Weekly Anti-Racism Demonstration

Each Sunday evening from 7:30-8:00 p.m. people from the church community and beyond are gathering on the sidewalk in front of the church to send a message to the coummunity in support of an anti-racist society.  There are many positive responses from passing cars.  And a few negative ones, too!


To practice health safety, people stand at least 6 feet apart and wear masks.  Everyone is welcome!  

Corona Sabbath 16 COMFORT

“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. . . I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.” –Anne Frank, 1929-1945

These weeks when we cannot gather in person for Sunday worship, Lakewood United Church of Christ is providing brief weekly sabbath programs for you to listen to on your own or with others in your social isolation group. They will be posted on Friday so that you can schedule your sabbath time to suit your schedule and your spiritual inclinations. We hope these programs are of spiritual support to you in these difficult times.

During these summer weeks, the theme being used in “Grounded.” Some of us feel that shelter-in-place feels like being grounded. Some would normally have travel plans and feel grounded. With the many challenges facing our society, it is important to feel grounded. So these Summer Sundays will focus on key concepts in Christianity that provide grounding. So, welcome to “Grounded.” This post focuses on comfort.

There is a scripture reading offered by Jim Andrews and a brief meditation by Pastor Kim Wells as well as music offered by Music Director Hilton Kean Jones. This week there is special music from Bill Parsons.

As an opening for today’s devotional, you are invited to watch the following video and sing along on the medley of familiar hymns it presents.

You are now invited to find a quiet space, inside or outside. Light a candle. Take a look around you. Breathe. Life-giving breath. Be present.

You may begin by offering this reading:

The world will give you that once in awhile, a brief timeout; the boxing bell rings and you go to your corner, where somebody dabs mercy on your beat-up life.

–Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees

When you are ready, start the video below.


(For written text of the above video click HERE.)

Today’s guest musical offering is In the Garden, performed by founding church member and retired professor of Russian studies at Eckerd College, William Parsons.

In conclusion, as you listen to the music from Hilton which follows, you are invited to notice the thoughts and feelings and that arise for you.

After viewing the video, you are invited to offer the following closing:

The things that matter most in our lives are not fantastic or grand. They are the moments when we touch one another, when we are there in the most attentive and caring way.

–Jack Kornfield, A Path with Heart

Breathe. Breathe again. Be filled. With comfort and assurance. Extinguish your candle and engage whatever may come with a sense of peace and a desire to serve.


LAKEWOOD UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST

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 and in our world;
  • Offer the hospitality and inclusive love of Christ to all people;
  • Work for God’s peace and justice throughout creation.

QUICK LINKS TO OUR RECENT POSTS DURING THE CORONA CRISIS:
Online Devotionals: https://lakewooducc.org/category/online-devotional/
Sermon Texts: https://lakewooducc.org/category/posts/sermon-texts/

For above links, please note “Older Posts” button near bottom of page.
Music: https://soundcloud.com/hilton-kean-jones/sets/music-at-lakewood

Weekly Update 7/2

WHAT IS GOING ON AT CHURCH –

Summer Sundays

The theme for the Corona Sabbath posts this summer is ‘GROUNDED.’ Yes, with the COVID-19 pandemic continuing, many are not taking expected summer trips and vacations.  Feeling grounded.  And with the demonstrations going on, many do not feel safe to venture out because of the pandemic and feel grounded.  And with a global pandemic, a global recession, and global demonstrations against racism, it is a time to lean on our faith to help us feel grounded.  Each week’s presentation will explore a different dimension of our faith which helps us to feel grounded in these uncertain times.  When we are grounded, we can grow and flourish and bear fruit!  So, look for the Corona Sabbath post each week to help you be grounded! The theme for this week is comfort. 


Corona Sabbath

In addition to the material from Hilton and Kim, we hope to include contributions from the congregation each week.  You are invited to send a picture, a poem, a quotation from a book or article, an image, a work of art, a song, a video of you doing something or reading something, anything you would like, that you feel relates to the theme.  Hilton and Kim will try to incorporate the contributions into the Corona Sabbath Devotional on the related theme.

The themes coming up are:

Hope for the Future

Forgiveness

Compassion/Justice

Service/Generosity

Transformation

Trust

Gratitude

Comfort

Peace

Healing

Wonder/Awe

Please email contributions on any of these topics to the church at lakewooducc@gmail.com. Or use the “regular” mail. 

Is there something you would like to share but are not sure where it fits?  No worries.  Send it in and it will get used where appropriate. 

Many thanks for the contributions so far. Please keep them coming! 


This Sunday

The church will be open from 10:30 to 11:30.  The peace candle will be lit.  It will be a time of prayer and reflection as a witness that the church is still open and ministry continues even though we are not able to gather in person for worship.  

Look for a Corona Sabbath post on Friday.  Check for it at the website – lakewooducc.org
Also, please subscribe to the website so that you receive regular updates about church life. 


Hymnals for All

While we might not be able to recite many scripture verses, we can probably sing the words to many hymns.  Singing is one of the things people miss most about not having in-person church services at this time.  Hymns are a source of inspiration.  We have associations with certain hymns.  The tunes and the words help us to feel grounded.

