday at the Nehemiah Action at Tropicana Field.


Also below is information on the local March for Our Lives anti-gun violence actions on March 24; actions planned if Trump fires Mueller; a workshop on winning elections; and more.


At the end of the newsletter is the St. Pete Women’s March calendar of events.

Pax Christi Tampa Bay



MISSIO DEI SUNDAY DINNER: Missio Dei is a small church that meets in the refurbished corner of a warehouse at 1330 Burlington Avenue N. (map; the entrance is on 2nd Avenue on the south side of the building.)  They serve a meal after their worship service.  The congregation is largely homeless or marginally housed. The worship service features a congregational discussion of Biblical texts, combining the insights of a theologically trained minister, housed members, and those whose faith helps them survive in the streets.

The service begins at 5:30 PM; the dinner begins at 6:30.  For information on how you can help prepare, serve, or financially support the meal, contact G. W. Rolle at (727) 424-1088.

Marco Rubio has opened a new office in the Sam M. Gibbons U.S. Court House, 801 N. Florida Ave. in Tampa, FL 33602 (map).  Indivisible and other local activist groups have moved Resist Trump Tuesdays to the new office.  The protest is every Tuesday, 10:30-11:30 AM.  Bring signs, or the Indivisible organizers can provide them.  There is parking around the courthouse and the meters take credit cards.  For more information (FMI): sjstew@gte.net

WEEKLY SARASOTA DEMONSTRATION: Activists from Veterans for Peace and Manasota Pax Christi, among other groups, will demonstrate for peace through justice from 4:00-5:00 PM every Tuesday in downtown Sarasota along Bayfront Drive/N. Tamiami Trail near its intersection with Gulfstream Drive (map).  The demonstration is south of Unconditional Surrender, the “kissing statue.”  FMI: Russ at Rjbannerusa@gmail.com

PEACE FIRST: During every Wednesday in March, Peace First will demonstrate at the intersection of Pasadena Avenue South and Gulfport Boulevard South in South Pasadena (map)  from 4:30-5:30 PM.  They will focus on gun violence and other issues.  Bring a sign, or they will provide one. There are a Publix, a Winn Dixie, a gas station and a liquor store at this intersection.  

The group eats at a restaurant in an “after party” following the demonstration.   For more information (FMI): SMcCown@tampabay.rr.com 

PEACE MEDITATION: Biweekly meditation for peace every other Wednesday at 7:00 PM  (March 21, April 4 and April 18) at Sacred Lands, 1620 Park Street N. in St. Petersburg, Florida 33710-4348   For more information: http://www.sacredlandspreservationandeducation.org/; 727-367-3592 or 347-0354

FRIDAY NIGHT PICNIC ON THE PLAYGROUND IN ST. PETEThe Friday Night Picnic is a potluck picnic for hungry people, most of whom are low income or experiencing homelessness.  The picnic continues to need potluck food, beverages, picnic supplies, and volunteers. The picnic, which serves over 100 people a week, is at 6:00 PM every Friday at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 719 Arlington Avenue N. at Mirror Lake Drive in downtown St. Petersburg.  FMI: http://uustpete.org/2014/09/17/friday-picnic-playground or (973) 768-3256.

WEEKLY BREAKFAST: Loaves and Fishes is a breakfast held at Trinity Lutheran Church on Saturday mornings. Volunteers serve a full hot breakfast to over 150 people. The breakfast is held on the third floor of Trinity Lutheran Church, 401 4th Avenue North in St. Petersburg. 

The breakfast runs from 7:30-10:30 AM, and volunteers can participate with some or all of the breakfast.   Please contact G. W. Rolle at (727) 424-1088 to help.


  1. IF TRUMP FIRES MUELLER:  It seems more likely with each passing day that President Trump will fire special counsel Robert Mueller.  If that happens, Indivisible FL-13 will sponsor an emergency rally in Demen’s Landing, St Petersburg:


  • If Trump fires Mueller BEFORE 2:00 PM, meet at 5:00 PM


  • If Trump fires Mueller AFTER 2:00 PM, meet at NOON of following day.

Indivisible FL-13 will send an email notification and post it on Twitter and Facebook.

Indivisible FL-13 Contact Information:
Indivisible FL-13 on Facebook
Indivisible FL-13 on Twitter
Email Indivisible FL-13 at info@indivisiblefl13.com

    Monday, March 19th, 7:00 PM
    Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg

FAST (Faith and Action for Strength) is a congregation-based community organization in Pinellas County, Florida, whose purpose is to train low- to moderate-income residents from diverse congregations to work together to identify root causes of community problems and take action on these problems. Through FAST, diverse people come together to powerfully address the needs in their own communities.

