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!
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. If you have a New Century Hymnal, you can use it. The zoom will be Saturday, December 12th at 4:00 p.m.
Please use this link to join! https://us02web.zoom.us/j/2700683648
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 third weeks readings and liturgy: https://lakewooducc.org/2020/12/09/advent-candle-lighting-liturgy-and-daily-devotions-for-week-3/
Christmas Eve Zoom and Christmas Eve Live
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!
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. Most events will be on the church lawn. If the weather bad, events will be held on the church patio adjacent to the playground.
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 Delivered at Maximo
What an amazing, inspiring day Monday was at Maximo Elementary! The toys that were collected by the Education Ministry Team were delivered to the school. What began as a request by the Family and Community Liaison, Ms. Jones, for gifts for thirty children experiencing homelessness grew and grew and grew. Partnership with the Social Justice Team at Westminster Suncoast and then St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church flourished. Generosity grew wings. When the toys were delivered there were four cars overflowing with more than one hundred fifty gifts.
Ms. Jones, along with the Principal and staff, greeted us with smiles and great appreciation. Pictures were taken and friendships made. We left Maximo having received more than we had given. Our hearts were bursting with joy.
Thanks to everyone who joined in this undertaking to spread Christmas joy to children and their parents during this very stressful time. May the pictures bring you Hope, Peace, Joy and Love as you imagine the surprise and excitement of a precious child receiving your gift.
Use the following link to see pictures: https://lakewooducc.org/2020/12/09/toys-delivered-at-maximo/
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. The patio has been pressure washed.
It is very exciting to finally see movement toward the goal of offering needed services to the seniors in our area!
Corona Sabbath Ahead
The Corona Sabbath post this week follows the theme for the Advent candles. This week the focus is joy. How do we think about rekindling joy in our lives this Advent season?
This week Claire Stiles 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.
If you would like to explore Spiritual Direction with Sally, please contact her at
firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the church (867-7961 or email@example.com ).
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, Bert and Joyce Lee, Jeff Wells, 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.
- Midweek Hymns: Advent 3 December 9, 2020
- Sermon 12/6 Preparing for Peace December 8, 2020
- Sunday Morning Music: Advent 2 December 6, 2020
- Advent Candle Lighting Liturgy and Daily Devotions for Week 2 December 4, 2020
- Corona Sabbath 38 Second Sunday of Advent PEACE December 4, 2020
- Corona Sabbath 38 Second Sunday of Advent PEACE Reflection Text December 4, 2020
- A Work in Progress December 3, 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.