Music Director, Hilton Jones, would like to use more hymns in the devotional posts provided by the church.  If you have a hymnal and sing along, there are no copyright issues and problems. 

To that end, please know that the church hymnals are available to be checked out like a library book but with no due date and no fines!

You may pick one up at church on Sunday mornings (10-12) or Wednesday mornings (9-12) or Sunday evenings (7:30-8:00).  There is a clip board to sign your name indicating that you have taken a book. 

If you would like a hymnal delivered to you, please contact the church office and we will try to do that. 

When we can worship in person again, the hymnals will need to be returned. 

‘God respects me when I work; but God loves me when I sing.”  Rabindranath Tagore 


Are You Counted?

With all of the upheaval in society, it might be easy to forget about the census.  But responding to the census is a way to respond to all that is going on around us.  The census is very important to the allocation of resources in our society.  And it effects our representation in government.  If you have not already done so, complete the census!  

https://2020census.gov/en.html


Sunday Evening Demonstration for Racial Justice

Last week there were 10 people participating in the demonstration for racial justice along 54th Ave. S. in front of the church from 7:30-8:00 p.m.  In addition to folks from LUCC, there were people from the Social Justice Committee at Westminster Suncoast, and a friend of a church member.  There were many expressions of support and a few expressions of opposition from passing cars.

This public witness will continue in coming weeks.  Everyone is welcome.  Bring a sign or use one of the signs provided.  The intent is to send a positive message about racial justice.  No political or partisan signs, please.

Here are pictures from last week’s witness:  https://lakewooducc.org/2020/06/23/sunday-evening-demonstration-for-racial-justice/


Zooms Ahead!

There will be another all church Zoom gathering on the evening of Friday July 24.  This will be a Christmas Eve in July celebration complete with Christmas carols.  And maybe even Christmas cookies!

There will also be an all church Zoom gathering  on Sunday morning August 9 at 10:30.  The theme is Back to School.  It is the Sunday before school starts and it will be a celebration of learning and a time to share memories of teachers who have made a difference in our lives.  


Labyrinth Has Been Refurbished

In recent weeks, the labyrinth has been restored and refurbished with some trimming, raking, and new hay.  Please know that this spiritual path is open for your use any time. 

There is a guided walk on Wednesday mornings at 9:00.  This involves scripture, reflection, and sharing for those who would like to.  This devotional gathering is outside and physical distancing is maintained.   All are welcome!  

https://lakewooducc.org/2020/06/23/labyrinth-has-been-refurbished/


Creation Justice Task Force Update: Permaculture Report 

On Sunday, June 7 at 11:30am in the Fellowship Hall, the Permaculture Design Team students, Scott and Sarah, presented their ideas for transforming our church property into an inviting and sustainable natural environment for our community and beyond. The Creation Justice Task Force met with them multiple times over the past few months and were ready to see how our dreams and desires for an environmentally friendly, attractive, and useful transformation of our natural environment might translate into a reality. We were thrilled with their slide show and well researched presentation of possibilities divided in three phases for implementation over the next few years.
The Creation Justice Task Force is planning for the Permaculture Design Team to share this slide show and information with more of you in the near future in either a zoom or in person meeting. Stay tuned for further information!


Spiritual Direction Offered by LUCC Clergy Member.

In these troubled times, it is important to find ways to tend to our spiritual lives. In the Christian tradition, Spiritual Direction is one of the ways of paying attention to the spirit in our lives. A Spiritual Director is someone to talk with about what is going on in our spiritual life and in our relationship with God however we may conceive of God.

Rev. Sally Purvis, Ph.D., a member of LUCC, is a retired clergy person with training and experience in Spiritual Direction. She is offering her services as a Spiritual Director to the community. The sessions would be held on Zoom and there is no fee to be paid. Church leaders are pleased to have the ministry of the church expand in this way.

Spiritual Direction with Sally is open to anyone, not just the congregation. And it is offered to everyone whatever their spiritual or religious background or affiliation or lack thereof. Sessions are generally held once every three weeks. Spiritual Direction is not a mode of therapy. It is a process for understanding and deepening your relationship with God/Spirit in ways are authentic and life-giving.

Sally was trained by Henri Nouwen, a noted spiritual guide of the 20th century, and did Spiritual Direction as part of her professional ministry before retiring in 2015.

If you would like to explore Spiritual Direction with Sally, please contact her at
sallybpurvis@icloud.com or contact the church (867-7961 or lakewooducc@gmail.com ).

The church is very grateful to Sally for offering this avenue of support to the congregation and the community.


DayStar Donations 

Daystar Life Center announced Wednesday that the facility will suspend all services except for mail until further notice, after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19, according to a post on the nonprofit organization’s Facebook page.

Staff members and volunteers in the St. Petersburg facility, which serves the poor and homeless, last week were advised to test for coronavirus, and people who had close contact with the staff member who tested positive have been urged to self-isolate for 14 days, the Facebook post reads.

The Facebook post does not state when the staff member tested positive, how they came into contact with the virus or their role at Daystar.

Daystar will be open for mail service from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. In observance of Independence Day, the facility will be closed July 3.

