Christmas Eve Service of Lessons and Carols

What wondrous things we now behold!
Christmas Eve Service of Lessons and Carols
Candlelight and Communion
Childcare provided
6:30 p.m. Music of the Season
7:00 p.m. Service

trial of circle nativity tree copy

Lakewood United Church of Christ
Rev. Kim Wells, pastor
We don’t tolerate diversity, we celebrate it!
A Just Peace Church and An Open and Affirming Church
Regular Sunday Service 10:30 a.m.
a professionally staffed nursery is available during services
Church School, Sunday 10:30 a.m.
2601 54th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33712 — (727) 867-7961


Musicians from the St. Petersburg Conservatory in Russia to perform at Lakewood UCC

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Svetlana and VladimirSvetlana Nikonova and Vladimir Zakharevitch — both from the St. Petersburg Conservatory in Russia, and now living in Washington, D. C. — will play at Lakewood UCC during the 10:30 a.m. service, December 8th, 2013.

Svetlana plays the domra and Vladimir plays the bayan. They are world class musicians, not to be missed.


Gabriel Preisser to sing at Lakewood service September 29th

gabriel-preisser-resizedGabriel Preisser, who is singing the part of Mercutio in The St. Petersburg Opera Company‘s production of Charles Gounod’s Romeo & Juliet, Friday, October 4, 2013, 7:30pm, Sunday, October 6, 2:00pm Matinee, and Tuesday, October 8, 7:30pm, will be singing at the Lakewood UCC 10:30am service, Sunday, September 29th.

The following is from the St. Petersburg Opera website:

“Praised for his ‘matinee idol charm and charisma,’ ‘a beautiful, luscious baritone,’ and ‘a compelling, commanding stage presence’ by Opera News, the Star Tribune, the Houston Chronicle, the Pioneer Press, and others, he recently once again received rave reviews for his performance of Lt. Gordon in the world premiere of Kevin Putz’s Pulitzer Prize winning Silent Night with Minnesota Opera.

“Mr. Preisser has been seen in several new works including the title role in Aldridge’s Elmer Gantry, Tom Joad in Gordon’s The Grapes of Wrath, and Riolobo in Catan’s Florencia en el Amazonas, all at the Moores Opera Center, Antonio in Hagen’s New York Stories at Kentucky Opera, John Brooke in Adamo’s Little Women, and the Shoe Salesman/Puppet role in Argento’s Postcard from Morroco, both at Pensacola Opera.

“His wide range of performed repertoire has included Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Danilo in The Merry Widow, the title role in Don Giovanni, Albert in Werther, Schaunard in La Bohème, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, Prince Ottokar in Der Freischütz, Marullo in Rigoletto, Yamadori in Madame Butterfly, Falke in Die Fledermaus, Larry Foreman in The Cradle will Rock, and Bob Baker in Wonderful Town with such companies as Minnesota Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Utah Festival Opera, Pensacola Opera, Kentucky Opera, Skylark Opera, and others

“He was a resident artist at Minnesota Opera, Kentucky Opera, and Pensacola Opera and an apprentice artist at Des Moines Metro Opera. In the competition circuit, he has been honored as a district winner in the Met National Councils and won the American finals of the International Lirico Concorso Competition this past summer. Mr. Preisser graduated summa cum laude from Florida State University with a double major in Vocal Performance and Commercial Music and completed a Masters in Voice at the University of Houston. This will be Gabriel’s first appearance performing on the stage of St. Petersburg Opera Company.”

The role which Mr. Preisser will be performing is Mercutio, who, according to the SPO site, is a “friend of Romeo, and relative of the Prince, who relies on satire and serves as comic relief to the melancholy mood of Romeo. He is responsible for making the young lovers aware of the practical aspects of love.”

For more information on Mr. Preisser and the SPO’s production of Romeo & Juliet and to purchase tickets online go HERE. Group rates are available.


Zachary Blair sings his original song at Lakewood


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and then again for a closeup.

On Peace Sunday, September 22, 2013, Zach Blair, one of Lakewood’s youth, performed a song, One Day, for which he had written both words and music. He did a great job and was well received by the congregation.

For more of Zach’s music go to

To listen to Zach sing his song, One Day, at Lakewood, click on the following link.


Choir August Evening Rehearsal

choirJust a reminder that the Choir’s August Evening Rehearsal is this coming Wednesday, August 28th, 7pm til 8:30pm.

Also, please note that this rehearsal–and all following evening rehearsals–will start at 7pm and not 7:30pm as the earlier ones did.

At lot was accomplished at the last evening rehearsal. They really do give us the luxury to concentrate on the material. Looking forward to seeing you all who are in town on the 28th.


