Help Florida Farmworkers Fight COVID-19

The Pinellas Coalition for Immigration Justice, of which Lakewood UCC is a member, is asking all participating organizations to make direct appeals to Gov. DeSantis to better protect farmworkers in Immokalee during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The United Church of Christ has already signed a national petition requesting Florida’s aid for the Immokalee farmworkers.  However, little has been done.  The Governor has sent some tests to the area but much more is needed to protect the workers and to provide health care, especially at this time.

Just as LUCC has written many post cards and letters to ask our legislators for humane immigration laws and treatment, we are being asked now to take action to support the migrant farmworkers in any or all of 3 ways.  

Please let Sue Sherwood (sherwood.susan@gmail.com) know of whatever action you take so that we can give a tally of Lakewood’s action steps to the Pinellas Coalition.  Thank you for your lived faith! 

And, LUCC, thank you and be well!

Blessings,

Sue Sherwood 

                                                                          ACTION STEPS

1) Sign and share this petition:  bit.ly/floridafarmworkers.  (You may choose the option to share the post on FB or other media.)

2) Call Governor DeSantis at 850-488-7146, using the script below.

3)  If the Governor’s line is busy, you may email him at GovernorRon.Desantis@eog.myflorida.com, using the script.

      Hello, my name is _____.  I live in ______ (city or zip code).  I am calling because I am deeply concerned about the farmworker community in Immokalee, FL.  The combination of crowded living and working conditions for these “essential workers” – with virtually no access to healthcare – is putting the lives of those who feed us at risk.  

      I urge you, Governor, to take immediate action to protect our Florida farmworkers’ health and safety: 

           1) Build a temporary field hospital in Immokalee where people who test positive for COVID-19 can isolate and be treated.

           2) Provide personal protection equipment (PPE) – especially masks – and sanitization materials to farmworkers traveling to and from the fields.  

           3) Provide accessible COVID-19 tests for free in Immokalee, when they become available.

           4) Allocate public funds for economic support for farmworkers.

Governor, please let me know your position on this troubling issue and your plans for providing urgently-needed medical resources for the Immokalee community. Thank you and be well.                     

Weekly Update 4.1.2020

WHAT IS GOING ON AT CHURCH –

Corona Sabbath Posts

Each Friday, the church will post a devotional with readings, video from Kim, and music from Hilton. You are invited to access these at the website and observe the sabbath according to your schedule over the weekend. There will be a new one posted each week. This week’s post will highlight Palm Sunday.

Please use the link below to view last week’s Corona Sabbath Post –

https://lakewooducc.org/2020/03/27/corona-sabbath-2/

In addition to the weekly Corona Sabbath devotions on the website every Friday, Hilton is also posting music, mainly hymns, on the website daily. These are also posted on the church’s Twitter and Facebook accounts. You may find links to all the music posts on the website at https://lakewooducc.org/category/posts/music/ — note the “Older Posts” button down the page.


Easter:  In Celebration of New Life and the Creative Spirit

The coronavirus situation has spawned an enormous outpouring of creativity that is taking many forms.  Biology and Marine Science Professor Athena Rycyk of New College reminds us, “Whenever you have limits, it also inspires creativity.”

We would like to celebrate that creativity within the LUCC church family by preparing a special post for Easter that features the ways that you have been creative during this time of safer-at-home shelter-in-place.  

Creativity takes many forms!   Pictures of nature you have taken.  Pictures of a drawing or a sculpture or a craft project you have created during this time.   A poem or short story or reflection you have written during this time.  A picture of something you have baked!  Explanation of a creative idea that has arisen for you.  Something you have planted or built in these corona days.  Hilton will create a composite post of all the submissions for Easter Sunday!

