Weekly Update 3.10.23


This Sunday: This Sunday is the third Sunday of Lent, a season of 40 days of preparation for the festival of Easter. Lent is a time to be intentional about having Love at the center of our lives. This Sunday the focus is on water. How do we open ourselves to the flow of love in our lives like water gushing from a spring?

Childcare is provided at all Sunday services.


Spring forward!

Stewardship Materials Available

A letter, pledge form and additional materials are available offering the opportunity to make a commitment of financial support to the church for the year 2023. If you have not gotten a packet and would like one, please contact the Church Office.

The packet includes a collection of quotes from several people in the congregation commenting on what LUCC means to them. This piece is very inspiring! Don’t miss it!

New College Demonstration

Many thanks to Bill Parsons, Dyanne Edds, Emily Bell, and Kim Wells for being part of the demonstration at New College on Tuesday. New College was founded in 1960 by the United Church of Christ.

There were about 300 people at the demonstration, many of them from UCC churches. Did this rally change the Governor’s mind about policies regarding higher education? Probably not. But it certainly let the students, staff, and parents of New College know that the wider community is paying attention and cares about what is happening.

To see more about the demonstration including pictures, click here: https://lakewooducc.org/2023/03/02/lakewood-ucc-supports-new-college-rally/.

Advisors Meeting Sunday

The LUCC advisors will be meeting this Sunday, March 12, following worship, in the Fellowship Hall. All are welcome to attend. There is much to discuss as church leaders seek to support the vibrant life of this congregation!

IFTAR Dinner Ahead

The church received this invitation to the annual IFTAR dinner. Please contact the Church Office if you would like to attend. The church can provide transportation. Please indicate that you would like a ride: lakewooducc@gmail.com

Dear Beloved Community Members,

We invite you, family, and friends to join us at our 5th Annual Iftar Dinner.

Each year we host a free community Iftar dinner at the St. Petersburg Coliseum for over 800 fellow community members from various faiths with an interest in human life, in order to break down barriers.

Please join us, and let’s “break bread together with peace, love, and compassion for all humanity.”

When: Tuesday, April 4th. Doors open at 5:30 with the program beginning promptly at 6:30. Dinner will be served at sunset with the breaking of the fast (approximately 7:40 PM).

Where: St. Petersburg Coliseum: 535 4th Avenue North

How: Please RSVP to the Church Office at lakewooducc@gmail.com or 727-867-7961.

Abdu K. Ali

Tampa Bay Area Muslim Association, Inc.

IFTAR, Chair

UCC General Minister and President Nominee a former member of LUCC

This past week, the search committee for the next General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ announced the candidate to be elected at the General Synod this summer. It is the Rev. Dr. Karen Georgia Thompson. Many years ago, Karen lived in St. Pete and was a member of LUCC. Congratulations to Karen and to the UCC!

Click here to see the official announcement from the national UCC: https://lakewooducc.org/2023/03/02/rev-dr-karen-georgia-thompson-next-ucc-leader/

Book Talk Ahead
The monthly Book Talk will be held on Thursday March 16 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. This is a Zoom gathering. All are welcome to participate. Share what you have been reading lately if you would like to. Hear about what others have been reading. Meeting ID: 270 068 3648

Volunteers Needed

There are still several ways for volunteers to be helpful at church particularly involving basic tech skills. Please speak with Kim Wells if you can help out. Many thanks to all those who have taken on new responsibilities in recent weeks!

From Lakewood Church Leaders following the Congregational Meeting

As we enter the Lenten season we can be thankful for our church community deciding to move forward boldly at the Congregational Meeting on Feb. 19, 2023. By a unanimous vote with 23 people present, a 6 month budget was approved that keeps our full-time Pastor and accepts the challenge to meet a $12,500 deficit for the first 6 months of the year. A significant amount of that was pledged at the meeting.

There were two realities that were clear at the meeting. The first is the realization that expenses are going up for individual households and for the church. The second is that there is a strong sense of community and a special appreciation for the leadership of our Pastor and our church leaders. We simply have to find additional income.

We hope that you will seriously consider increasing your regular giving to the church this year. It is easy to say that we will do the same as last year, or that we will give when we attend on Sunday. But it will help in our planning if we know what we can count on to support our on-going expenses.

Another possibility is to consider a one-time gift to support this year’s shortfall. Perhaps you have planned to leave the church a bequest when you are no longer able to participate as part of the Lakewood family. Maybe you could use a portion of that bequest now to help Lakewood continue to thrive in this critical year of our life as a congregation. Eight to ten individuals contributing an additional $1,000 and 8-10 contributing an additional $500 would go a long way toward meeting our needs for the coming year. And for those who are not in a position to make this kind of commitment, please know that every gift is valued and significant to our life together.

In addition to increasing our financial giving, there is also the need to increase our participation and volunteering at the church. There many ways to be of assistance so that the ministry of the church can remain vibrant. Those who would like to become more involved are encouraged to contact Pastor Kim Wells to discuss ways to be helpful.

Working together, and the God’s help, we can meet this challenge.

Pledge forms will be available soon.

Many thanks for your support of this beautiful faith community!

Your Lakewood Church Leadership Team

Guided Labyrinth Walks Wednesday Mornings at 9:00 a.m.
Each week there is a guided labyrinth walk on the outdoor labyrinth at the church. It is 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.
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.
Family Promise Needs
Family Promise, a local ministry to houseless families with children, is in need of the following items:
Women’s underwear sizes S/M/LWomen’s socksWash clothsBath towelsPull Ups sizes 2T-3T, 3T-4T, 4T-5THair conditioner (no shampoo)Women’s deodorantCerealCups, forks, platesSnacks to go (not granola bars)Please bring items to church and place them on the shelves behind the curtain in the hallway.
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.

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. Many thanks to Owen Blair-Catala for seeing that the donations are received by Operation Attack.


Sermon and Reflection Texts

Lakewood UCC YouTube Channel

Lakewood UCC on Twitter

Lakewood on Facebook

Lakewood on Instagram

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 http://hiltonkeanjones.com/look-listen/ as well as purchase his CDs and digital albums there.

March Birthdays!
March 1 Carol ShoresMarch 3 Claudia RodriguezMarch 13 Yvonne RiesenMarch 19 Ron Huff
Are any church family birthdays missing? Please contact the Church Office!
Circle of Concern
Samantha Wassmer and familyTony and Jim LarsonEmily BellAnn Quinn is under Hospice careMaggie BrizendineJanet Hall

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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