Weekly Update 4/7

Sundays

The Sunday after Easter is commonly called ‘Low Sunday’ because attendance significantly drops in comparison with Easter.  So, how do we keep the momentum of new life and re-creation going once the festival of the resurrection is over?  The gospels have something to say about that.  New life in Christ is not an event, it is a process.  And forgiveness is a big part of that journey.  Looking forward to Sunday!

Please plan to stay after the service for the Covid Conversation.  More information is included below. 

You are invited to be part of in-person, covid safe worship on Sunday mornings.

Childcare provided.

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

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

For covid safety measures, see below


Covid Conversation

The church has been having covid safe worship in these cooler months with the windows and doors open.   In the heat of the months to come, a new plan may be needed.  Worship at an earlier time when it is cooler?  Have services outside on the covered patio in the shade?  Have virtual services only on Facebook or Zoom?   Make other arrangements or adaptations?   Church leaders would like to hear the ideas and thoughts of the congregation.  

There will be an in person conversation will be following the service on Sunday April 11. The service will end early to provide time for this discussion.

There was a virtual gathering Tuesday April 6 at 7:00 p.m.


Earth Day Music Video Planned

In honor of Earth Day, the church would like to create a music video to post on the website and social media.  The video will feature nature pictures taken by the congregation and music from Hilton Jones.  All photos are welcome!  This will be a celebration of the wondrous diversity of the land, water, flora and fauna of this amazing planet!  Please send photos by this Sunday, April 11, to hilton.kean.jones@gmail.com.


Easter Celebration

Even without the processional and the egg hunt and the choir, there was a glorious celebration of Easter at LUCC last Sunday! Music Director Hilton Jones played for the service in person.  What a gift!  There were Easter baskets for young people.  Some were delivered to children at their homes.  And there were flowers!  More than 16 plants were taken to people from the church at their homes.  The love, joy, and hope of Easter were shared well beyond the church building!  As it should be! Here’s the link to some pictures from Sunday: https://lakewooducc.org/2021/04/07/easter-sunday/


LUCC Earth Day Celebration Campfire

Friday, April 30th – 8:00 – 9:00 p.m.

April 22, 2021 is the 51st Anniversary of Earth Day and the entire month of April is dedicated to the 2021 theme of Earth Day, Restore Our Earth. To honor this occasion, LUCC Creation Justice Task Force is sponsoring a Restore Our Earth Campfire gathering on Friday, April 30th from 8:00 – 9:00 p.m. at the church.

Bring a chair or use an LUCC chair to gather around the fire where we will share poems or readings that express love and appreciation for the Earth (bring one you particularly love), and then we will write love letters to the Earth.  We will we read them to each other and perhaps toss them in the fire, sending out our love to Earth, like prayers sent up with incense.  Please plan to join in this special occasion at church to honor and celebrate our beloved Mother Earth!


Stimulate the Ministry of LUCC

Many people are receiving covid stimulus money from the government.  If you are able, please consider giving some or all of your stimulus money to your beloved church.  Finances are stretched thin at the church and the ministry is needed more than ever.  Maybe you are still practicing physical isolation due to covid.  So, let your money go out into the world for you through the ministry of LUCC.  Maybe your activities are still very restricted.  But your generosity doesn’t have to be restrained!  Maybe you are glorying in things starting to open up and can open your wallet a little wider to support the ways the church is reaching out to the congregation and beyond!  Please know that every gift is gratefully received and will be used to extend the ministry of Jesus in the world!


Being Covid Safe and In Person Worship

The church has contacted the St. Petersburg Health Department for guidance.  Here are the take aways that are being implemented for everyone’s safety.

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.

There is 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.


Facebook Live Help Needed

The broadcast of the service is very meaningful to the people from the church family that watch.  It is a significant ministry to those who cannot be present in the church building.  

Currently there are three people from the congregation who have volunteered to do the streaming on Sunday mornings. It is not very complicated. You can use a smartphone or a tablet. There is a brief training and written instructions are provided. A few more people are needed to help so that this ministry can be continued. Are you willing to consider this? Please speak with Rev. Wells or with Barbara Donohue. Many thanks!


Adult Day Care Plans Opening

The adult day care continues to move forward.  The opening date has been postponed due to inspections.  Hopefully the center will be open by the end of April.  Many thanks to those from the church who are helping with this transition:  Claire Stiles, Patti Cooksey, Colleen Coughenour, and Earl Waters. Thank you!


Immigration Justice Update 4/7/2021:

Here is an easy way to send a letter to our US Senators to demand they vote YES on The Dream Act
(providing a path to citizenship for “Dreamers,” The SECURE (Safe Environment from Countries Under
Repression) Act, and the Farm Workforce Modernization Act! The Senate must bring it to the floor by
April 30th.

https://actionnetwork.org/letters/demand-the-senate-votes-on-a-pathway-to-citizenship/

(or use this shortened version of the link: tinyurl.com/cwejfnpe)

Once you fill in your information, the form provides direct contact info and a pre-filled letter to Senator
Rubio and Scott. You can personalize the “letters” as you wish. You may want to add this line: “Please
support this legislation to provide pathway to citizenship for TPS holders from Venezuela.” Both of our
senators are supportive of Venezuelan immigrants.

45,000 Quilt: Evoking the famous AIDS Quilt, the 45,000 Quilt Project has 45 individual quilted panels,
each with 1,000 marks, created across the continent and stitched together into five large panels call
attention to the 45,000 people who, on an average day in 2019, were imprisoned by Immigration and
Customs Enforcement (ICE). Visit this week only Weds Apr 7 and Thurs Apr 8 th 11am to 5pm at
Allendale United Methodist Church: 3803 Haines Rd. (38th Ave N and Haines Rd) Enter at the rear of
the church. Bring a friend!

For more information about the Pinellas Coalition for Immigration Justice:
https://www.facebook.com/PinellasCoalition


Operation Attack Needs

We had another successful Food Distribution Drive Thru on January 30.  We served 53 Families and 180 people.  We have another event on  April 17th. 

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.
  • PLEASE NOTE: OPERATION ATTACK IS NOT ACCEPTING CLOTHING AT THIS TIME
  • 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 take place on Sunday evenings from 6-6:30p.m. Many thanks to all who are participating.  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.


USEFUL LAKEWOOD LINKS DURING THE CORONA CRISIS:

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


April Birthdays: Zachery Blair-Andrews 4/16, Someone missing? Contact the church office with birthday information.


Circle of Concern: 

The family and loved ones of Dick Schubert, cousin of Evelyn Kaspar, who died recently.

Marg and Dave Radens. Marg is now under the care of Suncoast Hospice.

Family and loved ones of Marsha Carson

Carol Shores and her son Joel.

Edward Jones

William Owen

Jen Degroot

Carolyn Moore

Ann Quinn

Maggie Brizendine

Janet Hall

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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