Weekly Update 2 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 5 THIS SUNDAY: It’s been in the news every day lately.  Stand your ground.  What does it mean for someone who follows Jesus to “stand your ground”?  That’s the topic for Sunday guided by John 6:1-21 and Ephesians 3:14-21.

Summer Sundays Services are more informal and favorite hymns will be sung each week. Children attend the beginning of the service and may go to the Nursery following Children’s Time.

SUN, AUG 5
COMMUNION:  All are welcome to participate in communion at Lakewood UCC, children at the discretion of the adults who brought them. The communion offering goes to the Special Needs Fund, used to help people in our community and the congregation with basic necessities such as food, rent, utilities, and prescription medication costs. Recently there has been great need for these funds, please help as you are able knowing that your gift will be a blessing to someone in need.
SUN, AUG 5 ADVISORS MEETING: The Advisors will meet following worship on Sunday, all are welcome to attend.
SAT, OCT 20 CIRCUS MCGURKIS: Save the date for Circus McGurkis October 20th at Gibbs High School. Contact Yoko Nogami or Claire Stiles for volunteer opportunities.
WESTMINSTER LUNCH: There will be no lunch at Westminster Suncoast in August, Pastor Wells will be in Scotland for her daughter’s wedding.
CREATION JUSTICE UPDATE: The Creation Justice Task Force at LUCC has many projects and initiatives in the works. Follow the link to find out more about this exciting ministry.
NAME TAGS: If you want or are in need of a name tag please contact or see Wally LeBlanc so he can make one for you.
OPERATION ATTACK: Operation Attack is an ecumenical ministry housed at Lakeview Presbyterian Church in St. Petersburg offering food and clothing to families in the area. LUCC supports Operation Attack with donations as well as by volunteering one evening a month. Contact Ian Blair-Catala for upcoming volunteer dates.

COMMUNITY EVENTS

SUN, AUG 5 FARMWORKER DEMONSTRATION: Join Immokalee farmworkers and allies from around the Tampa Bay area for a march on Publix and Wendy’s to demand that both Fair Food holdouts do their part to end human rights abuses in agriculture by joining the award-winning Fair Food Program! Students from March for Our Lives Tampa Bay will join CIW farmworkers and allies in turning up the heat on Publix following the supermarket’s contributions to NRA-supported politicians, calling on Florida’s largest grocer to do its part to end violence in its supply chain and in society. Having halted its political contribution program in response to students’ brilliant organizing, Publix must join the Fair Food Program to take a key step further in building a safer, fairer Florida!  3pm Sunday at Allendale United Methodist Church (3803 Haines Rd).
MON, AUG 6 TIDAL TOWN HALL: Come hear what local candidates have to say about tackling sea level rise and related environmental solutions. This panel discussion will be moderated by Bianca Graulau, a local reporter for CBS, and is hosted by Food & Water Watch, Rethink Energy Florida, First Street Foundation as well as several local organizations. The Forum is August 6th, at the Sunshine Center (330 5th St N) and is free and open to the public, you are encouraged to attend and to invite others. For more information visit FaceBookemail or call (516) 724-2759. Candidates from the following races have confirmed that they will participate: Congressional District 13, 15, and 16; State Senate 16; Sate House 61, 67, 70, 71, 72, 73, and 74.
TUE, AUG 14 JUSTICE FIRST TOUR: Southern communities are on the frontlines of the climate crisis in the US, bearing the greatest impacts of an economic system of exploitation that continues to concentrate power and wealth into the hands of a few. Now, more than ever, we need to come together and unite in one voice for climate justice and stand together to advance long-term solutions that put justice first and lift frontline communities up. The Justice First Tour calls for a strong network of grassroots organizations working together to advance climate justice with a focus on 100% clean energy for 100% of the people. The tour will feature local community leaders/speakers who will talk about local Justice issues (immigration, women’s rights, climate justice, jobs, etc.), to inspire a dialogue among participating citizens and organizations, seeking to find solutions to these issues in an intersectional way. August 9 6-8 pm, at Unity of Tampa (3302 W Horatio St, Tampa).
TUE, AUG 14 SUSTAINABILITY SUMMIT: The City of St. Petersburg 2018 Sustainability Summit will explore how we get to 100% Clean Energy. The Integrated Sustainability Action Plan (ISAP) is well underway in advancing our city’s sustainability and resiliency initiatives, including a greenhouse gas emissions inventory and a roadmap for achieving 100% Clean Energy. You are invited to the 2018 Sustainability Summit to find out more and share your ideas, suggestions, and strategies to advance the sustainability goals of St. Petersburg. August 14, 2018 3-7:30 p.m.
Childs Park YMCA, (691 43rd St. S).
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 the church office.
FREE BOOKS: Did you know that there are not only books to borrow in the church library but books being given away for free. Take a peek at the great selection. Many new titles have been added including a selection of books for children.
GUN VIOLENCE INFORMATION PAMPHLET: Copies of a Gun Violence information pamphlet are available. This resource was created by Grace Lewis of the LUCC congregation to educate the public about gun violence. They are located at the back of the sanctuary, or you can download one here. Please take them and share them.
Screenshot 2016-08-08 18.34.07NEW EZ PODCASTS!!! No downloading! Just click and play! Try it! Just click on the little orange circle with the white arrow in it. Only one click and it plays! Every week, a new podcast is posted on the church website. All our streamable podcasts are at https://soundcloud.com/luccpodcasts – please tell your friends who might enjoy listening! Keep checking back, more and more will be added each week.
recycle1RECYCLE: Recycle your print cartridges! At this time we cannot recycle toner cartridges, only inkjet cartridges. Keep it coming in! Many thanks to all who contribute to the church recycling. This income stream helps the ministry of the church.
USHERS NEEDED: Please see or email the church office if you would like to volunteer to usher for services.
WEBSITE — lakewooducc.org: Everything you always wanted to know about the church. Go ahead and ask. The information is probably at the church website. You can subscribe and have updates and comments automatically sent to your email address. See the homepage for details. You can also keep connected with on Facebook and on Twitter.
childrenYOUNG PEOPLE AT LAKEWOOD: Children and young people are a vital part of the LUCC family. School age children are invited to participate in Summer Sundays church services. Preschool children are welcome in the Nursery under the able care of Claudia Rodriguez following Children’s Time. 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

Fran Whitney, Ann Rogers, Deedee Young, Genevieve Jackle,
Mary Beth Lewis, Carolyn Moore, Ann Quinn, Willy Zessoules

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Weekly Update July 26

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

COMING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

SUN, JUL 29 THIS SUNDAY: This Sunday is a time to reflect on the role of religion. What is the purpose of religion in today’s world?  Is religion loosing it’s capacity for a positive impact on society?  Second Samuel 11:1 – 12:13a tells one of the seamiest stories in the Bible.  We’ll see what it has to offer to a conversation about religion today.

Summer Sundays Services are more informal and favorite hymns will be sung each week. Children attend the beginning of the service and may go to the Nursery following Children’s Time.

CONGRATULATIONS: Congratulations are extended to the Rev. Mardie Chapman of the LUCC family who was married on July 13.  Mardie’s living at Westminster Palms downtown.
SUN JUL 29 SUNDAY CELEBRATIONS: This potluck lunch will give the opportunity for fellowship and celebration of July birthdays. Many thanks to Willy LaBlanc and Patti Cooksey for hosting.
THU JUL 26 LEWIS FAMILY: After a month of Montessori training in North Carolina, Grace Lewis and family have returned! Grace will be back working in the Church Office beginning tomorrow. WELCOME BACK, Grace! You have been missed!
THU JUL 26 A/C UPDATE: The work is almost done on the new air conditioning systems at the church.  Not only will this make the building more comfortable but it will use less electricity, saving the church money and making less of a contribution to global warming. MANY thanks to Ron Huff for overseeing this work and to all those in the church family that donated the money to make this possible!
CREATION JUSTICE UPDATE: The Creation Justice Task Force at LUCC has many projects and initiatives in the works. Follow the link to find out more about this exciting ministry.
NAME TAGS: If you want or are in need of a name tag please contact or see Wally LeBlanc so he can make one for you.
OPERATION ATTACK: Operation Attack is an ecumenical ministry housed at Lakeview Presbyterian Church in St. Petersburg offering food and clothing to families in the area. LUCC supports Operation Attack with donations as well as by volunteering one evening a month. Contact Ian Blair-Catala for upcoming volunteer dates.

COMMUNITY EVENTS

MON, JUL 30 SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATES: Meet the candidates running for Pinellas County School Board at SPC Gibbs (6605 5th Ave N) from 6-8pm on Monday July 30th.
MON, AUG 6 TIDAL TOWN HALL: Come hear what local candidates have to say about tackling sea level rise and related environmental solutions. This panel discussion will be moderated by Bianca Graulau, a local reporter for CBS, and is hosted by Food & Water Watch, Rethink Energy Florida, First Street Foundation as well as several local organizations. The Forum is August 6th, at the Sunshine Center (330 5th St N) and is free and open to the public, you are encouraged to attend and to invite others. For more information visit FaceBookemail or call (516) 724-2759.
Candidates from the following races have confirmed that they will participate:
Congressional District 13, 15, and 16; State Senate 16; Sate House 61, 67, 70, 71, 72, 73, and 74.
TUE, AUG 14 SUSTAINABILITY SUMMIT: The City of St. Petersburg 2018 Sustainability Summit will explore how we get to 100% Clean Energy. The Integrated Sustainability Action Plan (ISAP) is well underway in advancing our city’s sustainability and resiliency initiatives, including a greenhouse gas emissions inventory and a roadmap for achieving 100% Clean Energy. You are invited to the 2018 Sustainability Summit to find out more and share your ideas, suggestions, and strategies to advance the sustainability goals of St. Petersburg. August 14, 2018 3-7:30 p.m.
Childs Park YMCA, (691 43rd St. S).
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 the church office.
FREE BOOKS: Did you know that there are not only books to borrow in the church library but books being given away for free. Take a peek at the great selection. Many new titles have been added including a selection of books for children.
GUN VIOLENCE INFORMATION PAMPHLET: Copies of a Gun Violence information pamphlet are available. This resource was created by Grace Lewis of the LUCC congregation to educate the public about gun violence. They are located at the back of the sanctuary, or you can download one here. Please take them and share them.
Screenshot 2016-08-08 18.34.07NEW EZ PODCASTS!!! No downloading! Just click and play! Try it! Just click on the little orange circle with the white arrow in it. Only one click and it plays! Every week, a new podcast is posted on the church website. All our streamable podcasts are at https://soundcloud.com/luccpodcasts – please tell your friends who might enjoy listening! Keep checking back, more and more will be added each week.
recycle1RECYCLE: Recycle your print cartridges! At this time we cannot recycle toner cartridges, only inkjet cartridges. Keep it coming in! Many thanks to all who contribute to the church recycling. This income stream helps the ministry of the church.
USHERS NEEDED: Please see or email the church office if you would like to volunteer to usher for services.
WEBSITE — lakewooducc.org: Everything you always wanted to know about the church. Go ahead and ask. The information is probably at the church website. You can subscribe and have updates and comments automatically sent to your email address. See the homepage for details. You can also keep connected with on Facebook and on Twitter.
childrenYOUNG PEOPLE AT LAKEWOOD: Children and young people are a vital part of the LUCC family. School age children are invited to participate in Summer Sundays church services. Preschool children are welcome in the Nursery under the able care of Claudia Rodriguez following Children’s Time. 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

Fran Whitney, Ann Rogers, Deedee Young, Genevieve Jackle,
Carolyn Moore, Ann Quinn, Willy Zessoules

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Update from Creation Justice Task Force

UPDATE from the CREATION JUSTICE TASK FORCE

July 19, 2018 Meeting

Paper Recycling Container

PAINT CONTAINER AND CREATE ENVIRONMENTAL FRIENDLY MESSAGE ON IT!  Will recruit church members to help.

Creation of Green Practices CHECKLIST 

REMINDERS WHEN USING FELLOWSHIP HALL AND CHURCH PROPERTY OR EVENTS – Coming Soon

Raise Awareness of Green Practices at LUCC

WALLY – Presentation on “Wasteful Society” at Sunday Celebrations on SEPTEMBER 30TH 

PLACE STICKERS “LANDFILL” ON ALL REGULAR GARBAGE CANS IN CHURCH AND FELLOWSHIP HALL.

PLACE ENVIRONMENTAL QUOTE IN BULLETIN ON A REGULAR BASIS – All are welcome to submit quotes via email or in writing to Pastor Kim

Writing of Creation Justice Covenant Statement

DANA COSPER AND CLAIRE STILES WILL WORK ON THIS STATEMENT in early August  – Review by Advisors and then will come to congregation for discussion and approval this fall

Greening of church property

PLANTING OF LOW GROWING TREES ON FRONT LAWN NEAR CROSS AREA.  NOT TOO NEAR BUILDING.  Task Force is looking into possible choices of plants and trees.

INCREASING PARTICIPATION AMONG CHURCH MEMBERS AND FRIENDS

1.  Invite individuals to participate in a specific initiative

2.  Speak to groups like choir, church school, book club, etc. for ideas 

3.  Ask for help and update congregation via LUCC Weekly Update 

Are you interested in attending ?

August 14 – Sustainability Summit

Sept. 8 – Rise Up for Climate Jobs and Justice

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Weekly Update July 18

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Weekly Update 11 July

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

COMING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

SUN, JUL

15

THIS SUNDAY:   This Sunday the theme is “The Pursuit of Happiness.”  What does it mean to be happy?  Many sources have many answers.  What does the lens of Christianity have to say about this?

Summer Sundays Services are more informal and favorite hymns will be sung each week. Children attend the beginning of the service and may go to the Nursery following Children’s Time.

SUN, JUL 15 ADVISORS MEETING: The advisors will meet following worship on Sunday July 15th. All are welcome to attend.
WED, JUL 18 WESTMINSTER SUNCOAST LUNCH: The next luncheon for residents of Westminster Shores and Suncoast will be Wednesday July 18th at 11:30 in the private dining room at Westminster Suncoast.
THU, JUL 19 CREATION JUSTICE MEETING: The group will meet Thursday, July 19th at 1pm. All are welcome to participate.
SUN, JUL 22 GOD AND BEYOND: The Advisors are hosting a conversation about God and beyond that will inform work being done to update the Constitution (including the Mission Statement) and By-laws of Lakewood UCC on Sunday July 22nd from 9 – 10 am in the Fellowship Hall.
NAME TAGS: If you want or are in need of a name tag please contact or see Wally LeBlanc so he can make one for you.
OPERATION ATTACK: Operation Attack is an ecumenical ministry housed at Lakeview Presbyterian Church in St. Petersburg offering food and clothing to families in the area. LUCC supports Operation Attack with donations as well as by volunteering one evening a month. Contact Ian Blair-Catala for upcoming volunteer dates.

