Holy Week

HOLY WEEK: The following are the events for Holy Week at Lakewood United Church of Christ. Please know that you are welcome!

Palm Sunday April 9 at 10:30 a.m.
A beautiful service that begins outside around the cross with the blessing of the palms. Please bring a palm leaf if you can.

Maundy Thursday April 13
An evening to remember the Last Supper and Jesus’ final teachings. A simple soup supper will be served at 6:00 followed by a service of Tennebrae and communion at 7:00 p.m. If you would like to be a reader for the service contact Sue Sherwood.

Good Friday April 14
The sanctuary will be open for meditation and prayer from noon to 3:00 p.m. Come when you can for this sacred moment to reflect on the crucifixion of Jesus.

7:00-8:00 p.m. there will be an outdoor stations of the cross remembrance with a theme of environmentalism.

Easter Sunday April 16
7:00 – Sunrise service with communion followed by breakfast. If you would like to help with the Easter breakfast, please contact Dina Gamma.
10:30 – Festival Service followed by refreshments on the lawn and an Easter Egg Hunt.

Please bring filled Easter eggs to the church for the hunt some time before Easter. You’re invited to order flowers to grace the sanctuary Easter Sunday. Order forms will be available in the bulletins. Please contact the church office (727-867-7961) to arrange transportation if needed.

All are welcome. Please know that your presence is a blessing!

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ACTION ALERT – GUN SAFETY

LWVF Logo (better resolution?)
ACTION ALERT – GUN SAFETY
CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVE TODAY.
Tomorrow, April 4th, three bad bills will be debated in the House of Representatives.
HB 849 will be heard on the floor of the House. This bill would allow concealed carry permit holders to carry their weapons on private school property.
HB 245 AND SB 128 will be heard on the floor of the House.  These bills would require prosecutors to try Stand Your Ground (SYG) cases twice – once in a pretrial hearing and once in front of a jury.
Call your Representative (click here to find Rep.) and tell them that you are their constituent and that you strongly urge him/her to vote NO on HB 245, SB 128, and HB 849!
CALL YOUR SENATOR TODAY
 
Also, tomorrowApril 4th, the Senate will hear SB 1052. 
 
This additional Stand Your Ground proposal would remove a requirement that a person first must be attacked in his or her dwelling, residence, or vehicle before using or threatening to use force. This would allow a person who perceives a threat to use force without first being attacked.
Call your Senator (find them here) and tell him/her to vote NO on SB 1052.
Thank you for all that you do!
In League,
 
Pamela Goodman
President 
LWV of Florida
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Honoring Dr. King’s Death this Tuesday

From: Awake Pinellas <contact@awakepinellas.org>
Date: March 31, 2017 at 6:20:16 PM EDT
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Subject: Honoring Dr. King’s Death this Tuesday
 
WHAT: Workers, Race and Class: 1968 Black Resistance
WHERE: James B. Sanderlin Center: 2335 22nd Ave S, St. Petersburg, FL 33712
WHEN: THIS Tuesday April 4th @ 6:00pm
See Facebook EVENT PAGE HERE
On April 4th, the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, the Fight for $15 and the Movement for Black Lives will hold over two dozen actions nationwide to honor the legacy and vision of King and recommit to the struggle against systemic racism and poverty wages. When Dr. King was killed nearly 50 years ago, he was in Memphis to support black sanitation workers who were on strike against politicians intent on busting their union. King saw a deep link between the labor and civil rights movements and believed that union rights were fundamental to achieving racial justice. He died while in Memphis for a strike because he knew that when people join together they build power to make change. Let’s continue that vision together.
Here in Florida, we will be hosting three special events connecting the dots between Dr. King’s struggle for racial and economic justice and the battles we are fighting today. We will also examine our current predicament as communities of color prepare to fight back against this administration and Republican efforts to curtail protest and decimate worker rights via draconian legislation.
In St. Petersburg, racial justice and labor leaders are convening a Town Hall Discussion entitled Workers, Race, and Class: Black Resistance from Then to Now” bringing together veterans from the 1968 Black-Led St. Petersburg Sanitation Worker Strike and current leaders and workers in the Movement for Black Lives and Fight for 15. We will hear from leaders of the historic 1968 sanitation worker strike, a pivotal moment that defined race and labor relations in the City and how those events connect with the fight for fair wages and worker rights today as the Trump administration gears up to expand Right to Work legislation nationwide.
See FB EVENT PAGE HERE.
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Climate Change and Migration through Art Dialogue

Friday, March 31, 2017 from 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Join in an OPEN Conversation with the creative team of Caravan Stage Company as they share their inspiration for their latest production, Nomadic Tempest.  The event is FREE, please RSVP. The talk begins at 7:30; a reception with free refreshments will be held from 6:00-7:30.

OPEN will host an enlightening conversation with the founder of Caravan Stage Company, Paul Kirby, as we explore the intersection between the art and the timely topics this work represents.  He will be joined on a panel by Dr. David Randle, Director of the Patel College of Global Sustainability and Dr. Ella Schmidt, Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of South Florida

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St. Pete Earth Day

On April 22, 2017 from 10am – 5pm St. Petersburg will celebrate Earth Day with a community celebration to be held in Historic Williams Park.  Earth Day is celebrated by over a billion people in hundreds of countries around the globe. By celebrating Earth Day we join with others and share our common reverence and respect for this beautiful but fragile planet.

This free event is organized by Chart 411, a local nonprofit based in St. Petersburg. With the help of volunteers and environmental groups we hope to present a true community event with a focus on green businesses, environmental activists, and family focused activities that foster a deep appreciation for the planet we call home.

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Weekly Update 29 March

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

COMING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

SUN, APR 2 THIS SUNDAY: Is an opportunity to reflect on how new life emerges even from situations of death. See Ezekial 37:1-14.
SUN, APR 2 CIRCLES OF CARING: There will be a meeting for Creating Unbroken Circles of Caring after the service on Sunday.
LENT RAMWI (Refugee and Migrant Women’s Initiative): is an all volunteer effort attempting to meet a need for women in the refugee community. This monthly group brings together women from Somalia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Syria, Iraq and other countries who are now living in Tampa and want to gather and support each other while learning about their new community and practicing their English. Read two of their stories here. RAMWI holds workshops for the women on topics such as health care, working through grief, and domestic violence awareness for the first half of each meeting and then provides the women with materials to create crafts during the second half of each meeting. Sewing, crafts and jewelry making can provide refugee women with an opportunity to share cultures, start micro-businesses and have a creative outlet that transcends language. RAMWI has no funding stream and money is currently needed for craft supplies and also for lunches for the young kids who accompany their mothers to the program. Lakewood UCC has selected RAMWI as the beneficiary of our Lenten offering. Collection cans are available in the narthex for you to take home. The offering will be received on Easter Sunday. For more information about this program please email founder Florence Ackey or volunteer Janet Blair.
FRI, MAR 31 BOOK CLUB: The book club will meet Friday, March 31 at 12:00 at the home of Vita Uth.The book is: Soldier Girls by Helen Thorpe, a mostly true story of the battles of three women at home and at war. Everyone is welcome. Vita has several extra books available.
WED, APR 5 BOOK REVIEW AND DISCUSSION: This Lenten season is a time to think about migrating closer to God and deepening our faith. This will be the context for a book review and discussion of How to Read the Bible and Still Be a Christian: Is God Violent? An Exploration from Genesis to Revelation by John Dominic Crossan. You are invited to read the book but you are also welcome to come and hear about the book and be part of the discussion without reading. The gathering will be in the Fellowship Hall on Wednesday April 5th at 7:00pm. Please contact the church office if you would like transportation.
SAT, APR 8 and SUN, APR 9 MATISSE PRESENTATIONS: Professor Kay Rencken will present two programs on Henri Matisse. On Saturday, April 8: “Matisse, the Man and his Art.” On Sunday, April 9: “Matisse and Shchukin: the Russian Connection.” Both programs are at 3:00 pm in the Fellowship Hall at Lakewood UCC (2601 54th Ave. S. St. Petersburg). $5 for one, or both presentations. Kay Rencken is a retired early childhood educator from Tucson, Arizona. She is an avid admirer of Matisse, using his art in her kindergarten classroom, and in her work with graduate students. She recently traveled to Paris, Moscow, and St. Petersburg “chasing Matisse.”
HOLY WEEK: The following are the events for Holy Week at Lakewood United Church of Christ. Please know that you are welcome!

Palm Sunday April 9 at 10:30 a.m.
A beautiful service that begins outside around the cross with the blessing of the palms. Please bring a palm leaf if you can.

Maundy Thursday April 13
An evening to remember the Last Supper and Jesus’ final teachings. A simple soup supper will be served at 6:00 followed by a service of Tennebrae and communion at 7:00 p.m. If you would like to be a reader for the service contact Sue Sherwood.

Good Friday April 14
The sanctuary will be open for meditation and prayer from noon to 3:00 p.m. Come when you can for this sacred moment to reflect on the crucifixion of Jesus.

7:00-8:00 p.m. there will be an outdoor stations of the cross remembrance with a theme of environmentalism.

Easter Sunday April 16
7:00 – Sunrise service with communion followed by breakfast. If you would like to help with the Easter breakfast, please contact Dina Gamma.
10:30 – Festival Service followed by refreshments on the lawn and an Easter Egg Hunt.

Please bring filled Easter eggs to the church for the hunt some time before Easter. You’re invited to order flowers to grace the sanctuary Easter Sunday. Order forms will be available in the bulletins. Please contact the church office (727-867-7961) to arrange transportation if needed.

All are welcome. Please know that your presence is a blessing!

MON APR 24 OPERATION ATTACK: 2017 Volunteer night – April 24th. Hours 6-7 p.m.
IN MEMORIAM: Lloyd Conover died on March 11th, he was 93. There was a beautiful memorial service for Lloyd Conover Saturday March 18th, at Westminster Suncoast. Visit nytimes.com or washingtonpost.com for an obituary.

COMMUNITY EVENTS

WED, MAR 29 SUPPORT FARM WORKERS’ HUMAN RIGHTS: The Coalition of Immokalee Workers, a group of farm workers based in Immokalee, FL, continues to struggle to improve conditions in the fields. Last year the CIW called a boycott of fast-food chain Wendy’s to pressure the firm to join the Fair Food Program to ensure farm workers’ human rights are protected. The UCC Board of Directors has endorsed the boycott. In March, the CIW’s Human Rights Tour will visit multiple cities to build support for the boycott. It will come to Tampa on Wednesday, March 29. Visit boycott-wendys.org for more information.
THU, MAR 30 RALLY IN TALLY: Join FADP, Equal Justice USA, NAACP, Latino Justice, Florida Council of Churches, Orange County Black Voice, and Color of Change in Tallahassee on Thursday, March 30 at 12:30 PM to call on Governor Rick Scott to execute justice NOT people! A bus will leave the Allendale United Methodist Church (3803 Haines Rd N, St. Petersburg, FL 33703) @ 7am. Register online if you’d like to be on it!  Lucille Ruga will be going from LUCC.
TUE, APR 4 – SAT, APR 8 NOMADIC TEMPEST: A Production of The Caravan Stage Company premiers in St. Petersburg, FL. April 4-8 2017. A Fable created for audiences of all ages, from 10 to 100. It will feature the mythic saga of a band of Monarch Butterflies as a metaphor for refugee migrant characters struggling through their annual pilgrimage, journeying over a Land caked with consumptive delights, clamorous raptures and raging racism … a Planet engorged with many species rushing to stake their claim on a patch of paradise… The Land of SwallowWart! LUCC friend Jenn Oestreich is the tour coordinator for the show. Visit caravanstage.org for more information or eventbrite.com to purchase tickets.
SAT, APR 29 COMMUNITY YARD/TRUNK SALE: Lakewood United Methodist Church is hosting a trunk sale Saturday April 29th in their parking lot at 5995 MLK St. S. You park your car, open your trunk and sell, you can also set up a table or blanket behind your car. Register now, $10 per parking space. Any questions contact the Lakewood United Methodist Church office 727-867-1744.

CONTINUING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

AA: In the Fellowship Hall Thursdays at 7:45 p.m.
ANNOUNCEMENTS WELCOME: To have an announcement put in the bulletin or weekly update, please turn it into the church office by Wednesday at noon. Email, or voicemail, as well as written material is welcome. The church is glad to share activities and news from members and friends.
ART FOR HOPE: Wally LeBlanc has cards and paintings featuring his artwork for sale. The proceeds will be donated to the roof fund and other community ministries. Thank you, Wally!
THE BIBLE ON REFUGEES AND IMMIGRANTS: As Christians, we are called to love our neighbors. The Bible is unambiguous in calling us to welcome aliens and strangers in our land, and to love them as we love ourselves. In these times, let us listen to the voice of the still-speaking God. Visit ucc.org for a list of biblical references to immigrants and refugees.
CONTACTING YOUR REPRESENTATIVES IN WASHINGTON:  If you are interested in calling, emailing or writing your representatives in congress, here is some contact information:

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

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

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

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

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

givingELECTRONIC GIVING: The church offers several options for electronic giving. There are information sheets and sign up forms available in the sanctuary and the church office. For additional information, please contact Bill Parsons or Adrien Helm.
WELCOMING CITY: A resolution has been presented “declaring the City of St. Petersburg to be an inclusive and welcoming city for all of its residents, regardless of immigration status, religion, country of origin, race, culture, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression or disability; declaring that the City will work with law enforcement to ensure that the City is prepared to respond to hate crimes or other requests for services from immigrant communities.” The resolution is now headed to committee to determine accuracy on what the city can and cannot do before a final vote is taken. You are invited to call your council member to lend your voice in their decision.
NEW MEMBERS: Lakewood UCC is always ready to welcome new members into the church family. Joining the church involves attending an orientation session and being part of a Reception of New Members ritual during Sunday morning worship.
FREE BOOKS: Did you know that there are not only books to borrow in the church library but books being given away for free. Take a peek at the great selection. Many new titles have been added including a selection of books for children.
FREE ECO-THEOLOGY COURSE: Yale is offering three free courses centering on eco-theologian Thomas Berry and the application of his work and writing to understanding the gift of God’s creation and our relationship to it. This is an excellent opportunity for individuals or small groups in churches to participate in the course. Learn more about this exciting opportunity at coursera.org.
GUN VIOLENCE INFORMATION PAMPHLET: Copies of a Gun Violence information pamphlet are available. This resource was created by Grace Lewis of the LUCC congregation to educate the public about gun violence. They are located at the back of the sanctuary, or you can download one here. Please take them and share them.
LOCAL ACTION ON REFUGEES: LUCC member Janet Blair works for the state in Refugee Resettlement. She shares this information:

Most of us are aware of the federal issues concerning refugee arrival now–but many are not aware of the actions being taken within our state. I’m hoping we can spread the news on two ways that our congregation can support refugees here in FL.

The Florida State Legislature has introduced a bill that will end our state government’s involvement in refugee services by the end of this year. Information on this initiative and a letter of support for refugee work can be found at Floridians Standing with Refugees – Support for Refugee Resettlement and Entrant Assistance in Florida.

Secondly, I am collecting letters of support locally for refugees from individuals, civic groups and faith organizations. People of all ages–kids included–can email to express their support for refugees and how they want to welcome them here in the Tampa Bay area. A compilation of these emails will be sent to the office of Gov. Scott.

IMG_3544
LUNCH BUNCH: This informal and open group gathers at a local restaurant for lunch and lively conversation after the service. Please check with one of the regulars – Don Ritchie or Ruth Halderman – about the details each week.
Screenshot 2016-08-08 18.34.07NEW EZ PODCASTS!!! No downloading! Just click and play! Try it! Just click on the little orange circle with the white arrow in it. Only one click and it plays! Every week, a new podcast is posted on the church website. All our streamable podcasts are at https://soundcloud.com/luccpodcasts – please tell your friends who might enjoy listening! Keep checking back, more and more will be added each week.
roofRAISING THE ROOF! The church has been informed by competent professionals, that the roof will need to be replaced probably within a year or two. The Advisors do not want to jump up one Sunday and beg for a huge amount of money. Therefore, you are being asked for Shekels for Shingles. Have you a few spare coins…$1’s,…. $5’s? If we scrape now, we won’t have to dig as deeply later. Please place donations in the bottle on the back table in the sanctuary.
recycle1RECYCLE: Recycle your print cartridges, cell phones, and all paper. At this time we CANNOT recycle toner cartridges, only inkjet cartridges. Keep it coming in! Many thanks to all who contribute to the church recycling. This income stream helps the ministry of the church.
USHERS NEEDED: Please sign up to usher for services. The signup sheet is on the bulletin board in the narthex.
WEBSITE — lakewooducc.org: Everything you always wanted to know about the church. Go ahead and ask. The information is probably at the church website. You can subscribe and have updates and comments automatically sent to your email address. See the homepage for details. You can also keep connected with on Facebook and on Twitter.
childrenYOUNG PEOPLE AT LAKEWOOD: Children and young people are a vital part of the LUCC family. All children participate in the beginning of the worship service. Elementary age children and younger are invited to participate in Children’s Time during the service. After Children’s Time elementary children are welcome in Church School Grace Lewis with assistance from others in the congregation are the teachers this year. Preschool children are welcome in the Nursery under the able care of Claudia Rodriguez. Middle and High School students participate in the Lakewood service on Sunday morning and attend the youth groups at Pass A Grille Beach Community United Church of Christ on Sunday evening during the school year. Children and young people are an integral part of this church family and the intergenerational relationships that form in this small congregation are truly a blessing!


CIRCLE OF CONCERN
Family and loved ones of Lloyd Conover, Jill Presley Cox and family, Betty Harris,
Jean Johnson, Carolyn Moore, Gertie Pirazzini, The USA

Jean Johnson is now under the care of Hospice.

Carolyn Moore has recently moved to Menorah Manor.

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Weekly Update 22 March

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

COMING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

SUN, MAR 26 THIS SUNDAY: On the life long migration toward God, it is not always a smooth journey. The Hebrews wander in the wilderness and encounter many difficulties including lack of water, but they are never abandoned by God. See Exodus 17:1-7
SUN, MAR 26 SUNDAY CELEBRATIONS: There will be a potluck lunch following worship this Sunday, March 26th to celebrate March birthdays. The advisers are hosting and have chosen the theme of Migration and Immigration so people are encouraged to bring foods of different countries and cultures. All are welcome, whether you bring a dish or not!
LENT RAMWI (Refugee and Migrant Women’s Initiative): is an all volunteer effort attempting to meet a need for women in the refugee community. This monthly group brings together women from Somalia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Syria, Iraq and other countries who are now living in Tampa and want to gather and support each other while learning about their new community and practicing their English. Read two of their stories here. RAMWI holds workshops for the women on topics such as health care, working through grief, and domestic violence awareness for the first half of each meeting and then provides the women with materials to create crafts during the second half of each meeting. Sewing, crafts and jewelry making can provide refugee women with an opportunity to share cultures, start micro-businesses and have a creative outlet that transcends language. RAMWI has no funding stream and money is currently needed for craft supplies and also for lunches for the young kids who accompany their mothers to the program. Lakewood UCC has selected RAMWI as the beneficiary of our Lenten offering. Collection cans are available in the narthex for you to take home. The offering will be received on Easter Sunday. For more information about this program please email founder Florence Ackey or volunteer Janet Blair.
MON, MAR 27 – MON JUN 12 FAMILY PROMISE: Lakewood UCC will be responsible for Family Promise for this week. Let Patti Cooksey know if you can help. The next training session is scheduled for Monday, 3/27/17, and will be from 6:30-8:30 pm at Central Christian Church, 6161 22nd Ave. N in St. Petersburg FL.
MON, MAR 27 & MON APR 24 OPERATION ATTACK: 2017 Volunteer nights – March 27th and April 24th. Hours 6-7 p.m.
MAR 28 BECOMING A SANCTUARY CHURCH: LUCC has been exploring becoming a sanctuary church since the fall of 2016. There will be a conversation about what is involved in this commitment on March 28th at 7:00pm in the Fellowship Hall (note the change of date). All are welcome. Please contact the church office if you would like transportation.
FRI, MAR 31 BOOK CLUB: The book club will meet Friday, March 31 at 12:00 at the home of Vita Uth.The book is: Soldier Girls by Helen Thorpe, a mostly true story of the battles of three women at home and at war. Everyone is welcome. Vita has several extra books available.
WED, APR 5 BOOK REVIEW AND DISCUSSION: This Lenten season is a time to think about migrating closer to God and deepening our faith. This will be the context for a book review and discussion of How to Read the Bible and Still Be a Christian: Is God Violent? An Exploration from Genesis to Revelation by John Dominic Crossan. You are invited to read the book but you are also welcome to come and hear about the book and be part of the discussion without reading. The gathering will be in the Fellowship Hall on Wednesday April 5th at 7:00pm. Please contact the church office if you would like transportation.
SAT, APR 8 and SUN, APR 9 MATISSE PRESENTATIONS: Professor Kay Renken will present two programs on Henri Matisse. On Saturday, April 8: “Matisse, the Man and his Art.” On Sunday, April 9: “Matisse and Shchukin: the Russian Connection.” Both programs are at 3:00 pm in the Fellowship Hall at Lakewood UCC (2601 54th Ave. S. St. Petersburg). $5 for one, or both presentations. Kay Renken is a retired early childhood educator from Tucson, Arizona. She is an avid admirer of Matisse, using his art in her kindergarten classroom, and in her work with graduate students. She recently traveled to Paris, Moscow, and St. Petersburg “chasing Matisse.”
HOLY WEEK: The following are the events for Holy Week at Lakewood United Church of Christ. Please join us!

