A Call for Peace, Unity and Support for the Ukrainian People

A Call for Peace, Unity and Support for the Ukrainian People

In 2019, the city of St. Petersburg issued a proclamation,
declaring the city of St. Petersburg an International City of Peace.

We sit at the edge of war, as the people of Ukraine are being killed
for exercising a country’s right of self-determination.

You may think there’s nothing you can do to stop this aggression,
but we can stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian people
and speak as one community against this crime and injustice.

Show up and stand with
the local Ukrainian community
in a call for peace, unity and support.

Wednesday, March 2
12 noon

An outdoor gathering
at the
Epiphany of Our Lord
Ukrainian Catholic Church

430 90 th Avenue N.
St. Petersburg, FL 33702
(727) 576-1001

All are welcome.

Rev. Wells Supports the ‘Whispering Pines’ Housing Project at the St. Petersburg City Council Meeting

The plot of land next to the church was purchased by Boley for use as the site of a housing development for those who are vulnerable and in need of shelter.  There will be 20 units in the community.  In light of delays related to covid and increased costs, Boley approached the City Council asking for an additional $760,000 to fully fund the project.  Rev. Wells was asked by Boley to speak to the City Council at their meeting on Thursday Feb. 17 in favor of the funding.  This is what she said:

Good afternoon.  I am Rev. Kim Wells, pastor of Lakewood United Church of Christ which is next door to the property acquired by Boley for Whispering Pines.

We are a Christian church.  A consistent message in our faith tradition is the dictate to work to eliminate poverty, need, and want in society.  We are committed to ministering to ‘the least of these.’ 

Our church has responded to this call in various ways.  We support Operation Attack providing assistance to families in need.  We have been involved in Family Promise helping families secure housing.  We had about 30 houseless people stay at our church for a month several years ago.  We have a partnership with Maximo Elementary School to assist their unhoused students.  And we routinely have people in need come to the church for help and we provide assistance as we are able.

So, when we heard about the Boley initiative, we were thrilled.  

But we don’t expect the City Council of St. Petersburg to follow the teachings of our faith tradition.  You are the government not a faith-based organization.

So, having personally worked with people without housing, here’s what I feel you need to consider.

The struggles associated with home insecurity divert and distract people from being constructively involved in the community.  Housing issues impact the capacity to work in a reliable and consistent manner.  Housing instability impacts children getting to school and succeeding academically.  Housing insecurity contributes to health problems that stress the healthcare system.  There are many negative consequences to the community when people don’t have stable, secure housing.  A person with a safe place to live then has the capacity to be a responsible, constructive, contributing member of the community.  

The Whispering Pines community will have a significant positive impact not only on the new residents but it will have an important positive impact on the community as a whole and it will benefit us all.

When Boley leaders met with our church to introduce the Whispering Pines development, we were told that there would be a substantial fence erected on the property line between the church and the housing development.  We made one request:  Please put a big gate in that fence.

We implore you, the City Council, to vote to fully fund the Whispering Pines community.  It is a much needed improvement not only for those who will reside there but for the community and the city as a whole.  Thank you!

The City Council voted unanimously to fully fund Whispering Pines.