COMMUNITY EVENTS

THUR, JUL 12 March for Our Lives Continues: There will be a Road to Change: District 13 – Rally & Voter Registration sponsored by students on a bus tour registering young people to vote and end gun violence.  The gathering is in William’s Park (330 2nd Ave. N.) Thursday July 12 from 11-3.
MON, JUL 30 SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATES: Meet the candidates running for Pinellas County School Board at SPC Gibbs (6605 5th Ave N) from 6-8pm on Monday July 30th.
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.
FREE BOOKS: Did you know that there are not only books to borrow in the church library but books being given away for free. Take a peek at the great selection. Many new titles have been added including a selection of books for children.
GUN VIOLENCE INFORMATION PAMPHLET: Copies of a Gun Violence information pamphlet are available. This resource was created by Grace Lewis of the LUCC congregation to educate the public about gun violence. They are located at the back of the sanctuary, or you can download one here. Please take them and share them.
Screenshot 2016-08-08 18.34.07NEW EZ PODCASTS!!! No downloading! Just click and play! Try it! Just click on the little orange circle with the white arrow in it. Only one click and it plays! Every week, a new podcast is posted on the church website. All our streamable podcasts are at https://soundcloud.com/luccpodcasts – please tell your friends who might enjoy listening! Keep checking back, more and more will be added each week.
recycle1RECYCLE: Recycle your print cartridges! At this time we cannot recycle toner cartridges, only inkjet cartridges. Keep it coming in! Many thanks to all who contribute to the church recycling. This income stream helps the ministry of the church.
USHERS NEEDED: Please see or email the church office if you would like to volunteer to usher for services.
WEBSITE — lakewooducc.org: Everything you always wanted to know about the church. Go ahead and ask. The information is probably at the church website. You can subscribe and have updates and comments automatically sent to your email address. See the homepage for details. You can also keep connected with on Facebook and on Twitter.
childrenYOUNG PEOPLE AT LAKEWOOD: Children and young people are a vital part of the LUCC family. School age children are invited to participate in Summer Sundays church services. Preschool children are welcome in the Nursery under the able care of Claudia Rodriguez following Children’s Time. 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

Family and friends of Betty Harris, Genevieve Jackle, Shirley Locke,
Carolyn Moore, Ann Quinn, Willy Zessoules

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Operation Attack Newsletter

Operation Attack

1310 22nd Avenue South St. Petersburg, FL 33705 (727) 822-1187   www.operationattack.org

July 2018

Peggy Junkin & Diane Klamer – Lead Volunteers

Hours: 9:30 am – 12:00 pm    (1st, 2nd, 3rd Tuesday each month)
6:30 pm – 7:30 pm        (One evening a month)


The 2018-2019 school year will begin on August 13. Operation Attack continues our regular Tuesday morning schedule through the summer months, providing both food and children’s clothing. We hope by continuing the summer schedule that our clients will feel less stress as they prepare for their children’s new school year. We appreciate your help in providing the students in our community the appropriate clothing, new underwear, socks, and a school uniform, if required. During the first half of the year we provided assistance to 263 families, clothed 227 children, provided food bags to 600 people, and paid 4 electric bills.

We wish to extend a big Thank You to our friends at St. Andrew Lutheran Church who had a special collection for layette items in observance of Rachel’s Day. Rachel’s Day is a time set aside to mourn and renounce the forces of violence, based on Jeremiah 31:15-17. We were blessed to receive newborn diapers, wash clothes, towels, wipes, clothing and more. We also want to thank St. Bartholomew Episcopal Church for donating children’s clothing from their thrift store when they discontinued this type of clothing and Westgate Elementary’s First Grade for donating food when they enjoyed a Tree Climb at Pathfinder Outdoor Education, on our campus. A Big Shout Out goes to Rugena, Amber, Madison and Ms. Knobloch, for the hygiene products they donated for an 8th Grade Community Project at Sanderlin IB World School. In addition, blessings came from the Family of Myrna Gemmer when they requested people donate money to OA, in lieu of flowers, when Myrna died in May.

Each one of you, with your regular donations, special food and clothing drives, and volunteering your time, are critical to our being able to serve our neighbors in need.

Volunteers

  • We welcome a new volunteer from Maximo Presbyterian (Shelah) who assists with tagging clothing items and miscellaneous other tasks.
  • We still need another volunteer to assist with re-stocking our clothing racks, especially at change of seasons, and assisting clients with shopping.
  • Also needed: an “on call” volunteer to substitute for our regular volunteers while they are on vacation, or when there is a special need.

Clothing Needs

School uniform items required by many of our schools.

  • Boys slacks/shorts, khaki or navy, size 5 -16
  • Girls slacks/shorts/skirts/skorts, khaki or navy, size 5-16, teen 7 & 9
  • Polo shirts without logos for both boys and girls, size 5-16, teen S,M,L
  • (white, navy, hunter green, maroon, sky blue, red)
  • Jackets of all sizes, toddlers through teens, especially light weight jackets.
  • We also welcome donations of diapers, newborn through size 5, and travel size hygiene products for seniors we serve from the Neighborly Care Network.

Food and Hygiene Product Needs

We can always use canned fruit, soup, vegetables, meat, pasta, pasta sauce, rice, beans, peanut butter, cereal, oatmeal, and individually wrapped toilet paper and bar soap.

Speakers/Tours available – Please call to schedule.

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Weekly Update 4 July

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

COMING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

SUN, JUL 8 THIS SUNDAY:  Gratitude is expressed to Rev. Victoria Long for preaching this Sunday and to Claire Stiles for serving as liturgist. The sermon topic is “After the Fireworks.” See Deuteronomy 10:17-21 and Matthew 5:43-48.
Summer Sundays Services are more informal and favorite hymns will be sung each week. Children attend the beginning of the service and may go to the Nursery following Children’s Time.
JUL 2-10 REV. WELLS AWAY: Pastor Wells will be away from July 2nd to July 10th. Many thanks to Victoria Long who will preach on Sunday. For pastoral care, please contact Emily Bell or the church office.
SUN, JUN 1 A/C UPDATE: Many thanks to those who stayed for the congregational conversation after the service on July 1 to discuss the upcoming A/C work. Ron Huff shared information about the bids received and which one is being selected. He told of the extent of the work to be done. There were several questions raised. While this was not an official meeting and there was no actual voting, everyone was in agreement about going forward with the A/C work. This work was approved at an earlier congregational meeting. There was also discussion about removing the carrotwood tree that is in danger of falling on the church building. Ron will proceed with plans for taking the tree down especially since hurricane season has arrived.
SUN, JUL 15 ADVISORS MEETING: The advisors will meet following worship on Sunday July 15th. All are welcome to attend.
WED, JUL 18 WESTMINSTER SUNCOAST LUNCH: The next luncheon for residents of Westminster Shores and Suncoast will be Wednesday July 18th at 11:30 in the private dining room at Westminster Suncoast.
THU, JUL 19 CREATION JUSTICE MEETING: The group will meet Thursday, July 19th at 1pm. All are welcome to participate.
SUN, JUL 22 GOD AND BEYOND: The Advisors are hosting a conversation about God and beyond that will inform work being done to update the Constitution (including the Mission Statement) and By-laws of Lakewood UCC on Sunday July 22nd from 9 – 10 am in the Fellowship Hall.
NAME TAGS: If you want or are in need of a name tag please contact or see Wally LeBlanc so he can make one for you.
OPERATION ATTACK: Operation Attack is an ecumenical ministry housed at Lakeview Presbyterian Church in St. Petersburg offering food and clothing to families in the area. LUCC supports Operation Attack with donations as well as by volunteering one evening a month. Contact Ian Blair-Catala for upcoming volunteer dates.

COMMUNITY EVENTS

LGBTQ PROGRAMS: Teacher and children’s book author Rob Sanders will be featured in a pair of programs at the Gulfport Public Library (5501 28th Ave S) on Tuesday July 10th in which he will read from his new children’s book, Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag. The new book has already been praised by Publishers Weekly as a “poignant and uplifting biography.” There will be one afternoon program geared to children and their families from 4 – 5pm, as well as an evening program geared to adults from 7 – 8pm. Both programs are free and open to the public and all ages.
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.
FREE BOOKS: Did you know that there are not only books to borrow in the church library but books being given away for free. Take a peek at the great selection. Many new titles have been added including a selection of books for children.
GUN VIOLENCE INFORMATION PAMPHLET: Copies of a Gun Violence information pamphlet are available. This resource was created by Grace Lewis of the LUCC congregation to educate the public about gun violence. They are located at the back of the sanctuary, or you can download one here. Please take them and share them.
Screenshot 2016-08-08 18.34.07NEW EZ PODCASTS!!! No downloading! Just click and play! Try it! Just click on the little orange circle with the white arrow in it. Only one click and it plays! Every week, a new podcast is posted on the church website. All our streamable podcasts are at https://soundcloud.com/luccpodcasts – please tell your friends who might enjoy listening! Keep checking back, more and more will be added each week.
recycle1RECYCLE: Recycle your print cartridges! At this time we cannot recycle toner cartridges, only inkjet cartridges. Keep it coming in! Many thanks to all who contribute to the church recycling. This income stream helps the ministry of the church.
USHERS NEEDED: Please see or email the church office if you would like to volunteer to usher for services.
WEBSITE — lakewooducc.org: Everything you always wanted to know about the church. Go ahead and ask. The information is probably at the church website. You can subscribe and have updates and comments automatically sent to your email address. See the homepage for details. You can also keep connected with on Facebook and on Twitter.
childrenYOUNG PEOPLE AT LAKEWOOD: Children and young people are a vital part of the LUCC family. School age children are invited to participate in Summer Sundays church services. Preschool children are welcome in the Nursery under the able care of Claudia Rodriguez following Children’s Time. 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 Rogers, Deedee Young, Genevieve Jackle, Shirley Locke,
Carolyn Moore, Ann Quinn, Willy Zessoules

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Sermon 7.1.18 Peer Pressure

Scripture Lessons:  Matthew 13:33 and 16:5-12                                                       Pastor:   Rev. Kim P. Wells

We have three dogs.  One of them is new to us.  Stephanie, a 6 year old Newfoundland, came to live with us in March.  We have another 6 year old dog, Andre.  He is small, about 50 pounds, with short black hair.  And our third dog is Nahla, a golden retriever/German Shepherd mix, who is about 15 years old.  So, this spring, Stephanie joined Andre and Nahla in our household.  

Every night when I  take my vitamins I give the dogs a fish oil pill.  Andre and Nahla LOVE them.  They hear the rattle of a bottle of pills and they appear in the bathroom wagging and panting for their fish oil.  When we first got Stephanie, she didn’t know about this ritual so she would remain wherever she was, usually lying like a rug, in the middle of the living room.   Each night, I would find her and offer her a fish oil pill.  She sniffed the thing and left it.  She was not interested.  This went on for about a week.  

Then one night Stephanie appeared in the bathroom with the other dogs when they heard the pill bottles.  She stood and watched as Andre and Nahla eagerly devoured their fish oil.  I offered one to her as I had each night for the previous week expecting her to reject it as usual.  But no.  She gulped the thing down.  And she has appeared in the bathroom every night since for her fish oil pill along with Nahla and Andre.  

To me, this was clear evidence of pack behavior, or what in the human realm we call, peer pressure.  You see others doing something and you join in.  To fit in.  You think that is what you are supposed to be doing.  You follow the lead of those around you.  

We tend to associate issues around peer pressure with children and youth.  We think of a scene, perhaps on the playground, where kids are harassing or taunting someone, and everyone pretty much joins in; even those who would typically not engage in such mean behavior.  Maybe you have been part of such an episode.  I am reading a book with a scene where a group of kids coming home with bats from a ball game, find an injured horse lying on the ground and one kid takes a swing at the horse and, as expected, the other kids join in.  We reflect on such experiences and see how we are taken in by the crowd, allowing ourselves to blindly join in what is going on around us.  This happens partly because in childhood and youth fitting in is so important.  Loving, responsible adults try to teach children to think for themselves, make good choices, and not get taken in by the crowd.  

Then come the teenage years and loving adults hope and pray the message has gotten through because the stakes can be higher.  Teens are at a party and someone brings out alcohol or a joint.  Today, that is tame.  It could be a bowl of pills, mixed.  Or some kind of powder.  Or who knows what.    And then, it could be a sexual situation without mutual consent.   Or a hazing of some kind that turns very violent.  There are limitless possibilities.  So, we parent types, hope the teens we love know that they don’t have to go along.   Though they desperately want to fit in by going along, we hope they have learned that they have choices.  

So many times, we hear stories of people who do bad things, bad for themselves and others, because they followed those around them.  They succumbed to peer pressure.   And people with bad intent know how susceptible we are to peer pressure.  They know if they just start something, and apply little motivation, like shaming those who are resisting, they can pretty much get others to participate.  And it doesn’t stop in childhood or adolescence unfortunately.  Adults, too, are extremely vulnerable to peer pressure.  They, too, want to fit in, to be part of the group, to be accepted.  Especially if they did not feel a part of things growing up.  

Jesus knew about this tendency to want to fit in; to go along with things so that you feel a sense of belonging.  And he knew about our human tendency to want to exploit this to our own advantage.  Numerous times in the gospels we see Jesus accusing religious leaders of manipulating people, exerting peer pressure essentially, toward ends that are not consistent with the intentions of God.  In the verses we heard from Matthew this morning, we hear Jesus lambasting the religious authorities for leading the common people astray for selfish gains:  “Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 

In this story, Jesus uses the image of yeast in the typical way.  Yeast had negative connotations in Jewish tradition.  Going back to the story of the Passover and leaving Egypt without time to make leavened bread, the image of yeast was a symbol of corruption.  It was very bad.  It was an image used to show how a little of something bad can have a huge negative influence.  Jesus draws on this tradition in his accusation.  One person or a few people start something bad and it is easy to get others to go along, to get along, to belong.  Very effective means toward harmful ends.  We see this again and again and again throughout history from Nazi Germany to college hazing.

What is surprising from Jesus, what is new and unexpected, is the other verse we listened to this morning; the one about a woman baking bread with yeast.  First I want to let you know that the Jesus Seminar, a group of highly respected brilliant Bible scholars, consider this verse one of the few in the New Testament to be authentic to the voice of Jesus.  The gospels were written well after Jesus’ death.  Much of the teaching associated with Jesus had been passed down over the years.  And, like any oral tradition, there were changes along the way to make the teaching applicable to the circumstances.  The Jesus Seminar was an academic initiative to try to determine what may be actually attributed to the historical Jesus.  The result was a book called The Five Gospels.  It includes Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, as well as the gospel of Thomas, a gospel that, for a variety of reasons, was not chosen to be included in the canon, the church-authorized New Testament.  In The Five Gospels, the words attributed to Jesus are printed in different colors.  If the quotes are in black then the scholars pretty much agree that this was not actually spoken by Jesus.  If the words are in gray, there is the possibility that this could have come from Jesus.  If the words are in pink, then there is more of a possibility that they may be attributable to Jesus.  And if the words are in red, then the group of scholars is in close agreement that those words are very likely words that were actually spoken by Jesus.   There is very little red print in the book.  In The Five Gospels, the words, “Heaven’s imperial rule is like leaven which a woman took and concealed in fifty pounds of flour until it was all leavened” are in red.  [The Five Gospels:  The Search for the Authentic Words of Jesus, Robert W. Funk, Roy W. Hoover, and The Jesus Seminar, p. 195]

Part of the reason they are in red is that Jesus was known for taking tradition and twisting it on its head.  Here the commonly used negative image of yeast as a symbol of corruption is turned around and used in a positive way.  That is characteristic of the historical Jesus.  

There are two other features of this teaching that are unexpected.  One is the amount of flour.  Three measures.  About 10 gallons.  Maybe the equivalent of 50 pounds.  Probably enough to make bread for 100-150 people.  So this image of the woman adding yeast to flour and baking bread is a common image but the way the symbol of yeast is used is a turn around.  It only takes a little to have a big influence, that is yeast, but this yeast is having a HUGE influence, and that HUGE influence is positive, it is good, it is of God.  Jesus is imbuing common images with new meanings.

And, there is something else unexpected in this teaching.  It is lost in the New Revised Standard translation and in the Inclusive Language translation we heard this morning.  But the original language tells us that the woman hid the yeast in the flour.  She conceals the yeast in the flour.  This is done surreptitiously.  Not out in plain view.  The realm of God can surprise.  It may not be an attention grabbing spectacle.  It may sneak up on us.  It may sneak into us.  Just a bit.  To huge effect.  Who knows?

