Weekly Update 12 October

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

COMING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

SUN, OCT 15 THIS SUNDAY: Who is welcome in the church? Is church really safe space for everyone? We’ll explore that on Sunday. Rev. Leslie Etheredge from the Florida Conference will be joining us again this Sunday for another special recognition, this time for Lucille Ruga. Don’t miss the celebration!
FRI, OCT 13 – SAT, OCT 14 CONFERENCE MEETING: The Florida Conference of the United Church of Christ is having its Annual Meeting Friday Oct. 13-Saturday Oct. 14 in Daytona Beach. Rev. Susan Sherwood and Rev. Kim Wells are attending as representatives of LUCC.
SAT, OCT 14 YARD SALE: LUCC member Ed Kaspar is having a yard sale at his home on Saturday, October 14th from 9am to 1pm.
SUN, OCT 15 PHOTO DIRECTORY: After waiting for what may have seemed like 50 years, the photo directories are finally done! Pick up your copy at church on Sunday.
SUN, OCT 15 REAPING THE HARVEST: This Reaping the Harvest 2017 form is available at church and online. As part of the celebration of abundance this fall season, you are invited to fill out this form and bring it/send it/email it back to the church by Sunday, October 22nd. The information will be compiled and reported back at The Big Event on October 29th. This is a way to celebrate the full ministry of this congregation in its many forms including, but not limited to, service within the church. The ministry of the church extends into society through our service and generosity 7 days a week, not just Sunday!!!
MON, OCT 16 OPERATION ATTACK: LUCC volunteer dates will be 10/16, 11/6 and 12/11, 6:00pm at Lakeview Presbyterian Church. Donations needed are children’s gently used winter clothing, canned fruits & vegetables, and peanut butter.
SUN, OCT 15 CIRCUS MCGURKIS: LUCC will be hosting Circus McGurkis, a peace and justice festival, on Saturday Nov. 11. Please plan to save the date and volunteer – the sign-up sheet is on the bulletin board in the narthex. The Site Team meeting after church on the 15th. The Steering Committee will meet Tuesday Oct. 17 at 6:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall.
SUN, OCT 18 WESTMINSTER SUNCOAST LUNCH: Wednesday October 18th at 11:30 in the main dining room at Westminster Suncoast. All residents of the Shores and Suncoast are welcome.
SAT, OCT 21 GROUNDS CLEANUP: Help finish the grounds cleanup after Hurricane Irma. The Southwest portion of the church property still needs some work, so come Saturday October 21st from 8:30-11am and bring rakes, gloves, tarps, etc. to use.
SUN, OCT 29 THE BIG EVENT: October 29th will be an opportunity to pledge your resources to the ministry of the church in 2018. Special this year, you can make a pledge to the roof fund. In the aftermath of Irma, the church roof must be replaced. Over 100 shingles were blown off during the hurricane. A very generous member of the LUCC family has decided to spur your giving by offering to match, dollar for dollar, all donations to the roof fund up to $35,000 collected by April 15th, 2018. Look for a letter in the mail this week with more information. . .
SUN, OCT 29 SUNDAY CELEBRATIONS: The monthly potluck will be hosted by the Advisors this month on Sunday Oct. 29. Bring a dish to share and help celebrate October birthdays.
ANNOUNCEMENTS: In an effort to be environmentally friendly, shorter bulletins will continue to be used this fall at Lakewood. This means there will be room for only some of the announcements that are posted online. You are encouraged to subscribe to the website (this means you will get new posts emailed to you) in order to stay up to date on everything that’s happening. Alternatively, you can check the website, lakewooducc.org frequently for updates.
VOTING RIGHTS: A petition to restore the right to vote for people with prior felony convictions, except those convicted of murder or a felony sexual offense, upon completion of their sentences will be available to sign after worship on Sunday. Currently, people with prior felony convictions are permanently disqualified to vote unless they receive clemency. Contact Lucille Ruga if you are interested or have any questions.

COMMUNITY EVENTS

THU, OCT 12 COMMUNITY CONVERSATION ON EDUCATION: If there is one thing we can all agree on during this divided time, it is that our children are our community’s most precious resource. And yet, the struggle for an equitable and just education for all of St Pete’s children has continued for decades. The time is now to achieve this victory with and for our youth. Dream Defenders, along with the Childs Park Neighborhood Association, will be hosting a listening and strategy session to learn more about what Southside residents want out of our schools, and how we can collectively achieve this. Dream Defenders will also be sharing some of our strategies that have been effective in our work across the state. Join us for this critical step in demanding justice for our youth! Oct 12. America Divided: St. Pete United – A Community Conversation on Education, 6 PM @ Community Center Child’s Park, 4301 13th Ave S, Saint Petersburg. Please secure your free ticket to the community conversation by registering.
THU, OCT 12 SPIRITUAL LIFE LECTURE: Drawing on decades of social science research, Robert P. Jones, CEO of Public Religion Research Institute and author of The End of White Christian America, argues that today’s most divisive debates—over immigration, the rise of white supremacy groups, and police violence—can only be understood against the backdrop of demographic, religious, and cultural transformations that are challenging long-standing assumptions about what it means to be an American. If we are to continue to make one out of many, we will need both leadership and practices that can help us all step back from the reactivity of the present and take up the more arduous task of weaving a new national narrative in which all Americans can see themselves. Jones’ lecture, What the End of White Christian America Means for Our Shared Sense of National Identity, will be Thursday, October 12, at 7:30 p.m., in Fox Hall at Eckerd College.
MON, OCT 23 CONFEDERATE MONUMENT LECTURE: Lee Irby, local author and professor of history and American studies at Eckerd College, discusses recent news of cities trying to handle the legacy of the Civil War and the monuments erected to glorify the Lost Cause, one of the themes in his latest book Unreliable. Irby’s lecture, Confederate Monuments in the South: Place, Memory and Lingering Wounds, will be Monday, October 23, 2017 at 7 p.m., in the Dan & Mary Miller Auditorium at Eckerd College.
ONLINE RESOURCE: The Southern Poverty Law Center has published a new online resource, Ten Ways to Fight Hate: A Community Response Guide. All over the country people are fighting hate, standing up to promote tolerance and inclusion. More often than not, when hate flares up, good people rise up against it — often in greater numbers and with stronger voices. This guide sets out 10 principles for fighting hate in your community.

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.
ART FOR HOPE: 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.
IMG_3544
LUNCH BUNCH: This informal and open group gathers at a local restaurant for lunch and lively conversation after the service. Please check with one of the regulars – Don Ritchie or Ruth Halderman – about the details each week.
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.
roofRAISING THE ROOF! The church has been informed by competent professionals, that the roof will need to be replaced probably within a year or two. The Advisors do not want to jump up one Sunday and beg for a huge amount of money. Therefore, you are being asked for Shekels for Shingles. Have you a few spare coins…$1’s,…. $5’s? If we scrape now, we won’t have to dig as deeply later. Please place donations in the bottle on the back table in the sanctuary.
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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Reaping the Harvest 2017

As part of the celebration of abundance this fall season, you are invited to fill out this form by Sunday, October 22nd. The information will be compiled and reported back at The Big Event on October 29th. This is a way to celebrate the full ministry of this congregation in its many forms including, but not limited to, service within the church. The ministry of the church extends into society through our service and generosity 7 days a week, not just Sunday!!!.

Please note that the submit button will only work if you are using Adobe Reader. If you use another application (like your internet browser, or Preview) to view pdfs, you’ll need to e-mail it to the church manually. Paper copies of the form will also be distributed at church on Sunday.

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Weekly Update 4 October

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

COMING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

SUN, OCT 8 THIS SUNDAY: The 10 commandments invite thinking about what it means to be a life-affirming community.
SUN, OCT 8 RECOGNITION OF CHAPLAINCY: In morning worship on Sunday Oct. 8, LUCC will recognize the authorized ministry of LUCC member and ordained minister Victoria Long. This is a celebration of a 4-way covenant between Victoria, Lakewood UCC, the Florida Conference of the UCC, and Suncoast Hospice/Empath Health.
SUN, OCT 8 ADVISORS MEETING: The Advisors will meet on Sunday following worship, all are welcome to attend.
SUN, OCT 8 REAPING THE HARVEST: This Sunday the Reaping the Harvest 2017 form will be available at church. As part of the celebration of abundance this fall season, you are invited to fill out this form and bring it/send it/email it back to the church by Sunday, October 22nd. The information will be compiled and reported back at The Big Event on October 29th. This is a way to celebrate the full ministry of this congregation in its many forms including, but not limited to, service within the church. The ministry of the church extends into society through our service and generosity 7 days a week, not just Sunday!!!.
MON, OCT 16 OPERATION ATTACK: LUCC volunteer dates will be 10/16, 11/6 and 12/11, 6:00pm at Lakeview Presbyterian Church. Donations needed are children’s gently used winter clothing, canned fruits & vegetables, and peanut butter.
SUN, OCT 17 CIRCUS MCGURKIS: LUCC will be hosting Circus McGurkis, a peace and justice festival, on Saturday Nov. 11. Please plan to save the date and volunteer – the sign-up sheet is on the bulletin board in the narthex. The Steering Committee will meet Tuesday Oct. 17 at 6:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall.
SAT, OCT 21 GROUNDS CLEANUP: Help finish the grounds cleanup after Hurricane Irma. The Southwest portion of the church property still needs some work, so come Saturday October 21st from 8:30-11am and bring rakes, gloves, tarps, etc. to use.
SUN, OCT 29 THE BIG EVENT: October 29th will be an opportunity to pledge your resources to the ministry of the church in 2018. Special this year, you can make a pledge to the roof fund. In the aftermath of Irma, the church roof must be replaced. Over 100 shingles were blown off during the hurricane. A very generous member of the LUCC family has decided to spur your giving by offering to match, dollar for dollar, all donations to the roof fund up to $35,000 collected by April 15th, 2018.
ANNOUNCEMENTS: In an effort to be environmentally friendly, shorter bulletins will continue to be used this fall at Lakewood. This means there will be room for only some of the announcements that are posted online. You are encouraged to subscribe to the website (this means you will get new posts emailed to you) in order to stay up to date on everything that’s happening. Alternatively, you can check the website, lakewooducc.org frequently for updates.
VOTING RIGHTS: A petition to restore the right to vote for people with prior felony convictions, except those convicted of murder or a felony sexual offense, upon completion of their sentences will be available to sign after worship on Sunday. Currently, people with prior felony convictions are permanently disqualified to vote unless they receive clemency. Contact Lucille Ruga if you are interested or have any questions.

