Weekly Update 5/5

New Service Time for the Month of May

After considering the thoughts and views of the congregation, the Advisors 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.


 The service is at 9:30 in person, covid safe.

Childcare provided.

The service this Sunday includes recognition of Mother’s Day.  There will be a time in the service for the naming of those who have been mother figures in our lives.

An usher is needed for the service this Sunday.  If you can serve, please contact the church office (727-867-7961 or lakewooducc@gmail.com)

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 9:30. https://www.facebook.com/LakewoodUCC

For covid safety measures, see below

LUCC Earth Day Celebration Campfire

Last Friday evening there was a beautiful celebration of Earth Day at the church around a camp fire.  Participants shared poems and readings that honor the earth.  Then there was time to write a love letter to the earth.  These letters were shared and then tossed into the fire as an offering of gratitude to the earth.  

One of the things celebrated about the earth is how it provides food.  Kim Wells had locally grown organic bananas from Jubilee Farms where Malcolm works to share with everyone.  Then, it was on to roasted marshmallows!

It was a poignant evening of deep sharing that created a stronger bond among those who were there and between those who were there and the earth.

Look for a post on the website with the content of the letters that were written and a few pictures later this week.

Many thanks to those who assisted with Garage Cleaning

Under the direction of Claire Stiles, a hearty group did much to make the garage space more usuable and accessible.  There are things that have been given away so that they may be of use to others.

Many thanks to Bert Lee, Bill Parsons, Kay Rencken, and Malcolm Wells, and, of course, to Claire!  Your efforts are greatly appreciated by the congregation!

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 during the weekly worship hour. The time has yet to be determined. And there will be a Facebook Live component.

Rev. Angela Wells-Bean to join the staff of Naples UCC

Rev. Angela Wells-Bean has been called to be the Minister of Congregational Care at the Naples United Church of Christ in Naples, Florida.  Angela is currently serving as pastor of the Burlington, Massachusetts United Church of Christ, Congregational.

Angela will begin her ministry in Naples in September. 

Adult Day Care Plans Opening

The adult day care continues to move forward.  The opening date has been set for TODAY! Many thanks to those from the church who are helping with this transition:  Claire Stiles, Patti Cooksey, Colleen Coughenour, and Earl Waters. Thank you!

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!

Book Talk

People in the congregation are often mentioning good books that they have read.  To share these riches more widely, the church will be sponsoring a monthly Book Talk on Zoom.  It will be a chance to share what you are reading.  You can mention the book title, something about the author, what the book was about, and why you found it interesting.  Just the kind of things you might mention about a book in a conversation with someone.  And if you haven’t read anything compelling lately,  join in Book Talk and you’ll get some good reading ideas!  

Book Talk will start this month on the third Thursday of the month, May 20, at 6:30.  All welcome!

Here’s the Zoom link:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/2700683648

Immigration Justice Update 5/4/2021:

If you want to check President Biden’s progress on immigration reform in his first 100 days in office, you can check out this “scorecard.” It’s also a great summary of all immigration issues:  https://immigrationforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/National-Immigration-Forum-Score-Card-on-President-Bidens-First-100-Days-1.pdf or at this shortened linked: https://bit.ly/3b4Xl3A

UCC advocates celebrate new 62,500 goal for U.S. refugee admissions in 2021: https://bit.ly/3eh71dc

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.


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

May Birthdays: Mark Gibson 5/2, Angela Wells-Bean 5/7, Emily Gibson 5/8, Julian Michael Ricciardi 5/9, Colleen Coughenour 5/11, Jen DeGroot 5/12, Christy Martin 5/15, Bill Parsons 5/16, Danielle Hintz 5/25  Someone missing? Contact the church office with birthday information.

Circle of Concern: 

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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