This teaching is a beautiful image for the church today, for us, as Christian people.  It reminds us that we can be the yeast.  Just a little.  Making a big difference.  Perhaps without anyone even noticing.  Maybe we ourselves don’t even know the effect we are having.  

But look how easy it is to manipulate people with negative peer pressure.  Just a little shame and the enticement to fit in and you can get people on board.

This teaching of Jesus about the yeast is meant to motivate us to use positive peer pressure.  Do the good.  Quietly.  In the background.  Without a lot of fanfare.  Stand up for justice.  Help others.  Serve the common good.  Wherever you may be involved, in whatever your sphere of influence.  And trust the rest to God.  Trust that what you do will make a difference and may even influence others to make a positive difference.  

This positive modeling is what led to the burgeoning of the early church.  About Christians, people said, “see how they love each other.”  That is how Christians were known.  And people were attracted to that.  They weren’t attracted by the fear of rotting in hell.  They weren’t originally attracted by the glories of heaven.  It wasn’t about money or status.  It was the love.  The care.  The compassion.  The sharing.  The looking out for each other.  And this approach was not limited to just those in the faith community.  The first Christians shared this love with others out in the world who then were attracted in to the church because of what they saw.  Here we see the yeast.  A relatively small group of people, making real the realm of God, in their context.  And it has literally changed the world.  

Friends, I don’t need to tell you that the world is in desperate need of the yeast of the realm of God.  The church is needed to exert a positive example.  We are called to model another way.  We must speak for love in the many circumstances of our lives and trust the rest to God.  Let the love grow how and when it will.  But people need to see love, to feel it, to experience it, even if they don’t know what it is.

You can barely open a newspaper or check social media without seeing something about how uncivil our society has become.  People are confronting others in mean and hostile ways.  People of various political and social perspectives.  It isn’t limited to only one group.

I attended my book club last week and this topic came up.  One woman, an outspoken liberal, and a Catholic, got very heated.  Her complaint was that liberals are too nice.  The Democrats are too nice.  That’s why things are so bad.  That’s why our country is going down hill.  In her view, the people who are right are just being too nice about it.  She feels they need to be more devious and scrappy like their opponents.   I found this view alarming.  Since this was not a church setting, and I was not there in a pastoral role even though the woman saying this is Christian, I didn’t feel I could respond referring to Jesus, like what about “love your enemies.”  So, I turned to another authoritative source.  I said, “So much for Michelle Obama: ‘When they go low, we go high.’”  Well, that quieted things down.  

It’s not that we can’t disagree.  We SHOULD disagree when we see people treated with inequality, with hatred, with degradation, and when we see the Earth abused and harassed.  We should be saying something.  We should be strong and convicted about our values in defense of human life, human rights, human dignity, peace, and care for the Earth.  We should be saying something.  But to do it in a way that is degrading to those with differing opinions, to be mean, uncivil, and demeaning is to do the very thing we decry:  It is to diminish the value of the life of another person.  When confronting someone with differing views, it’s one thing to say, “This is what I think” and explain why.  It’s quite another to say, “You’re a bigot and an idiot.”   

What is needed in America and in the world today are bold people of conscience and principle who are not afraid to be the yeast in a positive way; in content and in style.  We are needed to model service, generosity, and reconciliation.  We are needed to be the people who help someone that is having a difficulty, not laugh at the person or scorn them.  We are needed to be the people who offer comfort to the stranger sitting crying in the waiting room at the doctor’s office instead of sitting as far away as possible because it is embarrassing and we feel uncomfortable.  We are the people who are needed to offer help, to say yes, to reach out in compassion and kindness.  We are the people who are needed to speak up and to speak out for human rights and human dignity.  We are needed to show love for our enemies.  

And then, see what others do.  How do they respond?  It’s likely that other people, seeing the example, are going to join in.  Your example is going to work like positive peer pressure, enticing people to do the right thing.  To join in a good cause.  To lift a finger to help.  To offer a word of comfort.  To change hearts and minds with love.  Use that peer pressure for good.  That’s what we need to be doing.  

And we don’t have to make a big deal about it.  We don’t have to get any credit.  We don’t have to be thanked.  Remember the hidden part of the yeast story.  The woman hid the yeast in the flour.  We just need to do what is right and neighborly and good.  We just need to see that every human being is treated like a human being.  We just need to show that all life is sacred.  But we need to do it.  To involve ourselves.  And with that quiet example, well, we just have to let go of the outcome.  In the Jesus’ teaching a bit of yeast made bread for 100 to 150 people.  That is a ridiculous outcome.  A woman could not manage that much dough at once.  So we have to let go of our expectations around the outcome.  We just have to do what is Jesus-like and let go of the rest.  

I heard a story this weekend about a woman who saw a bored boy outside her church on a summer day.  She had pity on him and invited him inside.  She had one game, Monopoly, so she asked him if he wanted to play.  Then she went to the corner store and got him some snacks.  The next day, he was back with some friends.  And this has turned into a neighborhood youth program that now has 75 students involved.  And they are not only playing games but getting help with homework and getting into college.  And the woman who started this program swore that she would never work in the church, her parents are pastors, and that she would never work with kids.  

And then there is the yeast.  Open yourself to the Love.  Let Jesus live and grow in you.  The world is hungry for your witness.  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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Sermon 6.24.18 Timeless Faith – Timely Faith

Date:  61st Anniversary of the United Church of Christ  

Scripture Lesson: Mark 2:18-3:6

Pastor: Rev. Kim P. Wells

“The Lord hath more truth and light yet to break forth from his holy word.”  Listen to that again.  “The Lord hath more truth and light yet to break forth from his holy word.”

These are the words of John Robinson, pastor of a separatist congregation that left England seeking religious freedom.  Having been harassed and scorned in various European locations for their “expression” of Christianity,  Robinson’s congregation decided to send a group to the shores of North America hoping to find a place where they could practice their version of Christianity in peace.  

As those heading to the New World left to join the Mayflower, Robinson gave a farewell speech to his congregants.  It included these words:  “I charge you before God and his blessed angels that you follow me no further than you have seen me follow Christ. If God reveal anything to you by any other instrument of His, be as ready to receive it as you were to receive any truth from my ministry, for I am verily persuaded the Lord hath more truth and light yet to break forth from his holy word.”

Lest there be any misunderstanding, Robinson continued:  “The Lutherans cannot be drawn to go beyond what Luther saw.  Whatever part of His will our God has revealed to Calvin, they [Lutherans] will rather die than embrace it; and the Calvinists, you see, stick fast where they were left by that great man of God, who yet saw not all things. This is a misery much to be lamented.”

Robinson encouraged his followers to expect new leadings from God in the way of Christ as they faced new circumstances.  As heirs of the Reformation, Robinson encouraged his flock to keep growing and changing in ways that were consistent with the ministry of Jesus.  He foresaw that new situations would require new responses and he wanted his people to feel free to be completely faithful to Christ and not be limited by certain human teachings of the past.  And so he adjured them, “The Lord hath more truth and light yet to break forth from his holy word.”

John Robinson and those who came over on the Mayflower are our forebears in the United Church of Christ.  This is part of our heritage.   And the UCC has taken Robinson’s perspective very seriously in its 61 year history.  Most recently his sentiments have been promoted in the Gracie Allen quote widely used in UCC:  “Never place a period where God has place a comma.”  

This way of looking at matters of faith is not new to Robinson or the UCC.  It is clearly evident in the Bible.  Many times in scripture, God is portrayed as promising to do something new, a new thing.  The prophets speak for a God that is very willing to try new approaches to help humanity live into the fullness of joy and peace.  [See Jeremiah 31:22, Isaiah 42:4, 43:19, and 48:6]

Jesus is an example of this; of God doing a new thing.  One way we see this is in Jesus’ role in salvation history.  Many people were expecting a king-like, political, military messiah on the order of King David.  There is much to point to this expectation in the Hebrew Bible.  There are also verses in Isaiah about a suffering servant but that was the decidedly “minority” opinion.  [See Isaiah 53]  The more dominant view was that God would send a classic, powerful ruler who would garner the support of all the people and boot out the Roman invaders.  Jesus was not this messiah.  To those who saw Jesus as messiah, they believed that God was doing a new thing through a suffering servant.  

We also see God doing something new in the teachings of Jesus.  Jesus does not establish a new religion.  He does not condemn the heritage of Judaism.  He is born Jewish and remains Jewish, fully and completely.  But he offers new understandings of what had become core assumptions in the Judaism of his day.  In some cases, his teaching is actually going back to the original intentions.  We heard several examples of this in the scripture that was read this morning.  Regarding fasting, the old rules don’t apply.  Jesus is known as a glutton and a drunkard.  There are times to celebrate as well as to fast.  Sometimes you need to let the fasting go.  The story of picking grain on the sabbath and the healing of the withered hand show the humanitarian intent of the law.  Doing good is more important than being legalistic.  Jesus is challenging the current interpretation of the Law.  As one commentary points out:  The Pharisees and Scribes have no concerns for God’s will.  They substitute human traditions for the truth, which comes from God.”  [Pheme Perkins, in The New Interpreter’s Bible, vol. 7, p, 422]  This is always a temptation in religion.  So Jesus does a new thing.  He rocks the boat.  He is helping people see the truth.  And truth is sometimes upsetting, especially new truth. 

So when John Robinson declared, “The Lord hath more truth and light yet to break forth from his holy word,” he knew that he was part of a long standing stream of faithfulness in the Judeo-Christian tradition.  He knew that he was standing on solid ground in terms of scripture and tradition within Christianity. 

This idea, that God is doing something new, that faith continues to evolve and emerge, has continued to be an important part of the history and identity of the United Church of Christ.

The UCC was formed in 1957 from two predecessor denominations each of which was formed from two previous denominations.  While both were Protestant, the merger of the Evangelical and Reformed Church and the Congregational Christian Church was in some ways an unlikely match and it took many years of discussion to come to the point of actual merger.  One big difference was polity.  The Evangelical and Reformed Church was “connectional.”  That means there was a carefully constructed hierarchy and churches were under the authority of the hierarchy and they were bound to comply with the hierarchy.  The Congregational Christian Church had congregational polity.  Each congregation was responsible for its own affairs.  There was a wider church structure and churches were in fellowship and mission together but the final say was within the congregation.

The denominations differed in another important way.  The Evangelical and Reformed church was a creedal church.  The doctrine of the church was contained in the Heidelberg Catechism, Luther’s Catechism, and the Augsburg Confession.  The Apostle’s Creed was regularly recited in worship.  The creed was the test of faith.  The Congregational Christian Church did not use a creed as a test of faith.  The content of belief was left up to the conscience of the individual believer. 

We can see potential problems with two such differing expressions of Christianity coming together but they had a very strong bond.  As each was a merger of previous denominations, they had already shown their commitment to the unity of the church.  They really did believe that the church was the body of Christ, one body, and not a dismembered body.  They believed that God wanted one church working together for the good of the world.  Thus the motto chosen for the newly formed United Church of Christ was, “That they may all be one,” from Jesus’ prayer for the disciples in the gospel of John.  This was a church that would be united and uniting.  The anticipation was that other Christian communions, like the Presbyterians, Methodists, Lutherans, etc. in the US, would also join the UCC and it would be something like the United Church of Canada today.  

Obviously we know that this did not happen.  But those who were part of creating the UCC in 1957 wanted to create a communion that was open; open to welcoming other churches, open to working together with other churches, and open to God doing a new thing for the good of the world.  

To create this openness, the new United Church of Christ incorporated congregational polity.  Each church was responsible for its own affairs and for discerning its ministry.  You could keep using the same hymnal and financially supporting the same mission projects and using the same curriculum in Church School that you had been using.  You could keep your church organization and structure.  Or you could change it all.  That was up to the congregation.  

While making the UCC open and welcoming to additional communions, congregational polity also gave churches the freedom to adapt and change according to how they felt called to serve.  We see this in the history of Lakewood United Church of Christ.   Through the years this church has functioned in different ways depending on the times.  And we take seriously the responsibility to be always evaluating what we are doing and to adapt so that the way we are organized and how we make decisions facilitates our mission and ministry rather than obstructing it.  We appreciate the freedom to worship and teach and serve in ways that are relevant to our circumstances.  We take seriously the responsibility to discern our calling and to respond with generosity and love.  We have embraced the flexibility and openness that is a hallmark of the UCC.  

Along with this practical openness the UCC has also embraced theological openness.  With the merging of a creedal denomination and a non creedal denomination, the decision was made not to require a creed, a test of faith, for being part of the UCC.  If you look in your hymnal at readings 881-887 you will see the Nicene Creed and the Apostle’s Creed.  Churches are welcome to use those creeds if they so choose but they are not required to do so.   

The newly formed UCC decided to create a Statement of Faith for use in churches if they so desired.  We read one version this morning.  The Statement of Faith conveys a way of understanding God and God’s activity in human history and in our lives. It is not a test of faith.

In the original form, as was accepted for the time, God was referred to with male pronouns.  As the church evolved and became aware of the negative  effects of gender specific language for God in the church and in society, a new version of the Statement was created which uses the second person, You, instead of He.   Given the character of the UCC we can expect to have new forms of the statement in the future, or other statements of faith.  In the back of the hymnal, you can see that not only are there several historic creeds and the UCC Statement of Faith, but there are also several other affirmations of faith from other communions.  The idea is that no one statement is the be all and end all for all time.  

And this brings us to LUCC today.  The church has a constitution and by-laws.  Some of the organizational arrangements in the document are no longer fitting for our current situation so the advisors have undertaken conversations about updating this document.   While we may have thought that the discussion was going to revolve around practical arrangements for our life together, the conversation took an unexpected turn.  There was an involved theological discussion, this stemming from the fact that the constitution leads off with the Mission Statement of the church and the statement of the core assumptions of belief associated with the church:   “This church affirms God as Creator, Jesus Christ as Savior, and the Holy Spirit as our strength.  This church recognizes the United Church of Christ Statement of Faith.”   What we discovered is that it is important to the church today to have these foundational statements be truly inclusive of the congregation today and into the future.   These foundational statements in the constitution convey religious and theological language that implies certain understandings of faith.  Given that the church is evolving, today these statements may be perceived as limiting.   Can we say something that includes a broader spectrum of Christian understanding and expression?

The statements in the LUCC constitution specifically portray a traditional theistic view of God.  But some people in the congregation have found themselves growing toward a non-theistic understanding of God.  The desire of the church leadership is to explore ways to describe our faith in the constitution that include the theistic as well as the non-theistic.  Are there ways to state our faith that are inclusive in this way?  Can we open the door wider in our language and portrayal of our faith?  Can we let more light and truth break forth into our church constitution and our church life and language and worship?  Will this help us as a congregation to welcome more people who need the church and who are needed by the church?  Can this help us to grow in ways that increase the love we are sharing in the world?   Is this an extension of our ministry that is needed going forward?  There will be more conversations about this in the weeks to come and the advisors hope that you will want to participate.  

I think this is well worth exploring.  Many people today in our culture feel that Christianity is irrelevant or hypocritical or regressive.  Some of the traditional language and theology is contributing to this.   There are issues around some of our traditional Christian views that are at odds with currently verifiable scientifically proven reality.  Heaven is not “up” there.  Space is out there.  God is not “out there” somewhere.  The Cosmos is out there.  Our universe may be floating in a sea of universes.  The church talks about Jesus as God.  Was Jesus categorically, genetically different than the rest of humanity?  The church talks about Jesus resurrected and ascended into heaven.  Then where is he?  Orbiting in space somewhere?  We already see these ideas ably expressed by the evangelical atheist movement.  When I hear their voices, I agree with much of what is said.  But they are confronting a traditional view of Christianity.  And they are telling us that that expression of Christianity is going extinct.