COMMUNITY EVENTS

OCT 1-8 INTERFAITH WEEK: October 1-8 will mark a city-wide, week-long celebration of the sacred, where individuals and families can explore their city – seeing how other people worship, study or pray as well as participating in community panels or roundtable discussions – and we would love for you to be a part of it. See tampabayinterfaithweek.com for a complete schedule of events.
THU, OCT 5 DEATH PENALTY: Governor Scott has ordered the execution of Michael Lambrix for Thursday, October 5th at 6pm. This would be the 25th execution ordered by Gov. Scott, a new record for a Florida governor. Please contact Florida Gov. Rick Scott and ask him to halt the execution of Michael Lambrix and grant a new clemency hearing by phone: 850-488-7146 (Mon-Fri 8am-5pm) or email.
THU, OCT 5 INDIGENOUS PEOPLES DAY: Reconsider Columbus Day and learn about the Doctrine of Discovery and the impact this doctrine had on the indigenous people of the Americas and exploration and settlement of this country. On this day, from here on out known as Indigenous Peoples Day, celebrate and honor all Native American cultures both past and present. Monday, October 9, 3-8pm at 1700 Park St. N., St. Petersburg, FL 33710. Education from 3-5; Potluck dinner at 5:30 followed by evening celebration and sharing. Register by calling 727-347-0354 or via email. Love offering for Sacred Lands and travel expenses.
TUE, OCT 10 PEACE AND JUSTICE LECTURE: Frances Moore Lappé—author or co-author of 18 books about world hunger, living democracy, and the environment—will share her knowledge on the deep connection between a functioning democracy and a prosperous people. Her writing career started with the three-million-copies-sold Diet for a Small Planet in 1971 and has extended to her new book, Daring Democracy: Igniting Power, Meaning, and Connection for the America We Want, co-authored with Adam Eichen (Beacon Press, Sept. 2017). Lappé received the Right Livelihood Award “for revealing the political and economic causes of world hunger and how citizens can help to remedy them.” Her lecture, To End Hunger, Begin With Democracy, will be Tuesday, October 10, at 7:30 p.m., in Fox Hall at Eckerd College.
THU, OCT 12 SPIRITUAL LIFE LECTURE: Drawing on decades of social science research, Robert P. Jones, CEO of Public Religion Research Institute and author of The End of White Christian America, argues that today’s most divisive debates—over immigration, the rise of white supremacy groups, and police violence—can only be understood against the backdrop of demographic, religious, and cultural transformations that are challenging long-standing assumptions about what it means to be an American. If we are to continue to make one out of many, we will need both leadership and practices that can help us all step back from the reactivity of the present and take up the more arduous task of weaving a new national narrative in which all Americans can see themselves. Jones’ lecture, What the End of White Christian America Means for Our Shared Sense of National Identity, will be Thursday, October 12, at 7:30 p.m., in Fox Hall at Eckerd College.
MON, OCT 23 CONFEDERATE MONUMENT LECTURE: Lee Irby, local author and professor of history and American studies at Eckerd College, discusses recent news of cities trying to handle the legacy of the Civil War and the monuments erected to glorify the Lost Cause, one of the themes in his latest book Unreliable. Irby’s lecture, Confederate Monuments in the South: Place, Memory and Lingering Wounds, will be Monday, October 23, 2017 at 7 p.m., in the Dan & Mary Miller Auditorium at Eckerd College.
ONLINE RESOURCE: The Southern Poverty Law Center has published a new online resource, Ten Ways to Fight Hate: A Community Response Guide. All over the country people are fighting hate, standing up to promote tolerance and inclusion. More often than not, when hate flares up, good people rise up against it — often in greater numbers and with stronger voices. This guide sets out 10 principles for fighting hate in your community.

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.
ART FOR HOPE: 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.
IMG_3544
LUNCH BUNCH: This informal and open group gathers at a local restaurant for lunch and lively conversation after the service. Please check with one of the regulars – Don Ritchie or Ruth Halderman – about the details each week.
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.
roofRAISING THE ROOF! The church has been informed by competent professionals, that the roof will need to be replaced probably within a year or two. The Advisors do not want to jump up one Sunday and beg for a huge amount of money. Therefore, you are being asked for Shekels for Shingles. Have you a few spare coins…$1’s,…. $5’s? If we scrape now, we won’t have to dig as deeply later. Please place donations in the bottle on the back table in the sanctuary.
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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Coming concerts

Below is the list of concerts at St. Petersburg’s 1st Presbyterian Church. Lakewood UCC member, Claire Stiles, will be participating in at least one of these as well as these two concerts of the SPC Community Chorus: November 5 – Sunday at the Palladium at 6:00pm – Veterans Day concert with patriotic music; and, December 2 – Saturday at the SPC Music Center on the 66th St. campus (not certain of time yet, but likely 7:00pm) – Vivaldi Gloria and other holiday music.

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Response to Las Vegas Shooting

 

Las Vegas Response, Oct. 2, 2017

 

Having trouble viewing this email? Click here Oct. 2, 2017
 

Conference Call

 

Rev. John VertiganDear Church,

The member congregations and staff of the Florida Conference woke this morning to an all-too-familiar tragedy; a mass shooting. Our hearts break at the thought of more terror being spread by a lone gunman with a high-volume weapon. We are brought back to the morning of June 12, 2016, when the PULSE nightclub became a crime scene and a memorial.

We hold our sister churches in Las Vegas in our prayers, knowing that the path to wholeness is a long one and that the scars of those few minutes of gunfire will stay with the Las Vegas community for years to come. As congregations in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, and Hood, Texas, have taught us, the work of healing goes on long after the cameras are gone and the candles have gone out, and people are left with pain in body and soul.

We are also witnesses to the power of love. We learned from the PULSE shooting that communities can come together to proclaim and live out the gospel news that LOVE WINS. Violence scars and strains our communities, but it is not the final word.

But as faith communities that respond to individual need, to natural disasters and to the specific needs of our local communities, we have to ask ourselves and our nation this question: what are we called to do to help end gun violence? Whatever the motive of this shooter, he had the means to inflict enormous harm in a very short time. Can we continue to wring our hands and accept this violence, or will we seek policies that limit the access of angry people to means of destruction? As contentious as this issue can be, it is one that we must confront if we are to honor the memories of those who have been lost today and each day.

The Florida Conference is a member of the Florida Coalition to End Gun Violence, and we encourage our local settings to act for the safety and security of all God’s children. We hold in prayer those who have lost loved ones, or who face long-term rehabilitation. We ask that our members be sensitive to victims of violence who are re-traumatized by this event. And we pray for the courage to confront the gun violence in our society, believing that change can happen.

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

Rev. John Vertigan

The Rev. John Vertigan
Conference Minister

A pdf version of this letter on Florida Conference letterhead is available here for further distribution.

 


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United Church of Christ in Florida
9300 University Blvd.
Orlando, FL 32817
Like us on Facebook!
(407) 835-7501
(800) 432-8311
flaconf@uccfla.org

 

 

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Speak out for Puerto Ricans in Crisis after Hurricane Maria

As we are reminded in Proverbs 31:8-9, we are called to speak up for the vulnerable:

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
    for the rights of those abandoned by others.
Speak up and judge fairly;
    defend the rights of the homeless and hungry.

Three and a half million Puerto Ricans are facing a devastating humanitarian crisis in the wake of Hurricane Maria. Flooding and mudslides have left millions without power, 40 percent without drinking water, and only 11 of the island’s 69 hospitals in operation.

The United Church of Christ has a long history of walking with the people of Puerto Rico in the form of support for Puerto Rican self-determination through General Synod statements and ties to the Iglesia Evangelica Unida de Puerto Rico. In addition UCC and Global Ministries advocates, in partnership with Jubilee USA, have been instrumental in advancing public policies to address the economic crisis, and specifically child poverty, in Puerto Rico, now further exacerbated by the hurricane.

It is time for Congress to act.
Although many lawmakers on Capitol Hill have called for emergency aid for Puerto Rico, similar to the Harvey and Irma disaster responses, the timing and nature of such support is unclear. With the Columbus Day recess approaching, it is critical that policy makers act in the coming days. Any delays or failure to pass such critical humanitarian aid will have a devastating impact on the lives of many. Further, any aid packages must be offered in the form of grants, not loans, to avoid worsening the financial crisis on the island.

Act now to support hurricane relief for Puerto Rico.
Contact your representatives in congress and urge them to act now to help our fellow Americans.

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Weekly Update 27 September

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

COMING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

SUN, OCT 1 THIS SUNDAY: The first Sunday of October is World Communion Sunday. Christians around the world recognize our common bond through this holy meal. This is an opportunity to celebrate what it means to be in communion with the world, the whole world. Your place at the table is waiting!
SUN, OCT 1 COMMUNION OFFERING: The communion offering goes to the Special Needs Fund which is used to help people in our community with basic necessities such as food, rent, utilities, and prescription medication costs. Please be generous as you are able.
SUN, OCT 1 CIRCUS MCGURKIS: LUCC will be hosting Circus McGurkis, a peace and justice festival, on Saturday Nov. 11. Please plan to save the date and volunteer! The LUCC Site Team for Circus McGurkis will meet on Sunday Oct. 1 following morning worship. The Steering Committee will meet Tuesday Oct. 3 at 6:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall.
SUN, OCT 8 RECOGNITION OF CHAPLAINCY: In morning worship on Sunday Oct. 8, LUCC will recognize the authorized ministry of LUCC member and ordained minister Victoria Long. This is a celebration of a 4-way covenant between Victoria, Lakewood UCC, the Florida Conference of the UCC, and Suncoast Hospice/Empath Health.
CHURCH SCHOOL CHANGE: Instead of starting the service together, bring your children directly to the church school room and they will join the service at the end so they can participate in the morning prayers and close of the service.
ANNOUNCEMENTS: In an effort to be environmentally friendly, shorter bulletins will continue to be used this fall at Lakewood. This means there will be room for only some of the announcements that are posted online. You are encouraged to subscribe to the website (this means you will get new posts emailed to you) in order to stay up to date on everything that’s happening. Alternatively, you can check the website, lakewooducc.org frequently for updates.
FAMILY PROMISE: Donations are needed! Lawn Bags, Garbage Bags, Work Gloves/Garden Gloves, Bottled Water, Non-perishable Food Items, Cleaning Supplies, Sponges, Buckets, Laundry Detergent, Personal Hygiene Products
Feminine Hygiene Products, Toilet Paper, and Batteries. The donations can be placed in the cart in the narthex. Contact Patti Cooksey if you have any questions.
VOTING RIGHTS: A petition to restore the right to vote for people with prior felony convictions, except those convicted of murder or a felony sexual offense, upon completion of their sentences will be available to sign after worship on Sunday. Currently, people with prior felony convictions are permanently disqualified to vote unless they receive clemency. Contact Lucille Ruga if you are interested or have any questions.

COMMUNITY EVENTS

MON, OCT 2 POVERTY LECTURE: Matthew Desmond, Ph.D., professor of sociology at Princeton University and author of 2017 Pulitzer Prize winning book Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, will discuss his research involving eight families from Milwaukee, which focuses on a topic largely unexplored: the role of rising rents and rampant evictions in feeding a cycle of poverty and despair in the U.S. Sponsored by the Class of 1968 Distinguished Visiting Scholar Endowment in partnership with the Foundations Collegium as part of the College Program Series. His lecture, Evicted: An Evening With Matthew Desmond, will be Monday, October 2, 2017 at 7:30 p.m., in Fox Hall at Eckerd College.
WED, OCT 4 FAITH AND RELIGION SERIES: Dana Cosper, LUCC member, will present A Spiritual Toolbox for Healthy Grieving for Eckerd College’s Academy of Senior Professionals (ASPEC) on Wednesday, Oct. 4th at 11 a.m., in the Palmer Room at Lewis House. Contact Vita Uth if you would like to carpool.
THU, OCT 5 DEATH PENALTY: Governor Scott has ordered the execution of Michael Lambrix for Thursday, October 5th at 6pm ET. This would be the 25th execution ordered by Gov. Scott, a new record for a Florida governor. Please contact Florida Gov. Rick Scott and ask him to halt the execution of Michael Lambrix and grant a new clemency hearing by phone: 850-488-7146 (Mon-Fri 8am-5pm) or email.
TUE, OCT 10 PEACE AND JUSTICE LECTURE: Frances Moore Lappé—author or co-author of 18 books about world hunger, living democracy, and the environment—will share her knowledge on the deep connection between a functioning democracy and a prosperous people. Her writing career started with the three-million-copies-sold Diet for a Small Planet in 1971 and has extended to her new book, Daring Democracy: Igniting Power, Meaning, and Connection for the America We Want, co-authored with Adam Eichen (Beacon Press, Sept. 2017). Lappé received the Right Livelihood Award “for revealing the political and economic causes of world hunger and how citizens can help to remedy them.” Her lecture, To End Hunger, Begin With Democracy, will be Tuesday, October 10, at 7:30 p.m., in Fox Hall at Eckerd College.
THU, OCT 12 SPIRITUAL LIFE LECTURE: Drawing on decades of social science research, Robert P. Jones, CEO of Public Religion Research Institute and author of The End of White Christian America, argues that today’s most divisive debates—over immigration, the rise of white supremacy groups, and police violence—can only be understood against the backdrop of demographic, religious, and cultural transformations that are challenging long-standing assumptions about what it means to be an American. If we are to continue to make one out of many, we will need both leadership and practices that can help us all step back from the reactivity of the present and take up the more arduous task of weaving a new national narrative in which all Americans can see themselves. Jones’ lecture, What the End of White Christian America Means for Our Shared Sense of National Identity, will be Thursday, October 12, at 7:30 p.m., in Fox Hall at Eckerd College.
MON, OCT 23 CONFEDERATE MONUMENT LECTURE: Lee Irby, local author and professor of history and American studies at Eckerd College, discusses recent news of cities trying to handle the legacy of the Civil War and the monuments erected to glorify the Lost Cause, one of the themes in his latest book Unreliable. Irby’s lecture, Confederate Monuments in the South: Place, Memory and Lingering Wounds, will be Monday, October 23, 2017 at 7 p.m., in the Dan & Mary Miller Auditorium at Eckerd College.
ONLINE RESOURCE: The Southern Poverty Law Center has published a new online resource, Ten Ways to Fight Hate: A Community Response Guide. All over the country people are fighting hate, standing up to promote tolerance and inclusion. More often than not, when hate flares up, good people rise up against it — often in greater numbers and with stronger voices. This guide sets out 10 principles for fighting hate in your community.

