Weekly Update 3/18/2020


Labyrinth Walks are being held as scheduled on Wednesday mornings at 9:00 through Lent. The dates are March 18th, 25th, 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.

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 prepared. It will be 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!

Also, this would be a good time to subscribe to the church website if you do not already do so. It is very easy to do on the church homepage. You can subscribe to posts and also to comments. As a subscriber, everything that is posted on the website will be sent to your email. If you would like assistance with this, 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.

Maximo Elementary

The church has reached out to Maximo Elementary School to see what can be done to help during this hiatus in regular instruction. No school means no food for breakfast or lunch for many students. We are looking into how we can help.

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.

We will be adding PayPal at the website and establishing a church Venmo account to facilitate giving to the church.

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.


Regular Sunday Services

Choir Rehearsal

Church School

The March Youth Tie Dye Event

National Refugee Sabbath at Temple Beth-El

The Interfaith Program at USF featuring Rev. Susan Sherwood and Rev. Kim Wells

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.

In Memoriam: Former LUCC member Mattie Lesueur died March 5 at her home in St. Petersburg.  She was a member of Traveler’s Rest Baptist Church.

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!

Maximo Report: LUCC delivered 25 Sack Packs and 25 Activity Packs to Maximo Elementary Tuesday. Olivia and Claudia did their shopping magic in 1 hour and then put all the packs together.  I delivered them to Ms. Jones at Maximo Elementary. Thanks everyone for another awesome ministry to benefit  homeless children at Maximo Elementary.  A total of $978 was donated for this project. Olivia took pictures. -Emily Bell

View the pictures here! https://lakewooducc.org/2020/03/11/maximo-elementary-project-report/

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.

Corona Virus Congregational Conversation 3.15.2020

There was an open congregational conversation after the service on Sunday March 15 to discuss the corona virus situation.  

Those who were in attendance:  Patti Cooksey, Kay Rencken, Bill Parsons, Don Ritchie, Claire Stiles, Ed Kaspar, Christy Martin, Malcolm Wells, Claudia Rodriguez, Jeff Wells, Kim Wells.

The gathering began with each person making a comment about how they felt about the current situation.  These were some of the responses:



Concerned, not worried

Mixed – skeptical, worried

Let it flow

Worried about older people and self

Concerned – in light of theme park shut downs, this must be serious


Plans – especially economic

Kim shared a devotion from a book that had been donated to the church by Martha Lamar.

We talked about the corona challenge from several perspectives:  how are we needed to serve the spiritual, social, and perhaps physical needs of the community, of governmental leaders, of the world, of health care workers, and of our congregation.  

These are the ideas that we will pursue:

We are in contact with Maximo Elementary School, with whom we already have a relationship, to see how we can be helpful to their students and staff, particularly the most vulnerable. No school can mean no food for some students.

Increase our contact with each other as a congregation in the following ways:  

The congregation is encouraged to write letters, to each other, to those who are homebound, to whomever using old fashioned US mail to mitigate the isolation.  This is especially important for those who do not have access to email or the internet or social media. 

The congregation is also encouraged to send emails to each other, including pictures, just to brighten someone’s day or share something of interest.  

Maybe at the end of the crisis we will create a compilation from the letters and emails that are sent as an inspirational historical record for the congregation.  

Use face time or other media chat programs to chat with people who are homebound.  

Call people from the congregation to check on them, let them know you are thinking of them, etc.  Just use the phone and reach out.  

Generally increase contacts with others in the congregation and those you know who are isolated including family, neighbors, friends, etc.  

The Care Team will be sure to be reaching out to those who are on the Circle of Concern and those who are on “lock down” in their senior communities.  

To facilitate being in contact with the congregation, an update of the church directory is being completed and will be available soon.  

Worship and other planned programs such as the guided labyrinth walks will continue as planned based on current information.  That may change, but for now, we are planning on weekly worship, etc. 

Increased communication from the church.  The church will send out and post things intended to be of spiritual support to the congregation.  These posts will involve devotions and music as well as other things.  

The congregation will be requested to pause every day at 9:00 a.m. light a candle if you can (or put on the light on your phone. . .) and offer a common prayer that will be provided.  Through this action, we will feel our unity as a congregation even though we are not physically together.  And we will be in solidarity in our concern for each other and the world. 

We will continue to be in conversation as this pandemic unfolds so that we can respond as needed.  

Kay Rencken shared an adaptation of a line from one of the Irish tunes that Hilton played in worship today:

Let hope be like a falling leaf at the dawning of the day.  

Maximo Spring Break Project

The Education Ministry Team will be collecting money donations through Sunday, March 8th to fill 25 Snack Sacks and 25 Activity Sacks for homeless children who attend Maximo Elementary.   The Sacks will be given to the children on Friday the 13th, the beginning of Spring break.

The cost of one “Snack Sack” is $20 and one “Activity Sack”  is $10.  Olivia Gibson and Claudia Rodriguez will be purchasing and putting together the Sacks for delivery to the school on March 12.

Thanks to the generosity of  the LUCC congregation this  will be our fifth project benefiting children of Maximo Elementary.  

