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.
The date is approaching fast and we’re making preparations.
Dear UCCTV Family,
I. CALLING ALL VETERANS AND THOSE WHO LOVE VETERANS! You're invited to join me for a Memorial Ceremony in honor of a fallen comrade. Debra "Deb" Day, whom I knew personally, was a Marine who passed away suddenly back in November, 2020. Sadly, her spouse wasn't able, due to the pandemic, to provide for a proper celebration of life. As an extension of our ministry to the larger community, I'll be officiating at church a modest and gracious "funeral honors" in her memory with her spouse and a few friends. I WOULD LOVE THE SUPPORT OF OUR VETERANS, AND THOSE WHO LOVE VETERANS, IN THE CONGREGATION!!! The event should last about 35 minutes. Please consider putting the date of Tuesday, April 20, 11:00 AM on your schedule for next week. The registration attendance link is NOW AVAILABLE HERE. You're welcome to join me.
II. Our IN-PERSON SUNDAY WORSHIP SERVICES (WITH LIVE STREAMING) ARE NOW EVERY SUNDAY AT 10:00 AM. By the way, we apologize for this Sunday's disruption of live streaming due to what appears may have been strong winds and lightening impacting cable service in the area. The copy of the live stream (in two parts) is now available on YouTube. The link is noted above.
Please remember, the live streaming starts sharply at 9:55 AM (announcements) and the worship service starts sharply at 10:00 AM. TO WATCH THE SERVICES LIVE, VISIT OUR CHURCH WEBSITE -- WWW.VILLAGESUCC.ORG -- AND THERE YOU'LL SEE THE LINK TO WATCH THE SERVICE IN REAL TIME. The recording of the service is always available on YouTube by around 1:00 PM.
Please don't forget that the attendance registration portal for every worship service is located at our church website at WWW.VILLAGESUCC.ORG and it opens on MONDAYS AT 9:00 AM and closes on FRIDAYS AT 6:00 PM. If you're scheduled to serve as a Helper -- worship reader, usher, A/V volunteers, singer, or accompanist -- you don't need to register since your seating is other than the audience section. But I do ask that you notify the Registration Ushers of your presence and get temperature checked when you arrive at church. I LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU NEXT SUNDAY!
III. Unless otherwise indicated, the new maximum seating capacity is 100 persons and our standard safety protocols include online registration, masks, and temperature checks for everyone. In the event you don't have access to the internet, please feel free to call Penny (352-748-9199) during normal working hours only (M-F, 8 AM to 1 PM) to register.
IV. Please remember that the GB and I have agreed to move forward with allowing church-related small groups to gather inside the church building (and fully masked) effective immediately. Church-related small groups larger than 12 are allowed to meet under the portico (masking is optional), as whether permits. The respective leader of the any small group must always ensure that whether the meeting is inside or outside that the activity is coordinated with Penny and added to the church calendar. This will help in avoiding scheduling conflicts among small groups and the weekly exercise classes held from Monday through Thursday.
V. Although the CDC has stated people can gather indoors with fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask -- https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated.html -- we'll still REQUIRE MASKS FOR EVERYONE UNTIL OTHERWISE INDICATED. THE POINT WE CONFIRM WE'VE REACHED AT THE VERY LEAST THE 75% "FULLY VACCINATED" RATE (NO MATTER WHETHER YOU'RE PRESENTLY AT THE VILLAGES OR A SNOW BIRD), WE'LL REASSESS OUR SAFETY PROTOCOLS PRESENTLY IN PLACE. HAVE YOU COMPLETED YOUR VACCINE SURVEY UPDATE? I HAD MY SECOND SHOT APRIL 5th AND I HAVE!
So, please, as soon as you're fully vaccinated -- IN FLORIDA OR ANYWHERE YOU'RE PRESENTLY RESIDING -- submit or resubmit your survey form. I'll deeply appreciate your support! PLEASE NOTE THAT TO HONOR THE SPIRIT OF CONFIDENTIALITY IN THE SURVEY PROCESS, I'M ASKING THAT EACH MEMBER OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD SUBMIT THEIR OWN, INDIVIDUAL SURVEY. Completion of the survey takes less than 10 seconds to complete.
Need to find a location for your vaccine series? This is where I went to get mine -- https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/vaccines/vaccine-locator/ -- and you, your family, and friends in Florida can too. Effective Monday, April 5, 2021, ALL Florida adult residents are now eligible to receive the coronavirus vaccine.
VI. If you were blessed during the in-person or live stream worship service this past Sunday, you can thank the fantastic work of amazing Helpers. A great big "GRACIAS" goes out to Denny L., Mike W., and Penny T., and Patti W. A special thanks goes out to the quartet comprised of Connie B., Marilyn C., Beverly H., and Charlotte S. Thanks to Jo P. for serving as a our Worship Reader. And to our Ushers, thank you for providing gracious ushering support! I THANK GOD FOR OUR HELPERS - THEY SO GRACIOUSLY UNDERSTAND THERE'S NO "I" IN TEAM.
VII. Please note that I have 11 days of vacation I haven't been able to use. Therefore, I'll be on vacation on the MONDAYS THRU FRIDAYS of the the weeks of April 12th and 19th. But please remember, DON'T HESITATE TO REACH OUT TO ME IF YOU HAVE AN URGENT PASTORAL NEED. I'LL ALWAYS BE AVAILABLE BY PHONE OR EMAIL 24/7. And of course, I will be preaching in person every Sunday for the rest of the month of April. My last Sunday worship gathering is April 25th.
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 ministry website often. I update it two or three times a week!
I. 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! MY LAST WEEKLY PRAYER CIRCLE WILL BE HELD ON THURSDAY, APRIL 29TH, AT 1 PM.
II. 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 (Rev. Kathy P.). If you want to know more, visit our church website or reach out to Penny and she'll provide more information and connect you with the leaders of these three and other active small group settings.