Weekly Update 11/17

‘Tis A Gift

This is a season to ponder the many gifts that we are being given each and every day. It is a season for gratitude. 

This Sunday, November 21 is Thanksgiving Sunday. The service will be outside. Everyone is invited to bring something that represents a gift in your life, something you are grateful for. Together we will construct an altar of gratitude.

You are also invited to bring a donation for Operation Attack to help see that all people have needed food this season and throughout the year.  There is a list of needed items below.  

Also, please turn in your harvest form by Wednesday, Nov. 17 Thursday, Nov. 18 so that the wonderful list of the many ministries of the congregation can be celebrated! The Harvest form is available at church or on the church website.

November 28 is the first Sunday of Advent.  The advent season provides the opportunity to continue to reflect on the gifts that we are receiving through the birth of Jesus and in so many other ways in our lives and in our world.

This covid time has been very stressful for everyone.  It continues to present challenges and cause friction and discomfort.  With the holidays coming, that friction may increase.  There may be tension between what we want to do and what is safe.  That makes this an important time to be intentional about considering all the gifts that we are receiving, all we have to be grateful for, what truly is important and what matters in our lives.  Even this deadly pandemic may be a blessing in some ways.  “God is working all things together for good.”  Please know that LUCC is intent on providing spiritual support and connection even during these difficult days, especially during these difficult days.  


Advent Ahead

While we eagerly prepare for the feasting of Thanksgiving and the time to be with family and friends, the church is also preparing for Advent, the four-week season in which we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus.  Here is what to look forward to.

The theme for the season will be Receive the Gift.  It is a continuation of the celebration of gratitude that has been part of the stewardship season and the Thanksgiving holiday.  Even with covid, there is so much to be thankful for!
On Sundays in December, those who enjoy singing Christmas music are invited to come to church at 10:15 .am. and sing sitting outside on the lawn before the service begins.  Bring your own chair if you can.  Hilton will play the piano near the open doors and there will be outdoor singing with masks on.  When it is time for the service to begin, everyone will move inside.  There will be no singing in the service.  

Labyrinth walks will continue on Wednesday mornings at 9:00.  It’s a beautiful season to deepen your spiritual reflection and the labyrinth is a wonderful way to do that.

Anti-racism demonstrations will also continue on Sunday afternoons from 4:30-5:00 in Advent.  This is an opportunity to express the gift of love for all that we celebrate at Christmas.  It’s also a time to remember that the baby Jesus was a person of color.  

Book Talk will be held via Zoom on Thursday, Dec. 16 from 6:30-7:30.  This is an opportunity to share some of your favorite Christmas stories and books. 

There will be a Winter Solstice gathering around a fire on Tuesday, Dec. 21.  This will be a time to share stories and readings and inspiration around the themes of darkness and light.  Those who would like to may walk the labyrinth.  Sunset is at 5:41 p.m. so that is when the gathering will begin!

Christmas Eve will be celebrated with an outdoor service at 7:00 p.m. on the church lawn.   Music of the season will begin at 6:30. Please bring your own chair if you can.  The offering on Christmas Eve will be used to support the Creation Justice ministries of the church.

This year, the congregation is invited to donate poinsettias to beautify the sanctuary for Advent and Christmas Eve.  The plants will be taken by the Care Team to those in the congregation who are not able to attend church.  There are order forms available at church.  The cost of the plants is $10 each. The deadline for orders is Sunday, December 12. 


Sundays

Look for the bulletin posted on the church website on Friday: https://lakewooducc.org/category/bulletins/

Watch the service on Facebook Live Sundays at 10:30. https://www.facebook.com/LakewoodUCC

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

Instructions for how to access Facebook Live: For additional assistance, please contact the church office.

Here are some instructions to watch our Sunday services live through Facebook:

Use the following link to visit our homepage: https://www.facebook.com/LakewoodUCC/

On Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m. please use the link above to visit our homepage. There, after using the link, you will see a section labeled “Happening Now”. This is our Livestream of the Sunday Service.

To watch the live stream, locate and click the “watch video” button in the lower right corner of the screen.

If the link above is not working, there is also a link to our Facebook page on our website. Please try that link located on the Home page of our website.

PLEASE NOTE:  

With the cooler temperatures, we will resume opening the doors and windows for morning worship as we continue efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Sunday services are being held at 10:30 a.m. Masks are required. There is physical distancing. Childcare is provided.

You can also join in on Facebook Live at 10:30. Please see the instructions below. 