Since one congregation does not have enough people power to hold systems accountable for justice, FAST holds huge “Nehemiah Actions.” Named after Nehemiah, the Biblical activist who called a huge assembly to confront systemic injustice (Nehemiah 5:1-13), these gatherings brings thousands of Pinellas County residents (who are also voters) face-to-face with leaders such as mayors, city and county officials, and police to win justice in our communities.



The next Nehemiah Action, on Monday, March 19th, at Tropicana Field will focus on two youth-oriented issues: affordable housing and youth arrests.  Everyone in Pinellas County is welcome to attend and to bring a friend.  There is free parking in lots 1, 2 and 4 off 16th Street. Enter at Gate 5.  There will be tickets to fill out and Tropicana security at the door. No food or beverage will be sold at the event.  For a parking map, click here.

Here are a few of FAST’s past accomplishments in Pinellas County:

-funding Pre-K funding for over 7,000 low-income four-year–olds
securing $19.2 million for affordable housing
getting the state legislature to allow 4,000 non-violent offenders to attend drug-treatment programs instead of prison
getting the County Commission to allocate $958,000 for dental care and $963,00 for a pilot prevention program for people who use mental health services.

For a complete list, go to http://fast-pinellas.org/issue-work/#/past-victories/

For more information on FAST, the issues, and the meeting, go to http://fast-pinellas.org/  


    Thursday, March 22, 2018 at 6:30 – 8:15 PM

Allendale United Methodist Church

3803 Haines Rd. N.

St Petersburg, FL 33703

Join Ana Cruz and Jennifer Webb to discuss the challenges of winning elections, the current political landscape going into the November mid-terms, and information on the demands of running a campaign and getting out the vote.  Ana Cruz, a political strategist referred to as “one of the top political players in the state of Florida” by FloridaPolitics.com, will speak about the complexities of the current political landscape and what it will take to turn the tide in the upcoming elections. Jennifer Webb, candidate for FL State Rep District 69, will describe the challenges and dynamics of running an effective campaign and getting out the vote. Also, one of the student leaders organizing the March 24th March for Our Lives will provide an update on the march. 

Map here.  For more information and to register, click here

Hosted by Fired Up Pinellas; Co-hosts: Indivisible FL-13, November Starts Now, South St.Pete Democratic Club & Women’s March FL – Pinellas/St. Pete


  1. There are over 760 worldwide marches against gun violence on Saturday, March 24, including ten in the greater Tampa Bay area.  Locally, marches are taking place at schools, government buildings, and children’s literary events.  For a map and to sign up for a march, go to https://event.marchforourlives.com/event/march-our-lives-events/search/?source=zzns_March_MoveOn.  Here are three local marches:



In Pinellas Park the march will be from the site of Caroline Morton-Hicks’ recent gun death to Long Bayou to lay flowers.  Details are here.


March for Our Lives –
St. Petersburg, FL
Judicial Building
545 1st Ave. N.  
St. Petersburg, FL 3370
March for Our Lives –
Clearwater, FL
Pinellas County Tax Collector
13025 Starkey Rd

Clearwater, FL 33771

March for Our Lives – Tampa, FL
Kiley Garden

400 N. Ashley Dr.

Tampa, FL 33602

    Monday, March 26, 6:30-8:00 PM
    Coin laundry at 365 8th St S, St Petersburg, Florida (map).

    Imagine being homeless and living in unwashed clothes for days on end.

    Laundry Love Projects are regular opportunities to help financially struggling people do their laundry. There are now over two hundred projects nationwide.

    Locally, Laundry Love is sponsored by the Missio Dei and takes place the last Monday of every month.  Organizers and their supporters provide soap, coins and pizza for those washing their clothes. 

    Each Laundry Love costs around $200.  FMI on how you or your group can support and participate, contact G. W. Rolle at (727) 424-1088 or gw@themissiodei.com 


    2012 Presidential Medal of Freedom winner Dolores Huerta has spent her life organizing and advocating on behalf of the disenfranchised. From gathering her students’ parents into a labor movement that would become the National Farmworkers Association to working alongside Gloria Steinem to get more women into office, Huerta’s eight-decade life is a testament to the work and commitment social activism requires.


