Weekly Update 4/21

New Service Time Ahead

After considering the thoughts and views of the congregation, theAdvisors have decided that for the month of May, services will continue to be held with the doors and windows open. The services will begin at 9:30 when it is slightly cooler. There will be a new plan in June when, hopefully, most of the congregation will be vaccinated.


Sundays

It’s a well-known Psalm, usually read at funerals and memorial services.   This Sunday involves a closer look at what Psalm 23 has to say about living.  Rev. Victoria Long will be preaching.  

The service is at 10:30, in person, covid safe.  

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


Transitions:  Naming and Claiming the Changes in Our Lives 

The leadership of the Care Team has requested a program of spiritual support and renewal in the face of the many transitions and losses that we have been through in the past year.  We have had to navigate changes in relationships, deaths, loss of meaningful activities and social involvements.  We have dealt with changes in our families and our lifestyle and economic means.  We have faced changes in schedules, work patterns, and school involvement.  On many, many fronts, there has been change.  There is a desire to recognize what we have been going through, honor the losses and seek the gifts as we continue the journey.  

A four week program based on the traditional elements, air, water, fire, and earth is planned.  Each gathering will include rituals, readings, scripture, reflection, and conversation helping us to see where we have been and what we are learning.  We will honor the path we have traveled.  
Several time frames for this offering are under consideration:  Saturday mornings, Friday mornings, or a week day evening.  There will be four sessions.

At the suggestion of someone in the congregation, these four sessions will be held on Sunday mornings in June.   The time has yet to be determined.  And there will be a Facebook Live component.


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!


Pastor Away Rev. Kim Wells will be on vacation April 21-27. If pastoral care is needed, please contact the leader of the care team, Patti Cooksey (cooksepa@eckerd.edu). Thank you!


Earth Day Music Video

The music video featuring pictures of nature submitted by the church family will be posted on, well, Earth Day, April 22.  Many thanks to all who contributed photos and especially to Hilton Jones for contributing the music and the creative vision!  Be sure to watch it.  Maybe more than once!  Happy Earth Day!


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!


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.

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


Operation Attack Update

The two most recent OA drive thru events were a success! Thank you for Lakewood continuous donations during this trying time. OA is having 4 drive thru dates in the coming months. Those being May 22, June 26, July 31, and September 11. Please get these dates out to members of our congregation if they wish to help volunteer. In addition to those dates, OA is also still needing

Donations of cereal, peanut butter, canned meat, fruit, vegetables and soup, dried beans, and mac/cheese. Remember we still aren’t accepting clothing donations at the moment. Finally, pray for the people in our community who are continuing to be challenged during this difficult time and the volunteers who are trying to ease their burdens. I’m hoping to find a time to stop by Lakewood to pick up any donations. 

Thank You,Ian Blair-Catala

Please note that OA is not accepting clothing donations.


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 Marg Radens, who died recently.

Carol Shores and her son Joel.

Edward Jones

William Owen-Cowan

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.


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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