Yoko Nogami’s Students Create a Powerful Memorial for Victims of School Shootings

LUCC Member Yoko Nogami and her students at the Pinellas County Center of the Arts at Gibbs High School in St. Petersburg have turned the lobby of the school’s theater into an extension of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris for the school’s production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, staged through Friday at 7pm. Portraits of 103 students and staffers who were the victims of school shootings, from the 1999 columbine High School shooting to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS are part of the installation. For tickets call (727) 893-5452, ext. 2029.

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Amaiya Awarded Take Stock in Children Scholarship!!

On April 10th at the Coliseum, Lakewood’s own Amaiya Washington was inducted into the Take Stock in Children scholarship program in a ceremony attended by the Mayor and the Superintendent for Pinellas county schools. She will be provided college tuition funds when the time comes, but this comprehensive program offers much more including mentors  and enrichment activities designed to prepare her to succeed in College. We’re all very proud of you Amaiya, keep up the good work!

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Sermon 50th Anniversary – Rev. Angela V. Wells

Scripture Lesson: Colossians 3:12-17
Sermon: A Third Way
Pastor: Rev. Angela V. Wells

I went to Union Theological Seminary in New York City for graduate school from 2009-2012. My entering class had probably 150 or so people in it. The first-year Master of Divinity students took a lot of classes together, including Introduction to the Old Testament, Introduction to the New Testament, Systematic Theology, Church History, and so on and so forth.

During our class discussions, and in the library, and other informal gatherings around campus, I could see that my classmates were struggling in a way that I was not. Now, I was no expert, I was one of the youngest in our class, fresh out of college. I had less life experience and formal education than many of the people in our entering class, so I tried to figure out what in the world these people were grappling with that I… wasn’t.

It turned out that many of my classmates were raised in Christian traditions that were, well, suffice it to say, different from the context in which I was raised. They were from the Presbyterian Church, the Lutheran Church, the American Baptist church, the Episcopal church, the Methodist church, the African Methodist Episcopal church and the list went on. What I eventually came to understand was that my classmates were struggling with trying to reconcile what they’d been taught in their home churches with what they were learning in seminary.

At home, they had either implicitly or explicitly been taught that Christianity was the only right way, now in seminary, we were being taught classes by a man named Paul Knitter, who wrote a book entitled, Without Buddha, I Could Not Be a Christian. At home, they’d been taught that the Gospel stories about Jesus’ life were historically accurate, that these events, these miracles literally took place.

In seminary, we were being taught that the different Gospel accounts of the same stories were written at different times, by different people, with different political motivations. So these facts made it really hard for anyone to know what literally took place, what didn’t, and how Jesus’ life actually played out. Not to mention the fact that in our language classes, we were learning that one Hebrew or Greek word could have upwards of 10 or more English equivalents, and the English word that the biblical translator chose could significantly affect the meaning of the whole sentence or larger story. AND, remember that the first texts written down, Paul’s writings, were written starting about 30 years after Jesus died, so we can be pretty sure that none of the Gospel accounts were written by first-hand witnesses because they were all long dead by the time any of this was put on paper.

I was fine with all this information. I absorbed it, with varying levels of enthusiasm or interest, but I certainly wasn’t bothered by any of it, I wasn’t struggling with this new information. But my classmates were another story. Some of them were even having crises of faith, questioning all that they’d been taught in their churches up to that point, questioning so many of the sermons they’d heard, Bible studies they’d sat through, and so on. They were trying to figure out whether what they’d been taught by beloved pastors, mentors, parents, friends, and Sunday School teachers was “right,” or what they were learning in seminary was “right,” because they couldn’t reconcile the two.

My experience was vastly different. What I was learning in seminary completely aligned with all that I had been raised with. It resonated with the sermons I heard, the family discussions we had around the dinner table. All the puzzle pieces fit together for me.

For example, one day, in our Preaching and Worship class, our professor spent the day talking about the hymnal that we used in our chapel at seminary, also the hymnal that you all use, the New Century Hymnal. She talked about the controversy over changing the words to hymns. She talked about the theological reasoning behind removing militaristic imagery and regal imagery like king and kingdom. She talked about why they removed the word Lord and didn’t use the male pronoun for God in any of the hymns, unless the female pronoun was used as well. Some of my classmates were aghast, they thought this was sacrilegious. The editors had butchered their beloved hymns that they had memorized from childhood.

I sheepishly raised my hand and offered another perspective. I told them that I was raised with this hymnal. That my home church didn’t use male pronouns for God and I liked that our hymnal’s vocabulary matched the language we used in the rest of the service. I said that the words to the beloved hymns that I had memorized were the words of the New Century Hymnal. They were my “original” version of the hymns. The new way, the new vocabulary, it wasn’t new to me, because it was all I knew.

They say that you don’t appreciate what you have until it’s gone, and I can admit that I didn’t fully appreciate Lakewood until I was exposed to the wider world of churches and Christianity. You see, this church is a gift to Christianity because in a black and white world of dichotomies and either/ors, Lakewood presents a third way. I didn’t know it was a third way until much later in life, because, during my childhood it as all I knew, I thought it was just how church was done. But most Christians in the world know of two ways, and the problem is that an increasing number of people can’t see themselves in either of those two ways. The third way is a lifeline for people who are seeking something, who want to be part of a Christian community, but can’t find belonging in either of the two ways our society offers. So, what are these two ways?

The first way is dogmatic Christianity as we hear about it in the news and from traditional/conservative preachers and public speakers. It’s the Christianity, which professes that Jesus is God-incarnate and rose from the dead on the third day. This Christianity professes the doctrinal truth of the trinity, that God is 3-in-one, Father, Holy Spirit, and Son. This Christianity subscribes to substitutionary atonement, or the belief that Jesus died to take away the sins of the world, to atone for the original sin that Adam and Eve committed. This Christianity teaches that God loved the world so much that God sent his only son to die for us. This Christianity usually takes the Bible literally, lifting it up as the inerrant word of God. This Christianity professes that God is a theistic being which created the world and still has control over something so vast as the cosmos and something so minute as our individual lives. This Christianity teaches that prayer is a way to appeal to, or talk to this God. We ask for what we want and if we don’t get it, it’s because we are not faithful enough, didn’t pray hard enough, or it’s just not God’s will for us.

I can understand if some of this is making you bristle or cringe, which is why you feel at home at Lakewood and not any of the other thousands of churches in our country. Lots of people who are looking for a community of faith can’t get on board with most of this, regardless of whether they were raised Christian. They can’t subscribe to the magical thinking, suspension of reason and logic, ignorance of historical and scientific truths, not to mention the exclusiveness of it, because in this first way, Christianity is the only way. So, people who just can’t be part of this faith tradition, they either cobble together something on their own such as “spiritual but not religious,” or they do away with all of it and call themselves an Atheist.

This is the second way. Such people back up their argument with all the statistics about how many wars have been fought in the name of religion, and that we’d be better off not having any organized religion at all. They might tell you how religious people meddle in politics to the detriment of society and, by the way, there is no God, so let’s stop pretending there is and just get rid of all houses of worship.

I can understand if this second way also makes you cringe because, since you are part of a faith community, I presume you see the value in it. You see the importance of coming together with people that have the same values to celebrate all that is good in the world, lament when things aren’t good, and work together to change them. We happen to do all this in the name of Jesus, whom we follow.

This is the third way that Lakewood is following, which is a lifeline to people who want to be part of a faith tradition, who want to be part of a community that recognizes all that around us is sacred and so we’re committed to protecting it for the sake of all life.

You all engage our Holy Scriptures, but you don’t believe that critiquing them, questioning them, or learning about their origins is somehow threatening to their inherent worth. The fact that you all can say that the Bible is valuable because of all that it teaches us through its stories, not because it’s historically accurate or because it was written by God through men, is revolutionary.

The fact that you all engage scientific advancements as being amazing and awe-inspiring because they reveal more and more to us about the vast, unknown universe, and that science isn’t threatening to our beliefs but reinforces what we know to be true, that we are not the center of the universe, is reassuring and humbling.

The fact that you all don’t ask people to check their critical thinking skills or their rationality at the door, and that you all put on your shoes and use your hands and turn your “thoughts and prayers” into action, you all are what Christianity needs.

If the church continues to insist that people buy into the first way, well, Christianity might continue to exist in some form, but it’ll be small and irrelevant because most people won’t buy into the that myth anymore. But if we continue to expand the third way, that people can have a faith practice that aligns with their worldview and encourages their political participation, in the name of following Jesus, then the church will thrive in the future.

Lakewood is so needed at this moment in time, because you all, church and pastor, encourage engaging our faith with our lived reality. As the famous theologian Karl Barth said that, “one must do theology with the Bible in one hand, and the newspaper in the other.”

Now, I know that Lakewood is a small church, always has been for as long as I have been around. But I lovingly call it “the little church that could.” Because I know you all worry about finances and getting a new roof and paying bills and staff salaries, and maybe there have been times when you’ve wondered whether Lakewood could stay solvent long enough to have a future.

Well let me tell you, it’s lonely at the front. You are at the forefront of a religious sea change, the rest of us just haven’t caught up yet. The third way that this congregation offers is life-giving to people who are longing for community, critical thinking and social justice through following Jesus Christ.
Don’t tell my church this, but you’re also having an impact up north because a lot of what I do, and much of the information that I share with my colleagues in the Boston area, is inspired by what you all are doing, down here. So your influence extends far and wide beyond St. Pete.

Sometimes the future might seem bleak, and the road ahead won’t always be easy, but it is necessary for the future of our faith. So please, keep being you, keep being trail-blazers, because the rest of us, who also are seeking a 3rd way, we are looking to you all to set the pace.

Thanks be to God for this community of faith, Lakewood United Church of Christ, as it was, as it is, and as it is yet to be. Amen.

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Weekly Update 19 April

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

COMING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

SUN, APR 22 THIS SUNDAY: In honor of Earth Day, the service will focus on the healing of Earth and the healing of humanity. The Bible tells of a God that forgives people for the crucifixion of Jesus. Can there also be forgiveness for the damage being done to Earth? Divine forgiveness is important to the healing process. The gathering Sunday will be a refreshing time of healing.
NAME TAGS: If you want or are in need of a name tag please contact or see Wally LeBlanc so he can make one for you.
SUN, APR 15 ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION: The culmination of the 50th Anniversary celebration last week was a great success! If you missed it, be sure to listen to Rev. Angela Wells’ sermon and check out these great pictures from the event. Many thanks to the Anniversary committee (Mark Gibson, Bill Parsons, Lucille Ruga, Earl Waters, and Kim Wells), Anniversary Sponsors (Mark Gibson, Ed Kaspar, Martha Lamar, Charlie and Mary Beth Lewis, Bill Parsons, Don Ritchie, Lucille Ruga, Earl Waters, Kim and Jeff Wells) and the many others who helped including Sally Purvis, Emily and Bob Bell, Fran Whitney, Ruth Pettis, Claire Stiles, Yoko Nogami, Marg Radens, Dina Gamma, Denise Williams, Zach Blair-Andrews, Jim Andrews, Christy Martin, Vita uth, and the children of LUCC.
APR 18-20 CATHEDRAL OF REMEMBRANCE: LUCC Member Yoko Nogami and her students at the Pinellas County Center of the Arts at Gibbs High School in St. Petersburg have turned the lobby of the school’s theater into an extension of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris for the school’s production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, staged through Friday at 7pm. Portraits of 103 students and staffers who were the victims of school shootings, from the 1999 columbine High School shooting to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS are part of the installation. For tickets call (727) 893-5452, ext. 2029.
SUN, MAY 20 NEW MEMBERS: The church is planning to receive new members on Pentecost Sunday May 20. Those considering church membership may speak with Rev. Wells.
SUN, APR 29 SUNDAY CELEBRATIONS:  On Sunday April 29 there will be a luncheon following morning worship hosted by the Creation Justice Taskforce. Please bring salads, vegetables, and desserts to share. The main dish will be provided. During lunch, Claire Stiles will offer a presentation that she has prepared on sea level rise in the Tampa Bay area. This is a very stimulating and provocative topic Claire has researched. Plan to come and see this challenge from new perspectives. All are welcome!

COMMUNITY EVENTS

THU, APR 19 GUN CONTROL ACTION: Support Mayor Kriseman today! He is asking St. Pete City Council to approve his proposal that St. Petersburg join together with other Florida cities in a lawsuit against Rick Scott to allow municipalities to pass gun control legislation that may be more restrictive than state policy. Fired Up Pinellas has asked that we pack the city council chambers wearing orange to show support. Arrive at 2:45pm to go through security, the council meeting begins at 3pm. See facebook for more information. If you are unable to attend, write to the council by following the link on their webpage:  stpete.org/council.
JUSTICE MINISTRY EDUCATION: Join a learning community of people turning the world upside down! In June, Auburn Seminary will offer six-month training course for those who care about social justice issues and realize the importance of Florida, and in particular the I-4 corridor during the Mid Term elections this year. Gun control, immigration, equal pay, affordable housing and restoring voting rights for the formerly incarcerated are just a few of the issues facing our communities. E-mail Rev. Pritchett if you are interested in participating.
MLK VIDEO: On April 4th, 2018, the nation marked 50 years since the death of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In observance of the lasting impact of Dr. King’s ministry, Trinity Church Wall Street in New York City is offering a new video curriculum free of charge. Martin Luther King Jr.: Epistles & Prophets  brings together an interview with Civil Rights icon and theologian Ruby Sales and expert speakers exploring contemporary black/white relationships through writings by James Baldwin, Thomas Merton, and King that resonate powerfully today.
ONLINE PETITIONS: Urge your lawmakers to vote in ways that promote peace! Visit Equal Justice USA to support an end to the death penalty,  Move On to support a ban on military-style assault weapons and large capacity magazines, and Phone2Action to urge congress to undo the harm that mass incarceration has inflicted on families, individuals and the country.
THU, APR 19 ENVIRONMENTAL FILM: St Pete Earth Day, the Suncoast Sierra Club and The St Petersburg Museum of History will screen The Age of Consequences Thursday, April 19th at the St Petersburg Museum of History (335 2nd Ave. NE). The film explores how climate change impacts resource scarcity, migration and conflict through the lens of US national security and global stability. Social begins at 6:00 PM – Heavy hors d’oeuvres, desserts and a cash bar. Panel Discussion Begins at 6:30pm, Movie Begins at 7:00pm and ends at 8:30pm. This is a FREE event, donations are gratefully accepted at the door. RSVP Requested.
THU, APR 19 GUN VIOLENCE RALLY: On the anniversary of City of the Columbine High School shooting, students in Pinellas county will join others across the nation in a school walkout to protest government inaction on gun violence. On April 20th at noon public and private school students are encouraged to gather in front of St. Petersburg City Hall for a rally and to register to vote. Hear from student leaders, Mayor Rick Kriseman, and other officials and register to vote. Street parking available along 1st Avenue N, 2nd Avenue N, on Mirror Lake Drive, and at the nearby Sundial garage located at 117 2nd St N.
FRI, APR 20 FILM SCREENING: As the legal fights over access to abortion escalate, what remains of a woman’s right to choose? Pinellas National Organization for Women presents Trapped, a documentary that follows providers at reproductive health clinics throughout the South struggling to comply with TRAP laws put in place to prevent abortions. Friday, April 20 at 6:45pm at Good Samaritan Church (6085 Park Blvd).
SAT, APR 21 ST PETE EARTH DAY: The Fifth Annual Earth Day Festival In Williams Park will take place Saturday, April 21st. Vendors will offer green and sustainable living products and services, arts and crafts, information and demonstrations. Children’s activities, live music, tiny homes exhibit, electric vehicle display, wildlife, community orgs and city of St. Pete will also be on hand. Don’t miss this amazing free event! For more information, go to earthdaysp.com.
THU, APR 26 ENVIRONMENTAL FILM: A Plastic Ocean: A Screening & Discussion with Natural Resources Agent, Lara Milligan will be held April 26 from 6:30 to 8:30pm at the Seminole Campus Digitorium of St. Petersburg College (9200 113th St. N, Seminole). Seating is limited and online registration is requested or call 727-394-6942 for more information.
THU, APR 26 ECKERD LECTURE: Delores Huerta will be speaking at Eckerd College on April 26. The 2012 Presidential Medal of Freedom winner 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. This living legend and labor icon will share her story and thoughts with the Eckerd community during this special event on Thursday, April 26th at 7:30pm in Fox Hall.
WED, MAY 30 IFTAR DINNER:  On Wednesday, May 30th at The Coliseum (535 4th Ave N) Mayor Rick Kriseman and Muslim leaders from throughout Tampa Bay will host the 2nd Annual Iftar dinner welcoming residents of all faiths to celebrate the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Iftar is the evening meal when Muslims end their daily Ramadan fast at sunset. Doors open at 6pm, prayer at sundown (8:21pm). Sign up in the narthex if you plan to attend.
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.
THERE IS HOPE – COMMUNITY: Wally LeBlanc will have cards available for sale on Sun. May 6th. The mission for May card sales is Lakewood Methodist Counseling Center. Ministry item for months of March and April is deodorant, these will be given to Daystar to be used for their work. There will be a box in the back of Sanctuary for items to be placed in.
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.
CONTACTING YOUR REPRESENTATIVES IN WASHINGTON: If you are interested in calling, emailing or writing your representatives in congress, here is some contact information:

Senator Bill Nelson
716 Senate Hart Office Building, Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-5274
Tampa office: 801 N. Florida Ave., 4th Floor, Tampa, FL 33602
Phone: 813-225-7040
www.billnelson.senate.gov (Click “Contact” to write a message)

Senator Marco Rubio
284 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington DC, 20510
Phone: 202-224-3041
Tampa office: 5201 West Kennedy Blvd, Ste. 530, Tampa, FL 33609
Phone: 813-287-5035
www.rubio.senate.gov (Click “Contact” to write a message)

Dist. 14: Rep. Kathy Castor
2052 Rayburn House Office Bldg., Washington DC 20515
Tampa Office 4144 N. Armenia Avenue Tampa FL 33607
Website: www.castor.house.gov (Click “Contact” to write a message)
(202) 225-3376 Washington
(727) 392-4100 St. Petersburg
(813) 871-2817 Tampa

District 13: Rep. Charlie Crist
427 Cannon House Office Bldg., Washington, DC 20515
696 1st Avenue North, Suite #203 St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Website: www.crist.house.gov (Click “Contact” to write a message)
(202) 225-5961 Washington
1-(888) 205-5569 District office

If you are living outside Florida or local districts, you may phone your Member of Congress by calling the U.S. Capitol Switchboard (202) 224-3121. Visit americantrails.org for additional contact information.

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.
FREE ECO-THEOLOGY COURSE: Yale is offering three free courses centering on eco-theologian Thomas Berry and the application of his work and writing to understanding the gift of God’s creation and our relationship to it. This is an excellent opportunity for individuals or small groups in churches to participate in the course. Learn more about this exciting opportunity at coursera.org.
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.
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 at https://soundcloud.com/luccpodcasts – please tell your friends who might enjoy listening! Keep checking back, more and more will be added each week.
recycle1RECYCLE: 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.
childrenYOUNG PEOPLE AT LAKEWOOD: Children and young people are a vital part of the LUCC family. Middle School age children and younger are invited to participate in Church School with Grace Lewis. Preschool children are welcome in the Nursery under the able care of Claudia Rodriguez. All children return to the sanctuary during the offering so they can participate at 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

Mim Carle and family, Betty Harris, Genevieve Jackle, Shirley Locke,
Carolyn Moore, Ann Quinn, Ron Spivack, Willy Zessoules

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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.

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Weekly Update 12 April

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

COMING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

SUN, APR 15 THIS SUNDAY: Happy 50th Anniversary, LUCC! The anniversary celebration includes 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 will be taken around the Peace Pole. And there is a festive lunch planned for after the picture. You are encouraged to wear your LUCC t shirt to church if you would like to. Don’t miss the celebration!
SUN, APR 15 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.
SUN, APR 15 ALTAR CLOTH: The cloth on the altar for Sunday was made by Fran Whitney in honor of the 50th anniversary of Lakewood UCC, her church home. Many thanks to Fran for this beautiful gift!
SUN, APR 15 PICTURE TIME: Immediately following worship this Sunday, please head out to the Peace Pole for a group picture in honor of the 50th anniversary. Thank you!
SUN, APR 15 ANNIVERSARY SHIRTS & BAGS: There are t-shirts and tote bags for sale with the anniversary logo. The cost is $10. Please see Amaiya and Kai’Lyn on Sunday to make your purchase.
WED, APR 18 WESTMINSTER LUNCH: Westminster Suncoast Luncheon Wednesday Apr 18 at 11:30 in the private dining room at Westminster Suncoast. All residents of the Shores and Suncoast are welcome.
SUN, MAY 20 NEW MEMBERS: The church is planning to receive new members on Pentecost Sunday May 20. Those considering church membership may speak with Rev. Wells.

COMMUNITY EVENTS

MLK VIDEO: On April 4th, 2018, the nation marked 50 years since the death of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In observance of the lasting impact of Dr. King’s ministry, Trinity Church Wall Street in New York City is offering a new video curriculum free of charge. Martin Luther King Jr.: Epistles & Prophets  brings together an interview with Civil Rights icon and theologian Ruby Sales and expert speakers exploring contemporary black/white relationships through writings by James Baldwin, Thomas Merton, and King that resonate powerfully today.
ONLINE PETITIONS: Urge your lawmakers to vote in ways that promote peace! Visit Equal Justice USA to support an end to the death penalty,  Move On to support a ban on military-style assault weapons and large capacity magazines, and Phone2Action to urge congress to undo the harm that mass incarceration has inflicted on families, individuals and the country.
THU, APR 19 ENVIRONMENTAL FILM: St Pete Earth Day, the Suncoast Sierra Club and The St Petersburg Museum of History will screen The Age of Consequences Thursday, April 19th at the St Petersburg Museum of History (335 2nd Ave. NE). The film explores how climate change impacts resource scarcity, migration and conflict through the lens of US national security and global stability. Social begins at 6:00 PM – Heavy hors d’oeuvres, desserts and a cash bar. Panel Discussion Begins at 6:30pm, Movie Begins at 7:00pm and ends at 8:30pm. This is a FREE event, donations are gratefully accepted at the door. RSVP Requested.
SAT, APR 21 ST PETE EARTH DAY: The Fifth Annual Earth Day Festival In Williams Park will take place Saturday, April 21st. Vendors will offer green and sustainable living products and services, arts and crafts, information and demonstrations. Children’s activities, live music, tiny homes exhibit, electric vehicle display, wildlife, community orgs and city of St. Pete will also be on hand. Don’t miss this amazing free event! For more information, go to earthdaysp.com.
THU, APR 26 ENVIRONMENTAL FILM: A Plastic Ocean: A Screening & Discussion with Natural Resources Agent, Lara Milligan will be held April 26 from 6:30 to 8:30pm at the Seminole Campus Digitorium of St. Petersburg College (9200 113th St. N, Seminole). Seating is limited and online registration is requested or call 727-394-6942 for more information.
THU, APR 26 ECKERD LECTURE: Delores Huerta will be speaking at Eckerd College on April 26. The 2012 Presidential Medal of Freedom winner 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. This living legend and labor icon will share her story and thoughts with the Eckerd community during this special event on Thursday, April 26th at 7:30pm in Fox Hall.
WED, MAY 30 IFTAR DINNER:  On Wednesday, May 30th at The Coliseum (535 4th Ave N) Mayor Rick Kriseman and Muslim leaders from throughout Tampa Bay will host the 2nd Annual Iftar dinner welcoming residents of all faiths to celebrate the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Iftar is the evening meal when Muslims end their daily Ramadan fast at sunset. Doors open at 6pm, prayer at sundown (8:21pm). Sign up in the narthex if you plan to attend.
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.
THERE IS HOPE – COMMUNITY: Wally LeBlanc will have cards available for sale on Sun. May 6th. The mission for May card sales is still yet to be determined. Ministry item for months of March and April is deodorant, these will be given to Daystar to be used for their work. There will be a box in the back of Sanctuary for items to be placed in.
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.
CONTACTING YOUR REPRESENTATIVES IN WASHINGTON: If you are interested in calling, emailing or writing your representatives in congress, here is some contact information:

Senator Bill Nelson
716 Senate Hart Office Building, Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-5274
Tampa office: 801 N. Florida Ave., 4th Floor, Tampa, FL 33602
Phone: 813-225-7040
www.billnelson.senate.gov (Click “Contact” to write a message)

Senator Marco Rubio
284 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington DC, 20510
Phone: 202-224-3041
Tampa office: 5201 West Kennedy Blvd, Ste. 530, Tampa, FL 33609
Phone: 813-287-5035
www.rubio.senate.gov (Click “Contact” to write a message)

Dist. 14: Rep. Kathy Castor
2052 Rayburn House Office Bldg., Washington DC 20515
Tampa Office 4144 N. Armenia Avenue Tampa FL 33607
Website: www.castor.house.gov (Click “Contact” to write a message)
(202) 225-3376 Washington
(727) 392-4100 St. Petersburg
(813) 871-2817 Tampa

District 13: Rep. Charlie Crist
427 Cannon House Office Bldg., Washington, DC 20515
696 1st Avenue North, Suite #203 St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Website: www.crist.house.gov (Click “Contact” to write a message)
(202) 225-5961 Washington
1-(888) 205-5569 District office

If you are living outside Florida or local districts, you may phone your Member of Congress by calling the U.S. Capitol Switchboard (202) 224-3121. Visit americantrails.org for additional contact information.

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.
FREE ECO-THEOLOGY COURSE: Yale is offering three free courses centering on eco-theologian Thomas Berry and the application of his work and writing to understanding the gift of God’s creation and our relationship to it. This is an excellent opportunity for individuals or small groups in churches to participate in the course. Learn more about this exciting opportunity at coursera.org.
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.
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 at https://soundcloud.com/luccpodcasts – please tell your friends who might enjoy listening! Keep checking back, more and more will be added each week.
recycle1RECYCLE: 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.
childrenYOUNG PEOPLE AT LAKEWOOD: Children and young people are a vital part of the LUCC family. Middle School age children and younger are invited to participate in Church School with Grace Lewis. Preschool children are welcome in the Nursery under the able care of Claudia Rodriguez. All children return to the sanctuary during the offering so they can participate at 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

Mim Carle and family, Betty Harris, Genevieve Jackle, Carolyn Moore, Ann Quinn,
Ron Spivack, Willy Zessoules

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Weekly Update 5 April

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

COMING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

SUN, APR 8 THIS SUNDAY: In the aftermath of the resurrection, there is the opportunity to reflect on faith and fact. The story of Thomas leads the way. See John 20:19-31 and Acts 4:32-35.
SUN, APR 8 CONGREGATIONAL MEETING: There will be a brief congregational meeting following worship on Sunday, 8 April for the purpose of presenting, discussing, and taking action on the roof proposal. Everyone is encouraged to attend.
SUN, APR 15 ANNIVERSARY SUNDAY: Plan to be part of celebrating the first 50 years of LUCC’s ministry in preparation for at least the next 50 years! The bash is on Sunday April 15. The preacher for the morning is the Rev. Angela Wells, pastor of the United Church of Christ in Burlington, MA. Angela is the one person in the history of the church to go into the ministry. The theme will be “Foundation for the Future.” Rev. John Vertigan, Conference Minister of the Florida Conference of the United Church of Christ will be part of the festivities. Founding pastor, Rev. Richard Wiggins and Mae are planning to attend. At the catered luncheon after the service, memories of past years and hopes and dreams for the future will be shared. Contact the Church Office or Bill Parsons to make your reservation.

COMMUNITY EVENTS

MLK VIDEO: On April 4th, 2018, the nation marked 50 years since the death of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In observance of the lasting impact of Dr. King’s ministry, Trinity Church Wall Street in New York City is offering a new video curriculum free of charge. Martin Luther King Jr.: Epistles & Prophets  brings together an interview with Civil Rights icon and theologian Ruby Sales and expert speakers exploring contemporary black/white relationships through writings by James Baldwin, Thomas Merton, and King that resonate powerfully today.
ONLINE PETITIONS: Urge your lawmakers to vote in ways that promote peace! Visit Equal Justice USA to support an end to the death penalty,  Move On to support a ban on military-style assault weapons and large capacity magazines, and Phone2Action to urge congress to undo the harm that mass incarceration has inflicted on families, individuals and the country.
SUN, APR 8 SOCIAL JUSTICE LECTURE: Les Leopold, co-founder of the Labor Institute and author of Runaway Inequality: An Activist’s Guide to Economic Justice will give a lecture on causes and solutions to economic inequality at 4:30pm Sunday, April 8th at Temple Beth El (400 Pasadena Ave S). For more information call the Temple office at (727) 347-613.
MON, APR 9 IMMIGRATION DISCUSSION: Join Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, Immigration Attorney Mayra Calo and Isabel Sousa-Rodriquez from the Florida Immigration Coalition in a community dialog about immigration hosted by WMNF’s Mitch Perry. Monday, April 9 from 7:00 – 8:30pm at Allendale United Methodist Church (3803 Haines Rd. N).
WED, APR 11 ORGANIZING MEETING: The Poor People’s Campaign, A National Call for a Moral Revival, is building a movement to overcome systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, and the war economy. Come hear about this movement and how you can be involved Wednesday, April 11th at the Quaker Meeting Hall (130 19th Ave SE).
THU, APR 26 ENVIRONMENTAL FILM: A Plastic Ocean: A Screening & Discussion with Natural Resources Agent, Lara Milligan will be held April 26 from 6:30 to 8:30pm at the Seminole Campus Digitorium of St. Petersburg College (9200 113th St. N, Seminole). Seating is limited and online registration is requested or call 727-394-6942 for more information.
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.
THERE IS HOPE – COMMUNITY: Wally LeBlanc will have cards available for sale on Sun. May 6th. The mission for May card sales is still yet to be determined.
Ministry item for months of March and April is deodorant, these will be given to
Daystar to be used for their work. There will be a box in the back of Sanctuary for items to be placed in.
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.
CONTACTING YOUR REPRESENTATIVES IN WASHINGTON: If you are interested in calling, emailing or writing your representatives in congress, here is some contact information:

Senator Bill Nelson
716 Senate Hart Office Building, Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-5274
Tampa office: 801 N. Florida Ave., 4th Floor, Tampa, FL 33602
Phone: 813-225-7040
www.billnelson.senate.gov (Click “Contact” to write a message)

Senator Marco Rubio
284 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington DC, 20510
Phone: 202-224-3041
Tampa office: 5201 West Kennedy Blvd, Ste. 530, Tampa, FL 33609
Phone: 813-287-5035
www.rubio.senate.gov (Click “Contact” to write a message)

Dist. 14: Rep. Kathy Castor
2052 Rayburn House Office Bldg., Washington DC 20515
Tampa Office 4144 N. Armenia Avenue Tampa FL 33607
Website: www.castor.house.gov (Click “Contact” to write a message)
(202) 225-3376 Washington
(727) 392-4100 St. Petersburg
(813) 871-2817 Tampa

District 13: Rep. Charlie Crist
427 Cannon House Office Bldg., Washington, DC 20515
696 1st Avenue North, Suite #203 St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Website: www.crist.house.gov (Click “Contact” to write a message)
(202) 225-5961 Washington
1-(888) 205-5569 District office

If you are living outside Florida or local districts, you may phone your Member of Congress by calling the U.S. Capitol Switchboard (202) 224-3121. Visit americantrails.org for additional contact information.