On Tuesday, March 27 the documentary Dolores premieres at 9:00 PM on PBS’s Independent Lens. FMI: http://www.pbs.org/show/independent-lens/episodes/   


An Evening With Dolores Huerta
Thursday, April 26, 2018 – 7:30
Eckerd College, Fox Hall (map)
St. Petersburg FL

Huerta will share her story and thoughts with the community during this special event. Sponsored by the Col. Christian L. and Edna M. March International Relations Lecture Series, her talk is free and open to the public.  FMI: https://www.eckerd.edu/news/events/


  1. St. Pete Earth Day will be Saturday, April 21 in Williams Park in downtown St. Petersburg.  Their website is at http://www.earthdaysp.com/ and their Facebook page is at https://www.facebook.com/stpeteearthday/


    Sunday, April 29  2:00-5:00 PM
    Gather at John R. Lawrence Pioneer Park
    400 Main Street in downtown Dunedin FL (map)

    Join Muslims, Unitarians, Catholics, Buddhists, Jews, Baha’is and others for a two-mile walk through Dunedin for peace, stopping for reflections on peace from many faiths.

    For more information: Rev. Becky Robbins-Penniman. (727) 733-4125; RevSBRP@gmail.com;   https://www.facebook.com/events/667220180154789



From the Women’s March St. Pete:

Solar Co-op Info Session

Wednesday, March 21, 6:00-7:30pm
West St Petersburg Library
6700 8th Ave N, St. Petersburg, FL 33710

Attend this info session to raise your awareness on the many benefits of going solar, how to save money on residential PV, and how co-op membership will make going solar easier. Read all about the co-op here.

RSVP for the event here: https://secure.everyaction.com/dlGwqQRYVk-Nk9maAAe6Og2




Film Premiere ~ Heather Booth: Changing the World 

Thursday, March 22 at 6 PM
Bryan Glazer Family JCC
522 N Howard Avenue, Tampa, Florida 33606

The Tampa film premiere of Heather Booth: Changing the World is presented by the Tampa Bay Jewish Film Festival.  Attendees will enjoy a talk-back after the film with Heather.

Heather has been organizing activists from the Civil Rights movement to the Women’s movement to helping Hon. Elizabeth Warren establish the Consumer Financial Protection bureau to her arrest last week at the Capitol at a demonstration in support of Dreamers. 




More Guns Are Coming to Your School & The Assault on Net Neutrality

Thursday, March 29, 6:15 PM – 8:45 PM
Allendale United Methodist Church

3803 Haines Rd N, Saint Pete FL 33703

On March 9th, the 2018 FL legislative session came to an end. We’ve got the skinny on what legislation they passed, and what they didn’t pass. Significant areas of focus were guns, education and preemption.

The League will also launch its Net Neutrality initiative – what is it, why it matters, and what we’re going to do about it. 

The advocacy workshop portion of our event will focus on arming you with facts and talking points, learning to communicate effectively and preparing you to speak to your legislators. Workshop segments will focus on:

  • a legislative session debrief
  • introducing our net neutrality resolution initiative
  • effectively advocating with you city council rep
  • developing your own 30 second message to video and post on Facebook




VoteFest 2.0

Sunday, April 8, 12 PM – 6 PM
Grill Dawg, 5419 Treadway Dr, Port Richey, Florida 34668

VoteFest 2.0 will continue the trend of reaching out to invigorate and include the community in the political process. VoteFest combines fantastic local music with voter registration and candidate speeches. It is an opportunity to meet and greet candidates for office that will effect the lives of Pasco County residents. Candidates are given three minutes of stage time to talk about issues, and their solutions for those issues. Vendors will be on hand selling a wide variety of art and craft items, and food & beverage will be available. 




Leif Nissen Social Justice Lecture Series:
A Discussion with Les Leopold

Sunday, April 8 at 4:30 PM 
Temple Beth-El 400 Pasadena Ave S, St Pete 

 Leopold, co-founder of the Labor Institute, will discuss his latest book “Runaway Inequality: An Activist’s Guide to Economic Justice.” A light dinner will follow the lecture. 




An Evening with Jemele Hill:
A Gala Benefit

Saturday, April 21, 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

St. Petersburg Museum of History

Join the  League of Women Voters of St. Pete for a festive fundraiser featuring Jemele Hill, former host of ESPN’s SportsCenter and current Chief Correspondent and Senior Columnist for ESPN’s The Undefeated.  Jemele will speak to the St. Pete community about the intersectionality of race and gender in our culture, the world of sports, and the broader professional spectrum, as well as, the role of journalism in making democracy work.

