These weeks when we cannot gather in person for Sunday worship, Lakewood United Church of Christ is providing brief weekly sabbath programs for you to listen to on your own or with others in your social isolation group. They will be posted on Friday so that you can schedule your sabbath time to suit your schedule and your spiritual inclinations. We hope these programs are of spiritual support to you in these difficult times.
The post this week focuses on the founding of Lakewood United Church of Christ in September of 1967. When we look back from the vantage point of today, it might seem like a strange time to be founding a church. And yet here we are. And it is another VERY strange time. The Bible helps us to see why the church was important then, and why it is VERY important now!
This post includes two scripture readings offered by Jim Andrews, a reflection from Rev. Kim Wells, and a musical offering from Hilton Jones. We hope this post helps to feed your spirit in these uncertain times.
You are invited to find a quiet space, inside or outside. Light a candle. Since this post focuses on Lakewood Church and Charter Sunday, you may want to have something in view that reminds you of the church. Take a look around you. Breathe. Life-giving breath. Be present.
You may begin with this reading:
Show me the suffering of the most miserable;
So I will know my people’s plight.
Free me to pray for others;
For you are present in every person.
Help me to take responsibility for my own life;
So that I can be free at last.
Grant me courage to serve others;
For in service there is true life.
Give me honesty and patience;
So that I can work with other workers.
Bring forth song and celebration;
So that the spirit will be alive among us.
Let the spirit flourish and grow;
So we will never tire of the struggle.
Let us remember those who have died for justice;
For they have given us life.
Help us love even those who hate us;
So we can change the world.
–Written by Cesar E. Chavez, UFW Founder (1927-1993)
This prayer was chosen because since its founding in 1967, LUCC has supported the farm worker movement. The words of this prayer embody not only the hopes and dreams of the Farm Workers but also of the LUCC congregation.
When you are ready, start the audio below.
As you listen to the music which follows, you are invited to notice the thoughts and feelings that arise for you.
After viewing the music video, you are invited to offer the following closing –
You are the Promise of our wholeness,
You await our readiness
to choose Life.
Your covenant of Love stands firm
through all the ages;
You forgive us when we stray
far from Home.
Help us to learn to trust You,
to untangle the webs of illusion
we have made.
As we sift through our dreams,
guide us to the only Dream
that brings peace –
knowing we belong to You.
Give us wisdom and courage
to release all that binds us;
for to face what is built on illusion
is to find new life.
–From Psalms for Praying by Nan C. Merrill
Breathe. Breathe again. Be filled. With the desire for wholeness. Extinguish your candle and engage whatever may come with a sense of peace and a desire to serve.
- A Just Peace Church
An Open and Affirming Church
A Creation Justice Church
- 2601 54th Avenue South, St Petersburg, FL 33712-4700
see the Contact page for
map, personnel, and email addresses
The mission of Lakewood United Church of Christ, as part of the Church Universal, is to:
- Celebrate the presence and power of God in our lives and in our world;
- Offer the hospitality and inclusive love of Christ to all people;
- Work for God’s peace and justice throughout creation.
USEFUL LAKEWOOD LINKS DURING THE CORONA CRISIS:
- Corona Sabbath Posts
- Sermon and Reflection Texts
- Music at Lakewood
- Lakewood UCC YouTube Channel
- Lakewood UCC on Twitter
- Lakewood on Facebook
- Lakewood on Instagram