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.
ART FOR HOPE: 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.
IMG_3544
LUNCH BUNCH: This informal and open group gathers at a local restaurant for lunch and lively conversation after the service. Please check with one of the regulars – Don Ritchie or Ruth Halderman – about the details each week.
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.
roofRAISING THE ROOF! The church has been informed by competent professionals, that the roof will need to be replaced probably within a year or two. The Advisors do not want to jump up one Sunday and beg for a huge amount of money. Therefore, you are being asked for Shekels for Shingles. Have you a few spare coins…$1’s,…. $5’s? If we scrape now, we won’t have to dig as deeply later. Please place donations in the bottle on the back table in the sanctuary.
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, Ron Huff, Carolyn Moore, Gertie Pirazzini, Ann Quinn, Earl Waters

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Sermon 9.17.17 Charter Sunday

Scripture Lesson: Matthew 7:24-29
Sermon: Foundation for the Future – The 50th Anniversary
Pastor: Rev. Kim P. Wells

This week I heard someone interviewed in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma on “On Point” with Tom Ashbrook, out of Boston, Massachusetts. The person who called in was from the Tampa Bay area. She said that she and her husband were newly married. They had grown up in St. Petersburg. They had been planning to buy a house and make St. Pete their home. But after this storm, given sea level rise and the increasing temperature of the water which increases the likelihood of more and worse storms, they have decided that they will not be settling here but will be moving to a safer locale. They do not want to create their future in this area any more.

While that sounds drastic, we can also see how it makes good sense. They are talking about building their lives on solid ground, not shifting sands. And we can affirm the importance of this though many of us will continue to live on Florida’s shifting, unsteady sands.

In the scripture that we heard this morning, we hear of Jesus sharing a parable about building a house on an unstable foundation of sand and building a house on solid rock. This image would have spoken volumes to the residents of Palestine at the time. A house built on sand in the dry season would seem secure. Yet when the rains and winds and floods came, the house would be washed away. Better to build on bedrock. The story is figurative yet we can also relate to the literal image of building on sand and rock.

At issue in this story is the response of those who hear the word of God. There are those who listen and don’t act. And those who listen and do act. They are the ones who build on the rock. The issue is not knowing. The presumption is that those listening know the will of God. At issue is the doing of the will of God.

The verses we heard this morning are the conclusion of what is know as the Sermon on the Mount in the gospel of Matthew. It includes some of the most well-known teachings associated with Jesus such as:

Love your neighbor.
Turn the other cheek.
Blessed are the peace makers.
Love your enemy.
You are the light of the world.
You are the salt of the earth.
Where your treasure is there your heart will be also.
No one can serve two masters.
Do not judge, so that you may not be judged.

These teachings and many others are known well by those who are part of the church. But at issue is not knowing these teachings, it is putting them into practice. The one who builds on rock is the one that puts them into practice. The one who knows about them but does not act accordingly is the one who builds on sand.

When we think of churches building on sand today, we are not talking about churches that don’t know these teachings of Jesus which convey the will of God. We are talking about churches that know the sayings but do not put them into practice. Churches building on the sand are churches that are basing decisions and behavior on greed and economic gain. They are churches that are denying human influence on climate change. They are churches reinforcing racism, white privilege, and fascism. They are churches that promote American exceptionalism. They are churches that exclude certain kinds of people. They are churches that promote division and violence. They are churches that in some way deny the humanity of others. Churches that are ignoring or acting in contradiction to the teachings of Jesus are churches that are building on the sand. And this includes each and every church at one time or another including this one.

Through Jesus we are encouraged to build our ministry and our lives as disciples on solid rock. On a firm foundation. This means putting into practice the teachings that Jesus gives us which show us the will and way of God for the good of all Creation. What does that mean for us? Well, for one thing, it means being shaped by the goodness and generosity of a loving God. It means accepting a foundational belief in the sacredness not only of every single human being, but in the sacredness of every life and all of Creation that sustains life. To build on the rock in gospel terms means to define the worth of a person based on their value to God, not based on economic output, or class, or ethnicity, or sexual identity. It means doing good, not just not doing bad. It means working for peace and reconciliation and seeking the well being of those you consider enemy.

To build on the rock means to build on the teachings of Jesus and to choose behaviors and actions which reflect that. It means allowing yourself and the faith community to be formed, shaped, and designed by the way of Jesus. As the New Testament shows us, this can be a significant challenge when there are forces around us that are pushing in other directions. It can be hard to build on the rock of generosity and love when the community around you is focussed on greed and gain. It can be hard to build a community of justice, equality and mutuality when the societal context reinforces racism and classism. It can be hard to build a community that reverences the Earth and Creation in a context that is rooted in ravaging the environment through the acceptance of toxic energy, chemicals, waste, and over consumption. In the story we heard, Jesus knows that he is directly assaulting the foundation of his religion and his culture by accusing them of being built on sand. It is a verbal attack on accepted values and behavior.

As we begin this 50th anniversary year at Lakewood United Church of Christ, we are dealing with a nexus of issues. Yes, the church needs a new roof and we are looking at other issues that need attention to maintain the structural integrity of the building. We are looking at the importance of Creation Justice and thinking about what we can do to manifest our reverence for the environment examining options like solar energy. We are also thinking about climate change and sea level rise. Will it be feasible to do ministry in this location for another 50 years? We are examining that. Given these realities as best we can determine them, what do we need to be doing as a congregation regarding our buildings and grounds? What is the best use of our resources? How do we build on the rock? How do we take action based on the way of Jesus?

There are other challenges in our context that we are thinking about as we launch into the next 50 years and beyond. We are living in a time of more and more and more information but of less and less intimacy. The teachings of Jesus encourage authentic connection and relationship. People are deeply yearning for such connection and belonging. And the church built on the rock offers this. How can we implement the way of Jesus in the next 50 years in terms of encouraging healthy relationships?

As we assess our context and think of building on the rock, we are mindful that we live in a time when life is safer perhaps than at any other time in the past. And yet there is increasing fear. Why is there so much fear when there is quite literally less to be afraid of? We live with more access to information than any other time in the past, we know so much more about the world and about other people. Yet instead of this information leading to harmony and understanding, it is producing threat, hostility and hatred. How can we bring the teachings of Jesus to bear on these realities?

The intersection and the nexus of these many issues, and challenges, and circumstances make it a very exciting time to be part of the church and to be celebrating an anniversary that invites us to look back and to look ahead. In the next fifty years, what is the ministry that will be needed from this church and how are we positioning ourselves to build on the rock and to provide a solid foundation for those who will come after us? How are we making sure that we are building on the rock so that this church will be faithful in sharing God’s love for the good of the world entire?

Looking back, we can see how those in the past built on the rock giving us a solid foundation. In many ways the teachings of Jesus were taken very seriously and were borne out in the actions of the church. There was a commitment to racial integration in the 1960’s even when it meant that members left the church. The church has built on the rock hastening the end of the Cold War through a relationship with a sister church in the Soviet Union. The church chose to embrace the full inclusion of sexual minorities in the 90’s. Again, something which led to losing members. The church has confronted poverty through Operation Attack, being a founding partner of Pinellas Habitat for Humanity, and Family Promise. The church has built on the rock working for justice for the farmworkers and for all workers. The church has built on the rock confronting violence in its many forms from nuclear weapons to handguns.

Jesus teaches us that a faith community built on the rock of the gospel can have a constructive, creative influence on a world that is desperately in need of the love and compassion that is at the heart of our faith. Our voice is needed in the public square and in personal relationships.

Those who have been part of the ministry of this church for the past 50 years have given themselves to building on the rock; to being true and faithful to the way of Jesus no matter which way the wind is blowing. The goal has been to see that the ministry of the church is promoting transformed lives that put the values of Jesus into concrete action in the world. It has not always been easy. There has certainly been conflict between the dreams of the gospel and the reality of the society in which we live. There has also been contention within the church from time to time.

In looking back on my tenure at Lakewood, I tried to identify what I remember as the most contentious issue that was confronted. Many years ago, in the mid ’90’s I believe, the church council spent several months discussing what to do about the American flag that had been displayed in the sanctuary. Apparently at one time, there was an American flag and a Christian flag in the sanctuary. That was standard practice in churches then and it still is in many places today. For some reason the flags had been removed – maybe when some repair work was done or something like that. And, inadvertently, they were not put back. After a long interval, this was noticed. So it was requested that the flags be put back out. This issue came before the church council. Opinions were sought from the congregation. Many people weighed in. Consensus did not emerge. It finally came down to a vote at a church council meeting. Well, you know the result of the vote because you don’t see the flags here in the sanctuary this morning. But the way that it was resolved is interesting. When it came time for the vote, the moderator called the question. Those on the council voted. And the vote was split. Half for putting the flags back out. Half against. It was the one time in my 25 years here that the moderator had to cast the deciding vote. The council members were commenting about which group she was going to side with, and who she would make happy. Was she going to keep the group happy that wanted the flags in the sanctuary or the group that wanted the flags displayed in the Fellowship Hall? Who was she going to keep happy? The moderator, Kristin Andes, announced that her intention was not to please one group or the other, but to please God. There you go. Build on the rock. Trying to the best of our limited ability, to side with the gospel. And you know how she voted.

May we continue in our commitment and intention to build on the rock; to be designed, formed, and shaped by the gospel of Jesus Christ so that our actions are part of building a more just and loving world for all. For at least the next 50 years!  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 20 September

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

COMING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

SUN, SEP 24 THIS SUNDAY: Matthew 20:1-16 invites us to think about economics and grace, an unlikely pairing perhaps, but issues often linked together in the teachings of Jesus.  What do economics teach us about the grace of God?  What does the grace of God teach us about economics?