Music at Lakewood UCC for Black History Month, 2022

Feb 6, 2022 
PRELUDE:Tender Thought (from Ten Short Essays) – Ulysses Kay (USA 1917-95)
MUSIC:Lullaby – Bangambula Vindu (Congo b.1953)
MUSIC:Lead Me, Guide Me – Doris M. Akers (USA b.1922)
MUSIC:Dancing Barefoot in the Rain (from African Sketches) –  Nkeiru Okoye (Nigeria/USA b.1972)
OFFERTORY:Sweet Mister Jelly Roll (from Portraits in Jazz) – Valarie Capers (USA b.1935)
PREP FOR PRAYER:Deep River – African-American spiritual (USA)
POSTLUDE:Maple Leaf Rag – Joplin (USA)
Feb 13, 2022 
PRELUDE:Soufiane (from Mekta’ in the Art og Kita’ Book 2) – Halim El-Dabh (Egypt b.1921)
MUSIC:Piano Piece No. 2, Call and Response – Robert Mawuena Kwami (Ghana 1954-2004)
MUSIC:God’s Eye Is On the Sparrow – Charles H. Gabriel  (USA © 1905)
MUSIC:The Monk (from Portraits in Jazz) – Valarie Capers (USA b.1935)
OFFERTORY:Off-Beat Shorty (from Faces of Jazz) – Hale Smith (USA b.1925)
PREP FOR PRAYER:Precious Memories – Roberta Martin & Mrs. Georgia Jones (© 1939)
POSTLUDE:Easy Winners – Joplin (USA)
Feb 20, 2022 
PRELUDE:Lullaby (from Preludes in African Rhythm) – Isak Roux (South Africa b.1959)
MUSIC:Dusk (from African Sketches) – Nkeiru Okoye (Nigeria/USA b.1972)
MUSIC:Peace in the Valley – Thomas A. Dorsey (USA © 1939)
MUSIC:Builsa Work Song (from Twelve Pedagogical Pieces) –  J. H. Kwabena Nketia (Ghana b.1921)
OFFERTORY:Kwela No. 1 –  Isak Roux (South Africa b.1959)
PREP FOR PRAYER:Just a Closer Walk with Thee – anonymous (USA)
POSTLUDE:The Entertainer  – Joplin (USA)
Feb 27, 2022 
PRELUDE:My Scarf Is Yellow – Hale Smith (USA b.1925)
MUSIC:Until I Found the Lord – Clara Ward (USA 1924-1973)
MUSIC:Precious Lord, Take My Hand – Thomas A. Dorsey  (USA © 1932)
MUSIC:Ticklin’ Toes – Florence B. Price (USA 1887-1952)
OFFERTORY:Can’t Nobody Do Me Like Jesus – André Crouch (USA b.1945)
PREP FOR PRAYER:Oh, To Be Kept by Jesus – Thurston Frazier (USA © 1966)
POSTLUDE:Sunflower Slow Drag – Joplin (USA)

 from the Oxford Press collection: Piano Music of Africa and the African Diaspora

from The African American Heritage Hymnal

Reaping the Harvest 2021

Total forms returned: 15 forms representing 17 people in the congregation.  That’s about ¼ of the church family.

Total hours volunteered:  2,591.  One person responded, ‘Not enough.’ 

Total amount donated: $76,500.  One person added ‘More.’ 

Organizations, people, and causes that have received support from the congregation:

American Civil liberties Union

Antioch College

Black Lives Matter (BLM)

Blessing Hands, funding students in China

Blue Mountain Center

Boley Center

Boston Climate Action Network

CASA, Community Action Stops Abuse

Charis Books

Civitan International

Coffin- Siris Syndrome Foundation

Dali Museum

Democratic Party Candidates

Democratic Political Campaigns 

Douglass College Alumni Association

Eckerd College

Eden Theological Seminary

Editorial Freelancers Association  

Equality Florida

Fired Up Pinellas

Florida Dream Center

Florida Orchestra

Food Banks

Freefall Theater 

Friends of South Community Library

Friends

Gifford’s PAC

Good Will

Grinnell College

Habitat for Humanity

Harvard University

Heifer Project International

Helping Friends and Neighbors

Historic Kenwood Neighborhood Association

Homeless and needy individuals unrelated to groups

Hortin Child Development Center

International Refugee Agency

International Rescue Committee

Lakewood UCC – including

Advisors 

Care Team

Creation Justice Task Force

Facebook Live

Worker Bees – Wednesday Women’s Work group

League of Women Voters

Little Free Library

Maximo Elementary School

Metro Inclusive Wellness

NAACP

National Council of Negro Women St. Pete Metro Section

Neighbors in Need

Nature Conservancy

One City Chorus

Operation Attack

Pace Center for Girls, Inc. Pinellas

PBS

Planned Parenthood

Raiders Soccer Club

Rincon UCC

Salvation Army

Shepherd’s Center

Southern Poverty Law Center

St. Petersburg Free Clinic

St. Petersburg High School

St. Petersburg History Museum

St. Petersburg International Folk Fair Society (SPIFFS)

St. Petersburg Time Bank

St. Vincent de Paul

SOTENI

Stonewall Democrats

Suncoast Employees Appreciation Fund

Suncoast Hospice

The Temple – Atlanta

Thurgood Marshall Middle School

UCC Creation Justice Task Force

Union Theological Seminary

WEDU Television

Wellesley College

Westminster Suncoast

Westminster Suncoast Foundation

Wikipedia

Women’s March and other social justice marches

Woodson African American Museum- Scholarships

WUSF

12- Step Programs

And someone added:  Many others!