Vision Statement:   "Seabreeze United Church of Christ...where you feel you belong from the first Sunday on!"

 

Mission Statement:  "We are a community oriented, missional Christian church.  We have two goals:  to love God and to love our neighbor.  We practice loving God through worship, prayer, study and witness.  We practice loving our neighbor by working with them in creating programs that positively transform our neighborhood and community.  Our church is "an open, welcoming, and affirming congregation".  No matter where you are in life's journey, you are welcome at Seabreeze United Church of Christ.  We are proud of our affiliation with the United Church of Christ."

 

    • We are an ONA Church

Welcome

We are THRILLED to welcome our new pastor Rev. Joe Pickard!!! Joe is a long time friend of our church! He is energetic, upbeat, positive and welcoming! Come and meet him!!

We would love to have you join us!!

Services are every Sunday at 10:30 a.m. 501 North Wild Olive Ave, Daytona Beach FL 32118.

   

Rev. Joe Pickard

   Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, as an only-child, Joe created “family” from the neighborhood groups of children and was constantly involved in orchestrating activities and projects.  Pastor. Joe has three adult children and 6 grand-kids.  His daughter Barbara, and her family, live in Richmond, Virginia; daughter Michelle and her husband, Joe, and in Parsippany, NJ; and daughter Andrea is a single parent with 4 children, living in eastern Pennsylvania.

College was series of start-and-stops:  Community College close to home during a tumultuous family time.  After graduation, he entered the College of Architecture at the University of Arizona (Tucson), but was drafted during senior year.  He returned to finish the Architectural Degree after 3 years in the Army, having served in Vietnam and being assigned as an instructor in the Army Intelligence School, Ft. Huachuca, AZ.

Since his ordinations (Deacon in 1984; Priest in 1985, in the Episcopal Church), ministry has led him from congregation to congregation where he has used what he says is a gift from God to lead congregations to their ‘next steps’.  He began his “Episcopal” life in 1978 at St. Philip’s in the Hills, Tucson, AZ, in Lay Ministry – teaching Church School, serving on the Vestry, heading the Stewardship Program, designing Children’s Worship Services, and coordinating the expansion of the congregation’s physical plant.  He went on to attend The Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, VA.  He first served as a Deacon, and then Associate Priest, at St. Dunstan’s, McLean, VA.  Soon after hosting Bishop Jack Spong as a Diocesan Keynote Speaker for the Education Conference, Fr. Joe found himself in the Diocese of Newark.  Since 1986 he has served in multiple churches in that area.

It would be difficult to briefly sum up all the work that The Rev. Joe Pickard has done for the congregations he has served during the past 30+ years.  Most recently at St. John the Divine, HasbrouckHeights, under his leadership, the congregation has grown and expanded, joining with St. Martin’s Church in Maywood.  His leadership led to the creation of ‘Care on the Corner’, a non-profit organization built out of the church’s ministry which provides numerous services and resources to the people of Hasbrouck Heights and its surrounding community.  Pastor Pickard spent 16 years laying that foundation for these congregations and the community.

Ministry at St. John's

Pickard’s work began at St. John’s in 1996 when he was brought in to work with the congregation and its then sister-church, St. Mary’s in RidgefieldPark. After 2 ½ years, it was decided that St. Mary’s would end its ministry in RidgefieldPark.  With about half the St. Mary’s congregation joining St. John’s, the church went on to find its vision.  By incorporating outreach ministries and the use of the talents of the people within the congregation, it began to develop a wide variety of offerings to the community.  That basic premise is what led to the birth of ‘Kids on the Corner’, an activity program for neighborhood children.  People in the congregation came together to create a week of activities for children in the community after a multi-congregational vacation Bible school had dwindled down to just one week and families were scrambling for new things to do with the children.

From there, other needs within the community were recognized and programs such as English as a Second Language (ESL) were developed which grew popular so quickly they had to scramble to find teachers who were willing to help.  Unwilling to pay for professional teaching services, the church sought out to find individuals who would donate their time and services to help the overall community.  From there, ‘Care on the Corner’ was born.

Finding God

Many things throughout the course of his life eventually led Pickard to the priesthood.  There was no ‘epiphany’, just a gradual understanding of God in his life and an understanding of the gifts that make him particular and unique - that come from God.

In his earlier years he thought the church was not for him.  His first experience with church was not a great one. When he was just 8-years old, every Sunday his parents would drop him off at a Methodist Church out in southern California.   Pickard said class was conducted in one, dark room, lit only by one incandescent light bulb that hung from a string off the ceiling.  He and the other kids would sit with their hands folded at the desk while a woman with her hair tightly tied in a bun would teach.  The walls were dank; no one smiled.  One day he just got up, went upstairs to the main sanctuary, and announced he was leaving, and never went back.  That was the last experience he had with church until he entered the Army years later.