Also this Sunday, there will be a celebration of a special gift to the church library.
SUN, SEP 24 SUNDAY CELEBRATIONS: The next potluck will be hosted by the 50th anniversary committee and will include conversations related to the anniversary theme: Foundation for the Future. Those who are part of the Lakewood church family are invited to share a paragraph or two about LUCC: what has the church meant in your life? Your thoughts will be collected and posted at the church website and perhaps made into a booklet as well. For those who cannot attend the lunch, your reflections about the church are still welcome. Please bring, send or email your paragraph(s) to the church at your convenience. Many thanks!
TUE, SEP 26 CIRCUS MCGURKIS: LUCC will be hosting Circus McGurkis, a peace and justice festival, on Saturday Nov. 11. Please plan to save the date and volunteer! The Steering Committee will meet at LUCC in the Fellowship Hall Tuesday Sept. 26 at 6:00 p.m. The LUCC Site Team for Circus McGurkis will meet on Sunday Oct. 1 following morning worship.
SUN, OCT 1 WORLD COMMUNION SUNDAY: The first Sunday of October is World Communion Sunday.  The service will be a celebration of world community.
MANY THANKS: To all who helped clean up after Irma, and to Patti Cooksey and Marg Radens who brought pizza and water! Pictures from Saturday will be posted tomorrow.
CHURCH SCHOOL CHANGE: Instead of starting the service together, bring your children directly to the church school room and they will join the service at the end so they can participate in the morning prayers and close of the service.
ANNOUNCEMENTS: In an effort to be environmentally friendly, shorter bulletins will continue to be used this fall at Lakewood. This means there will be room for only some of the announcements that are posted online. You are encouraged to subscribe to the website (this means you will get new posts emailed to you) in order to stay up to date on everything that’s happening. Alternatively, you can check the website, lakewooducc.org frequently for updates.
FAMILY PROMISE: Donations are needed! Lawn Bags, Garbage Bags, Work Gloves/Garden Gloves, Bottled Water, Non-perishable Food Items, Cleaning Supplies, Sponges, Buckets, Laundry Detergent, Personal Hygiene Products
Feminine Hygiene Products, Toilet Paper, and Batteries. The donations can be placed in the cart in the narthex. Contact Patti Cooksey if you have any questions.
VOTING RIGHTS: A petition to restore the right to vote for people with prior felony convictions, except those convicted of murder or a felony sexual offense, upon completion of their sentences will be available to sign after worship on Sunday. Currently, people with prior felony convictions are permanently disqualified to vote unless they receive clemency. Contact Lucille Ruga if you are interested or have any questions.
ECLIPSE GLASSES: Bring your gently used eclipse glasses to church so they can be reused! Lakewood UCC will participate in the Astronomers Without Borders program to collect glasses after the eclipse, so they can be sent to schools in South America and Asia when eclipses cross those continents in 2019. Don’t waste. Donate!
SPACE HEATER: A formerly-homeless friend of the church has asked for a space heater. If you have one you can donate, please let the church office know.

COMMUNITY EVENTS

ONLINE RESOURCE: The Southern Poverty Law Center has published a new online resource, Ten Ways to Fight Hate: A Community Response Guide. All over the country people are fighting hate, standing up to promote tolerance and inclusion. More often than not, when hate flares up, good people rise up against it — often in greater numbers and with stronger voices. This guide sets out 10 principles for fighting hate in your community.
SAT, SEP 23 SUSTAINABILITY SUMMIT POSTPONED: Learn how the League of Women Voters of the St. Petersburg Area and our partners are working toward clean energy and clean water and how you can get involved! We have rescheduled for Sept 23rd, 8:15am – 12:30pm at the FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (100 8th Ave SE, Saint Petersburg, Florida 33701). For more information visit facebook.
THU, OCT 5 DEATH PENALTY: Governor Scott has ordered the execution of Michael Lambrix for Thursday, October 5th at 6pm ET. This would be the 25th execution ordered by Gov. Scott, a new record for a Florida governor. Please Take Action! Support the statewide organized grassroots effort to end executions in Florida. Make your much needed and appreciated donation today.

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.
ART FOR HOPE: 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.
IMG_3544
LUNCH BUNCH: This informal and open group gathers at a local restaurant for lunch and lively conversation after the service. Please check with one of the regulars – Don Ritchie or Ruth Halderman – about the details each week.
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.
roofRAISING THE ROOF! The church has been informed by competent professionals, that the roof will need to be replaced probably within a year or two. The Advisors do not want to jump up one Sunday and beg for a huge amount of money. Therefore, you are being asked for Shekels for Shingles. Have you a few spare coins…$1’s,…. $5’s? If we scrape now, we won’t have to dig as deeply later. Please place donations in the bottle on the back table in the sanctuary.
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

Mark Gibson and family, Betty Harris, Ron Huff,
Carolyn Moore, Gertie Pirazzini, Ann Quinn, Earl Waters

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New Members!

Yesterday, Rhonda Lay and Penny Hammond joined Lakewood United Church of Christ.

panorama of congregation during new member liturgy

panorama of congregation during new member liturgy


photos by Yoko Nogami
Click on any picture for a larger image.

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UCC Florida Conference Hurricane Irma Response

Rev. John VertiganGreetings to you, and peace, Florida Conference.

We’ve all been impacted by Irma. Some have felt the wrath of that storm more intensely than others, but not a one of us escaped the effects of that massive storm. Through it, and after it, I have remembered the words of Jesus when he promised his disciples, “I will not leave you desolate.” It’s a promise from which we can take heart as we move into the recovery phase of this event. I recall an announcer on news radio remarking that “the hurricane was the scary part; now we get into the tough part.”

The church house at 9300 did not sustain any major damage but remains without power as of this writing. We have no access to lights, phones, internet or e-mail systems, and the best way for you to let us know of needs is to phone your regional minister or me directly if you have those numbers. In any event, we are trying mightily to survey the damage to our church communities across the state so we can advocate for a powerful rebuilding response as time passes.

The Executive Committee of the Board of Directors has approved a $1,000 immediate gift to our partners in the Coalition of Immokalee Workers to assist them in their response to those in need there.

I have already received outreach from the Pension Boards of the United Church of Christ who have offered help to clergy who might find themselves in financial crisis because of this storm. Perhaps you missed a paycheck or encountered an unmet need due to the hurricane. Please reach out to me; we have ways of helping in such times. Additionally, I’ve received outreach from the office of disaster ministries in the national setting of the United Church of Christ. I can speak boldly for them and for us in the conference leadership when I say we are committed to a long-term response to this disaster and will do everything in our power to assist our churches and communities in their recovery efforts.

Jesus said, “I will not leave you desolate.” Today I ask you to live with the mind of Christ and see to it that not one person in your sphere of influence feels they have been left alone in this crisis. To that request I add the promise of the wider United Church of Christ that we are with you in this time as together we make way for a new day and a new dawn to the glory of the One who calls us.

Now more than ever, be at peace and be in touch, won’t you.

Rev. John Vertigan

The Rev. John Vertigan
Conference Minister

Related articles:

Hurricane Irma Response

Irma makes devastating impact on South Florida

Florida family displaced by Hurricane Irma finds home at Ohio church

Disaster Ministries launches Hurricane Irma appeal, immersed in Harvey recovery

 

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Free Meals Available Thursday and Friday

Free hot meals, free canned food, and free water will be offered to those affected by Hurricane Irma at the Enoch Davis Center, 1111 18th Ave. S., St. Petersburg, from noon until 7:00 p.m. on Thursday and Friday Sept. 14 and 15.

This service is being provided by the Women’s March Pinellas and the City of St. Petersburg.

Please spread this information to those whom it would benefit.

 

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Weekly Update 13 September

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

COMING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

SUN, SEP 17 THIS SUNDAY: It is Charter Sunday! This is a Sunday to celebrate the founding of Lakewood United Church of Christ and the opening of the church charter. This year, Charter Sunday marks the beginning of the 50th anniversary of the church. There will be festivities planned through April when the charter was closed. The theme for the 50th anniversary celebration is “Foundation for the Future.”
SAT, SEP 16 IRMA: The church property survived Irma in tact! There are many shingles from the roof and branches down, but no water came in. The sandbags worked!

Please come to help work on brush clean up on Saturday 8:30 am if you can! If you want to help before Saturday, feel free to come to church and start amassing debris under the big oak tree by the parking area or by the dumpsters. Our lawn care person will take it to the dump later in the week.

ANNOUNCEMENTS: In an effort to be environmentally conscious, shorter bulletins will continue to be used this fall at Lakewood. This means there will be room for only some of the announcements that are posted online. You are encouraged to subscribe to the website (this means you will get new posts emailed to you) in order to stay up to date on everything that’s happening. Alternatively, you can check the website, lakewooducc.org frequently for updates.
SUN, SEP 17 CHOIR BEGINS: This morning the choir begins its ministry for the year ahead. Many thanks to the singers and Music Director Hilton Jones for providing this important part of our life together. New voices are always welcome in the choir – no experience required. Rehearsals begin Sunday morning at 9:15 a.m.
SUN, SEP 17 START OF CHURCH SCHOOL: Church school for elementary and middle school age children will resume. Instead of starting the service together, bring your children directly to the church school room and they will join the service after the offering. This week the children will assemble emergency clean-up buckets to send to people whose homes were flooded by hurricanes Harvey and Irma. To learn more, visit cwskits.org.
FAMILY PROMISE: Donations of laundry detergent are needed! This ongoing drive is becoming the LUCC compassionate response to providing for one of the greatest needs of the families. The detergent can be placed in the cart in the narthex. Contact Patti Cooksey if you have any questions.
VOTING RIGHTS: A petition to restore the right to vote for people with prior felony convictions, except those convicted of murder or a felony sexual offense, upon completion of their sentences will be available to sign after worship on Sunday. Currently, people with prior felony convictions are permanently disqualified to vote unless they receive clemency. Contact Lucille Ruga if you are interested or have any questions.
ECLIPSE GLASSES: Bring your gently used eclipse glasses to church so they can be reused! Lakewood UCC will participate in the Astronomers Without Borders program to collect glasses after the eclipse, so they can be sent to schools in South America and Asia when eclipses cross those continents in 2019. Don’t waste. Donate!
SPACE HEATER: A formerly-homeless friend of the church has asked for a space heater. If you have one you can donate, please let the church office know.

COMMUNITY EVENTS

ONLINE RESOURCE: The Southern Poverty Law Center has published a new online resource, Ten Ways to Fight Hate: A Community Response Guide. All over the country people are fighting hate, standing up to promote tolerance and inclusion. More often than not, when hate flares up, good people rise up against it — often in greater numbers and with stronger voices. This guide sets out 10 principles for fighting hate in your community.
SUSTAINABILITY SUMMIT POSTPONED: Learn how the League of Women Voters of the St. Petersburg Area and our partners are working toward clean energy and clean water and how you can get involved! We are hoping to reschedule for Sept 23rd or 30th, depending on venue and panelist availability, as it is clear now more than ever that we must push ahead toward clean energy and clean water in the context of climate change and what it means for our weather. For more information visit facebook.

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.
ART FOR HOPE: 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.
IMG_3544
LUNCH BUNCH: This informal and open group gathers at a local restaurant for lunch and lively conversation after the service. Please check with one of the regulars – Don Ritchie or Ruth Halderman – about the details each week.
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.
roofRAISING THE ROOF! The church has been informed by competent professionals, that the roof will need to be replaced probably within a year or two. The Advisors do not want to jump up one Sunday and beg for a huge amount of money. Therefore, you are being asked for Shekels for Shingles. Have you a few spare coins…$1’s,…. $5’s? If we scrape now, we won’t have to dig as deeply later. Please place donations in the bottle on the back table in the sanctuary.
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

Mark Gibson and family, Betty Harris, Ron Huff, Ed Kaspar,
Carolyn Moore, Gertie Pirazzini, Ann Quinn, Earl Waters, Denise Williams

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Service cancelled this morning due to hurricane Irma

A beautiful service of hymns, prayers, and readings about storms was planned for today, but evidently Irma has other ideas.

Calls to local authorities say that tropical storm winds are expected as early as 8 a.m., there is a 100% chance of rain, and the authorities are requesting no one on the roads after noon.

In light of this, we are cancelling worship, choir rehearsal, and church school for today. So, please say your prayers for the storm at home. Please remember your Lakewood family. Take care and much love.

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Prepping for Irma

Click on any picture for a larger image.

