Weekly Update 3/4

The Season of Lent

The season of Lent has begun. 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 began 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

There will be another indoor/outdoor set up this Sunday to try to mitigate some of the problems last week. There will be well-ventilated, physically distanced indoor seating as well as outdoor seating on the sidewalk adjacent to the sanctuary.  Masks are worn by all.  Please know that your safety is of primary consideration!  

Childcare provided.

Rev. Mardie Chapman will be reflecting on the message of the mystic Francis of Assisi.  Mardie has taken a pilgrimage to Assisi and is eager to share the teachings of this inspiring mystic! 

While there will be no communion served this Sunday, the Communion Offering will be received.  These funds are used to help people in the congregation and the community with basic needs such as rent, utilities, and prescriptions.  The need is great and your generosity is appreciated!

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/2021/03/03/sunday-service-2-28-2021/

Watch the service on FaceBook Live Sundays at 10:30.  https://www.facebook.com/LakewoodUCC

Being Covid Safe and In Person Worship

After several Sundays of in-person worship in the sanctuary, some adaptations are being made.  The church has contacted the St. Petersburg Health Department for guidance.

Please stay home if you are not feeling well.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending double masking.  Please consider wearing two masks to church.  Additional masks will be available at church to use as needed.

Two hand sanitizing stations will be available for use by worshippers.

Signs will be posted to encourage physical distancing.

The pulpit and altar will be moved into the chancel to provide more room for the congregation to physical distance.

Prayer request sheets will be provided so that worshippers may write their prayer requests and place them in a basket on the altar.  This eliminates the need for the worship leader to come within 6 feet of the worshippers. 

People who would like to converse after the service are encouraged to do so outside, not in the hallway or the library or other confined spaces.

The breezeway restrooms will be open and available to prevent people from congregating in the library while waiting to use the office restroom.

The chairs in the sanctuary will be cleaned with sanitizer each week.  You are welcome to bring your own chair if you prefer.

Sunday Worship and FaceBook Live

The church has also been offering the Sunday services on FaceBook Live.  This provides people from the congregation who do not feel comfortable participating in person to access the service on Sundays.  Typically there have been 3-5 viewers.  The services will only be available from 10:30-11:30 a.m. on Sunday mornings live.  They will not be recorded and accessible for viewing at another time.  This is a way to protect the privacy of people who are present in person and also include those from the congregation who want to participate virtually.  There are also efforts underway to improve the sound and the visuals.  Please be patient during this time of experimentation and adaptation!

Adult Day Care Plans Opening

The adult day care continues to move forward.  The current plan is to open on Monday April 5.  Many thanks to those from the church who are helping with this transition:  Claire Stiles, Patti Cooksey, Colleen Coughenour, and Earl Waters. Thank you!

Care Team and Care Team Plus to Meet

The Care Teams will have a monthly meeting on Thursday March 4 at 6:30 p.m. on Zoom.  The access link is the same as always:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/2700683648.

New Locks on Breezeway Bathrooms

Many thanks to Bert Lee for putting new locks on the breezeway bathrooms. The new locks are combination locks. Please speak with Bert and he will be happy to give you the combination! The bathrooms will be open as usual for all church events. Thank you so much, Bert.

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

Immigration Justice Update:

Everyone is invited to watch the online documentary about the border crisis and ICE detention facilities “To Right the Wrong – Border Stories,” which airs Thursday March 4 at 7:30 pm, with a discussion afterward. Register here:  https://www.mobilize.us/witnessattheborder/event/375702/ 

or find out more and register at the Pinellas Coalition for Immigration Justice Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/PinellasCoalition

Want an easy way to support local migrant farmworkers? Buy “Fair Food” labeled tomatoes and other produce at Trader Joe’s, Fresh Market, Whole Foods and even Walmart. Note: Publix is not participating in this effort. 

Thank you to Michelle Cloutier for attending this meeting and providing the new update!

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!

Operation Attack Needs

We had another successful Food Distribution Drive Thru on January 30.  We served 53 Families and 180 people.  We have more events on Saturday, March 13 and April 17. 

We want to encourage you to participate in the Drive-Thrus in the following ways: 

  • Volunteer at the preparation opportunities and/or the Drive Thru.
  • Donate cereal, peanut butter, canned meat, fruit, vegetables and soup, dried beans, and mac/cheese.
  • Pray for the people in our community who are being challenged during this difficult time and the volunteers who are trying to ease their burdens.

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.

March Birthdays: Carol Shores 3/1, Claudia Rodriguez 3/3, Yvonne Riesen 3/13, Ron Huff 3/19, Earl Waters 3/25, Marg Radens 3/31, 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, Dina Gamma, Carol shores and her son Joel. 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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