Palm Sunday April 9 at 10:30 a.m.
A beautiful service that begins outside around the cross with the blessing of the palms. Please bring a palm leaf if you can.

Maundy Thursday April 13
An evening to remember the Last Supper and Jesus’ final teachings. A simple soup supper will be served at 6:00 followed by a service of Tennebrae and communion at 7:00 p.m.

Good Friday April 14
The sanctuary will be open for meditation and prayer from noon to 3:00 p.m. Come when you can for this sacred moment to reflect on the crucifixion of Jesus.

7:00-8:00 p.m. there will be an outdoor stations of the cross remembrance with a theme of environmentalism.

Easter Sunday April 16
7:00 – Sunrise service with communion followed by breakfast.
10:30 – Festival Service followed by refreshments on the lawn and an Easter Egg Hunt.

Please bring filled Easter eggs to the church for the hunt some time before easter. You’re invited to order flowers to grace the sanctuary Easter Sunday. Order forms will be available in the bulletins. Please contact the church office (727-867-7961) to arrange transportation if needed.

All are welcome. Please know that your presence is a blessing!

IN MEMORIAM: Lloyd Conover died on March 11th, he was 93. There was a beautiful memorial service for Lloyd Conover Saturday March 18th, at Westminster Suncoast. Visit nytimes.com or washingtonpost.com for an obituary.

COMMUNITY EVENTS

WED, MAR 22 ONE CITY CHORUS: Wednesday, March 22nd at 7:30pm at the Palladium Theater. Tickets $25 at the door. Jeff Wells will be performing.
WED, MAR 22 COMPARATIVE PEACE PROCESSES IN THE MIDDLE EAST: Wednesday, March 22nd at 7pm in the Triton Room. Three local professors gather to tackle the challenges of negotiating lasting peace in Syria and Israeli settlements. The situations share distinct yet overlapping contexts that are formed with a critical understanding of the role of history, ethnicity, religion and geo-politics in a region long marked by state violence and popular resistance.
THU, MAR 23 THE END OF WHITE CHRISTIAN AMERICA: In his book The End of White Christian America, author and scholar Robert P. Jones argues that America is no longer a white Christian nation. If true, that has enormous political and cultural consequences for the United States. For it has been the (largely) white Christian Church that from America’s founding has set the tone for her national policy and shaped her ideals. Despite the important role white Christians played in electing Donald Trump, the author will argue that their high turnout does not reflect a major shift in demographic trends. March 23, 6-8:15pm St. Petersburg College Seminole Campus Conference Center 9200 113th St N, Seminole, FL. Call 727-394-6942 to register ($25, includes dinner) or for more information.
SAT, MAR 25 GREENFEST: Saturday March 25th from 10am to 5pm on the block of 24th Ave and 1st St, Indian Rocks Beach. Local eco-friendly products, services and non-profit organizations. Local food, beer & wine, baked goods, children’s area, playground, arts & crafts, raffle items, live music, unique items and more. Contact IRBGreenfest@gmail.com for more information.
Wally LeBlanc will have a booth representing LUCC and LUMC Counseling Center. If you can volunteer to help him run the booth, email Wally and let him know. If you need a ride to and from the event, call the church office, 727-867-7961, and we will arrange it for you.
WED, MAR 29 SUPPORT FARM WORKERS’ HUMAN RIGHTS: The Coalition of Immokalee Workers, a group of farm workers based in Immokalee, FL, continues to struggle to improve conditions in the fields. Last year the CIW called a boycott of fast-food chain Wendy’s to pressure the firm to join the Fair Food Program to ensure farm workers’ human rights are protected. The UCC Board of Directors has endorsed the boycott. In March, the CIW’s Human Rights Tour will visit multiple cities to build support for the boycott. It will come to Tampa on Wednesday, March 29. Visit boycott-wendys.org for more information.
TUE, APR 4 – SAT, APR 8 NOMADIC TEMPEST: A Production of The Caravan Stage Company premiers in St. Petersburg, FL. April 4-8 2017. A Fable created for audiences of all ages, from 10 to 100. It will feature the mythic saga of a band of Monarch Butterflies as a metaphor for refugee migrant characters struggling through their annual pilgrimage, journeying over a Land caked with consumptive delights, clamorous raptures and raging racism … a Planet engorged with many species rushing to stake their claim on a patch of paradise… The Land of SwallowWart! LUCC friend Jenn Oestreich is the tour coordinator for the show. Visit caravanstage.org for more information or eventbrite.com to purchase tickets.
SAT, APR 29 COMMUNITY YARD/TRUNK SALE: Lakewood United Methodist Church is hosting a trunk sale Saturday April 29th in their parking lot at 5995 MLK St. S. You park your car, open your trunk and sell, you can also set up a table or blanket behind your car. Register now, $10 per parking space. Any questions contact the Lakewood United Methodist Church office 727-867-1744.

CONTINUING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

AA: In the Fellowship Hall Thursdays at 7:45 p.m.
ANNOUNCEMENTS WELCOME: To have an announcement put in the bulletin or weekly update, please turn it into the church office by Wednesday at noon. Email, or voicemail, as well as written material is welcome. The church is glad to share activities and news from members and friends.
ART FOR HOPE: Wally LeBlanc has cards and paintings featuring his artwork for sale. The proceeds will be donated to the roof fund and other community ministries. Thank you, Wally!
THE BIBLE ON REFUGEES AND IMMIGRANTS: As Christians, we are called to love our neighbors. The Bible is unambiguous in calling us to welcome aliens and strangers in our land, and to love them as we love ourselves. In these times, let us listen to the voice of the still-speaking God. Visit ucc.org for a list of biblical references to immigrants and refugees.
CONTACTING YOUR REPRESENTATIVES IN WASHINGTON:  If you are interested in calling, emailing or writing your representatives in congress, here is some contact information:

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

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

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

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

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

givingELECTRONIC GIVING: The church offers several options for electronic giving. There are information sheets and sign up forms available in the sanctuary and the church office. For additional information, please contact Bill Parsons or Adrien Helm.
DEATH PENALTY BILL: A bill titled “Sentencing in Capital Felonies” (SB 280 and HB 527) in the Florida legislature is rapidly making its way towards passage. Your help is needed to try to stop it. This bill takes steps to reform and restart Florida’s flawed death penalty program by requiring a unanimous jury for a death sentence. However, this reform will not fix the many fatal flaws of this wasteful and unnecessary government program. Contact your Florida legislator today and call for an extension of the current pause on executions, and for the State of Florida to conduct a complete and impartial review of Florida’s death penalty program to determine cost, deterrence, accuracy, impact on victims’ families, impartiality, and most importantly – necessity. Visit fadp.org for a sample e-mail and phone script.
NEW MEMBERS: Lakewood UCC is always ready to welcome new members into the church family. Joining the church involves attending an orientation session and being part of a Reception of New Members ritual during Sunday morning worship.
FREE BOOKS: Did you know that there are not only books to borrow in the church library but books being given away for free. Take a peek at the great selection. Many new titles have been added including a selection of books for children.
FREE ECO-THEOLOGY COURSE: Yale is offering three free courses centering on eco-theologian Thomas Berry and the application of his work and writing to understanding the gift of God’s creation and our relationship to it. This is an excellent opportunity for individuals or small groups in churches to participate in the course. Learn more about this exciting opportunity at coursera.org.
GUN VIOLENCE INFORMATION PAMPHLET: Copies of a Gun Violence information pamphlet are available. This resource was created by Grace Lewis of the LUCC congregation to educate the public about gun violence. They are located at the back of the sanctuary, or you can download one here. Please take them and share them.
LOCAL ACTION ON REFUGEES: LUCC member Janet Blair works for the state in Refugee Resettlement. She shares this information:

Most of us are aware of the federal issues concerning refugee arrival now–but many are not aware of the actions being taken within our state. I’m hoping we can spread the news on two ways that our congregation can support refugees here in FL.

The Florida State Legislature has introduced a bill that will end our state government’s involvement in refugee services by the end of this year. Information on this initiative and a letter of support for refugee work can be found at Floridians Standing with Refugees – Support for Refugee Resettlement and Entrant Assistance in Florida.

Secondly, I am collecting letters of support locally for refugees from individuals, civic groups and faith organizations. People of all ages–kids included–can email to express their support for refugees and how they want to welcome them here in the Tampa Bay area. A compilation of these emails will be sent to the office of Gov. Scott.

IMG_3544
LUNCH BUNCH: This informal and open group gathers at a local restaurant for lunch and lively conversation after the service. Please check with one of the regulars – Don Ritchie or Ruth Halderman – about the details each week.
Screenshot 2016-08-08 18.34.07NEW EZ PODCASTS!!! No downloading! Just click and play! Try it! Just click on the little orange circle with the white arrow in it. Only one click and it plays! Every week, a new podcast is posted on the church website. All our streamable podcasts are at https://soundcloud.com/luccpodcasts – please tell your friends who might enjoy listening! Keep checking back, more and more will be added each week.
roofRAISING THE ROOF! The church has been informed by competent professionals, that the roof will need to be replaced probably within a year or two. The Advisors do not want to jump up one Sunday and beg for a huge amount of money. Therefore, you are being asked for Shekels for Shingles. Have you a few spare coins…$1’s,…. $5’s? If we scrape now, we won’t have to dig as deeply later. Please place donations in the bottle on the back table in the sanctuary.
recycle1RECYCLE: Recycle your print cartridges, cell phones, and all paper. At this time we CANNOT recycle toner cartridges, only inkjet cartridges. Keep it coming in! Many thanks to all who contribute to the church recycling. This income stream helps the ministry of the church.
USHERS NEEDED: Please sign up to usher for services. The signup sheet is on the bulletin board in the narthex.
WEBSITE — lakewooducc.org: Everything you always wanted to know about the church. Go ahead and ask. The information is probably at the church website. You can subscribe and have updates and comments automatically sent to your email address. See the homepage for details. You can also keep connected with on Facebook and on Twitter.
childrenYOUNG PEOPLE AT LAKEWOOD: Children and young people are a vital part of the LUCC family. All children participate in the beginning of the worship service. Elementary age children and younger are invited to participate in Children’s Time during the service. After Children’s Time elementary children are welcome in Church School Grace Lewis with assistance from others in the congregation are the teachers this year. Preschool children are welcome in the Nursery under the able care of Claudia Rodriguez. Middle and High School students participate in the Lakewood service on Sunday morning and attend the youth groups at Pass A Grille Beach Community United Church of Christ on Sunday evening during the school year. Children and young people are an integral part of this church family and the intergenerational relationships that form in this small congregation are truly a blessing!


CIRCLE OF CONCERN
Family and loved ones of Lloyd Conover, Jill Presley Cox and family, Betty Harris,
Carolyn Moore, Gertie Pirazzini, The USA

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Weekly Update 15 March

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

COMING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

SAT, MAR 18 IN MEMORIAM: Lloyd Conover died on Saturday, he was 93. There will be a memorial service for Lloyd Conover Saturday March 18th, at 3 p.m., the Westminster Suncoast Quak Center for Lifelong Learning, St. Petersburg, Florida  Visit nytimes.com to read his obituary.
SUN, MAR 19 THIS SUNDAY: This is the third Sunday of Lent, a time to think about migrating toward God.
LENT RAMWI (Refugee and Migrant Women’s Initiative): is an all volunteer effort attempting to meet a need for women in the refugee community. This monthly group brings together women from Somalia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Syria, Iraq and other countries who are now living in Tampa and want to gather and support each other while learning about their new community and practicing their English. RAMWI holds workshops for the women on topics such as health care, working through grief, and domestic violence awareness for the first half of each meeting and then provides the women with materials to create crafts during the second half of each meeting. Sewing, crafts and jewelry making can provide refugee women with an opportunity to share cultures, start micro-businesses and have a creative outlet that transcends language. RAMWI has no funding stream and money is currently needed for craft supplies and also for lunches for the young kids who accompany their mothers to the program. Lakewood UCC has selected RAMWI as the beneficiary of our Lenten offering. Collection cans are available in the narthex for you to take home. The offering will be received on Easter Sunday. For more information about this program please email founder Florence Ackey or volunteer Janet Blair.
MON, MAR 20 – MON JUN 12 FAMILY PROMISE: Lakewood UCC will be responsible for Family Promise for the week of March 19th. Let Patti Cooksey know if you can help. The next training session is scheduled for Monday, 3/20/17, and will be from 6:30-8:30 pm at Central Christian Church, 6161 22nd Ave. N in St. Petersburg FL.
WED, MAR 15 LUNCH AT WESTMINSTER SUNCOAST TODAY: Join Pastor Kim Wells for lunch at Westminster Suncoast Wednesday, March 15th at 11:30am.
THU, MAR 16 A CONVERSATION ABOUT PROGRESSIVE CHRISTIANITY: Lakewood UCC is affiliated with the Center for Progressive Christianity. The Center outlines eight points that describe and define progressive Christianity. Rev. Wells will lead a conversation about progressive Christianity and the eight points on Thursday, March 16th at 7:00pm in the sanctuary. All are welcome. You’ll find the eight points at progressivechristianity.org. Please contact the church office if you would like transportation.
TUE, MAR 21 LABYRINTH WALK FOR LENT: Following up on the Lenten theme of migrating closer to God there will be a guided evening labyrinth walk on Tuesday March 21st at 7:00 pm. The gathering will be outside at the straw labyrinth. Bring a chair if you can. Please contact the church office if you would like transportation.
SUN, MAR 26 SUNDAY CELEBRATIONS: There will be a potluck lunch following worship March 26th to celebrate march birthdays. The advisers are hosting and have chosen the theme of Migration and Immigration so people are encouraged to bring foods of different countries and cultures.
MON, MAR 27 & MON APR 24 OPERATION ATTACK: 2017 Volunteer nights – March 27th and April 24th. Hours 6-7 p.m.
MAR 30 BECOMING A SANCTUARY CHURCH: LUCC has been exploring becoming a sanctuary church since the fall of 2016. There will be a conversation about what is involved in this commitment on March 30th at 7:00pm in the Fellowship Hall. All are welcome. Please contact the church office if you would like transportation.
FRI, MAR 31 BOOK CLUB: The book club will meet Friday, March 31 at 12:00 at the home of Vita Uth.The book is: Soldier Girls by Helen Thorpe, a mostly true story of the battles of three women at home and at war. Everyone is welcome. Vita has several extra books available.
WED, APR 5 BOOK REVIEW AND DISCUSSION: This Lenten season is a time to think about migrating closer to God and deepening our faith. This will be the context for a book review and discussion of How to Read the Bible and Still Be a Christian: Is God Violent? An Exploration from Genesis to Revelation by John Dominic Crossan. You are invited to read the book but you are also welcome to come and hear about the book and be part of the discussion without reading. The gathering will be in the Fellowship Hall on Wednesday April 5th at 7:00pm. Please contact the church office if you would like transportation.

COMMUNITY EVENTS

WED, MAR 22 ONE CITY CHORUS: Wednesday, March 22nd at 7:30pm at the Palladium Theater. Tickets $25 at the door, or get them ahead of time from Jeff Wells who will be performing.
WED, MAR 22 COMPARATIVE PEACE PROCESSES IN THE MIDDLE EAST: Wednesday, March 22nd at 7pm in the Triton Room. Three local professors gather to tackle the challenges of negotiating lasting peace in Syria and Israeli settlements. The situations share distinct yet overlapping contexts that are formed with a critical understanding of the role of history, ethnicity, religion and geo-politics in a region long marked by state violence and popular resistance.
THU, MAR 23 THE END OF WHITE CHRISTIAN AMERICA: In his book The End of White Christian America, author and scholar Robert P. Jones argues that America is no longer a white Christian nation. If true, that has enormous political and cultural consequences for the United States. For it has been the (largely) white Christian Church that from America’s founding has set the tone for her national policy and shaped her ideals. Despite the important role white Christians played in electing Donald Trump, the author will argue that their high turnout does not reflect a major shift in demographic trends. March 23, 6-8:15pm St. Petersburg College Seminole Campus Conference Center 9200 113th St N, Seminole, FL. Call 727-394-6942 to register ($25, includes dinner) or for more information.
SAT, MAR 25 GREENFEST: Saturday March 25th from 10am to 5pm on the block of 24th Ave and 1st St, Indian Rocks Beach. Local eco-friendly products, services and non-profit organizations. Local food, beer & wine, baked goods, children’s area, playground, arts & crafts, raffle items, live music, unique items and more. Contact IRBGreenfest@gmail.com for more information.
Wally LeBlanc will have a booth representing LUCC and LUMC Counseling Center. If you can volunteer to help him run the booth, email Wally and let him know. If you need a ride to and from the event, call the church office, 727-867-7961, and we will arrange it for you.
WED, MAR 29 SUPPORT FARM WORKERS’ HUMAN RIGHTS: The Coalition of Immokalee Workers, a group of farm workers based in Immokalee, FL, continues to struggle to improve conditions in the fields. Last year the CIW called a boycott of fast-food chain Wendy’s to pressure the firm to join the Fair Food Program to ensure farm workers’ human rights are protected. The UCC Board of Directors has endorsed the boycott. In March, the CIW’s Human Rights Tour will visit multiple cities to build support for the boycott. It will come to Tampa on Wednesday, March 29. Visit boycott-wendys.org for more information.
SAT, APR 29 COMMUNITY YARD/TRUNK SALE: Lakewood United Methodist Church is hosting a trunk sale Saturday April 29th in their parking lot at 5995 MLK St. S. You park your car, open your trunk and sell, you can also set up a table or blanket behind your car. Register now, $10 per parking space. Any questions contact the Lakewood United Methodist Church office 727-867-1744.

CONTINUING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

AA: In the Fellowship Hall Thursdays at 7:45 p.m.
ANNOUNCEMENTS WELCOME: To have an announcement put in the bulletin or weekly update, please turn it into the church office by Wednesday at noon. Email, or voicemail, as well as written material is welcome. The church is glad to share activities and news from members and friends.
ART FOR HOPE: Wally LeBlanc has cards and paintings featuring his artwork for sale. The proceeds will be donated to the roof fund and other community ministries. Thank you, Wally!
THE BIBLE ON REFUGEES AND IMMIGRANTS: As Christians, we are called to love our neighbors. The Bible is unambiguous in calling us to welcome aliens and strangers in our land, and to love them as we love ourselves. In these times, let us listen to the voice of the still-speaking God. Visit ucc.org for a list of biblical references to immigrants and refugees.
CONTACTING YOUR REPRESENTATIVES IN WASHINGTON:  If you are interested in calling, emailing or writing your representatives in congress, here is some contact information:

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

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

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

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

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

givingELECTRONIC GIVING: The church offers several options for electronic giving. There are information sheets and sign up forms available in the sanctuary and the church office. For additional information, please contact Bill Parsons or Adrien Helm.
DEATH PENALTY BILL: A bill titled “Sentencing in Capital Felonies” (SB 280 and HB 527) in the Florida legislature is rapidly making its way towards passage. Your help is needed to try to stop it. This bill takes steps to reform and restart Florida’s flawed death penalty program by requiring a unanimous jury for a death sentence. However, this reform will not fix the many fatal flaws of this wasteful and unnecessary government program. Contact your Florida legislator today and call for an extension of the current pause on executions, and for the State of Florida to conduct a complete and impartial review of Florida’s death penalty program to determine cost, deterrence, accuracy, impact on victims’ families, impartiality, and most importantly – necessity. Visit fadp.org for a sample e-mail and phone script.
NEW MEMBERS: Lakewood UCC is always ready to welcome new members into the church family. Joining the church involves attending an orientation session and being part of a Reception of New Members ritual during Sunday morning worship.
FREE BOOKS: Did you know that there are not only books to borrow in the church library but books being given away for free. Take a peek at the great selection. Many new titles have been added including a selection of books for children.
FREE ECO-THEOLOGY COURSE: Yale is offering three free courses centering on eco-theologian Thomas Berry and the application of his work and writing to understanding the gift of God’s creation and our relationship to it. This is an excellent opportunity for individuals or small groups in churches to participate in the course. Learn more about this exciting opportunity at coursera.org.
GUN VIOLENCE INFORMATION PAMPHLET: Copies of a Gun Violence information pamphlet are available. This resource was created by Grace Lewis of the LUCC congregation to educate the public about gun violence. They are located at the back of the sanctuary, or you can download one here. Please take them and share them.
LOCAL ACTION ON REFUGEES: LUCC member Janet Blair works for the state in Refugee Resettlement. She shares this information:

Most of us are aware of the federal issues concerning refugee arrival now–but many are not aware of the actions being taken within our state. I’m hoping we can spread the news on two ways that our congregation can support refugees here in FL.

The Florida State Legislature has introduced a bill that will end our state government’s involvement in refugee services by the end of this year. Information on this initiative and a letter of support for refugee work can be found at Floridians Standing with Refugees – Support for Refugee Resettlement and Entrant Assistance in Florida.

Secondly, I am collecting letters of support locally for refugees from individuals, civic groups and faith organizations. People of all ages–kids included–can email to express their support for refugees and how they want to welcome them here in the Tampa Bay area. A compilation of these emails will be sent to the office of Gov. Scott.