So, going forward and into the far future (beyond the next election cycle), is Christianity viable with these claims that are at odds with science?  Can there be an expression of Christianity that respects science as it continues to unfold?  And can the understandings and concepts of Christianity continue to function in  figurative and metaphorical ways so that the teachings of Jesus continue to inspire faith communities to offer love and peace to the world?

I hope so.  Because when we look at the world today, at what is going on in our times, it’s clear that the message of Jesus is badly needed.  The world is crying out for his vision of unconditional, universal love which leads to relationships that are just and communities that are anti violent; a world characterized by peace and joy.  Look at the families divided at our southern border.  Look at the treatment of those lost children.  Look at an administration forming a space force, taking the use of military force out into space, beyond the confines of Earth’s atmosphere, spreading the cancer of violence.  We have a president that wants new nuclear weapons that are easier to use.  That is completely at odds with the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Then there is the increasing abuse of the environment and economic arrangements that continue to abuse workers.  The world sorely needs a church loudly proclaiming the values and world view of Jesus.  And the people who share those values need a church, a  community of inspiration and support, that doesn’t require them to suspend their rational intellect when they come through the door.  

The teachings of Jesus remain very attractive to many people who are not part of a church because of some of the archaic ways of talking about things in church.  Yes, there are those who think of God in theistic terms – think of God as a You, or a He, or a Creator, or a something, somewhere, an entity, with power to influence and control human history and individual circumstances.  People with understandings along these lines need to feel welcome in church.  There are also those who are moving toward thinking of God in non theistic terms.  No “You,” no anthropomorphism, no entity somewhere.  Instead, the non theistic believer may think of God as a principle, as an idea, as a concept of unity and love and life and relatedness or as the “ground of being” to quote 20th century theologian Paul Tillich.  Some are thinking about God as a foundational precept.  The core of reality.  And new ways to think about Jesus are emerging.  He may be seen as a manifestation of the full embodiment of universal, unconditional love.  The fullness of humanity.  The journey of faith then is to live in ever greater alignment with these concepts of love and unity and life.  Can we as one congregation embrace all of these views and more in the faith statement of our LUCC constitution?

We can see how these newly emerging theologies and understandings are an extension of those prescient words of John Robinson:  “The Lord hath more truth and light yet to break forth from his holy word.”  Robinson well understood, that as humanity evolves and develops and confronts new challenges, new ways of conveying faith will be needed or it will be left behind as anachronistic, archaic, and irrelevant.  It will go extinct.   And what prevents extinction?  Adaptation.  So we are right to hearken back to Robinson.  This is our moment to let more light and truth in; to revision how we speak of our faith, to expect new wine and new wineskins, because the world still desperately needs the healing love of Jesus.  Amen.  

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

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Weekly Update 28 June

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

COMING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

SUN, JUL 1 THIS SUNDAY: The theme for this Sunday is Peer Pressure. It’s not just about teens anymore. How are we influenced by the behavior of others? Can peer pressure be used to work for positive change?

Summer Sundays Services are more informal and favorite hymns will be sung each week. Children attend the beginning of the service and may go to the Nursery following Children’s Time.

SUN, JUL 1 COMMUNION:  All are welcome to participate in communion at Lakewood UCC, children at the discretion of the adults who brought them. The communion offering goes to the Special Needs Fund, used to help people in our community and the congregation with basic necessities such as food, rent, utilities, and prescription medication costs. Please be generous as you are able.
SUN, JUL 1 A/C UPDATE: Following worship this Sunday, July 1, there will be a congregational conversation to hear about the ongoing projects on the church property with a focus on the next large undertaking – new air conditioning.  Most of the system in the church building now dates from the 1960’s.  A new system will help to save energy, the planet, and, yes, money.  Plan to stay for this brief conversation after church this Sunday.
SUN, JUL 1 GOD AND BEYOND: The Advisors are hosting conversations about faith and the LUCC constitution. The advisors have undertaken the updating of the LUCC Constitution and By Laws. This conversation has led to an examination of the faith statements that are made at the beginning of the document: “This church affirms God as Creator, Jesus Christ as Savior, and the Holy Spirit as our strength. This church recognizes the United Church of Christ Statement of Faith.” The mission statement of the church is also included.
 The advisors would like to involve the congregation in this conversation. The first opportunity will be on Sunday July 22 before church at 9:00am in the Fellowship Hall. All are welcome!
In preparation, you may want to review the sermon that was given Sunday June 24. The theme was requested by the advisors to help give some perspective on this conversation.
JUL 2-10 REV. WELLS AWAY: Pastor Wells will be away from July 2nd to July 10th. Many thanks to Victoria Long who will preach on Sunday. For pastoral care, please contact Emily Bell or the church office.
DEATH PENALTY ADVOCACY: Last week, Bernie McCabe, the State’s Attorney for Pinellas and Pasco Counties agreed to meet with two religious leaders to discuss the death penalty: LUCC pastor Kim Wells and Father Bob Schneider of St. Cecelia’s Catholic Church. The conversation was mutually enlightening and Mr. McCabe has agreed to meet again after the upcoming gubernatorial election. Many thanks to Lucille Ruga and Sally Purvis for helping Kim prepare for this important initiative.
NAME TAGS: If you want or are in need of a name tag please contact or see Wally LeBlanc so he can make one for you.
OPERATION ATTACK: Operation Attack is an ecumenical ministry housed at Lakeview Presbyterian Church in St. Petersburg offering food and clothing to families in the area. LUCC supports Operation Attack with donations as well as by volunteering one evening a month. Contact Ian Blair-Catala for upcoming volunteer dates.

COMMUNITY EVENTS

JUN 29-30 CLIMATE CONFERENCE: Rev. Wells will be attending the 4th annual gathering of the Florida Interfaith Climate Actions Network June 29-30 in Orlando. The theme is Collaborating for a Healthy Environment and Climate Resiliency.
The program includes:

  • Earth Charter 18th Birthday Celebration
  • World Health Organization Report
  • Global Health and climate change challenges
  • Campfire honoring Miccosukee-Simanolee clan leader Bobby C. Billie
  • Hear how people came together to work on brownfields, air quality, and sea level rise
  • Brainstorm about how to cultivate resilient communities
  • Hear examples for policy education and actions
  • FL youth celebrations & success stories
  • Healthy food prep demonstration
  • Sowing a culture of peace in Florida
TUE, JUL 10 LGBTQ PROGRAMS: Teacher and children’s book author Rob Sanders will be featured in a pair of programs at the Gulfport Public Library (5501 28th Ave S) on Tuesday July 10th in which he will read from his new children’s book, Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag. The new book has already been praised by Publishers Weekly as a “poignant and uplifting biography.” There will be one afternoon program geared to children and their families from 4 – 5pm, as well as an evening program geared to adults from 7 – 8pm. Both programs are free and open to the public and all ages.
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.
FREE BOOKS: Did you know that there are not only books to borrow in the church library but books being given away for free. Take a peek at the great selection. Many new titles have been added including a selection of books for children.
GUN VIOLENCE INFORMATION PAMPHLET: Copies of a Gun Violence information pamphlet are available. This resource was created by Grace Lewis of the LUCC congregation to educate the public about gun violence. They are located at the back of the sanctuary, or you can download one here. Please take them and share them.
Screenshot 2016-08-08 18.34.07NEW EZ PODCASTS!!! No downloading! Just click and play! Try it! Just click on the little orange circle with the white arrow in it. Only one click and it plays! Every week, a new podcast is posted on the church website. All our streamable podcasts are at https://soundcloud.com/luccpodcasts – please tell your friends who might enjoy listening! Keep checking back, more and more will be added each week.
recycle1RECYCLE: Recycle your print cartridges! At this time we cannot recycle toner cartridges, only inkjet cartridges. Keep it coming in! Many thanks to all who contribute to the church recycling. This income stream helps the ministry of the church.
USHERS NEEDED: Please see or email the church office if you would like to volunteer to usher for services.
WEBSITE — lakewooducc.org: Everything you always wanted to know about the church. Go ahead and ask. The information is probably at the church website. You can subscribe and have updates and comments automatically sent to your email address. See the homepage for details. You can also keep connected with on Facebook and on Twitter.
childrenYOUNG PEOPLE AT LAKEWOOD: Children and young people are a vital part of the LUCC family. School age children are invited to participate in Summer Sundays church services. Preschool children are welcome in the Nursery under the able care of Claudia Rodriguez following Children’s Time. Children and young people are an integral part of this church family and the intergenerational relationships that form in this small congregation are truly a blessing!
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Blog – Pride and Prejudice

This past week, thousands upon thousands of people participated in the annual St. Petersburg Pride Celebration which culminated in a parade and a street festival.  Sleepy St. Pete has the largest Pride extravaganza in the southeastern United States.  This is something for our city to be PROUD of especially since Florida is not a liberal bastion like Massachusetts or California.  

Our church has supported the Pride initiative in St. Petersburg since its inception being one of the few churches to walk in the first Pride Promenade through the streets of Kenwood.  Lakewood UCC voted to become an Open and Affirming Church in 1998 intentionally welcoming people of all sexual identities into the full life of the church.  The UCC has been ordaining gay people since the 1970’s and supported the Supreme Court case which led to the legalization of gay marriage.  As a heterosexual, married woman and a mother, I am exceedingly proud to be part of this church!

As part of the Pride festivities this year, I attended the Interfaith Pride service at the First Presbyterian Church downtown.  The service was well planned and included leaders from differing faith traditions.  The music was lively and uplifting.  The speaker was from the Muslim religion and one of a handful of “out” gay imams in the world.  While there is great vigor for Pride in the Tampa Bay area, this service did not reflect that extensive support.  It was not very well attended.  And, if you think about it, that is really not surprising because there has been much religious condemnation of homosexuality and the diversity of sexual and gender expressions.    At the least, many religious settings have been subtly unwelcoming of sexual diversity.  I am from the Christian tradition and I know this to be true in Christianity.  I doubt if anyone reading this has escaped seeing images of supposed Christians preaching anti gay sentiments sealed with the threat of hell.  From friends and colleagues, I understand that these things also happen in other religious expressions.   

Before the Civil War, there were Christian abolitionists energetically trying to rid the country of the scourge of slavery.  BUT there were also Christians and not only in the South, that adeptly used scripture to defend slavery as God-ordained.  There were sermons upon sermons preached in sanctuaries on Sunday mornings declaring slavery to be the will of God;  a blessing even, not only for the slave owners but for the slaves themselves.  Yes, in churches on Sunday morning, in worship, this was proclaimed in the name of God.  

To Christians in the US who go to church today, that is unimaginable.  It was a heinous misuse of scripture and tradition and authority.  We know that now.  We see it.  The church was wrong.  And many denominations and expressions of Christianity in the US in recent decades have repented of those sins.  There has been acknowledgement that defending slavery in the context of the Christian church was wrong.  The church let human prejudice poison its message.  

Churches that decry homosexuality today, churches that name homosexuality a sin, are wrong about this just like the churches that defended slavery.   And the time will come when this will be acknowledged and recognized and there will be repentance.  The sooner the better!  

Happy PRIDE to one and all of the wonderfully diverse human beings created in the Divine Image!  

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Weekly Update 21 June

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

COMING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

SUN, JUN 24 THIS SUNDAY:  This Sunday will honor the 61st anniversary of the United Church of Christ which is June 25. One characteristic of the UCC is that it is a “non creedal” church. Maybe you have noticed that the Nicene Creed, or the Apostle’s Creed, or other creeds are not regularly recited in church. What does this mean for the identity of the church? What does it mean for LUCC going forward?

Summer Sundays Services are more informal and favorite hymns will be sung each week. Children attend the beginning of the service and may go to the Nursery following Children’s Time.

WED, JUN 20 WESTMINSTER SUNCOAST LUNCH: The next luncheon for residents of Westminster Shores and Suncoast will be Wednesday June 20th at 11:30 in the private dining room at Westminster Suncoast.
SUN, JUN 24 SUNDAY CELEBRATIONS: This potluck lunch will give the opportunity for fellowship and celebration of May and June birthdays. Dessert will be provided. Please bring other dishes to share. Many thanks to Earl Waters who will be the host for Sunday Celebrations in June. If you are able to help with clean up afterwards, please let Earl know.

Those who are involved in volunteering for Family Promise will sit together and hear updates about the program. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer and helping homeless families with children become financially stable, please join in the conversation!

MAY-JUN THERE IS HOPE – COMMUNITY: Ministry items for months of May and June will benefit Covenant House Florida. The items being collected are as follows:

  • Travel or trial size hygiene supplies (e.g. shampoo, body wash, lotion, deodorant, toothpaste)
  • New or used bath towels
  • Notebooks, pens and pencils
In July Wally LeBlanc will bring these items  to Covenant House Florida shelters in Fort Lauderdale and Orlando. There will be a box in the back of Sanctuary where items may be placed. Thank you for all the donations thus far!
NAME TAGS: If you want or are in need of a name tag please contact or see Wally LeBlanc so he can make one for you.
OPERATION ATTACK: Operation Attack is an ecumenical ministry housed at Lakeview Presbyterian Church in St. Petersburg offering food and clothing to families in the area. LUCC supports Operation Attack with donations as well as by volunteering one evening a month. Contact Ian Blair-Catala for upcoming volunteer dates.

COMMUNITY EVENTS

JUN 1-30 UCC GLOBAL MINISTRIES: Introducing the Global Ministries FESTIVAL OF STORIES! It’s happening during the month of June on various online platforms . Throughout the Festival of Stories, you’ll learn about how individuals and churches are supporting Global Ministries and international partners in unique ways. You’ll also have opportunities to share stories about how you and/or your congregation, region/conference are involved, too!
THU, JUN 21 INTERFAITH PRIDE SERVICE: Mark your calendars for June 21st at 7:00 PM for the interfaith pride service at First Presbyterian Church (701 Beach Dr NE). The Guest Speaker will be Imam Daayiee Abdullah, one of only 4 openly gay imams in the world.
FRI, JUN 22 WORLD REFUGEE DAY: Please save the date for this important event which will combine a citizenship ceremony of former refugees conducted by USCIS, voter registration drive, and a celebration of the contributions of refugees in our community. Pinellas Technical College (901 34th St. S) from 1 to 3:30pm Friday, 22 June. All are welcome.
WED, JUN 27 SOLAR CO_OP: There will be a St. Pete Solar Co-op Info Session on Wednesday, June 27 at 1:30pm at Allendale United Methodist Church (3803 Haines Rd N). If you live in south Pinellas County and want to go solar, now’s your chance! Neighbors across the area have formed a Solar Co-op with the help of the League of Women Voters, Solar United Neighbors of Florida, the City of St. Petersburg, and Suncoast Sierra Club. Co-ops make it easier to save money on the purchase of solar panels, while building a community of local solar supporters. Learn about solar energy, as well as how co-op membership simplifies the process of going solar while providing a discount through its bulk purchasing power. RSVP here.
TUE, JUL 10 LGBTQ PROGRAMS: Teacher and children’s book author Rob Sanders will be featured in a pair of programs at the Gulfport Public Library (5501 28th Ave S) on Tuesday July 10th in which he will read from his new children’s book, Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag. The new book has already been praised by Publishers Weekly as a “poignant and uplifting biography.” There will be one afternoon program geared to children and their families from 4 – 5pm, as well as an evening program geared to adults from 7 – 8pm. Both programs are free and open to the public and all ages.
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.
FREE BOOKS: Did you know that there are not only books to borrow in the church library but books being given away for free. Take a peek at the great selection. Many new titles have been added including a selection of books for children.
GUN VIOLENCE INFORMATION PAMPHLET: Copies of a Gun Violence information pamphlet are available. This resource was created by Grace Lewis of the LUCC congregation to educate the public about gun violence. They are located at the back of the sanctuary, or you can download one here. Please take them and share them.
Screenshot 2016-08-08 18.34.07NEW EZ PODCASTS!!! No downloading! Just click and play! Try it! Just click on the little orange circle with the white arrow in it. Only one click and it plays! Every week, a new podcast is posted on the church website. All our streamable podcasts are at https://soundcloud.com/luccpodcasts – please tell your friends who might enjoy listening! Keep checking back, more and more will be added each week.
recycle1RECYCLE: Recycle your print cartridges! At this time we cannot recycle toner cartridges, only inkjet cartridges. Keep it coming in! Many thanks to all who contribute to the church recycling. This income stream helps the ministry of the church.
USHERS NEEDED: Please see or email the church office if you would like to volunteer to usher for services.
WEBSITE — lakewooducc.org: Everything you always wanted to know about the church. Go ahead and ask. The information is probably at the church website. You can subscribe and have updates and comments automatically sent to your email address. See the homepage for details. You can also keep connected with on Facebook and on Twitter.
childrenYOUNG PEOPLE AT LAKEWOOD: Children and young people are a vital part of the LUCC family. School age children are invited to participate in Summer Sundays church services. Preschool children are welcome in the Nursery under the able care of Claudia Rodriguez following Children’s Time. 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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UCC leaders: Keep Families Together!

