When we had the Christmas in July Zoom celebration we enjoyed hearing the Christmas story and singing carols. Well, there is another Zoom Christmas Eve service planned for 5:00 p.m. on Dec. 24th. There will also be an in-person outdoor service at 7:00 p.m.
The theme for this Advent season at LUCC is Rekindle the Gift from a verse from 2 Timothy. This is certainly a season to ‘rekindle’ after all that we have been through! Each week, the Corona Sabbath and daily devotions will focus on the traditional themes for the candles of the Advent Wreath. Rekindle Hope. Rekindle Peace. Rekindle Joy. And Rekindle Love.
Please see the details below for the Advent season. May you find needed hope, peace, joy, and love this season!
Advent Devotions – Posted at the Website
A booklet of devotions has been prepared for the Advent season with a reading for each day and liturgy for the lighting of Advent candles at home each Sunday. These devotions are also posted weekly at the church website. May these devotions help to rekindle hope, peace, joy, and love this holy season.
Please use the link below to read the first weeks readings and liturgy: https://lakewooducc.org/2020/11/28/advent-candle-lighting-liturgy-and-daily-devotions-for-week-1/
In these difficult and challenging days, celebrating the birth of Jesus is more important than ever. Jesus, too, was born in difficult times. His birth reminds us that God is with us, in joy and in sorrow, in times of fear and challenge as well as times of awe and wonder.
You are invited to celebrate the birth of Jesus with the LUCC church family. The same service will be offered two ways on Christmas Eve.
At 5:00 p.m. there will be a Zoom/FaceBook live service. Go to the church FaceBook page and click on the lower left. Here’s the link for Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/2700683648
At 7:00 p.m. there will be an in person version of the same service on the church grounds. Masks and physical distancing will be maintained. There will be no singing. Bring a chair and a flashlight so you can read the bulletin. In case of rain, the service will be held on the covered patio adjacent to the playground.
Rekindle the Gifts of God: Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love
In the uncharted territory we are facing this year, the church will be trying something new. The church family is invited to bring poinsettias to church on the Sundays in December before Christmas. They will beautify our worship space and they will be taken to those who are homebound and in need of special care in the congregation. So, if you would like to, please bring a poinsettia or poinsettias to church. Many thanks!
Carol Sing Ahead
Missing singing those favorite Christmas carols? A Zoom carol sing is being planned. Hilton will play and everyone on the Zoom will safely sing at home. In the past, each Advent season there has been a caroling event to visit the homebound. Since Corona has us all somewhat homebound, this year, there will be caroling for everyone who can access Zoom. The zoom will be Saturday, December 12th at 4:00 p.m.
Please use this link to join! https://us02web.zoom.us/j/2700683648
Congregational Care Visits Planned
While it is not safe to go caroling this year, the Care Team has plans for safe visits and drive bys to those in the congregation who are isolated or in need of Christmas cheer. Hopefully these visits will be meaningful to those who participate and will help to rekindle hope, peace, joy, and love!
The church is experimenting with a ‘soft’ re-opening. There will be in- person gatherings and services outside, with masks, and physical distancing. There will be no singing. Participants are encouraged to bring their own chairs. Some will also be available at the church. If the weather is wet, the events will be held on the patio.
Here’s what’s coming:
In addition, the weekly guided labyrinth walks will continue on Wednesday mornings at 9:00 a.m. and weekly anti-racism demonstrations will continue on Sunday evenings at 4:30p.m. All are welcome.
For those who want to remain engaged with the church ‘remotely’, the church will continue to post a weekly Corona Sabbath with a scripture reading, reflection from Rev. Wells, and music from Hilton Jones. Paper copies of the Corona Sabbath and the Update will continue to be sent to those who do not use the internet.
After this period of experimentation, there will be a discussion about how to proceed into the New Year.
TOYS for HOMELESS CHILDREN
Our church family along with the Social Justice Team at Westminster Suncoast has been extremely generous in supporting Maximo Elementary’s children. To date we have donated uniforms, underwear and Covid 19 supplies which included masks for children.
Ms. Jones has identified 30 homeless children at the school for whom the Education Ministry Team is going to purchase toys and books for Christmas gifts using available funds. For those who would personally enjoy buying toys for these children please do so. The toys may be brought to the outdoor Advent services on December 6th and 13th. Toys may also be dropped off at the church Tues.-Friday, 9:30-noon. The toys will be picked up for delivery to the school on Monday, December 14th.
Questions? Call, email or text Emily Bell.
THANKS EVERYONE , those who have already donated and those who will personally purchase toys, for helping to make Christmas 2020 special for a homeless child.