IMG_3544
LUNCH BUNCH: This informal and open group gathers at a local restaurant for lunch and lively conversation after the service. Please check with one of the regulars – Don Ritchie or Ruth Halderman – about the details each week.
Screenshot 2016-08-08 18.34.07NEW EZ PODCASTS!!! No downloading! Just click and play! Try it! Just click on the little orange circle with the white arrow in it. Only one click and it plays! Every week, a new podcast is posted on the church website. All our streamable podcasts are at https://soundcloud.com/luccpodcasts – please tell your friends who might enjoy listening! Keep checking back, more and more will be added each week.
roofRAISING THE ROOF! The church has been informed by competent professionals, that the roof will need to be replaced probably within a year or two. The Advisors do not want to jump up one Sunday and beg for a huge amount of money. Therefore, you are being asked for Shekels for Shingles. Have you a few spare coins…$1’s,…. $5’s? If we scrape now, we won’t have to dig as deeply later. Please place donations in the bottle on the back table in the sanctuary.
recycle1RECYCLE: Recycle your print cartridges, cell phones, and all paper. At this time we CANNOT recycle toner cartridges, only inkjet cartridges. Keep it coming in! Many thanks to all who contribute to the church recycling. This income stream helps the ministry of the church.
USHERS NEEDED: Please sign up to usher for services. The signup sheet is on the bulletin board in the narthex.
WEBSITE — lakewooducc.org: Everything you always wanted to know about the church. Go ahead and ask. The information is probably at the church website. You can subscribe and have updates and comments automatically sent to your email address. See the homepage for details. You can also keep connected with on Facebook and on Twitter.
childrenYOUNG PEOPLE AT LAKEWOOD: Children and young people are a vital part of the LUCC family. All children participate in the beginning of the worship service. Elementary age children and younger are invited to participate in Children’s Time during the service. After Children’s Time elementary children are welcome in Church School Grace Lewis with assistance from others in the congregation are the teachers this year. Preschool children are welcome in the Nursery under the able care of Claudia Rodriguez. Middle and High School students participate in the Lakewood service on Sunday morning and attend the youth groups at Pass A Grille Beach Community United Church of Christ on Sunday evening during the school year. Children and young people are an integral part of this church family and the intergenerational relationships that form in this small congregation are truly a blessing!


CIRCLE OF CONCERN
Family and loved ones of Lloyd Conover, Jill Presley Cox and family, Betty Harris,
Carolyn Moore, Gertie Pirazzini, The USA

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Weekly Update 8 March

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

COMING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

SUN, MAR 5 THIS SUNDAY: Daylight Savings Time begins this Sunday, March 12th at 2:00am; don’t forget to set your clocks ahead an hour! This is the second Sunday of Lent, a time to think about migrating toward God. The story of Abraham and Sarah involves being called to make a physical migration. The story of Nicodemus involves making a spiritual migration (see Genesis 12:1-4a and John 3:1-17). It’s a time to reflect on the call to new beginnings.
SUN, MAR 5 ADVISER’S MEETING: There will be an adviser’s meeting after church on Sunday in the Fellowship Hall, all are welcome to attend.
SUN, MAR 5 CREATION JUSTICE: The next Creation Justice Task Force meeting will be after church on Sunday.
LENT RAMWI (Refugee and Migrant Women’s Initiative): is an all volunteer effort attempting to meet a need for women in the refugee community. This monthly group brings together women from Somalia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Syria, Iraq and other countries who are now living in Tampa and want to gather and support each other while learning about their new community and practicing their English. RAMWI holds workshops for the women on topics such as health care, working through grief, and domestic violence awareness for the first half of each meeting and then provides the women with materials to create crafts during the second half of each meeting. Sewing, crafts and jewelry making can provide refugee women with an opportunity to share cultures, start micro-businesses and have a creative outlet that transcends language. RAMWI has no funding stream and money is currently needed for craft supplies and also for lunches for the young kids who accompany their mothers to the program. Lakewood UCC has selected RAMWI as the beneficiary of our Lenten offering. Collection cans are available in the narthex for you to take home. The offering will be received on Easter Sunday. For more information about this program please email founder Florence Ackey or volunteer Janet Blair.
MON, MAR 13 – MON JUN 12 FAMILY PROMISE: The next training session is scheduled for Monday, 3/13/17, and will be from 6:30-8:30 pm at Central Christian Church, 6161 22nd Ave. N in St. Petersburg FL.
WED, MAR 15 LUNCH AT WESTMINSTER SUNCOAST: Join Pastor Kim Wells for lunch at Westminster Suncoast Wednesday, March 15th at 11:30am.
THU, MAR 16 A CONVERSATION ABOUT PROGRESSIVE CHRISTIANITY: Lakewood UCC is affiliated with the Center for Progressive Christianity. The Center outlines eight points that describe and define progressive Christianity. Rev. Wells will lead a conversation about progressive Christianity and the eight points on Thursday, March 16th at 7:00pm in the sanctuary. All are welcome. You’ll find the eight points at progressivechristianity.org. Please contact the church office if you would like transportation.
TUE, MAR 21 LABYRINTH WALK FOR LENT: Following up on the Lenten theme of migrating closer to God there will be a guided evening labyrinth walk on Tuesday March 21st at 7:00 pm. The gathering will be outside at the straw labyrinth. Bring a chair if you can. Please contact the church office if you would like transportation.
MON, MAR 27 & MON APR 24 OPERATION ATTACK: 2017 Volunteer nights – March 27th and April 24th. Hours 6-7 p.m.
MAR 28,29, & 30 BECOMING A SANCTUARY CHURCH: LUCC has been exploring becoming a sanctuary church since the fall of 2016. There will be a conversation about what is involved in this commitment on March 28th, 29th and 30th at 7:00pm in the Fellowship Hall. All are welcome. Please contact the church office if you would like transportation.
FRI, MAR 31 BOOK CLUB: The book club will meet Friday, March 31 at 12:00 at the home of Vita Uth.The book is: Soldier Girls by Helen Thorpe, a mostly true story of the battles of three women at home and at war. Everyone is welcome. Vita has several extra books available.
WED, APR 5 BOOK REVIEW AND DISCUSSION: This Lenten season is a time to think about migrating closer to God and deepening our faith. This will be the context for a book review and discussion of How to Read the Bible and Still Be a Christian: Is God Violent? An Exploration from Genesis to Revelation by John Dominic Crossan. You are invited to read the book but you are also welcome to come and hear about the book and be part of the discussion without reading. The gathering will be in the Fellowship Hall on Wednesday April 5th at 7:00pm. Please contact the church office if you would like transportation.

COMMUNITY EVENTS

WED, MAR 8 RESIST WOMEN’S DAY EVENT: THE ART SQUAD and the Activists ride again! This time at the beach with red towels! (Start collecting extra red towels now.) Go to Treasure Island Beach at 5:30pm on Wednesday, March 8th and create giant human letters spelling out RESIST. After taking aerial photos, singing, drumming and watching the sunset participants will join circles all over the world lighting candles and meditating for World Peace and Justice. For more information email or visit Facebook.
THU, MAR 9 LOVE LIVES HERE, NO PLACE FOR HATE: Mayor Kriseman, community leaders, and faith organizations are holding this event at The Florida Holocaust Museum in St. Petersburg on March 9 at 6:30pm to stand in solidarity with those who have been targeted by acts of hate. This event has a goal of encouraging a community-wide response by institutions and individuals to create greater understanding and connection rather than fear of differences. Visit flholocaustmuseum.org for more information.
MON, MAR 13 IMAGINING WATER JUSTICE: Eckerd College’s Center for Spiritual Life Lecture series concludes this year with Dr. Christiana Z. Peppard of Fordham University. Water is a slippery substance – central to life and universal, it is symbolically potent and highly valued in many religions and cultures. In an era of planetary degradation and economic globalization, water is increasingly viewed as an economic commodity in ways that exclude religious and cultural customs and in ways that unduly burden vulnerable populations. Drawing on examples of activism, art, and cultural-religious moral reasoning, this lecture invites a conversation about the many values of water and how cultural, aesthetic, and religious values can vitally expand our social imaginations about what a just water ethic would be. Monday, March 13th, 7:30pm, Fox Hall, Eckerd College. For more information visit eckerd.edu
WED, MAR 22 ONE CITY CHORUS: Wednesday, March 22nd at 7:30pm at the Palladium Theater. Tickets $25 at the door, or get them ahead of time from Jeff Wells who will be performing.
WED, MAR 22 COMPARATIVE PEACE PROCESSES IN THE MIDDLE EAST: Wednesday, March 22nd at 7pm in the Triton Room. Three local professors gather to tackle the challenges of negotiating lasting peace in Syria and Israeli settlements. The situations share distinct yet overlapping contexts that are formed with a critical understanding of the role of history, ethnicity, religion and geo-politics in a region long marked by state violence and popular resistance.
THU, MAR 23 THE END OF WHITE CHRISTIAN AMERICA: In his book The End of White Christian America, author and scholar Robert P. Jones argues that America is no longer a white Christian nation. If true, that has enormous political and cultural consequences for the United States. For it has been the (largely) white Christian Church that from America’s founding has set the tone for her national policy and shaped her ideals. Despite the important role white Christians played in electing Donald Trump, the author will argue that their high turnout does not reflect a major shift in demographic trends. March 23, 6-8:15pm St. Petersburg College Seminole Campus Conference Center 9200 113th St N, Seminole, FL. Call 727-394-6942 to register ($25, includes dinner) or for more information.
SAT, MAR 25 GREENFEST: Saturday March 25th from 10am to 5pm on the block of 24th Ave and 1st St, Indian Rocks Beach. Local eco-friendly products, services and non-profit organizations. Local food, beer & wine, baked goods, children’s area, playground, arts & crafts, raffle items, live music, unique items and more. Contact IRBGreenfest@gmail.com for more information.
Wally will have a booth representing LUCC and LUMC Counseling Center. If you can volunteer to help him run the booth, email Wally and let him know. If you need a ride to and from the event, call the church office, 727-867-7961, and we will arrange it for you.
WED, MAR 29 SUPPORT FARM WORKERS’ HUMAN RIGHTS: The Coalition of Immokalee Workers, a group of farm workers based in Immokalee, FL, continues to struggle to improve conditions in the fields. Last year the CIW called a boycott of fast-food chain Wendy’s to pressure the firm to join the Fair Food Program to ensure farm workers’ human rights are protected. The UCC Board of Directors has endorsed the boycott. In March, the CIW’s Human Rights Tour will visit multiple cities to build support for the boycott. It will come to Tampa on Wednesday, March 29. Visit boycott-wendys.org for more information.
SAT, APR 29 COMMUNITY YARD/TRUNK SALE: Lakewood United Methodist Church is hosting a trunk sale Saturday April 29th in their parking lot at 5995 MLK St. S. You park your car, open your trunk and sell, you can also set up a table or blanket behind your car. Register now, $10 per parking space. Any questions contact the Lakewood United Methodist Church office 727-867-1744.

CONTINUING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

AA: In the Fellowship Hall Thursdays at 7:45 p.m.
ANNOUNCEMENTS WELCOME: To have an announcement put in the bulletin or weekly update, please turn it into the church office by Wednesday at noon. Email, or voicemail, as well as written material is welcome. The church is glad to share activities and news from members and friends.
ART FOR HOPE: Wally LeBlanc has cards and paintings featuring his artwork for sale. The proceeds will be donated to the roof fund and other community ministries. Thank you, Wally!
THE BIBLE ON REFUGEES AND IMMIGRANTS: As Christians, we are called to love our neighbors. The Bible is unambiguous in calling us to welcome aliens and strangers in our land, and to love them as we love ourselves. In these times, let us listen to the voice of the still-speaking God. Visit ucc.org for a list of biblical references to immigrants and refugees.
CONTACTING YOUR REPRESENTATIVES IN WASHINGTON:  If you are interested in calling, emailing or writing your representatives in congress, here is some contact information:

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

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

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

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

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

givingELECTRONIC GIVING: The church offers several options for electronic giving. There are information sheets and sign up forms available in the sanctuary and the church office. For additional information, please contact Bill Parsons or Adrien Helm.
DEATH PENALTY BILL: A bill titled “Sentencing in Capital Felonies” (SB 280 and HB 527) in the Florida legislature is rapidly making its way towards passage. Your help is needed to try to stop it. This bill takes steps to reform and restart Florida’s flawed death penalty program by requiring a unanimous jury for a death sentence. However, this reform will not fix the many fatal flaws of this wasteful and unnecessary government program. Contact your Florida legislator today and call for an extension of the current pause on executions, and for the State of Florida to conduct a complete and impartial review of Florida’s death penalty program to determine cost, deterrence, accuracy, impact on victims’ families, impartiality, and most importantly – necessity. Visit fadp.org for a sample e-mail and phone script.
NEW MEMBERS: Lakewood UCC is always ready to welcome new members into the church family. Joining the church involves attending an orientation session and being part of a Reception of New Members ritual during Sunday morning worship.
FREE BOOKS: Did you know that there are not only books to borrow in the church library but books being given away for free. Take a peek at the great selection. Many new titles have been added including a selection of books for children.
FREE ECO-THEOLOGY COURSE: Yale is offering three free courses centering on eco-theologian Thomas Berry and the application of his work and writing to understanding the gift of God’s creation and our relationship to it. This is an excellent opportunity for individuals or small groups in churches to participate in the course. Learn more about this exciting opportunity at coursera.org.
GUN VIOLENCE INFORMATION PAMPHLET: Copies of a Gun Violence information pamphlet are available. This resource was created by Grace Lewis of the LUCC congregation to educate the public about gun violence. They are located at the back of the sanctuary, or you can download one here. Please take them and share them.
LOCAL ACTION ON REFUGEES: LUCC member Janet Blair works for the state in Refugee Resettlement. She shares this information:

Most of us are aware of the federal issues concerning refugee arrival now–but many are not aware of the actions being taken within our state. I’m hoping we can spread the news on two ways that our congregation can support refugees here in FL.

The Florida State Legislature has introduced a bill that will end our state government’s involvement in refugee services by the end of this year. Information on this initiative and a letter of support for refugee work can be found at Floridians Standing with Refugees – Support for Refugee Resettlement and Entrant Assistance in Florida.

Secondly, I am collecting letters of support locally for refugees from individuals, civic groups and faith organizations. People of all ages–kids included–can email to express their support for refugees and how they want to welcome them here in the Tampa Bay area. A compilation of these emails will be sent to the office of Gov. Scott.

IMG_3544
LUNCH BUNCH: This informal and open group gathers at a local restaurant for lunch and lively conversation after the service. Please check with one of the regulars – Don Ritchie or Ruth Halderman – about the details each week.
Screenshot 2016-08-08 18.34.07NEW EZ PODCASTS!!! No downloading! Just click and play! Try it! Just click on the little orange circle with the white arrow in it. Only one click and it plays! Every week, a new podcast is posted on the church website. All our streamable podcasts are at https://soundcloud.com/luccpodcasts – please tell your friends who might enjoy listening! Keep checking back, more and more will be added each week.
roofRAISING THE ROOF! The church has been informed by competent professionals, that the roof will need to be replaced probably within a year or two. The Advisors do not want to jump up one Sunday and beg for a huge amount of money. Therefore, you are being asked for Shekels for Shingles. Have you a few spare coins…$1’s,…. $5’s? If we scrape now, we won’t have to dig as deeply later. Please place donations in the bottle on the back table in the sanctuary.
recycle1RECYCLE: Recycle your print cartridges, cell phones, and all paper. At this time we CANNOT recycle toner cartridges, only inkjet cartridges. Keep it coming in! Many thanks to all who contribute to the church recycling. This income stream helps the ministry of the church.
USHERS NEEDED: Please sign up to usher for services. The signup sheet is on the bulletin board in the narthex.
WEBSITE — lakewooducc.org: Everything you always wanted to know about the church. Go ahead and ask. The information is probably at the church website. You can subscribe and have updates and comments automatically sent to your email address. See the homepage for details. You can also keep connected with on Facebook and on Twitter.
childrenYOUNG PEOPLE AT LAKEWOOD: Children and young people are a vital part of the LUCC family. All children participate in the beginning of the worship service. Elementary age children and younger are invited to participate in Children’s Time during the service. After Children’s Time elementary children are welcome in Church School Grace Lewis with assistance from others in the congregation are the teachers this year. Preschool children are welcome in the Nursery under the able care of Claudia Rodriguez. Middle and High School students participate in the Lakewood service on Sunday morning and attend the youth groups at Pass A Grille Beach Community United Church of Christ on Sunday evening during the school year. Children and young people are an integral part of this church family and the intergenerational relationships that form in this small congregation are truly a blessing!


CIRCLE OF CONCERN
Lloyd Conover, Jill Presley Cox and family, Betty Harris, Carolyn Moore,
Gertie Pirazzini, The USA

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Weekly Update 1 March

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

COMING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

SUN, MAR 5 THIS SUNDAY: This communion Sunday, March 5th, is the first Sunday of Lent. It’s time to wonder about how we migrate away from God, from Paradise, from God’s intentions for us and for Creation. Scripture: Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7, the story of Adam and Eve and the serpent and eating the apple.
COMMUNION SUNDAY: The first Sunday of the month is Communion Sunday. All are welcome to participate in communion including children at the discretion of their parents or adults who brought them. The communion offering will be received. Funds from this offering are used to help with basic needs such as rent and utilities for people in the congregation as well as in the broader community. As you know, the need is great. Please make God’s love real with your gifts to the church and to the communion offering.
IN MEMORIAM: Virginia Bodendorfer, a charter member of the church, died on February 2.
LENT RAMWI (Refugee and Migrant Women’s Initiative):
is an all volunteer effort attempting to meet a need for women in the refugee community. This monthly group brings together women from Somalia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Syria, Iraq and other countries who are now living in Tampa and want to gather and support each other while learning about their new community and practicing their English. RAMWI holds workshops for the women on topics such as health care, working though grief, and domestic violence awareness for the first half of each meeting and then provides the women with materials to create crafts during the second half of each meeting. Sewing, crafts and jewelry making can provide refugee women with an opportunity to share cultures, start small micro-businesses and have a creative outlet that transcends language.RAMWI has no funding stream and money is currently needed for craft supplies and also for lunches for the young kids who accompany their mothers to the program.Lakewood UCC has selected RAMWI as the beneficiary of our Lenten offering. For more information about this program please email founder Florence Ackey or volunteer Janet Blair.
MON, MAR 6 – MON JUN 12 FAMILY PROMISE: Lakewood UCC will be responsible for Family Promise for the week of March 19th. Contact Patti Cooksey if you can help.

The next training session is scheduled for Monday, 3/6/17, and will be from 6:30-8:30 pm at Central Christian Church, 6161 22nd Ave. N in St. Petersburg FL.

MON, MAR 27 & MON APR 24 OPERATION ATTACK: 2017 Volunteer nights – March 27th, and April 24th. Hours 6-7 p.m.
FRI, MAR 31 BOOK CLUB: The book club will meet Friday, March 31 at 12:00 at the home of Vita Uth.The book is: Soldier Girls by Helen Thorpe.
A mostly true story of the battles of three women at home and at war. Everyone is welcome. Vita has several extra books available.

COMMUNITY EVENTS

SUN, MAR 5 FESTIVAL OF PRAISE: An event where area church choirs come together for a 4-day festival ending with a concert. This year the Festival of Praise clinician is Composer and Conductor Donald McCullough. LUCC member Claire Stiles will be participating. The Concert is on March 5th at 4pm at First Presbyterian Church.
WED, MAR 8 RESIST WOMEN’S DAY EVENT: THE ART SQUAD and the Activists ride again! This time at the beach with red towels! (Start collecting extra red towels now.) Go to Treasure Island Beach at 5:30pm on Wednesday, March 8th and create giant human letters spelling out RESIST. After taking aerial photos, singing, druming and watching the sunset participants will join circles all over the world lighting candles and meditating for World Peace and Justice. For more information email or visit Facebook.
WED, MAR 22 – FRI, MAR 24 2017 CREATION JUSTICE WORKSHOP DEADLINE TODAY: There has never been a more important time for people of faith to come together to talk about what is happening to our beloved environment here in Florida. If the topic of creation justice is something you would like to explore further, either for your own interest or on behalf of your faith community, please consider attending this workshop! The event has been scheduled for March 22-24 at the Florida Conference Offices at 9300 University Blvd., Orlando, FL 32817. Alternate dates are March 23-25. Cost varies depending on the rooming option selected: $295 for a single-occupancy room, $215 for double occupancy, or $95 for those who don’t need accommodations. The workshop is limited to the first 12-15 people who register, so register today at 2017CreationJusticeWorkshop! If you have any questions, please contact any of the facilitators: Kim Wells, Mike MacMillan, or Bill Wealand.
WED, MAR 29 SUPPORT FARM WORKERS’ HUMAN RIGHTS: The Coalition of Immokalee Workers, a group of farm workers based in Immokalee, FL, continues to struggle to improve conditions in the fields. Last year the CIW called a boycott of fast-food chain Wendy’s to pressure the firm to join the Fair Food Program to ensure farm workers’ human rights are protected. The UCC Board of Directors has endorsed the boycott. In March, the CIW’s Human Rights Tour will visit multiple cities to build support for the boycott. It will come to Tampa on Wednesday, March 29. Visit boycott-wendys.org for more information.

