Weekly Update 6/2

Sundays

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

Childcare provided.

Please bring a feather to church this Sunday.  If you can, bring more than one, to share.  

The month of June will be devoted to “There Is A Season.”  Gatherings each Sunday will provide the opportunity to reflect on this season of transition in the covid pandemic.  It will be a time to look back, to notice what we have been going through, and to move forward with intention.  Scripture, readings, ritual, and music will be used to guide this time of spiritual healing.  

Each Sunday will be themed to one of the ancient elements:  Air, Fire, Earth, and Water.  This Sunday, the theme will be Air.  You may want to bring a journal, notebook or pad to make notes.  

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.

The readings and material from the Sunday gathering 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


Unite Against Hate Demonstration

You are encouraged to be present to demonstrate your opposition to hate, specifically anti-Semitism.  Anti-Semitism has been on the rise in the US and last week a hate crime was perpetrated against the Holocaust Museum in St. Petersburg.  Stand up and be counted by making a witness to solidarity and tolerance.  

The event will take place at 6 pm outside the Museum at 55 5th Street South in St. Petersburg. The planners ask you to bring with you a book that means something to you personally. It can be any book on any topic—one that is of personal or professional importance and has made a difference in your life.

Please plan to participate on Thursday at 6:00 p.m. and bring your book!  If someone would like to bring the LUCC banner that is in the sanctuary, please contact the church.  


LUCC Speaks Out Against Anti-Semitism

Rev. Kim Wells and Jim Andrews of LUCC were part of the group offering this letter to the editor that was printed in the 5/30/21 edition of the Tampa Bay Times.  Here is the letter:

Our relationship is sacred 

As faith leaders, we reach out to share our sense of horror and disgust at the terrifying rise in violence against Jews and increasing public expressions of anti-Semitism. The Christian tradition historically has been and continues to be the source of anti-Semitic terror. Those of us who are Christian carry a particular responsibility to identify, condemn and resist anti-Semitism in any and every form. When we encounter it in sacred texts, liturgy and history, it’s on us to call it out. When we see it in the media or in everyday interactions with our peers, it’s on us to speak up, push back and demand awareness of the harm that even unintended or casual slights may cause.

When we see anti-Semitism borne out in acts of aggression, it’s on us to go public, to cry out in the strongest possible terms that such actions are anathema to the God we worship. To our neighbors who are Jewish, please know that we hold our relationships with you as sacred, that we stand in solidarity with you, that you are not alone. Today, we recommit ourselves to doing our part to sustain our ancient ties and to show that we cherish our connections with you. Silence is both sanction and assistance.

At a time of a resurgence of hatreds of all kinds, and meanness and violence visited upon persons of color, queer persons and immigrants, let us cry stop. Therefore, let us stand together to restore tolerance, decry hatred, celebrate diversity, “give to bigotry no sanction and persecution no assistance.” Let us reach out to our Jewish neighbors, co-workers, friends or acquaintances. Write them a caring text, email or letter. Now we are called upon to show our care, love and support in these tender, terrifying and fragile times.

Jim Andrews, J.C. Pritchett, Victor Ray, Libby Shannon, Elizabeth Siplin, Princess Watkins and Kim Wells

The writers are board members of the St. Petersburg chapter of the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance.


Permaculture Training Returns

Now that the Fellowship Hall renovation is complete, the church is able to host Grow Permaculture training with Koreen Brennan.  This is part of the Creation Justice commitment of the church.  Permaculture is a comprehensive design process that involves sustainability and earth friendly/people friendly practices.  The class will meet at the church all day Saturday and Sunday this week.


Memorial Garden Efforts

Many thanks to Claire Stiles, Ed Kaspar, and Malcolm Wells who worked with Rev. Wells after church last Sunday to clean up the Memorial Garden.  You can now see the paving stone path, the monument, and you can get to the bench to sit down!  The team worked for about an hour to clear things out.  Take a look the next time you are at the church.


Book Talk

The initial gathering of LUCC’s Book Talk last week was lively and spirited!  This is an opportunity to discuss what you have been reading and hear about what others are reading. 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!


Being Covid Safe and In Person Worship

Please stay home if you are not feeling well.

Please wear a mask while in the church building.  While most people have been vaccinated, this helps visitors to feel safe.  

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 are available for use by worshippers.

There is well-ventilated, physically distanced indoor seating in the sanctuary.

Please know that your safety is of primary consideration! 

Safe childcare is provided.


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.


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.


June Birthdays: Genie Terrell 6/10, Tony Rogers 6/21, Michelle Cloutier 6/21, Shirley Locke 6/30. 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

Ben Shores

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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