Weekly Update 12/16

Christmas Eve Zoom and Christmas Eve Live

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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

Advent Season!

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 fourth weeks readings and liturgy: https://lakewooducc.org/2020/12/17/advent-candle-lighting-liturgy-and-daily-devotions-for-week-4/


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!


Hilton is posting all the Thanksgiving, Chanukah, and Christmas music he’s done for Lakewood UCC during the holidays at https://soundcloud.com/hilton-kean-jones/sets/traditional-holiday-music.

The LUCC Care Team is on the road for the holidays!

The Care Team made a Christmas drive by to Westminster Suncoast Sunday, December 13th.  Their sleigh (Emily’s car) was filled with poinsettias for the LUCC residents, and their hearts were filled with joy.  The day was beautiful, a sunny day perfect for enjoying some Christmas carols and a little dance by Claire. Patti and Claire then delivered a poinsettia for Marg and Dave Radens and had a lovely visit with Marg on her front porch!  It was a splendid day for sharing love, joy, peace, and hope—the themes of Advent, the mission of the LUCC Care Teams.

please use the link to see pictures on the church website: https://lakewooducc.org/2020/12/15/the-lucc-care-team-is-on-the-road-for-the-holidays/

Celebrating Joy the Third Sunday of Advent

Another beautiful Sunday morning for worship out on the lawn of the church.  There will be another Sunday morning outdoor service Dec. 20 at 10:30.  There will also be an outdoor service on Christmas Eve at 7:00 p.m.  Bring your own chair if you can.  Masks and distancing required.  All welcome!

use the link to see pictures: https://lakewooducc.org/2020/12/15/celebrating-joy-the-third-sunday-of-advent/

In-Person Events! 

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. 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.

Winter Solstice Celebration

This gathering will be a celebration of darkness and light. The shortest day of the year focuses attention on the meaning of light and its importance.  The gathering will take place around a fire.  Bring a reading or a quote or a poem or a reflection about darkness and light.  Maybe we will even witness the converging of the stars!  

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!

For more pictures please use the following link: https://lakewooducc.org/2020/12/16/work-under-way-for-adult-day-care/

Corona Sabbath Ahead

The Corona Sabbath post this week follows the theme for the Advent candles. This week the focus is Love.

This week Jim Andrews 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 Taking a Break

Weekly demonstrations to end racism will resume Sunday January 10 at 4:30 p.m..  Many thanks to all who are participating.  While there is a break in the demonstrations, we know that there is no break in the systemic racism that is harmful to everyone.  As the New Year begins, add your presence to this weekly demonstration making a witness to your commitment to anti racism.

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
sallybpurvis@icloud.com or contact the church (867-7961 or lakewooducc@gmail.com ).

The church is very grateful to Sally for offering this avenue of support to the congregation and the community.


For the above church website links, please note the “Older Posts” button near the bottom of each page.

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. 

 Please note that the church office will be closed the week of Dec. 28.

Recent Posts:

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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