Weekly Update 7/29/2022

This Sunday: This Sunday the service focuses on Jesus teaching the disciples to pray. During the service, the congregation will experience a pattern of prayer designed by Martin Luther – The Four Stranded Garland. It is a beautiful approach to prayer that is similar to lectio divina. Yes, and Rev. Wells will have something to say about prayer as well! Take a look at Luke 11:1-13. This Sunday the Colombian family will also be attending church again!

Childcare is provided at all Sunday services.

The service will be streamed live on Facebook and then posted on the church’s YouTube channel.

Masks are required at in-person worship.

Facebook Live Update

Sunday Facebook Live is now being streamed from a new iPad that the church was able to purchase with funds from a grant from the Florida Conference of the United Church of Christ. The grant also provided for the purchase of a new microphone. With these two improvements, the sound on Facebook Live on Sunday mornings and on the videos posted to YouTube should be much better!

Last Sunday

Last Sunday the service centered on the story of Mary and Martha. We remembered that all were welcome at Jesus’ feet. No matter who you are, what you have done, or where you are from. All are welcome at Jesus’ feet. Then we talked about how everyone hears the good news they need to hear at Jesus’ feet. Jesus has a word of life for everyone.

About 10 minutes into the service a family arrived in church. Two parents and two girls about 8 and 12 years old. They sat down. It became clear that they spoke Spanish and did not know English. Our resident LUCC Spanish speaker, Claudia, was away in Mexico visiting her family. So, others tried to make the family feel welcome and follow along in the service. Patti Cooksey was doing childcare and she quickly connected with the 8 year old. They drew and looked at books overcoming the language difference with ease.

At one point, everyone was asked to write down a favorite story or teaching of Jesus. Pads and pens were handed out. The visiting family was included. During the sermon, those stories and verses and teachings were read out loud. The mother of the visiting family read their contributions in Spanish.

At the end of the service, there was the benediction: “May we trust that what we need will be provided and that we will provide what is needed.”

In conversation with the guests after church, we learned that they are from Colombia. They spent 48 hours on a bus through Mexico. They had been in the US 8 days. They were staying within walking distance of the church. They were looking for a Spanish speaking congregation. They had no money, 2 nectarines, and a few belongings.

We learned that they had somewhere to stay for one more night. There would be an apartment available later in the week. But they had no where to stay in between. Jim Andrews of LUCC was very helpful in communicating with the family. And he called his spouse, Janet Blair, who works in refugee resettlement for the state. She said the family needed to be taken to the Hispanic Resource Center (HRC) in Clearwater on Monday morning. The Center would help them with a place to stay, legal matters, food, etc.

So, we gave the family $150 for food and other necessities and Jeff Wells arranged to meet them at church on Monday morning to take them to Clearwater to the HRC. At the HRC, Jeff went inside to meet the people there and make sure all was well. The HRC had no housing available and could not accommodate the family for at least 5-10 days. They did help with legal issues and could provide food on Wednesday.

Jeff did not want to just leave the family there with no where to stay overnight. So, he brought them home. The girls enjoyed the pool and the dogs. There were two bedrooms provided with beds for 4. Apparently, they have been sleeping on the floor. They went out to dinner at a Mexican restaurant in Largo. They were seated at a table under a painting of the flag of Colombia. The family was happy to have a server who not only spoke Spanish but was from Colombia. It turns out the cook was from Colombia, too. The cook came to the table with a bag of shoes and clothes for the father. Then the server brought another bag with clothes for the children. They were very grateful. They exchanged phone numbers and agreed to keep in touch.

Janet Blair went to a meeting on Monday and met someone she had not known before. Over a break, they got to talking. The new acquaintance has an Airbnb in Safety Harbor and she offered it to the Colombian family until they could go to the apartment that had been arranged for them. Janet arranged for Daystar to pay for the Airbnb.