Check LWVSPA webstite for ticket info (forthcoming): https://lwvspa.org/



Earl Waters reports on Tallahassee rally

for instant free streaming playback, click on orange circle

You may also download a copy of this podcast: HERE


Pax Christi newsletter


Below is information on buses to Tallahassee on Monday and other actions to take against gun violence; the new Resist Trump Tuesdays demonstration outside Senator Marco Rubio’s new Tampa office, and fourteen events on the Women’s March list of activities, including DACA Dreamers speaking at SPC on Monday.

There is also a link to “Marjory Stoneman Douglas Would Be Proud of These Kids,”  a newspaper column about journalist, feminist, human rights activist and, most famously, Everglades activist Douglas, the namesake of the Parkland high school.

Pax Christi Tampa Bay





SUPPORTING THE PARKLAND STUDENTS IN TALLAHASSEE: In the wake of the shootings at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, the student survivors are not backing down. They want to stop gun violence. They’re articulate, smart and determined. They are savvy users of social media and have the nation’s attention. They also have the support of the grassroots resistance. Join this momentum with the current three-week session of the Florida Legislature. (See one of the many stories about their advocacy here).

Here are several ways to support the students:

Monday, February 26
FREE – Buses departing locally from St. Pete and Tampa

Led by Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, the Miami-Dade Dems, Broward Democratic Party and Women’s March Florida, this large Rally in Tally for Gun Reform will amplify the students’ voices—and the voices of most U. S. citizens.

REGISTRATION HERE (Buses departing St. Pete, Tampa and other Florida locations)


  1. MAKE THREE CALLS NOW (if after hours, you can leave a voice mail):1) Your State Representative, 2) Your State Senator and 3) Governor Scott.

Tell them to “Listen to the students of Parkland. They are asking for one thing: a ban on assault weapons in Florida. Period. Agenda these bills. Hear them, and pass them.”

  1. SIGN the petition to Florida’s Republican legislative leadership demanding they finally take action against gun violence and #HEARTHEBILLS ON GUN SAFETY on gun safety. Click here to sign.

    For months, gun safety bills have languished in the Florida Legislature, unable to get even a single committee hearing. This includes:
    • SB 838: Universal background checks for all gun sales.
    • HB 321/SB 456: A ban on bump stocks, which allows semiautomatic rifles to fire faster.
    • HB 231/SB 530: Risk Protection Orders that would allow families and law enforcement to petition a court to temporarily suspend a person’s access to firearms if there is documented evidence that an individual is threatening harm to themselves or others. 

“Marjory Stoneman Douglas Would Be Proud of These Kids,” a column about lifelong activist and feminist Douglas, is on page 11A of today’s Tampa Bay Times or here.  It is by Douglas biographer Jack Davis.  Davis describes how, like the students today, the Florida Legislature snubbed Douglas and her sister suffragists—in 1917. Nevertheless, she persisted.  Her last public speech, at age 99, was about women’s rights.


Every Tuesday, 10:30-11:30 am
Outside Senator Marco Rubio’s new office:
Sam M. Gibbons U.S. Court House, 801 N. Florida Ave. in Tampa, FL 33602 (map),  

To avoid fulfilling his Senatorial duties by talking with constituents in a town hall meeting last year, Senator Marco Rubio closed his Tampa office.  Well over 100 people had gathered outside his office every Tuesday morning for weeks on end, demanding the meeting to discuss Donald Trump’s policies, and because of the protests his landlord told him to move.  Instead of meeting with his constituents, ending the protest, and keeping his office, Rubio fled. Now, his office is back—and so is the resistance.

Rubio’s new office is at the Sam M. Gibbons U.S. Court House, 801 N. Florida Ave. in Tampa, FL 33602 (map), and Indivisible and other local activist groups are reviving Resist Trump Tuesdays.  Bring signs, or the Indivisible organizers can provide them.
There is parking around the courthouse and the meters take credit cards.  

It is especially important to join the demonstration now.  Trump and his policies are even more dangerous, Senator Rubio needs to know that he can’t flee his constituents or his duty, and the Parkland shooting survivors need our support.  (Rubio has taken $3.3 million from the NRA.)