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.
NEW MEMBERS: Lakewood UCC is always ready to welcome new members into the church family. Joining the church involves attending an orientation session and being part of a Reception of New Members ritual during Sunday morning worship.
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.
FREE ECO-THEOLOGY COURSE: Yale is offering three free courses centering on eco-theologian Thomas Berry and the application of his work and writing to understanding the gift of God’s creation and our relationship to it. This is an excellent opportunity for individuals or small groups in churches to participate in the course. Learn more about this exciting opportunity at coursera.org.
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.
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 at https://soundcloud.com/luccpodcasts – please tell your friends who might enjoy listening! Keep checking back, more and more will be added each week.
recycle1RECYCLE: 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.
childrenYOUNG PEOPLE AT LAKEWOOD: Children and young people are a vital part of the LUCC family. Middle School age children and younger are invited to participate in Church School with Grace Lewis. Preschool children are welcome in the Nursery under the able care of Claudia Rodriguez. All children return to the sanctuary during the offering so they can participate at 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

Mim Carle and family, Betty Harris, Genevieve Jackle, Carolyn Moore, Ann Quinn,
Ron Spivack, Willy Zessoules

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Sermon Easter Sunrise – Fully Known, Fully Loved

Easter Sunday April 1, 2018
Scripture Lesson: John 20:1-18
Pastor: Rev. Kim P. Wells

It is painted, sung about, and immortalized. That moment in the Easter story from the Gospel of John when Mary meets Jesus in the graveyard. She does not recognize him until he says her name. Mary. In the name is the knowing. It just takes the name and we know that this is a reference to the identity of the person, the history, the experiences, the inner feelings, the relationships, the habits, the quirks, the foibles, the full sense of Mary’s being. In that moment, Mary is made aware that she is fully known.

Jesus is known for fully knowing. He is known for knowing people as they truly are, not as they may perceive themselves nor as they may be perceived by others. His is a true knowing. A knowing in full not in part.

We see this in story after story in the New Testament. In the story of Jesus meeting the Samaritan woman at the well, he mentions that she has had five husbands. That is not something that she would have been advertising about herself. Yet he knew. Probably everyone else in her town was spreading the word. And we are shown a Jesus who knows this. And he still asks her for water. And he still gives her living water. And she goes to offer this saving gift to the people of her town who have doubtless tormented her. Fully known.

The gospels share a story of Jesus finding a group of men ready to stone a woman for adultery. She makes no plea of innocence. Fully known. But in the story, Jesus turns to those with the rocks at the ready, arms drawn back, and says, “Let the one without sin cast the first stone.” They, too, are fully known.

In another story, Zacchaeus, a notorious hated upper crust financial functionary, climbs a tree to get a glimpse of Jesus. And Jesus stops and invites himself to Zacchaeus’ house. Jesus knows all about Zacchaeus and his cheating and his greed. Zacchaeus is fully known.

And there is the story of a rich young ruler. He comes to Jesus desperately seeking life in God. Jesus knows this man. He knows there is just one thing. And the rich young man cannot accept Jesus’ offer. And Jesus is sad, so sad, for he knows this man.

We are told that Jesus knows those who initiate his execution. He knows those who adjudicate his trial. He knows the governor who can stay his execution, but does not. He knows the thieves that are crucified with him. Jesus knows them all. They are fully know.

Just that one word, in the cemetery, “Mary.” She is fully known. As are so many others. Nothing is hidden.

And what of these people who are fully known? With their past. With the evil intentions of their hearts. With their cheating and stealing. With their self absorption and greed. With their lust for power. With their self protectionist proclivities. What of this sorry lot? We are shown a Jesus who knows it all. They are fully known. Not in a clairvoyant, woo woo, supernatural way. But in a sincere, insightful, honest way that comes from paying attention and listening and caring.

We are also shown something else about Jesus. All of these people, all of the people healed and forgiven. The crowds. The women. The townspeople. The corrupt leaders. The hypocritical priests. The executioners. The disciples. All of them are fully known. And they are also fully loved. Loved for their full humanity and all of its imperfections. Loved for all of their misguided schemes. Loved for all of their hopes and dreams. Loved for all of their pain, grief, and guilt. Loved because of who they are. Loved in spite of who
they are. Fully known. Fully loved.

We may not know all about Jesus. We may hardly know his story. But all we really need to know is about the love. For each and every person. Because at the core, each and every one of us is holy and sacred. And because of that, we are worthy to be loved. Before anything we do or say, we are beloved. Because of everything we do and say, we are beloved. In spite what we do and say, we are beloved. And there’s nothing we can do about it. We are fully known and fully loved in the reality of God.

In the book, The Song of the Bird, Anthony De Mello shares this story:

I was a neurotic for years. I was anxious and depressed and selfish. And everyone kept telling me to change. And everyone kept telling me how neurotic I was. And I resented them, and I agreed with them, and I wanted to change, but I just couldn’t bring myself to change, no matter how hard I tried.
What hurt the most was that my best friend also kept telling me how neurotic I was. He too kept insisting that I change. And I agreed with him too, though I couldn’t bring myself to resent him. And I felt so powerless and so trapped.
Then one day he said to me, “Don’t change. Stay as you are. It really doesn’t matter whether you change or not. I love you just as you are; I cannot help loving you.”
These words sounded like music to my ears: “Don’t change. Don’t change. Don’t change. I love you.”
And I relaxed. And I came alive. And, oh wondrous marvel, I changed.

[Quoted in 25 Windows into the Soul: Praying with the Psalms, from the writings of Joan Chittister, p. 78]

Yes, the story of the encounter between Jesus and Mary in the garden is famous for that one word, “Mary,” showing us that we are fully known and fully loved. But there is another phrase in that story that is also well-remembered. Jesus asks Mary, “Why are you weeping?” Why are you weeping?

Do we weep because of this great love? We are fully known and fully loved. Does the enormity of it bring us to tears? Why are we weeping? Are we weeping in repentance? Seeking the healing of forgiving love? Why are we weeping? Are we weeping because the awareness that we are fully known and fully loved makes our compassion for ourselves, others and the world well up? Why are we weeping? Is it because in spite of this love, we will continue to hurt ourselves and others? Why are we weeping? Is it because we have not been able to say yes to this belovedness?

Why are we weeping? This Easter, may we know that we are fully known and fully loved and may we weep tears of joy. Amen.

A reasonable effort has been made to appropriately cite materials referenced in this sermon. For additional information, please contact Lakewood United Church of Christ.

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Weekly Update 28 March

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

COMING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

SUN, APR 1 THIS SUNDAY: We celebrate the power of Love that is stronger than death this Easter Sunday. There is an outdoor Sunrise Service at 7am followed by breakfast in the fellowship hall. The 10:30am Festival Service is designed as an intergenerational service: children and youth are encouraged to participate for the whole service.  There will also be childcare provided in the Nursery for the very young. The celebrations conclude with an egg hunt and refreshments on the church grounds.
THU, MAR 29 MAUNDY THURSDAY: This is a night to remember Jesus’ last supper with his friends and followers. A light soup supper will be served at 6:00pm in the Fellowship Hall followed by a service of communion and Tenebrae in the sanctuary at 7:00. All are welcome at this solemn service of remembrance.
FRI, MAR 30 GOOD FRIDAY: There will be a guided labyrinth walk at noon related to the crucifixion of Jesus. The sanctuary will be open for meditation and prayer from noon until 3:00pm.
SUN, APR 1 EASTER: The celebration of Easter begins with a sunrise service at 7:00am outdoors on the church grounds followed by breakfast in the Fellowship Hall.
The Festival Service begins at 10:30am. This is an intergenerational service celebrating the power of Love that is stronger than death. The season of spring is a reminder that new life bursts forth even in the least expected places.
An Easter Egg hunt will be held following the Festival Service along with refreshments on the church grounds.
SUN, APR 8 CONGREGATIONAL MEETING: There will be a brief congregational meeting following worship on Sunday, 8 April for the purpose of presenting, discussing, and taking action on the roof proposal. Everyone is encouraged to attend.
SUN, APR 15 ANNIVERSARY SUNDAY: Plan to be part of celebrating the first 50 years of LUCC’s ministry in preparation for at least the next 50 years! The bash is on Sunday April 15. The preacher for the morning is the Rev. Angela Wells, pastor of the United Church of Christ in Burlington, MA. Angela is the one person in the history of the church to go into the ministry. The theme will be “Foundation for the Future.” Rev. John Vertigan, Conference Minister of the Florida Conference of the United Church of Christ will be part of the festivities. Founding pastor, Rev. Richard Wiggins and Mae are planning to attend. At the catered luncheon after the service, memories of past years and hopes and dreams for the future will be shared. Contact the Church Office or Bill Parsons to make your reservation.
 LOST AND FOUND: There was a battery and a small piece to a hearing aid found on the floor of the sanctuary following the PalmSunday service March 25.  Please contact the church office for details.

COMMUNITY EVENTS

CIW ACTION: Five-day fast to fight sexual violence against women farmworkers underway outside Manhattan office of Wendy’s Board Chairman Nelson Peltz. Read more on the coalition website.
ONLINE PETITIONS: Urge your lawmakers to vote in ways that promote peace! Visit Equal Justice USA to support an end to the death penalty and  Move On to support a ban on military-style assault weapons and large capacity magazines.
WED, APR 4 MLK REMEMBRANCE: The community is invited to come together to commemorate the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the 50th anniversary of that terrible event April 4th, 7pm at The Palladium Theater (253 5th Ave N). The evening will include readings of excerpts from Dr. King’s writings and speeches, recollections of historic events in St. Petersburg, and musical performances. Participants include Bob Devin Jones, City Administrator Kanika Tomalin, Terri Lipsey Scott, Sharon Scott, Alex Harris and One City Chorus.
SUN, APR 8 SOCIAL JUSTICE LECTURE: Les Leopold, co-founder of the Labor Institute and author of Runaway Inequality: An Activist’s Guide to Economic Justice will give a lecture on causes and solutions to economic inequality at 4:30pm Sunday, April 8th at Temple Beth El (400 Pasadena Ave S). For more information call the Temple office at (727) 347-613.
WED, APR 11 ORGANIZING MEETING: The Poor People’s Campaign, A National Call for a Moral Revival, is building a movement to overcome systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, and the war economy. Come hear about this movement and how you can be involved Wednesday, April 11th at the Quaker Meeting Hall (130 19th Ave SE).
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.
THERE IS HOPE – COMMUNITY: Wally LeBlanc will have cards available for sale on Sun. May 6th. The mission for May card sales is still yet to be determined.
Ministry item for months of March and April is deodorant, these will be given to
Daystar to be used for their work. There will be a box in the back of Sanctuary for items to be placed in.
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.
CONTACTING YOUR REPRESENTATIVES IN WASHINGTON: If you are interested in calling, emailing or writing your representatives in congress, here is some contact information:

Senator Bill Nelson
716 Senate Hart Office Building, Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-5274
Tampa office: 801 N. Florida Ave., 4th Floor, Tampa, FL 33602
Phone: 813-225-7040
www.billnelson.senate.gov (Click “Contact” to write a message)

Senator Marco Rubio
284 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington DC, 20510
Phone: 202-224-3041
Tampa office: 5201 West Kennedy Blvd, Ste. 530, Tampa, FL 33609
Phone: 813-287-5035
www.rubio.senate.gov (Click “Contact” to write a message)

Dist. 14: Rep. Kathy Castor
2052 Rayburn House Office Bldg., Washington DC 20515
Tampa Office 4144 N. Armenia Avenue Tampa FL 33607
Website: www.castor.house.gov (Click “Contact” to write a message)
(202) 225-3376 Washington
(727) 392-4100 St. Petersburg
(813) 871-2817 Tampa

District 13: Rep. Charlie Crist
427 Cannon House Office Bldg., Washington, DC 20515
696 1st Avenue North, Suite #203 St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Website: www.crist.house.gov (Click “Contact” to write a message)
(202) 225-5961 Washington
1-(888) 205-5569 District office

If you are living outside Florida or local districts, you may phone your Member of Congress by calling the U.S. Capitol Switchboard (202) 224-3121. Visit americantrails.org for additional contact information.

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.
NEW MEMBERS: Lakewood UCC is always ready to welcome new members into the church family. Joining the church involves attending an orientation session and being part of a Reception of New Members ritual during Sunday morning worship.
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.
FREE ECO-THEOLOGY COURSE: Yale is offering three free courses centering on eco-theologian Thomas Berry and the application of his work and writing to understanding the gift of God’s creation and our relationship to it. This is an excellent opportunity for individuals or small groups in churches to participate in the course. Learn more about this exciting opportunity at coursera.org.
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.
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 at https://soundcloud.com/luccpodcasts – please tell your friends who might enjoy listening! Keep checking back, more and more will be added each week.
recycle1RECYCLE: 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.
childrenYOUNG PEOPLE AT LAKEWOOD: Children and young people are a vital part of the LUCC family. Middle School age children and younger are invited to participate in Church School with Grace Lewis. Preschool children are welcome in the Nursery under the able care of Claudia Rodriguez. All children return to the sanctuary during the offering so they can participate at 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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Sermon Palm Sunday – Ashes to Ashes: Life Before Death

Sunday March 25, 2018

Rev. Kim P. Wells

We began the Lenten season with ashes on Ash Wednesday. We reminded ourselves that we are dust and to dust we shall return. Death is the great fact of life. Real. True. Undisputed. No fake news, here. Death is democratic and egalitarian and inclusive. If you’re alive, there is one thing you can be sure of. You will die. Everyone dies.

This week, we remember one particular death. One very specific, cruel death. And this, too, is real. Factual. No fake news. While there is not much that can be historically verified about the life of Jesus, about his death, there is agreement. He was put to death on a cross. This was the Roman punishment for traitors, insurrectionists, and people who were thought to be threats to the Empire. Apparently, Jesus’ influence had become so great, that the Roman authorities could be convinced that he was a threat to their power in the territory of Palestine, already known for being rebellious.

So this week, we remember the death of Jesus. His death on the cross. But his death only really matters, only really is remembered, only really has meaning for us today, because of his life. Jesus lived his life in the reality of God. He breathed in and out unconditional, universal love. When he looked at a person, any person, he could only see a beloved, sacred, Divine being. And he, himself, was the most fully human human being.

Jesus knew that he was a wanted man by the authorities in Jerusalem. He knew they wanted him dead. We know from books and movies and TV that when there is a death threat, the person heads the other way, hides out, steers clear of the source of the threat. Not Jesus. He knew the threat was in Jerusalem. The capital. Where there was a concentration of religious power and political power. In collusion. Which typically results in corruption. And that is where he goes. And he doesn’t sneak in. We’re told he makes an entrance. In a parade. Not military style on a strapping steed with armaments in tow but on a donkey, the way strewn cloaks and with branches from nearby trees. Jesus imbues a traditional image, the military procession, with new meaning. He is not coming from having killed others in defense of the Empire. He is coming to be killed, to face his own death, because he is perceived as a threat to the Empire.

When we think of facing fear or a threat with our natural human instincts our response is typically fight or flight. Jesus chooses another way. He chooses the way of sacrificial love. He proceeds to his death not with resignation, but with strength, courage, and defiance, infused with compassion, meekness, and humility. It a rare and beautiful combination. Because of the way Jesus lived, because of the way he faces his death, because in him we see love conquering fear, the death penalty, the crucifixion, will not silence his voice, as his killers hope, but will amplify it so that his message is still powerfully heard today.