CONTINUING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

AA: In the Fellowship Hall Thursdays at 7:45 p.m.
ANNOUNCEMENTS WELCOME: To have an announcement put in the bulletin or weekly update, please turn it into the church office by Wednesday at noon. Email, or voicemail, as well as written material is welcome. The church is glad to share activities and news from members and friends.
ART FOR HOPE: Wally LeBlanc has cards and paintings featuring his artwork for sale. The proceeds will be donated to the roof fund and other community ministries. Thank you, Wally! He is in need of bottle caps and soda can tabs for his current art project. If you have any to donate, please bring them to church and give them to Wally.
THE BIBLE ON REFUGEES AND IMMIGRANTS: As Christians, we are called to love our neighbors. The Bible is unambiguous in calling us to welcome aliens and strangers in our land, and to love them as we love ourselves. In these times, let us listen to the voice of the still-speaking God. Visit ucc.org for a list of biblical references to immigrants and refugees.
CONTACTING YOUR REPRESENTATIVES IN WASHINGTON:  If you are interested in calling, emailing or writing your representatives in congress, here is some contact information:

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

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

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

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

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

givingELECTRONIC GIVING: The church offers several options for electronic giving. There are information sheets and sign up forms available in the sanctuary and the church office. For additional information, please contact Bill Parsons or Adrien Helm.
DEATH PENALTY BILL: A bill titled “Sentencing in Capital Felonies” (SB 280 and HB 527) in the Florida legislature is rapidly making its way towards passage. Your help is needed to try to stop it. This bill takes steps to reform and restart Florida’s flawed death penalty program by requiring a unanimous jury for a death sentence. However, this reform will not fix the many fatal flaws of this wasteful and unnecessary government program. Contact your Florida legislator today and call for an extension of the current pause on executions, and for the State of Florida to conduct a complete and impartial review of Florida’s death penalty program to determine cost, deterrence, accuracy, impact on victims’ families, impartiality, and most importantly – necessity. Visit fadp.org for a sample e-mail and phone script.
FIELD TRIP GENEROSITY: Last Sunday the congregation was offered the opportunity to financial support a field trip for the first grade class taught by LUCC member Melanie Moore at 74th St. Elementary School. Money was needed to make sure all the students could go and that the bus could be paid for to take the children on the field trip. There were donations of $5, $10, $20, and $40 totalling $265! This is enough money to help pay for this trip and another field trip later in the spring. Melanie says this gives her another reason to brag about her church family!
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.
LOCAL ACTION ON REFUGEES: LUCC member Janet Blair works for the state in Refugee Resettlement. She shares this information:

Most of us are aware of the federal issues concerning refugee arrival now–but many are not aware of the actions being taken within our state. I’m hoping we can spread the news on two ways that our congregation can support refugees here in FL.

The Florida State Legislature has introduced a bill that will end our state government’s involvement in refugee services by the end of this year. Information on this initiative and a letter of support for refugee work can be found at Floridians Standing with Refugees – Support for Refugee Resettlement and Entrant Assistance in Florida.

Secondly, I am collecting letters of support locally for refugees from individuals, civic groups and faith organizations. People of all ages–kids included–can email to express their support for refugees and how they want to welcome them here in the Tampa Bay area. A compilation of these emails will be sent to the office of Gov. Scott.

IMG_3544
LUNCH BUNCH: This informal and open group gathers at a local restaurant for lunch and lively conversation after the service. Please check with one of the regulars – Don Ritchie or Ruth Halderman – about the details each week.
Screenshot 2016-08-08 18.34.07NEW EZ PODCASTS!!! No downloading! Just click and play! Try it! Just click on the little orange circle with the white arrow in it. Only one click and it plays! Every week, a new podcast is posted on the church website. All our streamable podcasts are at https://soundcloud.com/luccpodcasts – please tell your friends who might enjoy listening! Keep checking back, more and more will be added each week.
roofRAISING THE ROOF! The church has been informed by competent professionals, that the roof will need to be replaced probably within a year or two. The Advisors do not want to jump up one Sunday and beg for a huge amount of money. Therefore, you are being asked for Shekels for Shingles. Have you a few spare coins…$1’s,…. $5’s? If we scrape now, we won’t have to dig as deeply later. Please place donations in the bottle on the back table in the sanctuary.
recycle1RECYCLE: Recycle your print cartridges, cell phones, and all paper. At this time we CANNOT recycle toner cartridges, only inkjet cartridges. Keep it coming in! Many thanks to all who contribute to the church recycling. This income stream helps the ministry of the church.
USHERS NEEDED: Please sign up to usher for services. The signup sheet is on the bulletin board in the narthex.
WEBSITE — lakewooducc.org: Everything you always wanted to know about the church. Go ahead and ask. The information is probably at the church website. You can subscribe and have updates and comments automatically sent to your email address. See the homepage for details. You can also keep connected with on Facebook and on Twitter.
childrenYOUNG PEOPLE AT LAKEWOOD: Children and young people are a vital part of the LUCC family. All children participate in the beginning of the worship service. Elementary age children and younger are invited to participate in Children’s Time during the service. After Children’s Time elementary children are welcome in Church School Grace Lewis with assistance from others in the congregation are the teachers this year. Preschool children are welcome in the Nursery under the able care of Claudia Rodriguez. Middle and High School students participate in the Lakewood service on Sunday morning and attend the youth groups at Pass A Grille Beach Community United Church of Christ on Sunday evening during the school year. Children and young people are an integral part of this church family and the intergenerational relationships that form in this small congregation are truly a blessing!


CIRCLE OF CONCERN
Family & friends of Virginia Bodendorfer, Lloyd Conover, Patti Cooksey,
Jill Presley Cox and family, Betty Harris, Carolyn Moore, Gertie Pirazzini,
Lucille Ruga, The USA

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Sentencing in Capital Felonies

 

Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty

Too Flawed to Fix

– Please post and share with Floridians –

A bill titled “Sentencing in Capital Felonies” (SB 280 and HB 527) in the Florida legislature is rapidly making its way towards passage. Your help is needed to try to stop it. This bill takes steps to reform and restart Florida’s flawed death penalty program by requiring a unanimous jury for a death sentence. However, this reform will not fix the many fatal flaws of this wasteful and unnecessary government program.

Now is the time to end the death penalty in Florida, not mend it!

The math is simple:

  • Florida’s Death Penalty costs taxpayers over $50 million a year more than the cost of life in prison with no parole;
  • Taxpayers could pay up to $200 million or more in additional costs to try to re-sentence 135-200 men and women on Florida’s Death Row to death;
  • Due to budget cuts, vital public safety programs could be cut by 10% in 2017;
  • So far 26 individuals have been exonerated after being wrongfully convicted and sentenced to Florida’s Death Row;
  • Recent polling shows 62% of Floridians now support life without parole over executions;
  • Prosecutors are actively seeking death in 313 cases and report 66 are ready for trial;
  • The alternative sentence of life in prison with no parole makes executions unnecessary.

The cost of maintaining Florida’s death penalty program far outweighs any imagined benefits.

Contact your Florida legislator today and call for an extension of the current pause on executions, and for the State of Florida to conduct a complete and impartial review of Florida’s death penalty program to determine cost, deterrence, accuracy, impact on victims’ families, impartiality, and most importantly – necessity.

Click here to find your legislator’s contact information and then use variations of the messages below and any of the points above to call their office or send them an email.

Sample Email

Subject: Vote against SB 280/HB 527 – End FL Death Penalty

Dear Representative/Senator,

I’m contacting you today to voice my opposition to “Sentencing in Capital Felonies” (SB 280 and HB 527). Now is not the time to mend the death penalty in our state, it’s time to end it. Instead of trying to put a Band-Aid on a terminally flawed program, we need to call for an extension of the current moratorium on executions and direct the State of Florida to conduct a complete and impartial review to determine cost, deterrence, accuracy, impact on victim’s families, impartiality, and necessity.

When up for review, please vote no for these bills and help to end this wasteful and unnecessary government program.

Your constituent,

Sample Phone Script

Hello, I’m calling today to voice my opposition to “Sentencing in Capital Felonies” (SB 280 and HB 527) and ask (Senator/Representative Last Name) to vote NO on these bills if they come up for a vote.

Florida’s death penalty program costs taxpayers over $50 million a year over and above the cost of life in prison with no parole.

Now is not the time to try to mend the death penalty in our state, it’s time to end it. The State of Florida should extend the pause in executions and conduct a complete and impartial review to determine cost, deterrence, accuracy, impartiality, impact on victim’s families, and necessity of the death penalty.

 

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Weekly Update 22 February

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

COMING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

SUN, FEB 26 THIS SUNDAY: This Sunday, February 26th, marks the last Sunday of the season of Epiphany, a season that involves celebrating the light of Christ coming into the world. The scripture for this Sunday is the story of the Transfiguration, Jesus’ visit to the mountain top with Peter, James, and John. See Matthew 17:1-9. How is faith informed by the mountaintop experience? This Sunday there will also be guests from the farmworker coalition providing an update on the Fair Food Campaign. And Sundays Celebrations resumes, hosted by the Creation Justice Task Force. This is a monthly potluck after worship. Bring food or drink to share. The birthdays for the month will be recognized as well as other celebrations. And for those who participated in the Eckerd Environmental Film Festival, there will be discussion about the movies and their impact and implications for the church.
SUN, FEB 26 FARMWORKERS: Guests from the farmwork coalition will be visiting LUCC this Sunday to update the congregation about the Fair Food Campaign and the upcoming spring action in Tampa on March 29th.
SUN, FEB 26 SUNDAY CELEBRATIONS: There will be a potluck lunch following worship in the fellowship hall. We will celebrate February birthdays, and anyone who would like to can join in the environmental film festival discussion.
FRI, FEB 17 – SAT, FEB 25 ECKERD COLLEGE ENVIRONMENTAL FILM FESTIVAL: The Creation Justice Task Force at LUCC invites you to attend as many of these free films as possible to raise our awareness of creation justice issues locally and throughout the world. If you need a ride to a film, call the office at church at 727-867-7961. The church will help connect those planning to attend with folks needing rides. After each film, whoever is interested in further discussion will walk over to the Triton Pub café on campus and enjoy sharing a beverage and their thoughts. On Sunday, February 26th there will be a potluck lunch and discussion after church of the environmental films and related concerns including: what I learned about the environment; what impressed, surprised, or motivated me to act; and what LUCC as an organization might address or how we might follow up on our concerns. Please join be part of raisingawareness about this beautiful and endangered planet and our role in caring for the creation. Visit environmentalfilmfest.com for the film schedule.
THU, FEB 23 ISLAMOPHOBIA LECTURE: What does it mean to freely and voluntarily participate in public life? Is it sufficient to have legal equality? Or do we need something more for this essential component of democratic life? This talk will explore these questions in light of hate in the contemporary United States, focusing especially on how Islamophobia affects the nature of American Muslims’ participation in the public sphere. Visit eckerd.edu for more information.
FRI, FEB 24 BOOK CLUB: The Book Club will meet Friday, February 24th at 12:30 pm in the Fellowship Hall. Please bring your own sandwich, drinks and dessert will be provided by Jean Johnson. The book is “The Wright Brothers” by David McCullough, a true story of the courageous brothers who taught the world how to fly. Vita Uth will have extra copies available after church. Everyone is welcome.
SAT, FEB 25 FL CONFERENCE UCC WOMEN: Join in a lighthearted day of fellowship, food and fun at Lakewood UCC in St. Petersburg on Saturday, February 25th. For more information and/or to rsvp, please contact Marty Synnott, Central West Coast Representative, at martysynnott@yahoo.com.
SAT, FEB 25 LUCC WOMEN’S SPIRITUALITY GROUP: Learn a meditative and centering practice called Feldenkrais Awareness through Movement on Saturday, February 25th at 2:00 pm in the sanctuary. Fon Nguyen, a physical therapist and Feldenkrais teacher, will lead the workshop. This involves gentle movements done from a seated position, all abilities welcome.
MON, FEB 27 – MON APR 24 OPERATION ATTACK: 2017 Volunteer nights – February 27th, March 27th, and April 24th. Hours 6-7 p.m.
MON, FEB 27 – MON JUN 12 FAMILY PROMISE VOLUNTEER TRAINING: If you are interested in participating in this program that provides meals and compassion for helping low-income families “achieve lasting independence” by providing shelter, meals, and support services to “redress the underlying causes of homelessness,” you are invited to attend one of the upcoming volunteer trainings. The next training session is scheduled for Monday, 2/27/17, and will be from 6:30-8:30 pm at Central Christian Church, 6161 22nd Ave. N in St. Petersburg FL. For more information, please contact Patti Cooksey.
TUE, FEB 28 PHOTO DIRECTORY: Be part of the new Lakewood UCC photo directory. Our goal is to include everyone! Make an appointment online to have your picture taken at lifetouch appointment plus. Or call the church office (727-867-7961) Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday between 9 am and noon and we’ll make an appointment for you. If you need transportation to and from your appointment, contact the church office and we’ll arrange transportation for you.

COMMUNITY EVENTS

WED, FEB 22 PARTNERING FOR PEACE WITH ST PETE QUAKERS: Looking at tragic moments in history, one could ask, “What would I have done if I were there?” It’s happening here. It’s happening now. We must #Resist now. Peace First, a faithful group that have been maintaining a presence and protesting for years, continues for the month of February on Wednesday afternoons from 4:30 to 5:30pm. Our location for February is 34th St. N. and 22nd Ave. N.. There is plenty of parking in the Winn Dixie parking lot on the southwest corner. We will have a variety of signs, especially protesting the new anti-immigration policy. We usually have many positive responses to our presence and welcome all to join us in speaking out for peace and justice.
SAT, FEB 25 FAMILY PROMISE FUNDRAISER: Saturday, February 25th from 10:30 am to 3:00 pm at the First Baptist Church of St. Petersburg (1900 Gandy Blvd.). Games, food, entertainment, silent auction and raffle. Tickets are $25 for adults, $10 for school-aged kids and free for 5 and under. To purchase tickets, make reservations, or ask questions contact Family Promise of Pinellas at 727-201-9571 or familypromisepinellas.org
SAT, FEB 25 ROY BOOK BINDER: Craftsman House Presents friend of LUCC Roy Book Binder at The Studio@620 as part of the 2nd Annual Sunshine City Songwriters Festival. For the past 45 years Roy Book Binder has traveled the globe with blues legends such as The Reverend Gary Davis, Bonnie Raitt, and Jorma Kaukonen. His latest album,”The Good Book” reached #3 on the Americana chart, behind Guy Clark & Townes Van Zandt. For more information visit thestudioat620.org. To purchase tickets ($20 in advance) please call the Craftsman House Gallery: (727) 323-2787
SUN, FEB 26 CROP WALK: The walk will be Sunday, Feb. 26 starting and ending at First Presbyterian, 701 Beach DR NE – registration at 1:30, Walk begins at 2! Registration materials are available at church.
WED, MAR 22 – FRI, MAR 24 2017 CREATION JUSTICE WORKSHOP SCHEDULED: There has never been a more important time for people of faith to come together to talk about what is happening to our beloved environment here in Florida. If the topic of creation justice is something you would like to explore further, either for your own interest or on behalf of your faith community, please consider attending this workshop! The event has been scheduled tentatively for March 22-24 at the Florida Conference Offices at 9300 University Blvd., Orlando, FL 32817. Alternate dates are March 23-25. Cost varies depending on the rooming option selected: $295 for a single-occupancy room, $215 for double occupancy, or $95 for those who don’t need accommodations. The workshop is limited to the first 12-15 people who register, so register today! If you have any questions, please contact any of the facilitators: Kim Wells, Mike MacMillan, or Bill Wealand.
WED, MAR 29 SUPPORT FARM WORKERS’ HUMAN RIGHTS: The Coalition of Immokalee Workers, a group of farm workers based in Immokalee, FL, continues to struggle to improve conditions in the fields. Last year the CIW called a boycott of fast-food chain Wendy’s to pressure the firm to join the Fair Food Program to ensure farm workers’ human rights are protected. The UCC Board of Directors has endorsed the boycott. In March, the CIW’s Human Rights Tour will visit multiple cities to build support for the boycott. It will come to Tampa on Wednesday, March 29. Visit boycott-wendys.org for more information.

CONTINUING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

AA: In the Fellowship Hall Thursdays at 7:45 p.m.
ANNOUNCEMENTS WELCOME: To have an announcement put in the bulletin or weekly update, please turn it into the church office by Wednesday at noon. Email, or voicemail, as well as written material is welcome. The church is glad to share activities and news from members and friends.
ART FOR HOPE: Wally LeBlanc has cards and paintings featuring his artwork for sale. The proceeds will be donated to the roof fund and other community ministries. Thank you, Wally! He is in need of bottle caps and soda can tabs for his current art project. If you have any to donate, please bring them to church and give them to Wally.
THE BIBLE ON REFUGEES AND IMMIGRANTS: As Christians, we are called to love our neighbors. The Bible is unambiguous in calling us to welcome aliens and strangers in our land, and to love them as we love ourselves. In these times, let us listen to the voice of the still-speaking God. Visit ucc.org for a list of biblical references to immigrants and refugees.
CONTACTING YOUR REPRESENTATIVES IN WASHINGTON:  If you are interested in calling, emailing or writing your representatives in congress, here is some contact information:

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

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

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

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

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

givingELECTRONIC GIVING: The church offers several options for electronic giving. There are information sheets and sign up forms available in the sanctuary and the church office. For additional information, please contact Bill Parsons or Adrien Helm.
FIELD TRIP GENEROSITY: Last Sunday the congregation was offered the opportunity to financial support a field trip for the first grade class taught by LUCC member Melanie Moore at 74th St. Elementary School. Money was needed to make sure all the students could go and that the bus could be paid for to take the children on the field trip. There were donations of $5, $10, $20, and $40 totalling $265! This is enough money to help pay for this trip and another field trip later in the spring. Melanie says this gives her another reason to brag about her church family!
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.
LOCAL ACTION ON REFUGEES: LUCC member Janet Blair works for the state in Refugee Resettlement. She shares this information:

Most of us are aware of the federal issues concerning refugee arrival now–but many are not aware of the actions being taken within our state. I’m hoping we can spread the news on two ways that our congregation can support refugees here in FL.

The Florida State Legislature has introduced a bill that will end our state government’s involvement in refugee services by the end of this year. Information on this initiative and a letter of support for refugee work can be found at Floridians Standing with Refugees – Support for Refugee Resettlement and Entrant Assistance in Florida.

Secondly, I am collecting letters of support locally for refugees from individuals, civic groups and faith organizations. People of all ages–kids included–can email to express their support for refugees and how they want to welcome them here in the Tampa Bay area. A compilation of these emails will be sent to the office of Gov. Scott.

IMG_3544
LUNCH BUNCH: This informal and open group gathers at a local restaurant for lunch and lively conversation after the service. Please check with one of the regulars – Don Ritchie or Ruth Halderman – about the details each week.
Screenshot 2016-08-08 18.34.07NEW EZ PODCASTS!!! No downloading! Just click and play! Try it! Just click on the little orange circle with the white arrow in it. Only one click and it plays! Every week, a new podcast is posted on the church website. All our streamable podcasts are at https://soundcloud.com/luccpodcasts – please tell your friends who might enjoy listening! Keep checking back, more and more will be added each week.
roofRAISING THE ROOF! The church has been informed by competent professionals, that the roof will need to be replaced probably within a year or two. The Advisors do not want to jump up one Sunday and beg for a huge amount of money. Therefore, you are being asked for Shekels for Shingles. Have you a few spare coins…$1’s,…. $5’s? If we scrape now, we won’t have to dig as deeply later. Please place donations in the bottle on the back table in the sanctuary.
recycle1RECYCLE: Recycle your print cartridges, cell phones, and all paper. At this time we CANNOT recycle toner cartridges, only inkjet cartridges. Keep it coming in! Many thanks to all who contribute to the church recycling. This income stream helps the ministry of the church.
UPDATE ON A FORMERLY HOMELESS FRIEND OF THE CHURCH: The formerly homeless couple that the church has been helping are continuing to live indoors. They are grateful for all the church has done for them. At the moment, they are in need of a few additional things: AA and AAA batteries, fix a flat for a bike tire, two inner tubes for a bike tire (size 700 X 35-43C), and candles.
USHERS NEEDED: Please sign up to usher for services. The signup sheet is on the bulletin board in the narthex.
WEBSITE — lakewooducc.org: Everything you always wanted to know about the church. Go ahead and ask. The information is probably at the church website. You can subscribe and have updates and comments automatically sent to your email address. See the homepage for details. You can also keep connected with on Facebook and on Twitter.
childrenYOUNG PEOPLE AT LAKEWOOD: Children and young people are a vital part of the LUCC family. All children participate in the beginning of the worship service. Elementary age children and younger are invited to participate in Children’s Time during the service. After Children’s Time elementary children are welcome in Church School Grace Lewis with assistance from others in the congregation are the teachers this year. Preschool children are welcome in the Nursery under the able care of Claudia Rodriguez. Middle and High School students participate in the Lakewood service on Sunday morning and attend the youth groups at Pass A Grille Beach Community United Church of Christ on Sunday evening during the school year. Children and young people are an integral part of this church family and the intergenerational relationships that form in this small congregation are truly a blessing!