The Facebook page for Resist Trump Tuesdays is at https://www.facebook.com/indivisibleactiontampabay/


Details about the original protests, Rubio fleeing his old office, and the move to his new office are here


Here is the Women’s March calendar of activities:

Black History Month Celebration

Friday, February 23 at 6 PM – 8 PM
Enoch Davis Recreation Center, 1111 18th Ave S, St Petersburg, FL 33705-2506

Join us for a night of celebration and bringing the community together for Black History Month at Enoch Davis Recreation Center, 1111 18th Ave. S., on Fri., February 23 from 6 to 8 p.m.

The event will provide an opportunity to learn about black history, emphasize unity among neighbors and bring a positive impact to create a stronger community.

Admission is free and all ages are welcome. The event will be full of fun activities for the whole family, including free food, entertainment, music and prizes. There will also be poetry readings, live performances, acting and much more.

The event is cohosted by the St. Petersburg Parks and Recreation Department’s Enoch Davis Recreation Center, Campbell Park Recreation Center, and community partners.


FL Black Arts and Film Festival (3rd Annual)
Saturday, February 24 at 11 AM – 6 PM
Skyway Marina District at Skyway Marina Mall 4301 34th Street South, Saint Petersburg, FL 33711.

Works by over 40 local and national artists, reflecting art from the African diaspora will be showcased. Experience African drumming, dancing, the Nomad Art Bus and more family fun. Films showing at the Historic Royal Theater throughout the day ($2 donation for each or a day pass can be purchased).https://www.facebook.com/events/1645312359098053/
Film Screening: Jane
Saturday, February 24 at 7 PM – 10 PM
Miller Auditorium, 4200 54th Ave S, Saint Petersburg, FL 33711

Jane (directed by Brett Morgan, 90m, 2017) will be introduced by Dr. Lauren Highfill, professor of psychology at Eckerd College.

Jane Goodall, a young and untrained woman, challenges the male-dominated scientific consensus of her time with her chimpanzee research and revolutionizes people’s understanding of the natural world. Set to an orchestral score from composer Philip Glass, the film draws from over 100 hours of never-before-seen footage, and offers an intimate portrait of an astonishing woman.

Hosted by “Visions of Nature/Voices of Nature” Environmental Film Festival and Eckerd College

Equality Florida Tampa Gala
Saturday, February 24 at 7:30 PM – 11 PM
TPepin’s Hospitality Centre, 4121 N 50th St, Tampa, Florida 33610

Tickets: http://www.eqfl.org/tampagalaSponsorship opportunities are now available!

The Butterfly Progression – Q&A Panel discussion
Monday, February 26 at 6 PM – 8 PM
SC Building, St. Petersburg College Clearwater, 2465 Drew St, Clearwater, Florida 33765Join this panel discussion featuring community members, SPC staff, legal attorney, and undocumented youth for a dialogue about immigration policies, the local enforcement partnership, and community safety. This event is to remind our community that these are issues we can’t ignore. Join us as we will be sharing our stories and most importantly putting a voice to those who are too scared to speak out.

Spsonsored by Clearwater HereToStay 


Film Screening:
Backpack Full of Cash

Tuesday, February 27 at 6:30pm – 8:30pm

Allendale United Methodist Church, 3803 Haines Rd N, St. Petersburg, FL 33703

View this thought-provoking documentary on the privatization of public education. Childcare available.

Sponsored by: League of Women Voters of St. Petersburg and North Pinellas, Pinellas Classroom Teachers Association, Allendale United Methodist Church 

Event is free, but registration required: 


Reproductive Justice: More than Just A Choice ~ Symposium 2018

Friday, March 2 at 9 AM – 1 PM (registration opens at 8:30AM)
USF Marshall Student Center Room 3707
4103 Cedar Cir, Tampa, Florida 33620

Join the Maternal, Child Health Student Organization for our Annual Symposium. Come explore the world of reproductive justice through conversations with National Speakers, Networking, and a Panel on the future of Reproductive Justice.

Open to students, faculty, staff, and community organizations. 

