Weekly Update 1/27

Congregational Meeting Ahead

There will be a congregational meeting held on this Sunday January 31 at 1:00 p.m. on Zoom to take action on the budget for 2021.  Please plan to participate in this brief but important event in the life of the church.  This work undergirds the ministry of the church.  Here is the Zoom link:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/2700683648

Or call in at: 1-301-715-8592  and use the Zoom ID 270 068 3648

Please check the website later in the week for the proposed budget and ministry reports.


In Person Outdoor Services

Weekly services are being held on Sundays at 10:30 a.m. The services are held outside on the lawn. Masks are to be worn and physical distancing will be observed. Please bring your own chair if you can.

Childcare provided.

If the weather is bad, the service will be held on the patio adjacent to the playground.

This Sunday we reflect on perspective.  Yes, we are created in the image of God.  We are also like a blade of grass in a field.  How does this ground our life experience?  Looking forward to Sunday and worship outside under the oak tree or on the patio if it is raining.  

The bulletin and text of the Sunday sermon will be posted at the website early in the week and there will be regular posts of music and music videos from Hilton Jones.

Thank you for your understanding in this continuing season of adaptation and experimentation!


Congratulations to Zach Blair-Andrews

LUCC’s Zach Blair-Andrews is one of two recipients of the 2021 USF Ron & Libby Sanders Public Service Scholarship given to students who have demonstrated a commitment to a career in public service!

Zach is an Honors student majoring in Political Science and minoring in Public Administration. He currently serves as the elected Lt. Governor for the USF Student Government on the Tampa campus. After he graduates from USF, he plans to pursue a master’s degree in Public Administration and work in the public/non-profit sector.

CONGRATULATIONS, ZACH!


Westminster Palms and Westminster Suncoast Receive Covid Vaccines

Numerous people from the LUCC congregation live in these Westminster communities.  We are grateful that they have received the first Covid vaccine with another to come on Sunday Feb. 7.  We look forward to all in the congregation and community and country receiving the vaccine!


Vacuum Cleaner

Many thanks to Bert Lee donated the vacuum cleaner to the church. It is much appreciated!


Adult Daycare Update

Renovations continue in the Fellowship Hall. Three accessible bathrooms are being added.  New flooring is being installed.  A new ceiling has been put in.  Instead of a full kitchen, there will be a kitchenette and a nurses’ station.  Meals will be brought in for the participants in the adult day care.  The tentative opening date for the Adult Daycare Center is Feb. 15. 

The church will have full use of the facilities in the evenings and on the weekends. It is very exciting to see this ministry finally coming to fruition!


Gratitude!

Rev. Wells would like to thank everyone for their prayers and expressions of support as she and Jeff both had surgery this week.  They are hopeful about continued healing!


Operation Attack Needs

There was another successful OA Food Distribution Drive Thru in December due to caring volunteers, thankful families, and all of you.  We fed 91 families with 2 bags of non perishables, fresh produce, meat,  and dairy products.  We also gave extra food to large families (over 6 people), diapers and wipes, 50 referrals to Clothes to Kids, and 120 Christmas Goodie Bags.  The  goodie bags were donated and made by E.L.F.S., The Elected Ladies For The Savior.  Each beautifully decorated Christmas bag was filled with a juice box, chips and candy.  We were grateful to be asked to distribute these gifts to children. 

The next Food Distribution Drive Thrus will be January 30 and March 13.  Listed below are ways you can participate in our future Drive Thrus: 

Volunteer to pre-bag food before the Drive Thru Volunteer on January 30 Purchase baby wipes and large/family size nonperishable food Donate plastic grocery bags Pray for the people/groups making this event happen Pray for the people we are serving

Thank you for your faithfulness to the people in the community who need our support right now.  Yours in Christ!


Anti-Racism Demonstrations Continue

Weekly demonstrations to end racism resumed Sunday January 10 at 4:30 p.m..  Many thanks to all who are participating.  While there was a break in the demonstrations, we know that there is no break in the systemic racism that is harmful to everyone.  Add your presence to this weekly demonstration making a witness to your commitment to anti racism.


Weekly Labyrinth Walks Continue

Each Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. a small group gathers at the outdoor labyrinth for a time of devotion, discussion, and meditative walking of the labyrinth.  The theme for the week is taken from the Sunday before, so it is an opportunity to go deeper in the spiritual exploration of that theme for your life.  This devotional gathering is outside and physical distancing is maintained. All are welcome!

If there is rain on Wednesday morning, the gathering will be held on Thursday morning at 9:00.


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 that 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.