After sandbagging all the doors that leak in heavy rains, taking off the roadsign letters, moving plants and nursery gear indoors, and arranging interior to prevent damage, the hearty crew pauses for a selfie: (L to R above) Hilton Jones, Bill Lindsay, Yoko Nogami, Rev. Wells, Gary Long, Victoria Long, and Bill Parsons.

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Weekly Update 6 September

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

COMING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

SUN, SEP 10 THIS SUNDAY: If hurricane Irma permits, we’ll be looking at what it means to live a good life. See Psalm 119:33-40 and Romans 13:8-10. Remember to bring your hurricane relief items for the rescue buckets the children will be assembling.
ANNOUNCEMENTS: In an effort to be environmentally conscious, shorter bulletins will continue to be used this fall at Lakewood. This means there will be room for only some of the announcements that are posted online. You are encouraged to subscribe to the website (this means you will get new posts emailed to you) in order to stay up to date on everything that’s happening. Alternatively, you can check the website, lakewooducc.org frequently for updates.
SANDBAGS: If you can bring sandbags to the church, drop them off by the garage and they will be used to protect our buildings from hurricane Irma.
 THU, SEP 7 CREATION JUSTICE: The Creation Justice Task Force is meeting Thursday Sept. 7 at 1:00 p.m. in the Church Library.
 THU, SEP 7 ANNIVERSARY: The Anniversary Committee is meeting Thursday Sept. 7 at 6:00 p.m. at the home of Bill Parsons. If you would like to participate in this committee, or if you have suggestions, please contact Bill.
SUN, SEP 10 CHOIR BEGINS: This morning the choir begins its ministry for the year ahead. Many thanks to the singers and Music Director Hilton Jones for providing this important part of our life together. New voices are always welcome in the choir – no experience required. A kickoff cocktail/mocktail gathering will be held at Grace Lewis’ home on September 9th at 7pm to celebrate the start of the choir season. Rehearsals begin Sunday morning at 9:15 a.m.
SUN, SEP 10 START OF CHURCH SCHOOL: Church school for elementary and middle school age children will resume the first Sunday after Labor Day. Instead of starting the service together, bring your children directly to the church school room and they will join the service after the offering. This week the children will assemble emergency clean-up buckets to send to people whose homes were flooded by hurricane Harvey. To learn more, visit cwskits.org.
SUN, SEP 10 ADVISORS MEETING: The advisors will be meeting after worship on Sunday in the Fellowship Hall. All are welcome.
MON, SEP 11 OPERATION ATTACK: A Lakewood volunteer night is scheduled at Operation Attack for Monday, September 11th from 6:00-7:00pm at Lakeview Presbyterian Church. Volunteers are also needed to launder, sort and organize donated items, or to occasionally substitute for regular volunteers when needed. Clothing needs include underwear and socks, jackets of all sizes and uniform items required by many schools. Donations of newborn diapers to be included in the layettes and travel size hygiene products for seniors served by the Neighborly Care Network are also welcome. Food needs include canned fruit, soup, vegetables, meat, pasta, pasta sauce, rice, beans, peanut butter and cereal. Donations can be placed in the grocery cart in the narthex. For more information about volunteering contact Zach Blair-Andrews.
TUE, SEP 12 WOMEN’S SPIRITUALITY GROUP: The LUCC Women’s Spirituality Group invites you (and friends) to the first Fall meeting “Celebrating Wonder” on Tuesday evening, Sept. 12th, 6:30 – 8:00 pm. Please RSVP to Sue Sherwood if you plan on coming or bringing a friend. Gathering location will be announced next week. Spirituality is lived faith – discovering and honoring the holy in you and all around you. Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel wrote that religion and awareness of the divine begins with wonder. This fall we, too, are beginning with Wonder. We will celebrate the wonders of life through music and sharing, song and silence. We surely live in a time of Wonder – the recent solar eclipse, the rhythms of summer, personal and worldwide awakenings, and love through it all in the power of community. Wonder opens our eyes to Spirit’s presence all around us and within us. So come and share and play! Yoko has her banjo and we have a guitar or two and a drum…if you have a musical instrument, bring it along! And if you have had an “aha!” moment this summer, bring that, too!
WED, SEP 13 CIRCUS MCGURKIS PLANNING MEETING: Lakewood UCC will be hosting Circus McGurkis this year on Saturday, November 11th! A Project of the St. Petersburg Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), Circus McGurkis is a peoples’ fair focusing on peace education and service to the community with special focus on activities for children of all ages and families of all types. It features arts, crafts, music, games, and ideas that celebrate the creativity and activism that makes our community a more beautiful, loving, and just place to live. A planning meeting will be held in the Fellowship Hall on Wednesday, September 13th at 6pm.
SUN, SEP 17 NEW MEMBERS: New members will be received on Charter Sunday September 17th. Those who are considering joining the church are asked to speak with Rev. Wells.
SUN, SEP 17 CHARTER SUNDAY: This is a Sunday to celebrate the founding of Lakewood United Church of Christ and the opening of the church charter. This year, Charter Sunday marks the beginning of the 50th anniversary of the church. There will be festivities planned through April when the charter was closed.
SUN, SEP 17 LITURGIST TRAINING: On Sunday Sept. 17 following the service, all those currently serving as liturgists and all those interested in this ministry are encouraged to participate in a training event. This brief session will begin in the Fellowship Hall and conclude in the sanctuary. Please contact Sue Sherwood for additional information.
FAMILY PROMISE: Donations of laundry detergent are needed! This ongoing drive is becoming the LUCC compassionate response to providing for one of the greatest needs of the families. The detergent can be placed in the cart in the narthex. Contact Patti Cooksey if you have any questions.
VOTING RIGHTS: A petition to restore the right to vote for people with prior felony convictions, except those convicted of murder or a felony sexual offense, upon completion of their sentences will be available to sign after worship on Sunday. Currently, people with prior felony convictions are permanently disqualified to vote unless they receive clemency. Contact Lucille Ruga if you are interested or have any questions.
ECLIPSE GLASSES: Bring your gently used eclipse glasses to church so they can be reused! Lakewood UCC will participate in the Astronomers Without Borders program to collect glasses after the eclipse, so they can be sent to schools in South America and Asia when eclipses cross those continents in 2019. Don’t waste. Donate!
SPACE HEATER: A formerly-homeless friend of the church has asked for a space heater. If you have one you can donate, please let the church office know.

COMMUNITY EVENTS

ONLINE RESOURCE: The Southern Poverty Law Center has published a new online resource, Ten Ways to Fight Hate: A Community Response Guide. All over the country people are fighting hate, standing up to promote tolerance and inclusion. More often than not, when hate flares up, good people rise up against it — often in greater numbers and with stronger voices. This guide sets out 10 principles for fighting hate in your community.
THU, SEP 7 OPIOID CRISIS FORUM: This forum, hosted by the Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions at St. Petersburg College and co-sponsored by the Drug Free America Foundation, will address how opioid addiction became such a health crisis and what is being done to address it. The forum, titled The Drug Epidemic: How Opioids Became a Death Machine, will be on Sept. 7th, from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Digitorium on SPC’s Seminole Campus, 9200 113th St. N. Admission is free, but advance registration is requested.
SAT, SEP 16 SUSTAINABILITY SUMMIT: Learn how the League of Women Voters of the St. Petersburg Area and our partners are working toward clean energy and clean water and how you can get involved! Saturday, September 16th from 9AM to 12:30PM at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute 100 8th Ave S, St. Pete. For ticket information visit facebook.

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.
ART FOR HOPE: 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.
IMG_3544
LUNCH BUNCH: This informal and open group gathers at a local restaurant for lunch and lively conversation after the service. Please check with one of the regulars – Don Ritchie or Ruth Halderman – about the details each week.
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.
roofRAISING THE ROOF! The church has been informed by competent professionals, that the roof will need to be replaced probably within a year or two. The Advisors do not want to jump up one Sunday and beg for a huge amount of money. Therefore, you are being asked for Shekels for Shingles. Have you a few spare coins…$1’s,…. $5’s? If we scrape now, we won’t have to dig as deeply later. Please place donations in the bottle on the back table in the sanctuary.
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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Another Florida Execution Scheduled

Governor Scott has ordered the execution of Michael Lambrix for Thursday, October 5th at 6pm. This would be the 25th execution ordered by Gov. Scott, a new record for a Florida governor. Originally scheduled for February 2016, Mr. Lambrix’s execution was put on hold when the U.S. Supreme Court’s Hearst decision declared sentencing juries must be unanimous. There were hopes that Lambrix would be resentenced to life in prison, where he has already served 33 years. But the state of Florida has since determined that the Hearst decision could not be considered retroactive, so the 8-4 and 10-2 jury decisions to execute have been declared legally binding.

Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty works for restorative justice in the form of effective alternatives to the death penalty. More information is available at https://www.fadp.org/ We expect that there will be a vigil at the time of execution; information about that will be shared when available. In the meantime, letters to Gov. Scott (400 S. Monroe Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399) are an appropriate response.

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The Drug Epidemic: How Opioids Became a Death Machine

This forum, hosted by the Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions at St. Petersburg College and co-sponsored by the Drug Free America Foundation, will address how opioid addiction became such a health crisis and what is being done to address it. The forum, titled The Drug Epidemic: How Opioids Became a Death Machine, will be on Sept. 7th, from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Digitorium on SPC’s Seminole Campus, 9200 113th St. N. Admission is free, but advance registration is requested.

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CARE Watch Party

Improve the lives of those who provide and receive care through local discussions and impactful actions to change both the policies and cultural attitudes around caregiving.

Why is this important?

At some point in our lives, we will all need care. This need is growing; the U.S. elder population will double over the next two decades and our system is unprepared for this elder boom. In-home care work is one of the most affordable and desired long-term care solutions available yet this work is often unheralded and severely undervalued. Many families struggle to access and afford the highly skilled care they so desperately need. The situation is untenable. The stakes are high. We need a new way forward. Start by joining others around the nation who will be watching CARE.

Let Patti Cooksey know if you are interested in participating in the watch party at her home on Tuesday, September 5th at 8pm.

Larry and Laurie’s story is one of those featured in this powerful film that shows the dynamics of care and caregiving relationships.

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League of Women Voters’ Sunrise Over the Bay: Sustainability Summit

Sunrise Over the Bay: Sustainability Summit
When
Saturday, September 16, 2017 from 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM EDT
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Where

Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute
100 8th Ave SE
St. Petersburg, FL 33701-5020
Driving Directions

Hello Claire!

Solar panels, bicycles and electric cars, green stormwater management, preserving beaches. Each of these helps make our area more sustainable.
What’s going on in your county? Your city? Maybe even your neighborhood?
 
Sunrise Over the Bay, sponsored by the LWVSPA Sustainability Action Group, will look at the many ways organizations and individuals are working towards clean energy and clean water–and sustainability.
Speakers include:
  • Alan Brand, AKA the “Solar Shepherd”
  • Mary Dipboye, FL SUN Solar Co-op
  • Claude Tankersley, St Pete Public Works
  • Holly Greening, Tampa Bay Estuary
  • Andy Squires, PC Beach Restoration
  • Susan Glickman, Southern Alliance Clean Energy
  • Dr. Gary Mitchum, Associate Dean,USF College of Marine Science
Topics will include solar energy co-ops, actions the City and County have taken in support of solar energy, and community solar opportunities. Also, as part of the conversation about climate change, participants will explore stormwater and wastewater planning, integrated sustainability action planning, and beach replenishment,
Register Now!
Doors will open at 8:00 am. A 20-minute break mid-program between sessions when light refreshments will be provided.

 

Metered street parking is available, along with the pay lot at the Mahaffey Theatre.

