Dear Beloved Lakewood:

Let’s celebrate some wins together. Our staff continues to creatively minister. Our children and youth ministries are doing some amazing things. Many of our Sunday School classes are meeting online. We have several other online studies and prayer times. We continue to impact the community through food collections for UCOM (the next ones are on June 2nd and June 4th). We are looking at other ways to impact our community. Many of our church teams continue to meet online. Our preschool opened on a limited basis on May 18th. They are following all state and local guidelines. Our online worship services are continuing to grow. We are reaching new people all the time. 

In our creativity, we are looking for ways we can connect. We ordered an FM transmitter and are looking to start a drive-up church. We are looking for ways to creatively connect through meals and Zoom. 

We celebrate your continued giving. We are increasingly exceeding all expectations. You are all amazing. We hope that you will continue to give as you are now. 

We ordered the equipment for streaming our services online. We hope the installation is complete by June 21st. This equipment was purchased through a grant from the Endowment Committee. We are looking at ways to increase our communication with the entire church. 

We created and assembled a relaunch team that is working on a phasing approach to in-person worship. We are following all guidelines set by our authorities. We are receiving information and guidelines from the Bishop and Cabinet of the Florida Conference. 

The United Methodist Church is a connectional church. We are connected to all other United Methodist churches. We receive benefits through this connection such as resources, insurance, and more. It also means that we are led by a Bishop. The Bishop and Cabinet are guiding churches and clergy returning to in-person worship. 

It is all our desires to be in worship together. It is all our desires to hug each other and to eat together. We want to continue to remember we are to love God and to love others. We are called to community. We want to care for and protect the community of faith and the community around us. 

When we see other churches opening around us, it is important to ask in what capacity are they returning. Is it limited? Are there restrictions? How are they loving God and loving others? How are they protecting the community?

This is a pivotal time in the life of Lakewood. Let’s look at ways we can move forward to impact our community. Let’s mobilize together to reach people for Jesus.

In this together, Pastor Don