According to the gospel of John, in his last evening with his friends, his last opportunity to get across the main point, the big picture, the core concept, Jesus washes the feet of his friends. A humble, servile act. And he gives a new commandment – to “love one another as I have loved you.” Love and serve. That’s what he did. He didn’t just talk about it. He did it.

And he did this up to the very last moment of his life. We are given the tradition of Jesus forgiving even those responsible for his execution. We remember his death because of the way he lived his life.

The way you live is the way you die. Jesus shows us Divine Love that is not intimidated by fear or violence or hatred. When we live in that love, we need have no fear. Not even of death. Amen.

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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!

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Weekly Update 22 March

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

COMING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

SUN, MAR 25 THIS SUNDAY: Palm Sunday commemorates Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem and marks the beginning of Holy Week. Worship will begin outside with the blessing of the palms (please bring palm branches if you can). The One Great Hour of Sharing Offering, used to help people in times of crisis, will be collected. New Members will be received this Sunday as well. Those joining include: Bill and Catharine Delcamp, Elinor Ross, Jen DeGroot, Claudia Rodriguez, Joyce and Bert Lee, and Kay Rencken. There will be light refreshments and fellowship following worship.
SAT, MAR 24 MARCH FOR OUR LIVES: On Saturday March 24, people will gather in Poynter Park (1000 3rd St S) at 11:00am to march in support of sane gun laws. Look for the LUCC banner on the southern end of the park. Carpool or take the bus (parking will be tight), wear orange, and bring a sign to express your support of the students working to create a safer society. Visit pinellas4parkland.org for more information.
SAT, MAR 24 GREENFEST: LUCC is having a booth at IRB Greenfest. Come by and see us and other non-profits and eco-friendly vendors and artists. The 11th Annual Indian Rocks Beach Greenfest will be March 24th from 10am to 5pm on the block of 24th Avenue & 1st Street in Indian Rocks Beach.
EASTER FLOWERS: The time to order Easter Flowers is now! Fill out a form on Sunday or e-mail the church office with your name, the number of plants you would like to buy ($10 each) and who they are in honor or memory of. Make sure checks have “Easter Flowers” written in the memo line.
EASTER EGGS: Please bring filled easter eggs to the church office for the children to hunt after the festival service on Easter Sunday.
SUN, MAR 25 ONE GREAT HOUR OF SHARING: This special offering of the United Church of Christ will be received on Palm Sunday, March 25.  The One Great Hour of Sharing offering is taken by mainline denominations in the United States and it is used to help people around the world, including the US, in times of crisis.  Church sponsored organizations use the money to provide aid in times of famine, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other disasters and crisis situations.  Please pray about what you are able to give so that others may know the compassion of Christ in tangible ways in times of need.  
SUN, MAR 25 REFRESHMENTS: In lieu of Sunday Celebrations, there will be light refreshments following worship on Sunday March 25th. Bring a snack to share if you like.
HOLY WEEK & EASTER
SUN, MAR 25 PALM SUNDAY: The service begins outside with the blessing of the palms. Please bring a palm branch and some to share if you can. The One Great Hour of Sharing Offering will be collected this Sunday. This offering is taken by mainline denominations in the United States and it is used to help people around the world, including the US, in times of crisis.
THU, MAR 29 MAUNDY THURSDAY: This is a night to remember Jesus’ last supper with his friends and followers. A light soup supper will be served at 6:00pm in the Fellowship Hall followed by a service of communion and Tenebrae in the sanctuary at 7:00. All are welcome at this solemn service of remembrance.
FRI, MAR 30 GOOD FRIDAY: There will be a guided labyrinth walk at noon related to the crucifixion of Jesus. The sanctuary will be open for meditation and prayer from noon until 3:00pm.
SUN, APR 1 EASTER: The celebration of Easter begins with a sunrise service at 7:00am outdoors on the church grounds followed by breakfast in the Fellowship Hall.
The Festival Service begins at 10:30am. This is an intergenerational service celebrating the power of Love that is stronger than death. The season of spring is a reminder that new life bursts forth even in the least expected places.
An Easter Egg hunt will be held following the Festival Service along with refreshments on the church grounds.
SUN, APR 15 ANNIVERSARY SUNDAY: Reserve your seat now for this celebration dinner! Forms available at church on Sunday. And talk to Bill Parsons about ordering an anniversary t-shirt.
LABYRINTH MAKEOVER: The labyrinth on the lawn at Lakewood has had a makeover thanks to the help of Melanie Moore and Bob Bell. Please use the labyrinth anytime you would like for reflection and prayer. It is always “open.”

COMMUNITY EVENTS

CIW ACTION: Five-day fast to fight sexual violence against women farmworkers underway outside Manhattan office of Wendy’s Board Chairman Nelson Peltz. Read more on the coalition website.
ONLINE PETITIONS: Urge your lawmakers to vote in ways that promote peace! Visit Equal Justice USA to support an end to the death penalty and  Move On to support a ban on military-style assault weapons and large capacity magazines.
WED, APR 4 MLK REMEMBRANCE: The community is invited to come together to commemorate the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the 50th anniversary of that terrible event April 4th, 7pm at The Palladium Theater (253 5th Ave N). The evening will include readings of excerpts from Dr. King’s writings and speeches, recollections of historic events in St. Petersburg, and musical performances. Participants include Bob Devin Jones, City Administrator Kanika Tomalin, Terri Lipsey Scott, Sharon Scott, Alex Harris and One City Chorus.
SUN, APR 8 SOCIAL JUSTICE LECTURE: Les Leopold, co-founder of the Labor Institute and author of Runaway Inequality: An Activist’s Guide to Economic Justice will give a lecture on causes and solutions to economic inequality at 4:30pm Sunday, April 8th at Temple Beth El (400 Pasadena Ave S). For more information call the Temple office at (727) 347-613.
WED, APR 11 ORGANIZING MEETING: The Poor People’s Campaign, A National Call for a Moral Revival, is building a movement to overcome systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, and the war economy. Come hear about this movement and how you can be involved Wednesday, April 11th at the Quaker Meeting Hall (130 19th Ave SE).
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.
THERE IS HOPE – COMMUNITY: Wally LeBlanc will have cards available for sale on Sun. May 6th. The mission for May card sales is still yet to be determined.
Ministry item for months of March and April is deodorant, these will be given to
Daystar to be used for their work. There will be a box in the back of Sanctuary for items to be placed in.
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.
CONTACTING YOUR REPRESENTATIVES IN WASHINGTON: If you are interested in calling, emailing or writing your representatives in congress, here is some contact information:

Senator Bill Nelson
716 Senate Hart Office Building, Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-5274
Tampa office: 801 N. Florida Ave., 4th Floor, Tampa, FL 33602
Phone: 813-225-7040
www.billnelson.senate.gov (Click “Contact” to write a message)

Senator Marco Rubio
284 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington DC, 20510
Phone: 202-224-3041
Tampa office: 5201 West Kennedy Blvd, Ste. 530, Tampa, FL 33609
Phone: 813-287-5035
www.rubio.senate.gov (Click “Contact” to write a message)

Dist. 14: Rep. Kathy Castor
2052 Rayburn House Office Bldg., Washington DC 20515
Tampa Office 4144 N. Armenia Avenue Tampa FL 33607
Website: www.castor.house.gov (Click “Contact” to write a message)
(202) 225-3376 Washington
(727) 392-4100 St. Petersburg
(813) 871-2817 Tampa

District 13: Rep. Charlie Crist
427 Cannon House Office Bldg., Washington, DC 20515
696 1st Avenue North, Suite #203 St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Website: www.crist.house.gov (Click “Contact” to write a message)
(202) 225-5961 Washington
1-(888) 205-5569 District office

If you are living outside Florida or local districts, you may phone your Member of Congress by calling the U.S. Capitol Switchboard (202) 224-3121. Visit americantrails.org for additional contact information.

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.
NEW MEMBERS: Lakewood UCC is always ready to welcome new members into the church family. Joining the church involves attending an orientation session and being part of a Reception of New Members ritual during Sunday morning worship.
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.
FREE ECO-THEOLOGY COURSE: Yale is offering three free courses centering on eco-theologian Thomas Berry and the application of his work and writing to understanding the gift of God’s creation and our relationship to it. This is an excellent opportunity for individuals or small groups in churches to participate in the course. Learn more about this exciting opportunity at coursera.org.
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.
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 at https://soundcloud.com/luccpodcasts – please tell your friends who might enjoy listening! Keep checking back, more and more will be added each week.
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.
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.
childrenYOUNG PEOPLE AT LAKEWOOD: Children and young people are a vital part of the LUCC family. Middle School age children and younger are invited to participate in Church School with Grace Lewis. Preschool children are welcome in the Nursery under the able care of Claudia Rodriguez. All children return to the sanctuary during the offering so they can participate at 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

Katharine Conover & the family and loved ones of Martin Keane, Betty Harris,
Ruth Halderman’s family and friends, Ruth Harrington’s family and friends, Carolyn Moore, Willy Zessoules, Genevieve Jackle,
 Ann Quinn

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Weekly Update 15 March

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

COMING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

SUN, MAR 18 THIS SUNDAY: These Lenten Sundays are a time to think about how the church needs to be a Foundation for the Future.
EASTER FLOWERS: The time to order Easter Flowers is now! Fill out a form on Sunday or e-mail the church office with your name, the number of plants you would like to buy ($10 each) and who they are in honor or memory of. Make sure checks have “Easter Flowers” written in the memo line.
MAR 20 & 25 NEW MEMBERS: The church will be receiving new members Sunday March 25. Those interested in church membership are invited to speak with Rev. Wells. There will be two orientation sessions for those who are new to LUCC or who are interested in exploring membership. They will be held Tuesday March 20, one at 2:00 and one at 7:00. The sessions are the same. Choose the one most convenient for you. The orientation will offer a brief look at the history and mission of LUCC. All are welcome!
SUN, MAR 25 ONE GREAT HOUR OF SHARING: This special offering of the United Church of Christ will be received on Palm Sunday, March 25.  The One Great Hour of Sharing offering is taken by mainline denominations in the United States and it is used to help people around the world, including the US, in times of crisis.  Church sponsored organizations use the money to provide aid in times of famine, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other disasters and crisis situations.  Please pray about what you are able to give so that others may know the compassion of Christ in tangible ways in times of need.  
SUPPLIES NEEDED: Wally LeBlanc is collecting bath towels and deodorant to distribute to various shelters and others in need. Bath towels can be used or new – if used no stains or holes. Please bring towels to the church or contact Wally to make arrangements for getting them to him.
SUN, FEB 18 – MAR 18 SUNDAYS IN LENT: Services begin at 10:30 and focus on new directions in Christian expression that can form a solid “Foundation for the Future” as the church seeks to serve the world in the years ahead.
SUN, MAR 25 PALM SUNDAY: The service begins outside with the blessing of the palms. Please bring a palm branch and some to share if you can. The One Great Hour of Sharing Offering will be collected this Sunday. This offering is taken by mainline denominations in the United States and it is used to help people around the world, including the US, in times of crisis.
THU, MAR 29 MAUNDY THURSDAY: This is a night to remember Jesus’ last supper with his friends and followers. A light soup supper will be served at 6:00pm in the Fellowship Hall followed by a service of communion and Tenebrae in the sanctuary at 7:00. All are welcome at this solemn service of remembrance.
FRI, MAR 30 GOOD FRIDAY: There will be a guided labyrinth walk at noon related to the crucifixion of Jesus. The sanctuary will be open for meditation and prayer from noon until 3:00pm.
SUN, APR 1 EASTER: The celebration of Easter begins with a sunrise service at 7:00am outdoors on the church grounds followed by breakfast in the Fellowship Hall.
The Festival Service begins at 10:30am. This is an intergenerational service celebrating the power of Love that is stronger than death. The season of spring is a reminder that new life bursts forth even in the least expected places.
An Easter Egg hunt will be held following the Festival Service along with refreshments on the church grounds.
SAT, MAR 24 MARCH FOR OUR LIVES: On Saturday March 24, thousands of people will gather in Washington, D.C. for the March for Our Lives a march in support of sane gun laws. Susan Pomeroy from the LUCC family is planning to go and would like to know if there are others from the church family who want to go as well. Please be in touch with Susan. Many thanks to Susan for making this witness. There is a sister march planned for St. Petersburg, visit facebook for more information. “Blessed are the peacemakers.”
SAT, MAR 24 GREENFEST: Wally LeBlanc is having a booth once again at IRB Greenfest representing LUCC. If you are interested in volunteering for 2 or 3 hours on the day of the event or assisting with preparations beforehand please email Wally. The 11th Annual Indian Rocks Beach Greenfest will be March 24th from 10am to 5pm on the block of 24th Avenue & 1st Street in Indian Rocks Beach.
SUN, MAR 25 REFRESHMENTS: In lieu of Sunday Celebrations, there will be light refreshments following worship on Sunday March 25th. Bring a snack to share if you like.
SUN, APR 15 ANNIVERSARY SUNDAY: Reserve your seat now for this celebration dinner! Forms available at church on Sunday.
LABYRINTH MAKEOVER: The labyrinth on the lawn at Lakewood has had a makeover thanks to the help of Melanie Moore and Bob Bell. Please use the labyrinth anytime you would like for reflection and prayer. It is always “open.”

COMMUNITY EVENTS

CIW ACTION: Five-day fast to fight sexual violence against women farmworkers underway outside Manhattan office of Wendy’s Board Chairman Nelson Peltz. Read more on the coalition website.
ONLINE PETITIONS: Urge your lawmakers to vote in ways that promote peace! Visit Equal Justice USA to support an end to the death penalty and  Move On to support a ban on military-style assault weapons and large capacity magazines.
SUN, MAR 18 FLORIDA AIDS WALK: Wally LeBlanc is participating in the Florida AIDS Walk as a sleepwalker meaning he won’t be walking but is fundraising. If you would like to donate, you can do so online or if you would like to donate with cash or check see Wally on Sunday after church.
WED MAR 21 SOLAR CO-OP INFO SESSION: 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. Wednesday, March 21, 6:00-7:30pm at the West St Petersburg Library
(6700 8th Ave N). 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. RSVP for the event.
SUN, APR 8 SOCIAL JUSTICE LECTURE: Les Leopold, co-founder of the Labor Institute and author of Runaway Inequality: An Activist’s Guide to Economic Justice will give a lecture on causes and solutions to economic inequality at 4:30pm Sunday, April 8th at Temple Beth El (400 Pasadena Ave S). For more information call the Temple office at (727) 347-613.
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.
THERE IS HOPE – COMMUNITY: Wally LeBlanc will have cards available for sale on Sun. March 18th. The mission for March is Daystar, funds from card sales will go to benefit DaystarMinistry item for months of March and April is deodorant, these will be given to Daystar to be used for their work. There will be a box in the back of Sanctuary for items to be placed in.
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.
CONTACTING YOUR REPRESENTATIVES IN WASHINGTON: If you are interested in calling, emailing or writing your representatives in congress, here is some contact information:

Senator Bill Nelson
716 Senate Hart Office Building, Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-5274
Tampa office: 801 N. Florida Ave., 4th Floor, Tampa, FL 33602
Phone: 813-225-7040
www.billnelson.senate.gov (Click “Contact” to write a message)

Senator Marco Rubio
284 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington DC, 20510
Phone: 202-224-3041
Tampa office: 5201 West Kennedy Blvd, Ste. 530, Tampa, FL 33609
Phone: 813-287-5035
www.rubio.senate.gov (Click “Contact” to write a message)

Dist. 14: Rep. Kathy Castor
2052 Rayburn House Office Bldg., Washington DC 20515
Tampa Office 4144 N. Armenia Avenue Tampa FL 33607
Website: www.castor.house.gov (Click “Contact” to write a message)
(202) 225-3376 Washington
(727) 392-4100 St. Petersburg
(813) 871-2817 Tampa

District 13: Rep. Charlie Crist
427 Cannon House Office Bldg., Washington, DC 20515
696 1st Avenue North, Suite #203 St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Website: www.crist.house.gov (Click “Contact” to write a message)
(202) 225-5961 Washington
1-(888) 205-5569 District office

If you are living outside Florida or local districts, you may phone your Member of Congress by calling the U.S. Capitol Switchboard (202) 224-3121. Visit americantrails.org for additional contact information.