CIRCLE OF CONCERN
Virginia Bodendorfer, Lloyd Conover, Patti Cooksey, Jill Presley Cox and family,
friends and family of Phil Crowe,  Betty Harris, Carolyn Moore, Gertie Pirazzini,
Lucille Ruga, friends and family of Max Wells, The USA

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Photo Directory

Be part of the new Lakewood UCC photo directory. Our goal is to include everyone! Make an appointment online to have your picture taken at lifetouch appointment plus. Or call the church office (727-867-7961) Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday between 9 am and noon and we’ll make an appointment for you. If you need transportation to and from your appointment, contact the church office and we’ll arrange it.

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Weekly Update 15 February

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

COMING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

SUN, FEB 12 THIS SUNDAY: This Sunday, February 19th, the Sermon on the Mount continues to speak to us. What about this, “Love your enemies…”? I don’t know about you, but I don’t really feel like I have any enemies, so love your enemies seems pretty easy when you don’t think you have any. See: Matthew 5:38-48.
MON, FEB 13 – MON JUN 12 FAMILY PROMISE VOLUNTEER TRAINING: If you are interested in participating in this program that provides meals and compassion for helping low-income families “achieve lasting independence” by providing shelter, meals, and support services to “redress the underlying causes of homelessness,” you are invited to attend one of the upcoming volunteer trainings. The next training session is scheduled for Monday, 2/13/17, and will be from 6:30-8:30 pm at Central Christian Church, 6161 22nd Ave. N in St. Petersburg FL. For more information, please contact Patti Cooksey.
FRI, FEB 17 – SAT, FEB 25 ECKERD COLLEGE ENVIRONMENTAL FILM FESTIVAL: The Creation Justice Task Force at LUCC invites you to attend as many of these free films as possible to raise our awareness of creation justice issues locally and throughout the world. If you need a ride to a film, call the office at church at 727-867-7961. The church will help connect those planning to attend with folks needing rides. After each film, whoever is interested in further discussion will walk over to the Triton Pub café on campus and enjoy sharing a beverage and their thoughts. On Sunday, February 26th there will be a potluck lunch and discussion after church of the environmental films and related concerns including: what I learned about the environment; what impressed, surprised, or motivated me to act; and what LUCC as an organization might address or how we might follow up on our concerns. Please join be part of raisingawareness about this beautiful and endangered planet and our role in caring for the creation. Visit environmentalfilmfest.com for the film schedule.
SUN, FEB 26 SUNDAY CELEBRATION: There will be a potluck lunch following worship in the fellowship hall. We will celebrate February birthdays, and anyone who would like to can join in the environmental film festival discussion.
THU, FEB 23 ISLAMOPHOBIA LECTURE: What does it mean to freely and voluntarily participate in public life? Is it sufficient to have legal equality? Or do we need something more for this essential component of democratic life? This talk will explore these questions in light of hate in the contemporary United States, focusing especially on how Islamophobia affects the nature of American Muslims’ participation in the public sphere. Visit eckerd.edu for more information.
FRI, FEB 24 BOOK CLUB: The Book Club will meet Friday, February 24th at 12:30 pm in the Fellowship Hall. Please bring your own sandwich, drinks and dessert will be provided by Jean Johnson. The book is “The Wright Brothers” by David McCullough, a true story of the courageous brothers who taught the world how to fly. Vita Uth will have extra copies available after church. Everyone is welcome.
SAT, FEB 25 FL CONFERENCE UCC WOMEN: Join in a lighthearted day of fellowship, food and fun at Lakewood UCC in St. Petersburg on Saturday, February 25th. For more information and/or to rsvp, please contact Marty Synnott, Central West Coast Representative, at martysynnott@yahoo.com.
SAT, FEB 25 LUCC WOMEN’S SPIRITUALITY GROUP: Learn a meditative and centering practice called Feldenkrais Awareness through Movement on Saturday, February 25th at 2:00 pm in the sanctuary. Fon Nguyen, a physical therapist and Feldenkrais teacher, will lead the workshop. This involves gentle movements done from a seated position, all abilities welcome.
MON, FEB 27 – MON APR 24 OPERATION ATTACK: 2017 Volunteer nights – February 27th, March 27th, and April 24th. Hours 6-7 p.m.
TUE, FEB 28 PHOTO DIRECTORY: Be part of the new Lakewood UCC photo directory. Our goal is to include everyone! Make an appointment online to have your picture taken at lifetouch appointment plus. Or call the church office (727-867-7961) Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday between 9 am and noon and we’ll make an appointment for you. If you need transportation to and from your appointment, contact the church office and we’ll arrange transportation for you.

COMMUNITY EVENTS

WED, FEB 15 (T)ERROR FILM AND DISCUSSION: see the first ever movie to capture an FBI sting as it unfolds. Following the movie filmmaker David Sutcliffe will answer questions. Described by Sight and Sound Magazine as “a stunning, infuriating indictment of the… war on terror.” First United Church of Christ 7308 E. Fowler Ave. Wednesday March 15th 6:00-9:00 pm. A potluck dinner will begin at 6:00 pm. Admission is free but a love offering will be accepted.
WED, FEB 15 & 22 PARTNERING FOR PEACE WITH ST PETE QUAKERS: Looking at tragic moments in history, one could ask, “What would I have done if I were there?” It’s happening here. It’s happening now. We must #Resist now. Peace First, a faithful group that have been maintaining a presence and protesting for years, continues for the month of February on Wednesday afternoons from 4:30 to 5:30pm. Our location for February is 34th St. N. and 22nd Ave. N.. There is plenty of parking in the Winn Dixie parking lot on the southwest corner. We will have a variety of signs, especially protesting the new anti-immigration policy. We usually have many positive responses to our presence and welcome all to join us in speaking out for peace and justice.
THU, FEB 16 REFUGEE PANEL DISCUSSION:will bring awareness to relevant and thought-provoking information on refugees, local refugee programs, overviews on incoming refugee populations, and more. Joining the panel will be two refugee speakers, Felicien from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Aida from Cuba, giving insight on their journey and their views on current issues surrounding our refugee communities. Panelists include Suvada Gulan, former Bosnian refugee and current manager of the refugee resettlement program at Lutheran Services, Florida. Sylvia Acevedo, director of the Florida Center for Survivors of Torture and Refugee Resettlement Program at Gulf Coast Jewish Family and Community Services. And LUCC member Janet Blair, Community Liaison for Refugee Services, Department of Children and Family Services.
FRI, FEB 17 – SAT, FEB 18 “EVERY STEP A PRAYER” RETREAT WITH THOMAS HAWKINS:  Despite our North American romance with automobiles, walking is making a comeback. Nearly two-thirds of Americans report they regularly walk for leisure, exercise, or transportation. Beneath this renewed interest in walking lies a yearning to slow down in a 24/7 world, to reconnect to the natural world in a wired, technological society, and to express our protest in a political climate where many feel they may have a vote but do not have a voice. These yearnings have deep connections to Christian spirituality’s century-old understanding of walking as a spiritual practice that brings us into the presence of God, and heightens our awareness of the Spirit’s movement both in our own hearts as well as the world around us. This retreat will explore the rich resource of the Bible and Christian spirituality for walking as a spiritual practice. It will include Bible study, personal reflection, and guided experiences in walking as a form of prayer and spiritual practice. February 17 & 18 at Pass-a-Grille Beach Community Church Registra on Fee: $20 (includes refreshments and light lunch) For more information and to register, visit pagchurch.org. or contact the church office at 360-5508.
SUN, FEB 19 ONE CITY CHORUS CONCERT: This is a new community chorus that rehearses at the Carter Woodson Museum and specialized in music of the Civil Rights Movement and protest songs. The first concert will be Sunday Feb. 19 at 3:00 p.m. at the Carter Woodson Museum, 2240 9th Ave S, St. Petersburg. There will be a freewill offering. Jeff Wells of LUCC and Leslie Ethredge of the Florida Conference UCC are part of this new chorus.
THU, FEB 23 – SAT FEB 25 FLORIDA INTERFAITH CLIMATE ACTION NETWORK: This year’s assembly, which will explore the theme “water is life,” is scheduled for February 23-25, 2017, at First United Methodist Church in downtown Orlando. This Assembly will give participants a working knowledge of Florida’s critical water system issues and will provide opportunity for participants to collaborate in networks with others to protect Florida water. Visit interfaithflorida.com to register.
SAT, FEB 25 FAMILY PROMISE FUNDRAISER: Saturday, February 25th from 10:30 am to 3:00 pm at the First Baptist Church of St. Petersburg (1900 Gandy Blvd.). Games, food, entertainment, silent auction and raffle. Tickets are $25 for adults, $10 for school-aged kids and free for 5 and under. To purchase tickets, make reservations, or ask questions contact Family Promise of Pinellas at 727-201-9571 or familypromisepinellas.org
SUN, FEB 26 CROP WALK: The walk will be Sunday, Feb. 26 starting and ending at First Presbyterian, 701 Beach DR NE – registration at 1:30, Walk begins at 2! Registration materials are available at church.
WED, MAR 22 – FRI, MAR 24 2017 CREATION JUSTICE WORKSHOP SCHEDULED: There has never been a more important time for people of faith to come together to talk about what is happening to our beloved environment here in Florida. If the topic of creation justice is something you would like to explore further, either for your own interest or on behalf of your faith community, please consider attending this workshop! The event has been scheduled tentatively for March 22-24 at the Florida Conference Offices at 9300 University Blvd., Orlando, FL 32817. Alternate dates are March 23-25. Cost varies depending on the rooming option selected: $295 for a single-occupancy room, $215 for double occupancy, or $95 for those who don’t need accommodations. The workshop is limited to the first 12-15 people who register, so register today! If you have any questions, please contact any of the facilitators: Kim Wells, Mike MacMillan, or Bill Wealand.
WED, MAR 29 SUPPORT FARM WORKERS’ HUMAN RIGHTS: The Coalition of Immokalee Workers, a group of farm workers based in Immokalee, FL, continues to struggle to improve conditions in the fields. Last year the CIW called a boycott of fast-food chain Wendy’s to pressure the firm to join the Fair Food Program to ensure farm workers’ human rights are protected. The UCC Board of Directors has endorsed the boycott. In March, the CIW’s Human Rights Tour will visit multiple cities to build support for the boycott. It will come to Tampa on Wednesday, March 29. Visit boycott-wendys.org for more information.

CONTINUING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

AA: In the Fellowship Hall Thursdays at 7:45 p.m.
ANNOUNCEMENTS WELCOME: To have an announcement put in the bulletin or weekly update, please turn it into the church office by Wednesday at noon. Email, or voicemail, as well as written material is welcome. The church is glad to share activities and news from members and friends.
ART FOR HOPE: Wally LeBlanc has cards and paintings featuring his artwork for sale. The proceeds will be donated to the roof fund and other community ministries. Thank you, Wally! He is in need of bottle caps, soda can tabs and old keys for his current art project. If you have any to donate, please bring them to church and give them to Wally.
THE BIBLE ON REFUGEES AND IMMIGRANTS: As Christians, we are called to love our neighbors. The Bible is unambiguous in calling us to welcome aliens and strangers in our land, and to love them as we love ourselves. In these times, let us listen to the voice of the still-speaking God. Visit ucc.org for a list of biblical references to immigrants and refugees.
CIRCLES OF CARING: Lakewood UCC has chosen to be one of the three local congregations participating in “Creating Unbroken Circles of Caring,” a program to help seriously ill people maintain meaningful contact with their spiritual communities. If you are interested in participating in this project contact Lakewood UCC member, Jim Andrews, Director of Spiritual Care at Suncoast Hospice.
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. Please take them and share them.
LOCAL ACTION ON REFUGEES: LUCC member Janet Blair works for the state in Refugee Resettlement. She shares this information:

Most of us are aware of the federal issues concerning refugee arrival now–but many are not aware of the actions being taken within our state. I’m hoping we can spread the news on two ways that our congregation can support refugees here in FL.

The Florida State Legislature has introduced a bill that will end our state government’s involvement in refugee services by the end of this year. Information on this initiative and a letter of support for refugee work can be found at Floridians Standing with Refugees – Support for Refugee Resettlement and Entrant Assistance in Florida.

Secondly, I am collecting letters of support locally for refugees from individuals, civic groups and faith organizations. People of all ages–kids included–can email to express their support for refugees and how they want to welcome them here in the Tampa Bay area. A compilation of these emails will be sent to the office of Gov. Scott.

IMG_3544
LUNCH BUNCH: This informal and open group gathers at a local restaurant for lunch and lively conversation after the service. Please check with one of the regulars – Don Ritchie or Ruth Halderman – about the details each week.
Screenshot 2016-08-08 18.34.07NEW EZ PODCASTS!!! No downloading! Just click and play! Try it! Just click on the little orange circle with the white arrow in it. Only one click and it plays! Every week, a new podcast is posted on the church website. All our streamable podcasts are at https://soundcloud.com/luccpodcasts – please tell your friends who might enjoy listening! Keep checking back, more and more will be added each week.
roofRAISING THE ROOF! The church has been informed by competent professionals, that the roof will need to be replaced probably within a year or two. The Advisors do not want to jump up one Sunday and beg for a huge amount of money. Therefore, you are being asked for Shekels for Shingles. Have you a few spare coins…$1’s,…. $5’s? If we scrape now, we won’t have to dig as deeply later. Please place donations in the bottle on the back table in the sanctuary.
recycle1RECYCLE: Recycle your print cartridges, cell phones, and all paper. At this time we CANNOT recycle toner cartridges, only inkjet cartridges. Keep it coming in! Many thanks to all who contribute to the church recycling. This income stream helps the ministry of the church.
UPDATE ON A FORMERLY HOMELESS FRIEND OF THE CHURCH: The formerly homeless couple that the church has been helping are continuing to live indoors. They are grateful for all the church has done for them. At the moment, they are in need of a few additional things: AA and AAA batteries, fix a flat for a bike tire, two inner tubes for a bike tire (size 700 X 35-43C), and candles.
USHERS NEEDED: Please sign up to usher for services during the month of December. The signup sheet is on the bulletin board at the back of the church.
WEBSITE — lakewooducc.org: Everything you always wanted to know about the church. Go ahead and ask. The information is probably at the church website. You can subscribe and have updates and comments automatically sent to your email address. See the homepage for details. You can also keep connected with on Facebook and on Twitter.
childrenYOUNG PEOPLE AT LAKEWOOD: Children and young people are a vital part of the LUCC family. All children participate in the beginning of the worship service. Elementary age children and younger are invited to participate in Children’s Time during the service. After Children’s Time elementary children are welcome in Church School Grace Lewis with assistance from others in the congregation are the teachers this year. Preschool children are welcome in the Nursery under the able care of Claudia Rodriguez. Middle and High School students participate in the Lakewood service on Sunday morning and attend the youth groups at Pass A Grille Beach Community United Church of Christ on Sunday evening during the school year. Children and young people are an integral part of this church family and the intergenerational relationships that form in this small congregation are truly a blessing!


CIRCLE OF CONCERN
Virginia Bodendorfer, Lloyd Conover,Jill Presley Cox and family,
friends and family of Phil Crowe,  Betty Harris, Carolyn Moore, Gertie Pirazzini,
friends and family of Max Wells, The USA

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Sermon – Feb. 5, 2017 Salt and Light

Scriptures: Isaiah 58:1-12 and Matthew 5:13-20
Pastor: Rev. Kim P. Wells

It seems like many people I talk to feel out of kilter, adrift, and disoriented. Maybe the pictures of people being turned away at airports under the temporary travel ban on certain Muslim countries hit home because in some sense we feel troubled, alienated, and dispossessed as America we knew it seems to be eroding. . . I imagine that for people who support what is going on, the protests and demonstrations seem confusing. People are supposedly getting what was voted for, why are they agitating so passionately? In any case, many feel disoriented.

In a 1995 commentary about the Isaiah lesson for today, a Biblical scholar remarks, “There are clues here about rehabilitation of a society in disarray!” [Texts for Preaching: A Lectionary Commentary Based on NRSV – Year A, Brueggemann, Cousar, Gaventa, and Newsome, p. 129] How appropriate for us today!

In the book, The Sellout: A Novel, by Paul Beatty, which won the Man Booker prize, unusual for an American, the father of the main character, a psychologist, an eccentric sort, tells his son, “You have to ask yourself two questions: Who am I? and How may I become myself?” [p. 250]

So in this time of shifting sands beneath us, we turn to the scriptures with these questions: Who am I? and How do I become myself? In the lesson from Matthew, Jesus tells us that we are salt and light. Notice we are told that Jesus says, “You are the salt of the earth. . . You are the light of the world.” [Emphasis added.] It doesn’t say, if you do this, then you will be the salt of the earth. If you believe that, then you will be the light of the world. It doesn’t say, you could be the salt of the earth. Or you might be the light of the world. It says, “You are the salt of the earth. . . You are the light of the world.” [Matthew 5: 13,14] That is who we are.

We are here today, in this church, some of us Christians, some Jewish, some Buddhist, some agnostic, some atheist, some “other,” because somehow, in some way, we have experienced the stirrings inside us telling us that we are salt and light. We have been called to, as theologian Carter Heyward puts it, “. . . join Jesus and many others in giving God a voice, giving God an embodied life on earth.” [Resources for Preaching and Worship Year A: Quotations, Meditations, Poetry, and Prayers, compiled by Hannah Ward and Jennifer Wild, p. 66] We are here to enflesh love.

Now we know who we are. So we turn to, “How may I become myself?” How do we function as light and salt? How do we embody Divine love in the world, the world that we are in, the world as we know it, the world that is shifting under our feet, the world that seems to be becoming more and more divided?

From both Matthew and Isaiah, we hear that our calling is to make a difference in the world. We are to take action in the public realm. To make a concrete response to public issues, to human need, to dehumanization, oppression, and poverty. One scholar says it this way, “. . . the direct, immediate engagement with self and neighbor with clearheaded awareness of systemic issues.” [Texts for Preaching, p. 129]

I know that you are not the crowd that needs to be convinced of our call to do good in the world, make a difference, and show God’s love for all people. But sometimes we need help moving from our minds and hearts to our hands, feet, and wallets.

This week, I was inspired by the Rev. Bernard Lafayette who spoke at the University of South Florida. Rev. Lafayette was an advisor to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He was on the front lines of the Civil Rights Movement. In his last conversation with King on the day King was killed, King told Lafayette that they needed to take the movement from civil rights in the United States to human rights around the world. He told Lafayette that the agenda was to go global with nonviolent direct action. And Rev. Lafayette has spent his life doing just that leading workshops on nonviolent action around the world, including in Israel, Niger, and Columbia where he had to laugh when they referred to him as a “gringo.” In his remarks, Lafayette reminded us: “Don’t sit on the couch, the rocking chair, the floor, and grieve. . . Don’t be weak and pitiful and just complain. . . Don’t wait and see what’s going to happen next, make something happen. . . Look for cracks in the system and use your crowbar to pry. . . Don’t burn down the bus station.”

In these times of great challenge and peril, it can be hard to be salt and light, to be ourselves. We can feel so out of step with what is going on around us. In the face of fake news, alternative reality, deceit, lies, delusion, and the complexity of every problem that we face, we must resist the temptation to crawl under a rock! We are needed to be discerning and responsive, following in the way of Jesus. We know that to be salt and light is to act with love. It is, as one commentary suggests, to embody “unheard-of reconciliation, simple truth-telling, outrageous generosity, and love of one’s enemies.” [Texts for Preaching, p. 136]

It’s a challenge at the best of times. To do this, to embody “unheard of reconciliation, simple truth-telling, outrageous generosity, and love of one’s enemies,” to be salt and light, we want to keep three things in mind.

One is feed the soul. We need to be sure that we are feeding our souls and nourishing our spirits. This means coming to church, daily prayer, turning to scripture, meditating, journaling, walking the labyrinth, going on silent retreat, whatever it is that keeps you connected and grounded in the transcendent, the Divine, the greater good, the larger reality. Feeding the soul is critical to being salt and light.

And we want to keep in mind that there are many people who may feel the urging of God, the sense of the transcendent in their lives, but they are not connected to a faith community. They have not yet found a way to feed the soul through a church or religious community. They may be needing that connection now, and it is up to us to let people know about this church and invite people to see what is here because it may be just what they need to help them be the salt and light they are called to be. So don’t be shy about mentioning the church to your friends, neighbors, coworkers, etc. Let them know that being part of this church grounds you in your world view, your activism and your service. Invite others to come and see. This is another way of giving food to the hungry and clothes to the naked; it is meeting the core human needs of others.

So, we maintain our ability to be light and salt by nourishing the soul and that can take many forms. We also want to be clear that as we seek to stay grounded so that we can radiate Divine, universal, unconditional love, we may need to ration our intake of negativism, hate, and delusion. Yes, I am talking about turning off the news. Spending less time on Facebook and Twitter. Giving the radio a rest even if it is National Public Radio. And maybe even limiting exposure to certain people – friends and even family. The constant frenetic pace of unfolding events can lure us into being almost voyeuristic – we want to see what is going on. We don’t want to miss anything. But we have to exert our power to limit the negative material we allow to enter our beings or it will take us over. We are in danger of being overwhelmed, drowned, and held hostage. We want to maintain our freedom to stay true to our Divine calling as salt and light. We cannot let our light be put out and we cannot let our salt be trampled underfoot. So we must take responsibility for what enters our minds and hearts just as we do with our bodies. I know that I listen to NPR far less than I used to. I have stopped catching up on Twitter before I go to bed because I get too worked up to sleep well. And we need to be well-rested and in good form, physically and spiritually, to be the salt and light that we are needed to be right now.