LUCC ‘s Education Ministry Team
Work Under Way for Adult Day Care
Finally after a year and a half of planning, the renovations of the Fellowship Hall are underway to prepare for the Adult Day Care program sponsored by Neighborly Services! So far, a railing has been installed to the back entrance of the Fellowship Hall and the demolition is underway to prepare for the three accessible restrooms that are being installed. It is very exciting to finally see movement toward the goal of offering needed services to the seniors in our area!
Leadership Selection Process
Each year the congregation is invited to offer names of people that they would like to serve as advisors for the church for the coming year. Church members are also welcome to volunteer to serve.
Advisors are charged with seeing that the life and ministry of LUCC is an embodiment of the mission statement of the church. In addition, the Advisors function in an administrative capacity regarding budget and finance, property, program, and personnel. They serve as the pastoral relations committee fostering a positive relationship between the congregation and the pastor.
The advisors have been meeting at least once a month, sometimes in person and sometimes virtually. This depends on the will of the group.
Please suggest names of those you think would serve well as Advisors for the coming year. You may email firstname.lastname@example.org
Corona Sabbath Ahead
The Corona Sabbath post this week follows the theme for the Advent candles. This week the focus is peace. How do we think about rekindling peace in our lives this Advent season? See Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13.
This week Sue Sherwood is reading the scripture, there is a reflection from Rev. Wells, and music from Hilton Jones.
If you missed last week’s Corona Sabbath here’s the link:
Anti-Racism Demonstrations Continue on Sundays
Weekly demonstrations to end racism continue in front of the church each Sunday. Beginning Dec. 6, the demonstrations will begin at 4:30. Bring a sign or use one of the signs provided. Regardless of the outcome of the election, this witness is an important demonstration of Christian values and moral values. All are welcome to join in!
And use the following link to see pictures from the last demonstration.
In case of rain, the demonstration will not be held that week. Know justice, know peace!
Weekly Labyrinth Walks Continue
Each Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. a small group gathers at the outdoor labyrinth for a time of devotion, discussion, and meditative walking of the labyrinth. The theme for the week is taken from the Corona Sabbath of the week before, so it is an opportunity to go deeper in the spiritual exploration of that theme for your life. This devotional gathering is outside and physical distancing is maintained. All are welcome!
If there is rain on Wednesday morning, the gathering will be held on Thursday morning at 9:00.
Spiritual Direction Offered by LUCC Clergy Member.
In these troubled times, it is important to find ways to tend to our spiritual lives. In the Christian tradition, Spiritual Direction is one of the ways of paying attention to the spirit in our lives. A Spiritual Director is someone to talk with about what is going on in our spiritual life and in our relationship with God however we may conceive of God.
Rev. Sally Purvis, Ph.D., a member of LUCC, is a retired clergy person with training and experience in Spiritual Direction. She is offering her services as a Spiritual Director to the community. The sessions would be held on Zoom and there is no fee to be paid. Church leaders are pleased to have the ministry of the church expand in this way.
Spiritual Direction with Sally is open to anyone, not just the congregation. And it is offered to everyone whatever their spiritual or religious background or affiliation or lack thereof. Sessions are generally held once every three weeks. Spiritual Direction is not a mode of therapy. It is a process for understanding and deepening your relationship with God/Spirit in ways that are authentic and life-giving.
Sally was trained by Henri Nouwen, a noted spiritual guide of the 20th century, and did Spiritual Direction as part of her professional ministry before retiring in 2015.
The church is very grateful to Sally for offering this avenue of support to the congregation and the community.
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
- Daily Corona Prayer
For the above church website links, please note the “Older Posts” button near the bottom of each page.
About Hilton’s music. . . If you would enjoy hearing Hilton play more Irish folk songs, you can
listen for free at either https://hiltonjones.bandcamp.com/album/irish-
tunes or https://soundcloud.com/hilton-kean-jones/sets/irish-tunes .
December Birthdays: Becky Palmer 12/16, Amaiya Washington 12/18, George Diven 12/27, Melanie Moore 12/27, Someone missing? Contact the church office with birthday information.
Circle of Concern: JoAnn Reid, William Owen, Wilbur Reid, Jen Degroot, Carolyn Moore, Ann Quinn, Maggie Brizendine, Dave Radens, teachers, students, and school personnel, and all healthcare workers and essential workers. All those suffering from COVID-19.
Please keep LUCC member, Olivia Gibson, in your prayers. She is a nurse in a COVID-19 unit in a local hospital. We are grateful for her ministry!
Church Office Hours: Tuesday-Friday 9:30-noon.
- Anti-Racism Demonstration 11/27 December 1, 2020
- Midweek Hymns Advent 1 2020 December 1, 2020
- Sunday Morning Music: Advent 1 November 29, 2020
- Advent Candle Lighting Liturgy and Daily Devotions for Week 1 November 28, 2020
- Corona Sabbath 37 First Sunday of Advent HOPE November 28, 2020
- Corona Sabbath 37 First Sunday of Advent HOPE Reflection Text November 28, 2020
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.