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.
NEW MEMBERS: Lakewood UCC is always ready to welcome new members into the church family. Joining the church involves attending an orientation session and being part of a Reception of New Members ritual during Sunday morning worship.
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.
FREE ECO-THEOLOGY COURSE: Yale is offering three free courses centering on eco-theologian Thomas Berry and the application of his work and writing to understanding the gift of God’s creation and our relationship to it. This is an excellent opportunity for individuals or small groups in churches to participate in the course. Learn more about this exciting opportunity at coursera.org.
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.
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 at https://soundcloud.com/luccpodcasts – please tell your friends who might enjoy listening! Keep checking back, more and more will be added each week.
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.
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.
childrenYOUNG PEOPLE AT LAKEWOOD: Children and young people are a vital part of the LUCC family. Middle School age children and younger are invited to participate in Church School with Grace Lewis. Preschool children are welcome in the Nursery under the able care of Claudia Rodriguez. All children return to the sanctuary during the offering so they can participate at 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

Katharine Conover & the family and loved ones of Martin Keane, Betty Harris,
Ruth Halderman’s family and friends, Ruth Harrington’s family and friends, Carolyn Moore, Bert and Joyce Lee, Willy Zessoules, Genevieve Jackle,
 Ann Quinn

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Weekly Update 8 March

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

COMING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

SUN, MAR 11 THIS SUNDAY: These Lenten Sundays are a time to think about how the church needs to be a Foundation for the Future.  This Sunday is a time to reflect on an individualist approach to life and a communitarian approach.  What is needed by the world going forward?  What is in keeping with the Christian tradition?  See Jeremiah 31:31-34 and John 12:20-15.
SUN, MAR 11 DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME BEGINS: Don’t forget to set your clocks ahead an hour (perhaps for the last time? Florida Lawmakers Vote to Stay in Daylight Savings Time All Year Long).
FRI, MAR 9 MEMORIAL SERVICE:  Ruth Harrington of the LUCC congregation and a resident of Westminster Suncoast died Saturday February 17th.  Sincere sympathy is expressed to her family and friends. A service to celebrate her life will be held on Friday, March 9th at 1pm at Westminster Suncoast chapel.
SAT, MAR 10 FUNERAL:  Ruth Halderman of the LUCC congregation died Saturday February 24th.  Sincere sympathy is expressed to her family and friends. Her funeral will be held on Saturday, March 10th at 1pm here in Lakewood’s Sanctuary with a reception to follow in the Fellowship Hall.
SUPPLIES NEEDED: Wally LeBlanc is collecting bath towels and deodorant to distribute to various shelters and others in need. Bath towels can be used or new – if used no stains or holes. Please bring towels to the church or contact Wally to make arrangements for getting them to him.
SUN, FEB 18 – MAR 18 SUNDAYS IN LENT: Services begin at 10:30 and focus on new directions in Christian expression that can form a solid “Foundation for the Future” as the church seeks to serve the world in the years ahead.
WED, FEB 21 – MAR 14 WEDNESDAY PRAYERS: Gatherings from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. for the ancient prayer practice of lectio divina, praying the scriptures. Lectio Divina is not a Bible study. It matters not whether a person knows very little about the Bible or is a biblical scholar. Led by Rev. Emily Bell.
SUN, MAR 25 PALM SUNDAY: The service begins outside with the blessing of the palms. Please bring a palm branch and some to share if you can. The One Great Hour of Sharing Offering will be collected this Sunday. This offering is taken by mainline denominations in the United States and it is used to help people around the world, including the US, in times of crisis.
THU, MAR 29 MAUNDY THURSDAY: This is a night to remember Jesus’ last supper with his friends and followers. A light soup supper will be served at 6:00pm in the Fellowship Hall followed by a service of communion and Tenebrae in the sanctuary at 7:00. All are welcome at this solemn service of remembrance.
FRI, MAR 30 GOOD FRIDAY: There will be a guided labyrinth walk at noon related to the crucifixion of Jesus. The sanctuary will be open for meditation and prayer from noon until 3:00pm.
SUN, APR 1 EASTER: The celebration of Easter begins with a sunrise service at 7:00am outdoors on the church grounds followed by breakfast in the Fellowship Hall.
The Festival Service begins at 10:30am. This is an intergenerational service celebrating the power of Love that is stronger than death. The season of spring is a reminder that new life bursts forth even in the least expected places.
An Easter Egg hunt will be held following the Festival Service along with refreshments on the church grounds.
SAT, MAR 24 MARCH FOR OUR LIVES: On Saturday March 24, thousands of people will gather in Washington, D.C. for the March for Our Lives a march in support of sane gun laws. Susan Pomeroy from the LUCC family is planning to go and would like to know if there are others from the church family who want to go as well. Please be in touch with Susan. Many thanks to Susan for making this witness. “Blessed are the peacemakers.”
SAT, MAR 24 GREENFEST: Wally LeBlanc is having a booth once again at IRB Greenfest representing LUCC. If you are interested in volunteering for 2 or 3 hours on the day of the event or assisting with preparations beforehand please email Wally. The 11th Annual Indian Rocks Beach Greenfest will be March 24th from 10am to 5pm on the block of 24th Avenue & 1st Street in Indian Rocks Beach.
SUN, MAR 25 REFRESHMENTS: In lieu of Sunday Celebrations, there will be light refreshments following worship on Sunday March 25th. Bring a snack to share if you like.
SUN, APR 15 ANNIVERSARY SUNDAY: Reserve your seat now for this celebration dinner! Forms available at church on Sunday.
LABYRINTH MAKEOVER: The labyrinth on the lawn at Lakewood has had a makeover thanks to the help of Melanie Moore and Bob Bell. Please use the labyrinth anytime you would like for reflection and prayer. It is always “open.”

COMMUNITY EVENTS

ONLINE PETITIONS: Urge your lawmakers to vote in ways that promote peace! Visit Equal Justice USA to support an end to the death penalty and  Move On to support a ban on military-style assault weapons and large capacity magazines.
THU, MAR 8 ADVOCACY TRAINING: Women are Making Democracy Work! Celebrate International Women’s Day by putting more in your advocacy tool chest. 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. The goal is to empower everyday activists to find their passion, get involved and go make a difference. Thursday, March 8, 6:15 – 8:45pm at Allendale United Methodist Church (3803 Haines Rd N). Everyone is invited. Refreshments provided. Registration is free, but required.
SUN, MAR 18 FLORIDA AIDS WALK: Wally LeBlanc is participating in the Florida AIDS Walk as a sleepwalker meaning he won’t be walking but is fundraising. If you would like to donate, you can do so online or if you would like to donate with cash or check see Wally on Sunday after church.
WED MAR 21 SOLAR CO-OP INFO SESSION: 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. Wednesday, March 21, 6:00-7:30pm at the West St Petersburg Library
(6700 8th Ave N). 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. RSVP for the event.
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.
THERE IS HOPE – COMMUNITY: Wally LeBlanc will have cards available for sale on Sun. March 18th. The mission for March is Daystar, funds from card sales will go to benefit DaystarMinistry item for months of March and April is deodorant, these will be given to Daystar to be used for their work. There will be a box in the back of Sanctuary for items to be placed in.
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.
CONTACTING YOUR REPRESENTATIVES IN WASHINGTON: If you are interested in calling, emailing or writing your representatives in congress, here is some contact information:

Senator Bill Nelson
716 Senate Hart Office Building, Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-5274
Tampa office: 801 N. Florida Ave., 4th Floor, Tampa, FL 33602
Phone: 813-225-7040
www.billnelson.senate.gov (Click “Contact” to write a message)

Senator Marco Rubio
284 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington DC, 20510
Phone: 202-224-3041
Tampa office: 5201 West Kennedy Blvd, Ste. 530, Tampa, FL 33609
Phone: 813-287-5035
www.rubio.senate.gov (Click “Contact” to write a message)

Dist. 14: Rep. Kathy Castor
2052 Rayburn House Office Bldg., Washington DC 20515
Tampa Office 4144 N. Armenia Avenue Tampa FL 33607
Website: www.castor.house.gov (Click “Contact” to write a message)
(202) 225-3376 Washington
(727) 392-4100 St. Petersburg
(813) 871-2817 Tampa

District 13: Rep. Charlie Crist
427 Cannon House Office Bldg., Washington, DC 20515
696 1st Avenue North, Suite #203 St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Website: www.crist.house.gov (Click “Contact” to write a message)
(202) 225-5961 Washington
1-(888) 205-5569 District office

If you are living outside Florida or local districts, you may phone your Member of Congress by calling the U.S. Capitol Switchboard (202) 224-3121. Visit americantrails.org for additional contact information.

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.
NEW MEMBERS: Lakewood UCC is always ready to welcome new members into the church family. Joining the church involves attending an orientation session and being part of a Reception of New Members ritual during Sunday morning worship.
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.
FREE ECO-THEOLOGY COURSE: Yale is offering three free courses centering on eco-theologian Thomas Berry and the application of his work and writing to understanding the gift of God’s creation and our relationship to it. This is an excellent opportunity for individuals or small groups in churches to participate in the course. Learn more about this exciting opportunity at coursera.org.
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.
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 at https://soundcloud.com/luccpodcasts – please tell your friends who might enjoy listening! Keep checking back, more and more will be added each week.
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.
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.
childrenYOUNG PEOPLE AT LAKEWOOD: Children and young people are a vital part of the LUCC family. Middle School age children and younger are invited to participate in Church School with Grace Lewis. Preschool children are welcome in the Nursery under the able care of Claudia Rodriguez. All children return to the sanctuary during the offering so they can participate at 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

Katharine Conover & the family and loved ones of Martin Keane, Betty Harris,
Ruth Halderman’s family and friends, Ruth Harrington’s family and friends, Carolyn Moore, Bert and Joyce Lee, Willy Zessoules, Genevieve Jackle,
 Ann Quinn, Vita Uth

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Weekly Update 1 March

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

COMING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

SUN, MAR 4 THIS SUNDAY: Grace. It’s one of the hardest things to accept because it is free and beyond our control. Being Christian in a market driven culture can be a challenge. The story of Jesus turning over the table of the money changers in the Temple encourages reflection on faith and accounting. See John 2:13-22.
SUN, MAR 4 COMMUNION: All are welcome to participate in communion at Lakewood UCC, children at the discretion of the adults who brought them. The communion offering goes to the Special Needs Fund which is used to help people in our community and the congregation with basic necessities such as food, rent, utilities, and prescription medication costs. Please be generous as you are able.
SAT, MAR 3 MEMORIAL SERVICE: Gertrude (Gertie) Pirazzini died on Wednesday January 17th, she was 89 years old. Condolences go to her family and friends, especially Kim and Jeff Wells, her daughter and son-in-law. A service to celebrate her life will be held on Saturday, March 3rd here in Lakewood’s Sanctuary at 11am with luncheon to follow in Fellowship Hall.
FRI, MAR 9 MEMORIAL SERVICE:  Ruth Harrington of the LUCC congregation and a resident of Westminster Suncoast died Saturday February 17th.  Sincere sympathy is expressed to her family and friends. A service to celebrate her life will be held on Friday, March 9th at 1pm at Westminster Suncoast chapel.
SAT, MAR 10 FUNERAL:  Ruth Halderman of the LUCC congregation died Saturday February 24th.  Sincere sympathy is expressed to her family and friends. Her funeral will be held on Saturday, March 10th at 1pm here in Lakewood’s Sanctuary with a reception to follow in the Fellowship Hall.
BATH TOWELS NEEDED: Wally LeBlanc is need of bath towels to distribute to various shelters and others in need. Bath towels can be used or new – if used no stains or holes. Please bring towels to the church or contact Wally to make arrangements for getting them to him.
SUN, FEB 18 – MAR 18 SUNDAYS IN LENT: Services begin at 10:30 and focus on new directions in Christian expression that can form a solid “Foundation for the Future” as the church seeks to serve the world in the years ahead.
WED, FEB 21 – MAR 21 WEDNESDAY PRAYERS: Gatherings from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. for the ancient prayer practice of lectio divina, praying the scriptures. Lectio Divina is not a Bible study. It matters not whether a person knows very little about the Bible or is a biblical scholar. Led by Rev. Emily Bell.
SUN, MAR 25 PALM SUNDAY: The service begins outside with the blessing of the palms. Please bring a palm branch and some to share if you can.
THU, MAR 29 MAUNDY THURSDAY: This is a night to remember Jesus’ last supper with his friends and followers. A light soup supper will be served at 6:00pm in the Fellowship Hall followed by a service of communion and Tenebrae in the sanctuary at 7:00. All are welcome at this solemn service of remembrance.
FRI, MAR 30 GOOD FRIDAY: There will be a guided labyrinth walk at noon related to the crucifixion of Jesus. The sanctuary will be open for meditation and prayer from noon until 3:00pm.
SUN, APR 1 EASTER: The celebration of Easter begins with a sunrise service at 7:00am outdoors on the church grounds followed by breakfast in the Fellowship Hall.
The Festival Service begins at 10:30am. This is an intergenerational service celebrating the power of Love that is stronger than death. The season of spring is a reminder that new life bursts forth even in the least expected places.
An Easter Egg hunt will be held following the Festival Service along with refreshments on the church grounds.
SAT, MAR 24 GREENFEST: Wally LeBlanc is having a booth once again at IRB Greenfest representing LUCC. If you are interested in volunteering for 2 or 3 hours on the day of the event or assisting with preparations beforehand please email Wally. The 11th Annual Indian Rocks Beach Greenfest will be March 24th from 10am to 5pm on the block of 24th Avenue & 1st Street in Indian Rocks Beach.
SUN, MAR 25 REFRESHMENTS: In lieu of Sunday Celebrations, there will be light refreshments following worship on Sunday March 25th. Bring a snack to share if you like.
SUN, APR 15 ANNIVERSARY SUNDAY: Save the date for this big celebration coming up!
LABYRINTH MAKEOVER: The labyrinth on the lawn at Lakewood has had a makeover thanks to the help of Melanie Moore and Bob Bell. Please use the labyrinth anytime you would like for reflection and prayer. It is always “open.”