Free, but registration required: 


Electric Car Ride and Drive
Saturday, March 3 at 11 AM – 3 PM
Palm Harbor United Methodist Church, 1551 Belcher Rd, Palm Harbor, FL 34683

Would you like to drive an electric car? Electrify the South, the Suncoast Sierra Club and The Solar Shepherd, Inc. are hosting an “Electric Vehicle Ride and Drive”.  Ride and Drives will be available by registering with local dealership tables at the event. Electric vehicle owners will be showcasing their electric vehicles and sharing their experience of driving electric. We will also have demonstrations on how to charge your electric vehicle and how to use apps to find charging locations. This fun event will be a hands on way to learn about the latest technology.Register here: 


ACLU of Pinellas County 
26th Annual Bill of Rights Dinner

Tuesday, March 6 at 6- 9 pm
Banquet Masters 13355 49th St N, Clearwater, FL 33762
Purchase $50 tickets, which include dinner:


Key Note: ACLU National President Susan Herman

Gardner Beckett Civil Liberties Award Recipient: Nadine Smith, CEO Equality Florida
Irene Miller Vigilance in Journalism Award Recipient: Mark Puente, Tampa Bay Times

International Women’s Day Advocacy Training

Thursday, March 8, 6:15 PM – 8:45 PM
Allendale United Methodist Church

3803 Haines Rd N, Saint Pete FL 33703

Women are Making Democracy Work. Celebrate International Women’s Day by putting more in your advocacy tool chest. Some features of this interactive training will include:

  • getting up-to-date facts on the Florida Constitution Review Commission (CRC) and the issues that are at stake
  • learning more about the CRC activities related to privacy/reproductive rights/health care, education, gun legislation, preemption and election law.
  • preparing to testify for the CRC’s St. Pete public hearing on 3/13
  • creating a 90-120 second speech, a persuasive email, or a letter-to-the-editor
  • receiving feedback from seasoned advocates in your chosen issue area

This workshop, led by League of Women Voters of the St. Petersburg area, and co-sponsored by Fired Up Pinellas, will provide a hands-on look at advocating for political change in 2018 with the CRC and beyond. Our goal is to empower the everyday activist to find their passion, get involved and go make a difference. Everyone is invited. Refreshments provided.

Registration is free, but required:



CRC Public Hearing St. Petersburg – Defend Privacy & Reproductive Rights

Tuesday, March 13 1pm to 7pm (Sign up for a shift)

At this Public Hearing of the FL Constitution Revision Commission, several groups dedicated to women’s rights will be coordinating resistance to Proposal 22.  This proposal seeks to alter Floridians’ constitutional right to privacy to allow the FL Legislature to impose intrusive restrictions on Florida women, making it harder for them to access an abortion.

Please register your interest in participating here:


Facebook event page:

See this link for more information on the CRC and the privacy provision:


Solar Co-op Info Session

Wednesday, March 21, 6:00-7:30pm
West St Petersburg Library
6700 8th Ave N, St. Petersburg, FL 33710, USA

Attend this info session to raise your awareness on the many benefits of going solar, how to save money on residential PV, and how co-op membership will make going solar easier. Read all about the co-op here.

RSVP for the event here: https://secure.everyaction.com/dlGwqQRYVk-Nk9maAAe6Og2

Sponsored by the City of St. Petersburg, Solar United Neighbors of Florida, the League of Women Voters of St. Petersburg Area, and the Suncoast Sierra Clubs.


Film Premiere ~ Heather Booth: Changing the World 

Thursday, March 22 at 6 PM
Bryan Glazer Family JCC
522 N Howard Avenue, Tampa, Florida 33606

The Tampa film premiere of Heather Booth: Changing the World is presented by the Tampa Bay Jewish Film Festival.  Attendees will enjoy a talk-back after the film with Heather.

Heather has been organizing activists from the Civil Rights movement to the Women’s movement to helping Hon. Elizabeth Warren establish the Consumer Financial Protection bureau to her arrest last week at the Capitol at a demonstration in support of Dreamers.

All are welcome.


March for Our Lives Tampa

Saturday, March 24 
Time and Location To Be Announced

March For Our Lives is created by, inspired by, and led by students across the country who will no longer risk their lives waiting for someone else to take action to stop the epidemic of mass school shootings that has become all too familiar. In the tragic wake of the seventeen lives brutally cut short in Florida, politicians are telling us that now is not the time to talk about guns. March For Our Lives believes the time is now.

On March 24, we will be marching in Tampa to stand with the survivors of the Parkland shooting and demand that a comprehensive and effective bill be immediately brought before Congress to address these gun issues. No special interest group, no political agenda is more critical than timely passage of legislation to effectively address the gun violence issues that are rampant in our country.





A letter from Rev. Kim to parents

This letter was written specifically to the teachers and parents of Lakewood United Church of Christ by Pastor Kim Wells in the aftermath of the Parkland school shooting.