Daystar is a nonprofit organization that provides a host of services to local people facing poverty or homelessness, including assistance with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program authentication and local transportation. The facility also offers a food pantry, free clothes and personal hygiene items.

The organization did not provide an estimate of when it will reopen, except to say it would “as soon as it is safe to do so.”


QUICK LINKS TO OUR RECENT POSTS DURING THE CORONA CRISIS:
Sermon videos: https://lakewooducc.org/category/online-devotional/
Sermon texts: https://lakewooducc.org/category/posts/sermon-texts/
Posts containing music: https://lakewooducc.org/category/posts/music/

For all those links, please note the “Older Posts” button near bottom of page.

FOR JUST THE MUSIC: https://soundcloud.com/hilton-kean-jones/sets/music-at-lakewood 


Daily Corona Prayer

https://lakewooducc.org/2020/03/20/lucc-corona-daily-prayer


Assistance Available

If you need help of any kind – something from the store, someone to talk with, support managing during shelter-in-place, parenting concerns – please know that the church is ready and willing to help in any way needed.  This situation is trying for everyone.  You are not alone.  We’ll make it through together.  Please contact the church office (lakewooducc@gmail.com or 867-7961 or Rev. Kim Wells at wells.kim.p@gmail.com).  

Miss someone from church?  Give them a call or send a note.  Personal contact is so important when physical contact is limited.  


Music Ministry

About Hilton’s music. . . If you would enjoy hearing Hilton play more Irish folk songs, you can
listen for free at either https://hiltonjones.bandcamp.com/album/irish-
tunes or https://soundcloud.com/hilton-kean-jones/sets/irish-tunes .


July Birthdays:  Ann Quinn 7/6. Someone missing? Contact the church office with birthday information.


Circle of Concern: JoAnn Reid, William Owen, Wilbur Reid, Martha Lamar, Jen Degroot, Carolyn Moore, Ann Quinn, Maggie Brizendine, and All healthcare workers and essential workers. All those suffering from COVID-19.

Please keep Yvonne Riesen and family in your prayers.  Yvonne is in the process of moving to the Memory Care unit at Westminster Suncoast.

 Please Keep Ann Rogers in your prayers as she has been in the hospital and has now been moved to rehab. 

Please keep LUCC member, Olivia Gibson, in your prayers. She is a nurse in a COVID-19 unit in a local hospital. We are grateful for her ministry!


Recent Posts:


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 Tuesday since the Update usually is sent out on Wednesday.

How you can help

Social_media_iconLakewood UCC’s website posts also appear on social media: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Especially during this time when its cyber presence is of vital importance to the church, getting the word out about Lakewood’s posts is critical.

This is how you can help:

On Facebook, hit both Like and Share. One of your friends may click on your share and that will start a connection.

On Twitter click the little heart and retweet! Once again, one of your friends may find the post a comfort.

Sharing on Instagram isn’t as easy, but there’s a third-party app called Repost that works well.

So…like and share, like and retweet, like and repost!

Corona Sabbath 15 COMPASSION

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThese weeks when we cannot gather in person for Sunday worship, Lakewood United Church of Christ is providing brief weekly sabbath programs for you to listen to on your own or with others in your social isolation group. They will be posted on Friday so that you can schedule your sabbath time to suit your schedule and your spiritual inclinations. We hope these programs are of spiritual support to you in these difficult times.

There is a scripture reading and a brief meditation by Pastor Kim Wells as well as music offered by Music Director Hilton Kean Jones.

During these summer weeks, the theme being used in “Grounded.” Some of us feel that shelter-in-place feels like being grounded. Some would normally have travel plans and feel grounded. With the many challenges facing our society, it is important to feel grounded. So these Summer Sundays will focus on key concepts in Christianity that provide grounding. So, welcome to “Grounded.” This post focuses on grace.

You are invited to find a quiet space, inside or outside. Light a candle. Take a look around you. Breathe. Life-giving breath. Be present.

You may begin by offering this reading:

Compassion is a thread that binds together the deepest centers of life beyond the borders of race, gender, religion, tribe, or creature.

–Ilia Delio, Compassion

When you are ready, start the video below.


(For written text of the above video click HERE.)

As you listen to the music from Hilton which follows, you are invited to notice the thoughts and feelings and that arise for you.

After listening to the music, you are invited to offer the following closing:

As my heart breaks open, there will be room for the world to heal.

–Joanna Macy, World as Lover, World as Self, adapted

Breathe. Breathe again. Be filled. With compassion. For the world. For yourself. Extinguish your candle and engage whatever may come with a sense of peace and a desire to serve.


LAKEWOOD UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST

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 and in our world;
  • Offer the hospitality and inclusive love of Christ to all people;
  • Work for God’s peace and justice throughout creation.

 


QUICK LINKS TO OUR RECENT POSTS DURING THE CORONA CRISIS:
Online Devotionals: https://lakewooducc.org/category/online-devotional/
Sermon Texts: https://lakewooducc.org/category/posts/sermon-texts/

For above links, please note “Older Posts” button near bottom of page.
Music: https://soundcloud.com/hilton-kean-jones/sets/music-at-lakewood