So, we need to feed our souls, limit negative influences, and lastly, confront our fears. Much of what is going on around us is fear-driven. There are economic fears. There are fears of those who are different. There are fears of other countries. There are fears of losing freedoms. There are fears of hastening environmental collapse. There are fears of violent attack. There are fears around access to health care. Every day, there are more things for us to be afraid of. And when people are afraid, they give up control and power. And the darkness grows.

We are salt and light. Salt and light are naturally occurring, part of Creation, of God. Their power is derived from the Divine. As salt and light, we are powerful. Think of living without light. Or life without salt. We would die. Salt and light are images of power. Power that stands down fear.

In his remarks on Thursday night, Rev. Lafayette spoke of fear. He said, “You have to overcome the fear of death. Then you can operate nonviolently. You are going to die anyway. Don’t wait. Do some good. The greater fear is that you’ll die before you do some good.”

We are salt and light. We are to fulfill the vision presented in Isaiah:

“to loose the bonds of injustice,
to undo the thongs of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke.
To share your bread with the hungry,
and bring the homeless poor into your house:
when you see the naked, to cover them. . .” [Isaiah 58:6-7]

We are needed in the world as the embodiment of God working for reconciliation, justice, compassion, and peace. For each and every individual. And for the whole Creation.

As we revisit the poetic words of the prophet Isaiah let us remember what is promised. He tells the people to give up their hollow, showy piety, and to get down to business caring for others, and creating a just society. In other words, be salt and light. But when the people are true to their God-given nature, when they fulfill God’s desires and intentions, then they experience the fullness of life. The prophet tells us:

“Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
and your healing shall spring up quickly,
God will guide you continually
and satisfy your needs in parched places,
and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring of water,
whose waters never fail.” [Isaiah 58: 10-11]

When we are true to ourselves, when we are the salt and light we have been called to be, we find our deepest joy and strength. We find our highest good. We find our healing and wholeness.

The Gospel in Solentiname by Ernesto Cardenal shares the responses of a community of campesinos in rural Nicaragua to stories in the Gospels. It was written in 1976. In her response to the teaching about being the salt of the earth, Dona Adela, a little old woman, calls to mind the preservative properties of salt. With a weak voice, she says: “We are the salt of the world because we have been placed in it so the world won’t rot.” [p. 94] And we can add, so that we don’t rot with it. 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 8 February

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

COMING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

SUN, FEB 12 THIS SUNDAY: This Sunday, February 12th, is the birthday of Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln. They will help us explore the theme of spiritual evolution. See: 1 Corinthians 3:1-9 and Matthew 5:21-37.
SAT, FEB 10 MEMORIAL SERVICE: There will be a memorial service celebrating the life of Max Wells on Friday, February 10th at 11:00 am in the sanctuary. Wake begins at 10:00 am.
SAT, FEB 11 MEMORIAL SERVICE: There will be a memorial service celebrating the life of Phil Crowe on Saturday, February 11th at 11:00 am in the sanctuary.
SUN, FEB 12 ADVISORS MEETING: There will be an Advisors Meeting following morning worship
MON, FEB 13 – MON JUN 12 FAMILY PROMISE VOLUNTEER TRAINING: If you are interested in participating in this program that provides meals and compassion for helping low-income families “achieve lasting independence” by providing shelter, meals, and support services to “redress the underlying causes of homelessness,” you are invited to attend one of the upcoming volunteer trainings. The next training session is scheduled for Monday, 2/13/17, and will be from 6:30-8:30 pm at Central Christian Church, 6161 22nd Ave. N in St. Petersburg FL. For more information, please contact Patti Cooksey.
WED, FEB 15 LUNCH AT WESTMINSTER SUNCOAST: Join Pastor Kim Wells for lunch on Wednesday, February 15 from 11:30am to 1:00pm.
FRI, FEB 17 – SAT, FEB 25 ECKERD COLLEGE ENVIRONMENTAL FILM FESTIVAL: The Creation Justice Task Force at LUCC invites you to attend as many of these free films as possible to raise our awareness of creation justice issues locally and throughout the world. If you need a ride to a film, call the office at church at 727-867-7961. The church will help connect those planning to attend with folks needing rides. After each film, whoever is interested in further discussion will walk over to the Triton Pub café on campus and enjoy sharing a beverage and their thoughts. On Sunday, February 26th there will be a potluck lunch and discussion after church of the environmental films and related concerns including: what I learned about the environment; what impressed, surprised, or motivated me to act; and what LUCC as an organization might address or how we might follow up on our concerns. Please join be part of raisingawareness about this beautiful and endangered planet and our role in caring for the creation. Visit environmentalfilmfest.com for the film schedule.
FRI, FEB 24 BOOK CLUB: The Book Club will meet Friday, February 24th at 12:30 pm in the Fellowship Hall. Please bring your own sandwich, drinks and dessert will be provided by Jean Johnson. The book is “The Wright Brothers” by David McCullough, a true story of the courageous brothers who taught the world how to fly. Vita Uth will have extra copies available after church. Everyone is welcome.
SAT, FEB 25 FL CONFERENCE UCC WOMEN: Join in a lighthearted day of fellowship, food and fun at Lakewood UCC in St. Petersburg on Saturday, February 25th. For more information and/or to rsvp, please contact Marty Synnott, Central West Coast Representative, at martysynnott@yahoo.com.
SAT, FEB 25 LUCC WOMEN’S SPIRITUALITY GROUP: Learn a meditative and centering practice called Feldenkrais Awareness through Movement on Saturday, February 25th at 2:00 pm in the sanctuary. Fon Nguyen, a physical therapist and Feldenkrais teacher, will lead the workshop. This involves gentle movements done from a seated position, all abilities welcome.
MON, FEB 27 – MON APR 24 OPERATION ATTACK: 2017 Volunteer nights – February 27th, March 27th, and April 24th. Hours 6-7 p.m.

COMMUNITY EVENTS

WED, FEB 8, 15 & 22 PARTNERING FOR PEACE WITH ST PETE QUAKERS: Looking at tragic moments in history, one could ask, “What would I have done if I were there?” It’s happening here. It’s happening now. We must #Resist now. Peace First, a faithful group that have been maintaining a presence and protesting for years, continues for the month of February on Wednesday afternoons from 4:30 to 5:30pm. Our location for February is 34th St. N. and 22nd Ave. N.. There is plenty of parking in the Winn Dixie parking lot on the southwest corner. We will have a variety of signs, especially protesting the new anti-immigration policy. We usually have many positive responses to our presence and welcome all to join us in speaking out for peace and justice.
SAT, FEB 11
SING OUT! TAMPA BAY: 
This is the second annual concert given by the Florida Orchestra and a volunteer community chorus. Claire Stiles and Mark Gibson from LUCC are singing in the chorus. The free concert will be Saturday, February 11th at 7:00 p.m. at First Baptist Church of St. Petersburg, 1900 Gandy Blvd.
SAT, FEB 11 CROP WALK: The walk will be Sunday, Feb. 26 starting and ending at First Presbyterian, 701 Beach DR NE – registration at 1:30, Walk begins at 2! Registration materials are available at church.
FRI, FEB 17 – SAT, FEB 18 “EVERY STEP A PRAYER” RETREAT WITH THOMAS HAWKINS:  Despite our North American romance with automobiles, walking is making a comeback. Nearly two-thirds of Americans report they regularly walk for leisure, exercise, or transportation. Beneath this renewed interest in walking lies a yearning to slow down in a 24/7 world, to reconnect to the natural world in a wired, technological society, and to express our protest in a political climate where many feel they may have a vote but do not have a voice. These yearnings have deep connections to Christian spirituality’s century-old understanding of walking as a spiritual practice that brings us into the presence of God, and heightens our awareness of the Spirit’s movement both in our own hearts as well as the world around us. This retreat will explore the rich resource of the Bible and Christian spirituality for walking as a spiritual practice. It will include Bible study, personal reflection, and guided experiences in walking as a form of prayer and spiritual practice. February 17 & 18 at Pass-a-Grille Beach Community Church Registra on Fee: $20 (includes refreshments and light lunch) For more information and to register, visit pagchurch.org. or contact the church office at 360-5508.
SUN, FEB 19 ONE CITY CHORUS CONCERT: This is a new community chorus that rehearses at the Carter Woodson Museum and specialized in music of the Civil Rights Movement and protest songs. The first concert will be Sunday Feb. 19 at 3:00 p.m. at the Carter Woodson Museum, 2240 9th Ave S, St. Petersburg. There will be a freewill offering. Jeff Wells of LUCC and Leslie Ethredge of the Florida Conference UCC are part of this new chorus.
THU, FEB 23 – SAT FEB 25 FLORIDA INTERFAITH CLIMATE ACTION NETWORK: This year’s assembly, which will explore the theme “water is life,” is scheduled for February 23-25, 2017, at First United Methodist Church in downtown Orlando. This Assembly will give participants a working knowledge of Florida’s critical water system issues and will provide opportunity for participants to collaborate in networks with others to protect Florida water. Visit interfaithflorida.com to register.
SAT, FEB 25 FAMILY PROMISE FUNDRAISER: Saturday, February 25th from 10:30 am to 3:00 pm at the First Baptist Church of St. Petersburg (1900 Gandy Blvd.). Games, food, entertainment, silent auction and raffle. Tickets are $25 for adults, $10 for school-aged kids and free for 5 and under. To purchase tickets, make reservations, or ask questions contact Family Promise of Pinellas at 727-201-9571 or familypromisepinellas.org
WED, MAR 22 – FRI, MAR 24 2017 CREATION JUSTICE WORKSHOP SCHEDULED: There has never been a more important time for people of faith to come together to talk about what is happening to our beloved environment here in Florida. If the topic of creation justice is something you would like to explore further, either for your own interest or on behalf of your faith community, please consider attending this workshop! The event has been scheduled tentatively for March 22-24 at the Florida Conference Offices at 9300 University Blvd., Orlando, FL 32817. Alternate dates are March 23-25. Cost varies depending on the rooming option selected: $295 for a single-occupancy room, $215 for double occupancy, or $95 for those who don’t need accommodations. The workshop is limited to the first 12-15 people who register, so register today! If you have any questions, please contact any of the facilitators: Kim Wells, Mike MacMillan, or Bill Wealand.

CONTINUING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

AA: In the Fellowship Hall Thursdays at 7:45 p.m.
ANNOUNCEMENTS WELCOME: To have an announcement put in the bulletin or weekly update, please turn it into the church office by Wednesday at noon. Email, or voicemail, as well as written material is welcome. The church is glad to share activities and news from members and friends.
ART FOR HOPE: Wally LeBlanc has cards and paintings featuring his artwork for sale. The proceeds will be donated to the roof fund and other community ministries. Thank you, Wally! He is in need of bottle caps, soda can tabs and old keys for his current art project. If you have any to donate, please bring them to church and give them to Wally.
THE BIBLE ON REFUGEES AND IMMIGRANTS: As Christians, we are called to love our neighbors. The Bible is unambiguous in calling us to welcome aliens and strangers in our land, and to love them as we love ourselves. In these times, let us listen to the voice of the still-speaking God. Visit ucc.org for a list of biblical references to immigrants and refugees.
BUDGET MEETING REPORT: The proposed budget for 2017 was endorsed unanimously at the Congregational Meeting last Sunday. The budget is posted on the bulletin board at church. Notes from the meeting as well as the budget will also be available on the church website. The budget that was affirmed includes a deficit. This is an opportunity for those who are able to consider increasing their regular giving to the church to make up this difference. Please consider increasing your pledge $10 a month, or $5 a week, or $2,000 a year or whatever will work for you in response to God’s goodness in your life.
CIRCLES OF CARING: Lakewood UCC has chosen to be one of the three local congregations participating in “Creating Unbroken Circles of Caring,” a program to help seriously ill people maintain meaningful contact with their spiritual communities. If you are interested in participating in this project contact Lakewood UCC member, Jim Andrews, Director of Spiritual Care at Suncoast Hospice.
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. Please take them and share them.
LOCAL ACTION ON REFUGEES: LUCC member Janet Blair works for the state in Refugee Resettlement. She shares this information:

Most of us are aware of the federal issues concerning refugee arrival now–but many are not aware of the actions being taken within our state. I’m hoping we can spread the news on two ways that our congregation can support refugees here in FL.

The Florida State Legislature has introduced a bill that will end our state government’s involvement in refugee services by the end of this year. Information on this initiative and a letter of support for refugee work can be found at Floridians Standing with Refugees – Support for Refugee Resettlement and Entrant Assistance in Florida.

Secondly, I am collecting letters of support locally for refugees from individuals, civic groups and faith organizations. People of all ages–kids included–can email to express their support for refugees and how they want to welcome them here in the Tampa Bay area. A compilation of these emails will be sent to the office of Gov. Scott.

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LUNCH BUNCH: This informal and open group gathers at a local restaurant for lunch and lively conversation after the service. Please check with one of the regulars – Don Ritchie or Ruth Halderman – about the details each week.
Screenshot 2016-08-08 18.34.07NEW EZ PODCASTS!!! No downloading! Just click and play! Try it! Just click on the little orange circle with the white arrow in it. Only one click and it plays! Every week, a new podcast is posted on the church website. All our streamable podcasts are at https://soundcloud.com/luccpodcasts – please tell your friends who might enjoy listening! Keep checking back, more and more will be added each week.
roofRAISING THE ROOF! The church has been informed by competent professionals, that the roof will need to be replaced probably within a year or two. The Advisors do not want to jump up one Sunday and beg for a huge amount of money. Therefore, you are being asked for Shekels for Shingles. Have you a few spare coins…$1’s,…. $5’s? If we scrape now, we won’t have to dig as deeply later. Please place donations in the bottle on the back table in the sanctuary.
recycle1RECYCLE: Recycle your print cartridges, cell phones, and all paper. At this time we CANNOT recycle toner cartridges, only inkjet cartridges. Keep it coming in! Many thanks to all who contribute to the church recycling. This income stream helps the ministry of the church.
UPDATE ON A FORMERLY HOMELESS FRIEND OF THE CHURCH: The formerly homeless couple that the church has been helping are continuing to live indoors. They are grateful for all the church has done for them. At the moment, they are in need of a few additional things: AA and AAA batteries, fix a flat for a bike tire, two inner tubes for a bike tire (size 700 X 35-43C), and candles.
USHERS NEEDED: Please sign up to usher for services during the month of December. The signup sheet is on the bulletin board at the back of the church.
WEBSITE — lakewooducc.org: Everything you always wanted to know about the church. Go ahead and ask. The information is probably at the church website. You can subscribe and have updates and comments automatically sent to your email address. See the homepage for details. You can also keep connected with on Facebook and on Twitter.
childrenYOUNG PEOPLE AT LAKEWOOD: Children and young people are a vital part of the LUCC family. All children participate in the beginning of the worship service. Elementary age children and younger are invited to participate in Children’s Time during the service. After Children’s Time elementary children are welcome in Church School Grace Lewis with assistance from others in the congregation are the teachers this year. Preschool children are welcome in the Nursery under the able care of Claudia Rodriguez. Middle and High School students participate in the Lakewood service on Sunday morning and attend the youth groups at Pass A Grille Beach Community United Church of Christ on Sunday evening during the school year. Children and young people are an integral part of this church family and the intergenerational relationships that form in this small congregation are truly a blessing!


CIRCLE OF CONCERN
Virginia Bodendorfer, Lloyd Conover,Jill Presley Cox and family,
friends and family of Phil Crowe,  Betty Harris, Carolyn Moore, Gertie Pirazzini,
friends and family of Max Wells, The USA

RECENT POSTS AND COMMENTS

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Environmental Film Festival

The Creation Justice Task Force at LUCC invites you to attend as many of these free films as possible to raise our awareness of creation justice issues locally and throughout the world. If you need a ride to the film, call the office at church at 727-867-7961. The church will help connect those planning to attend with folks needing rides.

After the film, whoever is interested in further discussion will walk over to the Triton Pub café on campus and enjoy sharing a beverage and our thoughts.

On Sunday, February 26th we will host a potluck lunch and discussion after church of the environmental films and related concerns.

  1. What I learned about the environment
  2. What impressed, surprised, or motivated to act
  3. What LUCC as an organization might address or how we might follow up on our concerns

Please join us in raising our awareness about our beautiful and endangered planet and our role in caring for our creation.

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Support for Refugee Resettlement and Entrant Assistance in Florida


A letter from Janet Blair, a member of Lakewood UCC:
Most of us are aware of the federal issues concerning refugee arrival now–but many are not aware of the actions being taken within our state.  I’m hoping we can spread the news on two ways that our congregation can support refugees here in FL. The Florida State Legislature has introduced a bill that will end our state government’s involvement in refugee services by the end of this year.  Information on this initiative and a letter of support for refugee work can be found at: Floridians Standing with Refugees – Support for Refugee Resettlement and Entrant Assistance in Florida.
All who want to speak out in support of refugees can email our local Refugee Services office at: Janet.Blair@myflfamilies.com
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Report on congregational meeting

Notes from the Congregational Meeting 1/29/17
Lakewood United Church of Christ

Those in attendance: Yoko Nogami, Colleen Coughenour, Mark Gibson, Chip Cosper, Dana Cosper, Jackson Cosper, Lucille Ruga, Mardie Chapman, Sally Purvis, Adrien Helm, Fran Whitney, Genie Terrell, Wally LeBlanc, JoAnne Reid, Wilbur Reid, Martha Lamar, Earl Waters, Don Ritchie, Claire Stiles, Ruth Halderman, Jean Johnson, Mary Beth Lewis, Charlie Lewis, Victoria Long, Preston Poe, Kim Wells.

Bill Lindsay called the meeting to order at noon.

Sally Purvis offered an inspiring opening prayer.

Charlie Lewis introduced the new advisors for 2017: Yoko Nogami, Sally Purvis, Bill Lindsay, Victoria Long who are joining Charlie as advisors for the year.

Victoria Long offered a beautiful expression of gratitude to those who served as advisors for 2016 (Dana Cosper, Claire Stiles, and Jim Andrews) incorporating the thoughtful writings of Ann Weems.

Adrien Helm presented the proposed budget for 2017. She also explained the designated giving report and the balances report. There was a time for questions and comments.

Charlie Lewis called for a voice vote on the budget (a motion was not needed or a second, since it comes from the governing body). The budget was passed unanimously.

Claire Stiles presented an update on the Creation Justice process. This involves a study process that culminates in voting to become a Creation Justice Church. Those involved include Adrien Helm, Ed Helm, Denise Williams, Wally LeBlanc, Patti Cooksey, Earl Waters, Charlie Lewis, Marg Radens, and Ann Quinn.

Yoko Nogami asked those who were present who would like to to offer comments, suggestions, ideas, etc. for the good of the church.

There was discussion about reflecting the racial diversity of the neighborhood in the church.

There was conversation about the upcoming eBay/Craig’s List fundraiser. There was talk about combining selling things on Craig’s List with a breakfast. There was interest in selling books on Amazon to benefit the church. An event that combines singing, letter-writing, and hot chocolate was suggested.

Wally LeBlanc reported that Art for Hope had contributed $387 to the LUCC roof fund, the Micah Center, a gift card for a homeless neighbor, and the Lakewood Methodist Church counseling center.

Yoko Nogami led the group in forming a circle and singing “Weave Us Together” which concluded the congregational meeting.

Click on links below for financial reports.

LUCC Budget 2017 Inc & Exp as of 1-27-17.xls
LUCC Budget 2017 Desig & Assets as of 1-27-17.xls

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Writers Resist: Stand Up For Standing Rock

Saturday, February 4 at 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Lakewood United Church of Christ
2601 54th Ave. S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712
lakewooducc.org

This gathering will allow a space for community voices to be heard in support of water protectors at Standing Rock. Bring your poems, speeches, songs, and words of solidarity. We will be collecting donations for Standing Rock (specific organization to be announced soon). We will also be making a large banner with our collective words of hope and healing for those who are peacefully inhabiting their treaty-protected land.

The Executive Order has been signed for the building of the Dakota Access Pipeline, and according to Mother Jones on 2/1/2017, “Clashes broke out today near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota following the announcement that the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) would be completed. Seventy-six protesters were arrested near the town of Cannon Ball after setting up a camp on land owned by Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), the company overseeing construction of the 1,172-mile pipeline.” (Source: http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2017/02/dakota-access-pipeline-standing-rock-trump) This information has been verified with multiple other sources.

For more information see https://www.facebook.com/events/256232794815500/.

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Celebrate Florida February/March 2017 issue

We hope you will find this issue informative, especially the info about:

+ The Women’s March on Washington … and in Florida (beginning on page 1)
+ Your Board of Directors’ January meeting (pages 1 and 11)
+ “Time for Conversations” (beginning on page 16)
+ The WOW Youth Retreat and upcoming Quest Youth Retreat (pages 32-33)
+ Advent and Christmas Florida-style (beginning on page 36)
+ The many opportunities open to our Florida congregations, clergy and members (see box on page 1)

Click HERE for PDF.