Some guidelines:  No video or sound because that complicates the posting side of things. Please send your submissions to the church office by Wednesday April 8.  lakewooducc@gmail.com


Daily Corona Prayer

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


Labyrinth Walks are being held as scheduled on Wednesday mornings at 9:00 through Lent. The last date is April 8th. There will also be guided labyrinth walks on Good Friday at noon and Easter Sunday at 7:00 a.m. We feel given current information and restrictions that it is safe to hold this activity. It involves less than 10 people, it is outside, and the people can be at least 6 feet apart. Bring your own chair if you wish.


Adult Day Care

Plans for LUCC to host an adult day care program offered by Neighborly Services continue to develop. Neighborly Services is now storing furniture and supplies at the church. A lease is being negotiated. The COVID-19 situation will determine when the adult daycare can open.


EV Charging Station

A new electrical vehicle charging station has been installed on the north side of the church building. This project was done in partnership with Duke Energy. Several people from the congregation were directly involved in assisting with the installation. Many thanks to Claire Stiles, Earl Waters, Bert Lee, and Jeff Wells.


The Church Helping the Homeless

The church has received several requests for help from homeless neighbors. One used the hose to bathe. Another used the church computer to apply for unemployment since the library computers are no longer available. The corona virus restrictions are having a particularly negative impact on the underclass and homeless.


Financial Update from Bill Parsons

We are beginning a new month in new times, but we need to remember that we need to support each other, and we need to support Lakewood UCC and our mission. We hope that those who contribute monthly by check will remember to send in a check, even if you aren’t able to bring it to church. And if you are accustomed to bringing a weekly offering, perhaps now is a time to consider sending a monthly donation. And let’s not forget to include something for our special needs fund which is usually collected on the first Sunday of each month, or maybe you will want to consider a special Easter offering (in place of our normal offering for flowers). We would like our counters to continue their essential function in these troubled times.

If you have a bill-pay program through your bank or credit union that you use for paying other bills, this could be a good time to add the church to this system. It is convenient and there is no fee associated for you or the church. Another option is to pay online through PayPal. We realize that some may need to take care of other priorities first, but we hope that those who are able will remember the church at this difficult time.


Church Website

This would be a good time to subscribe to the church website. As a subscriber, everything that is posted on the website will be sent to your email.

There’s now a new way to subscribe to posts from the church website by email. On any page of the website, look down the page for “Follow Blog via Email.” If you subscribed before, you’ll need to subscribe again with this new button. Notice, it’s right above the Paypal “Donate” button! 

If you would like assistance with this, please contact the Church Office.


Reaching Out

While we are to maintain our physical distance, you are encouraged to reach out to someone from the church family at least once a week – a phone call, an email, a handwritten note – whatever works best for you. Please be in contact with one another.

In addition, please be in contact with people beyond the church family – friends, neighbors, public officials, health care workers – offering a word of gratitude or support or encouragement. These are hard times for many people. And many feel extremely isolated. So, reach out, but don’t touch!


A New Church Directory

To facilitate our efforts to be in contact, an updated church directory has been mailed to church members. If you would like a copy and do not receive one in the next week or so, please contact the Church Office.


Sundays. . .

On Sundays, Rev. Wells will be at church from 10:30-11:30. The peace candle will be lit and prayers will be offered. You are welcome to stop by to pray or meditate. The labyrinth is also available. This is a symbolic witness that the church is still here, is still serving, is still active, is still shining light – even in these drastically changed circumstances.


Help Offered

Several people from the congregation have offered to help others as needed. If you need something from the grocery store or help with an errand or some other kind of assistance, please contact the Church Office. There are those who are ready and willing.


New Cleaning Routines

The church custodian, Tony Rogers, is being sure to thoroughly sanitize the building including door handles, faucets, etc. We are grateful for this increased effort.


WHAT IS NOT GOING ON AT CHURCH

AA

Sunday Afternoon rental church

Regular Sunday Services

Choir Rehearsal

Church School


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.


