LAKEWOOD UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST
A Just Peace Church
An Open and Affirming Church
A Creation Justice Church
January 8, 2023
WELCOME and ANNOUNCEMENTS
LIGHTING THE PEACE CANDLE Sherry Santana , Liturgist
To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns,
to surrender to too many demands,
to commit to too many projects,
to want to help everyone in everything
is itself to succumb to the violence of our times.
Thomas Merton 1915-1968
PRELUDE Chanty Bloch
*OPENING PRAYER Leslie Griffiths, b. 1942, Methodist
turn our religions inside out,
save them all from the modes of self glorification,
make servanthood the hallmark of their authenticity,
show all believing people
that the secret,
of all that’s worth having and striving for
has already been modelled for us
in the self-sacrificing love of Jesus.
* HYMN Beautiful Jesus 160
SCRIPTURE LESSONS –
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.
Isaiah 42:1-9 and Matthew 3:13-17
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!
UNISON READING Ernesto Cardenal, 1925-2020, Nicaraugua
We do not know that at the centre of our being we find not ourselves but another, that our own identity is in another, that turning inwards and finding ourselves is to fall into the arms of another.
*HYMN In the Bulb There is a Flower 433
SERMON The Plunge Rev. Kim P. Wells
Rejoice over everything.
Be glad. Be delighted, elated,
and bowled over with joy!
Frolic freely, hop hope,
dance on the dare, cheer,
champion the little ones,
revel in the riotous light.
Invoke God without ceasing.
Pray with passion.
Whatever you do,
do not quench the Spirit.
Take care not to douse
or dampen the bold blaze
in your depths.
Jump into life.
Hold fast to it.
Give thanks for everything.
even the most misshapen
is the disguise of the divine.
Susan Virginia Hull
RENEWAL OF BAPTISM
* Hymn I Was There to Hear Your Boring Cry 351
You are not your occupation. You are not your achievements, you are not your failings, nor your health, wealth or status. All these things are connected with you but are not you, for you do not cease to exist when these things disappear. Ultimately, who are you?
I am a unique manifestation of God, who is closer to me than I am to myself. This is the truth of my being, the glory and wonder of it.
Gerard W. Hughes, 1924-2014, adapted
ANTHEM Sing a New Song Praetorius/arr. Schweizer
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 Under the Sea Menken
* Prayer of Dedication Hafiz, Persia, 1320-1389
When the sun within speaks, when love
reaches out its hand and places it upon another,
any power the stars and planets might
have upon us,
any fears you can muster can become so
What one heart can do for another heart,
is there any beauty in the world that can
Brotherhood, sisterhood, humanity becomes
the joy and the emancipation.
* PREPARATION FOR PRAYER Now Greet the Swiftly Changing Year 431
MORNING PRAYER – SAVIOR’S PRAYER
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.
* HYMN Let No One Miss Out see insert
* BENEDICTION Rick Yramategui, contemporary
Hear our voices, hear our song.
We will sing till all belong —
songs of welcome, midst the strife.
We hear music of new life.
*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 Down by the Riverside African-American spiritual
Circle of Concern:
Lakewood High School Girls and Boys Basketball Teams, Kim Carr, Erik Johnson, Katherine Conover, 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
Annual MLK Service Ahead
On Sunday Jan. 15 the LUCC congregation will honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Please plan to be part of the celebration!
This monthly Zoom gathering will be held on Thursday Jan. 19 at 6:30. Link for Zoom is below Each month, LUCC folks gather to discuss what they have been reading. Join in the fun! All are welcome!
Zoom Link: http://us02web.zoom.us/j/2700683648 Meeting Id: 270 068 3648
Church Applying for Grant
LUCC is in the process of applying for a grant from the city to cover the expense of installing a solar energy system at the church with battery backup capability. Barbara Donohue and Rev. Kim Wells are working on this initiative. Please speak with them for more information.
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/ email@example.com/ Lakewooducc.org
On land originally inhabited by the Tocabaga