Weekly Update 2/17

Ash Wednesday Today

Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, today, 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.  

The Season of Lent

The season of Lent begins today.  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 several mystics of centuries past and consider the wisdom they offer for our walk of faith today. 

In Person Indoor/Outdoor Services

Worship this Sunday will be held in the sanctuary with indoor and outdoor seating available.  The sliding doors and the windows will be open and the fans will be on.  Masks are required and physical distancing will be observed.  

Childcare provided.

The mystic for this Sunday will be Teresa of Avila.  She is known for the image of the interior mansion or castle among many other things.  Learn about her, her experience, and what meaning and inspiration she may have for us today.

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/2021/02/16/sunday-service-2-14-21/

The hope is to have the service available to watch on FaceBook Live at 10:30 on Sunday morning or on Zoom.  Check the website for details!

The UCC is calling upon us all to add our voices for immigration justice – to make a phone call, write a post card or serve as LUCC’s rep on the Pinellas Coalition for Immigration Justice.  Will you add your voice? 

From The Rev. Dr. Karen Georgia Thompson & The Rev. Joshua Baird:

Today we call on members and local churches of the United Church of Christ to continue and expand their work in welcoming and assisting newly arrived refugees. We also urge them to call on their congressional representatives to work together to update and pass the Refugee Protection Act (such as the one previously introduced as Senate Bill 2936 and House Resolution 5210) to strengthen the refugee admissions and asylum-seeking process and establish a minimum goal for new admissions each year, making clear the U.S. commitment to its humanitarian principles.

Eckerd College Environmental Film Festival, Virtual

Eckerd students, faculty and staff have turned to the natural world for study, recreation and conservation efforts. Our campus wide immersion in concern for the health of the planet shines through many of our endeavors, including the return of the Visions of Nature/Voices of Nature Environmental Film Festival. The reimagined festival will feature online access to Viktor Kossakovsky’s Gunda, a black-and-white documentary about a sow and her piglets, from February 26 to 29, and a virtual discussion of the film with Assistant Professor of Animal Studies Erin Frick on February 27 at 7 p.m. via Zoom. Almost every moment at Eckerd is a chance to engage with the environment. We’re proud to share the ways our community continues to excel at positive interactions with nature. 

Please use the following link to view this post: https://lakewooducc.org/2021/02/16/ec-environmental-film-festival-virtual/

Yard Sale

This Saturday and Sunday the 20th and 21st from 9 to 2, Ed Kaspar will be having a yard sale. There will be lots of items, some furniture, books, framed pictures and more items. Please feel free to stop by and have a look!

Rev. Wells Away

Kim has gotten clearance from her doctors to go to Massachusetts on Grandma duty.  She will be gone from Wednesday Feb. 24 – Friday March 12.  Many thanks to all those who will be serving in her absence!  If you are in need of pastoral care, please contact Patti Cooksey at cooksepa@eckerd.edu

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!

He does do windows!

Many thanks to Rick Carr for working on the windows above the cupboards in the Sanctuary.  Rick cleaned the windows and the tracks and removed the plates and screws which kept them locked.  Now the windows can be opened to allow more circulation of fresh air in the sanctuary to help the church be covid safe.  These windows have not been opened in at least 30 years and probably more like 50!  Thank you so much, Rick!

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. Marg and Dave Radens, Victoria Long, Edward Jones, William Owen, Jen Degroot, Carolyn Moore, Ann Quinn, Maggie Brizendine, 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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