Sponsorship and vendor opportunities are available. Tables will be available at no charge to non-profit exhibitors. Please reply to this email to reserve your vendor/table spot.
We hope to see you at Sustainability Summit 2017!
LWV-St. Pete Sustainability Action Group Co-Chairs,
Lisa Vanover
Claire Karas
Susan Tuite
LWVSPA, P.O. Box 11775, St. Petersburg, FL 33733
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August 30 Weekly Update

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

COMING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

SUN, SEP 3 THIS SUNDAY: This is the last of the Summer Sundays, Labor Day weekend, and a time to think about work. What kind of work have you done? What kind of work are you called to do? The story of Moses and the burning bush invites reflection on experiencing God’s call on holy ground. Get ready to take off your shoes! See Exodus 3:1-15.
SUN, SEP 3 COMMUNION SUNDAY: The first Sunday of the month is Communion Sunday. All are welcome to participate including children. The communion offering this month will go to UCC Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts. You can also donate online. Please be generous as you are able.
TUE, SEP 5 WATCH PARTY: CARE is a moving and powerful film that shows the dynamics of care and caregiving relationships—something we don’t often see on TV or in the movies. Using personal stories, it connects the dots between care workers and families, and shows how stretched the system is for everyone. Let Patti Cooksey know if you are interested in participating in the watch party at her home on Tuesday, September 5 at 8pm.
SAT, SEP 9 CHOIR PARTY: A kickoff cocktail/mocktail gathering will be held at Grace Lewis’ home on September 9th at 7pm to celebrate the start of the choir season. Choir members, family/friends of choir members, folks thinking about maybe joining the choir, and fans of the choir are welcome to come. Bring drinks to share!
SUN, SEP 10 CHOIR BEGINS: The first choir rehearsal of the fall season is September 10th at 9:15am, the Sunday after Labor Day. The choir will also sing in the service that Sunday. A tentative schedule, as well as links to the scores and, where available, mp3s to listen to and practice with, is available online. Anyone is welcome to join, just give Hilton a heads up so he can have the music ready for you.
SUN, SEP 10 START OF CHURCH SCHOOL: Church school for elementary and middle school age children will resume the first Sunday after Labor Day. Grace Lewis will assemble emergency clean-up buckets with the children to send to people whose homes were flooded by hurricane Harvey. To learn more, visit cwskits.org.
MON, SEP 11 OPERATION ATTACK: A Lakewood volunteer night is scheduled at Operation Attack for Monday, September 11th from 6:00-7:00pm at Lakeview Presbyterian Church. Volunteers are also needed to launder, sort and organize donated items, or to occasionally substitute for regular volunteers when needed. Clothing needs include underwear and socks, jackets of all sizes and uniform items required by many schools. Donations of newborn diapers to be included in the layettes and travel size hygiene products for seniors served by the Neighborly Care Network are also welcome. Food needs include canned fruit, soup, vegetables, meat, pasta, pasta sauce, rice, beans, peanut butter and cereal. Donations can be placed in the grocery cart in the narthex. For more information about volunteering contact Zach Blair-Andrews.
TUE, SEP 12 WOMEN’S SPIRITUALITY GROUP: The LUCC Women’s Spirituality Group invites you (and friends) to the first Fall meeting “Celebrating Wonder” on Tuesday evening, Sept. 12th, 6:30 – 8:00 pm. Please RSVP to Sue Sherwood if you plan on coming or bringing a friend. Gathering location will be announced next week. Spirituality is lived faith – discovering and honoring the holy in you and all around you. Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel wrote that religion and awareness of the divine begins with wonder. This fall we, too, are beginning with Wonder. We will celebrate the wonders of life through music and sharing, song and silence. We surely live in a time of Wonder – the recent solar eclipse, the rhythms of summer, personal and worldwide awakenings, and love through it all in the power of community. Wonder opens our eyes to Spirit’s presence all around us and within us. So come and share and play! Yoko has her banjo and we have a guitar or two and a drum…if you have a musical instrument, bring it along! And if you have had an “aha!” moment this summer, bring that, too!
WED, SEP 13 CIRCUS MCGURKIS PLANNING MEETING: Lakewood UCC will be hosting Circus McGurkis this year on Saturday, November 11th! A Project of the St. Petersburg Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), Circus McGurkis is a peoples’ fair focusing on peace education and service to the community with special focus on activities for children of all ages and families of all types. It features arts, crafts, music, games, and ideas that celebrate the creativity and activism that makes our community a more beautiful, loving, and just place to live. A planning meeting will be held in the Fellowship Hall on Wednesday, September 13th at 6pm.
SUN, SEP 17 NEW MEMBERS: New members will be received on Charter Sunday September 17th. Those who are considering joining the church are asked to speak with Rev. Wells.
ANNIVERSARY: This year we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the founding of Lakewood UCC. A committee has been formed to help plan this celebration consisting of Kim Wells, Bill Parsons, Mark Gibson, Colleen Coughenour, and Lucille Ruga. If you would like to participate in this committee, or if you have suggestions, please contact Bill Parsons.
PEACE FESTIVAL REFLECTIONS: Church members who staffed the Lakewood UCC free table share their reflections on the Peace Festival in Williams Park.
FAMILY PROMISE: Donations of laundry detergent are needed! This ongoing drive is becoming the LUCC compassionate response to providing for one of the greatest needs of the families. The detergent can be placed in the cart in the narthex. Contact Patti Cooksey if you have any questions.
VOTING RIGHTS: A petition to restore the right to vote for people with prior felony convictions, except those convicted of murder or a felony sexual offense, upon completion of their sentences will be available to sign after worship on Sunday. Currently, people with prior felony convictions are permanently disqualified to vote unless they receive clemency. Contact Lucille Ruga if you are interested or have any questions.
ECLIPSE GLASSES: Bring your gently used eclipse glasses to church so they can be reused! Lakewood UCC will participate in the Astronomers Without Borders program to collect glasses after the eclipse, so they can be sent to schools in South America and Asia when eclipses cross those continents in 2019. Don’t waste. Donate!
SPACE HEATER: A formerly-homeless friend of the church has asked for a space heater. If you have one you can donate, please let the church office know.

COMMUNITY EVENTS

ONLINE RESOURCE: The Southern Poverty Law Center has published a new online resource, Ten Ways to Fight Hate: A Community Response Guide. All over the country people are fighting hate, standing up to promote tolerance and inclusion. More often than not, when hate flares up, good people rise up against it — often in greater numbers and with stronger voices. This guide sets out 10 principles for fighting hate in your community.
WED, AUG 30 PEACE FIRST SITE FOR JULY-AUGUST: Since 2002, Peace First has gathered on street corners weekly to speak for peace and justice. In July and August, Peace First will demonstrate every Wednesday morning from 8:00-9:00 AM (new summer time) at the intersection of 54th Avenue and 49th Street N. in St. Petersburg. There are a CVS Pharmacy, Zeko’s Mediterranean Grill, and Memorial Park Cemetery at this intersection. This is a new site for the group. It is a main north/south artery that crosses a road leading to the interstate, so there is a lot of traffic. A map is available at google.com. Afterward the group will gather at the Burg Diner at 2950 49th Street for breakfast. For more information email FMI.
THU, AUG 31 CONVERSATION AND FILM SCREENING: Join fellow community members for a conversation about building stronger & safer communities, following a special viewing of “Newtown,” a documentary on the sense of community after the scathing mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Film Screening of “Newtown” at 6:00 p.m. Community Discussion at 7:45 p.m. Free and open to the public! Light refreshments and appetizers will be served prior to the film screening. To reserve your seat, please email. This event will take place on Thursday, August 31st at 6:00pm at the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg (University Student Center). Community Partners: The Florida Holocaust Museum, USF St. Petersburg, Community Tampa Bay, Sandy Hook Promise, and Temple Beth-El, St. Petersburg, FL. See facebook for more information.
THU, SEP 7 OPIOID CRISIS FORUM: This forum, hosted by the Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions at St. Petersburg College and co-sponsored by the Drug Free America Foundation, will address how opioid addiction became such a health crisis and what is being done to address it. The forum, titled The Drug Epidemic: How Opioids Became a Death Machine, will be on Sept. 7th, from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Digitorium on SPC’s Seminole Campus, 9200 113th St. N. Admission is free, but advance registration is requested.
SAT, SEP 16 SUSTAINABILITY SUMMIT: Learn how the League of Women Voters of the St. Petersburg Area and our partners are working toward clean energy and clean water and how you can get involved! Saturday, September 16th from 9AM to 12:30PM at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute 100 8th Ave S, St. Pete. For ticket information visit facebook.

CONTINUING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

AA: In the Fellowship Hall Thursdays at 7:45 p.m.
ANNOUNCEMENTS WELCOME: To have an announcement put in the bulletin or weekly update, please turn it into the church office by Wednesday at noon. Email, or voicemail, as well as written material is welcome. The church is glad to share activities and news from members and friends.
THE BIBLE ON REFUGEES AND IMMIGRANTS: As Christians, we are called to love our neighbors. The Bible is unambiguous in calling us to welcome aliens and strangers in our land, and to love them as we love ourselves. In these times, let us listen to the voice of the still-speaking God. Visit ucc.org for a list of biblical references to immigrants and refugees.
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.
IMG_3544
LUNCH BUNCH: This informal and open group gathers at a local restaurant for lunch and lively conversation after the service. Please check with one of the regulars – Don Ritchie or Ruth Halderman – about the details each week.
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.
roofRAISING THE ROOF! The church has been informed by competent professionals, that the roof will need to be replaced probably within a year or two. The Advisors do not want to jump up one Sunday and beg for a huge amount of money. Therefore, you are being asked for Shekels for Shingles. Have you a few spare coins…$1’s,…. $5’s? If we scrape now, we won’t have to dig as deeply later. Please place donations in the bottle on the back table in the sanctuary.
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. All children participate in the beginning of the worship service. Middle School age children and younger are invited to participate in Children’s Time during the service. After Children’s Time there is Church School for Elementary and Middle School students with Grace Lewis. Preschool children are welcome in the Nursery under the able care of Claudia Rodriguez. 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

Ann Quinn, Betty Harris, Ed Kaspar, Carolyn Moore, Earl Waters, Ron Huff

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Celebrating Wonder: A Women’s Spirituality Event

The LUCC Women’s Spirituality Group invites you (and friends) to the first Fall meeting:
                                 “Celebrating Wonder”
                 Tuesday evening, Sept. 12th, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Please RSVP to Sue Sherwood if you plan on coming or bringing a friend.
Gathering location will be announced next week.
Spirituality is lived faith – discovering and honoring the holy in you and all around you.  Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel wrote that religion and awareness of the divine begins with wonder.
This fall we, too, are beginning with Wonder.  We will celebrate the wonders of life through music and sharing, song and silence.
We surely live in a time of Wonder – the recent solar eclipse, the rhythms of summer, personal and worldwide awakenings, and love through it all in the power of community.  Wonder opens our eyes to Spirit’s presence all around us and within us.
So come and share and play!  Yoko has her banjo and we have a guitar or two and a drum…if you have a musical instrument, bring it along!  And if you have had an “aha!” moment this summer, bring that, too!
Looking forward to seeing you all!
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23 August Weekly Update

