Weekly Update 2/10

In Person Outdoor Services

Weekly services are being held on Sundays at 10:30 a.m. The services are held outside on the lawn. Masks are to be worn and physical distancing will be observed. Please bring your own chair if you can.

Childcare provided.

If the weather is bad, the service will be held on the patio adjacent to the playground.

It should be another beautiful Sunday for worship out on the church lawn! This Sunday is Valentine’s Day.  So, yes, the service will be focused on Love!  Celebrate Love!  Come to church! 

The bulletin and text of the Sunday sermon will be posted at the website early in the week and there will be regular posts of music and music videos from Hilton Jones.

Here’s the link for last Sunday’s service: https://lakewooducc.org/2021/02/10/sunday-service-2-7-21/

Lent Ahead

Next week, the season of Lent begins.  Like a seed in the ground during the winter months, Lent is a time of preparation for the new life that we celebrate at Easter.  The Lenten season begins on Ash Wednesday and lasts 40 days not including Sundays.  It is traditionally a season of repentance; a time to turn your life back toward God, Spirit, Divine Love, however you envision that.  The Lenten season at LUCC this year will be a time to reflect with women mystics of centuries past and consider the wisdom they offer for our walk of faith today. 

Ash Wednesday Ahead

Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 17 this year.  There will be a beautiful fireside service held on the church grounds that evening at 7:00 p.m.  Bring a chair if you can.  Masks will be worn and there will be physical distancing.  It will be a meaningful start to the journey into Lent, the 40 days of preparation for the celebration of Easter.  

Advisors to Meet

The Advisors will meet on Sunday at noon.  If you have things you would like the advisors to discuss, please contact one of them and share your ideas:  Patti Cooksey, Jane Diven, Lucille Ruga, and Malcolm Wells. 

Introducing our Little Free Library!

In addition to the updated and comfortable library for members and friends of Lakewood inside our doors, a Little Free Library now stands in front of our office under the windows facing Caesar Way South. The box is a reclaimed Tampa Bay Times tabloid dispenser that was donated to St. Pete Shush*, a small organization that has distributed 130 Little Free Libraries throughout St. Petersburg.  Lucille Ruga Learned that the driving force behind St. Pete Shush, Kristine Dowham, was planning on rehabbing and distributing 30 new libraries for her 30th birthday. In early January Kristine placed Lakewood UCC on the list.  On Sunday, January 31st, our deep purple box was delivered and mounted on a platform of large pavers provided by Claire Stiles.  Soon, our location will be posted on the international Little Free Library online map so seekers of a book exchange from all over can find it, now stocked with a variety for all ages and all tastes, awaiting readers who are invited in bold white letters to TAKE A BOOK and  SHARE A BOOK.

*Shush is the collective noun for a group of librarians, like a pride of lions or a school of fish.

Ministry Reports

Inspite of the covid pandemic, the ministry of LUCC was full and vibrant in 2020.  Brief reports about many of the ministries of the church were prepared for the Congregational Meeting that was held on Zoom on Sunday Jan. 31.  Please use this link to see the reports at the church website.  It is very inspiring!


Congregational Meeting Endorsed Spending Plan

Last Sunday at the Congregational Meeting on Zoom the budget for 2021 was unanimously endorsed by the congregation.  Your continued faithfulness and generosity will make this ministry plan possible.  Gratitude is expressed to all who are able to financially support LUCC.  If you are able, please consider increasing your giving to the church in 2021.  Many thanks to all for your faithful, persistent ministry! 

Here is a link to the budget:

The notes from the meeting will be posted on the website after they are approved at the next advisors meeting on Feb. 14.  

Want to make a difference? Represent LUCC on the Pinellas Coalition for Immigration Justice!

Please contact the Church if you would be interested in joining her as one of Lakewood’s two reps on the Coalition. You would represent the church at the PCIJ meeting (currently on Zoom the first Tuesday of the month at 7 PM) and serve as a liaison, reporting to the church on actions taken and encouraging LUCC participation in activities such as contacting elected representatives and promoting educational events. With a new Administration in Washington and the FL legislature’s
committee work starting now, this should be an exciting year for immigration reform! Join us in making a difference!

Adult Daycare Update

Construction is wrapping up on the facilities for the Adult Day Care at the church.  There are signs out by 54th Ave. S. letting the community know that the center will be opening soon!  Inspections and licensing approvals are underway.

The church is thrilled to be part of offering this much-needed care to the elders of the community!

Ceiling Repair Complete

Thanks to the efforts of Bert Lee, the ceiling in the sanctuary has been repaired!  The plaster was damaged due to a roof leak.  Not only did Bert eradicate the mold and mildew that had developed, he exactly matched the color of the ceiling that was painted a light green in the 1960’s!  

Now, as soon as Neighborly Services moves their furnishings to the Fellowship Hall, the church will start having indoor/outdoor services based in the sanctuary!

Operation Attack Needs

There was another successful OA Food Distribution Drive Thru in December due to caring volunteers, thankful families, and all of you.  We fed 91 families with 2 bags of non perishables, fresh produce, meat,  and dairy products.  We also gave extra food to large families (over 6 people), diapers and wipes, 50 referrals to Clothes to Kids, and 120 Christmas Goodie Bags.  The  goodie bags were donated and made by E.L.F.S., The Elected Ladies For The Savior.  Each beautifully decorated Christmas bag was filled with a juice box, chips and candy.  We were grateful to be asked to distribute these gifts to children. 

The next Food Distribution Drive Thrus will March 13.  Listed below are ways you can participate in our future Drive Thrus: 

Volunteer to pre-bag food before the Drive Thru. Purchase baby wipes and large/family size nonperishable food Donate plastic grocery bags Pray for the people/groups making this event happen Pray for the people we are serving

Thank you for your faithfulness to the people in the community who need our support right now.  Yours in Christ!

Anti-Racism Demonstrations Continue

Weekly demonstrations to end racism resumed Sunday January 10 at 4:30 p.m..  Many thanks to all who are participating.  While there was a break in the demonstrations, we know that there is no break in the systemic racism that is harmful to everyone.  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 Sunday 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.

Music from Hilton

You can watch 5 videos Hilton made as lead-ups to Martin Luther King, Jr. Day at https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLUn2RmCFhW2uAVwKQLfqJnzNmZhEK_TK5.

If you want to just hear they soundtracks, without the videos, you can hear those at https://soundcloud.com/hilton-kean-jones/sets/mlk-day.


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

February Birthdays: Jim Andrews 2/6, Jeff Wells 2/15, Joyce Lee 2/28, Someone missing? Contact the church office with birthday information.

Circle of Concern:  To the family and loved ones of Wilbur Reid, Dollie Pettis, and Irma Smith. Victoria Long, Edward Jones, William Owen, Jen Degroot, Carolyn Moore, Ann Quinn, Maggie Brizendine, Dave Radens, Joyce Lee, Wally LeBlanc, 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. 

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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