Corona Sabbath 24 GENEROSITY and SERVICE

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 is “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 service and generosity.

There is a scripture lesson offered by Earl Waters and a meditation by Pastor Kim Wells followed by a music video featuring Zach Blair-Andrews.

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:

Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks! Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle. But you shall be a miracle. Every day you shall wonder at yourself, at the richness of life which has come to you by the grace of God.

–Phillips Brooks, 19th century, Trinity Church, Boston

When you are ready, start the video below.


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

As you listen to the music video featuring Zach Blair-Andrews, you are invited to notice the thoughts and feelings and that arise for you.

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

Even
After
All this time
The Sun never says to the Earth,

“You owe me.”

Look
What happens
With a love like that,
It lights the whole sky.

–Attributed to Hafiz (1350-1390)
Submitted by Sue Sherwood

Breathe. Breathe again. Be filled. Let your heart overflow. 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.

USEFUL LAKEWOOD LINKS DURING THE CORONA CRISIS:


Corona Sabbath 23 PEACE

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 peace.

There is a scripture lesson offered by Sue Sherwood and a meditation by Pastor Kim Wells followed by a music video prepared by Music Director Hilton Kean Jones featuring the LUCC choir singing My Life Flows On in Endless Song (How Can I Keep from Singing).

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:

But the people forgot.
They forgot that they were
A message of love,
and a prayer from the earth.

And they began to argue….

And often the people
Misused their powers,
And hurt one another
Or killed one another.

And they hurt the earth.

And  after a long,
Lonesome and scary time…

…the people listened,
and began to hear…

And to see God in one another…

…and in the beauty of all the Earth.

And Old Turtle SMILED.

And so did God.

–Excerpt from Old Turtle by Douglas Wood, 1992 Award Winner Best Environmental Book~Midwest Independent Publishers Association
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 virtual choir music video featuring the Lakewood Choir singing My Life Flows On in Endless Song (How Can I Keep from Singing), directed by Hilton Jones, you are invited to notice the thoughts and feelings and that arise for you.

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

Then what is afraid of me comes
and lives a while in my sight.
What it fears in me leaves me,
and the fear of me leaves it.
It sings, and I hear its song.

Then what I am afraid of comes.
I live for a while in its sight.
What I fear in it leaves it,
and the fear of it leaves me.
It sings, and I hear its song.

–From 1979, 1 Sabbath by Wendell Berry

Breathe. Breathe again. Be filled. With a sense of peace. 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.

USEFUL LAKEWOOD LINKS DURING THE CORONA CRISIS:
Corona Sabbath Posts
Sermon and Reflection Texts
Music at Lakewood
Lakewood UCC YouTube Channel
Lakewood UCC on Twitter
Lakewood on Facebook
Lakewood on Instagram
For the above church website links,
please note the “Older Posts” button near bottom of each page.


Corona Sabbath 22 FORGIVENESS

20200725_092239These 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 forgiveness.

There is a scripture lesson is offered by Claire Stiles and a meditation by Pastor Kim Wells as well as a special music video from Music Director Hilton Kean Jones featuring the Doors Open to All installation on the grounds of the church that was created by LUCC member artist William Owen, III.

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:

I am not here to pass judgement
or point the finger at anyone.
My name was written in the sand
as one who is forgiven.
Strengthened with hope, impervious to shame,
I walk freely like the freshness
of the dry lands after rain.

Let light spill out of heaven
through my life,
dispelling mediocrity and silent blame.
Too many people, guilt-stricken, wounded,
walk in regret,
feeling bad about failing,
apologise even for breathing.

Raw belief, a passion for others
grows in me,
encircling each moment
with instinctive prayer.
I will carry the freshness
of the dry lands after rain.
Compassion lives in me again.

–Andy Raine, in Celtic Daily Prayer, Book Two

When you are ready, start the video below.


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

As you listen to the music video featuring music from Hilton and the Doors Open to All installation by William, you are invited to notice the thoughts and feelings and that arise for you.

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

Give me everything mangled and bruised, and I will make a light of it to make you weep, and we will have rain and we will have begun again.

–Deena Metzger

Breathe. Breathe again. Be filled. With a desire to forgive. 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

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