Operation Attack: Operation Attack is very much in need of clothes for men, boys, and girls as well as diapers and peanut butter and canned fruit. Donations may be placed in the shopping cart in the entryway to the sanctuary. Volunteer dates are April 13 and May 11. They also need people to help on the first three Tuesdays of the month from 9:30-noon.

Operation Attack is an ecumenical effort serving families with children located at Lakeview Presbyterian Church, 1310 22nd. Ave. S., St. Petersburg. LUCC was a founding member of Operation Attack in the 1960’s!


April Birthdays: Zachery Blair-Andrews 4/16, Mary Beth Lewis 4/29, Someone missing? Contact the church office with birthday information.


Circle of Concern: Olivia Gibson, William Owen, Wilbur Reid, Martha Lamar, Jen Degroot, Carolyn Moore, Ann Quinn, Maggie Brizendine, and Ann Rogers.


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.



Weekly Update 3/25

WHAT IS GOING ON AT CHURCH –

EV Charging Station

A new electrical vehicle charging station has been installed on the north side of the church building. This project was done in partnership with Duke Energy. Several people from the congregation were directly involved in assisting with the installation. Many thanks to Claire Stiles, Earl Waters, Bert Lee, and Jeff Wells.


Labyrinth Walks are being held as scheduled on Wednesday mornings at 9:00 through Lent. The dates are April 1st, and 8th. There will also be guided labyrinth walks on Good Friday at noon and Easter Sunday at 7:00 a.m. We feel given current information and restrictions that it is safe to hold this activity. It involves less than 10 people, it is outside, and the people can be at least 6 feet apart. Bring your own chair if you wish.


Corona Sabbath Posts

Each Friday, the church will post a devotional with readings, video from Kim, and music from Hilton. You are invited to access these at the website and observe the sabbath according to your schedule over the weekend. There will be a new one posted each week.

Please use the link below to view last week’s Corona Sabbath Post

https://lakewooducc.org/2020/03/19/corona-sabbath-1/

In addition to the weekly Corona Sabbath devotions on the website every Friday, Hilton is also posting music, mainly hymns, on the website daily. These are also posted on the church’s Twitter and Facebook accounts. You may find links to all the music posts on the website at https://lakewooducc.org/category/posts/music/ — note the “Older Posts” button a says down the page.


Corona Prayer

In response to the COVID-19 virus, the congregation is recommending that everyone in the church family pause at 9:00 a.m. each day, light a candle if you can (or put on the light on your cell phone. . .), and offer the prayer which follows.  Doing this together in spirit will help us to feel connected and bonded as a congregation.  You are encouraged to respond with a comment as part of our connecting as a church family and beyond.    

This devotion is based on the mission statement of Lakewood United Church of Christ.

The mission of Lakewood United Church of Christ as part of the Church Universal –

In this time of global pandemic we realize that around the world people are facing the same threat.  We are in solidarity as a species with common vulnerability.  We are all at risk and we are all needed to cooperate in our response. 

May we celebrate the presence and power of God in our lives and in our world –

We see the presence of Infinite Love the world over as people comply with drastic restrictions for the good of family, neighbors, friends, strangers, and even enemies.  We give thanks for the sacrifice of so many especially in the medical science and healthcare professions.  We are grateful for the generosity of compassion and care that we see around us. 

May we offer the hospitality and inclusive love of Christ to all people –

In this time of social distancing, isolation, and quarantine may we reach out in love especially to those who feel lost, alone, and forgotten. 

May we be mindful of the hardship this situation creates for children and families as well as elders.

May we extend kindness and compassion to those we encounter and may we convey support to our leaders, healthcare workers, and all those working to sustain society.

May we work for God’s peace and justice throughout Creation –

We realize that the restrictions and limitations forced upon us by this threat hit some people much harder than others.  Disparities in access to healthcare, technology, and financial resources magnify the suffering facing humanity at this time.  May we be aware and responsive to the needs of others as we are able.

We are also mindful that this time of reduced human activity is providing respite and renewal for the natural world which sustains us.

