Weekly Update 7/14


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

Childcare provided.

The Sundays in July will be themed “Tell Me the Stories of Jesus.”  Each Sunday will feature a beloved story associated with Jesus.  These stories still offer much to inspire and inform our faith and our living today. 

What does it mean to be a person of faith?  Jesus uses the image of seeds to illuminate the faith journey.  Take a look at chapter 4 of the gospel of Mark.  Sunday will involve reflecting on “A Seedy Faith.”  See you then!   In person or on Facebook Live.  

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

Book Talk Thursday July 15 at 6:30 on Zoom

What have you been reading?  Want to share with others and hear from others what they are reading? That’s what happens at Book Talk, the third Thursday of the month from 6:30-7:30.  You can participate from wherever you are because it’s a Zoon.  Here’s the link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/2700683648

If you haven’t been reading lately, join in anyway and hear about what others have been reading.  So many books, so little time!  The LUCC family has wide ranging interests and Book Talk is an eclectic review of books.   Be part of the fun!

United Church of Christ General Synod to Meet Virtually 

The biennial national meeting of the United Church of Christ, the General Synod, will be held virtually this year.  It includes speakers, workshops, updates on the ministry of the UCC, resolutions, and other business.  Workshops are being held this week.  The official online gathering begins July 11 and ends July 18.  Major events and speakers take place in the evenings.  For the schedule and instructions about how to participate, click here:  https://www.generalsynod.org/ 

New Members

In these challenging times, being part of a church community is more grounding and supportive than ever!  The LUCC congregation is so grateful for all of the ways that spiritual support has been offered this past year and beyond.  The church would like to officially welcome as members those who are finding a spiritual ‘home’ at LUCC.  For those who are interested in considering church membership, there is an orientation session about the mission, identity, history and theology of the church.  Please be in contact with Rev. Wells if you would like to consider joining the church.  The orientation and the Sunday for joining will then be determined accordingly.

Meals on Wheels

Meals on Wheels now has a distribution center at Lakewood United Church as part of the Neighborly senior center. They need volunteers to help deliver meals to shut-in seniors in our area. Sometimes, the only person a client sees all day is a MoW volunteer. They are following COVID-safe practices (mask wearing, social distancing, dropping off food rather than entering the home). Volunteers pick up the meals at 10:30 and drive to clients in the area, and return the empty bags to LUCC when they’re done, usually within an hour. Please consider doing this; it takes just an hour once a week to make someone happy. Please contact Angela, the MoW coordinator at 727-612-1791 and she will tell you how to get trained. Or go to https://neighborly.org/volunteer-opportunities/ to find out more.

Scan the QR code to watch a video for more information about volunteering

The Labyrinth Has Been ‘Groomed’

For those who walk the labyrinth at the church, please know that the labyrinth has been raked and weeded this week.  Also, the readings and prayers used on Wednesdays at the guided walk are put in the mailbox by the labyrinth each week for use during the week.  

The guided walk is held weekly on Wednesdays at 9:00 a.m.  This provides an opportunity to be aware and deepen your spiritual journey.  If it is raining, the walk is held on Thursday at 9:00 a.m.

The labyrinth is on the church grounds near the southwest corner of the church property.  It is available for use at all times.  

Be Part of Reducing AIDS

There is an  the increase in HIV/AIDS infections in our area.  As a way of responding, Suncoast Hospice has given the church a large supply of condoms to be distributed. They will be placed in the bathrooms at the church.  They will also be available in the sanctuary.  The church advisors are encouraging the congregation to take some condoms and put them in public bathrooms and workplace bathrooms where they may get picked up by the appropriate population.  

So, the next time you are at the church, pick up a few condoms and see that they make their way out into the community!

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

Good Afternoon, 
I hope you are doing well, many members of Lakewood UCC are aware that I’ve graduated from high school (thank you for the card) and plan to head to college. While at college, I won’t be able to help collect any OA donations or help keep Lakewood up to date on OA needs. I’ve had this task all of high school and I am very thankful for it. For replacing me, I HIGHLY recommend my brother Owen Blair-Catala. This position has been passed down from Zach to me and now to Owen. He’s someone who is active in OA and understands the task he must complete from watching me do them. 

Besides this OA is still doing very well. There are the same drive thru dates as before (July 31st and September 11th). In addition, OA also still needs Donations of cereal, peanut butter, canned meat, fruit, vegetables and soup, dried beans, and mac/cheese. I came by this past week and was able to get some donations. Remember we still aren’t accepting clothing donations at the moment. If you have any questions please contact me. 

Thanks,Ian Blair-Catala


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.

July Birthdays: Ann Quinn 7/6. Someone missing? Contact the church office with birthday information.

Circle of Concern: 

Earl Waters

Mae Wiggins

Sherry Santana

William Owen-Cowan

Jen Degroot

Carolyn Moore

Ann Quinn

Maggie Brizendine

Janet Hall

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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