Music from Hilton

You can watch 5 videos Hilton made as lead-ups to Martin Luther King, Jr. Day at https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLUn2RmCFhW2uAVwKQLfqJnzNmZhEK_TK5.

If you want to just hear they soundtracks, without the videos, you can hear those at https://soundcloud.com/hilton-kean-jones/sets/mlk-day.


USEFUL LAKEWOOD LINKS DURING THE CORONA CRISIS:

For the above church website links, please note the “Older Posts” button near the bottom of each page.


January Birthdays: Martha Lamar 1/2, Chip Cosper 1/7, Jackson Cosper 1/9, Hilton Kean Jones 1/23, Bob Bell 1/28. Someone missing? Contact the church office with birthday information.


Circle of Concern:  To the family and loved ones of Wilbur Reid, Dollie Pettis, and Irma Smith. Victoria Long, Kim Wells, Jeff Wells, Edward Jones, William Owen, Jen Degroot, Carolyn Moore, Ann Quinn, Maggie Brizendine, Dave Radens, Joyce Lee, Wally LeBlanc, teachers, students, and school personnel, and all healthcare workers and essential workers. All those suffering from COVID-19.

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!


Church Office Hours:  Tuesday-Friday 9:30-noon. 


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.

Just Peace webinar set for Jan. 27

The United Church of Christ Just Peace Steering Committee invites Just Peace Churches (and those exploring becoming a Just Peace Church) to explore the important justice work ahead of us in 2021in its quarterly Just Peace Webinar Jan. 27 at 7 p.m. ET. -> Click here to join. ->

Topic: Where do we go from here? How do we engage? What should be our Just Peace priorities in 2021 as individuals, congregations, Associations, Conferences and the National Setting. What might we expect from a Biden Administration, and how does that influence our work? And, finally, let’s talk and share ideas and plans.

‘Burnout & Self-Care’ workshop

Dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and the changes we’ve had to make to adapt and stay safe has been challenging for many people. It’s no surprise that many of us feel tired and perhaps even a little burned out as a result.

If that sounds a little like you, two online workshops brought to you by the Florida Conference at the end of this month may be just what you need. The “Burnout and Self-Care” workshops, one for clergy and one for lay leaders, will take place via Zoom video conference. Registration is required, but there is no cost to participate, and Florida Conference clergy who attend will earn one unit of professional ethics (boundary) training credit.

The clergy workshop will take place from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 28. The workshop for lay leaders will take place from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 30.

For more information and to register -> Click here ! ->

To spread the word about these workshop -> Download the flyer here ! ->

Weekly Update 1/5

In Person Outdoor Services Resume Jan. 10

After the time of experimentation in Advent, weekly services will resume on Sundays at 10:30 a.m.  The services will be held outside on the lawn.  Masks are to be worn and physical distancing will be observed.  Please bring your own chair if you can.  

Childcare provided.  

If the weather is bad, the service will be held on the patio adjacent to the playground. 

The theme for the service this week will be around Epiphany – and the coming of the light of Christ into the world.  

With in person worship resuming, the weekly Corona Sabbath posts will be suspended.  The text of the Sunday sermon will be posted at the website early in the week and there will be regular posts of music and music videos from Hilton Jones.  

Thank you for your understanding in this continuing season of adaptation and experimentation!  


In Memoriam

Sympathy and condolences are expressed to Claire Stiles and Ruth Pettis and family over the death of Ruth’s mother, Dollie, on December 31. Dollie was a resident of Westminster Suncoast.  

Sympathy and condolences are expressed to the family and friends of LUCC member Irma Smith.  Irma died on Sunday Jan. 3.  She was living with her daughter, Linda, in Louisiana.   Irma is remembered with love at LUCC.  

Sympathy and condolences are expressed to JoAnne Reid and the family and friends of Wilbur Reid who died on Dec. 22 at home in Illinois.  JoAnne has come to Florida to recover.  

We hold all of these dear ones in our prayers in this time of remembering, grieving, and healing.


Church to Be a Possible Covid Vaccination Site

The church is in conversation with Pinellas County Emergency Management about serving as a covid vaccination site for the community.  There is no timeline yet but it may be soon.  If the church can serve in this way, volunteers will be needed to be on site during vaccination hours.  Please look for more updates about this important way the church may be able to serve the community!