Harvest Forms

Please return your Harvest Form by Thursday to be part of the wonderful celebration of the many ministries of the LUCC church family.  Here’s a link to the form at the LUCC Website.  Complete it and return it to the church:  lakewooducc@gmail.com


Anti-Death Penalty Action

A bill has recently been filed in the Florida Senate that will prohibit the imposition of a sentence of death upon a defendant convicted of a capital felony if the defendant had a serious mental illness at the time the criminal offense was committed.  If you wish to show your support of SB 770, there’s a petition at the website of the Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty at  https://www.fadp.org/

You may also wish to send a thank-you note to the bill’s sponsor, Senator Jeff Brandes,at brandes.jeff.web@flsenate.gov


Meet and Greet 

Angela Wells-Bean and her family will be in St. Petersburg for the Thanksgiving holiday.  There will be an informal gathering to see Angela and her spouse, Andy, as well as children Soren and Emerson, on Wednesday, Nov. 24 from 10:30-noon at the church.  Feel free to drop by and say hello!  They would love to see you! If you would like a ride, please contact the Church Office (727-867-7961)


PPE

The Emergency Management division of Pinellas County provided free PPE to churches for the holidays.  LUCC signed up for masks, bandaids, and sanitizer.  The church was given all of those as well as wipes, rubber gloves, and face shields.  And all in huge amounts!  More than the church could use in several years!   The church contacted the Evergreen Adult Day Care at the church and they were thrilled to have the surplus supplies!  It’s wonderful to be in partnership with Neighborly Services reaching out to the older adults of the area.  


Advisors Needed for 2022

Each year 3-5 wonderful people meet monthly to support the life and ministry of the church especially attending to matters involving finance, administration, personnel, and property.  This past year, the church was ably served by Patti Cooksey, Lucille Ruga, Jane Diven, and Malcolm Wells.  Some new advisors are needed for 2022.  Is this something you might like to be involved in?  Or can you think of someone in the church that you would like to see serve in this role?  There are forms to fill out at church or speak to one of the current advisors or to Rev. Wells.  This is a wonderful way to deepen your ties with the church and to make a difference!


Adult Day Care Holiday Party

The Evergreen Adult Day Care Center has invited the church to be part of the holiday party in December.  The church family has been invited to contribute cookies to the festivities – with no sugar, please.  Please contact the church office if you would like to share the Christmas spirit with those in the adult day care center by providing cookies for the holiday party.  A date has not yet been set.  


Book Talk Ahead Today

Join in a lively discussion of what folks have been reading! All kinds of books are included.  If you haven’t been reading anything compelling lately, you may get some good ideas from Book Talk.  The Zoom conversation is held monthly on the third Thursday of the month from 6:30-7:30 p.m.  This month will be November 18.   All are welcome!  Here’s the link:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/2700683648


Stewardship Follow Up

Many thanks to all who were part of the wonderful celebration of gratitude this past Sunday for our church, Lakewood United Church of Christ, and all that it means in our lives.  The service included an opportunity to make commitments of time, talent, and treasure to the church for the coming year.  If you would like to make a pledge to the church, there are forms at church and on the church website.  Please return them to the church office.  

This is a time when the minsitry of the church is much needed in our lives and in our world.  How blessed we are to be part of LUCC!


New Church Directory Available

An updated church directory is available.  The directory is a welcome tool to help the congregation remain connected and in contact with each other.  Please pick one up when you are at the church.  If you would like one sent to you, please contact the Church Office at lakewooducc@gmail.com or call at 727-867-7961. The directory is a welcome tool to help the congregation remain connected and in contact with each other.  

Martha Lamar’s information is incomplete. Please contact the church office for the correct information or get a corrected copy of the directory at church. Sorry for the inconvenience!


Anti Racism Demonstrations-New Time

The church will resume its witness against racism with weekly demonstrations along the sidewalk of 54th Ave. S. Make your own sign or use one of the signs at the church.
Demonstrations will be held Sundays from 4:30-5 beginning Sunday, November 14. In case of rain, the demonstration will not be held that week.

Know justice, know peace! This is an important way to inspire hope in the community and to work to create an anti-racist society.


Guided Labyrinth Walks

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.

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


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.  

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.


Operation Attack Update

OA needs donations of cereal/oatmeal, mac and cheese, pasta sauce, peanut butter, canned meat, fruit, soup, and vegetables. Donations may be placed on the shelf in the hallway at church.


USEFUL LAKEWOOD LINKS:

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

You can stream Hilton’s music and videos for free at hiltonkeanjones.com/look-listen/ as well as purchase his CDs and digital albums there.


November Birthdays: Lucille Ruga 11/9, Katharine Conover 11/13, Emily Bell 11/15, Rev. Susan Sherwood 11/15, Ed Kaspar 11/21, Lorne Palmer 11/21, Bert Lee 11/22, Bill Lindsay 11/23, Wally LeBlanc 11/23, Kai’Lyn Washington 11/27, and Jane Diven 11/29, Someone missing? Contact the church office with birthday information.


Circle of Concern: 

Deanna Moore

Dave Radens

William Owen-Cowan

Jen Degroot

Carolyn Moore

Ann Quinn is now under Hospice care

Maggie Brizendine

Janet Hall

All those suffering from COVID-19 and all healthcare workers

Schools: Students, families, teachers, and staff


Church Office Hours:  Tuesday 9:30-noon Thursday-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.

On land originally inhabited by the Tocabaga

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