In support of my ministry to the United Church of Christ at The Villages, Florida
The mission of UCC at The Villages is to be a welcoming inclusive community of Christian faith for all.
The vision of UCC at The Villages is to be the voice of progressive Christianity in the community where all people are welcomed, valued and nurtured in faith.
The United Church of Christ at The Villages embraces the values of love, faith, grace, service and justice.
March 6, 2021
Dear UCCTV Family,
I. GOOD NEWS! WE WILL BE CELEBRATING OUTDOOR COMMUNION WORSHIP SERVICE THIS SUNDAY, MARCH 7, AT 10 AM. Bring a light jacket. The projected temperature will be between 58 and 60 degrees by 10 AM. Peace!
II. THE LATEST UPDATE ON WORSHIP SERVICES IN MARCH: Please note that limited indoor, in-person worship services will be postponed until EASTER SUNDAY, APRIL 4TH. After extensive conversations between the GB and I, we have concluded that waiting an additional month before we restart indoor, in-person worship services is the best course of action for us at UCCTV.
Doing so will also allow us to address three key concerns: first, allay the concern by some members that an in-person worship restart in March may be a bit too early; two, allow for the increase of the single and double vaccination rates among our members; three, allow me to ascertain via a confidential online survey during March the approximate percentage of the members of the congregation that have been vaccinated; and, four, train the worship team and helpers on team-based live-streaming worship during the three Sundays of the 14th, 21st, and 28th in preparation for Easter Sunday, and the way forward. Team-based live-streaming worship services will begin on Sunday the 14th at 10 AM. That will allow you to enjoy the service "live" at home (it will also be recorded and added to our YouTube channel every morning).
Once we restart on April 4th, all the safety protocols in place will still apply (pre-registration, tracking of assigned seating, touchless temperature checks [no greater than 100.4], 6-feet social/sitting distancing, proper masking, very limited indoor masked congregational singing, and proper procedures for exiting by the congregation).
II. Finding great resources on the Lenten Season for "bible believing" progressive Christians is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. CLICK HERE to download a solid weekly Lenten devotional from our friends of the the National Council of Churches of Christ USA. CLICK HERE for a wonderful daily Lenten devotional from our friends of the Presbyterian Church USA. They're free and you'll be blessed.
III. Calling all our Shepherds and Helpers! Our next outdoor meeting under the portico (weather permitting) is scheduled for Tuesday, March 9th, at 10:30 AM. As we've been practicing safely the last month, we'll gather together under the portico and ensure the strict safety protocols of proper face masking, social distancing and seating, and touchless temperature checks for everyone who is able and willing to attend. Jo P. is asking if you could email her to confirm your plans to attend to ensure we set out the right number of chairs for our gathering. That'll be incredibly helpful. We look forward to seeing you on the 9th. This meeting will be very important and help prepare the whole Pastoral Care Team to the arrival of your settled pastor.
IV. If you were blessed (I know you were!) by the online worship service this past Sunday on YouTube, you can thank the fantastic work of amazing volunteers and staff. A great big "GRACIAS" goes out to Carol W., Jan S., Charlotte S., Denny L., Patti W., Mike W., and Penny T. and the wonderful Virtual Choir on their piece titled "Sing A New Song." I'm so grateful for our volunteers!!! We were also blessed by Rev. Barton's sharing of is video message this week. I know I was blessed as I hope you were too.
V. Several weeks ago on my pastor's Bible study I shared with a wonderful half a dozen folks a study on the theme of "The Prophetic Role of The Church" and the prophetic tradition in the Old Testament. It focused on the role of the prophets during the over 500 years that they spoke on behalf of YHWH as they called to task the people of Israel, as well as their religious and political leaders. That study was recorded and now available for your spiritual edification. I highly encourage you to watch it at your earliest possibility. You will be blessed. The link to view it is: https://ln.sync.com/dl/af46e2c50/wv63jpn9-t8nj7y9t-p5n38g2v-d3a7q8vh
VI. Please continue to pray for the Pastoral Search Team as they continue with the planning for Pastor Joe's arrival. He is scheduled to be "on deck" on Sunday, May 2nd and my last day as your intentional interim pastor is April 30th. Praise God for the Pastoral Search Team's excellent work and their engagement in this last phase of their fantastic effort.
And, finally, thank you for your faithful support during these challenging times to your church family's mission to each other, our community, and the world.
Rev. Luis A. Perez, M.Div.
Intentional Interim Pastor
United Church of Christ at The Villages
Church Website: www.villagesucc.org
My GoToMeeting Link: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/912518045 or you can also join by phone by calling 872-240-3212 (if asked, the Access Code is 912-518-045).
PS: Come back to my dynamic ministry website often. I update it two or three times a week.
I. Join my next "PASTOR'S BIBLE STUDY" this coming Wednesday at 7:00 PM. Click the GoToMeeting link that follows via your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone via https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/912518045. You can also join by phone by calling 872-240-3212 (if asked, the Access Code is 912-518-045). THE NEXT BIBLE STUDY IS SCHEDULED FOR MARCH 10TH.
II. Join our online “WEEKLY PRAYER CIRCLE” on Thursdays at 1 PM. It lasts only 30 minutes. This is where a small group of faithful gather weekly to pray for all new and on-going prayer requests. It's truly a time where we learn to trust God in prayer for one another and for our world. Click the GoToMeeting link noted below to join me online via your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. You can also join by phone by calling 872-240-3212 (if asked, the Access Code is 912-518-045). See you then!
III. Please remember there are other online SMALL GROUP GATHERINGS that take place during the week in addition to my Pastor’s Bible Study and Prayer Circle. They include: the WISE Support Group (POC: Beverly H.), Saturday Morning Men’s Bible Study (POC: Denny L.), and the Women’s Spirituality Group (meets via monthly email communications, POC: Rev. Kathy P.). If you want to know more, go to our church website and click the "Bible Study" link for the all the online links. If unsure, please reach out to Penny and she'll provide more information (she'll also connect you with Rev. Kathy P. and the Women’s Spirituality Group).