In support of my ministry to the United Church of Christ at The Villages, Florida
Great News! Our top candidate has accepted our call to be our Settled Pastor.
Be on the alert for a future communication announcing the introduction of that candidate and procedures for registering your vote of approval once the introduction is completed.
Glenn Kramer, Co-Chair, Pastoral Search Tea
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.
January 11, 2021
Dear UCCTV Family,
I. As noted above, we now have the breaking news the Pastoral Search Team has been working hard and diligently on for several months now -- the top candidate they've been in discussions with has accepted the Call! As Glenn stated in the statement, be on the alert for a future communication announcing the introduction of the candidate and procedures for registering your vote of approval once the introduction is completed. That's exciting news and you should (as I am!) be proud of the effort of the whole Team! Halleluiah!
II. You're invited to join me tomorrow, Tuesday, at 6:30 PM, for an online PRAYER SERVICE FOR UNITY IN OUR COUNTRY sponsored by our community Interfaith Peace Partners. The link is https://zoom.us/j/93289230108?pwd=cCttTlZMWWRPOTZGYXVSV0VPOXVSUT09 and if you join by telephone the Meeting ID is 932-8923-0108# and the Passcode is 597039#). I'll be joining the gathering and I'd love to see several of the UCCTV family join me in the event.
III. I need your help spreading the word of Christ's hope and YOU -- the amazing people that make up the United Church of Christ in The Villages! And the best way we can do that is by sharing our YouTube online worship service. Our hard-working volunteers, staff, and I who help make it happen every week highly encourage you to help us share the weekly YouTube link of our online worship service -- https://youtu.be/oELFKdD2_UY -- with your family, friends and neighbors. The wonderful thing is that we usually have as much as 100 folks who actually view the service between Saturday at 9 PM and Sunday morning by 12 Noon. The rest of the viewers trickle in during the rest of the week. Our weekly viewership goal is 150 YouTube individual views per week. Please help us reach that goal -- it's easy and we can do it. Have you viewed and been blessed with the service yet?
IV. 1. I'D LOVE YOU TO OPT BACK IN! As you're all aware, I use text messaging once or twice a week to keep everyone informed of important member-only church activities. These are NOT marketing text messages but church-related messages. Once in awhile, when I text church members, I invariably have some folks inadvertently respond to me by typing "CANCEL." When that happens, your pastor and church lose the ability to reach out to you with very urgent church-related announcements. To opt back in your cell phone number and allow your church to keep you informed of important information please text the following word "Optin" (Optin - skip the quotation marks) to the following telephone number: 1-234-218-8000. Thank you so much!
V. Our next OUTDOOR WORSHIP SERVICE -- weather permitting -- is scheduled for Communion Sunday, February 7th, at 10:00 AM. Although more information will follow, right now I can confirm that, just as we did for the Christmas Eve services, pre-registration will be required. Again, stay tuned as the Diaconate and I plan for the worship service for those who are able and willing to attend.
VI. Another major event we'll also be celebrating this month is our ANNUAL CONGREGATIONAL MEETING scheduled for Sunday, January 31st. This will be a "virtual" version of the annual meeting. Please stand by for all the details to be provided by our Moderators in the next few days.
VII. 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 Fred W., Patti W., Mike W., Denny L., and Penny T.
VIII. As I noted last week, please understand that we at UCCTV will continue with our present model of pre-recorded worship services until otherwise indicated. I don't think I need to belabor the rationale why the GB and I believe we're not yet ready for in-sanctuary, in-person worship based on a 13.9% coronavirus positivity rate in Sumter County for the last week. This is based on the State of Florida data available as of 1:00 PM today for the period of 1/3/21 to 1/9/21. Again, no one should feel inspired by these data. We will consider in-person, in-sanctuary when we meet the 5% threshold based on the CDC and World Health Organization recommendations.
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. 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 ministry website often. I update it at least once a week.
Growing up in the 1950’s gave us the opportunity to try many exciting products. In 1959 my grandmother introduced me to a new miracle product called, PLEDGE.
That’s when I learned that PLEDGE was a verb, an action word, something that you DO. She and I wiped PLEDGE throughout her house. We breathed new life into everything in that house, from the worn-down wooden kitchen table to the linoleum floors. Yes, linoleum floors!
If you’ve ever sprayed PLEDGE on a floor, you discovered PLEDGE is an action word! Grandma and I discovered the action later that day when we skated across the kitchen! There was no stopping us! We were hooked on PLEDGE!
Today, as we at UCC at The Villages look forward to a new year, we are reminded that all of us can take action. How? PLEDGE! Help our church plan for the coming fiscal year! PLEDGE! Skate into the new year with renewed promise! PLEDGE! That way 2021 will be an opportunity for us, together, as an action-oriented congregation, to breathe new life into our church. Blessings!
To make a PLEDGE, go to www.villagesucc.org to the area marked GROW-2021 Pledges. Then click on the Image. Type in Your NAME, ADDRESS, EMAIL, AND YOUR ANNUAL PLEDGE AMOUNT, AND PLEDGE (TIMING YOUR GIFT AS EITHER A, WEEKLY, MONTHLY, or ANNUAL PLEDGE). No credit card information is required.
Your email will allow us to acknowledge your pledge. OR, simply call Penny and she will send you a PLEDGE form through the mail.
1. Join my next "PASTOR'S BIBLE STUDY" this coming Wednesday at 7:00 PM. Click the GoToMeeting link noted below to join Ken and I online 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).
2. 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!
3. 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).
4. I want to thank so much those who keep sending Penny their PHOTOS of daily life and leisure! They're so important to making the Sunday online worship service fresh. It connects all of us to one another. It's like seeing folks gathering together in church! Remember, they’re used to overlay the musical Prelude slide and serve to remind us we’re a family of faith. Again, thank you to all those who have and continue to send them.