A message from the National Officers of the United Church of Christ and the Council of Conference Ministers of the United Church of Christ:

We must resist the evil of dehumanization enacted upon the vulnerable among us. The United Church of Christ strongly condemns the dismantling of families, the criminalization of the quest for freedom, and the caging of those whose only crime is to seek shelter from harm. How we treat those who seek shelter in our midst is a direct reflection of how we treat God. We call upon our 5,000 member churches to write letters to your representatives in Congress as an act of worship this month. Refugee Justice Sunday is June 17, World Refugee Day is June 20. Remind Congress there is a law that supersedes partisanship and political bantering, and that is the sanctity of all people of God.

Call on Congress to Keep Families Together! Use this link.

Donate, designating your gift to Keep Families Together here. 

Learn what the Bible has to say about how to treat immigrants and refugees here.

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50th Anniversary Timeline of the Future

As part of the 50th Anniversary Celebration of Lakewood UCC this past year, the congregation was invited to write down their hopes for the next 50 years of Lakewood:

Peace and harmony
Prosperity
Increasing the number of youth
Increased racial diversity
Caring
Let the 3rd way guide us on our journey through life
Boycott Wendy’s
Open and honest
Become a community leader promoting environmental justice
Continued growth with youth involvement
Working to overcome racism
Diversity
No one died because of random violence
Familia
Accepting
Freedom from the financial burdens of a capitalist economy
A visible active leadership in actions for justice
Continue light of inclusive love
Peace
Off the grid
Influencing the community
A leader of other UCC churches
Continue to promote peace, love, and happiness
A church orchestra
That we continue to live out our mission statement in ways that speak to the emerging realities of our future
No one died of gun violence
Greater economic diversity
Grace, happiness, goodwill
More anniversaries
Lead the city in bridging the racial divide and dismantling white privilege
Peace

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Pictures of Gun Violence Die-In Protest at Marco Rubio’s Tampa Office

On Tuesday June 12, Earl Waters and Rev. Kim Wells participated in the “Die In” in front of Marco Rubio’s office in the federal court house in Tampa.

Most Americans support stronger gun laws — laws that would reduce deaths.

Rubio is one of the top 10 career recipients of NRA funding – through donations or spending to benefit the candidate – among both current House and Senate members. The New York Times estimates the NRA has spent $3,303,355 to support Rubio.

The demonstration in front of Rubio’s Tampa office included about 30 people most of whom were teenagers. In addition to signs and chants, the event included thoughtful remarks from several of the high school students.

The event was held on the second anniversary of the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Participants in the “Die In” were invited to lay down on the sidewalk, as if they had been shot, for 12 minutes. Those who did not lie down carried signs for the benefit of passing cars.

 

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Weekly Update 14 June

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

COMING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

SUN, JUN 17 THIS SUNDAY:  The Father’s Day service includes the opportunity to for the naming of those who have been father figures. This Sunday provides a time to think about the nurturing and cultivating of boys and men in our society. Take a look at Mark 4:26-34.

Summer Sundays Services are more informal and favorite hymns will be sung each week. Children attend the beginning of the service and may go to the Nursery following Children’s Time.

THU, JUN 19 SINGING: Anyone interested in singing in the Interfaith Pride Service (7:00pm on June 21st at First Presbyterian Church) should go to the “y’all come sing” rehearsal in their choir room on Tuesday, June 19th at 7:00pm (701 Beach Dr NE).
SUN, JUN 24 SUNDAY CELEBRATIONS: This potluck lunch will give the opportunity for fellowship and celebration of May and June birthdays. Dessert will be provided. Please bring other dishes to share. Many thanks to Earl Waters who will be the host for Sunday Celebrations in June. Those who are involved in volunteering for Family Promise will sit together and hear updates about the program. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer and helping homeless families with children become financially stable, please join in the conversation!
MAY-JUN THERE IS HOPE – COMMUNITY: Ministry items for months of May and June will benefit Covenant House Florida. The items being collected are as follows:

  • Travel or trial size hygiene supplies (e.g. shampoo, body wash, lotion, deodorant, toothpaste)
  • New or used bath towels
  • Notebooks, pens and pencils
In July Wally LeBlanc will bring these items  to Covenant House Florida shelters in Fort Lauderdale and Orlando. There will be a box in the back of Sanctuary where items may be placed. Thank you for all the donations thus far!
ROOF UPDATE: LUCC has a beautiful new roof! Many thanks to all those who contributed to this effort, especially the anonymous donor who inspired the congregation’s generosity.
NAME TAGS: If you want or are in need of a name tag please contact or see Wally LeBlanc so he can make one for you.
OPERATION ATTACK: Operation Attack is an ecumenical ministry housed at Lakeview Presbyterian Church in St. Petersburg offering food and clothing to families in the area. LUCC supports Operation Attack with donations as well as by volunteering one evening a month. Contact Ian Blair-Catala for upcoming volunteer dates.

COMMUNITY EVENTS

JUN 1-30 UCC GLOBAL MINISTRIES: Introducing the Global Ministries FESTIVAL OF STORIES! It’s happening during the month of June on various online platforms . Throughout the Festival of Stories, you’ll learn about how individuals and churches are supporting Global Ministries and international partners in unique ways. You’ll also have opportunities to share stories about how you and/or your congregation, region/conference are involved, too!
THU, JUN 14 LGBTQ FILM: Join the Gulfport Public Library for a special viewing of “Reel in the Closet.” This film was created by Filmmaker Stu Maddux who reveals a treasure trove of rare home movies made by gay people – some dating back to the 1920s – that have long languished in the backs of people’s closets. This free screening starts at 7pm today (June 14th) at Gulfport Public Library (5501 28th Ave S).
SAT, JUN 16 RAPID RESPONSE TRAINING: Alarming headlines week after week remind us of the current unstable political climate, and the upcoming midterm elections have the potential to be one of the most transformation elections ever for Florida. We need to be an active force for positive change now more than ever. Equality Florida and Planned Parenthood are partnering to hold Rapid Response Corps boot camps across Florida to prepare our supporters to engage on critical issues that intersect with access to safe and legal abortion, reproductive justice, and LGBTQ equality. This training event will include a legislative update from our staff and partners, a space for questions, and a comprehensive volunteer training. Each attendee will walk away with an action plan that they can use to make their local community and the state of Florida safer and more inclusive. Saturday, June 16 from 9:00am – 1:00pm in St. Petersburg, FL. Register here.
THU, JUN 21 INTERFAITH PRIDE SERVICE: Mark your calendars for June 21st at 7:00 PM for the interfaith pride service at First Presbyterian Church (701 Beach Dr NE). The Guest Speaker will be Imam Daayiee Abdullah, one of only 4 openly gay imams in the world.
FRI, JUN 22 WORLD REFUGEE DAY: Please save the date for this important event which will combine a citizenship ceremony of former refugees conducted by USCIS, voter registration drive, and a celebration of the contributions of refugees in our community. Pinellas Technical College (901 34th St. S) from 1 to 3:30pm Friday, 22 June. All are welcome.
WED, JUN 27 SOLAR CO_OP: There will be a St. Pete Solar Co-op Info Session on Wednesday, June 27 at 1:30pm at Allendale United Methodist Church (3803 Haines Rd N). If you live in south Pinellas County and want to go solar, now’s your chance! Neighbors across the area have formed a Solar Co-op with the help of the League of Women Voters, Solar United Neighbors of Florida, the City of St. Petersburg, and Suncoast Sierra Club. Co-ops make it easier to save money on the purchase of solar panels, while building a community of local solar supporters. Learn about solar energy, as well as how co-op membership simplifies the process of going solar while providing a discount through its bulk purchasing power. RSVP here.
TUE, JUL 10 LGBTQ PROGRAMS: Teacher and children’s book author Rob Sanders will be featured in a pair of programs at the Gulfport Public Library (5501 28th Ave S) on Tuesday July 10th in which he will read from his new children’s book, Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag. The new book has already been praised by Publishers Weekly as a “poignant and uplifting biography.” There will be one afternoon program geared to children and their families from 4 – 5pm, as well as an evening program geared to adults from 7 – 8pm. Both programs are free and open to the public and all ages.
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.
FREE BOOKS: Did you know that there are not only books to borrow in the church library but books being given away for free. Take a peek at the great selection. Many new titles have been added including a selection of books for children.
GUN VIOLENCE INFORMATION PAMPHLET: Copies of a Gun Violence information pamphlet are available. This resource was created by Grace Lewis of the LUCC congregation to educate the public about gun violence. They are located at the back of the sanctuary, or you can download one here. Please take them and share them.
Screenshot 2016-08-08 18.34.07NEW EZ PODCASTS!!! No downloading! Just click and play! Try it! Just click on the little orange circle with the white arrow in it. Only one click and it plays! Every week, a new podcast is posted on the church website. All our streamable podcasts are at https://soundcloud.com/luccpodcasts – please tell your friends who might enjoy listening! Keep checking back, more and more will be added each week.
recycle1RECYCLE: Recycle your print cartridges! At this time we cannot recycle toner cartridges, only inkjet cartridges. Keep it coming in! Many thanks to all who contribute to the church recycling. This income stream helps the ministry of the church.
USHERS NEEDED: Please see or email the church office if you would like to volunteer to usher for services.
WEBSITE — lakewooducc.org: Everything you always wanted to know about the church. Go ahead and ask. The information is probably at the church website. You can subscribe and have updates and comments automatically sent to your email address. See the homepage for details. You can also keep connected with on Facebook and on Twitter.
childrenYOUNG PEOPLE AT LAKEWOOD: Children and young people are a vital part of the LUCC family. School age children are invited to participate in Summer Sundays church services. Preschool children are welcome in the Nursery under the able care of Claudia Rodriguez following Children’s Time. 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

Family and friends of Betty Harris, Genevieve Jackle, Shirley Locke,
Carolyn Moore, Ann Quinn, Willy Zessoules

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Weekly Update 7 June

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

COMING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

SUN, JUN 10 THIS SUNDAY: Genesis chapter 3 invites reflection about original sin.  Is the serpent guilty?  Are our eyes opened?  Come be part of exploring this foundational story of our faith. Summer Sunday services are more informal and relaxed and include the singing of favorite hymns suggested by the congregation. Children will attend the beginning of the service and may go to the Nursery following Children’s Time.
MON, JUN 11 IN MEMORIAM:  Betty Harris of the LUCC congregation and a resident of Westminster Suncoast died Sunday June 3rd.  Sincere sympathy is expressed to her family and friends. Services for Betty Harris will be held on Monday June 11 at the Hiers-Baxley Funeral Home, 910 E. Silver Springs Blvd in Ocala.  There will be a viewing from 10-11am and a service at 11:00 followed by burial in the Bushnell Cemetery. Rev. Wells will be officiating.
SAT, JUN 9 YARD SALE: New Philadelphia Ministries will hold their annual yard sale from 8am to 2pm on LUCC church grounds Saturday, June 9th. Proceeds go to fund their various mission projects.
THU, JUN 19 SINGING: Anyone interested in singing in the Interfaith Pride Service (7:00pm on June 21st at First Presbyterian Church) should go to the “y’all come sing” rehearsal in their choir room on Tuesday, June 19th at 7:00pm (701 Beach Dr NE).
SUN, JUN 24 SUNDAY CELEBRATIONS: The next Sunday celebrations will be held in June. This potluck lunch will give the opportunity for fellowship and celebration of May and June birthdays.
MAY-JUN THERE IS HOPE – COMMUNITY: Ministry items for months of May and June will benefit Covenant House Florida. The items being collected are as follows:

  • Travel or trial size hygiene supplies (e.g. shampoo, body wash, lotion, deodorant, toothpaste)
  • New or used bath towels
  • Notebooks, pens and pencils
In July Wally LeBlanc will bring these items  to Covenant House Florida shelters in Fort Lauderdale and Orlando. There will be a box in the back of Sanctuary where items may be placed. Thank you for all the donations thus far!
ROOF UPDATE: Roof work has begun!

NAME TAGS: If you want or are in need of a name tag please contact or see Wally LeBlanc so he can make one for you.
OPERATION ATTACK: Operation Attack is an ecumenical ministry housed at Lakeview Presbyterian Church in St. Petersburg offering food and clothing to families in the area. LUCC supports Operation Attack with donations as well as by volunteering one evening a month. Contact Ian Blair-Catala for upcoming volunteer dates.
SPECIAL VISITORS: An update on the mockingbird nest in the bush in front of the church office – the babies are getting bigger and keeping mom very busy!