My heart goes out to each of you, especially today. You went to school or sent your child(ren) to school. I’m sure it wasn’t easy. So much grief, fear, and anxiety.

I’m sure there were many students at school today who were worried, afraid, or distraught, even if they didn’t exactly know why. I’m sure there were teachers who were also worried, afraid, and distraught. And I know that parents made sure to give that hug and say that “I love you” this morning.

There are many conversations taking place in the teachers’ lounge, the lunchroom, and at the dinner table about the Parkland shooting. How did we wake up in a society where “school shooting” is a thing?

After fear and grief, we often move to anger and frustration and despair. Here, I want to tell you a few things.

First of all, you are not alone. Many other people in society and in your church family are alarmed at the gun violence in our society and especially the involvement of young people. Sue Sherwood, Earl Waters, Patti Cooksey, Lucille Ruga and I went to the event at Allendale Methodist Church Tuesday night for a community conversation about gun violence in St. Petersburg. The gathering was very helpful and we went away committed to continue to be involved in addressing this problem. So, please know, you are not alone, and there are people at church that are working on doing something about this.

Secondly, know that you are already part of the solution. You are already doing something about this each and every day. You are teaching your children constructive ways to express anger and resentment and hostility and fear. Each and every day they are learning from you to use words, to take a run, to cry into a pillow, to talk with a trusted friend or a trusted adult about their feelings when they are upset. So, each and every day, in your various settings, you are addressing this problem and making a difference.

You are also making a difference by paying attention. You pay attention to your children and their friends. You pay attention to your students. You notice what is going on. You ask questions. You take an interest in others. You are involved. You express concerns. You show that you care. That matters. Many adults today are consumed with themselves and don’t notice what is going on around them. And when they do see something of concern they think it is not their problem or their business. I know that all of you are proactive in your caring and concern for others. That really matters!

You also make a difference by involving yourselves in schools and education. You advocate for better educational policies. I am not an educator but I am a parent and the Parkland school had 3,000 students. That is just too big. A high school should not be that big. Maybe it is an economy of scale from a financial standpoint but it is not an economy of scale from an educational standpoint. With 3,000 students it is too easy for students to fall through the cracks. It’s too easy for teachers and staff not to care. And we know that students these days have more and more needs. They need more attention and care not less. A school that large cannot meet the needs of the students. But in ways large and small, I know that you are working to make the school culture more supportive of the educational and character building needs of the students. That matters!

Let your heart break for Parkland and those families. Don’t hold back your tears. Love your kids and your students. Let them know it! Continue to be a positive influence in society. And know that your church family is with you every day all the way!

Please call on me if I can be helpful. I am willing to listen. I can give a hug. I am available to speak with your children as well. I want them to know that at church there are caring adults that they can trust.

I know you may be weary of all of this but stay engaged. Be courageous. Don’t let fear win.

Take care.

Kim Wells, pastor
B.A. Wellesley College
M. Div. Union Theological Seminary of New York

Lakewood United Church of Christ
2601 54th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33712-4700
(727) 867-7961


Open and Affirming Coalition of the UCC 2018 Gathering

February 15, 2018

Registration is now open for National Open and Affirming Gathering, June 27-30 at the Cathedral of Hope in Dallas, TX! Join us for this annual family reunion of our growing movement of LGBTQ-affirming communities in the United Church of Christ. Help us welcome ONA church #1500, and renew our commitment to become a church where everyone is welcome, wanted and needed, and no one left behind!

This year’s theme: “Living Our Covenant Beyond Boundaries.” We live in a time of great danger and great opportunity. The Trump Administration is threatening the basic rights for which the LGBTQ community and our allies fought for years. Violence against transgender Americans is on the rise. Research shows that anti-LGBTQ feelings  ——–  which had been declining steadily for two decades  ——–  is creeping upward again. And ONA congregations are challenged not only to defend their LGBTQ neighbors, but all whose lives and human dignity are under attack.

If there was ever a year when National ONA Gathering was needed, this is it!

We’ll tell you more about the program in the coming weeks. Our keynoter is the Rev. Justo González II, a leader in the UCC’s Sanctuary Movement, who will challenge us to renew and expand our ONA covenants. While we’re still working on the schedule, every National Gathering is an opportunity to:

  • meet and develop friendships with LGBTQ people and our allies throughout the United Church of Christ.
  • learn new ways we can be effective advocates for the Gospel of God’s love in our communities.
  • celebrate, sing, and have fun!