COMMUNITY EVENTS

ONLINE PETITIONS: Urge your lawmakers to vote in ways that promote peace! Visit Equal Justice USA to support an end to the death penalty and  Move On to support a ban on military-style assault weapons and large capacity magazines.
WED, MAR 7 INNOCENCE PROJECT EVENT: Meet James Bain, an innocent man who suffered in Florida’s prisons for 35 years. Wednesday, March 7th, 6:30pm at Allendale United Methodist Church (3803 Haines Rd N). Discuss the causes of wrongful conviction and what needs to change to improve the Criminal Justice System.
THU, MAR 8 ADVOCACY TRAINING: Women are Making Democracy Work! Celebrate International Women’s Day by putting more in your advocacy tool chest. 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. The goal is to empower everyday activists to find their passion, get involved and go make a difference. Thursday, March 8, 6:15 – 8:45pm at Allendale United Methodist Church (3803 Haines Rd N). Everyone is invited. Refreshments provided. Registration is free, but required.
SUN, MAR 18 FLORIDA AIDS WALK: Wally LeBlanc is participating in the Florida AIDS Walk as a sleepwalker meaning he won’t be walking but is fundraising. If you would like to donate, you can do so online or if you would like to donate with cash or check see Wally on Sunday after church.
WED MAR 21 SOLAR CO-OP INFO SESSION: 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. Wednesday, March 21, 6:00-7:30pm at the West St Petersburg Library
(6700 8th Ave N). 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. RSVP for the event.
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.
THERE IS HOPE – COMMUNITY: Wally LeBlanc will have cards available for sale on Sun. March 18th. The mission for March is Daystar, funds from card sales will go to benefit DaystarMinistry item for months of March and April is deodorant, these will be given to Daystar to be used for their work. There will be a box in the back of Sanctuary for items to be placed in.
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.
CONTACTING YOUR REPRESENTATIVES IN WASHINGTON: If you are interested in calling, emailing or writing your representatives in congress, here is some contact information:

Senator Bill Nelson
716 Senate Hart Office Building, Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-5274
Tampa office: 801 N. Florida Ave., 4th Floor, Tampa, FL 33602
Phone: 813-225-7040
www.billnelson.senate.gov (Click “Contact” to write a message)

Senator Marco Rubio
284 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington DC, 20510
Phone: 202-224-3041
Tampa office: 5201 West Kennedy Blvd, Ste. 530, Tampa, FL 33609
Phone: 813-287-5035
www.rubio.senate.gov (Click “Contact” to write a message)

Dist. 14: Rep. Kathy Castor
2052 Rayburn House Office Bldg., Washington DC 20515
Tampa Office 4144 N. Armenia Avenue Tampa FL 33607
Website: www.castor.house.gov (Click “Contact” to write a message)
(202) 225-3376 Washington
(727) 392-4100 St. Petersburg
(813) 871-2817 Tampa

District 13: Rep. Charlie Crist
427 Cannon House Office Bldg., Washington, DC 20515
696 1st Avenue North, Suite #203 St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Website: www.crist.house.gov (Click “Contact” to write a message)
(202) 225-5961 Washington
1-(888) 205-5569 District office

If you are living outside Florida or local districts, you may phone your Member of Congress by calling the U.S. Capitol Switchboard (202) 224-3121. Visit americantrails.org for additional contact information.

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.
NEW MEMBERS: Lakewood UCC is always ready to welcome new members into the church family. Joining the church involves attending an orientation session and being part of a Reception of New Members ritual during Sunday morning worship.
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.
FREE ECO-THEOLOGY COURSE: Yale is offering three free courses centering on eco-theologian Thomas Berry and the application of his work and writing to understanding the gift of God’s creation and our relationship to it. This is an excellent opportunity for individuals or small groups in churches to participate in the course. Learn more about this exciting opportunity at coursera.org.
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.
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 at https://soundcloud.com/luccpodcasts – please tell your friends who might enjoy listening! Keep checking back, more and more will be added each week.
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.
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.
childrenYOUNG PEOPLE AT LAKEWOOD: Children and young people are a vital part of the LUCC family. Middle School age children and younger are invited to participate in Church School with Grace Lewis. Preschool children are welcome in the Nursery under the able care of Claudia Rodriguez. All children return to the sanctuary during the offering so they can participate at 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

Katharine Conover & the family and loved ones of Martin Keane, Betty Harris,
Ruth Halderman’s family and friends, Ruth Harrington’s family and friends, Carolyn Moore, Bert and Joyce Lee, Willy Zessoules, Genevieve Jackle,
 Ann Quinn, Vita Uth

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Weekly Update 22 February

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

COMING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

SUN, FEB 25 THIS SUNDAY: What does God’s covenant with Noah mean for the church today? How is this a Foundation for the Future going into the 21st century and beyond? See Genesis 9:8-17. Earl Waters will be doing a Moment for Mission on his experience at the gun violence rally in Tallahassee this week.
SUN, FEB 25 REFRESHMENTS: In lieu of Sunday Celebrations, there will be light refreshments following worship on Lenten Sundays. Bring a snack to share if you like.
SAT, FEB 17 IN MEMORIAM:  Ruth Harrington of the LUCC congregation and a resident of Westminster Suncoast died Saturday February 17th.  Sincere sympathy is expressed to her family and friends. Information about a service will be shared when arrangements have been made.
SUN, FEB 25 UNBROKEN CIRCLES MEETING: There will be a meeting following worship on Sunday, 25 February. All are welcome to attend.
BATH TOWELS WANTED: Wally LeBlanc is need of bath towels to distribute to various shelters and others in need. Bath towels can be used or new – if used no stains or holes. Please bring towels to the church or contact Wally to make arrangements for getting them to him.
MASS SHOOTING VICTIMS: Last Sunday, Colleen Coughenour created an installation in the sanctuary to remember those killed by gun violence including the Parkland shooting. The installation will be up through the season of Lent. Many thanks to Colleen for this moving witness! See a picture and full description here.
SUN, FEB 18 – MAR 18 SUNDAYS IN LENT: Services begin at 10:30 and focus on new directions in Christian expression that can form a solid “Foundation for the Future” as the church seeks to serve the world in the years ahead.
WED, FEB 21 – MAR 21 WEDNESDAY PRAYERS: Gatherings from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. for the ancient prayer practice of lectio divina, praying the scriptures. Lectio Divina is not a Bible study. It matters not whether a person knows very little about the Bible or is a biblical scholar. Led by Rev. Emily Bell.
SUN, MAR 25 PALM SUNDAY: The service begins outside with the blessing of the palms. Please bring a palm branch and some to share if you can.
THU, MAR 29 MAUNDY THURSDAY: This is a night to remember Jesus’ last supper with his friends and followers. A light soup supper will be served at 6:00pm in the Fellowship Hall followed by a service of communion and Tenebrae in the sanctuary at 7:00. All are welcome at this solemn service of remembrance.
FRI, MAR 30 GOOD FRIDAY: There will be a guided labyrinth walk at noon related to the crucifixion of Jesus. The sanctuary will be open for meditation and prayer from noon until 3:00pm.
SUN, APR 1 EASTER: The celebration of Easter begins with a sunrise service at 7:00am outdoors on the church grounds followed by breakfast in the Fellowship Hall.
The Festival Service begins at 10:30am. This is an intergenerational service celebrating the power of Love that is stronger than death. The season of spring is a reminder that new life bursts forth even in the least expected places.
An Easter Egg hunt will be held following the Festival Service along with refreshments on the church grounds.
SAT, MAR 3 MEMORIAL SERVICE: Gertrude (Gertie) Pirazzini died on Wednesday January 17th, she was 89 years old. Condolences go to her family and friends, especially Kim and Jeff Wells, her daughter and son-in-law. A service to celebrate her life will be held on Saturday, March 3rd here in Lakewood’s Sanctuary at 11am with luncheon to follow in Fellowship Hall.
SAT, MAR 24 GREENFEST: Wally LeBlanc is having a booth once again at IRB Greenfest representing LUCC. If you are interested in volunteering for 2 or 3 hours on the day of the event or assisting with preparations beforehand please email Wally. The 11th Annual Indian Rocks Beach Greenfest will be March 24th from 10am to 5pm on the block of 24th Avenue & 1st Street in Indian Rocks Beach.
SUN, APR 15 ANNIVERSARY SUNDAY: Save the date for this big celebration coming up!
LABYRINTH MAKEOVER: The labyrinth on the lawn at Lakewood has had a makeover thanks to the help of Melanie Moore and Bob Bell. Please use the labyrinth anytime you would like for reflection and prayer. It is always “open.”

COMMUNITY EVENTS

ONLINE PETITIONS: Urge your lawmakers to vote in ways that promote peace! Visit Equal Justice USA to support an end to the death penalty and  Move On to support a ban on military-style assault weapons and large capacity magazines.
FRI, FEB 23 CELEBRATION: Join in a night of celebration and bringing the community together for Black History Month at Enoch Davis Recreation Center (1111 18th Ave S) on Friday, February 23rd from 6 to 8pm.
SAT, FEB 24 BLACK ARTS FESTIVAL: 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). Saturday, February 24 at 11am – 6pm at the Skyway Marina District at Skyway Marina Mall (4301 34th St S). Visit Facebook for more information.
FEB 20 – 23 CONFERENCE: The St. Petersburg Conference on World Affairs is a cooperative venture of a group of civic-minded St. Petersburg residents and the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. The conference will begin with the Keynote Address on February 20th at 6:30 PM. Panels will be February 21-23, 2018 from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM. All panels will be held in the USFSP University Student Center. For more information visit stpetersburgconferenceonworldaffairs.com.
FEB 16-24 FILM FESTIVAL:The 2018 “Visions of Nature/Voices of Nature,” Environmental Film Festival will be held February 16-24. For 20 years, the Environmental Film Festival has brought compelling and important films to the Tampa Bay area to raise awareness and promote discussion of matters relating to nature, place and the environment. Film scholars and filmmakers from around the world engage the audience in a lively dialogue about the environmental perspectives contained in documentary, animated, experimental and feature films. Free and open to the public. Visit environmentalfilmfest.com to see the schedule.
TUE, FEB 27 FILM SCREENING: Backpack Full of Cash, thought-provoking documentary on the privatization of public education, will be shown Tuesday, February 27 at 6:30 – 8:30pm at Allendale United Methodist Church (3803 Haines Rd N). Sponsored by the League of Women Voters of St. Petersburg and North Pinellas, Pinellas Classroom Teachers Association, and Allendale United Methodist Church. The event is free, but registration is required.
SAT, MAR 3 UCC WOMEN’S LUNCH: The Central West Coast Annual Regional Meeting & Luncheon for UCC Women will be March 3rd from 10:00am to 1:30pm at Pilgrim UCC (6315 Central Ave). The theme will be: “Untold Stories: The Unconquered Seminoles” Presented by Barb Coons, State Treasurer. 9:15am Registration in Fellowship Hall. Program begins at 10:00 a.m. Lunch will be served, Cost is $8.00 per person. Please bring nonperishable food items for the Good Samaritan UCC food pantry in Pinellas Park. To ensure there is enough lunch for everyone, please submit your registration with Payment by February 24th. Registration forms are on the bulletin board in the narthex. If you don’t get it mailed in time and plan on attending, please contact Eleanor Rouse by phone (727.215.4752) or email.
WED, MAR 7 INNOCENCE PROJECT EVENT: Meet James Bain, an innocent man who suffered in Florida’s prisons for 35 years. Wednesday, March 7th, 6:30pm at Allendale United Methodist Church (3803 Haines Rd N). Discuss the causes of wrongful conviction and what needs to change to improve the Criminal Justice System.
THU, MAR 8 ADVOCACY TRAINING: Women are Making Democracy Work! Celebrate International Women’s Day by putting more in your advocacy tool chest. 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. The goal is to empower everyday activists to find their passion, get involved and go make a difference. Thursday, March 8, 6:15 – 8:45pm at Allendale United Methodist Church (3803 Haines Rd N). Everyone is invited. Refreshments provided. Registration is free, but required.
SUN, MAR 18 FLORIDA AIDS WALK: Wally LeBlanc is participating in the Florida AIDS Walk as a sleepwalker meaning he won’t be walking but is fundraising. If you would like to donate, you can do so online or if you would like to donate with cash or check see Wally on Sunday after church.
WED MAR 21 SOLAR CO-OP INFO SESSION: 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. Wednesday, March 21, 6:00-7:30pm at the West St Petersburg Library
(6700 8th Ave N). 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. RSVP for the event.
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.
THERE IS HOPE – COMMUNITY: Wally LeBlanc has cards and paintings featuring his artwork for sale. The proceeds will be donated to the roof fund and other community ministries. Thank you, Wally!
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.
CONTACTING YOUR REPRESENTATIVES IN WASHINGTON: If you are interested in calling, emailing or writing your representatives in congress, here is some contact information:

Senator Bill Nelson
716 Senate Hart Office Building, Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-5274
Tampa office: 801 N. Florida Ave., 4th Floor, Tampa, FL 33602
Phone: 813-225-7040
www.billnelson.senate.gov (Click “Contact” to write a message)

Senator Marco Rubio
284 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington DC, 20510
Phone: 202-224-3041
Tampa office: 5201 West Kennedy Blvd, Ste. 530, Tampa, FL 33609
Phone: 813-287-5035
www.rubio.senate.gov (Click “Contact” to write a message)

Dist. 14: Rep. Kathy Castor
2052 Rayburn House Office Bldg., Washington DC 20515
Tampa Office 4144 N. Armenia Avenue Tampa FL 33607
Website: www.castor.house.gov (Click “Contact” to write a message)
(202) 225-3376 Washington
(727) 392-4100 St. Petersburg
(813) 871-2817 Tampa

District 13: Rep. Charlie Crist
427 Cannon House Office Bldg., Washington, DC 20515
696 1st Avenue North, Suite #203 St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Website: www.crist.house.gov (Click “Contact” to write a message)
(202) 225-5961 Washington
1-(888) 205-5569 District office

If you are living outside Florida or local districts, you may phone your Member of Congress by calling the U.S. Capitol Switchboard (202) 224-3121. Visit americantrails.org for additional contact information.

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.
NEW MEMBERS: Lakewood UCC is always ready to welcome new members into the church family. Joining the church involves attending an orientation session and being part of a Reception of New Members ritual during Sunday morning worship.
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.
FREE ECO-THEOLOGY COURSE: Yale is offering three free courses centering on eco-theologian Thomas Berry and the application of his work and writing to understanding the gift of God’s creation and our relationship to it. This is an excellent opportunity for individuals or small groups in churches to participate in the course. Learn more about this exciting opportunity at coursera.org.
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.
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 at https://soundcloud.com/luccpodcasts – please tell your friends who might enjoy listening! Keep checking back, more and more will be added each week.
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.
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.
childrenYOUNG PEOPLE AT LAKEWOOD: Children and young people are a vital part of the LUCC family. Middle School age children and younger are invited to participate in Church School with Grace Lewis. Preschool children are welcome in the Nursery under the able care of Claudia Rodriguez. All children return to the sanctuary during the offering so they can participate at 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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Demand Action on Gun Violence!

In the wake of yet another horrific massacre in our state and as students’ outraged voices join the growing cry demanding action, the Florida Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence (LUCC is a member) and the League of Women Voters of Florida are holding a Rally To Support Gun Safety Reform at noon on Wednesday, Feb. 21 on the steps of the Historic Florida Capitol.

A bus to the rally is departing from Allendale United Methodist Church (3803 Haines Rd N) at 6:30am on Wed, Feb 21. Visit facebook for more information or go to eventbrite to reserve a seat.

If you cannot make it to the protest, consider signing this online petition supporting a ban on military-style assault weapons and large capacity magazines used in the mass shootings like those in Parkland, FL and Newtown, CT.

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LUCC Remembers Victims of Mass Shootings

The last 20 years have seen some of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history:

April 20, 1999 – 13 people killed at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado.

April 16, 2007 – 32 people killed at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia.

November 5, 2009 – 13 people and an unborn child killed at Fort Hood, Texas.

December 14, 2012 – 27 people killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

December 2, 2015 –  14 people killed at Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California.

June 12, 2016 – 49 people killed at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

October 1, 2017 – 58 people killed at a country music festival in Las Vegas, Nevada.

November 5, 2017 – 25 people and an unborn child killed at a small church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

February 14, 2018 – 17 people killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

It’s easy to get lost in those grim statistics. To remember that each victim was a person, a flower shape representing their life hangs in this commemorative installation in the sanctuary.


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Meditations & Reflections for solo piano 05 – Sea Flowers


Simply click on the arrow in the orange circle above to play Sea Flowers — it’s free to play. It is one of the pieces I wrote to play for a series on contemplative moments during a past season at Lakewood UCC. If you wish to hear the complete set of pieces, Meditations & Reflections for solo piano, you may stream the audio at https://soundcloud.com/hilton-kean-jones/sets/meditations-reflections-for-solo-piano. If you want to play them at home on the piano, yourself, you can download the sheet music at hiltonkeanjones.com/music. To buy the CD click on the following link.