May this experience of unprecedented global threat strengthen the bonds of the web of life and deepen our connection to Infinite Love.  Amen. 


Church Website

This would be a good time to subscribe to the church website. As a subscriber, everything that is posted on the website will be sent to your email.

There’s now a new way to subscribe to posts from the church website by email. On any page of the website, look down the page for “Follow Blog via Email.” If you subscribed before, you’ll need to subscribe again with this new button. Notice, it’s right above the Paypal “Donate” button! 

Screenshot 2020-03-23 11.28.27.png

If you would like assistance with this, please contact the Church Office.


Reaching Out

While we are to maintain our physical distance, you are encouraged to reach out to someone from the church family at least once a week – a phone call, an email, a handwritten note – whatever works best for you. Please be in contact with one another.

In addition, please be in contact with people beyond the church family – friends, neighbors, public officials, health care workers – offering a word of gratitude or support or encouragement. These are hard times for many people. And many feel extremely isolated. So, reach out, but don’t touch!


A New Church Directory

To facilitate our efforts to be in contact, an updated church directory is being mailed to church members. If you would like a copy and do not receive one in the next week or so, please contact the Church Office.


Increased Spiritual Support

The church will be offering regular emails and posts offered as spiritual support for the congregation and beyond in these difficult days. If there is something you would like the church to share, please send it to the Church Office. Thank you!


Sundays. . .

On Sundays, Rev. Wells will be at church from 10:30-11:30. The peace candle will be lit and prayers will be offered. You are welcome to stop by to pray or meditate. The labyrinth is also available. This is a symbolic witness that the church is still here, is still serving, is still active, is still shining light – even in these drastically changed circumstances.


Help Offered

Several people from the congregation have offered to help others as needed. If you need something from the grocery store or help with an errand or some other kind of assistance, please contact the Church Office. There are those who are ready and willing.


Tithes and Offerings

While the nature of the ministry of the church is adapting to these pandemic circumstances, there are still staff to support and facilities and grounds to be maintained. So, please continue your financial support of the church and please increase that support as you are able. It is unlikely that the adult day care will be opening any time soon, so additional resources are needed to maintain the ministry of the church which is so very much needed in these uncertain times.

You may donate through Pay Pal at the Church website. The Church is also creating a Venmo account to receive any donations. You are welcome to send in checks or arrange electronic payment through your financial institution.


New Cleaning Routines

The church custodian, Tony Rogers, is being sure to thoroughly sanitize the building including door handles, faucets, etc. We are grateful for this increased effort.


WHAT IS NOT GOING ON AT CHURCH

Green Fest St. Pete

Regular Sunday Services

Choir Rehearsal

Church School


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.


Operation Attack: Operation Attack is very much in need of clothes for men, boys, and girls as well as diapers and peanut butter and canned fruit. Donations may be placed in the shopping cart in the entryway to the sanctuary. Volunteer dates are April 13 and May 11. They also need people to help on the first three Tuesdays of the month from 9:30-noon.

Operation Attack is an ecumenical effort serving families with children located at Lakeview Presbyterian Church, 1310 22nd. Ave. S., St. Petersburg. LUCC was a founding member of Operation Attack in the 1960’s!


March Birthdays: Claudia Rodriguez 3/3, Grace Lewis 3/13, Yvonne Riesen 3/13, Ron Huff 3/19, Earl Waters 3/25, Charlie Lewis 3/27, Marg Radens 3/31, Someone missing? Contact the church office with birthday information.


Circle of Concern: William Owen, Wilbur Reid, Martha Lamar, Tony Rogers, Dana Cosper, Sherry Santana, Jen Degroot, Carolyn Moore, Ann Quinn, Maggie Brizendine, and Ann Rogers.


New Office Hours: The Church Office will be open Monday – Thursday mornings from 9:30 until noon. The office will no longer be open on Friday mornings. Thank you!


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.