Bulletin 5/7/23

An Open and Affirming Church
A Creation Justice Church
May 7, 2023
10:30 a.m.

WELCOME and ANNOUNCEMENTS      Jim Andrews, liturgist

The only hope for the future lay in an all-embracing attitude of forgiveness of the peoples who had been our enemies.  Otherwise one became a member of a chain gang of mere cause and effect from which life has labored so long and painfully to escape. 
Laurens Van Der Post, 1906 – 1996

PRELUDE    God’s Eye is on the Sparrow      Gabriel   

*  OPENING READING         David Tresemer  1948 –
         O Great Spirit . . .
         Roll away from me the weight                   of dead and frozen thoughts.
         Clear away from me the fogs
                  of falsely sweet illusions.
         Ignite in my heart
                  the warmth of true love
         That with new eyes of new love
         And my angel at my back
         I may see the Truth of the World.
         I may feel the Beauty of the World.
         And I may act with courage for the good.
         O Great Spirit . . .            
*  HYMN   
Come, O Fount of Every Blessing     459

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.

Psalm 103 page 688, hymnal  and  Matthew 18:21-22   

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!

CONTEMPORARY READING        George S. Johnson

*  HYMN     Amazing Grace          547

REFLECTION      Forgiveness      Christy Martin

UNISON READING         Francis De Sales 1567-1622
Be patient with everyone, but above all with yourself . . . do not be                          disheartened by your imperfections, but always rise       up with fresh courage.               How are we to be patient in dealing with our neighbor’s faults if we are                       impatient in dealing with our own?    

ANTHEM      The Call    Vaughn 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      Peace in the Valley    Dorsey
         *  Time of Dedication        Thich Nhat Hanh

The energy of compassion in you will transform your life and make it more beautiful.  Compassion is always born of understanding, and understanding is the result of looking deeply.

*  PREPARATION FOR COMMUNION  I Need You Every Hour  517



         Communion Prayer – Saviors 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 sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.  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.
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 they 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,
Lover of the unlovable, 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,
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.

*  HYMN    Sent Forth by God’s Blessing       76

*  BENEDICTION           Modern, New MexicoI have forgotten where the hatchet is buried.    

*  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.

Teje, tejenos juntos,        Teje, tejenos juntos,
Tejenos juntos en unidad y amor.        Tejenos juntos, juntos en el amor.

*  POSTLUDE      Easy Winners       Joplin

This is a Communion Sunday.
  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.

This morning communion will be offered by intinction.  This involves coming forward, taking a piece of bread and dipping it in the cup and eating it.  There are also individual cups available, and the prepackaged communion servings.  Please do what feels most comfortable for you. 

Pastor Away
Rev. Wells will be away from May 4-9.  If pastoral care is needed please contact Patti Cooksey (727-798-9321 or cooksepa@eckerd.edu)

New Time for Weekly Labyrinth Walk
Beginning next week, May 10, the weekly guided labyrinth walk will be held on Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m.  There are several factors that have led to this change including the construction on the property next to the church.  All are welcome!

In case of rain, the walk will be held the following evening, Thursday, at 7 p.m.
Many thanks! 
Gratitude is expressed to Christy Martin and Jim Andrews for leading worship today.  Their service is a blessing to all!

One Great Hour of Sharing Offering to be Received
The One Great Hour of Sharing Offering is a special offering received by the United Church of Christ which is used to empower  people around the world.  The projects funded extend Christian love by honoring the right of every person to live with dignity and to make a contribution to the wider community.  Here is a link to former LUCC member, Karen Georgia Thompson and nominee for General Minister and President of the UCC, talking a about the importance of One Great Hour of Sharing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0KCYPJTfhg

In honor of mothers who seek to provide for their families and create a world where all children can flourish, this special offering will be received on Mother’s Day.  The theme for One Great Hour this year is “It’s Time to Share!”

Ahead –
For Pentecost, May 28, please plan on bringing a candle to church to be used in worship.
LUCC will be participating in the UCC Climate Card initiative letting legislators know that we support efforts to eliminate global warming.  Look for more information soon.
Circle of Concern
Jeff Wells and family over the death of his brother, Frank Wells
Erik Johnson – Ann Quinn is under Hospice care – Janet Hall
Family and Loved Ones of Dave Radens, husband of Marg Radens
Schools: Students, families, teachers, and staff

Church Staff
Rev. Kim P. Wells  Pastor
    Hilton K. Jones   Music Director
  Claudia Rodriguez  Childcare

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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