Stan Hunter Trio Live at the Palladium

Thursday, Jul. 25, 7:30p — Some of the Bay area’s best jazz musicians come together to celebrate Stan Hunter, the pianist and Hammond B3 player. Patrick Bettison leads an all-star band and Stan himself joins in the concert for the finale. A night of jazz standards and original music by this legendary jazz master.

Tickets $18, $20 day of show. Go to to buy tickets and for more information.


Russian Festival Concert

Some LUCC members have expressed an interest in attending the Russian Festival Concert. We are attempting to arrange car pooling to the Sarasota Opera House. If you are planning to go and have space in your vehicle, or if you need a ride, contact Bill Parsons (

Tickets to the concert are $20 at the door. Members and friends of LUCC may purchase tickets in advance for $15. Contact Bill Parsons by July 7 for further information.

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RH July 2013 News.f


TRIBE to Offer Music Ministry at LUCC Sunday Feb. 17

TRIBE will be participating in worship next Sunday offering their gospel music ministry. A sister duo composed of Natalie Jackson-Fuller and Dionne Kersh, TRIBE has been performing for many years. The group comes to us through their association with LUCC member Mary Stokes and her friend Jerry Mims. Natalie and Dionne are Jerry’s daughters. To learn more about TRIBE, visit their website at We look forward to welcoming TRIBE to Lakewood!


Drum Circle Against Gun Violence UPDATE

When and Where:
3PM, Sunday, February 17
Lakewood UCC
St. Pete, FL

Over twenty years ago, Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart defined “drum circles” during testimony before the United States Senate Special Committee on Aging:

“Typically, people gather to drum in drum ‘circles’ with others from the surrounding community. The drum circle offers equality because there is no head or tail. It includes people of all ages. The main objective is to share rhythm and get in tune with each other and themselves. To form a group consciousness. To entrain and resonate. By entrainment, I mean that a new voice, a collective voice, emerges from the group as they drum together.”

In this Spirit, a community-wide “Drumming for Peace to Stop Gun Violence” will be held on Sunday, February 17 at 3pm at Lakewood UCC in St. Petersburg. Drummers hope to create a positive space, connect with each other, and be spiritually grounded as we work together to promote peace in our communities.

“Drumming for Peace to Stop Gun Violence” is free and open to the public. Lakewood UCC ( is located at 2601 54th Avenue. Bring your own drum (BYOD) and other percussion instruments to share. The event is hosted by the UCC Pinellas Plus Clergy Group. For more information, contact the Rev. Kim Wells at 727-867-7961.


Christmas Caroling

Be part of bringing the Glad Tidings of the season to the members and friends of the church who are homebound through Christmas caroling. All ages are welcome to come and share songs of the season that lift the spirits. Gather at church on Saturday Dec. 14 at 4:00 p.m. and we will carpool to various homes concluding with refreshments and good cheer.


Harpist John McColley performs Easter Sunday at Lakewood UCC

John McColley, harpist

John McColley, harpist

This year, the 10:30am Easter service will have some very special music: harpist, John McColley. John began playing the harp at age 12 after watching Harpo Marx play one in The Marx Brothers Classic, A Night at The Opera. Enthralled, he begged his parents to allow him to play this magnificent instrument, and they obliged. He has studied under some of the premiere harpists in the country, including Anna-Kate Mackle, Kay Kemper, and Rebecca Bak. In high school, John was Principal Harpist of the Tampa Bay Youth Orchestra. John attended Stetson University for one year on a full harp scholarship. Always pursuing excellence in his instrument, John will be studying at Florida Gulf Coast University starting this fall, with the goal of landing an orchestral position. A native of Tampa, John plays at many venues in the bay area making events very special.

At the Easter 10:30am service, Mr. McColley will be performing the following selections:

Canon in D — Pachelbel
Grand Merè Raconte Une Histoire — Reniè
Sonatina, Mov. I — Clementi
Vltava — Smetana
Trumpet Voluntary — Purcell
PRELUDE: Prelude — J.S Bach
COMMUNION MUSIC: Concerto in D major, Movements I & II — Vivaldi
OFFERTORY: Chanson dans la Nuit — Salzedo


Come on, get happy!

I recently read this:

Choral singing is the most popular and durable arts-related participatory activity in the United States. Nationally 28.5 million people sing in one or more of about 250,000 chorus groups. There may be mental and physiological reasons for this: singing , particularly in groups, makes people happy. While singing releases endorphins, the feel-good chemical of the brain, choral singing has the greatest effect on people’s happiness. In an Australian study in 2008 choral singers on average expressed greater happiness than the general public, even when those singers were carrying greater burdens than the average person not singing in choirs. The benefits of choral singing in particular come from the fact that it is a social activity, which gives people a sense of belonging and combats loneliness. [From The Christian Century, Feb. 8, 2012, p. 8, quoted from]

There is still room for YOU in the Lakewood UCC church choir. Rehearsals are Sunday mornings at 9:15 in the church sanctuary under the direction of the amazing Hilton Kean Jones. Sing hallelujah! Come on, get happy!


