Trinity Sunday

Happy Trinity Sunday!  

Well folks, this is it.  After nine years of political turmoil, denominational dissention, ecclesiastical intrigue, pandemic lockdowns, social distancing and anxiety, masking, unmasking, isolation, success, failure, laughter, sadness, mourning, dancing, and everything in between, I have my last Sunday at St. Paul’s.  When the author of Ecclesiastes said “there’s a time for everything,” I had no clue it would be packed into one appointment! 
 
But, at the end of all things, and throughout all the stresses we may feel, there is the Gospel we are called to live and proclaim.  It’s not easy, nor is it meant to be!  But we can be thankful we’re at no risk of being thrown into the Coliseum for Roman entertainment.  So on this final Sunday I wanted to continue to go back to the basics; those cornerstones of our faith that have led the church and its people through good times and bad, through times of turmoil and peace, and above all represent what I have come to believe is the core of the Christian message.  We’ve heard from the Apostles, and we’ve looked at the Fruit of the Spirit, and now we come to Jesus’s most pivotal message: the Sermon on the Mount.  The Bible says Jesus is the Word of God made flesh, and so this represents the Word’s word to us.  This is “Light” Christianity – not that it lacks weight, but because it is a Christianity built upon the spiritual light contained in messages like the Sermon on the Mount.  This is a sermon I have preached a few times here, but I do it again because it never hurts to go back over the basics as we both prepare for a season of pastoral transition.  Your new pastor, as he begins his ministry here, will be going back to basics as well, building on the same foundation of Jesus’s message, and encouraging all of you to be that light shining in the darkness.  
 
Announcements:
After the service everyone is invited to join in the Going Away Celebration for Pastor Robert and Heather as this is their last Sunday with us. We are trying to get a head count, so if you have a minute head over to cometoworship.org to let us know how many are coming. It’s a potluck and we’re providing the meat and drinks–you can bring a side dish, salad, or dessert!
We hope to see you Sunday!
 

 Sunday’s In-Person Service at 10:30 –Our in-person, indoor worship is currently in the Sanctuary, starting at 10:30am.  Please go to our website to get the latest COVID-19 Update.  Masks are optional at worship, but there is still a section of pews in front of the sound booth reserved for those who wish to mask and keep a distance from others during worship. 

 

Sunday’s Livestream Service at 10:30—You can now watch the Livestream on YouTube! We recommend logging into your account a few minutes before 10:30 am so you can troubleshoot any issues you might have. You can access the YouTube livestream at stpaulsworship.org or you can log into your Facebook account and see the Livestream on the St. Paul’s Facebook page. You can chat once the Livestream service has started on either Facebook or YouTube.  

 

Our regular Children’s ministries include the nursery, SPKidz, and iClub.  They are currently meeting at 10:15 am in the Fellowship Hall.  

Check the calendar at childrenandyouthcalendar.org for updated information on our SPYouth meetings. 
 
Sunday Chat will be cancelled for the future because of schedule conflicts and Pastor Robert’s move.
 

We so appreciate you keeping connected with us. You may contact the church office by email at info@spocala.org or by phone at 352-694-2161 if you have any questions or need any help. We will get back to you as soon as possible. 



Where Will the Spirit Go Next?

Happy Pentecost!  

As we end the Easter season, a new reality arrives, just as Jesus promised.  You can read the story in Acts Chapter 2, where the promised Holy Spirit comes and invigorates God’s ministry to the world through Jesus and the Disciples.  It is here that the church begins: the gathered followers of Jesus sent out on mission to be his presence to the world.  This is when it all begins to come together, and the Disciples, together with the newly baptized believers, begin to usher in the new reality of the Kingdom of God. 

And so here we sit, some 2,000 years later, wondering what to do with ourselves.  We hear dire predictions of church involvement; we see a decline of church culture into special interest groups who would rather win a victory than tell the world about Jesus’s victory, and we can despair of all the people that gave up on church during the pandemic.  We also have a season of transition going on at St. Paul’s! 

But there is still good news.  Things have looked bleak for Christians before, and they will again.  The question we must really ask ourselves is the question of Pentecost: “Where will the Spirit go next?”  Because there is always something just around the corner if only we are ready to receive it like those disciples during the Day of Pentecost.  Intrigued yet? 

Sunday’s In-Person Service at 10:30 –Our in-person, indoor worship is currently in the Sanctuary, starting at 10:30am.  Please go to our website to get the latest COVID-19 Update.  Masks are optional at worship, but there is still a section of pews in front of the sound booth reserved for those who wish to mask and keep a distance from others during worship. 

Sunday’s Livestream Service at 10:30—You can now watch the Livestream on YouTube! We recommend logging into your account a few minutes before 10:30 am so you can troubleshoot any issues you might have. You can access the YouTube livestream at stpaulsworship.org or you can log into your Facebook account and see the Livestream on the St. Paul’s Facebook page. You can chat once the Livestream service has started on either Facebook or YouTube.  

Our regular Children’s ministries include the nursery, SPKidz, and iClub.  They are currently meeting at 10:15 am in the Fellowship Hall.  

Check the calendar at childrenandyouthcalendar.org for updated information on our SPYouth meetings. 

We so appreciate you keeping connected with us. You may contact the church office by email at info@spocala.org or by phone at 352-694-2161 if you have any questions or need any help. We will get back to you as soon as possible. 



Self-Control

Happy Seventh Sunday of Easter!  

