Viewing of “Chasing Ice”

“Chasing Ice” is a documentary film about the Extreme Ice Project (EIP) which uses time lapse cameras on five continents to film the retreat of major glaciers in response to global warming. The EIP was conceived and created by a National Geographic photographer who became intrigued by taking pictures of ice and over time began to see what was happening world wide to glaciers and polar ice caps.

The film is beautiful visually and compelling in its message.

You are invited to view the film at the Helm’s (2900 68th Ave. S., St. Petersburg) on Wednesday Nov. 13. Gather at 6 for a potluck snack supper and “Chasing Ice.”

Bible Study Notes – Blessed Are the Peacemakers

Bible study this past week [Tuesday May 21] focussed on the beatitude, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” [Matthew 5:9]

The discussion began with identifying those considered peacemakers. Here’s the list that was generated:
Abraham Lincoln, because he was not bent on revenge
Alexander the Great
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Mohandas Gandhi
Lyndon Johnson
Anwar Sadat
Mother Teresa
Rosa Parks
The Dalai Lama
St. Francis of Assisi
Frederick Douglass
Jesus [mentioned almost as an afterthought!]

How do we define peace?
It includes respect, acceptance, love, equality, making a positive difference in the lives of many, lack of violence and vengeance.

There are different facets of peace – economic, political, personal/spiritual/psychological, as well as social dimensions to peace. It was agreed that greed is a major factor contributing to violence and undermining peace.

How was Jesus a peacemaker? He cared about everyone. He loved everyone. He ate with tax collectors, the poor, women, etc. He did not discriminate. He decried greed.

Next week: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”

Lent at Lakewood 2013

Lent at Lakewood: Living Love

Sunday Worship at 10:30 a.m.
Each week will invite reflection on how we grow in love for God, ourselves, others, our enemies, and creation.

Bible Study: Tuesdays February 19, 26, March 5, 12, and 19 at 10:00 a.m.
This will be a study and discussion of the beatitudes and the Sermon on the Mount. The gathering will be in the Fellowship Hall. Bring a Bible if you have one.

The Way: Wednesdays February 20, 27, March 6,13, 20 at 7:00 p.m.
This will be a time for spiritual reflection and renewal. The evening will include songs and prayers as well as various stations that invite reflection on the nature of love and how we can live more fully and deeply Jesus’ way of love.

CROP Walk Sunday March 3 at 1:30 p.m.
This is an opportunity to pursue the Lenten discipline of almsgiving by doing something to help those who are hungry in our community and around the world. There are several ways to be involved. You can walk the 5 mile circuit around beautiful downtown St. Petersburg, you can sponsor a walker. You can donate peanut butter. And you can pray for this important effort to be in solidarity with “the least of these.”

Palm Sunday March 24 at 10:30 a.m.
A beautiful service that begins outside around the cross with the blessing of the palms.

Maundy Thursday March 28
An evening to remember the Last Supper and Jesus’ final teachings. A simple soup supper will be served at 6:00 p.m. followed by a service of Tennebrae and communion at 7:00 p.m.

Good Friday March 29
The sanctuary will be open for meditation and prayer from noon to 3:00 p.m. Come when you can for this sacred moment to reflect on the crucifixion of Jesus.

Easter Sunday March 31
7:00 Sunrise service with communion followed by breakfast
10:30 Festival Service followed by refreshments on the lawn and an Easter Egg Hunt

Throughout the season, devotional reflections will be posted at the Lakewood UCC website:

Please contact the Church Office ( or 867-7961) to arrange transportation if needed. All are welcome.

Suggested Reading for Lent and Holy Week

In preparation for Lent and Holy Week at church, I have been looking over several books and I thought I might recommend a few. The list is not exhaustive by any means. Just a couple of choices that you may find stimulating and provocative especially at this time in the church year.

Saving Jesus from the Church: How to Stop Worshiping Christ and Start Following Jesus by Robin R. Meyers
Meyers is a UCC pastor and this book does a great job of offering new ways of looking at Christian beliefs based on solid scholarship including ancient sources. It departs from traditional orthodox Christian theology in refreshing ways. Meyers is pastor of Mayflower UCC in Oklahoma City which describes itself as an “unapologetically Christian, unapologetically liberal” church.

Beyond the Passion: Rethinking the Death and Life of Jesus by Stephen J. Patterson Patterson is a UCC minister and former seminary professor. He now heads Westar Institute which spawned the Jesus Seminar and now the Bible Seminar. This book examines how Jesus’ death fits into its original setting and the culture of the time. It is an excellent overview of what Jesus’ death meant in its original context. Very informative reading. Don’t be daunted by the fact that the author is a professor!

The Last Week: What the Gospels Really Teach About Jesus’s Final Days in Jerusalem by Marcus J. Borg and John Dominic Crossan
This book traces the historical evidence for the last week of Jesus’ life. It is a very illuminating presentation that offers much to stimulate a deeper understanding of Jesus’ life and death.