The Organ

Shortly before Christmas, the organ died. After a number of failed attempts to get a technician to diagnose the problem, we finally got a technician to come out who delivered the sad news that the organ cannot be resuscitated without every chip being removed and individually tested–a prohibitive procedure. He recommended the organ be given away. We have placed the following ad on, which can be seen at If you know someone who might be interested in such a hobbyist project or for parts value, please refer them to this ad.


A non-working, model ADC 7000-DYC, 3-manual, AGO pedal-board Allen
Digital Organ, serial number 43767, with bench and 8 separate Allen
Organ speakers. (Folding, rolling organ platform pictured is NOT
included.) Good for parts or possible repair by independent technician
or hobbyist.


Special music this coming Sunday

This coming Sunday we have a guest soloist, Katie Aucremann. Katie grew up in St. Petersburg, Florida, graduated from Northside Christian High School, graduated from Wheaton College with a Bachelors of Music Education, and went on to receive her Masters of Music in Euphonium Performance from Northwestern University School of Music. Katie recently returned to St. Petersburg and teaches low brass, privately, at Dunedin and Northside high schools. She attends St. Petersburg First Presbyterian Church and assists with their youth choir.

This Sunday, she’ll be performing Meditation from Thaïs by Massenet and the Laudate Dominum from Vesperae Solemnes by Mozart. This is a treat not to be missed!


Messiah Sing-Along at Church of the Isles UCC

Church of the Isles UCC in Indian Rocks Beach is having its 2nd Annual “Sing-Along Messiah” on Sunday, December 18, 2011 at 2pm.

It’s open to everyone. If you wish to sing, arrive by 1:30pm to register so you can be seated in your proper vocal section. They will have some scores available for purchase at the door (they’re using the G. Schirmer edition), but you should bring your own if you can.

One may participate in the giant choir or be in the audience. (Scores are needed only if you sing in the choir.) A freewill offering will be taken to help defray expenses.

Their address is 200 24th Avenue, Indian Rocks Beach 33785 (two blocks east off Gulf Boulevard), 727-595-1038.


Lakewood’s Craigslist Wurlitzer Ad

Please tell anyone you think might be interested in a good used piano, to check out Lakewood’s Craigslist advertisement for our Wurlitzer Studio Upright at

A copy of the add is below.

Wurlitzer Studio Upright – $1200 (South St. Petersburg)

Date: 2011-09-27, 9:38AM EDT
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]

Wurlitzer Studio Upright and bench. $1200 or best offer. Finish, action, and strings all in good condition. Its large rubber casters make movement very easy. Suitable for a small church, school, or music instructor. Instrument has been well cared for. Only replaced because of upgrade to Steinway. A real bargain. Any reasonable offer considered. Already priced below comparable instruments offered online.

  • Location: South St. Petersburg
  • it’s NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
image 1

PostingID: 2619757674


Lakewood gets an organ

Faith UCC in Clearwater, which is now building sharing with another congregation while maintaining its autonomy as a congregation, donated, completely free of charge, its 3 manual Allen organ to Lakewood. Many thanks to them and a very special thanks to (left to right, below) Bill, Kim, John, David, Robin, Dina, Ed, and Phil (behind the camera) who moved the massive organ and 8-speaker speaker system from the old Faith UCC building into Lakewood last night. This coming Sunday morning, there will be an extended prelude and whiz-bang postlude featuring many of the sounds of the new organ. Come enjoy the new sounds at Lakewood.


Choir rehearsals start again!

don't forget Choir rehearsals start again this coming Sunday, January 9th, at 9:15am-10am.
Starting this Sunday, we’re going to sing in church every Sunday that I’m there.
At this Sunday’s rehearsal I will collect all the old music and hand out the new music for the pre-Lenten season.
In church, this coming Sunday, we will sing “Have This Love” which we’ve rehearsed before but never had a chance to sing in church.
I’m looking forward to choir starting again.
Newcomers are welcome!!!

church choir

Displaying Peace

I happened to be at church today and saw the Christmas decorations–they’re really nice. I especially liked the display along the window which I understand is called Displaying Peace. Rev. Wells and the the Advent committee will have more to tell about that, but for now, I just wanted to give everyone a visual sneak preview via a YouTube video. (The sound track is one of my old organ arrangements.) The following link will take you to YouTube to see the video.
Displaying Piece