As we continue our study of the Fruit of the Spirit, we come to the final fruit in the list that ties everything together: Self Control.  We’ll read from Luke’s Gospel, Chapter 6:39-49 and hear Jesus give a series of parables that asks us deep questions about what our lives are built on.  Giving the message on Sunday will be Jack Ladd, a covenant brother and good friend of mine who has served as pastor of Wakulla UMC and First UMC Williston, and is now getting his doctorate in Fresh Expressions, working with Living Room Church online.  I know you’ll enjoy his preaching and I pray you’re blessed by the message God brings through him! 

Sunday’s In-Person Service at 10:30 –Our in-person, indoor worship is currently in the Sanctuary, starting at 10:30am.  Please go to our website to get the latest COVID-19 Update.  Masks are optional at worship, but there is still a section of pews in front of the sound booth reserved for those who wish to mask and keep a distance from others during worship. 

Sunday’s Livestream Service at 10:30—You can now watch the Livestream on YouTube! We recommend logging into your account a few minutes before 10:30 am so you can troubleshoot any issues you might have. You can access the YouTube livestream at stpaulsworship.org or you can log into your Facebook account and see the Livestream on the St. Paul’s Facebook page. You can chat once the Livestream service has started on either Facebook or YouTube.  

 Our regular Children’s ministries include the nursery, SPKidz, and iClub.  They are currently meeting at 10:15 am in the Fellowship Hall.  

Check the calendar at childrenandyouthcalendar.org for updated information on our SPYouth meetings. 

We so appreciate you keeping connected with us. You may contact the church office by email at info@spocala.org or by phone at 352-694-2161 if you have any questions or need any help. We will get back to you as soon as possible. 



Gentleness and Faithfulness: The Small Voice of God

Happy Sixth Sunday of Easter!  

You probably know the story – and if you don’t, read 1 Kings, chapters 18 and 19 all the way through.  It’s a story filled with drama, action, and even some locker room smack-talking put in for good measure.   On Sunday we’ll read Elijah’s encounter with Jezebel and look at Faithfulness and Gentleness, two of the strongest things in the world that appear to be the weakest.  These Fruits of the Spirit are powerful reminders of the character of God and how different it is from what is assumed to be “strength” nowadays.  We’ll look at this classic story of faithfulness, gentleness, and listening to the small voice of God, so come and worship with us as we continue in our study of the Fruit of the Spirit. 

Sunday’s In-Person Service at 10:30 –Our in-person, indoor worship is currently in the Sanctuary, starting at 10:30am.  Please go to our website to get the latest COVID-19 Update.  Masks are optional at worship, but there is still a section of pews in front of the sound booth reserved for those who wish to mask and keep a distance from others during worship. 

Sunday’s Livestream Service at 10:30—You can now watch the Livestream on YouTube! We recommend logging into your account a few minutes before 10:30 am so you can troubleshoot any issues you might have. You can access the YouTube livestream at stpaulsworship.org or you can log into your Facebook account and see the Livestream on the St. Paul’s Facebook page. You can chat once the Livestream service has started on either Facebook or YouTube.  

Our regular Children’s ministries include the nursery, SPKidz, and iClub.  They are currently meeting at 10:15 am in the Fellowship Hall.  

Check the calendar at childrenandyouthcalendar.org for updated information on our SPYouth meetings. 

We so appreciate you keeping connected with us. You may contact the church office by email at info@spocala.org or by phone at 352-694-2161 if you have any questions or need any help. We will get back to you as soon as possible. 



Goodness: Our Spiritual Act of Worship

Happy Fifth Sunday of Easter!  

This week’s fruit of the Spirit is goodness, which can honestly seem kind of general, sort of a catch-all for anything the previous 8 descriptors leave out.  It’s like the “miscellaneous” category of good things.  The original Greek word agathos means to do good deeds, so it is an active verb, not a catch-all mushy word.  In other words, you know what this means: doing good, being good, having good character and good moral grounding.  Once again, not being THAT guy or woman.   

While this general word that means so much can seem rather normal, it is actually a great way to think about the goal of the Christian life.  We are to be good people, guided and loved by a good God who loves us and is saving us from our sin.  We’ll read Paul’s exhortation to the Romans, Chapter 12, verses 1-12 when he lists a myriad of ways we can be good to each other and good to the cause of Christ. 

Sunday’s In-Person Service at 10:30 –Our in-person, indoor worship is currently in the Sanctuary, starting at 10:30am.  Please go to our website to get the latest COVID-19 Update.  Masks are optional at worship, but there is still a section of pews in front of the sound booth reserved for those who wish to mask and keep a distance from others during worship. 

Sunday’s Livestream Service at 10:30—You can now watch the Livestream on YouTube! We recommend logging into your account a few minutes before 10:30 am so you can troubleshoot any issues you might have. You can access the YouTube livestream at stpaulsworship.org or you can log into your Facebook account and see the Livestream on the St. Paul’s Facebook page. You can chat once the Livestream service has started on either Facebook or YouTube.  

Our regular Children’s ministries include the nursery, SPKidz, and iClub.  They are currently meeting at 10:15 am in the Fellowship Hall.  

Check the calendar at childrenandyouthcalendar.org for updated information on our SPYouth meetings. 

We so appreciate you keeping connected with us. You may contact the church office by email at info@spocala.org or by phone at 352-694-2161 if you have any questions or need any help. We will get back to you as soon as possible.