Weekly Update 5/13

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.

This Sunday marks the end of the season of Easter.  We’ll revisit the Easter story at the end of the gospel of Mark.  What does it mean to embrace a new reality?  Not just to be resuscitated to more of the same but to be resurrected into a new kind of life?  We’ll talk about that Sunday.

Come to covid safe worship in person at 9:30 or attend on Facebook Live at 9:30.  

Services are also posted on the church’s YouTube channel. https://www.youtube.com/user/LakewoodUCC/videos

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

Or on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/LakewoodUCC/videos

For covid safety measures, see below

LUCC Earth Day Celebration Campfire

Several weeks ago 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.


A big THANK YOU to Earl Waters and William Owen-Cowan for trimming the trees that were overhanging the church drive way impeding high clearance vehicles.  

Thank you to Bert Lee for the locks on the bathroom doors and for oiling the doors to the sanctuary building.  Now you can sneak into church unheard!

Thank you to Sally Purvis for endless organizing of files, especially historic files.  

Thank you to Claire Stiles, Patti Cooksey, and Colleen Coughenour for proceeding beyond the library to the closets and cupboards and drawers of the office and sanctuary and from there on to the garage!  

The efforts of all are much appreciated!

Transitions:  Naming and Claiming the Changes in Our Lives 

For the month of June, each Sunday morning gathering will offer the opportunity to explore the changes and transitions that we have been going through especially during the pandemic.  It will be a time to seek spiritual support and meaning as we reflect on what we have been through and what we are going through.  

Each Sunday the design will focus on a different element – water, wind, earth, and fire.  These themes accompanied by scripture, readings, and ritual will be used to facilitate exploration of our lives and our losses as we make our way forward in faith! 

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 Open!

A dream has come true.  From seeds planted by LUCC member Rev. Bob Frey back in the 1990’s, a new ministry has emerged.  The church is finally using its facilities to host an adult daycare sponsored by Neighborly Services.  It is a blessing for the church to use its assets to serve the needs of the community in this way.  

The Adult Day Care will have an Open House on Tuesday May 25th from 3:30-6:00 p.m. Stop by and see the wonderful program and facilities and staff.  

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 Continues

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.

Many thanks to Barbara Donohue, Bert Lee, and Jeff Wells for this ministry.  Patti Cooksey is planning to join the team.  Others are welcome!  All you need is a phone/laptop/tablet and a Facebook account. 

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 Demonstration Moves to a New Time

Yes, it is still going on every week.  Because racism is still going on every week, every day, every moment in this country.  We can imagine a different future.  And we are making a small effort at creating that new reality at the demonstrations each Sunday.  

Signs are available at church or bring your own.

The new time beginning May 16 is 5:30.  Come every week.  Come for a season.  Come once. Come once in a while.  Everyone is ALWAYS welcome!

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, Nina Moore 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, Deanna Moore 5/19, 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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