Weekly Update 5/26

New Service Time Through the Summer

After considering the thoughts and views of the congregation, the Advisors have decided that services will continue to be held at 9:30a.m. through the end of August.


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

Childcare provided.

It’s Memorial Day weekend this Sunday.  It’s considered the official start of summer in spite of the summer solstice on June 20.  But what Memorial Day should be is a reminder of all those who have died serving our country.  There are many ways to serve.  And there are many who have died.  Leaving spouses, children, parents, and friends bereft.  This is a time to honor their memory and their sacrifice by recommitting ourselves to peace.  

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

Following the Service This Sunday

After church on Sunday, Rev. Wells is going to work on cleaning up the Memorial Garden.  Others are welcome to stay after church and help out.  You may want to bring gardening gloves, clippers, rakes, or other yard tools.  The garden is a beautiful oasis of solace but it is in need of some pruning and trimming.  Everyone welcome!

Pentecost:  A Superspreader Event?

Well, that was the theme for worship last Sunday but it turns out the service did not appear on Facebook Live and was not recorded.  That’s irony for you!

But there is a text version of the service posted at the church website.  We hope you’ll take a look.  Here’s the link: https://lakewooducc.org/2021/05/26/sunday-service-5-23-2021/

Book Talk

The initial gathering of LUCC’s Book Talk last week was lively and spirited!  Many thanks to those who participated.  One take away:  There are some really smart people in this church and they are reading a lot!  It was inspiring to hear about the books and the wide range of interests.  Join in the fun next month, the third Thursday of the month, June 17 at 6:30 on Zoom.  It’s the same link the church always uses:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/2700683648

If you aren’t reading anything compelling at the moment, you’ll certainly be inspired after Book Talk.  And you may even be given some specific recommendations based on your personal interests!

June: There Is A Season

For the month of June, gatherings on Sunday morning will be focussed on examining the time of transition that we are in.  It will be a season to remember and reflect.  It will be a time to acknowledge loss and grief.  It will be a season to look forward with hope and intention.  Each week’s gathering will be themed on one of the ancient elements:  Air, Water, Fire, and Earth.  Readings, prayers, and ritual will invite reflection and healing.

Gatherings will be Sundays at 9:30.  And beginning in June, the sanctuary doors and windows will be closed and the air conditioning will be turned on.  Wearing masks and physical distancing will help everyone, especially visitors, to feel safe.

If you know someone who has been struggling during this time, consider inviting them to church in June.  It will be a season for healing the spirit.  

Back in Business

Many thanks to Bert Lee for fixing the tire on the church wheel barrow.  Bert is still working on the lock for the women’s restroom in the breezeway.  

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.  

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. 

Immigration Justice: Action Item

The Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program provides a path to safety for Afghans who worked with U.S. forces and who, as a result of that affiliation, suffer direct threats to their safety. These visas have been long delayed. As the U.S. anticipates its final withdrawal of our Armed Forces in September, we know that we cannot simply abandon the Afghans who risked their (and their families’) lives to help us and our allies (think of the U.S. evacuation of Saigon at the end of the Vietnam War).

Send a message to President Biden today! Urge the administration to provide urgent humanitarian protections, including evacuation for those who have put their lives on the line for our country. Easy, templated, click and send link here from the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service: https://www.votervoice.net/LIRS/campaigns/85410/respond

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 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 Continues

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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