Winter Solstice Celebration

The Winter Solstice Celebration involved readings and conversation around the fire about darkness and light.  And, yes, there were marshmallows.  There were also some unexpected visitations.  Here’s a link to a reflection on the evening from Jeff Wells. https://lakewooducc.org/2021/01/05/a-reflection-on-the-winter-solstice-celebration-at-church/


Operation Attack Message

Dear Friends,

Thank you for the donations of socks, clothes, food/water, soap, beans, canned meat, peanut butter, pasta and canned fruit! Wow! These donations went a long way in helping the families of our community. We are so grateful that you continue to partner with OA.

with love, Samantha


New Year’s Eve at LUCC

For New Year’s Eve, we gathered around the fire again, this time near the labyrinth.  After some discussion about 2020 and our experiences and reflections, we walked the labyrinth.  After the walk each person was given a pine cone.  We were reminded of the pine cones from an evergreen in California that only open and sow their seeds when there has been a forest fire.  It takes drastic conditions to draw forth new life.  We talked about the new life that we want to see coming out of the challenging circumstances we have faced in 2020.  Having expressed our hopes and dreams for 2021, we tossed our pinecones into the fire and watched them burst and crackle.  

Then it was time to roast marshmallows!  


Christmas Eve Service

All was calm, all was bright as the Christmas Eve service began on the patio at church.  And then about midway through, a storm instantly blew in.  Bulletins and papers went flying.  The little Christmas tree on the altar blew to the ground.  People moved out of the way of the rain that was blowing in.  At the end of the service, no candles would stay lit, so worshippers got out their phones to shine their light!  Even in the rain and the wind, the light of Love was still shining!  Here’s the link to some pictures.

https://lakewooducc.org/2021/01/05/christmas-eve-service/


Anti-Racism Demonstrations Resume January 10

Note that the Anti Racism Demonstrations Resume this Sunday at 4:30 p.m.

Weekly demonstrations to end racism will resume Sunday January 10 at 4:30 p.m..  Many thanks to all who are participating.  While there was a break in the demonstrations, we know that there is no break in the systemic racism that is harmful to everyone.  As the New Year begins, add your presence to this weekly demonstration making a witness to your commitment to anti racism.



Weekly Labyrinth Walks Continue

Each Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. a small group gathers at the outdoor labyrinth for a time of devotion, discussion, and meditative walking of the labyrinth.  The theme for the week is taken from the Sunday before, so it is an opportunity to go deeper in the spiritual exploration of that theme for your life.  This devotional gathering is outside and physical distancing is maintained. All are welcome!

If there is rain on Wednesday morning, the gathering will be held on Thursday morning at 9:00.


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 that 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.


USEFUL LAKEWOOD LINKS DURING THE CORONA CRISIS:

For the above church website links, please note the “Older Posts” button near the bottom of each page.


January Birthdays: Martha Lamar 1/2, Chip Cosper 1/7, Jackson Cosper 1/9, Hilton Kean Jones 1/23, Bob Bell 1/28. Someone missing? Contact the church office with birthday information.


Circle of Concern: Edward Jones, To the family and loved ones of Wilbur Reid, Dollie Pettis, and Irma Smith. Victoria Long, William Owen, Jen Degroot, Carolyn Moore, Ann Quinn, Maggie Brizendine, Dave Radens, Joyce Lee, Wally LeBlanc, teachers, students, and school personnel, and all healthcare workers and essential workers. All those suffering from COVID-19.

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!


Church Office Hours:  Tuesday-Friday 9:30-noon. 


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 12/24

New Year’s Eve Gathering

The church will host a gathering around a fire to say goodbye to 2020 and welcome 2021.  There is much to reflect on from this past year.  And what will we look forward to?  There will be the opportunity to walk the labyrinth.  Bring a chair if you can.  Bring a reading or reflection to share if you would like to.  There will be marshmallows to roast.  All are welcome at this informal gathering Thursday Dec. 31 at 7:00 p.m.  


Christmas Eve Zoom and Christmas Eve Live

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is images.jpg

In these difficult and challenging days, celebrating the birth of Jesus is more important than ever.  Jesus, too, was born in difficult times.  His birth reminds us that God is with us, in joy and in sorrow, in times of fear and challenge as well as times of awe and wonder.  

You are invited to celebrate the birth of Jesus with the LUCC church family.  The same service will be offered two ways on Christmas Eve.  

At 5:00 p.m. there will be a Zoom/FaceBook live service.  Go to the church FaceBook page and click on the lower left.  Here’s the link for Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/2700683648

At 7:00 p.m. there will be an in person version of the same service on the church grounds.  Masks and physical distancing will be maintained.  There will be no singing.  Bring a chair and a flashlight so you can read the bulletin.  In case of rain, the service will be held on the covered patio adjacent to the playground.  

Rekindle the Gifts of God:  Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love


Poinsettias

Many thanks to those who donated poinsettias during the Advent season to beautify the worship space and share joy with those in the congregation who are homebound.