On Tuesday morning, Jeff took the family to Safety Harbor with a stop at the store for food and any other needed provisions. He left them settled in at the Airbnb. On Wednesday, the family took the city bus to Clearwater to the Hispanic Center for the weekly food distribution.

The promised apartment is not yet available. Through the good graces of other clergy and churches in the area, arrangements have been made for the family to stay with someone in Tampa as long as needed. There is a court date ahead Aug. 17. And the family plans to be in church again this Sunday, even though LUCC is not a Spanish speaking congregation.

People from LUCC have donated money to help the family with needed supplies. Additional donations are welcome. Just note ‘Colombia’ on the donation.

These people came to church with all of their belongings – a small backpack and two small shopping bags. And a lot of faith and trust in God. And through LUCC and many other compassionate people in the community, this family is being welcomed into the United States where they are seeking a better life for their daughters.

Go back and read the benediction from the end of the service last Sunday.

Rev. Wells Away

Kim will be away on vacation with family Aug. 2-12. If pastoral care is needed, please contact Patti Cooksey. Next Sunday, Rev. Ann Wynn-Phillips will be preaching. Ann comes highly recommended by Victoria Long! Ann has served as a Hospice Chaplain. She and spouse Heather park their RV here at the church!

Masks and Sanitizer Available

The church has a supply of masks and sanitizer that was donated to the church. Items will be available on Sunday morning. Please take what you can use.

UCC Events Ahead – Get Involved!

There are several important events ahead in the wider UCC fellowship and it would be wonderful to have LUCC participation! Much can be learned from engagement with the wider church and people from other UCC congregations. ALSO, people from LUCC have much to contribute to the wider church and to other churches!

Here are some opportunities:

A One Day Event for the Southern Region UCC
Saturday, August 27 | 10 – 4 PM EST

The Florida Conference of the UCC, with support from the Southeast,
South Central, and Southern Conferences and Justice and Local Church
Ministries, invites you to join “Just Peace in a Southern Context.” This
virtual event will offer a historical overview, theological grounding, and
current examples of why being a Just Peace Church matters today.
Guest Speakers will include: Rev. Dr. Susan Thistlethwaite, Rev. Geoffrey
Black, Sandra Sorensen, and others. The UCC Washington Office and
members of the UCC Just Peace Network will share examples of how
together we can bring hope for a more just and peaceful tomorrow.
REGISTER NOW: bit.ly/jpinsoutherncontext


Now is the time to gather the church and to celebrate and recommit to our shared covenant as The United Church of Christ in Florida. This year’s theme is “This is the Day! #Building Beloved Community”.

LUCC is entitled to send 2 delegates as well as a clergy delegate. Please contact Rev. Wells if you are willing to attend! The church can help with the expenses involved.

Discounted hotel rooms are unfortunately limited due to low availability.

September 19-21, 2022 | Online, and in person in St. Louis
Join the entire UCC as we envision what a vibrant, healthy church looks like as it emerges from the pandemic. Online participants will be fully engaged via Pheedloop, a virtual event platform. In-person sessions will be available, too, alternating between the Hilton—St. Louis Airport and Eden Theological Seminary. The program will include:

Keynotes by Jacqui Lewis and Laura Everett
Ted Talk-style “provocations” by Damayanthi Niles, Michael Malcom, Juan Carlos Huertas, Patrick Duggan, Jamesetta Ferguson, Cameron Trimble and David Vásquez-Levy
Play space for ingenuity and creativity – in plenaries and smaller clusters – as we discuss what we learned during COVID that will change what we do after COVID. A capture of ideas about what fits now, where we need to stretch ourselves, and how to build capacity to meet needs as the church evolves.

2022 UCC SOUTHERN REGIONAL WOMEN’S RETREAT In Person: October 14 – 16, 2022
Camp Weed and Cerveny Conference Center 11057 Camp Weed Place Live Oak, Florida 32060
Dyanne Edds of LUCC is on the planning team for this retreat! For more information: https://www.uccfla.org/floridauccwomen

Enrich LUCC and enrich the UCC by participating in these wider church events!