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Weekly Update 2 February

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

COMING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

SAT, FEB 4 FUNDRAISER: The church is planning to do a fundraiser February 4th involving Craig’s List and eBay. If you have things to donate, please bring them to the church on Thursday between 9 am and noon or Friday between 3 and 5 pm. If there are large items that need to be picked up, please make arrangements with Preston Poe. Items for Resale to Benefit Lakewood United Church of Christ include:

  • Tools/ Power Tools/Hand Tools/Woodworking
  • Electric Kitchen Tools: Blenders/Food Processors/Mixers/Microwave/Toaster Oven
  • Cameras/Video Cameras
  • Air Conditioners/Dehumidifiers/Fans
  • Sporting Goods / Exercise Equipment
  • Vintage Clothing / Coats in great shape- Unusual Items!
  • Furniture & Luggage in Excellent Condition
  • Musical Instruments

Please place items in your trunk, help unloading will be provided after the
church service as you pull around to the storage shed behind the Fellowship Hall. (Only items in Good Condition!)

SUN, FEB 5 THIS SUNDAY: This Sunday, February 5th, The familiar images of salt and light invite reflection on the nature of discipleship. With so much turmoil and need in the world, how do people of faith live in a way that is pleasing to God and makes a difference? See Matthew 5:13-20 and Isaiah 58:1-12.
SUN, FEB 5 CREATION JUSTICE TASK FORCE: The Creation Justice Task Force has begun meeting on a regular basis in order to shepherd the congregation through a process of declaring itself a Creation Justice Congregation. The next meeting will be Sunday, February 5th following morning worship. Lunch will be provided. Please speak with Claire Stiles if you would like to be part of this important initiative in the life of the church.
SAT, FEB 11 MEMORIAL SERVICE: There will be a memorial service celebrating the life of Phil Crowe on Saturday, February 11th at 11:00 am in the sanctuary.
IN MEMORIAM: Max Wells, part of the LUCC family for over 20 years, was found dead in his home this past week. Please keep his family and loved ones in your prayers. This dear brother in Christ will be greatly missed by the church.
MON, FEB 13 – MON JUN 12 FAMILY PROMISE VOLUNTEER TRAINING: If you are interested in participating in this program that provides meals and compassion for helping low-income families “achieve lasting independence” by providing shelter, meals, and support services to “redress the underlying causes of homelessness,” you are invited to attend one of the upcoming volunteer trainings. The training sessions are scheduled for 2/13/17, 3/13/17, 4/10/17, 5/8/17, and 6/12/17. All sessions will be held on Monday evenings from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Central Christian Church, 6161 22nd Ave. N in St. Petersburg FL.

LUCC has been serving Family Promise as a support church for 2 years and has seen many families graduate from the program and enter into new lives with opportunity, life skills, and hope. We support Lakewood United Methodist Church (LUMC), a host church, by providing meals and evening coverage at LUMC. For more information, please contact Patti Cooksey.

FRI, FEB 24 BOOK CLUB: The Book Club will meet Friday, February 24th at 12:30 pm in the Fellowship Hall. Please bring your own sandwich, drinks and dessert will be provided by Jean Johnson. The book is “The Wright Brothers” by David McCullough, a true story of the courageous brothers who taught the world how to fly. Vita Uth will have extra copies available after church. Everyone is welcome.
SAT, FEB 25 FL CONFERENCE UCC WOMEN: Join in a lighthearted day of fellowship, food and fun at Lakewood UCC in St. Petersburg on Saturday, February 25th. For more information and/or to rsvp, please contact Marty Synnott, Central West Coast Representative, at martysynnott@yahoo.com.
SAT, FEB 25 LUCC WOMEN’S SPIRITUALITY GROUP: Learn a meditative and centering practice called Feldenkrais Awareness through Movement on Saturday, February 25th at 2:00 pm in the sanctuary. Fon Nguyen, a physical therapist and Feldenkrais teacher, will lead the workshop. This involves gentle movements done from a seated position, all abilities welcome.
MON, FEB 27 – MON APR 24 OPERATION ATTACK: 2017 Volunteer nights – February 27th, March 27th, and April 24th. Hours 6-7 p.m.

COMMUNITY EVENTS

THU, FEB 2 I AM A MAN: Dr. Bernard Lafayette, a Freedom Rider and advisor to Dr. Martin L. King Jr. will discuss the history and status of black males with USFSP professor Ray Arsenault. February 2, Thursday – 6:00PM, at USFSP 140 7th Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL
WED, FEB 1 PARTNERING FOR PEACE WITH ST PETE QUAKERS: Looking at tragic moments in history, one could ask, “What would I have done if I were there?” It’s happening here. It’s happening now. We must #Resist now. Peace First, a faithful group that have been maintaining a presence and protesting for years, continues for the month of February on Wednesday afternoons from 4:30 to 5:30pm. Our location for February is 34th St. N. and 22nd Ave. N.. There is plenty of parking in the Winn Dixie parking lot on the southwest corner. We will have a variety of signs, especially protesting the new anti-immigration policy. We usually have many positive responses to our presence and welcome all to join us in speaking out for peace and justice.
SAT, JAN 19 – SUN, FEB 5 WORLD PEACE MANDALA: Eight Tibetan monks from the Drepung Gomang monastery in India will create the sacred mandala, which was designed by the Dalai Lama and depicts all religions in harmony. They will share Tibetan cultures and traditions, and offer lessons on compassion. Tibetan works of art will also be for sale. Tuesday January 31st through Sunday February 5th. There will be daily chanting at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. For more information, visit http://www.floridacraftart.org/events/sacred-art-tour-of-tibetan-monks-2017/
SAT, FEB 11
SING OUT! TAMPA BAY: 
This is the second annual concert given by the Florida Orchestra and a volunteer community chorus. Claire Stiles and Mark Gibson from LUCC are singing in the chorus. The free concert will be Saturday, February 11th at 7:00 p.m. at First Baptist Church of St. Petersburg, 1900 Gandy Blvd.
SAT, FEB 11 CROP WALK: The walk will be Sunday, Feb. 26 starting and ending at First Presbyterian, 701 Beach DR NE – registration at 1:30, Walk begins at 2! Registration materials are available at church.
FRI, FEB 17 – SAT, FEB 18 “EVERY STEP A PRAYER” RETREAT WITH THOMAS HAWKINS: Despite our North American romance with automobiles, walking is making a comeback. Nearly two-thirds of Americans report they regularly walk for leisure, exercise, or transportation. Beneath this renewed interest in walking lies a yearning to slow down in a 24/7 world, to reconnect to the natural world in a wired, technological society, and to express our protest in a political climate where many feel they may have a vote but do not have a voice. These yearnings have deep connections to Christian spirituality’s century-old understanding of walking as a spiritual practice that brings us into the presence of God, and heightens our awareness of the Spirit’s movement both in our own hearts as well as the world around us. This retreat will explore the rich resource of the Bible and Christian spirituality for walking as a spiritual practice. It will include Bible study, personal reflection, and guided experiences in walking as a form of prayer and spiritual practice. February 17 & 18 at Pass-a-Grille Beach Community Church Registra on Fee: $20 (includes refreshments and light lunch) For more information and to register, visit pagchurch.org. or contact the church office at 360-5508.
FRI, FEB 17 – SAT, FEB 25 ECKERD COLLEGE ENVIRONMENTAL FILM FESTIVAL: For 19 years, the Visions of Nature/Voices of Nature Environmental Film Festival has brought compelling and important films to the Tampa Bay area to raise awareness and promote discussion of matters relating to nature, place and the environment. Film scholars and filmmakers from around the world engage the audience in a lively dialogue about the environmental perspectives contained in documentary, animated, experimental and feature films. All films are free and open to the public. Visit environmentalfilmfest.com for the film schedule.
THU, FEB 23 – SAT FEB 25 FLORIDA INTERFAITH CLIMATE ACTION NETWORK: This year’s assembly, which will explore the theme “water is life,” is scheduled for February 23-25, 2017, at First United Methodist Church in downtown Orlando. This Assembly will give participants a working knowledge of Florida’s critical water system issues and will provide opportunity for participants to collaborate in networks with others to protect Florida water. Visit interfaithflorida.com to register.
SAT, FEB 25 FAMILY PROMISE FUNDRAISER: Saturday, February 25th from 10:30 am to 3:00 pm at the First Baptist Church of St. Petersburg (1900 Gandy Blvd.). Games, food, entertainment, silent auction and raffle. Tickets are $25 for adults, $10 for school-aged kids and free for 5 and under. To purchase tickets, make reservations, or ask questions contact Family Promise of Pinellas at 727-201-9571 or familypromisepinellas.org
WED, MAR 22 – FRI, MAR 24 2017 CREATION JUSTICE WORKSHOP SCHEDULED: There has never been a more important time for people of faith to come together to talk about what is happening to our beloved environment here in Florida. If the topic of creation justice is something you would like to explore further, either for your own interest or on behalf of your faith community, please consider attending this workshop! The event has been scheduled tentatively for March 22-24 at the Florida Conference Offices at 9300 University Blvd., Orlando, FL 32817. Alternate dates are March 23-25. Cost varies depending on the rooming option selected: $295 for a single-occupancy room, $215 for double occupancy, or $95 for those who don’t need accommodations. The workshop is limited to the first 12-15 people who register, so register today! If you have any questions, please contact any of the facilitators: Kim Wells, Mike MacMillan, or Bill Wealand.

CONTINUING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

AA: In the Fellowship Hall Thursdays at 7:45 p.m.
ANNOUNCEMENTS WELCOME: To have an announcement put in the bulletin or weekly update, please turn it into the church office by Wednesday at noon. Email, or voicemail, as well as written material is welcome. The church is glad to share activities and news from members and friends.
ART FOR HOPE: Wally LeBlanc has cards and paintings featuring his artwork for sale. The proceeds will be donated to the roof fund and other community ministries. Thank you, Wally! He is in need of bottle caps, soda can tabs and old keys for his current art project. If you have any to donate, please bring them to church and give them to Wally.
THE BIBLE ON REFUGEES AND IMMIGRANTS: As Christians, we are called to love our neighbors. The Bible is unambiguous in calling us to welcome aliens and strangers in our land, and to love them as we love ourselves. In these times, let us listen to the voice of the still-speaking God. Visit ucc.org for a list of biblical references to immigrants and refugees.
BUDGET MEETING REPORT: The proposed budget for 2017 was endorsed unanimously at the Congregational Meeting last Sunday. The budget is posted on the bulletin board at church. Notes from the meeting as well as the budget will also be available on the church website. The budget that was affirmed includes a deficit. This is an opportunity for those who are able to consider increasing their regular giving to the church to make up this difference. Please consider increasing your pledge $10 a month, or $5 a week, or $2,000 a year or whatever will work for you in response to God’s goodness in your life.
CIRCLES OF CARING: Lakewood UCC has chosen to be one of the three local congregations participating in “Creating Unbroken Circles of Caring,” a program to help seriously ill people maintain meaningful contact with their spiritual communities. If you are interested in participating in this project contact Lakewood UCC member, Jim Andrews, Director of Spiritual Care at Suncoast Hospice.
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. Please take them and share them.
IMG_3544
LUNCH BUNCH: This informal and open group gathers at a local restaurant for lunch and lively conversation after the service. Please check with one of the regulars – Don Ritchie or Ruth Halderman – about the details each week.
Screenshot 2016-08-08 18.34.07NEW EZ PODCASTS!!! No downloading! Just click and play! Try it! Just click on the little orange circle with the white arrow in it. Only one click and it plays! Every week, a new podcast is posted on the church website. All our streamable podcasts are at https://soundcloud.com/luccpodcasts – please tell your friends who might enjoy listening! Keep checking back, more and more will be added each week.
roofRAISING THE ROOF! The church has been informed by competent professionals, that the roof will need to be replaced probably within a year or two. The Advisors do not want to jump up one Sunday and beg for a huge amount of money. Therefore, you are being asked for Shekels for Shingles. Have you a few spare coins…$1’s,…. $5’s? If we scrape now, we won’t have to dig as deeply later. Please place donations in the bottle on the back table in the sanctuary.
recycle1RECYCLE: Recycle your print cartridges, cell phones, and all paper. At this time we CANNOT recycle toner cartridges, only inkjet cartridges. Keep it coming in! Many thanks to all who contribute to the church recycling. This income stream helps the ministry of the church.
UPDATE ON A FORMERLY HOMELESS FRIEND OF THE CHURCH: The formerly homeless couple that the church has been helping are continuing to live indoors. They are grateful for all the church has done for them. At the moment, they are in need of a few additional things: AA and AAA batteries, fix a flat for a bike tire, two inner tubes for a bike tire (size 700 X 35-43C), and candles.
USHERS NEEDED: Please sign up to usher for services during the month of December. The signup sheet is on the bulletin board at the back of the church.
WEBSITE — lakewooducc.org: Everything you always wanted to know about the church. Go ahead and ask. The information is probably at the church website. You can subscribe and have updates and comments automatically sent to your email address. See the homepage for details. You can also keep connected with on Facebook and on Twitter.
childrenYOUNG PEOPLE AT LAKEWOOD: Children and young people are a vital part of the LUCC family. All children participate in the beginning of the worship service. Elementary age children and younger are invited to participate in Children’s Time during the service. After Children’s Time elementary children are welcome in Church School Grace Lewis with assistance from others in the congregation are the teachers this year. Preschool children are welcome in the Nursery under the able care of Claudia Rodriguez. Middle and High School students participate in the Lakewood service on Sunday morning and attend the youth groups at Pass A Grille Beach Community United Church of Christ on Sunday evening during the school year. Children and young people are an integral part of this church family and the intergenerational relationships that form in this small congregation are truly a blessing!


CIRCLE OF CONCERN
Virginia Bodendorfer, Lloyd Conover,Jill Presley Cox and family,
friends and family of Phil Crowe,  Betty Harris, Carolyn Moore, Gertie Pirazzini,
friends and family of Max Wells, The USA

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Weekly Update 18 January

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

COMING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

SUN, JAN 22 THIS SUNDAY: This Sunday, January 22, God’s words of encouragement and hope through the prophet Isaiah speak to people today. Rev. Victoria Long is preaching and Genie Terrell is offering the ministry of music. Be part of inaugurating God’s future. Rev. Wells is away until Tuesday Jan. 24. For pastoral care during her absence, please contact Sally Purvis at sallybpurvis@icloud.com
TUE, Jan 17 Office Manager Position Filled The church is delighted to welcome Grace Lewis as the new office manager. Grace has been preparing the bulletins for the past month. Now she will be working in the office Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings from nine until noon. Gratitude is expressed to Grace for being willing to serve the church in this capacity.
Please communicate with Grace about office business during the week by phone or email or dropping in at the office. Or leave a note on the office desk. Please try to refrain from discussing office matters with Grace on Sunday mornings. Thank you!
MON, JAN 23 OPERATION ATTACK: 2017 Volunteer nights – Jan 23rd, Feb 27th, March 27th, and April 24th. Hours 6-7 p.m.
FRI, JAN 27 BOOK CLUB: The church Book Club will meet at church, Friday Jan. 27, 2017 at 12:30 p.m.. Please bring your own sandwich, drinks and dessert will be provided. All are welcome! The book is Americanah by Ngozi Adichie, a great story (2013) about a young couple growing up in Nigeria. She moved to America, where she finds out what it’s like to be black. He had planned to join her, but after 9/11 America is closed to him. He winds up in London. 15 years later they are reunited in newly Democratic Nigeria. A wonderful story about race, love and identity.
SUN, JAN 29 CONGREGATIONAL MEETING: There will be a congregational meeting on Sunday Jan. 29 following morning worship for the purpose of endorsing a budget for 2017. All are welcome to participate. If there are other things that you would like to have discussed at the meeting, please speak with Rev. Wells.
SUN, FEB 5 CREATION JUSTICE TASK FORCE: The Creation Justice Task Force has begun meeting on a regular basis in order to shepherd the congregation through a process of declaring itself a Creation Justice Congregation. The next meeting will be Sunday Feb. 5 following morning worship. Lunch will be provided. Please speak with Claire Stiles if you would like to be part of this important initiative in the life of the church.
MON, FEB 13 FAMILY PROMISE VOLUNTEER TRAINING: If you are interested in participating in this program that provides meals and compassion for helping low-income families “achieve lasting independence” by providing shelter, meals, and support services to “redress the underlying causes of homelessness,” you are invited to attend one of the upcoming volunteer trainings. The training sessions are scheduled for 2/13/17, 3/13/17, 4/10/17, 5/8/17, and June 12/17. All sessions will be held on Monday evenings from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Central Christian Church, 6161 22 nd Ave. N in St. Petersburg FL.

LUCC has been serving Family Promise as a support church for 2 years and has seen many families graduate from the program and enter into new lives with opportunity, life skills, and hope. We support Lakewood United Methodist Church (LUMC), a host church, by providing meals and evening coverage at LUMC. For more information, please contact Patti Cooksey.

FUNDRAISER IN FEBRUARY: The church is planning to do a fundraiser in February involving Craig’s List and eBay. If you have things to donate, please bring them to the church. If there are large items that need to be picked up, please let us know so we can assist with arrangement. Items for Resale to Benefit Lakewood United Church of Christ include:

  • Tools/ Power Tools/Hand Tools/Woodworking
  • Electric Kitchen Tools: Blenders/Food Processors/Mixers/Microwave/Toaster Oven
  • Cameras/Video Cameras
  • Air Conditioners/Dehumidifiers/Fans
  • Sporting Goods / Exercise Equipment
  • Vintage Clothing / Coats in great shape- Unusual Items!
  • Furniture & Luggage in Excellent Condition

Please place items in your trunk, We will help you unload after the
church service as you pull around to the storage shed behind the Fellowship Hall. (Only items in Good Condition!)

COMMUNITY EVENTS

SAT, JAN 19 YOU CAN’T SAY THAT: St. Petersburg College presents Free Speech and the Social Sensitivity Movement, January 19, 2017, 6-8:15 p.m., Seminole Campus Conference Center, St. Petersburg College, 9200 113th St. N. Seating is limited and online registration is required. http://solutions.spcollege.edu or call 727-394-6942 for more information.
SAT, JAN 21 ST. PETE WOMEN’S MARCH: St. Pete Women’s Solidarity March for Social Justice — Everyone is welcome – MEN too! Saturday, January 21, 2017, 12:00 to 3 PM. March Gathering at 12 Noon, Starting and Ending at Demen’s Landing, Bayshore Drive & 1st Avenue South. Marching on Sidewalks. Our Mission: To create an inclusive community regardless of race, nationality, faith or sexual orientation for a common vision of freedom, equality and social justice. For on-line donations, click on site and follow instructions: http://tinyurl.com/WomensMarchStPete. People need to sign up to participate.
SAT, JAN 21 WOMEN’S MARCH: Realizing that women’s rights are human rights, on Saturday, January 21st, several hundred thousand women will be gathering outside the Capitol Building for a Women’s March on Washington. Beginning at 10 a.m. there will be a rally with speakers raising their voices for justice (whether racial, climate, reproductive, LGBTQ, etc.). The women (and supportive men, youth, and families) will then begin a peaceful march from the Capitol, walking the talk and standing up for “our rights, our health, our safety, and our families – recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country.”

You can find the guiding principles of the march, which align with those of the UCC and LUCC, at womensmarch.com (About/Mission & Guiding Principles). Rev. Kim Wells and several members of Lakewood will be participating in the March. The hope is that the March will inspire and empower more women to speak up and take action for justice in the months and years to come. There will also be a Solidarity March in St. Petersburg that same day – with details to be announced. Hopefully many people from the LUCC family will participate in the local March. Please hold the marchers and the common values and hopes for the United States in your prayers.

MON, JAN 23 HOLOCAUST PRESENTATION: The Holocaust – Never Again — A life story of an actual Holocaust Survivor – You are invited to listen to one of the steadfast few remaining. Presenter: Marie Silverman (Inspirational Speaker). Monday, January 23rd at 7:00 p.m. at the Baha’i Center in Clearwater, 2898 Gulf to Bay Blvd., Clearwater, FL 33759. For more information please contact Jaleh at 727-643-6404.

CONTINUING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

CIRCLES OF CARING: Lakewood UCC has chosen to be one of the three local congregations participating in “Creating Unbroken Circles of Caring,” a program to help seriously ill people maintain meaningful contact with their spiritual communities. If you are interested in participating in this project contact Lakewood UCC member, Jim Andrews, Director of Spiritual Care at Suncoast Hospice (JamesAndrews@thehospice.org).
USHERS NEEDED: Please sign up to usher for services during the month of December. The signup sheet is on the bulletin board at the back of the church.
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. Please take them and share them.
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.
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 athttps://soundcloud.com/luccpodcasts – please tell your friends who might enjoy listening! Keep checking back, more and more will be added each week.
childrenYOUNG PEOPLE AT LAKEWOOD: Children and young people are a vital part of the LUCC family. All children participate in the beginning of the worship service. Elementary age children and younger are invited to participate in Children’s Time during the service. After Children’s Time elementary children are welcome in Church School Grace Lewis with assistance from others in the congregation are the teachers this year. Preschool children are welcome in the Nursery under the able care of Claudia Rodriguez. Middle and High School students participate in the Lakewood service on Sunday morning and attend the youth groups at Pass A Grille Beach Community United Church of Christ on Sunday evening during the school year. Children and young people are an integral part of this church family and the intergenerational relationships that form in this small congregation are truly a blessing!
roofRAISING THE ROOF! The church has been informed by competent professionals, that the roof will need to be replaced probably within a year or two. The Advisors do not want to jump up one Sunday and beg for a huge amount of money. Therefore, you are being asked for Shekels for Shingles. Have you a few spare coins…$1’s,…. $5’s? If we scrape now, we won’t have to dig as deeply later. Please place donations in the bottle on the back table in the sanctuary.
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.
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 at www.facebook.com/LakewoodUCC and on Twitter at twitter.com/lakewoodUCC.
recycle1RECYCLE: Recycle your print cartridges, cell phones, and all paper. At this time we CANNOT recycle toner cartridges, only inkjet cartridges. Keep it coming in! Many thanks to all who contribute to the church recycling. This income stream helps the ministry of the church.
IMG_3544
LUNCH BUNCH: This informal and open group gathers at a local restaurant for lunch and lively conversation after the service. Please check with one of the regulars – Don Ritchie or Ruth Halderman – about the details each week.
AA: In the Fellowship Hall Thursdays at 7:45 p.m.