More information and registration are at www.openandaffirming.org/ona-gathering. If you’ve any questions, please contact us at ona@openandaffirming.org.

Help us build our scholarship fund to help people with financial needs attend this life-changing event! Tax-deductible support for scholarships is an option on your registration form.

Open and Affirming Coalition | United Church of Christ | 216-926-6262

Free Luis

Rev. Kim Wells, Rev. Victoria Long, and Susan Pomeroy from LUCC attended a rally in support of Luis Blanco and just immigration policies at Allendale United Methodist church in St. Petersburg on Feb. 1. It was a great way to begin Black History Month!


Ash Wednesday

Imposition of Ashes at the Ash Wednesday service.

Tora Alexander is playing “Ashokan Farewell” on the violin. It was a beautiful beginning to the Lenten season. Many thanks to Chip and Dana Cosper for hosting the service and continuing the vision of Jean Johnson of an Ash Wednesday service around a fire at the waterfront. With the warmer weather this year there were many more people at the service. Yes, there were s’mores afterwards! Lenten blessings to all!

(video also available at https://youtu.be/L4KNZT2kJTs)


Community Conversation on Gun Violence

LUCC was one of the Community Partners sponsoring the League of Women Voters’ “Community Conversation on Gun Violence” at Allendale United Methodist Church on the evening of Feb. 13th.

Patti Cooksey, Sue Sherwood, Earl Waters, Kim Wells, Lucille Ruga

Gun Violence pamphlet created by Grace Lewis

Lucille Ruga, Earl Waters, Kim Wells, Patti Cooksey

Speakers: Ryan Mitchell (firefighter paramedic facilitator), City Council member Lisa Wheeler-Brown, Amanda Thalji-Raitano (licensed psychologist/school counselor), Dr. David Berman (physician at John Hopkins All Children’s Hospital)

Sue Sherwood at the LUCC table with church brochures, UCC “firsts,” and the Gun Violence pamphlet created by Grace Lewis.


Photos from morning & evening Christmas Eve 2017

click for video: Video1224
(above photos and video by Yoko Nogami)
soloists & duos from the pre-service concert, left to right: Denise Williams, voice/guitar; Yoko Nogami, banjo & Margaret Radens, cello; Jim Andrews and his son, Zach Blair-Andrews, guitars.

If anyone knows of a photo someone may have taken of the choir performing, PLEASE send to Hilton.
Wonderful having all those instruments up there.


Lakewood youth in the news

Below is a repost of a press release announcing the The Power of Song Music Contest 2018 winners. The contest coincides with the Sounds of the Civil Rights Movement: The Power of Song at the Palladium Theater on Jan. 7-8 as the kick-off for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. It concerns an award, Lakewood UCC youth, Zach Blair-Andrews received  and a concert that he will be performing in at the Palladium.


Some holiday concerts of interest

*December 1, Friday – SPC student Choral group at 7:00pm (I’m singing as a “temp” alto) Friday at the Lealman Community Church, 4090 58th Avenue North, St Petersburg FL 33714 – Schubert Mass in G Major and other Christmas music
Inline image 1

*December 2, Saturday – 5:00pm, Adult Community Chorus at the SPC Music Center on the 66th St. campus Vivaldi Gloria and other holiday music

December 6, Wednesday – 7:30pm – Eckerd College Choir in the EC Chapel – Holiday Concert

*Dec. 10th, Sunday – 4:00pm, Many Moods of Christmas Benefit Concert at 1st Presbyterian Church downtown (see attachment on this email sent by Matt for schedule).

PS: Lakewood UCC parishioner, Claire Stiles, will be singing in the above SPC concerts with asterisks.

Following are concerts at St. Petersburg First Presbyterian Church:


Lakewood High Jazz Ensemble to perform at the Apollo Theater

The Lakewood High Jazz Ensemble was invited to participate in the 2018 New York City Jazz Festival, where the band will perform at the Apollo Theater. The festival, which will take place in April 2018, is designed to give jazz ensembles the opportunity to perform as part of a ticketed daytime performance. The ensemble was also featured recently on WFLA’s Daytime. The students have produced a CD, “Swinging on 54th,” and the Spartan Band Boosters are promoting the album to raise funds for the trip. See Zach Blair-Andrews to buy your CD and promote this excellent educational and music adventure!