Corona Sabbath 21 HOPE

IMG_2909These 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 hope.

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

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 with this reading:

God of life, there are days when the burdens we carry chafe our shoulders and wear us down; when the road seems dreary and endless, the skies gray and threatening; when our lives have no music in them and our hearts are lonely, and our souls have lost their courage. Flood the path with light, we beseech you: turn our eyes to where the skies are full of promise.
St. Augustine, 354-430 C.E.

When you are ready, start the video below.

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

Christy Martin grew up in the church and is now a member as an adult. She is a mom with two wonderful daughters. She shares these words about where she finds hope in these difficult times when her daughters are scared to go outside because of the police:

Make America Great Again- in which time period was America Great for Blacks? The founding fathers were not for blacks. The Declaration of Independence was signed by white men; this didn’t even include people of color or white women. Slavery was abolished but still blacks didn’t have the same rights. My dad’s family is buried in a black only cemetery. What did giving blacks the right to vote do?  In the 70’s my father had to go to Gibbs Junior College, known today as St. Pete College, because blacks were not allowed anywhere else. Just last year my daughter heard a teammate tell another teammate to stop acting crazy, stop acting black. This came from a 13 year old white girl. Which means she hears it from her inner circle. 

When was America Great? It is understood that all lives matter, but a white man didn’t have a knee on his neck crying for his mom. A white woman wasn’t in her bed when the police broke in and shot her dead and then realized it was the wrong house. No white man was stopped because he fit a description of a robber and was shot dead.  It will never be GREAT for Blacks until All Americans realize that America needs to change to include all people, no matter the color of their skin. Then and only then can we say ALL LIVES MATTER. 

This movement didn’t just happen because someone died in police custody.  On August 28, 1963, there was a march on Washington and Martin Luther King, Jr. said and I quote “I have a dream that my four little children will one day to live in a Nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” This fight now has a social media platform, but this is not a new fight. We just have the next strong generation taking over.

I will end with a piece of a poem from Maya Angelou:

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I RISE.

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 –

How many nights
have I lain in terror,
O Creator Spirit, Maker of night and day,

only to work out
the next morning over the frozen world
hearing under the creaking of snow
faith, peaceful breaths . . .
snake,
bear, earthworm, ant . . .

and above me
a wild crow crying ‘yaw yaw yaw’
from a branch nothing cried from ever in my life.

–Galway Kinnell, “How Many Nights”

Breathe. Breathe again. Be filled. With hope. Extinguish your candle and engage whatever may come with a sense of peace and a desire grow and 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

Corona Sabbath 20 HEALING

20200725_104415These 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 healing.

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

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:

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

–The Peace of Wild Things by Wendell Berry

(poem submitted by Sue Sherwood)
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.


Before closing, today’s Corona Sabbath presents a video of scenes from the life of the Lakewood UCC community created by Yoko and Randy with music performed by them.

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

O mover of miracles within me
Pour the healing waters of compassion
On the wounded body of humanity
And make it whole, make it whole!

–Ancient Sanskrit Prayer

Breathe. Breathe again. Be filled. With a desire for wholeness. Extinguish your candle and engage whatever may come with a sense of peace and a desire grow and 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

Corona Sabbath 19 TRUST

IMG_2906These 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 trust.

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

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 with this reading:

Mother
Pillar of Fire
In this darkening desert
Help me follow you
Across the burning sands
Of my hopelessness and despair
To the country where your splendor reigns
And all the rocks and rivers chant your name.
–Romanus Melodus, 6th c.

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 viewing the video, you are invited to offer the following closing –

Lord,You have always given
bread for the coming day;
and though I am poor,
today I believe.

Lord, You have always given
strength for the coming day;
and though I am weak,
today I believe.

Lord, You have always given
peace for the coming day;
and though of anxious heart,
today I believe.

Lord, You have always kept
me safe in trials;
and now, tried as I am,
today I believe.

Lord, You have always marked the road for the coming day;
and though it may be hidden,
today I believe.

Lord, You have always lightened
this darkness of mine;
and though the night is here,
today I believe.

Lord, You have always spoken
when time was ripe;
and though You be silent now,
today I believe.

From Celtic Daily Prayer, Book Two, Farther Up and Farther In
the Northumbria Community

Breathe. Breathe again. Be filled. With trust. Extinguish your candle and engage whatever may come with a sense of peace and a desire grow and 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

 

Corona Sabbath 18 GRATITUDE

IMG_2832These 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 gratitude.

There is a scripture reading offered by Claire Stiles and a brief meditation by Pastor Kim Wells as well as music offered by Music Director Hilton Kean Jones and guest musician, Ian Blair-Catala.

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:

I move through my day-to-day life with a sense of appreciation and gratitude that comes from knowing how fortunate I truly am and how unearned all that I am thankful for really is. To have this perspective in my everyday consciousness is in itself a gift, for it leads to feeling “graced,” or blessed, each time.

–Jean Shinoda Bolen

You are invited to sing, “For the Beauty of the Earth,” hymn 28, in the New Century Hymnal, as accompanied by Hilton Kean Jones in the video below, just like at church!

This next video includes a scripture lesson read by Claire Stiles and a reflection by Rev. Kim Wells.

(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 viewing the video, you are invited to offer the following closing –

We return thanks to our mother,
the Earth, which sustains us.
We return thanks to the rivers and streams
which supply us with water.
We return thanks to all herbs, which furnish medicines
for the cure of our diseases.
We return thanks to the corn, and to her sisters,
the beans and squashes, which give us life.
We return thanks to the bushes and trees,
which provide us with fruit.
We return thanks to the wind,
which, moving the air, has banished diseases.
We return thanks to the Moon and the stars,
which have given us their light when the Sun was gone.
We return thanks to our grandfather He-no,
who has protected us from witches and reptiles.
We return thanks to the Sun,
that he has looked upon the Earth with a beneficent eye.
We return thanks to the Great Spirit,
in whom is embodied all goodness,
and who directs all things for the good of all.

After an Iroquois song, 19th century

The following music video is a guest appearance by Lakewood UCC parishioner, Ian Blair-Catala, the famous Beatles song, Hey Jude. Thank you Ian for your contribution.


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

Corona Sabbath 17 TRANSFORMATION

Picture by Emily Bell

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 transformation.

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

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:

Out beyond ideas
of
Wrong-doing and Right-doing
There is a Field
I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that
grass
the world is too full to talk about.

Ideas, language, even the phrase
each other
doesn’t make any sense.

–Rumi, from The Illustrated Rumi, translator Coleman Barks
This poem was submitted by Emily Bell.

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 viewing the video, you are invited to offer the following closing –

We have flown the air like birds and swum the sea like fishes,but have yet to learn the simple act of walking the earth like brothers and sisters.

–Martin Luther King Jr., 20th century, adapted

Breathe. Breathe again. Be filled. With life-giving breath. Extinguish your candle and engage whatever may come with a sense of peace and a desire grow and serve.

detail of the Black Lives Matter mural painted on the street in front of the Carter Woodson Museum in St. Petersburg


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