Bulletin 01.01.23


A Just Peace Church

An Open and Affirming Church

A Creation Justice Church

10:30 am

January 1, 2023

New Year’s Day!


LIGHTING THE PEACE CANDLE           Colleen Coughenour, Liturgist

            When the song of the angels is stilled,

            When the star in the sky is gone,

            When the kings and princes are home,

            When the shepherds are back with their flock,

            The work of Christmas begins:

            To find the lost,

            To heal the broken,

            To feed the hungry,

            To release the prisoner,

            To rebuild the nations,

            To bring peace among others,

            To make music in the heart.

The Work of Christmas by Howard Thurman, 1899-1981

PRELUDE            What a Wonderful World           Weiss & Thiel

*OPENING READING     Midwife of Our Lives        Iona Community

God of power and presence,

            you are the midwife of our lives,

always drawing us on to be born again,

            encouraging, exhorting, calming,

            containing even death.

            You pull us, kicking, into life,

            breathe spirit into us.

            We thank you for the gift in our breath,

            the love that we make,

            the hope that we cherish,

            the grace that encompasses our darkest day.

            In smallness and splendor, in storm and serenity,

            we celebrate your care and creativity.

            We rest in you, as trustingly as any baby.      

* HYMNS                  Hark! the Herald Angels Sing,

                                    Jesus The Light of the World                          160


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.

Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8, 12-13 and Matthew 2: 13-23

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!

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, 12-13

There is a time for everything,

            a season for every purpose under heaven:

a season to be born and a season to die;

            a season to plant and a season to harvest;

a season to hurt and a season to heal;

            a season to tear down and a season to build up;

a season to cry and a season to laugh;

            a season to mourn and a season to dance;

a season to scatter stones and a season to gather them;

            a season for holding close and a season for holding back;

a season to seek and a season to lose;

            a season to keep and a season to throw away;

a season to tear and a season to mend;

            a season to be silent and a season to speak;

a season to love and a season to hate;

            a season for hostilities and a season for peace.

What I do know it that what is best for us is to be happy and enjoy life as long as we live.  And God’s gift to us is to eat and drink and find fulfillment in our work. 

INTRODUCTION                                     Rev. Kim P. Wells


          Before I Die… Labyrinth… Seasons… A Word… Attached…                                     

ANTHEM                  All Beautiful the March of the Days                                                 

                                               English folk/arr. Vaughan Williams


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. 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. If you would like assistance, please turn to someone seated near you.     

 Offertory                                 Imagine                           Lennon

* Prayer of Dedication                  Methodist Covenant Prayer

I am no longer my own, but yours.

            Put me to what you will, rank me with whom you will;

            put me to doing, put me to suffering;

            let me be employed for you, or laid aside for you,

            exalted for you, or brought low for you;

            let me be full, let me be empty,

            let me have all things, let me have nothing:

            I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things

            to your pleasure and disposal.

            And now, glorious and blessed God,

            Creator, Christ, and Holy Spirit,

            you are mine and I am yours. So be it.

            And the covenant now made on earth,

            let it be ratified in heaven.  Amen.

* PREPARATION FOR COMMUNION          Eat This Bread          788



Communion Prayer – Savior’s Prayer

Our Creator, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.  Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory for ever.  Amen.

            Blessing the Bread and Cup             Iona Community

In the beginning, God made the world;

Made it and mothered it,

Shaped it and fathered it;

Filled it with seed and with signs of fertility,

Filled it with life and with song and variety.

All that is green, blue, deep and growing,

God’s is the hand that created you.

All that is tender, firm, fragrant and curious,

God’s is the hand that created you.

All that crawls, flies, swims, walks or is motionless,

God’s is the hand that created you.

All that speaks, sings, cries, laughs, or keeps silence,

God’s is the hand that created you.

All that suffers, lacks, limps or longs for an end,

God’s is the hand that created you.

The world belongs to God,

The earth and all its people.