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

COMING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

SUN, AUG 27 THIS SUNDAY: Many of us grew up with the taunt, “Sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me.” But we know that words can hurt. Jesus has something to say about that. See Matthew 15:10-28.
SAT, AUG 26 IN MEMORIAM: Charter Lakewood UCC member Evelyn Kaspar died at home in her sleep on Saturday August 5th. Condolences go to her family and friends, especially Ed Kaspar and James Waterman, her son and son-in-law. A service to celebrate her life will be held on Saturday, August 26th here in Lakewood’s Sanctuary at 11am with reception to follow in Fellowship Hall.
IN MEMORIAM: The church received news of the death of Helen Myers. Helen was the spouse of Frank Myers, the pastor of All Saints Lutheran Church which preceded Lakewood United Church of Christ at the current site. Helen died Friday July 21, 2017 at age 98. Helen had written out her final wishes years ago for cremation and no obituary, no service in Florida. There will be a burial and graveside service in Glen Rock, PA, where she will be buried in the family plot.
SUN, AUG 27 CELEBRATION SUNDAY: This potluck luncheon is held after worship on the last Sunday of the month. It is an opportunity to honor the celebrations and important events in the congregation in the month that has passed. All are welcome! This month’s lunch will be hosted this month by the Creation Justice Task Force and the Ushers. The potluck will be vegetarian, so keep that in mind as you plan. Bring a dish to share and help celebrate August birthdays.
PEACE FESTIVAL REFLECTIONS: Church members who staffed the Lakewood UCC free table share their reflections on the Peace Festival in Williams Park.
TUE, AUG 29 FAMILY PROMISE: There will be a meeting on August 29th at 6pm at Lakewood United Methodist Church with Jen Sunshine for Family Promise updates. Any new interested persons are invited to stay for a 6:30pm orientation. There will be light refreshments. Contact Patti Cooksey if you have any questions.
SUN, SEP 10 CHOIR BEGINS: The first choir rehearsal of the fall season is September 10th at 9:15am, the Sunday after Labor Day. The choir will also sing in the service that Sunday. A tentative schedule, as well as links to the scores and, where available, mp3s to listen to and practice with, is available online. Anyone is welcome to join, just give Hilton a heads up so he can have the music ready for you.
SUN, SEP 10 START OF CHURCH SCHOOL: Church school for elementary and middle school age children will resume the first Sunday after Labor Day.
MON, SEP 11 OPERATION ATTACK: A Lakewood volunteer night is scheduled at Operation Attack for Monday, September 11th from 6:00-7:00pm at Lakeview Presbyterian Church. Volunteers are also needed to launder, sort and organize donated items, or to occasionally substitute for regular volunteers when needed. Clothing needs include underwear and socks, jackets of all sizes and uniform items required by many schools. Donations of newborn diapers to be included in the layettes and travel size hygiene products for seniors served by the Neighborly Care Network are also welcome. Food needs include canned fruit, soup, vegetables, meat, pasta, pasta sauce, rice, beans, peanut butter and cereal. Donations can be placed in the grocery cart in the narthex. For more information about volunteering contact Zach Blair-Andrews.
TUE, SEP 12 WOMENS SPIRITUALITY GROUP: The Women’s Spirituality Group is planning an evening gathering on Tuesday, September 12th. Time and location to be determined.
SUN, SEP 17 NEW MEMBERS: New members will be received on Charter Sunday September 17th.
ANNIVERSARY: This year we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the founding of Lakewood UCC. A committee has been formed to help plan this celebration consisting of Kim Wells, Bill Parsons, Mark Gibson, Colleen Coughenour, and Lucille Ruga. If you would like to participate in this committee, or if you have suggestions, please contact Bill Parsons.
VOTING RIGHTS: A petition to restore the right to vote for people with prior felony convictions, except those convicted of murder or a felony sexual offense, upon completion of their sentences will be available to sign after worship on Sunday. Currently, people with prior felony convictions are permanently disqualified to vote unless they receive clemency. Contact Lucille Ruga if you are interested or have any questions.
ECLIPSE GLASSES: Bring your gently used eclipse glasses to church so they can be reused! Lakewood UCC will participate in the Astronomers Without Borders program to collect glasses after the eclipse, so they can be sent to schools in South America and Asia when eclipses cross those continents in 2019. Don’t waste. Donate!

COMMUNITY EVENTS

ONLINE RESOURCE: The Southern Poverty Law Center has published a new online resource, Ten Ways to Fight Hate: A Community Response Guide. All over the country people are fighting hate, standing up to promote tolerance and inclusion. More often than not, when hate flares up, good people rise up against it — often in greater numbers and with stronger voices. This guide sets out 10 principles for fighting hate in your community.
WED, AUG 23 FREE FILM SERIES: St. Pete for Peace is hosting the film “American Anarchist” at Community Cafe (2444 Central Ave) today, August 23, from 7-9pm. The story of one of the most infamous books ever written, “The Anarchist Cookbook,” and the role it’s played in the life of its author, now 65, who wrote it at 19 in the midst of the counterculture upheaval of the late ’60s and early ’70s. (80 min)
THU, AUG 24 DEATH PENALTY VIGIL: Pinellas anti-death penalty demonstration: Pax Christi Tampa Bay, Peace First, Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty and other death penalty opponents will gather from 5:00-6:00 PM on Thursday, August 24 at an anti-death penalty demonstration at the intersection of Ulmerton Road and 49th Street N. in mid-Pinellas County. Park in the lot behind Checkers and the bank on the northwest corner of the intersection. Signs and banners will be provided, or you can bring your own. Since execution dates often change, please check the media for updates and changes. The demonstration occurs during the execution; if the execution is re-scheduled, the demonstration will be rescheduled.
WEDs JUL-AUG PEACE FIRST SITE FOR JULY-AUGUST: Since 2002, Peace First has gathered on street corners weekly to speak for peace and justice. In July and August, Peace First will demonstrate every Wednesday morning from 8:00-9:00 AM (new summer time) at the intersection of 54th Avenue and 49th Street N. in St. Petersburg. There are a CVS Pharmacy, Zeko’s Mediterranean Grill, and Memorial Park Cemetery at this intersection. This is a new site for the group. It is a main north/south artery that crosses a road leading to the interstate, so there is a lot of traffic. A map is available at google.com. Afterward the group will gather at the Burg Diner at 2950 49th Street for breakfast. For more information email FMI.
MON, AUG 28 CIVICS WORKSHOP: Former Congressman David Jolly and Pinellas County Commission Chair Janet Long will provide national and local perspectives on our system of government at a workshop as part of our Civics Literacy Initiative. Sponsored by the Institute and the League of Women Voters of the St. Petersburg Area Democracy 101: A Civic Action Primer takes place from 6 to 8 p.m. Aug. 28 at the American Stage Theatre, 163 Third St. N., St. Petersburg. This free workshop will provide the basics of government structure, policy-making, and civic engagement.
THU, AUG 31 CONVERSATION AND FILM SCREENING: Join fellow community members for a conversation about building stronger & safer communities, following a special viewing of “Newtown,” a documentary on the sense of community after the scathing mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Film Screening of “Newtown” at 6:00 p.m. Community Discussion at 7:45 p.m. Free and open to the public! Light refreshments and appetizers will be served prior to the film screening. To reserve your seat, please email. This event will take place on Thursday, August 31st at 6:00pm at the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg (University Student Center). Community Partners: The Florida Holocaust Museum, USF St. Petersburg, Community Tampa Bay, Sandy Hook Promise, and Temple Beth-El, St. Petersburg, FL. See facebook for more information.
SAT, SEP 16 SUSTAINABILITY SUMMIT: Learn how the League of Women Voters of the St. Petersburg Area and our partners are working toward clean energy and clean water and how you can get involved! Saturday, September 16th from 9AM to 12:30PM at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute 100 8th Ave S, St. Pete. For ticket information visit facebook.

CONTINUING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

AA: In the Fellowship Hall Thursdays at 7:45 p.m.
ANNOUNCEMENTS WELCOME: To have an announcement put in the bulletin or weekly update, please turn it into the church office by Wednesday at noon. Email, or voicemail, as well as written material is welcome. The church is glad to share activities and news from members and friends.
THE BIBLE ON REFUGEES AND IMMIGRANTS: As Christians, we are called to love our neighbors. The Bible is unambiguous in calling us to welcome aliens and strangers in our land, and to love them as we love ourselves. In these times, let us listen to the voice of the still-speaking God. Visit ucc.org for a list of biblical references to immigrants and refugees.
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.
IMG_3544
LUNCH BUNCH: This informal and open group gathers at a local restaurant for lunch and lively conversation after the service. Please check with one of the regulars – Don Ritchie or Ruth Halderman – about the details each week.
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.
roofRAISING THE ROOF! The church has been informed by competent professionals, that the roof will need to be replaced probably within a year or two. The Advisors do not want to jump up one Sunday and beg for a huge amount of money. Therefore, you are being asked for Shekels for Shingles. Have you a few spare coins…$1’s,…. $5’s? If we scrape now, we won’t have to dig as deeply later. Please place donations in the bottle on the back table in the sanctuary.
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. All children participate in the beginning of the worship service. Elementary age children and younger are invited to participate in Children’s Time during the service. After Children’s Time there is Church School for Elementary and Middle School students with Grace Lewis. Preschool children are welcome in the Nursery under the able care of Claudia Rodriguez. High School students participate in the Lakewood service on Sunday morning and attend the youth groups at Pass A Grille Beach Community United Church of Christ on Sunday evening during the school year. Children and young people are an integral part of this church family and the intergenerational relationships that form in this small congregation are truly a blessing!


CIRCLE OF CONCERN

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Reflections on the Peace Festival in Williams Park

LUCC sponsored a “free” table at the “Disturbing the Peace Festival” in Williams Park in downtown St. Petersburg on Sunday August 20. Williams Park is known for being a comfortable green space where homeless people gather. The Festival included a focus on the inequities in society and increasing the compassion of our community. There were about 10 organizations with booths at the Festival. The day included a steady stream of music, poetry, and speeches calling for a more peaceful and just world.

The church had a tent and four tables covered with donated goods from the congregation. There were clothes, household items, and books. Lots of books! Many thanks to the congregation for the many donations. At the end of the day, just three small boxes of books and a few items of clothing were left. Those were donated to a thrift store.

The booth was staffed by several volunteers from the church. Here are their reflections on the experience last Sunday:

From Bob Bell

When we were setting up I was wondering what we going to do with all those books. To my surprise they were a very popular item.  Thought about it and for some of the people in the park their time is not spent watching big screen T.V.’s sitting in an air-conditioned house.  Some spend day and night there. (It’s home.)  Perhaps books are a welcome retreat from the daily effort to make the most out of what little they possess.  When I was able to tell people looking at the items on our booth’s tables and say to them, “Yes, it’s free, take all you want,” I realized just how much our church and all the other groups set-up there in the park do to serve and help those with less.  It was a day of peace, love and caring in the park.  Especially good way for me personally to spend a Sunday afternoon.  I needed that!

From Yoko Nogami

Hello Kim,
I want to thank you for the opportunity you have created for us to serve at the LUCC table for the Peace Festival.  I have now remembered why these things are so important to all of us.  As in the sermon you gave, love all sides of everything, without being in personal contact with a group of people who you are not associated with, you only have a “notion” of who these people are.  I learned this long time ago when I worked with people with disabilities at Creative Clay.  I jumped into a world I knew nothing about, the only common denominator being art.  Would I have ever imagined that this population could teach me more than I could teach them.  While I have worked with economically less privileged group and spent time with homeless folks at Williams Park on 2 art projects before, I had forgotten the spirit of love support and community they have for each other.  Some are incredibly educated and sober.  Just hit super bad times.

As soon as we started to set up, people were flocking, not just to receive things from us but to help set up and bring things from the car.  People spoke so honestly, when you are in such situations, we become humble and honest, much less pretense.  So many books I did not expect that they would want, people were not only hungry for food but for knowledge and growth.  Why would I think otherwise?  These are all good things for self reflections and my own prejudices I did not realize I had.  Aside from the people experience, the heat!  People are enduring this weather daily without shelter and air conditioning!  We are wimps!  So many stories and so much to learn from one another.

As a teacher, these are the places I felt I needed my students to come and experience.  Like you told Angela, if everyone had one day to spend in the crazy Florida heat, or one homeless folk as their friend, we could all be compassionate and empathize with others not from your neighborhood or kin.  There is less room for hate or ignorance.

And as a church located so remotely from the urban situation, we have to go to these things and not wait for things to come to us.

