Bulletin 12/19/2021


LIGHTING THE PEACE CANDLE                                 Sally Purvis, liturgist

A good portion of the evils that afflict humankind is due to the erroneous belief that life can be made secure by violence.

Leo Tolstoy, 1828-1910


OPENING READING                                                        Ruth Burgess

Bless to us, O God, the road that is before us.
Bless to us, O God, the friends who are around us.
Bless to us, O God, your love which is within us.
Bless to us, O God, your light which leads us home.



Unison Prayer

We give thanks for the many ways that love is made manifest in our lives and in our world. We need the gift of love to sustain us on life’s journey. May we look for signs of love in the darkening days of this Advent season. May we be signs of love for the world. Amen.

Musical response


Let us prepare ourselves for the word of God as it comes to us in the reading of Holy Scripture. Our hearts and minds are open.

Luke 1:39-45

For the word of God in scripture, for the word of God among us, for the word of God within us. Thanks be to God.

CONTEMPORARY READING                                     Bishop Desmond Tutu

SERMON                     Receive the Gift: Community           Rev. Kim P. Wells

RESPONSIVE READING                                               Shirley Erena Murray

Spirit of love, you move within creation,
drawing the threads to color and design;
life into life, you knit our true salvation,

come, work with us,
and weave us into one.

Though we have frayed the fabric of your making,
tearing away from all that you intend,
yet, to be whole, humanity is aching —

come, work with us,
and weave us into one.

Great loom of God, where history is woven,
you are the frame that holds us to the truth,
Christ is the theme, the pattern you have given —

come , work with us,
and weave us into one.


Musical Interlude


The mission of Lakewood United Church of Christ, as part of the Church Universal is to:

  • Celebrate the presence and power of God in our lives & in our world.
  • Offer the hospitality and inclusive love of Christ to all people.
  • Work for God’s peace and justice throughout creation.


Morning offerings may be brought forward and placed in the plates on the altar. If you would like assistance, please turn to someone seated near you.


Prayer of Dedication                                               Janet Morley

O God our deliverer,
you cast down the mighty,
and lift up those of no account:
as Elizabeth and Mary embraced
with songs of liberation,
so may we also be pregnant with your Spirit,
and affirm one another in hope for the world,
through Jesus Christ. Amen.


You are invited to write your prayer requests on the sheets provided in the bulletin and bring them forward and place them in the basket on the altar.  Please observe physical distancing.


Fathering and Mothering God, lover of us all, most holy one.
Help us to respond to you
To create what you want for us here on earth.
Give us today enough for our needs.
Forgive our weak and deliberate offenses,
Just as we must forgive others when they hurt us.
Help us to resist evil and to do what is good.
For we are yours, endowed with your power to make the world whole. Amen.

*BENEDICTION                                                     Angeles Arrien, adapted                    

Gratitude before us,
gratitude behind us,
gratitude to the left of us,
gratitude to the right of us,
gratitude above us,
gratitude below us,
gratitude within us,
gratitude all around us. Amen.


Circle of Concern: Dana Cosper and family following the death of Dana’s mother, Deanna Moore, Ann Quinn who is under Hospice Care, Dave Radens, William Owen-Cowan, Jen Degroot, Carolyn Moore, Maggie Brizendine, Janet Hall, All those suffering from COVID-19 and all healthcare workers, Schools: Students, families, teachers, and staff


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

Facebook Live The 10:30 a.m. service is being streamed on Facebook Live.

The Gift of Music LUCC Music Director Hilton Jones has recorded 2 CDs for the LUCC family.  One is Christmas Piano featuring favorite songs of this season.  The second is Simply Hymns featuring favorite hymn tunes.  Both CDs are available at the church. If you would like to make a donation to offset the production costs, you may. Enjoy the gift of music from Hilton not just on Sundays but every day!

The Christmas Eve Offering will be used to support the Creation Justice ministries of the church. Projects under consideration include reforesting part of the church property, signs for the EV station, and installing solar panels. The Christmas Eve offering will help the church to increase its greening initiatives.

Pledges Requested If you have not yet returned a pledge for 2022 and would like to do so, forms are available in the back of the sanctuary. Many thanks to all for your faithful support of the ministry of LUCC!

Advisors Needed 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? Is there someone you would like to recommend? There are forms to fill out on the bulletin board.

Holiday Cheer to the Homebound The Care Team is planning visits to some of the homebound members of the church family.  The congregation is welcome to be part of these visits today following worship.

Hymnals LUCC has been given 60 used New Century Hymnals. If you would like a hymnal for home use, they are available on the bookshelf in the main hallway. Please help yourself! 

New Church Directories are available. Please take one with you to help you keep in touch with your LUCC family.

Lakewood United Church of Christ 2601 54th Ave. S. St. Petersburg, FL 33712

727-867-7961 lakewooducc@gmail.com Lakewooducc.org

On land originally inhabited by the Tocabaga

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