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Weekly Update 15 February

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

COMING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

SUN, FEB 18 THIS SUNDAY: .The focus will be on new directions in Christian expression that can form a solid “Foundation for the Future” as the church seeks to serve the world in the years ahead.
SUN, FEB 18 ADVISORS MEETING: The advisors will meet following worship on Sunday. All are welcome to attend.
WED, FEB 21 WESTMINSTER LUNCH: Westminster Suncoast Luncheon Wednesday Feb. 21 at 11:30 in the private dining room at Westminster Suncoast. All residents of the Shores and Suncoast are welcome.
SUN, FEB 25 UNBROKEN CIRCLES MEETING: There will be a meeting following worship on Sunday, 25 February. All are welcome to attend.
BATH TOWELS WANTED: Wally LeBlanc is need of bath towels to distribute to various shelters and others in need. Bath towels can be used or new – if used no stains or holes. Please bring towels to the church or contact Wally to make arrangements for getting them to him.
MANY THANKS: Bill (a retired electrician) and Kim Grant have come to St. Petersburg to visit Martha Lamar for the week. While they are here from Indiana, they expressed the desire to volunteer at the church. Here are some of the projects and repairs that have been done so far:  they worked with Claire Stiles and others (Joyce Lee, Lynn Young, Don Ritchie, Bill Parsons) helping to clean out the garage, installed new LED lights above the piano in the sanctuary, installed a motion detector light near the Fellowship Hall exit, put up new swings on the playground, fixed the faucet in the bathroom off of the library, fixed the communion room door and the northeast door of the sanctuary. Kim and Bill are a delight and the church is so GRATEFUL for their service!  Blessings abound!
ASH WEDNESDAY: Many thanks to the Cospers for hosting the beautiful Ash Wednesday service around a fire, lakeside, in their backyard. Music was provided by Yoko Nogami and her daughter, Tora Alexander (see the video at the website). Jim Andrews had planned to lead music but was sick. Hopefully he is feeling better. Thanks to Janet Blair for preparing communion and to Colleen Coughenour and Mark Gibson for providing s’mores. And many thanks to the 29 people that attended!
SUN, FEB 18 – MAR 18 SUNDAYS IN LENT: Services begin at 10:30 and focus on new directions in Christian expression that can form a solid “Foundation for the Future” as the church seeks to serve the world in the years ahead.
WED, FEB 21 – MAR 21 WEDNESDAY PRAYERS: Gatherings from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. for the ancient prayer practice of lectio divina, praying the scriptures. Lectio Divina is not a Bible study. It matters not whether a person knows very little about the Bible or is a biblical scholar. Led by Rev. Emily Bell.
SUN, MAR 25 PALM SUNDAY: The service begins outside with the blessing of the palms. Please bring a palm branch and some to share if you can.
THU, MAR 29 MAUNDY THURSDAY: This is a night to remember Jesus’ last supper with his friends and followers. A light soup supper will be served at 6:00pm in the Fellowship Hall followed by a service of communion and Tenebrae in the sanctuary at 7:00. All are welcome at this solemn service of remembrance.
FRI, MAR 30 GOOD FRIDAY: There will be a guided labyrinth walk at noon related to the crucifixion of Jesus. The sanctuary will be open for meditation and prayer from noon until 3:00pm.
SUN, APR 1 EASTER: The celebration of Easter begins with a sunrise service at 7:00am outdoors on the church grounds followed by breakfast in the Fellowship Hall.
The Festival Service begins at 10:30am. This is an intergenerational service celebrating the power of Love that is stronger than death. The season of spring is a reminder that new life bursts forth even in the least expected places.
An Easter Egg hunt will be held following the Festival Service along with refreshments on the church grounds.
SAT, MAR 3 MEMORIAL SERVICE: Gertrude (Gertie) Pirazzini died on Wednesday January 17th, she was 89 years old. Condolences go to her family and friends, especially Kim and Jeff Wells, her daughter and son-in-law. A service to celebrate her life will be held on Saturday, March 3rd here in Lakewood’s Sanctuary at 11am with luncheon to follow in Fellowship Hall.
SAT, MAR 24 GREENFEST: Wally LeBlanc is considering having a booth once again at IRB Greenfest representing LUCC. If you are interested in volunteering for 2 or 3 hours on the day of the event or assisting with preparations beforehand please email Wally. The 11th Annual Indian Rocks Beach Greenfest will be March 24th from 10am to 5pm on the block of 24th Avenue & 1st Street in Indian Rocks Beach.

COMMUNITY EVENTS

GUN VIOLENCE: LUCC was a co-sponsor of the League of Women Voters Event on Tuesday night sharing conversations about how to reduce gun violence in St. Petersburg.  Church brochures and the gun violence brochures created by Grace Lewis we handed out at the event. Many thanks to Earl Waters, Patti Cooksey, Sue Sherwood, Lucille Ruga, and Kim Wells for attending. There will be follow up with the congregation about things that can be done to continue to address this important issue especially in light of the Parkland shooting.
PETITION: Legislation to end the death penalty has just been introduced in the Florida Legislature. Urge your lawmakers to co-sponsor the bills and support ending the use of the death penalty. Visit Equal Justice USA for more information.
FRI, FEB 16 CONCERT: One City Chorus Concert featuring the One City Chorus and the Urban Gypsies will be Friday, 16 February at 7:30pm at the Palladium (253 5th Ave N). Music is themed around justice and civil rights. Jeff Wells from LUCC and Leslie Ethredge from the UCC Florida Conference staff sing with the One City Chorus. The Chorus also rehearses occasionally at LUCC when the Carter Woodson Museum is not available.
FEB 20 – 23 CONFERENCE: The St. Petersburg Conference on World Affairs is a cooperative venture of a group of civic-minded St. Petersburg residents and the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. The conference will begin with the Keynote Address on February 20th at 6:30 PM. Panels will be February 21-23, 2018 from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM. All panels will be held in the USFSP University Student Center. For more information visit stpetersburgconferenceonworldaffairs.com.
FEB 16-24 FILM FESTIVAL:The 2018 “Visions of Nature/Voices of Nature,” Environmental Film Festival will be held February 16-24. For 20 years, the Environmental Film Festival has brought compelling and important films to the Tampa Bay area to raise awareness and promote discussion of matters relating to nature, place and the environment. Film scholars and filmmakers from around the world engage the audience in a lively dialogue about the environmental perspectives contained in documentary, animated, experimental and feature films. Free and open to the public. Visit environmentalfilmfest.com to see the schedule.
SAT, MAR 3 UCC WOMEN’S LUNCH: The Central West Coast Annual Regional Meeting & Luncheon for UCC Women will be March 3rd from 10:00am to 1:30pm at Pilgrim UCC (6315 Central Ave). The theme will be: “Untold Stories: The Unconquered Seminoles” Presented by Barb Coons, State Treasurer. 9:15am Registration in Fellowship Hall. Program begins at 10:00 a.m. Lunch will be served, Cost is $8.00 per person. Please bring nonperishable food items for the Good Samaritan UCC food pantry in Pinellas Park. To ensure there is enough lunch for everyone, please submit your registration with Payment by February 24th. Registration forms are on the bulletin board in the narthex. If you don’t get it mailed in time and plan on attending, please contact Eleanor Rouse by phone (727.215.4752) or email.
SUN, MAR 18 FLORIDA AIDS WALK: Wally LeBlanc is participating in the Florida AIDS Walk as a sleepwalker meaning he won’t be walking but is fundraising. If you would like to donate, you can do so online or if you would like to donate with cash or check see Wally on Sunday after church.

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.
THERE IS HOPE – COMMUNITY: Wally LeBlanc has cards and paintings featuring his artwork for sale. The proceeds will be donated to the roof fund and other community ministries. Thank you, Wally!
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.
CONTACTING YOUR REPRESENTATIVES IN WASHINGTON: If you are interested in calling, emailing or writing your representatives in congress, here is some contact information:

Senator Bill Nelson
716 Senate Hart Office Building, Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-5274
Tampa office: 801 N. Florida Ave., 4th Floor, Tampa, FL 33602
Phone: 813-225-7040
www.billnelson.senate.gov (Click “Contact” to write a message)

Senator Marco Rubio
284 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington DC, 20510
Phone: 202-224-3041
Tampa office: 5201 West Kennedy Blvd, Ste. 530, Tampa, FL 33609
Phone: 813-287-5035
www.rubio.senate.gov (Click “Contact” to write a message)

Dist. 14: Rep. Kathy Castor
2052 Rayburn House Office Bldg., Washington DC 20515
Tampa Office 4144 N. Armenia Avenue Tampa FL 33607
Website: www.castor.house.gov (Click “Contact” to write a message)
(202) 225-3376 Washington
(727) 392-4100 St. Petersburg
(813) 871-2817 Tampa

District 13: Rep. Charlie Crist
427 Cannon House Office Bldg., Washington, DC 20515
696 1st Avenue North, Suite #203 St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Website: www.crist.house.gov (Click “Contact” to write a message)
(202) 225-5961 Washington
1-(888) 205-5569 District office

If you are living outside Florida or local districts, you may phone your Member of Congress by calling the U.S. Capitol Switchboard (202) 224-3121. Visit americantrails.org for additional contact information.

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.
NEW MEMBERS: Lakewood UCC is always ready to welcome new members into the church family. Joining the church involves attending an orientation session and being part of a Reception of New Members ritual during Sunday morning worship.
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.
FREE ECO-THEOLOGY COURSE: Yale is offering three free courses centering on eco-theologian Thomas Berry and the application of his work and writing to understanding the gift of God’s creation and our relationship to it. This is an excellent opportunity for individuals or small groups in churches to participate in the course. Learn more about this exciting opportunity at coursera.org.
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.
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 at https://soundcloud.com/luccpodcasts – please tell your friends who might enjoy listening! Keep checking back, more and more will be added each week.
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.
USHERS NEEDED: Please see or email Wally LeBlanc 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.
childrenYOUNG PEOPLE AT LAKEWOOD: Children and young people are a vital part of the LUCC family. Middle School age children and younger are invited to participate in Church School with Grace Lewis. Preschool children are welcome in the Nursery under the able care of Claudia Rodriguez. All children return to the sanctuary during the offering so they can participate at 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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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
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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)

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Pastoral Letter in Response to the Parkland Shooting

Ash Wednesday Evening 2018

Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin. (Psalm 51)

We are desperately in need of mercy. We are painfully in need of knowledge of God’s unfailing love. We are a nation in need of forgiveness and the cleansing of our sin.

Today, on a day of repentance, Parkland, Florida experienced a shooting. A school shooting. A massacre. A national sin. Our hearts break at the news of the twelfth (12!) school shooting of 2018 and the loss of life the scope of which is still unfolding.

Our condolences go out to all involved, but our condolences are not enough. That said, the emptiness we feel in the face of this tragedy can easily cause us to shut down, to isolate ourselves, and to turn from the news in despair. I understand the emptiness because I feel it, too. And so, I pray, ‘have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love,’ and I strive to keep faith with a hurting people, a devastated community, and a nation in need of repentance at our lack of resolve to bring an end to the senseless gun violence that continues to scar the lives of so many young people and their families who start each school day with a hug they hope will be returned later that very same day.

The Florida Conference of the United Church of Christ is a member of the Florida Coalition for the Prevention of Gun Violence and today proves that membership is not enough. Activism and advocacy are essential. It’s past time for the Church to act. It’s past time to stand up to the gun lobbies and to advocate for Jesus’ way of peace that just can’t imagine how sisters and brothers or a nation can dwell together in unity while doing nothing to train our common spirit in the ways of justice, while doing nothing to mitigate the availability of weapons that enable such rampant violence, while doing nothing to stand in the public square and shout with a prophet’s heart that our prayers are not adequate and our faith demands more. We cannot pray “How long, O God, how long!?” and stand by doing nothing in the face of evil.

Pastors, find your people today and console them. People, find your pastors today and ask them to lead with you in a movement to end violence in our communities. Remember especially the people of Parkland, Florida whose anguish cries out and whose pain demands justice. Help build communities where this doesn’t happen. Use your own compassion and power to heal this national sin. And, yes, continue to pray.

Be at peace and be in touch, won’t you.

John Vertigan
Conference Minister

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Weekly Update 8 February

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

COMING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

SUN, FEB 11 THIS SUNDAY: This Sunday marks the end of the season of Epiphany in the church year.  The assigned scripture lesson is the story of the transfiguration, this year, from Mark 9:2-10.  It is a time of transition from Epiphany celebrating the coming of Jesus, the light of the world, and Lent commemorating Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem and the crucifixion.  What does it mean to follow Jesus, the light of the world?  We will all have different answers.
SAT, FEB 10 YARD SALE: Ed Kaspar is having a yard sale on Saturday Feb. 10 from 9-1 at his home (2993 61st Ave S). Items for sale include: household items, kitchen appliances, miscellaneous, jewelry, and clothing.
FEB 12 & 13 GARAGE CLEANING: Claire Stiles and others will be working on cleaning out the church garage on Monday Feb. 12 and Tuesday Feb. 13 from 9am to noon. Please contact Claire if you can help or for more information. Thank you!
WED, FEB 14 ASH WEDNESDAY: There will be a beautiful outdoor service on Wednesday, February 14th from 7-8pm around a fire next to the lake at Chip and Dana Coper’s home. It is a service of reflection on the season of Lent as a time of repentance and renewal. The service will include communion and the imposition of ashes. Bring an outdoor chair if you can. And a stick. If transportation is needed, please contact the church office by phone (727.867.7961) or email.
SUN, FEB 18 – MAR 18 SUNDAYS IN LENT: Services begin at 10:30 and focus on new directions in Christian expression that can form a solid “Foundation for the Future” as the church seeks to serve the world in the years ahead.
WED, FEB 21 – MAR 21 WEDNESDAY PRAYERS: Gatherings from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. for the ancient prayer practice of lectio divina, praying the scriptures. Led by Rev. Emily Bell.
SUN, MAR 25 PALM SUNDAY: The service begins outside with the blessing of the palms. Please bring a palm branch and some to share if you can.
THU, MAR 29 MAUNDY THURSDAY: This is a night to remember Jesus’ last supper with his friends and followers. A light soup supper will be served at 6:00pm in the Fellowship Hall followed by a service of communion and Tenebrae in the sanctuary at 7:00. All are welcome at this solemn service of remembrance.
FRI, MAR 30 GOOD FRIDAY: There will be a guided labyrinth walk at noon related to the crucifixion of Jesus. The sanctuary will be open for meditation and prayer from noon until 3:00pm.
SUN, APR 1 EASTER: The celebration of Easter begins with a sunrise service at 7:00am outdoors on the church grounds followed by breakfast in the Fellowship Hall.
The Festival Service begins at 10:30am. This is an intergenerational service celebrating the power of Love that is stronger than death. The season of spring is a reminder that new life bursts forth even in the least expected places.
An Easter Egg hunt will be held following the Festival Service along with refreshments on the church grounds.
SAT, MAR 3 MEMORIAL SERVICE: Gertrude (Gertie) Pirazzini died on Wednesday January 17th, she was 89 years old. Condolences go to her family and friends, especially Kim and Jeff Wells, her daughter and son-in-law. A service to celebrate her life will be held on Saturday, March 3rd here in Lakewood’s Sanctuary at 11am with luncheon to follow in Fellowship Hall.
SAT, MAR 24 GREENFEST: Wally is considering having a booth once again at IRB Greenfest representing LUCC. If you are interested in volunteering for 2 or 3 hours on the day of the event or assisting with preparations beforehand please email Wally. The 11th Annual Indian Rocks Beach Greenfest will be March 24th from 10am to 5pm on the block of 24th Avenue & 1st Street in Indian Rocks Beach.