COMMUNITY EVENTS

SCHOOL SHOOTER VIDEO GAME PETITION: Valve Corporation of Bellevue is planning to launch a video game on June 6 that is a school shooting simulator. This is horrific. Let the company know you think it’s wrong for them to profit from turning tragedy into entertainment and profit this way by signing this online petition.
JUN 1-30 UCC GLOBAL MINISTRIES: Introducing the Global Ministries FESTIVAL OF STORIES! It’s happening during the month of June on various online platforms . Throughout the Festival of Stories, you’ll learn about how individuals and churches are supporting Global Ministries and international partners in unique ways. You’ll also have opportunities to share stories about how you and/or your congregation, region/conference are involved, too!
FRI, JUN 8 WORLD OCEAN DAY: A free, family-friendly waterfront festival and celebration of the waters in and around Tampa Bay on Friday June 8th from 5 to 9pm at the Marine Exploration Center (250 8th Ave SE).
FRI, JUN 8 FILM: Celebrate World Oceans Day with the Suncoast Rise Above Plastics Coalition by the pool with the documentary film Straws highlighting the threat of single use plastics to the oceans. Friday, June 8th from 8 to 10pm at the downtown Hyatt (25 2nd St. N).
SAT, JUN 9 FILM: The Coral Reef Research Group will screen the documentary Chasing Coral on Saturday June 9th at 2pm at the PMFWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (100 8th Ave SE). This film will be followed by a Q&A session about Florida’s reefs with biologists from FWC, NOAA and USGS.
MON, JUN 11 POOR PEOPLE’S CAMPAIGN: Join Fight for 15 Florida for a trip to Tallahassee to stand in solidarity with the Poor People’s Campaign on Monday June 11th. Reserve your seat here. Please keep Rose Robie and the others from St. Petersburg who have gone to Washington for the Poor People’s March in your prayers. They were so grateful for the financial support that the church provided. When she returns, Rose will share about her experience with the congregation.
TUE, JUN 12 DIE-IN: Keep the movement for common sense gun laws going; join March for Our Lives Tampa Bay at Marco Rubio’s office (801 N Florida Ave, Tampa) from 11am to 1pm for National Die In Day June 12th. For more information visit facebook.
TUE, JUN 12 RAPID RESPONSE TRAINING: Alarming headlines week after week remind us of the current unstable political climate, and the upcoming midterm elections have the potential to be one of the most transformation elections ever for Florida. We need to be an active force for positive change now more than ever. Equality Florida and Planned Parenthood are partnering to hold Rapid Response Corps boot camps across Florida to prepare our supporters to engage on critical issues that intersect with access to safe and legal abortion, reproductive justice, and LGBTQ equality. This training event will include a legislative update from our staff and partners, a space for questions, and a comprehensive volunteer training. Each attendee will walk away with an action plan that they can use to make their local community and the state of Florida safer and more inclusive. Saturday, June 16 from 9:00AM – 1:00PM in St. Petersburg, FL. Register here.
THU, JUN 21 INTERFAITH PRIDE SERVICE: Mark your calendars for June 21st at 7:00 PM for the interfaith pride service at First Presbyterian Church (701 Beach Dr NE). The Guest Speaker will be Imam Daayiee Abdullah, one of only 4 openly gay imams in the world.
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.
FREE BOOKS: Did you know that there are not only books to borrow in the church library but books being given away for free. Take a peek at the great selection. Many new titles have been added including a selection of books for children.
GUN VIOLENCE INFORMATION PAMPHLET: Copies of a Gun Violence information pamphlet are available. This resource was created by Grace Lewis of the LUCC congregation to educate the public about gun violence. They are located at the back of the sanctuary, or you can download one here. Please take them and share them.
Screenshot 2016-08-08 18.34.07NEW EZ PODCASTS!!! No downloading! Just click and play! Try it! Just click on the little orange circle with the white arrow in it. Only one click and it plays! Every week, a new podcast is posted on the church website. All our streamable podcasts are at https://soundcloud.com/luccpodcasts – please tell your friends who might enjoy listening! Keep checking back, more and more will be added each week.
recycle1RECYCLE: Recycle your print cartridges! At this time we cannot recycle toner cartridges, only inkjet cartridges. Keep it coming in! Many thanks to all who contribute to the church recycling. This income stream helps the ministry of the church.
USHERS NEEDED: Please see or email the church office if you would like to volunteer to usher for services.
WEBSITE — lakewooducc.org: Everything you always wanted to know about the church. Go ahead and ask. The information is probably at the church website. You can subscribe and have updates and comments automatically sent to your email address. See the homepage for details. You can also keep connected with on Facebook and on Twitter.
childrenYOUNG PEOPLE AT LAKEWOOD: Children and young people are a vital part of the LUCC family. School age children are invited to participate in Summer Sundays church services. Preschool children are welcome in the Nursery under the able care of Claudia Rodriguez following Children’s Time. 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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Weekly Update 24 May

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

COMING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

SUN, MAY 27 THIS SUNDAY: This Sunday of Memorial Day weekend is a time to reflect on the importance of peace. Every war, every armed conflict, is explained as a way to secure peace. What do the Christian faith and human experience teach about peace? This Sunday is also the start of Summer Sundays at LUCC! Services are more informal and relaxed and include the singing of favorite hymns suggested by the congregation. Children will attend the beginning of the service and may go to the Nursery following Children’s Time which will be returning for the summer!
SUN, MAY 27 POOR PEOPLE’S MARCH: The Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign is planning a march to mark the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Poor People’s Campaign and Resurrection City erected in 1968 on the National Mall. The march will begin on June 2nd from the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia and end on June 12th at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. where they will be joined by the Homeless Marathon. LUCC is supporting the local Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign’s participation in this March by making a donation to offset their travel expenses. Checks may be made out to the church with the memo Human Rights, the deadline for donations is Sunday May 27. See economichumanrights.org and facebook for more information.
WED, MAY 30 IFTAR DINNER: A reminder to all those who signed up for this dinner, it is Wednesday, 30 May from 6-9pm at the The Coliseum (535 4th Ave N).
SUN, JUN 3 ADVISORS MEETING: The advisors will meet following worship on Sunday, June 3rd. All are welcome to attend.
SUN, JUN 3 CHOIR PARTY: The choir will be having an end of the season party at Yoko’s house on Sunday June 3 from 5-10pm. Contact Yoko for more information.
SUN, JUN 24 SUNDAY CELEBRATIONS: The next Sunday celebrations will be held in June. This potluck lunch gives the opportunity for fellowship and celebration of May and June birthdays.
MAY-JUN THERE IS HOPE – COMMUNITY: Ministry items for months of May and June will benefit Covenant House Florida. The items being collected are as follows:

  • Travel or trial size hygiene supplies (e.g. shampoo, body wash, lotion, deodorant, toothpaste)
  • New or used bath towels
  • Notebooks, pens and pencils
In July Wally LeBlanc will bring these items  to Covenant House Florida shelters in Fort Lauderdale and Orlando. There will be a box in the back of Sanctuary where items may be placed. Thank you for all the donations thus far!
ROOF UPDATE: As I write, trees are being trimmed in preparation for the new roof, set to be installed next week. MANY THANKS TO EVERYONE FOR THEIR GENEROSITY WHICH IS MAKING THIS NEW ROOF POSSIBLE. Special thanks to the anonymous donor who inspired the generosity of the rest of the congregation!
NAME TAGS: If you want or are in need of a name tag please contact or see Wally LeBlanc so he can make one for you.
OPERATION ATTACK: Operation Attack is an ecumenical ministry housed at Lakeview Presbyterian Church in St. Petersburg offering food and clothing to families in the area. LUCC supports Operation Attack with donations as well as by volunteering one evening a month. Contact Ian Blair-Catala for upcoming volunteer dates.
SPECIAL VISITORS: A Mockingbird has made her nest in the bush in front of the church office!

COMMUNITY EVENTS

SAT, MAY 29 – JUN 3 TIBETAN MANDALAS: Tibetan monks from the Drepung Gomang Monastery in India bring teachings of global peace, nonviolent conflict resolution, compassion, and wisdom. Highlighting their trip is the creation of a Sacred Sand Mandala in Florida CraftArt’s exhibition gallery (501 Central Ave). It will be on display from 29 May – 3 June. The Sacred Art Tour supports the 2,000 monks in Mundgod, India, with funds for their education, healthcare and nutrition. For more information see floridacraftart.org.
WED, JUN 6 WORKSHOP: The free “Examining Privilege” Workshop on June 6 from 10am to 3pm at the Florida Church House (9300 University Blvd. in Orlando) will feature Rev. Dr. Alice Hunt, President and Associate Professor of Biblical Hermeneutics & Religious Leadership at Chicago Theological Seminary (CTS). “Racism is the pre-eminent social justice issue of our time. The purpose of this spot is to challenge people to see the oppressive ubiquity of racism in our world — and inspire dialogue.” The registration deadline is June 4, and you can register online. Rev. Wells plans to attend, contact her if you would like to carpool.
THU, JUN 21 INTERFAITH PRIDE SERVICE: Mark your calendars for June 21st at 7:00 PM for the interfaith pride service at First Presbyterian Church (701 Beach Dr NE). The Guest Speaker will be Imam Daayiee Abdullah, one of only 4 openly gay imams in the world.
WED, MAY 30 GOING SOLAR WEBINAR: As part of the monthly Creation Justice Webinar Series, the UCC has teamed with GreenFaith to offer a webinar designed to assist churches who are interested in going solar. On May 30, the Rev. Fletcher Harper will address issues related to technology, finance, physical plant, communications and more. Sign-up today for this webinar!
JUSTICE MINISTRY EDUCATION: Join a learning community of people turning the world upside down! In June, Auburn Seminary will offer six-month training course for those who care about social justice issues and realize the importance of Florida, and in particular the I-4 corridor during the Mid Term elections this year. Gun control, immigration, equal pay, affordable housing and restoring voting rights for the formerly incarcerated are just a few of the issues facing our communities. E-mail Rev. Pritchett if you are interested in participating.
MLK VIDEO: On April 4th, 2018, the nation marked 50 years since the death of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In observance of the lasting impact of Dr. King’s ministry, Trinity Church Wall Street in New York City is offering a new video curriculum free of charge. Martin Luther King Jr.: Epistles & Prophets  brings together an interview with Civil Rights icon and theologian Ruby Sales and expert speakers exploring contemporary black/white relationships through writings by James Baldwin, Thomas Merton, and King that resonate powerfully today.
ONLINE PETITIONS: Urge your lawmakers to vote in ways that promote peace! Visit Equal Justice USA to support an end to the death penalty,  Move On to support a ban on military-style assault weapons and large capacity magazines, and Phone2Action to urge congress to undo the harm that mass incarceration has inflicted on families, individuals and the country.
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.
FREE BOOKS: Did you know that there are not only books to borrow in the church library but books being given away for free. Take a peek at the great selection. Many new titles have been added including a selection of books for children.
FREE ECO-THEOLOGY COURSE: Yale is offering three free courses centering on eco-theologian Thomas Berry and the application of his work and writing to understanding the gift of God’s creation and our relationship to it. This is an excellent opportunity for individuals or small groups in churches to participate in the course. Learn more about this exciting opportunity at coursera.org.
GUN VIOLENCE INFORMATION PAMPHLET: Copies of a Gun Violence information pamphlet are available. This resource was created by Grace Lewis of the LUCC congregation to educate the public about gun violence. They are located at the back of the sanctuary, or you can download one here. Please take them and share them.
Screenshot 2016-08-08 18.34.07NEW EZ PODCASTS!!! No downloading! Just click and play! Try it! Just click on the little orange circle with the white arrow in it. Only one click and it plays! Every week, a new podcast is posted on the church website. All our streamable podcasts are at https://soundcloud.com/luccpodcasts – please tell your friends who might enjoy listening! Keep checking back, more and more will be added each week.
recycle1RECYCLE: Recycle your print cartridges! At this time we cannot recycle toner cartridges, only inkjet cartridges. Keep it coming in! Many thanks to all who contribute to the church recycling. This income stream helps the ministry of the church.
USHERS NEEDED: Please see or email the church office if you would like to volunteer to usher for services.
WEBSITE — lakewooducc.org: Everything you always wanted to know about the church. Go ahead and ask. The information is probably at the church website. You can subscribe and have updates and comments automatically sent to your email address. See the homepage for details. You can also keep connected with on Facebook and on Twitter.
childrenYOUNG PEOPLE AT LAKEWOOD: Children and young people are a vital part of the LUCC family. Middle School age children and younger are invited to participate in Church School with Grace Lewis. Preschool children are welcome in the Nursery under the able care of Claudia Rodriguez. All children return to the sanctuary during the offering so they can participate at the end of the worship service. Children and young people are an integral part of this church family and the intergenerational relationships that form in this small congregation are truly a blessing!


CIRCLE OF CONCERN

Betty Harris, Genevieve Jackle, Bill Lindsay,
Carolyn Moore, Ann Quinn, Dee Dee Young, Willy Zessoules

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Earth Sunday at Lakewood UCC

In honor of Earth Day, the service focused on the healing of Earth and the healing of humanity. The Bible tells of a God that forgives people for the crucifixion of Jesus. Can there also be forgiveness for the damage being done to Earth? Divine forgiveness is important to the healing process. Using a Vidui (a Jewish prayer of confession) for the twenty-first century, the congregation participated in a healing ritual:

We confess our sins against the earth.
We commit ourselves to saving it.
We have assaulted our planet in countless ways
We have blamed others for the spiraling, deepening crisis
We have consumed thoughtlessly and irresponsibly
We have driven myriad species to the point of extinction
We have exhausted irreplaceable resources
We have failed to transcend borders and act unselfishly
We have given in to our many appetites and our gluttony
We have harmed beyond repair the habitats of living beings
We have ignored the signs of change in our climate and our seasons
We have jeopardized the well-being of future generations
We have known the problem but left problem-solving to others
We have lost sight of our role as God’s partners in creation
We have mocked, cynically, those who love creatures great and small
We have neglected the environment, most of all, in places of poverty
We had over-populated our cities and over-fished our oceans
We have polluted seashore and sky, fertile soil and freshwater springs
We have questioned and doubted solid evidence of danger
We have ravaged the old growth forests – ecosystems created over centuries
We have spewed poison into the bloodstream of our land: its rivers, lakes, and estuaries
We have transformed dazzling beauty into industrial ugliness
We have used shared resources for personal gain and corporate profit
We have violated the commandment “Do not destroy”
We have wasted precious treasures, our God-given gifts
We have exploited the weakest and most vulnerable in our midst

And yet we yearn to be better guardians of this earth and the fullness thereof
Let us be zealous now to care for this unique corner of the cosmos, this planet – our sacred home.

Let us be zealous now to care for this unique corner of the cosmos –
We commit ourselves to the healing of the air.
We commit ourselves to the healing of the waters.
We commit ourselves to the healing of the forests, trees, and plants.
We commit ourselves to the healing of the healing and restoration of animal life. We commit ourselves to the healing of the earth.
We commit ourselves to the healing of humanity.

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United Against Racism: Churches for Change

Available Now for Just $12!!

United Against Racism: Churches for Change

Authentic Christianity requires the loving inclusion of all God’s creation. An inclusive, beloved community is a community free from racism. United Against Racism is a call to an authentic Christianity, a religion that strives to become God’s inclusive, beloved community. It summons Christians to pray, think, and act to end racism. This resource aims to support churches, communions, and those who endeavor to share the journey of the Christian faith in the pursuit of an unfinished agenda to embody a more excellent way of racial equity. Church leaders from many backgrounds have praised United Against Racism:

 

United Against Racism is a huge gift from the church to the church. Its generative format invites every Christian and Christian community to hear the call and assume the vocation of being ambassadors of reconciliation. Without apology I encourage its wide use.

–Bishop Gregory Vaughn Palmer
Ohio West Episcopal Area, United Methodist Church

 

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, after marching alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., wrote, ‘When I marched in Selma, my feet are praying.’ This resource presents a compelling chorus of diverse Christian voices that will inspire our feet to pray with people of other religions and worldviews for an end to racism in our time.

–Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton
Presiding Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

 

It is the essential role of the church to speak out against the sin of racism and mend the persisting divides it has caused in our society. This resource is a valuable tool in provoking thoughtful responses on the meaning of repentance for the sin of racism and helpful as Christians seek to live faithfully to God’s call to love our neighbors and seek the common good.

–Jim Wallis
New York Times bestselling author, America’s Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America
President and Founder, Sojourners

 

A heartwarming and inspiring ensemble of voices inviting the Church and our nation to re-engage America’s sin of racism. The National Council of Churches spurs the conscience of every American in the quest for a more just and equal America.

–Rev. Dr. A. Roy Medley
General Secretary Emeritus
American Baptist Churches USA

 

Get your copy today for the discouted price of just $12! This is a limited time offer so make sure you buy your copy soon. Special discounts are also available for orders of 10 copies or more, just email ks@natcc.us. Use it for your Sunday School class, area conference pastor gatherings, youth groups, small groups – or just use it yourself.

Order your copy online at http://bit.ly/unitedagainstracismbook

 

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Weekly Update 17 May

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

COMING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

SUN, MAY 13 THIS SUNDAY: This Sunday is Pentecost. It was originally a Jewish harvest festival 40 days after Passover. In the Christian church it is one of the three great festivals of the year: Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost. For the church it is the celebration of the Holy Spirit being poured out upon the frightened disciples after the crucifixion marking their transformation into a bold, courageous community of faith. Christians consider Pentecost the “birthday” of the church. It is customary to wear red, the liturgical color for the Holy Spirit.

At LUCC, the service will include a “crowd sourced” sermon. The story of Pentecost tells of many people from different backgrounds hearing the good news of the gospel in their own tongue. What good news does the church have to share today? What good news do people of faith have for the world? If we think of a crowd from many different experiences, conditions, identities, and circumstances, what kinds of good news does the church have to share? Please come ready to share your thoughts!