CIRCLE OF CONCERN
Lloyd Conover, Phil Crowe, Jill Presley Cox and family, Betty Harris
Gertie Pirazzini, Carolyn Moore, Virginia Bodendorfer, The USA

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Sermon – Jan. 15, 2017 Martin Luther King, Jr. Sunday

Sermon: Taking the Plunge – Making a Pledge
Scripture: John 1: 29-42
Pastor: Rev. Kim P. Wells

Jesus lived in a time when his people, the Jews, were being oppressed by the Romans. The Jews had their rights of self determination curtailed by the Romans. They were being exploited economically by the Romans. And their labor was being abused by the Romans. In first century Palestine, Roman rule was being imposed upon the Jews by force. Cooperation was mandated through intimidation. It was a system maintained by violence.

And in these circumstances, Jesus comes to foment rebellion: A rebellion of love rooted in justice for each and every person. Jesus knew that beloved community, community of mutual dignity and respect, cannot be created through violence means. The hopes and dreams of God cannot be fulfilled through violence.

When people use violence they are betraying the sacred image of God within themselves. They are defying their true, core identity as a human being. They are acting in contradiction to the divine love that is at the heart of life.

In addition, when violence is inflicted, it is a betrayal of the sacred image of the Divine in the ones who are harmed. It is a denial of the true, core identity of others. And this dynamic is present whatever the nature of the violence – domestic violence, economic violence, military violence, a barroom brawl, a playground scuffle, a shooting, drone bombings – it is all part of the dynamic of the betrayal and denial of the sacredness of life. And we all suffer for it: Those directly engaged in the violence as well as those who are part of the society in which the violence takes place. Violence takes its toll on everyone.

Jesus, as one wholly imbued with the Divinity of God, cannot advocate or engage in violence. To do so would be a betrayal of his identity, his humanity, and his God.

Jesus invites his followers to experience beloved community, the commonwealth of God. As we heard this morning, those who are wondering if Jesus is the Messiah are invited to “come and see.” Experience the community. See the behavior and values in practice. Hear the teachings. Then decide. While Jesus is a freedom fighter seeking the freedom of his people, he is committed to building the reign of God which embraces all people. And this can NEVER be achieved through violent means. To use violence to implement the realm of God is to deny the foundational premise of that realm. So Jesus never uses violence: Not against the everyday people who denied him. Not against the religious leaders who were afraid he was undermining their power and sought his death. And he never advocated the use of violence against the Romans who were occupying the country and denying the human rights of the Jews as well as extorting their money and labor. No violence. Period.

There were plenty of Jews who wanted to violently overthrow the Romans and kick them out of Palestine. There were people who wanted to violently rebel. But Jesus teaches, love your enemy. Pray for those who persecute you. Do good to those who seek to harm you. He knew that was ultimately the way to convert and transform reality. Violence will always beget more of the same. Love has the power to transform. That’s what Jesus invited people to come and see. And they do. And, as we heard this morning, many follow.

This weekend we celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. While we are reminded that King was a civil rights leader, we want to remember that first and foremost, King was a Christian, and a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He was a follower of Jesus. He was committed to the Gospel. In his book about King, Tavis Smiley describes King’s message as “justice for all, service to others, and a love that liberates, no matter the cost.” (Death of a King: The Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Final Year, Tavis Smiley with David Ritz, p. 4) That is a beautiful, concise description of the Gospel of Jesus. In the story of Jesus, King saw the parallels between the condition of the Negro in America and the situation of the Jews under the Roman Empire in first century Palestine. He also saw that Jesus’ commitment to nonviolence, in spite of the resistance around him, was the way of faithfulness in the face of oppression and injustice. King knew from Jesus that there was no way to justify the use of violence if you’re following Jesus. From Jesus, King knew that only love and nonviolence can transform an individual and bring forth our truest humanity. And only love and nonviolence can transform a society and bring forth justice and peace. That was the foundation of King’s life.

King pursued the commonwealth of God for all of creation through nonviolent means. He worked to eradicate racism, poverty, and militarism all through nonviolent action. Yes, it was practical since blacks would easily be outgunned and overpowered by whites, the poor by the rich. And nonviolence was a tool available to the masses. But it was not just practicality that motivated King’s commitment to nonviolence. It was the message of Jesus and the goal of authentic transformation. It was the moral demand that compelled King to root himself in nonviolence. And that commitment extended beyond gaining human rights for blacks to the protection of human rights for all people in all places.

In his famous sermon at The Riverside Church in New York, King declared his thorough going commitment to nonviolence as a moral commitment not just a convenient tactic for gaining rights for blacks: “They applauded us on the freedom rides when we accepted blows without retaliation. They praised us in Albany and Birmingham and Selma, Alabama. Oh, the press was so noble in its applause and so noble in its praise that I was saying be nonviolent toward Bull Connor. There is something strangely inconsistent about a nation and a press that will praise you when you say be nonviolent toward Jim Clark, but will curse you and damn you when you say be nonviolent toward little brown Vietnamese children! There is something wrong with that.” (The King Years by Taylor Branch, p. 160)

The legacy of Dr. King reminds us that the gospel of nonviolence applies to all of life and all situations, personal as well as political and international. Life is life. And love is love. Regardless of the circumstances.

As we reflect on the Christian commitment to nonviolence, we want to remember that nonviolence is not about being passive and sitting back and accepting your fate. Nonviolence is not about sitting back and watching your favorite news channel, or being glued to your siloed newsfeed online. Nonviolence is about active engagement with people and power. It is about disarming injustice and oppression. Jesus was known for getting out and engaging with people, dealing with those considered enemies, engaging with foreigners, healing on the sabbath, telling stories about defying the power structures of the day. In a similar manner, King and those engaged in the civil rights movement were not sitting at home wringing their hands. They were organizing sit ins, protests, marches, demonstrations, boycotts, and voter registration drives. They were nonviolent, but they were not passive. They were taking direct action. And direct action was being taken against them. There were beatings, bombings, and murders. There were violent enemies of civil rights and Dr. King just as there were violent enemies of Jesus. Nonviolence does not necessarily guarantee personal safety at least not in the short run.

Knowing this, when there was going to be a civil rights action, the people were taught about nonviolence. They were schooled in the philosophy and the techniques of nonviolent resistance. And they were asked to take a pledge of nonviolence. There was much preparation for this and not every one agreed to it. In fact, only a small percentage of the people involved in the civil rights movement committed themselves to nonviolence. Maybe that is why the goals of the movement have yet to be realized.

It’s a big commitment, the commitment to nonviolence. We see what it cost Jesus. We know what it cost King and others who committed their lives to nonviolent social transformation. King reminds us that Christians desiring to follow Jesus must take seriously the commitment to nonviolent resistance. Following Jesus means seeking the transformation of ourselves, our communities, our religion, our country, and our world through nonviolent action.

When those involved in the civil rights movement were preparing for an action, they were asked to consider signing a pledge of nonviolence. That pledge is printed in your bulletin. Take a look at it. In a moment we will read it together. Notice that that the pledge was to be signed like a mortgage or a lease or a contract. It was a commitment. There is a space for noting Nearest Relative, yes, next-of-kin because there could be serious consequences to committing to nonviolence. This was not to be taken lightly. The pledge also included many ways to serve. Marching, demonstrating, and sitting in were not the only options. There was day to day work, background work that was important, too. The commitment to nonviolence was comprehensive.

We are just beginning a new year. It is a time of transition in our country as new lawmakers begins their service and a new administration moves into the White House. We are in the midst of a major transition in human history and development that won’t be understood until well into the future. We need to ask ourselves where we stand in relationship to injustice, oppression, inequity, and the violence and greed around us. Will we be passive observers? Or will we take seriously the model we have been given in Jesus as King did?

In our context, we hear Jesus’ invitation to come and see: Experience the transforming power of radical love. See the results of nonviolent action in pursuit of God’s dreams for Creation. Become part of passionate, active engagement with the world promoting a vision of universal justice. Work for the transformation and healing of individual lives, social arrangements, economic systems, educational settings, and religious institutions. Protect the planet itself. Come and see another way that honors the sacredness of life and trusts the power of love not weapons, might, fear, hatred and greed. Come and see. Find where you are being called. Look for where you can plug in. See where your voice needs to be heard. And take action. Nonviolent action. So that others may come and see the power of love. 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.

Commitment Card

I hereby pledge myself—my person and body—to the nonviolent movement.

Therefore I will keep the following ten commandments:

Meditate daily on the teachings and life of Jesus.

Remember always that the non—violent movement seeks justice and reconciliation
not victory.

Walk and talk in the manner of love, for God is love.

Pray daily to be used by God in order that all men might be free.

Sacrifice personal wishes in order that all men might be free.

Observe with both friend and foe the ordinary rules of courtesy.

Seek to perform regular service for others and for the world.

Refrain from the violence of fist, tongue, or heart.

Strive to be in good spiritual and bodily health.

Follow the directions of the movement and of the captain on a demonstration.

I sign this pledge, having seriously considered what I do and with the determination and will to persevere.

Name______________________________________

Address____________________________________

Phone_____________________________________

Nearest Relative_____________________________

Address____________________________________

Besides demonstrations, I could also help the movement by (Circle the proper items): Run errands, Drive my car, Fix food for volunteers, Clerical work, Make phone calls, Answer phones, Mimeograph, Type, Print Signs, Distribute leaflets.

ALABAMA CHRISTIAN MOVEMENT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
Birmingham Affiliate of S.C.L.C.
505 1/2 North 17th Street
F.L. Shuttlesworth, President

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Weekly Update

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

COMING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

SUN, JAN 8 THIS SUNDAY: This Sunday, January 15, The service this Sunday will be a celebration of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his advocacy which was rooted in Jesus’ gospel of non-violence.
JAN 13 FAMILY PROMISE REQUEST: LUCC is a support congregation for Family Promise, a coalition of congregations in the St. Petersburg area seeking to help homeless families with children become financially self sufficient and stable. Family Promise has requested that LUCC collect laundry detergent. Do, if you are able, please consider donating a jug of laundry soap. Donations may be placed in the Operation Attack shopping cart in the hallway at church. It will be taken to Family Promise. LUCC is scheduled to staff Family Promise the week of Jan. 8-13. Patti Cooksey is the new LUCC coordinator for Family Promise. Please contact Patti if you are interested in volunteering. Many thanks!
TUE, JAN 17 ADVISORS’ MEETING: There will be a meeting of the 2016 and 2017 Advisors to work on preparing the budget for the year ahead. Everyone from the church family is invited to part of this conversation which will be held Tuesday Jan. 17 at 6:30 p.m. in the church library. The congregational will have the opportunity to vote on the proposed budget after church on Sunday Jan. 29.
SAT, JAN 21 ST. PETE WOMEN’S MARCH: St. Pete Women’s Solidarity March for Social Justice — Everyone is welcome – MEN too! Saturday, January 21, 2017, 12:00 to 3 PM. March Gathering at 12 Noon, Starting and Ending at Demen’s Landing, Bayshore Drive & 1st Avenue South. Marching on Sidewalks. Our Mission: To create an inclusive community regardless of race, nationality, faith or sexual orientation for a common vision of freedom, equality and social justice. For on-line donations, click on site and follow instructions: http://tinyurl.com/WomensMarchStPete. People need to sign up to participate.
SAT, JAN 21 WOMEN’S MARCH: Realizing that women’s rights are human rights, on Saturday, January 21st, several hundred thousand women will be gathering outside the Capitol Building for a Women’s March on Washington. Beginning at 10 a.m. there will be a rally with speakers raising their voices for justice (whether racial, climate, reproductive, LGBTQ, etc.). The women (and supportive men, youth, and families) will then begin a peaceful march from the Capitol, walking the talk and standing up for “our rights, our health, our safety, and our families – recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country.”

You can find the guiding principles of the march, which align with those of the UCC and LUCC, at womensmarch.com (About/Mission & Guiding Principles). Rev. Kim Wells and several members of Lakewood will be participating in the March. The hope is that the March will inspire and empower more women to speak up and take action for justice in the months and years to come. There will also be a Solidarity March in St. Petersburg that same day – with details to be announced. Hopefully many people from the LUCC family will participate in the local March. Please hold the marchers and the common values and hopes for the United States in your prayers.

SUN, JAN 22 LOOKING AHEAD: Sunday Jan. 22, Rev. Victoria Long will be preaching while Rev. Wells is in Washington, D.C. for the Women’s March. Rev. Wells will be away from Friday Jan. 20-Tuesday Jan. 24. For pastoral care during her absence, please contact Sally Purvis at 678-428-3920 or sallybpurvis@icloud.com
MON, JAN 23 HOLOCAUST PRESENTATION: The Holocaust – Never Again — A life story of an actual Holocaust Survivor – You are invited to listen to one of the steadfast few remaining. Presenter: Marie Silverman (Inspirational Speaker). Monday, January 23rd at 7:00 p.m. at the Baha’i Center in Clearwater, 2898 Gulf to Bay Blvd., Clearwater, FL 33759. For more information please contact Jaleh at 727-643-6404.
MON, JAN 23 OPERATION ATTACK: 2017 Volunteer nights – Jan 23rd, Feb 27th, March 27th, and April 24th. Hours 6-7 p.m.
FRI, JAN 27 BOOK CLUB: The church Book Club will meet at church, Friday Jan. 27, 2017 at 12:30 p.m.. Please bring your own sandwich, drinks and dessert will be provided. All are welcome! The book is Americanah by Ngozi Adichie, a great story (2013) about a young couple growing up in Nigeria. She moved to America, where she finds out what it’s like to be black. He had planned to join her, but after 9/11 America is closed to him. He winds up in London. 15 years later they are reunited in newly Democratic Nigeria. A wonderful story about race, love and identity.
SUN, JAN 29 CONGREGATIONAL MEETING: There will be a congregational meeting on Sunday Jan. 29 following morning worship for the purpose of endorsing a budget for 2017. All are welcome to participate. If there are other things that you would like to have discussed at the meeting, please speak with Rev. Wells.
SUN, FEB 5 CREATION JUSTICE TASK FORCE: The Creation Justice Task Force has begun meeting on a regular basis in order to shepherd the congregation through a process of declaring itself a Creation Justice Congregation. The next meeting will be Sunday Feb. 5 following morning worship. Lunch will be provided. Please speak with Claire Stiles if you would like to be part of this important initiative in the life of the church.
MON, FEB 13 FAMILY PROMISE VOLUNTEER TRAINING: If you are interested in participating in this program that provides meals and compassion for helping low-income families “achieve lasting independence” by providing shelter, meals, and support services to “redress the underlying causes of homelessness,” you are invited to attend one of the upcoming volunteer trainings. The training sessions are scheduled for 2/13/17, 3/13/17, 4/10/17, 5/8/17, and June 12/17. All sessions will be held on Monday evenings from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Central Christian Church, 6161 22 nd Ave. N in St. Petersburg FL.

LUCC has been serving Family Promise as a support church for 2 years and has seen many families graduate from the program and enter into new lives with opportunity, life skills, and hope. We support Lakewood United Methodist Church (LUMC), a host church, by providing meals and evening coverage at LUMC. For more information, please contact Patti Cooksey.

FUNDRAISER IN FEBRUARY: The church is planning to do a fundraiser in February involving Craig’s List and eBay. If you have things to donate, please bring them to the church. If there are large items that need to be picked up, please let us know so we can assist with arrangement. Items for Resale to Benefit Lakewood United Church of Christ include:

  • Tools/ Power Tools/Hand Tools/Woodworking
  • Electric Kitchen Tools: Blenders/Food Processors/Mixers/Microwave/Toaster Oven
  • Cameras/Video Cameras
  • Air Conditioners/Dehumidifiers/Fans
  • Sporting Goods / Exercise Equipment
  • Vintage Clothing / Coats in great shape- Unusual Items!
  • Furniture & Luggage in Excellent Condition

Please place items in your trunk, We will help you unload after the
church service as you pull around to the storage shed behind the Fellowship Hall. (Only items in Good Condition!)

COMING NEARBY EVENTS

SAT, JAN 14 EVENT DATE CHANGED: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Candlelight Vigil changed to Saturday, January 14, 6:00 p.m. In light of the many events scheduled on Sunday, January 15, the Woodson Museum has rescheduled the Dr. M.L. King Candlelight Vigil to Saturday, January 14 beginning at 6pm. We hope that you can join us.
SUN, JAN 15 MLK EVENT: The annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Service, sponsored by Interfaith Tampa Bay (formerly known at the St. Petersburg Interfaith Association) will be held Sunday, January 15, at 4 p.m. at Christ Gospel Church, 2512 22nd Ave. S, St. Petersburg, FL 33712. The service will feature a speaker from Gibbs High School as well as the Tampa Bay Area Youth Choir.
SUN, JAN 15 WRITERS RESIST: Writers Resist is an international event taking place around the world. Locally, writers and musicians will offer music and the spoken word as a “reinauguration” of the principles of free expression and human rights. All are welcome to participate in this event which is being coordinated by Sarah Lain, Vita Uth’s granddaughter. Sarah read a beautiful poem at the dedication of the Peace Pole at LUCC in September. The event will be held at Mt Zion Progressive Missionary Baptist Church, 955 20th St S, St. Petersburg, FL 33712, on Sunday, January 15th, 2017 from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.
MON, JAN 16 STILL I RISE-STORIES OF RESILIENCE: This event, presented by Living Mirror Playback Theater, is sponsored by the Alternatives to Violence Project. It is inspired by the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the poetry of Maya Angelou. This rejuvenating evening of theater involves enacting true stories of resilience and transformation. It will take place on Monday Jan. 16, 2017 at the Friends Meeting House, 130 19th Ave. S., St. Petersburg, FL 33705. The evening begins with a potluck dinner at 5:30. Please bring a dish to share. The theater presentation begins at 6:45 p.m.
SUN, JAN 19 YOU CAN’T SAY THAT: St. Petersburg College presents Free Speech and the Social Sensitivity Movement, January 19, 2017, 6-8:15 p.m., Seminole Campus Conference Center, St. Petersburg College, 9200 113th St. N. Seating is limited and online registration is required. http://solutions.spcollege.edu or call 727-394-6942 for more information.

CONTINUING LAKEWOOD UCC EVENTS

CIRCLES OF CARING: Lakewood UCC has chosen to be one of the three local congregations participating in “Creating Unbroken Circles of Caring,” a program to help seriously ill people maintain meaningful contact with their spiritual communities. If you are interested in participating in this project contact Lakewood UCC member, Jim Andrews, Director of Spiritual Care at Suncoast Hospice (JamesAndrews@thehospice.org).
USHERS NEEDED: Please sign up to usher for services during the month of December. The signup sheet is on the bulletin board at the back of the church.
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. Please take them and share them.
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.
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 athttps://soundcloud.com/luccpodcasts – please tell your friends who might enjoy listening! Keep checking back, more and more will be added each week.
childrenYOUNG PEOPLE AT LAKEWOOD: Children and young people are a vital part of the LUCC family. All children participate in the beginning of the worship service. Elementary age children and younger are invited to participate in Children’s Time during the service. After Children’s Time elementary children are welcome in Church School Grace Lewis with assistance from others in the congregation are the teachers this year. Preschool children are welcome in the Nursery under the able care of Claudia Rodriguez. Middle and High School students participate in the Lakewood service on Sunday morning and attend the youth groups at Pass A Grille Beach Community United Church of Christ on Sunday evening during the school year. Children and young people are an integral part of this church family and the intergenerational relationships that form in this small congregation are truly a blessing!
roofRAISING THE ROOF! The church has been informed by competent professionals, that the roof will need to be replaced probably within a year or two. The Advisors do not want to jump up one Sunday and beg for a huge amount of money. Therefore, you are being asked for Shekels for Shingles. Have you a few spare coins…$1’s,…. $5’s? If we scrape now, we won’t have to dig as deeply later. Please place donations in the bottle on the back table in the sanctuary.
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.
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 at www.facebook.com/LakewoodUCC and on Twitter at twitter.com/lakewoodUCC.
recycle1RECYCLE: Recycle your print cartridges, cell phones, and all paper. At this time we CANNOT recycle toner cartridges, only inkjet cartridges. Keep it coming in! Many thanks to all who contribute to the church recycling. This income stream helps the ministry of the church.
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LUNCH BUNCH: This informal and open group gathers at a local restaurant for lunch and lively conversation after the service. Please check with one of the regulars – Don Ritchie or Ruth Halderman – about the details each week.
AA: In the Fellowship Hall Thursdays at 7:45 p.m.


CIRCLE OF CONCERN
Mary Beth Lewis, Jean Johnson, Lloyd Conover,
Jill Presley Cox and family, Betty Harris,
Gertie Pirazzini, Carolyn Moore, Virginia Bodendorfer,
The USA
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