COMMUNITY EVENTS

SAT, FEB 10 FILM: The Other Side of Hope, the newest film from Finnish auteur Aki Kaurismäki applies the director’s signature deadpan humor to the contemporary refugee crisis. Kaurismäki won the Silver Bear for Best Director at the 2017 Berlin Film Festival for this comic meditation on home. Free and open to the public. Friday 7-9pm Eckerd College (4200 54th Ave S) Miller Auditorium.
SAT, FEB 10 EXHIBITION: Operation Finale: The Capture and Trial of Adolf Eichmann opens to the public on Saturday 10 February at the Florida Holocaust Museum (55 5th St S). The exhibit is the first in the United States to fully document the pursuit, capture, extradition, and trial of a Nazi war criminal. Visit flholocaustmuseum.org for more information.
SAT, FEB 10 PRAYER BREAKFAST: Celebrate Black History by attending the Legacy Prayer Breakfast on Saturday, 10 February at 10am at Maximo Presbyterian Church (3200 58th Ave S). Aramis Ayala, the State Attorney for for Orange and Seminole Counties, will be speaking. Admission is $15 per person.
TUE, FEB 13 GUN VIOLENCE EVENT: Gun violence has touched a broad cross section of our city and our country, and remains a persistent public safety issue. The League of Women Voters of the St. Petersburg Area invites you to hear local community leaders share their personal stories and professional insights and then join in exploring how we can take personal and collective action.  A primary focus will be the impact on families, children and adolescents. LUCC is a community partner for Preventing Gun Violence: A Community Conversation. It will be held Tuesday, 13 February from 7-8:30pm at Allendale United Methodist Church sanctuary (3803 Haines Rd).
FRI, FEB 16 CONCERT: One City Chorus Concert featuring the One City Chorus and the Urban Gypsies will be Friday, 16 February at 7:30pm at the Palladium (253 5th Ave N). Music is themed around justice and civil rights. Jeff Wells from LUCC and Leslie Ethredge from the UCC Florida Conference staff sing with the One City Chorus. The Chorus also rehearses occasionally at LUCC when the Carter Woodson Museum is not available.
FEB 16-24 FILM FESTIVAL:The 2018 “Visions of Nature/Voices of Nature,” Environmental Film Festival will be held February 16-24. For 20 years, the Environmental Film Festival has brought compelling and important films to the Tampa Bay area to raise awareness and promote discussion of matters relating to nature, place and the environment. Film scholars and filmmakers from around the world engage the audience in a lively dialogue about the environmental perspectives contained in documentary, animated, experimental and feature films. Free and open to the public. Visit environmentalfilmfest.com to see the schedule.
SAT, MAR 3 UCC WOMEN’S LUNCH: The Central West Coast Annual Regional Meeting & Luncheon for UCC Women will be March 3rd from 10:00am to 1:30pm at Pilgrim UCC (6315 Central Ave). The theme will be: “Untold Stories: The Unconquered Seminoles” Presented by Barb Coons, State Treasurer. 9:15am Registration in Fellowship Hall. Program begins at 10:00 a.m. Lunch will be served, Cost is $8.00 per person. Please bring nonperishable food items for the Good Samaritan UCC food pantry in Pinellas Park. To ensure there is enough lunch for everyone, please submit your registration with Payment by February 24th. Registration forms are on the bulletin board in the narthex. If you don’t get it mailed in time and plan on attending, please contact Eleanor Rouse by phone (727.215.4752) or email.

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.
THERE IS HOPE – COMMUNITY: Wally LeBlanc has cards and paintings featuring his artwork for sale. The proceeds will be donated to the roof fund and other community ministries. Thank you, Wally!
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.
CONTACTING YOUR REPRESENTATIVES IN WASHINGTON: If you are interested in calling, emailing or writing your representatives in congress, here is some contact information:

Senator Bill Nelson
716 Senate Hart Office Building, Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-5274
Tampa office: 801 N. Florida Ave., 4th Floor, Tampa, FL 33602
Phone: 813-225-7040
www.billnelson.senate.gov (Click “Contact” to write a message)

Senator Marco Rubio
284 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington DC, 20510
Phone: 202-224-3041
Tampa office: 5201 West Kennedy Blvd, Ste. 530, Tampa, FL 33609
Phone: 813-287-5035
www.rubio.senate.gov (Click “Contact” to write a message)

Dist. 14: Rep. Kathy Castor
2052 Rayburn House Office Bldg., Washington DC 20515
Tampa Office 4144 N. Armenia Avenue Tampa FL 33607
Website: www.castor.house.gov (Click “Contact” to write a message)
(202) 225-3376 Washington
(727) 392-4100 St. Petersburg
(813) 871-2817 Tampa

District 13: Rep. Charlie Crist
427 Cannon House Office Bldg., Washington, DC 20515
696 1st Avenue North, Suite #203 St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Website: www.crist.house.gov (Click “Contact” to write a message)
(202) 225-5961 Washington
1-(888) 205-5569 District office

If you are living outside Florida or local districts, you may phone your Member of Congress by calling the U.S. Capitol Switchboard (202) 224-3121. Visit americantrails.org for additional contact information.

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.
NEW MEMBERS: Lakewood UCC is always ready to welcome new members into the church family. Joining the church involves attending an orientation session and being part of a Reception of New Members ritual during Sunday morning worship.
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.
FREE ECO-THEOLOGY COURSE: Yale is offering three free courses centering on eco-theologian Thomas Berry and the application of his work and writing to understanding the gift of God’s creation and our relationship to it. This is an excellent opportunity for individuals or small groups in churches to participate in the course. Learn more about this exciting opportunity at coursera.org.
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.
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 at https://soundcloud.com/luccpodcasts – please tell your friends who might enjoy listening! Keep checking back, more and more will be added each week.
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.
USHERS NEEDED: Please see or email Wally LeBlanc 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.
childrenYOUNG PEOPLE AT LAKEWOOD: Children and young people are a vital part of the LUCC family. Middle School age children and younger are invited to participate in Church School with Grace Lewis. Preschool children are welcome in the Nursery under the able care of Claudia Rodriguez. All children return to the sanctuary during the offering so they can participate at 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

Betty Harris, Ruth Halderman, Ruth Harrington, Ron Huff, Carolyn Moore, Willy Zessoules, Genevieve Jackle, Gertie Pirazzini’s family and friends, Ann Quinn

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Weekly Update 1 February

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

COMING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

SUN, FEB 4 THIS SUNDAY: This Sunday the service focuses on one of the healing stories in the first chapter of Mark. How can faith be healing today?  See Mark 1:29-39.
SUN, FEB 4 COMMUNION: All are welcome to participate in communion at Lakewood UCC, children at the discretion of the adults who brought them. The communion offering goes to the Special Needs Fund which is used to help people in our community and the congregation with basic necessities such as food, rent, utilities, and prescription medication costs. Please be generous as you are able.
SUN, FEB 4 CONGREGATIONAL MEETING: There will be a congregational meeting following worship on Sunday February 4th. All are encouraged to participate! Here is the tentative agenda:

Call to Order
Opening reading/prayer
Presentation of the budget
Q and A on the budget
Taking action on the budget
Updates on:

  • The roof
  • Family Promise
  • Operation Attack
  • Unbroken Circles
  • Creation Justice
  • Solar panels for the church
  • CROP Walk Feb. 25 – any one want to be LUCC coordinator?

Other comments, suggestions, etc.
Closing song

WED, FEB 14 ASH WEDNESDAY: There will be a beautiful outdoor service on Wednesday, February 14th from 7-8pm around a fire next to the lake at Chip and Dana Coper’s home. It is a service of reflection on the season of Lent as a time of repentance and renewal. The service will include communion and the imposition of ashes. Bring an outdoor chair if you can. And a stick. If transportation is needed, please contact the church office by phone (727.867.7961) or email.
SAT, MAR 3 MEMORIAL SERVICE: Gertrude (Gertie) Pirazzini died on Wednesday January 17th, she was 89 years old. Condolences go to her family and friends, especially Kim and Jeff Wells, her daughter and son-in-law. A service to celebrate her life will be held on Saturday, March 3rd here in Lakewood’s Sanctuary at 11am with luncheon to follow in Fellowship Hall.
SAT, MAR 24 GREENFEST: Wally is considering having a booth once again at IRB Greenfest representing LUCC. If you are interested in volunteering for 2 or 3 hours on the day of the event or assisting with preparations beforehand please email Wally. The 11th Annual Indian Rocks Beach Greenfest will be March 24th from 10am to 5pm on the block of 24th Avenue & 1st Street in Indian Rocks Beach.
SUN, FEB 28 MANY THANKS: Wally LeBlanc dedicated a painting entitled “Beyond the Rainbow” at Lakewood UCC last Sunday. See photos here.

COMMUNITY EVENTS

SAT, FEB 3 STORYTELLING WORKSHOP: First Congregational United Church of Christ in Sarasota and the Florida Conference will sponsor a workshop by acclaimed storyteller Valerie Tutson Saturday, 3 February from 10am to 3pm at First Congregational UCC (1031 S. Euclid Ave. in Sarasota). During the workshop, “Storytelling as a Spiritual Practice,” Valerie will invite participants to explore and experience the wonder of stories — our own and others. Admission is free, and lunch will be served. However, registration is required, and the registration deadline is 31 January. A free will offering will take place at the end of the workshop to defray costs. For more information, you may call the church at (941) 953-7044. Visit uccfla to register.
SAT, FEB 10 PRAYER BREAKFAST: Celebrate Black History by attending the Legacy Prayer Breakfast on Saturday, 10 February at 10am at Maximo Presbyterian Church (3200 58th Ave S). Aramis Ayala, the State Attorney for for Orange and Seminole Counties, will be speaking. Admission is $15 per person.
TUE, FEB 13 GUN VIOLENCE EVENT: Gun violence has touched a broad cross section of our city and our country, and remains a persistent public safety issue. The League of Women Voters of the St. Petersburg Area invites you to hear local community leaders share their personal stories and professional insights and then join in exploring how we can take personal and collective action.  A primary focus will be the impact on families, children and adolescents. LUCC is a community partner for Preventing Gun Violence: A Community Conversation. It will be held Tuesday, 13 February from 7-8:30pm at Allendale United Methodist Church sanctuary (3803 Haines Rd).
FRI, FEB 16 CONCERT: One City Chorus Concert featuring the One City Chorus and the Urban Gypsies will be Friday, 16 February at 7:30pm at the Palladium (253 5th Ave N). Music is themed around justice and civil rights. Jeff Wells from LUCC and Leslie Ethredge from the UCC Florida Conference staff sing with the One City Chorus. The Chorus also rehearses occasionally at LUCC when the Carter Woodson Museum is not available.
FEB 16-24 FILM FESTIVAL:The 2018 “Visions of Nature/Voices of Nature,” Environmental Film Festival will be held February 16-24. For 20 years, the Environmental Film Festival has brought compelling and important films to the Tampa Bay area to raise awareness and promote discussion of matters relating to nature, place and the environment. Film scholars and filmmakers from around the world engage the audience in a lively dialogue about the environmental perspectives contained in documentary, animated, experimental and feature films. Free and open to the public. Visit environmentalfilmfest.com to see the schedule.
SAT, MAR 3 UCC WOMEN’S LUNCH: The Central West Coast Annual Regional Meeting & Luncheon for UCC Women will be March 3rd from 10:00am to 1:30pm at Pilgrim UCC (6315 Central Ave). The theme will be: “Untold Stories: The Unconquered Seminoles” Presented by Barb Coons, State Treasurer. 9:15am Registration in Fellowship Hall. Program begins at 10:00 a.m. Lunch will be served, Cost is $8.00 per person. Please bring nonperishable food items for the Good Samaritan UCC food pantry in Pinellas Park. To ensure there is enough lunch for everyone, please submit your registration with Payment by February 24th. Registration forms are on the bulletin board in the narthex. If you don’t get it mailed in time and plan on attending, please contact Eleanor Rouse by phone (727.215.4752) or email.

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.
THERE IS HOPE – COMMUNITY: Wally LeBlanc has cards and paintings featuring his artwork for sale. The proceeds will be donated to the roof fund and other community ministries. Thank you, Wally!
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.
CONTACTING YOUR REPRESENTATIVES IN WASHINGTON: If you are interested in calling, emailing or writing your representatives in congress, here is some contact information:

Senator Bill Nelson
716 Senate Hart Office Building, Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-5274
Tampa office: 801 N. Florida Ave., 4th Floor, Tampa, FL 33602
Phone: 813-225-7040
www.billnelson.senate.gov (Click “Contact” to write a message)

Senator Marco Rubio
284 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington DC, 20510
Phone: 202-224-3041
Tampa office: 5201 West Kennedy Blvd, Ste. 530, Tampa, FL 33609
Phone: 813-287-5035
www.rubio.senate.gov (Click “Contact” to write a message)

Dist. 14: Rep. Kathy Castor
2052 Rayburn House Office Bldg., Washington DC 20515
Tampa Office 4144 N. Armenia Avenue Tampa FL 33607
Website: www.castor.house.gov (Click “Contact” to write a message)
(202) 225-3376 Washington
(727) 392-4100 St. Petersburg
(813) 871-2817 Tampa

District 13: Rep. Charlie Crist
427 Cannon House Office Bldg., Washington, DC 20515
696 1st Avenue North, Suite #203 St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Website: www.crist.house.gov (Click “Contact” to write a message)
(202) 225-5961 Washington
1-(888) 205-5569 District office

If you are living outside Florida or local districts, you may phone your Member of Congress by calling the U.S. Capitol Switchboard (202) 224-3121. Visit americantrails.org for additional contact information.

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.
NEW MEMBERS: Lakewood UCC is always ready to welcome new members into the church family. Joining the church involves attending an orientation session and being part of a Reception of New Members ritual during Sunday morning worship.
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.
FREE ECO-THEOLOGY COURSE: Yale is offering three free courses centering on eco-theologian Thomas Berry and the application of his work and writing to understanding the gift of God’s creation and our relationship to it. This is an excellent opportunity for individuals or small groups in churches to participate in the course. Learn more about this exciting opportunity at coursera.org.
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.
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 at https://soundcloud.com/luccpodcasts – please tell your friends who might enjoy listening! Keep checking back, more and more will be added each week.
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.
USHERS NEEDED: Please see or email Wally LeBlanc 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.
childrenYOUNG PEOPLE AT LAKEWOOD: Children and young people are a vital part of the LUCC family. Middle School age children and younger are invited to participate in Church School with Grace Lewis. Preschool children are welcome in the Nursery under the able care of Claudia Rodriguez. All children return to the sanctuary during the offering so they can participate at 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

Betty Harris, Ruth Halderman, Ruth Harrington, Ron Huff, Carolyn Moore, Willy Zessoules, Genevieve Jackle, Gertie Pirazzini’s family and friends, Ann Quinn, Earl Waters

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Painting Dedication

Wally LeBlanc dedicated a painting entitled “Beyond the Rainbow” at Lakewood UCC last Sunday. He read the following prayer, adapted from the lyrics of “Bless Us All”

Life is full of sweet surprises Every day is a gift The sun comes up and I can feel it lift my spirit Fills me up with laughter, fills me up with joy I look into the eyes of love and know that I belong Bless us all, who gather here The loving family we hold dear No place on earth, compares with home And every path we take will bring us back from where we roam Bless us all, that as we live We always comfort and forgive We have so much, that we can share With all those in need we see around us everywhere Let us always love each other Lead us to the light Let us be and hear the voice of reason, shining in the darkness Let us run from anger and catch us when we fall Teach us in our lives and please, yes please Bless us one and all Bless us all with joyous years With wonderful moments and joyful tears We reach for You and we stand tall And in our prayers and our lives We ask You bless us all. Amen.

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