SUN, MAY 20 GRADUATION PARTY: LUCC’S Zach Blair-Andrews will celebrate his high school graduation this Sunday! Join Zach for a luncheon/party in the church fellowship hall immediately following the service. You are invited to consider a gift to help Zach with his college education. All are welcome.
TUE, MAY 22 CREATION JUSTICE: The taskforce plans to meet on May 22, Tuesday at 3:00pm in the church library. All are welcome to attend.
SUN, MAY 27 SUMMER SUNDAYS: On Sunday May 27th summer Sundays begin. Services will be more informal and favorite hymns will be sung each week. Children will attend the beginning of the service and may go to the Nursery following Children’s Time which will be returning for the summer!
SUN, MAY 27 SUNDAY CELEBRATIONS: There will be no Sunday Celebrations in May because of the luncheon for Zach the week before. There will be a Sunday celebrations in June.
 MAY POOR PEOPLE’S MARCH: The Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign is planning a march to mark the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Poor People’s Campaign and Resurrection City erected in 1968 on the National Mall. The march will begin on June 2nd from the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia and end on June 12th at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. where they will be joined by the Homeless Marathon. Help the local Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign participate in this March by making a donation to offset their travel expenses. Checks may be made out to the church with the memo Human Rights, donations will be collected throughout May. See economichumanrights.org and facebook for more information
MAY-JUN THERE IS HOPE – COMMUNITY: Ministry items for months of May and June are travel or trial size hygiene supplies (e.g. shampoo, body wash, lotion, deodorant, toothpaste) these will be given to Covenant House Florida shelters in Orlando and Fort Lauderdale. There will be a box in the back of Sanctuary where items may be placed.
SUN, JUN 3 ADVISORS MEETING: The advisors will meet following worship on Sunday, June 3rd. All are welcome to attend.
WED, JUN 6 WORKSHOP: The free “Examining Privilege” Workshop on June 6 from 10am to 3pm at the Florida Church House (9300 University Blvd. in Orlando) will feature Rev. Dr. Alice Hunt, President and Associate Professor of Biblical Hermeneutics & Religious Leadership at Chicago Theological Seminary (CTS). “Racism is the pre-eminent social justice issue of our time. The purpose of this spot is to challenge people to see the oppressive ubiquity of racism in our world — and inspire dialogue.” The registration deadline is June 4, and you can register online. Rev. Wells plans to attend, contact her if you would like to carpool.
NAME TAGS: If you want or are in need of a name tag please contact or see Wally LeBlanc so he can make one for you.
OPERATION ATTACK: Operation Attack is an ecumenical ministry housed at Lakeview Presbyterian Church in St. Petersburg offering food and clothing to families in the area. LUCC supports Operation Attack with donations as well as by volunteering one evening a month. Contact Ian Blair-Catala for upcoming volunteer dates.

COMMUNITY EVENTS

FRI, MAY 18 ONE CITY CHORUS: Mark your calendars for May 18th at 7:00 PM for a concert at the Allendale United Methodist Church (3803 Haines Rd). It’s free, but a goodwill collection will be taken to help support the family of Plant City construction worker Luis Blanco. After 20 (law abiding) years in the United States, Luis was deported to Mexico leaving behind a pregnant wife and six children.
SAT, MAY 19 HANDS ACROSS THE SAND 2018: On May 19, communities all over the world—including nearly 30 Southeastern coastal communities—will participate in the 9th annual Hands Across the Sand day of action by gathering at their local beach and joining hands to “draw a line in the sand.” Stand up against offshore drilling at this event by joining hands for 15 minutes at 12:00pm at Indian Rocks Beach (between 17th and 18th Ave) or Treasure Island Beach (behind the Bilmar Beach Resort).
SAT, MAY 19 FILMS AND DISCUSSION: Sea Level Rise in the Time of Climate Change will be held on Saturday, May 19th at 6pm at the Quaker Meeting House (130 19th Ave. SE). Two short films will be shown: “Major Sea Level Rise in Near Future”, a TED talk by Jason Briner, Associate Professor of Geology at the University of Buffalo and “Life in a Sea-Level Hotspot”, a newscast of interviews with local Miami residents. These films will be followed by a discussion led by Beverly Ward, Quaker Field Secretary for Earthcare. Free and open to the public, refreshments will be served. For more information, email or call 727 895-6878.
SUN, MAY 20 ALUMNI SINGERS: The Alumni Singers of St. Petersburg will have their annual Spring Concert at 4pm on Sunday May 20 at Lakewood United Methodist Church (5995 9th St S). The choir is dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of the African-American experience through choral arrangements of spirituals, anthems and gospel music.
WED, MAY 30 GOING SOLAR WEBINAR: As part of the monthly Creation Justice Webinar Series, the UCC has teamed with GreenFaith to offer a webinar designed to assist churches who are interested in going solar. On May 30, the Rev. Fletcher Harper will address issues related to technology, finance, physical plant, communications and more. Sign-up today for this webinar!
JUSTICE MINISTRY EDUCATION: Join a learning community of people turning the world upside down! In June, Auburn Seminary will offer six-month training course for those who care about social justice issues and realize the importance of Florida, and in particular the I-4 corridor during the Mid Term elections this year. Gun control, immigration, equal pay, affordable housing and restoring voting rights for the formerly incarcerated are just a few of the issues facing our communities. E-mail Rev. Pritchett if you are interested in participating.
MLK VIDEO: On April 4th, 2018, the nation marked 50 years since the death of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In observance of the lasting impact of Dr. King’s ministry, Trinity Church Wall Street in New York City is offering a new video curriculum free of charge. Martin Luther King Jr.: Epistles & Prophets  brings together an interview with Civil Rights icon and theologian Ruby Sales and expert speakers exploring contemporary black/white relationships through writings by James Baldwin, Thomas Merton, and King that resonate powerfully today.
ONLINE PETITIONS: Urge your lawmakers to vote in ways that promote peace! Visit Equal Justice USA to support an end to the death penalty,  Move On to support a ban on military-style assault weapons and large capacity magazines, and Phone2Action to urge congress to undo the harm that mass incarceration has inflicted on families, individuals and the country.
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.
FREE BOOKS: Did you know that there are not only books to borrow in the church library but books being given away for free. Take a peek at the great selection. Many new titles have been added including a selection of books for children.
FREE ECO-THEOLOGY COURSE: Yale is offering three free courses centering on eco-theologian Thomas Berry and the application of his work and writing to understanding the gift of God’s creation and our relationship to it. This is an excellent opportunity for individuals or small groups in churches to participate in the course. Learn more about this exciting opportunity at coursera.org.
GUN VIOLENCE INFORMATION PAMPHLET: Copies of a Gun Violence information pamphlet are available. This resource was created by Grace Lewis of the LUCC congregation to educate the public about gun violence. They are located at the back of the sanctuary, or you can download one here. Please take them and share them.
Screenshot 2016-08-08 18.34.07NEW EZ PODCASTS!!! No downloading! Just click and play! Try it! Just click on the little orange circle with the white arrow in it. Only one click and it plays! Every week, a new podcast is posted on the church website. All our streamable podcasts are at https://soundcloud.com/luccpodcasts – please tell your friends who might enjoy listening! Keep checking back, more and more will be added each week.
recycle1RECYCLE: Recycle your print cartridges! At this time we cannot recycle toner cartridges, only inkjet cartridges. Keep it coming in! Many thanks to all who contribute to the church recycling. This income stream helps the ministry of the church.
USHERS NEEDED: Please see or email the church office if you would like to volunteer to usher for services.
WEBSITE — lakewooducc.org: Everything you always wanted to know about the church. Go ahead and ask. The information is probably at the church website. You can subscribe and have updates and comments automatically sent to your email address. See the homepage for details. You can also keep connected with on Facebook and on Twitter.
childrenYOUNG PEOPLE AT LAKEWOOD: Children and young people are a vital part of the LUCC family. Middle School age children and younger are invited to participate in Church School with Grace Lewis. Preschool children are welcome in the Nursery under the able care of Claudia Rodriguez. All children return to the sanctuary during the offering so they can participate at the end of the worship service. Children and young people are an integral part of this church family and the intergenerational relationships that form in this small congregation are truly a blessing!
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Join with the Poor People’s Campaign

 

 

We hope you will review these events by the Poor People’s Campaign and join!

Today, the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival will launch a season of nonviolent moral fusion direct action in Washington, DC and across the country, and we need you to join us. In communities across America—Black, white, brown and Native—we have built a Poor People’s Campaign to become what Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called “a new and unsettling force in our complacent national life.”
The Poor Peoples Campaign: A National Call for a Moral Revival is uniting tens of thousands of people across the country to challenge the evils of systemic racism, poverty, the war economy and ecological devastation.  Each week of the 40 days of action will have an issue focus.

 Weekly Themes of 40 Days of Action

WEEK ONE (May 13-19) – SOMEBODY’S HURTING OUR PEOPLE: Children, Women, and People with Disabilities in Poverty
WEEK TWO (May 20-26) – LINKING SYSTEMIC RACISM AND POVERTY: Voting Rights, Immigration, Xenophobia, Islamophobia, and the Mistreatment of Indigenous Communities
WEEK THREE (May 27-June 2) – THE WAR ECONOMY: Militarism and the Proliferation of Gun Violence
WEEK FOUR (June 3-9) – THE RIGHT TO HEALTH AND A HEALTHY PLANET: Ecological Devastation and Health Care
WEEK FIVE (June 10-16) – EVERYBODY’S GOT THE RIGHT TO LIVE: Education, Living Wage Jobs, Income, Housing
WEEK SIX (June 17-22) – A NEW AND UNSETTLING FORCE: Confronting the Distorted Moral Narrative
June 23 – Global Day of Solidarity and Sending Forth Call to Action Mass Rally in Washington DC
40 Days: Weekly Schedule
Sundays: Mass Meetings: National Broadcast @TBD
Mondays: Nonviolent Moral Fusion Direct Action @ 2 pm in State Capitols
Tuesdays: Teaching Tuesdays – National Webinar 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm EST
Thursdays: Theomusicology and Movements Arts Culture
By engaging in highly publicized, nonviolent moral fusion direct action, the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival will force a serious national examination of the enmeshed evils of systemic racism, systemic poverty, ecological devastation, the war economy and our distorted moral narrative. These enmeshed evils know no boundaries. That’s why we need people who care about this nation to build something better.
 

Action Kit

###

Serving as a leading voice of witness to the living Christ in the public square since 1950, the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC) brings together 38 member communions and more than 40 million Christians in a common commitment to God’s love and promise of unity.

NCC News contact: Steven D. Martin: 202.412.4323 or steven.martin@nationalcouncilofchurches.us.

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Text of the anthem, “The Lost”

Recently, at the request of a few folk, I posted the text I wrote for an anthem the choir sang. There were several very positive, and quite unexpected, responses to the post.

I’ve only ever consider myself a lyricist-by-necessity, since anthems need texts and I’m too cheap to pay for new ones and to lazy to go to the trouble of applying for copyright permission. So…I’m amazed that anyone would show an interests in my anthem (hymn, song) texts.

Here’s another one, and it’s sung to an original tune. The choir has done it a few times.


As the sheep wandered lost ‘midst the cold and the dark.
it did hear its shepherd’s voice and know that love was near.
Peace and closeness and safety as it felt the embrace
and was lifted and carried to a home free of fear.

And the coin once lost that is valued and prized
by the woman who sweeps her home,
has been found and shown to the neighbors in joy
as she holds her lamp up high.

And the child returned from a life of despair
now is fêted and welcomed home,
for the acts that matter are not our mistakes
but our taking the gift that’s giv’n,

that we not push away God’s love…
that we not push away God’s love.

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Weekly Update 10 May

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

COMING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

SUN, MAY 13 THIS SUNDAY: This Sunday, Mother’s Day, the service includes the opportunity for the naming of Mothers. Come be part of this celebration of A Mother’s Love. At the request of someone in the congregation, Rev. Wells will be preaching on the theme “Why Women Voted for Trump.” Several people in the congregation have mentioned that they do not like to hear or use the word “Trump.” There will not be heavy use of the word in the sermon despite the topic.
SUN, MAY 13 MISSION: This Sunday there will also be a Moment for Mission about the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign. This is the initiative that drew Dr. Martin Luther King to the March on Washington in June of 1968. In honor of the 50th anniversary, there will be another poor people’s march on Washington in June. A delegation from the local Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign will be going. The LUCC Advisors have decided to encourage the congregation to financially support the efforts of the local group to attend the March. Donations will be received to help defray the expenses of the folks going from St. Pete to participate in DC. Checks may be made out to the church with the memo Human Rights. Or put a donation in an envelope and write Human Rights on the envelope. Donations will be received through the end of May. See economichumanrights.org and facebook for more information
MAY 13 – 19 FAMILY PROMISE: LUCC is serving as a support congregation at Lakewood Methodist Church the week of May 13th. If you would like to become involved in this important ministry helping homeless families with children achieve financial stability, please speak with LUCC Family Promise Coordinator Patti Cooksey.
SUN, MAY 20 PENTECOST: Sunday May 20 is the annual observance of Pentecost. This is a Christian holy day honoring the story of the Holy Spirit being poured out upon the friends of Jesus who then invited others to be part of the Jesus community. See the story in the second chapter of Acts. The liturgical color for the Holy Spirit is red, so Pentecost is a Sunday to wear red if you would like to! The followers of Jesus extolled “God’s deeds of power.” During the service, there will be a time for the congregation to say something about the power of faith. How is the way of Jesus needed in the world today? How do we see faith at work for good in the world? Please consider sharing your thoughts on Sunday May 20 during morning worship.
SUN, MAY 20 NEW MEMBERS: The church is planning to receive new members on Pentecost Sunday May 20. Those considering church membership may speak with Rev. Wells.
SUN, MAY 20 GRADUATION PARTY: LUCC’S Zach Blair-Andrews will celebrate his high school graduation on Sunday, May 20th! Join Zach for a luncheon/party in the church fellowship hall immediately following the service.You are invited to consider a gift to help Zach with his college education. All are welcome.
SUNDAY CELEBRATIONS: There will be no Sunday Celebrations in May because of the luncheon for Zach the week before. There will be a Sunday celebrations in June.
TUE, MAY 22 CREATION JUSTICE: The taskforce plans to meet on May 22, Tuesday at 3:00pm in the church library. All are welcome to attend.
SUN, MAY 27 SUMMER SUNDAYS: On Sunday May 27th summer Sundays begin. Services will be more informal and favorite hymns will be sung each week. Children will attend the beginning of the service and may go to the Nursery following Children’s Time which will be returning for the summer!
AWARD: LUCC’s Yoko Nogami’s student won an award for his art that includes a scholarship for his continuing education. See wtsp.com for a short video featuring Yoko and her student. Congratulations!
NAME TAGS: If you want or are in need of a name tag please contact or see Wally LeBlanc so he can make one for you.
OPERATION ATTACK: Operation Attack is an ecumenical ministry housed at Lakeview Presbyterian Church in St. Petersburg offering food and clothing to families in the area. LUCC supports Operation Attack with donations as well as by volunteering one evening a month. Contact Ian Blair-Catala for upcoming volunteer dates.
BOXES: Ed Kaspar is moving and needs boxes, get in touch with him if you can help out.
LAPTOP: The church was able to meet Christy’s need for a laptop for her daughters. Thanks to all who offered to help out!