“It was the Army that introduced me to God in a very positive way,” he said.  While serving in Vietnam, it all began with a decision to attend Sunday service and classes as a way of getting out of daytime duties.  But he soon began to develop his own relationship with God through the experience.  Pickard was a MACV Advisor stationed at a Vietnamese battalion base in the center of where it all began, Ben Het, and ultimately where it all ended, he says.  They were stationed there for 11 months and were shelled daily.  “By the grace of God I made it out,” he says adding that he literally was on the last plane out of the area. 

Following his Army deployment, he went on to finish schooling to become an architect. While in Tucson, Arizona, he became involved with St. Phillip’s in the Hills Episcopal Church, a very large congregation that he observed as being somewhat rigid and stiff.   He, and his wife at the time, began to teach middle-school aged children in the church school.  They introduced movement to the program through music and dance, moving away from the preconceived notion that children should be seen and not heard, he explained.  Their work in this group led to a collaboration with parents in the development of a worship team.  Within a couple of years there were more people in the Parish Hall for the Children’s Worship, then there were in the church.  Many suggested he become a priest, telling him that he was good at development, design and helping find that church is a great place to be; but his response was, “not for me.”  Pickard loved the architectural work and did not want to leave Tucson.  Eventually, he did get further involved in the church, leading it to an expansion, and witnessing the parish double in size over a span of six years.  Once again, he was told he belonged in ministry. 

When he arrived at his own decision to enter seminary there were many logistical things that had to be worked out as it meant uprooting his wife and children to Virginia.  Pickard said he knew that if God willed it, all would be worked out in time for him to enter the seminary, and it did. 

Minister of Music Louis Fifer

 

"Our secret weapon".   "Sometimes when he is seated at the grand organ during the postlude, I close my eyes and listen.  I can almost feel the roof of the church being lifted off with every powerful and beautiful note that he plays". "Lou is a gift to our church, and his talent is a gift from God". "There are not many musicians that can play an instrument like Seabreeze UCC's gorgeous old organ.  Lou is the best!!"  

Pastor Emerita Rev. Barbara Laucks

      Rev. Barbara Laucks:  We asked some of our congregation members to describe Barbara in a few words:   "Joyous and filled with love and compassion".  "She is the real deal".  "Her sermons touch us, teach us, uplift us and give us something to think about every week".  "She has a huge heart which overflows with true Christian kindness".  "She has helped to heal our church and make it healthy again".  She "walks the walk".  "She is our leader and her faith is true and never wavers. We feel blessed every day to have her as our minister".  

Rev. Laucks graduated from Haddonfield Memorial High School, Haddonfield, NJ;Tusculum College, Greeneville, TN in 1966 with a BA degree and from Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, NJ in 1968 with a Master’s Degree in Christian Education.  Barbara and Phil Laucks were married in 1968, ordained together in 1969, and accepted a call as pastors of Good Shepherd UCC, Tuckerton, Pa that same year.  Barbara has served on the staff of the Southern Conference and the Florida Conference UCC. She  has also served as pastor of Emmanuel UCC, Upper Sandusky, Ohio; New Smyrna Beach UCC in New Smyrna Beach, FL, and Emmanuel UCC in Sebring, Fl.  For several years in the past she served as an associate pastor of Corinth UCC in Hickory, NC and also Seabreeze UCC in Daytona Beach, FL where she served as supply pastor.  Rev. Laucks maintains her relationship with our church with her participation in our "Cancer Hope and Healing Program". 

Pastor Emeritus Rev. C. Phillip Laucks

        Rev. Phillip C. Laucks:  "Phil not only has years of exceptional business acumen, but he also has great faith.  Phil uses his years of experience as a Healthcare Administrator to help our church navigate and survive the fiscal and operational challenges of running a church in 2015. Phil is an invaluable asset to our Board of Trustees, Church Council and entire congregation.  We are blessed to have him as a great resource. Whether he is using his negotiation skills, his sense of humor to alleviate a stressful situation or his excellent business sense to assist church volunteers, we are always relieved to know that we can count on Phil to assist us".    

Rev. Laucks graduated from Reading Senior High School Reading, PA in 1959; Catawba College in Salisbury, NC with a BA degree in 1963; and Princeton Theological Seminary with a Master’s Degree in Ministry in 1969.  In addition to serving as co-pastor with Barbara at Good Shepherd UCC in Tuckerton, Pa; he served as administrator of the United Church Retirement Home in Newton, NC; President/CEO of United Church Homes of Ohio and Indiana; Village Administrator of Bishop’s Glen in Holly Hill, Fl.; Vice President for Construction of Homewood Retirement Communities of Hagerstown, Md.; and President/CEO of United Church Retirement Homes and Services of Newton, NC.  He has held a nursing home administrator’s license in North Carolina, Ohio, and Florida.

Rev. Laucks maintains his relationship with our church with his participation in our "Cancer Hope and Healing Program".