Weekly Update 11/27

This Sunday:  This Sunday is the First Sunday of Advent.  Come early at 10:15 to sing songs of the season.  The candles on the Advent wreath will be lit each week.  And this is a communion Sunday.  In this season of hustle and bustle, we listen for the invitation to come home, to be home in God.  

Communion Sunday: The first Sunday of the month is a Communion Sunday.  That means the communion offering will be received.  This offering is used to help people in the church and the community with basic needs such as rent and utility assistance, bus passes, prescriptions, etc.  There has been heavy need for these funds in recent weeks.  Please consider how you can help the community through this offering.

Lakewood UCC Choir: Throughout the five Sundays of Decembers, choir rehearsals will begin at 9:40am instead of the usual 9:00am.

Advent/Christmas Season Ahead: “Come Home for the Holidays”Sunday Dec. 1 is the First Sunday of Advent.  This is a 4 week season of preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus.  Following worship on Dec. 1, the sanctuary will be decorated for the season.  Plan to stay to be part of the festivities.  There will also be an opportunity to make ornaments.  Please pick up a collection can to use for the Christmas Eve offering which will provide rent, utility, and other assistance to people in the congregation and the community.  This assistance helps people to have a home and to feel connected to others as family.  After all, we are one human family and everyone deserves a home. 

Joy of Singing: Each Sunday of Advent, the congregation is invited to join in singing favorite Christmas songs at 10:15 before morning worship. May the music of Christmas inspire joy this holy season.

Christmas Caroling: Join with others to bring the joy of the season to folks from the LUCC family who are not able to come to church. Everyone is welcome regardless of singing ability! If you aren’t feeling merry, being part of this ministry will bring joy to your heart! Please gather at the church Sunday afternoon Dec. 15 at 3:00p.m. Jim Andrews and Janet Blair will have the arrangements made and carolers will visit the homebound members of the church family.

Daily Devotions:Look for a new devotion each day in your email or at the church website to help inspire your reflection about what it means to “Come home for the holidays.” What does home mean? Where do we find it? How do we create a sense of home with others?

Sundays in Advent: Each Sunday, singing songs of the season at 10:15 and lighting the Advent wreath during worship.

Dec. 1        Communion. Making ornaments after church. Dec. 8        Fellowship with home made cookies after church. Bring your favorite homemade cookies to share. Packages will be made and delivered to homebound members of the church family. Dec. 15      Christmas Caroling in the afternoon. Dec. 22      A special intergenerational, interactive service that will end with lining the cradle in preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus.

Christmas Eve: 6:30      Music of the Season 7:00     Service with candlelight and communion. All ages welcome! Transportation provided. please contact the church office.

Straw Labyrinth: Come home for the holidays. There will be a straw labyrinth installed on the church grounds. This is an opportunity to reflect on what “home for the holidays” means to you through walking meditation. The walking will provide an image for making our way home to God in this holy season. The labyrinth will be open and available for use all the time. Come at your convenience. There will be printed sheets provided to guide your reflection.

During the Advent season there will be two opportunities to be part of a group-guided walk on the labyrinth. These will be held Wednesday Dec. 11th and Wednesday Dec. 18th at 3:00p.m. There will be a time for gathering, reading of scripture, reflection, and walking. All are welcome!

Rev. Wells Away: Kim will be away Tuesday Nov. 26-Friday Nov. 29.  For pastoral care concerns, please contact Rev. Victoria Long at vlongrunner@gmail.com .

Advisors for 2020: It’s time to think about who will serve as advisors for the church for 2020.  The advisors are responsible for overseeing the life of the church including finances, personnel, property and grounds, and other administrative concerns.  In addition, they help to “advise” about all aspects of church life.  The term is for one year.  Are there people you would like to see serving as advisors next year?  Would you like to serve as an advisor?  There are forms available at church for you to fill out with the names of people you would like to see as advisors including yourself.  Please put the forms in the Leadership Selection envelope on the bulletin board at church.  The names suggested will provide the pool of people to be considered to serve for the next year.  Many thanks for your participation in this important process at LUCC!

Winter Wonderland: Toy snd Gift Collection  for Maximo Children Dec. 1-Dec. 8. LUCC, you may bring your toys/gifts to the church and they will be delivered to the school!  Or put a donation in an envelope marked “ Winter Wonderland.”  The children will be  choosing gifts  for themselves and/or others so small gifts for parents are also needed.  Maximo Elementary serves 16% homeless families and according to the on site social worker 99.5% under privileged families.

LUCC’s Education Ministry Team  will be collecting unwrapped toys and gifts  that folks bring to church the next four Sundays.  These will be delivered to the school.  If you are unable to shop but want to give a toy/gift  give  a donation  to the church and designate it  for “winter wonderland.”  Help plant a seed of wonder in a child’s life!  Thanks everyone!

Immigration News: “Witness at Tornillo,” a new documentary, will be shown at Tampa Theater on Saturday, Dec. 7, at 11:00, followed by a panel discussion and community conversation.  This screening is being presented by the nonprofit FL Institute for Community Studies (FICS) and is FREE and open to the public, but reservations are required.  To register, go to https://tampatheater.org/movie/witness-at-Tornillo/.  For carpooling from LUCC, see Sue Sherwood.

The film follows Josh Rubin, a Brooklyn-born activist who draws attention to the horrors of family separation and child detention on the southern border. The goal of his witnessing – which he calls “the radical act of seeing” – is to shut down the Tornillo camp and free the 2,800 migrant teenagers being held there.  He has also witnessed at Homestead, FL, and will be leading a group to Tornillo in January to bear witness at the border and offer food and support to those waiting for asylum.  The Pinellas Coalition for Immigration Justice will be organizing a group to go as well, which is open to any LUCC folks who are interested in joining this first-hand witness. 

Letter Writing: A letter writing station has been set up at church. Look for opportunities to share your faith perspective on immigration, the environment, and gun safety with elected officials.

 Roy Book Binder Concert: The concert begins at 7:00 p.m. on December 6th. Suggested donation of $20. All proceeds go to the artist. Please feel free to contact the church with any questions! lakewooducc@gmail.com or call at 727-867-7961.

Operation Attack: Operation Attack is very much in need of clothes for men, boys, and girls as well as diapers and peanut butter and canned fruit. Donations may be placed in the shopping cart in the entryway to the sanctuary. LUCC volunteer nights include sorting clothes and bagging food. All are welcome to volunteer! The next opportunity is Dec. 4 from 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Operation Attack is an ecumenical effort serving families with children located at Lakeview Presbyterian Church, 1310 22nd. Ave. S., St. Petersburg. LUCC was a founding member of Operation Attack in the 1960’s!

Hearing Augmentation: Devices are available from the usher in the sanctuary during worship.

November Birthdays: Lucille Ruga 11/9, Emily Bell 11/15, Sue Sherwood 11/15, Ed Kaspar 11/21, Lorne Palmer 11/21, Bert Lee 11/22, Bill Lindsay 11/23, Wally LeBlanc 11/23, Kai’Lyn Washington 11/27, Jane Diven 11/29. Someone missing? Contact the church office with birthday information.

Circle of Concern: Tony Rogers, David Rowland, Sherry Santana, Jen DeGroot, Carolyn Moore, Ann Quinn, Maggie Brizendine, Earl Waters, and Ann Rogers.

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Weekly Update: If you are involved with an activity or event that you would like to share with the LUCC family, please send the information to the church office by Tuesday since the Update usually is sent out on Wednesday.

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