Weekly Update 6.5.19

This Sunday:  This Sunday is Pentecost.  It is the holy day celebrating the gift of the Holy Spirit to the gathered disciples forming the faith community we have come to know as the church.  The liturgical color is RED so you are encouraged to wear red!

Graduation Reception on Sunday:  On Sunday June 9, the Andrews-Blair family and the Coughenour-Gibson family, will host a cake and coffee reception celebrating the graduations of Zoe Blair-Andrews from USF and Olivia Gibson from Piedmont College.  The celebration will take place following worship in the Fellowship Hall.

Creation Justice:  The Creation Justice Task Force will meet on Friday June 7 at 10:30 a.m. in the church library.  One thing on the agenda will be to compare the solar bids for installing solar power on the church roof.  Everyone who is interested is welcome!

Summer Sundays Ahead:  Summer Sundays begin Sunday June 16, Father’s Day!  The services will be more informal.  Themes will focus on favorite Bible stories that are referenced in literature, art, and cultural discourse.  The themes come from a book by former Eckerd professor, Tim Beal, called Biblical Literacy.  This is a very good opportunity for young people of the church to become acquainted with commonly referenced Bible stories.  May all increase their biblical literacy this summer!

Next Sunday: Rev. Victoria Long will be preaching and Genie Terrell will be back offering the ministry of music. Rev. Wells returns to church June 30.

Pastor Away:  Many thanks to those offering pastoral care while Rev. Wells is away.  From June 10-17 contact Rev. Emily Bell  Emily’s email.   From June 18-28 contact Jim Andrews at Jim’s email.

PRIDE! The fifth annual St. Petersburg Interfaith Pride Worship Service will be held June 20 from 6:00 pm – 9:00 p.m. The event will begin at Metro Center 3251 3rd Ave. N. at 6:00 with a walking processional to King of Peace Metropolitan Community Church at 3150 5th Ave. N. where the service will begin at 7:00 p.m. The St. Petersburg Pride Festival will be held Sunday, June 23, 2019 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. between 22nd and 28th Streets on Central Avenue. LUCC member Wally LeBlanc will have a booth at the festival offering his artwork, photo prints, and other creations. Make sure to visit Wally when you go to the Festival! Visit http://www.stpetepride.com for more information.

Children’s Ministry:  The church is putting in place a children’s ministry for the rest of the year. If you are interested in being part of this effort, please speak with Kim Wells or one of the advisors. Many thanks!

Property West of the Church:  Boley Centers is planning to buy the property to the west of the church and put in a 20 apartment complex for people who would otherwise be homeless.  Church leaders have met with Boley staff.  The church is very supportive of this project.  You can read about it in an article in the Tampa Bay Times last Friday:  Tampa Bay Times . You are encouraged to write letters to the City Council in support of the Boley project.  For more information, contact Earl Waters (Earl’s email).

New Church Administrator:  A new church administrator has been hired to staff the church office Tuesdays-Fridays 9:30 to noon.  Gabi Paxton will begin working on Tuesday July 2.  Please call, email, or stop by to introduce yourself to Gabi and welcome her to the church when she begins.

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

June Birthdays:  Genie Terrell (6/10), Tony Rogers (6/21).  Tony is the church cleaner. Someone missing? Contact the church office with birthday information.

Circle of Concern: Sherry Santana, Carolyn Moore, Ann Quinn, the family and friends of Willy Zessoules, Dana and Chip Cosper and family, 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.

June / July issue of Celebrate Florida

Page 15 of https://www.uccfla.org/files/docs/CFStandard060119.pdf includes this article and picture featuring LUCC by Claire Styles: article


New year greetings, Florida UCC:

Here are the links to the June/July issue of Celebrate Florida. You will find two versions of this document; one is the standard PDF, and the other is the interactive version, which requires that your computer has a Flash player.

Standard version | Interactive version

Please set aside some time to read about what has been taking place or will be happening among the brothers and sisters in our larger church family. We are in covenant with one another, and one way to demonstrate our caring is through this sharing.

As always, this issue is full of great ideas and stories to inspire ministries in your congregation. Here’s some of what is inside this edition:

  • How our churches observed Holy Week
  • Lots of 3 Great Loves activity
  • Protesting migrant children detention in Homestead
  • Preparing for General Synod in Milwaukee
  • Unique ministries, creative concepts, original outreach
  • So, what does a Regional Minister do?
  • Earth Day observances and activities
  • It’s the “H” word time again — be prepared (prayers included!)

Thanks to all those churches that share information about what has been happening in their congregations. Please make sure we’re on the mailing list for your newsletter and e-blasts and copy us with your Facebook postings (celebrateflorida@uccfla.org). Yes, we do want to know what you are doing — there is always room for more good news

We especially appreciate your providing the Celebrate Florida link information to church members via your Sunday bulletin, newsletters, e-communications and on your website. Please help spread all the good news about the United Church of Christ in Florida among your church members.

Have a SAFE summer!

Rick Carson



Celebrate Florida archive
UCC in Florida website

UCC national site
Donate now

United Church of Christ in Florida
9300 University Blvd.Orlando, FL 32817
Like us on Facebook!
(407) 835-7501
(800) 432-8311flaconf@uccfla.org