COMMUNITY EVENTS

THU, May 10 FILM AND TALK: The Florida Holocaust Museum presents a special screening of Lea and Mira, followed by a Holocaust Survivor talk at 6:30pm tonight, May 10th at The Studio@620 (620 1st Ave S). Lea and Mira, a Spanish film with English subtitles, tells the story of two elderly Polish Jewish women living in Argentina who were taken to the Auschwitz concentration camp as children. The movie depicts the thoughts of these two Holocaust Survivors: their wisdom, their resilience, and their way of looking at the world and life after trauma and horror. Following the film, local Holocaust Survivor Pieter Kohnstam will share his personal experience of escaping Nazi Europe to Argentina. Pieter was born in the Netherlands and lived in the same building as Anne Frank and her family. When his family was scheduled for transport to Theresienstadt, they fled Amsterdam and arrived in Argentina one year later in 1943. To reserve your seat, call 727.820.0100 ext. 301. This program is free and open to the public.
FRI, MAY 18 ONE CITY CHORUS: Mark your calendars for May 18th at 7:00 PM for a concert at the Allendale United Methodist Church (3803 Haines Rd). It’s free, but a goodwill collection will be taken to help support the family of Plant City construction worker Luis Blanco. After 20 (law abiding) years in the United States, Luis was deported to Mexico leaving behind a pregnant wife and six children.
SUN, MAY 20 ALUMNI SINGERS: The Alumni Singers of St. Petersburg will have their annual Spring Concert at 4pm on Sunday May 20 at Lakewood United Methodist Church (5995 9th St S). The choir is dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of the African-American experience through choral arrangements of spirituals, anthems and gospel music.
WED, MAY 30 IFTAR DINNER:  On Wednesday, May 30th at The Coliseum (535 4th Ave N) Mayor Rick Kriseman and Muslim leaders from throughout Tampa Bay will host the 2nd Annual Iftar dinner welcoming residents of all faiths to celebrate the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Iftar is the evening meal when Muslims end their daily Ramadan fast at sunset. Doors open at 6pm, prayer at sundown (8:21pm). Sign up in the narthex if you plan to attend by May 13th.
WED, MAY 30 GOING SOLAR WEBINAR: As part of the monthly Creation Justice Webinar Series, the UCC has teamed with GreenFaith to offer a webinar designed to assist churches who are interested in going solar. On May 30, the Rev. Fletcher Harper will address issues related to technology, finance, physical plant, communications and more. Sign-up today for this webinar!
JUN 2-12 MARCH: The Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign is planning a march to mark the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Poor People’s Campaign and Resurrection City erected in 1968 on the National Mall. The march will begin on June 2nd from the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia and end on June 12th at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. where they will be joined by the Homeless Marathon. Sign up to join the Poor People’s March.
JUSTICE MINISTRY EDUCATION: Join a learning community of people turning the world upside down! In June, Auburn Seminary will offer six-month training course for those who care about social justice issues and realize the importance of Florida, and in particular the I-4 corridor during the Mid Term elections this year. Gun control, immigration, equal pay, affordable housing and restoring voting rights for the formerly incarcerated are just a few of the issues facing our communities. E-mail Rev. Pritchett if you are interested in participating.
MLK VIDEO: On April 4th, 2018, the nation marked 50 years since the death of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In observance of the lasting impact of Dr. King’s ministry, Trinity Church Wall Street in New York City is offering a new video curriculum free of charge. Martin Luther King Jr.: Epistles & Prophets  brings together an interview with Civil Rights icon and theologian Ruby Sales and expert speakers exploring contemporary black/white relationships through writings by James Baldwin, Thomas Merton, and King that resonate powerfully today.
ONLINE PETITIONS: Urge your lawmakers to vote in ways that promote peace! Visit Equal Justice USA to support an end to the death penalty,  Move On to support a ban on military-style assault weapons and large capacity magazines, and Phone2Action to urge congress to undo the harm that mass incarceration has inflicted on families, individuals and the country.
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.
FREE BOOKS: Did you know that there are not only books to borrow in the church library but books being given away for free. Take a peek at the great selection. Many new titles have been added including a selection of books for children.
FREE ECO-THEOLOGY COURSE: Yale is offering three free courses centering on eco-theologian Thomas Berry and the application of his work and writing to understanding the gift of God’s creation and our relationship to it. This is an excellent opportunity for individuals or small groups in churches to participate in the course. Learn more about this exciting opportunity at coursera.org.
GUN VIOLENCE INFORMATION PAMPHLET: Copies of a Gun Violence information pamphlet are available. This resource was created by Grace Lewis of the LUCC congregation to educate the public about gun violence. They are located at the back of the sanctuary, or you can download one here. Please take them and share them.
Screenshot 2016-08-08 18.34.07NEW EZ PODCASTS!!! No downloading! Just click and play! Try it! Just click on the little orange circle with the white arrow in it. Only one click and it plays! Every week, a new podcast is posted on the church website. All our streamable podcasts are at https://soundcloud.com/luccpodcasts – please tell your friends who might enjoy listening! Keep checking back, more and more will be added each week.
recycle1RECYCLE: Recycle your print cartridges! At this time we cannot recycle toner cartridges, only inkjet cartridges. Keep it coming in! Many thanks to all who contribute to the church recycling. This income stream helps the ministry of the church.
USHERS NEEDED: Please see or email the church office if you would like to volunteer to usher for services.
WEBSITE — lakewooducc.org: Everything you always wanted to know about the church. Go ahead and ask. The information is probably at the church website. You can subscribe and have updates and comments automatically sent to your email address. See the homepage for details. You can also keep connected with on Facebook and on Twitter.
childrenYOUNG PEOPLE AT LAKEWOOD: Children and young people are a vital part of the LUCC family. Middle School age children and younger are invited to participate in Church School with Grace Lewis. Preschool children are welcome in the Nursery under the able care of Claudia Rodriguez. All children return to the sanctuary during the offering so they can participate at the end of the worship service. Children and young people are an integral part of this church family and the intergenerational relationships that form in this small congregation are truly a blessing!


CIRCLE OF CONCERN

Betty Harris, Genevieve Jackle, Bill Lindsay, Shirley Locke,
Carolyn Moore, Ann Quinn, Antin Young, Willy Zessoules

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Weekly Update 3 May

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

COMING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

SUN, MAY 6 THIS SUNDAY: The good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ is good news if it is good news for everyone not just some people. A beautiful story from Acts reminds us of the lavish scope of the gospel. See Acts 8:26-40.
SUN, MAY 6 COMMUNION: All are welcome to participate in communion at Lakewood UCC, children at the discretion of the adults who brought them. The communion offering goes to the Special Needs Fund which is used to help people in our community and the congregation with basic necessities such as food, rent, utilities, and prescription medication costs. Please be generous as you are able.
SUN, MAY 6 ADVISORS MEETING: The Advisors will meet following worship on Sunday, all are welcome to attend.
SUN, MAY 6 THERE IS HOPE – COMMUNITY: Wally LeBlanc will have cards available for sale on Sun. May 6th. The mission for May card sales is Lakewood Methodist Counseling Center. Ministry item for months of May and June is travel or trial size hygiene supplies (e.g. shampoo, body wash, lotion, deodorant, toothpaste) these will be given to Covenant House Florida shelters in Orlando and Fort Lauderdale. There will be a box in the back of Sanctuary for items to be placed in.
LAPTOP TO DONATE: Does anyone have a laptop they can donate to Christy Martin? Her daughters could really use one for their homework assignments.
SUN, MAY 13 MOTHER’S DAY: On Sunday May 13, the service will include the Naming of Mothers. Those who would like to will have the opportunity to name those who have offered mothering love and support. Also, Rev. Wells was asked to preach a sermon about why women voted for Donald Trump. She will offer some thoughts about this on Mother’s Day.
MAY 13 – 19 FAMILY PROMISE: LUCC is serving as a support congregation at Lakewood Methodist Church the week of May 13th. If you would like to become involved in this important ministry helping homeless families with children achieve financial stability, please speak with LUCC Family Promise Coordinator Patti Cooksey.
SUN, MAY 20 PENTECOST: Sunday May 20 is the annual observance of Pentecost. This is a Christian holy day honoring the story of the Holy Spirit being poured out upon the friends of Jesus who then invited others to be part of the Jesus community. See the story in the second chapter of Acts. The liturgical color for the Holy Spirit is red, so Pentecost is a Sunday to wear red if you would like to! The followers of Jesus extolled “God’s deeds of power.” During the service, there will be a time for the congregation to say something about the power of faith. How is the way of Jesus needed in the world today? How do we see faith at work for good in the world? Please consider sharing your thoughts on Sunday May 20 during morning worship.
SUN, MAY 20 NEW MEMBERS: The church is planning to receive new members on Pentecost Sunday May 20. Those considering church membership may speak with Rev. Wells.
SUN, MAY 20 GRADUATION PARTY: LUCC’S Zach Blair-Andrews will celebrate his high school graduation on Sunday, May 20th! Join Zach for a luncheon/party in the church fellowship hall immediately following the service.You are invited to consider a gift to help Zach with his college education. All are welcome.
TUE, MAY 22 CREATION JUSTICE: The taskforce plans to meet on May 22, Tuesday at 3:00pm in the church library. All are welcome to attend.
SUN, MAY 27 SUMMER SUNDAYS: On Sunday May 27th summer Sundays begin. Services will be more informal and favorite hymns will be sung each week. Children will attend the beginning of the service and may go to the Nursery following Children’s Time which will be returning for the summer!
AWARD: LUCC’s Charles Lewis recently received the E.F. Lindquist Award in educational measurement. This award is presented jointly by American Educational Research Association and ACT in recognition of outstanding applied or theoretical research in the field of testing and measurement. Congratulations!
NAME TAGS: If you want or are in need of a name tag please contact or see Wally LeBlanc so he can make one for you.

COMMUNITY EVENTS

SAT, May 5 CLEAN CLAM BAYOU: Come help clean this park in Gulfport (Miriam St) on Saturday, 5 May at 10am. Tools and garbage bags provided.
FRI, MAY 18 ONE CITY CHORUS: Mark your calendars for May 18th at 7:00 PM for a concert at the Allendale United Methodist Church (3803 Haines Rd). It’s free, but a goodwill collection will be taken to help support the family of Plant City construction worker Luis Blanco. After 20 (law abiding) years in the United States, Luis was deported to Mexico leaving behind a pregnant wife and six children.
SUN, MAY 20 ALUMNI SINGERS: The Alumni Singers of St. Petersburg will have their annual Spring Concert at 4pm on Sunday May 20 at Lakewood United Methodist Church (5995 9th St S). The choir is dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of the African-American experience through choral arrangements of spirituals, anthems and gospel music.
WED, MAY 30 IFTAR DINNER:  On Wednesday, May 30th at The Coliseum (535 4th Ave N) Mayor Rick Kriseman and Muslim leaders from throughout Tampa Bay will host the 2nd Annual Iftar dinner welcoming residents of all faiths to celebrate the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Iftar is the evening meal when Muslims end their daily Ramadan fast at sunset. Doors open at 6pm, prayer at sundown (8:21pm). Sign up in the narthex if you plan to attend by May 13th.
JUSTICE MINISTRY EDUCATION: Join a learning community of people turning the world upside down! In June, Auburn Seminary will offer six-month training course for those who care about social justice issues and realize the importance of Florida, and in particular the I-4 corridor during the Mid Term elections this year. Gun control, immigration, equal pay, affordable housing and restoring voting rights for the formerly incarcerated are just a few of the issues facing our communities. E-mail Rev. Pritchett if you are interested in participating.
MLK VIDEO: On April 4th, 2018, the nation marked 50 years since the death of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In observance of the lasting impact of Dr. King’s ministry, Trinity Church Wall Street in New York City is offering a new video curriculum free of charge. Martin Luther King Jr.: Epistles & Prophets  brings together an interview with Civil Rights icon and theologian Ruby Sales and expert speakers exploring contemporary black/white relationships through writings by James Baldwin, Thomas Merton, and King that resonate powerfully today.
ONLINE PETITIONS: Urge your lawmakers to vote in ways that promote peace! Visit Equal Justice USA to support an end to the death penalty,  Move On to support a ban on military-style assault weapons and large capacity magazines, and Phone2Action to urge congress to undo the harm that mass incarceration has inflicted on families, individuals and the country.
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.
FREE BOOKS: Did you know that there are not only books to borrow in the church library but books being given away for free. Take a peek at the great selection. Many new titles have been added including a selection of books for children.
FREE ECO-THEOLOGY COURSE: Yale is offering three free courses centering on eco-theologian Thomas Berry and the application of his work and writing to understanding the gift of God’s creation and our relationship to it. This is an excellent opportunity for individuals or small groups in churches to participate in the course. Learn more about this exciting opportunity at coursera.org.
GUN VIOLENCE INFORMATION PAMPHLET: Copies of a Gun Violence information pamphlet are available. This resource was created by Grace Lewis of the LUCC congregation to educate the public about gun violence. They are located at the back of the sanctuary, or you can download one here. Please take them and share them.
Screenshot 2016-08-08 18.34.07NEW EZ PODCASTS!!! No downloading! Just click and play! Try it! Just click on the little orange circle with the white arrow in it. Only one click and it plays! Every week, a new podcast is posted on the church website. All our streamable podcasts are at https://soundcloud.com/luccpodcasts – please tell your friends who might enjoy listening! Keep checking back, more and more will be added each week.
recycle1RECYCLE: Recycle your print cartridges! At this time we cannot recycle toner cartridges, only inkjet cartridges. Keep it coming in! Many thanks to all who contribute to the church recycling. This income stream helps the ministry of the church.
USHERS NEEDED: Please see or email the church office if you would like to volunteer to usher for services.
WEBSITE — lakewooducc.org: Everything you always wanted to know about the church. Go ahead and ask. The information is probably at the church website. You can subscribe and have updates and comments automatically sent to your email address. See the homepage for details. You can also keep connected with on Facebook and on Twitter.
childrenYOUNG PEOPLE AT LAKEWOOD: Children and young people are a vital part of the LUCC family. Middle School age children and younger are invited to participate in Church School with Grace Lewis. Preschool children are welcome in the Nursery under the able care of Claudia Rodriguez. All children return to the sanctuary during the offering so they can participate at the end of the worship service. Children and young people are an integral part of this church family and the intergenerational relationships that form in this small congregation are truly a blessing!


CIRCLE OF CONCERN

Betty Harris, Genevieve Jackle, Bill Lindsay, Shirley Locke,
Carolyn Moore, Ann Quinn, Willy Zessoules

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Text of the anthem, “Fully Known”

There have been several requests for the text of the anthem the choir sang Sunday, “Fully Known.” Here it is…

Immortalized, sung, painted,
the Easter stories tell
when at the grave Christ met her,
until He said her name,
that Mary felt known fully
and recognized Him well.
For in the name there’s knowing.
whence people truly came.

He’s known for fully knowing
what others not remark,
or we ourselves have falsely
not credited our worth.
In Him is a true knowing,
in full not just in part,
the full sense of our being
His loving gives love birth.

In story after story
his love for us is shown:
as with no condemnation
the woman at the well
is giv’n the living water
e’vn though her past is known.
And as with us he knows this,
as living waters tell.

Zacchaeus is another.
So too the woman scorned.
As is the rich young ruler.
The thieves received goodwill
as Jesus fully knew them.
So too are we adored,
known fully and loved fully,
Christ Jesus loves us still.

© 2018 Kim P. Wells & Hilton Kean Jones

It’s sung to the old Irish tune, “Sally Gardens.” The words are based on this past Easter Sunrise Service sermon of Rev. Kim Wells. The text of that sermon can be read here: http://lakewooducc.org/2018/04/01/sermon-easter-sunrise-fully-known-fully-loved/.

As you will clearly see if your read her sermon, the poem I wrote for the anthem is based entirely on Kim’s premise and order of construction and contains so many fragments of her sentences, that the only honorable thing to do is to credit her as co-author of this poem, for without her thoughts and words the poem would not exit!

–Hilton

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