From the Florida Conference: The Sabbatical: A Win-Win

What exactly does it mean when a pastor is “on sabbatical”? Well, it is more than just a long vacation away from the church building – and perhaps even cell phone connection. And for some, a “Do Not Disturb” sign is an appropriate trapping (and maybe even necessary).

We asked our Associate Conference Minister Rev. Leslie Etheredge to give us some idea of the basics of a pastoral sabbatical. She first cites our denominational publication, A Sure Foundation: Resources for the Relationship between Pastors and Congregations, and notes that a sabbatical ideally accomplishes the following:

Encourages longer pastorates
Refocuses ministry
Contributes to a pastor’s spiritual growth
Prevents burnout
Establishes new patterns for work and self-care
Promotes congregational self-sufficiency

The UCC standard Call Agreement suggests a three month sabbatical every five years. Some pastors divide it differently. Some pastors utilize this privilege but some don’t, and Rev. Leslie suggests that all should.

Rev. Wells will be on sabbatical for September and October this year walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain.

Guided Labyrinth Walks Time Change

In August, labyrinth walks will return to Wednesday mornings at 9:00 a.m.

In case of rain, the walks are held on Thursday morning.

Also, the readings and prayers used each week at the guided walk are put in the mailbox by the labyrinth 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.

How to Help Ukraine

The local Ukrainian Catholic Church is sponsoring humanitarian aid. There are more details at their website: https://www.epiphanyukrch.com

The national United Church of Christ is also offering ways to support the Ukrainian people. Here’s a link: https://p2a.co/nGEvYVL?inf_contact_key=ad8269e3f149ec1ef1efd03de1e233aacc0558ed5d4c28cbfab114022b1ec50d

Toiletries for Celebrate Outreach

Celebrate Outreach is a local ministry with people who are living without shelter in St. Petersburg. An average of 135 people are served each week. LUCC was asked to collect toiletries to be distributed to the community at the meals that are provided on Saturday and Sundays each week. This collection will be ongoing in addition to the food being collected for Operation Attack. All are invited to donate the following items:

Celebration Outreach has an ongoing need for men’s and women’s underwear.
Men sizes 30, 32,34
Women’s sizes 5,6, 7,8.
Also in high demand are socks of all kinds /sizes for both men & women.
Other needed items are Deodorant & disposable razors.

Toothbrushes, toothpaste, disposable razors, bar soap, wash cloths, deodorant, feminine hygiene items, travel size creams, shampoo, body wash, individual packets of Kleenex, hand wipes, toilet tissue, and paper towels are always needed as well.

Many thanks to Janet Blair and Jim Andrews for taking the donations to Celebrate Outreach.

Inkjet Recycling

The church is continuing to collect used inkjet cartridges. They are sent to a recycler and the church receives payment for the cartridges provided. So, don’t throw out your cartridges. Bring them to church. Not only do they get recycled but they provide income for the ministry of the church.

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.

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.


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.


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.

August Birthdays: Barbara Donohue 8/4, Mardie Chapman 8/7, Claire Stiles 8/11, Kay Rencken 8/13, Vita Uth 8/14, Dana Cosper 8/22, James Waterman 8/23, and Joanne Reid 8/28. Someone missing? Contact the church office with birthday information.

Circle of Concern:

Colombian Family

Christy Martin and family

William Owen-Cowan

Jen Degroot

Carolyn Moore

Ann Quinn is under Hospice care

Maggie Brizendine

Janet Hall

Tony Larson

Yoko Nogami in flooded Kentucky

All those suffering from COVID-19 and all healthcare workers

Schools: Students, families, teachers, and staff.

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 Wednesday. Please provide the information in paragraph form with pertinent details and links. THANK YOU!


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