When the time was right, God sent the Son.

Sent him and suckled him,

Reared him and risked him;

Filled him with laughter and tears and compassion,

Filled him with anger and love and devotion.

Unwelcomed child, refugee and runaway,

Christ is God’s own son.

Skilled carpenter and homeless wayfarer,

Christ is God’s own son.

Feeder and teacher, healer and antagonist,

Christ is God’s own son.

Lover of the unloveable, toucher of the untouchable,

forgiver of the unforgivable,

Christ is God’s own son.

Loved by the least, feared by the leaders;

befriended by the weak, despised by the strong;

deserted by his listeners, denied by his friends;

bone of our bone, flesh of our flesh,

writing heaven’s pardon over earth’s mistakes,

Christ is God’s own son.

The Word became flesh,

He lived among us, he was one of us.

When the world could wait no longer,

The carpenters took up their tools,

They made a cross for God’s own son,

Fashioned from wood and skill of human hands,

Fashioned from hate and will of human minds.

He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief,

For us he grieved.

He was nailed to the cross by human hands,

Bone of our bone, flesh of our flesh.

He died declaring God’s forgiveness.  He rose on the third day, transforming death.

He ascended into heaven, that he might be everywhere on earth.

He sent the Holy Sprit as the seal of his intention.

He sets before us bread and cup, and invites us to his table.

This is the place where we are made well again.

And all will be made well.

For God sent the Son into the world not to condemn the world,

But that the world through him might be saved.

Hear us, O Christ, and breathe your Spirit upon us and upon this bread and cup.

May the become for us your body,

vibrant with your life,

healing renewing and making us whole.

As the bread and cup which we now eat and drink

are changed into us,

may we be changed again into you,

bone of your bone,

flesh of your flesh,

loving and caring in the world.  

             Sharing the Meal    

Unison Prayer of Thanksgiving                              John Hammond

            Child of Bethlehem —

            house of bread;

            Man of Jerusalem —

            city of peace;

            you have loved us

            without condition;

            in our greatness and in our misery,

            in our folly and in our virtue;

            may your hand be always upon us

            and may your heart be within us

            so that we too

            may become bread and peace

            for one another.  Amen.

*HYMNS               This Is a Day of New Beginnings              417

*BENEDICTION             The Gate of the year                                                                      

                                           Minnie Louise Haskins, 1875-1957

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:  “Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”

And he replied:  “Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God.  That shall be to you better than a light and safer than a known way.” 

*CONGREGATIONAL RESPONSE  (please form a circle)

                                           Lead Us From Death to Life           581

             Lead us from death to life, from falsehood to truth,

            from despair to hope, from fear to trust.

            Lead us from hate to love, from war to peace;

            let peace fill our hearts, let peace fill our world,

            let peace fill our universe.

*POSTLUDE            Sunflower Slow Drag            Joplin

Circle of Concern: Lakewood High School Girls and Boys Basketball Teams, Erik Johnson, Katherine Conover, Sally Purvis, Lucille Ruga, Kim Carr, Ann Quinn is under Hospice care, Maggie Brizendine, Janet Hall. All those suffering from COVID-19 and all healthcare workers, Schools: Students, families, teachers, and staff


Communion Sunday: This is a Communion Sunday.  We are using the prepackaged individual communion servings.  Please know that everyone is welcome to participate in communion.  Young people are invited to participate at the discretion of the adult(s) who have brought them.  The Communion Offering will be received. This offering is used to help people in the church and the community with basic needs such as rent and utility assistance, bus passes, prescriptions, etc. There has been heavy need for these funds. Please consider how you can help the community through this offering.

FaceBook Live

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

Guided labyrinth walks Wednesday mornings at 9:00am – Each week there is a guided labyrinth walk on the outdoor labyrinth at the church. It’s a time of prayerful faith sharing, and a time to listen more deeply to our spiritual lives. In case of rain, the walks are held on Thursday Morning.


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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