Music

Hilton is posting all the Thanksgiving, Chanukah, and Christmas music he’s done for Lakewood UCC during the holidays at https://soundcloud.com/hilton-kean-jones/sets/traditional-holiday-music.


Plans for Church in the New Year

Those who attended the Sunday services outside in December are eager to resume weekly worship.  Once the sanctuary is available for use, services will resume, inside, with the church doors open and the fans on, masks and physical distancing.  Services will be shared live on Zoom and FaceBook.  

The anti racism demonstrations and weekly labyrinth walks will continue.

There will be a Corona Sabbath posted each week until live services can resume.  

Many thanks to all who are helping in this time of adaptation and continual transition!


Toys Delivered at Maximo

What an amazing, inspiring day Monday was at Maximo Elementary! The toys that were collected by the Education Ministry Team were delivered to the school. What began as a request by the Family and Community Liaison, Ms. Jones, for gifts for thirty children experiencing homelessness grew and grew and grew. Partnership with the Social Justice Team at Westminster Suncoast and then St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church flourished. Generosity grew wings. When the toys were delivered there were four cars overflowing with more than one hundred fifty gifts.

Ms. Jones, along with the Principal and staff, greeted us with smiles and great appreciation. Pictures were taken and friendships made. We left Maximo having received more than we had given. Our hearts were bursting with joy.

Thanks to everyone who joined in this undertaking to spread Christmas joy to children and their parents during this very stressful time. May the pictures bring you Hope, Peace, Joy and Love as you imagine the surprise and excitement of a precious child receiving your gift.

Use the following link to see pictures: https://lakewooducc.org/2020/12/09/toys-delivered-at-maximo/


Work Under Way for Adult Day Care

Finally after a year and a half of planning, the renovations of the Fellowship Hall are underway to prepare for the Adult Day Care program sponsored by Neighborly Services!  So far, a railing has been installed to the back entrance of the Fellowship Hall and the demolition is underway to prepare for the three accessible restrooms that are being installed.  The patio has been pressure washed.

It is very exciting to finally see movement toward the goal of offering needed services to the seniors in our area!

For pictures please use the following link: https://lakewooducc.org/2020/12/16/work-under-way-for-adult-day-care/


Operation Attack

Operation Attack is moving to have once a month drive through opportunities to still give the same services they have always given during these times. We send in all of our donations and they get them and send them outside to the distributors. They quickly hand the bags of food and clothes to the members of the community and help control the spread of Covid-19 and help our community as well. 

Please use the link to view pictures from the last volunteer date:https://lakewooducc.org/2020/12/24/operation-attack-2/


Corona Sabbath Ahead

The Corona Sabbath post this week is a follow up to Christmas.  Now that we have celebrated the birth of Jesus, what next? 

This week Sue Sherwood is reading the scripture, there is a reflection from Rev. Wells, and music from Hilton Jones.

If you missed last week’s Corona Sabbath here’s the link:

https://lakewooducc.org/2020/12/17/corona-sabbath-40-fourth-sunday-of-advent-love/


Anti-Racism Demonstrations Resume January 10

Weekly demonstrations to end racism will resume Sunday January 10 at 4:30 p.m..  Many thanks to all who are participating.  While there is a break in the demonstrations, we know that there is no break in the systemic racism that is harmful to everyone.  As the New Year begins, add your presence to this weekly demonstration making a witness to your commitment to anti racism.


Weekly Labyrinth Walks Continue

Each Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. a small group gathers at the outdoor labyrinth for a time of devotion, discussion, and meditative walking of the labyrinth.  The theme for the week is taken from the Corona Sabbath of the week before, so it is an opportunity to go deeper in the spiritual exploration of that theme for your life.  This devotional gathering is outside and physical distancing is maintained. All are welcome!

If there is rain on Wednesday morning, the gathering will be held on Thursday morning at 9:00.


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 that 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.


USEFUL LAKEWOOD LINKS DURING THE CORONA CRISIS:

For the above church website links, please note the “Older Posts” button near the bottom of each page.


December Birthdays: Becky Palmer 12/16, Amaiya Washington 12/18, George Diven 12/27, Melanie Moore 12/27, Someone missing? Contact the church office with birthday information.


Circle of Concern: JoAnn Reid, William Owen, Jen Degroot, Carolyn Moore, Ann Quinn, Maggie Brizendine, Dave Radens, Bert and Joyce Lee, Wally LeBlanc, teachers, students, and school personnel, and all healthcare workers and essential workers. All those suffering from COVID-19.

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!


Church Office Hours:  Tuesday-Friday 9:30-noon. 

 Please note that the church office will be closed the week of Dec. 28.


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.