An Open and Affirming Church
A Creation Justice Church
February 19, 2023
10:30 a.m.



LIGHTING THE PEACE CANDLE                                            Colleen Coughenour, Liturgist

Few find inner peace but this is not because they try and fail, it is because they do not try.                                                                         Peace Pilgrim, 1908-1981

PRELUDE                             Prayer from Hansel and Gretel                                  Humperdinck

*OPENING SENTENCES                                                                           Ruth Burgess, contemporary

            The desert waits,

            ready for those who come

            who come obedient to the Spirit’s leading;

            or who are driven,

            because they will not come any other way.

            The desert always waits,

            ready to let us know who we are —

            the place of self-discovery.

            And whilst we fear, and rightly,

            the loneliness and emptiness and harshness,

            we forget the angels,

            who we cannot see for our blindness,

            but who come when God decides

            that we need their help;

            when we are ready

            for what they can give us.

*HYMN                                                    Great Is Your Faithfulness                                                           423                        


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.

                                    Matthew 4:1-11

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!

MODERN READING                                                                                    Belden Lane, contemporary

* SONG                                                            Don’t Be Afraid                                                     John Bell                  

SERMON                                                 Give Me Lent                                            Rev. Kim P. Wells

UNISON READING                                                                                                  Ann Lewin, 1940-2023    

            Lent is a time to learn to travel

            Light, to clear the clutter

            From our crowded lives, and

            Find a space, a desert.

            Deserts are bleak: no creature

            Comforts, only a vast expanse of

            Stillness, sharpening awareness of

            Ourselves and God.

            Uncomfortable places, deserts.

            Most of the time we’re tempted to

            Avoid them, finding good reason to

            Live lives of ease; cushioned by

            Noise from self-discovery,

            To stave off fear.

            But if we dare to trust the silence

            To strip away our false security,

            God can begin to grow his wholeness in us,

            Fill up our emptiness, destroy our fears.

Give us new vision, courage for the journey,

            And make our desert blossom like a rose.    

*  SONG                                           Take, O take me as I am                              Iona Community                                                              


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                           Viennese Ladies’ Ländler                                             Schubert                                                                                                        

            * Time of Dedication                                                     from Worship in an Indian Context

            Servant Christ,

            help us to follow you into the desert,

            with you to fast, denying false luxury,

            refusing the tempting ways of self-indulgence,

            the way of success at all costs,

            the way of coercive persuasion.

            Servant Christ, help us to follow you.

* PREPARATION FOR PRAYER         Through our lives and by our prayers      

 Iona Community


            Holy One, our only Home, hallowed be Your name.

            May your day dawn, your will be done,

            Here, as in heaven. Feed us today, and forgive us

            As we forgive each other. Do not forsake us at the test,

            But deliver us from evil. For the glory, the power,

            And the mercy are yours, now and forever.  Amen.

*  HYMN                              Teach Me, O Lord, Your Holy Way                                                  465                                 

* BENEDICTION                                                                                                                           

*CONGREGATIONAL RESPONSE   (please form a circle)                     Rosemary Crow

            Weave, weave, weave us together;             Weave, weave, weave us together,

            Weave us together in unity and love.          Weave us together, together in love.                                                                                           

*POSTLUDE                                         Mazurka in A Minor                                                 Chopin

Circle of Concern

Samantha Wassmer and Family  –  The Family and Loved Ones of Beulah Coughenour  –  Tony and Jim Larson
Erik Johnson  –  George and Jane Diven and Family  –  Katherine Conover
Sherry Santana  –  Ann Quinn is under Hospice care  –  Maggie Brizendine
Janet Hall
Schools: Students, families, teachers, and staff

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


A Just Peace Church

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