That’s my take.  And God willing I will find time somewhere to make it all fit.  Lol.

From Patti Cooksey

Like Yoko, I was extremely impressed to see so many drawn to the collection of books and to receive them as gifts.  As a teacher, this was a humbling and inspiring experience as I thought of all the needs that are not available to some of those who visited our table.  I sensed peace in their hearts as we shared our presence and gifts of love.  I think we also need to recognize how our church family can quickly respond to opportunities that provide love and support in our community.  Lastly I think we should be grateful to have a strong pastor who not only has the strength and passion to plan and take on such projects, but who also has the strength to tackle assembling large tents and transport heavy boxes of books!

From Denise Williams

I’m so glad I was able to be a small part of the peace festival.  The most wonderful thing for me was all the smiles surrounding our tent. I loved saying “everything is free” – just like the love of Jesus – no strings attached.  It was a pleasure, heat and all, to share love and laughter with one another.  I was humbled to see the joy our presence made in the day of our sisters and brothers.  I hope our tent visitors realized how much joy we received from them as well. I look forward to other events where LUCC folk can share their multitude of blessings – for free, once again…

From Emily Bell

I, too, thank Pastor Kim and Lakewood for the precious opportunity at William’s Park on Sunday afternoon.

A story I am left with involves a man who showed up from the park and began helping to arrange books on one of Lakewood’s “free tables.”

It happened to be the table where I was starting to unload books.  We said “hello” and began to work together.  No more words were spoken.  I wish I could tell you his name and something about his journey.  I cannot emphasize enough how carefully he handled each book.  At some point I decided to leave that table and move to a different table to unload household items.  The man’s presence captured my attention.  It soon became clear to me that he was an artist building a display of treasures.  Silence surrounded him.  He arranged and rearranged.  He was lost in his art. Nothing distracted him.

As I reflect on this man and the books I realize that his artistry reminded me of a sacred altar where the elements are handled with love, care and respect.

This was indeed holy ground.  At this “free table” I was nourished and taught.
God was here.
It was REAL!

 

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Execution Vigil in Pinellas County

Pinellas anti-death penalty demonstration: Pax Christi Tampa Bay, Peace
First, Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty and other death
penalty opponents will gather from 5:00-6:00 PM on Thursday, August 24 at an
anti-death penalty demonstration at the intersection of Ulmerton Road and
49th Street N. in mid-Pinellas County.  Park in the lot behind Checkers and
the bank on the northwest corner of the intersection. Signs and banners
will be provided, or you can bring your own. Since execution dates often
change, please check the media for updates and changes. The demonstration
occurs during the execution; if the execution is re-scheduled, the
demonstration will be rescheduled.

Other action to take:
Contact Gov. Rick Scott and ask him to suspend this and ALL executions.
Phone: (850) 488-7146
Email: Rick.Scott@eog.myflorida.com

Many thanks to Lucille Ruga for announcing this last Sunday in church and for providing this information.

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St Petersburg Plastic Bag Ban Petition

As the St. Petersburg City Council considers a ban on plastic bags, 36 members of Lakewood UCC signed a petition in support of such a ban. Along with the petition, Rev. Kim Wells sent a letter of explanation, it read:

Dear Members of the St. Petersburg City Council,
Greetings!  Our church is committed to the directive in the book of Genesis that humanity care for the Earth (Genesis 1:28).  We take this responsibility very seriously.  We feel an obligation to protect the Earth and all of the life that it supports.  We continue to seek out ways to fulfill this requirement of the Christian as well as the Jewish faith.
To this end, we enclose a petition in support of the limitation of the use of plastic bags.  This petition was circulated in church on the past two Sunday mornings.  There were about 30 people in attendance each Sunday.  We feel that the banning of plastic bags is an important way to show greater care and respect for the Earth and for the wildlife of our area.
I was in Portland, OR for a week in May attending a meeting and seeing the area since I had never been there.  After four days, I noticed that I had not been given a plastic bag at a store.  Paper bags had been used.  The next time I went to a store I asked about this.  Was there some kind of law or prohibition against plastic bags?  Oh yes!  The clerk was very enthusiastic about it and was quite surprised to hear that we did not have this in Florida.
Thank you for pursuing this initiative here in St. Petersburg.  Hopefully other municipalities will follow suit.  It’s good to live in a city that is setting the pace!
Many thanks for your leadership and service.
Blessings,
Rev. Kim Wells, pastor
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Weekly Update 16 August

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

COMING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

SUN, AUG 20 THIS SUNDAY: In case you haven’t heard, there’s a solar eclipse on Monday. It’s a time to think about how the manifestation of the Divine in creation is speaking to us today.
SUN, AUG 20 DISTURBING THE PEACE FESTIVAL: LUCC will have a “free” table giving away household items, books, and clothes. Donations are needed. Bring them to church Thursday from 9-12, Friday from 1-4, or Sunday morning. Volunteers are also needed to staff the table in Williams Park from 2-7pm on Sunday. Visit facebook for more information. Please email to volunteer. Thank you!
 SAT, AUG 26 IN MEMORIAM: Charter Lakewood UCC member Evelyn Kaspar died at home in her sleep on Saturday August 5th. Condolences go to her family and friends, especially Ed Kaspar and James Waterman, her son and son-in-law. A service to celebrate her life will be held on Saturday, August 26th here in Lakewood’s Sanctuary at 11am with reception to follow in Fellowship Hall.
 SUN, AUG 27 CELEBRATION SUNDAY: Will be hosted this month by the Creation Justice Task Force and the Ushers. This potluck will be vegetarian, so keep that in mind as you plan. Bring a dish to share and help celebrate August birthdays.
TUE, AUG 29 FAMILY PROMISE: There will be a meeting on August 29th at 6pm at Lakewood United Methodist Church with Jen Sunshine for Family Promise updates. Any new interested persons are invited to stay for a 6:30pm orientation. There will be light refreshments. Contact Patti Cooksey if you have any questions.
SUN, SEP 10 CHOIR BEGINS: The first choir rehearsal of the fall season is September 10th at 9:15am, the Sunday after Labor Day. The choir will also sing in the service that Sunday. A tentative schedule, as well as links to the scores and, where available, mp3s to listen to and practice with, is available online. Anyone is welcome to join, just give Hilton a heads up so he can have the music ready for you.
SUN, SEP 10 START OF CHURCH SCHOOL: Church school for elementary and middle school age children will resume the first Sunday after Labor Day.
MON, SEP 11 OPERATION ATTACK: A Lakewood volunteer night is scheduled at Operation Attack for Monday, September 11th from 6:00-7:00pm at Lakeview Presbyterian Church. Volunteers are also needed to launder, sort and organize donated items, or to occasionally substitute for regular volunteers when needed. Clothing needs include underwear and socks, jackets of all sizes and uniform items required by many schools. Donations of newborn diapers to be included in the layettes and travel size hygiene products for seniors served by the Neighborly Care Network are also welcome. Food needs include canned fruit, soup, vegetables, meat, pasta, pasta sauce, rice, beans, peanut butter and cereal. Donations can be placed in the grocery cart in the narthex. For more information about volunteering contact Zach Blair-Andrews.
 TUE, SEP 12 WOMENS SPIRITUALITY GROUP: The Women’s Spirituality Group is planning an evening gathering on Tuesday, September 12th. Time and location to be determined.
ANNIVERSARY: This year we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the founding of Lakewood UCC. A committee has been formed to help plan this celebration consisting of Kim Wells, Bill Parsons, Mark Gibson, Colleen Coughenour, and Lucille Ruga. If you would like to participate in this committee, or if you have suggestions, please contact Bill Parsons.
VOTING RIGHTS: A petition to restore the right to vote for people with prior felony convictions, except those convicted of murder or a felony sexual offense, upon completion of their sentences will be available to sign after worship on Sunday. Currently, people with prior felony convictions are permanently disqualified to vote unless they receive clemency. Contact Lucille Ruga if you are interested or have any questions.

COMMUNITY EVENTS

WED, AUG 16 FREE FILM SERIES: St. Pete for Peace is hosting the film “Programming the Nation?” at Community Cafe (2444 Central Ave) today, August 16, from 7-9pm. Director Jeff Warrick leads this documentary journey through the subconscious mind while exploring the alleged usage of subliminal messaging in advertising, music, film, television, anti-theft devices, political propaganda, military psychological operations, and advanced weapons development, to determine if such tactics have succeeded in “PROGRAMMING THE NATION?” 1hr, 40 min.
WEDs JUL-AUG PEACE FIRST SITE FOR JULY-AUGUST: Since 2002, Peace First has gathered on street corners weekly to speak for peace and justice. In July and August, Peace First will demonstrate every Wednesday morning from 8:00-9:00 AM (new summer time) at the intersection of 54th Avenue and 49th Street N. in St. Petersburg. There are a CVS Pharmacy, Zeko’s Mediterranean Grill, and Memorial Park Cemetery at this intersection. This is a new site for the group. It is a main north/south artery that crosses a road leading to the interstate, so there is a lot of traffic. A map is available at google.com. Afterward the group will gather at the Burg Diner at 2950 49th Street for breakfast. For more information email FMI.
SAT, AUG 19 DOCUMENTARY FILM SCREENING: “America Divided” will be shown at Woodson African American Museum (2240 Ninth Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL) on August 19th from 2 – 4pm. Filmmakers, Jesse Williams, SPLC, and the Dream Defenders explore the School to Prison Pipeline in pinellas county. Join in this important screening, a panel discussion, and learn how to join the fight to disrupt and dismantle the school to prison pipeline in Pinellas County.
TUE, AUG 22 INTERFAITH POTLUCK: Interfaith Tampa Bay is sponsoring a potluck for the public to come and engage in interfaith dialogue with others from the community. The potluck is vegetarian out of respect for differing dietary traditions of various religions. The next potluck will be Tuesday Aug. 22 at 7:00 p.m. at Unity St. Petersburg, 6168 1st Ave. N. St. Petersburg, FL. All are welcome!
THU, AUG 31 CONVERSATION AND FILM SCREENING: Join fellow community members for a conversation about building stronger & safer communities, following a special viewing of “Newtown,” a documentary on the sense of community after the scathing mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Film Screening of “Newtown” at 6:00 p.m. Community Discussion at 7:45 p.m. Free and open to the public! Light refreshments and appetizers will be served prior to the film screening. To reserve your seat, please email. This event will take place on Thursday, August 31st at 6:00pm at the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg (University Student Center). Community Partners: The Florida Holocaust Museum, USF St. Petersburg, Community Tampa Bay, Sandy Hook Promise, and Temple Beth-El, St. Petersburg, FL. See facebook 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.
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.
IMG_3544
LUNCH BUNCH: This informal and open group gathers at a local restaurant for lunch and lively conversation after the service. Please check with one of the regulars – Don Ritchie or Ruth Halderman – about the details each week.
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.
roofRAISING THE ROOF! The church has been informed by competent professionals, that the roof will need to be replaced probably within a year or two. The Advisors do not want to jump up one Sunday and beg for a huge amount of money. Therefore, you are being asked for Shekels for Shingles. Have you a few spare coins…$1’s,…. $5’s? If we scrape now, we won’t have to dig as deeply later. Please place donations in the bottle on the back table in the sanctuary.
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. All children participate in the beginning of the worship service. Elementary age children and younger are invited to participate in Children’s Time during the service. After Children’s Time there is Church School for Elementary and Middle School students with Grace Lewis. Preschool children are welcome in the Nursery under the able care of Claudia Rodriguez. High School students participate in the Lakewood service on Sunday morning and attend the youth groups at Pass A Grille Beach Community United Church of Christ on Sunday evening during the school year. Children and young people are an integral part of this church family and the intergenerational relationships that form in this small congregation are truly a blessing!


CIRCLE OF CONCERN

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