Love, the Greatest Gift

Happy Easter Sunday!  

As we celebrate Jesus’s resurrection on Sunday, we’re ending our study of the Disciples by looking at Mary Magdalene, one of the most important followers of Jesus.  In all four Gospels, she is integral to letting the Disciples know that the tomb is empty.  Without her witness, no one would have known about it!  While we don’t have a lot of facts from extra-Biblical stories about Mary Magdalene, we do know she is listed as an important supporter of Jesus’s ministry, although she is often unfairly excluded from lists of the Disciples.   

Mary’s devotion to Jesus, while not on the level of romance, was surely what most would call love.  This is what she offered Christ as she joined in the effort of preparing spices for burial after the Sabbath.  As a woman of some means, she had access to areas of life that the other Disciples avoided because of their gender and place in society.  Paul, in his Galatians 5 discourse on the Fruit of the Spirit as well as his list of Gifts of the spirit in 1 Corinthians 12 & 13, lists love as “the greatest gift” because of the way it binds all the other gifts together. 

So, living the resurrection, we offer the world a gift of Love, just like Mary Magdalene did to Jesus.  Happy Easter! 

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 page, just as you did before. You can chat once the Livestream service has started on either Facebook or YouTube.  

Sunrise Service at 7:00am We will celebrate Easter Sunrise at 7:00 am in the Courtyard outside our Sanctuary.  

 

The Flowering Cross: On Saturday before the sunrise service, we’d love for you to come by the church Memorial Garden to put your flowers in the cross.  This is a great way to spend some time in prayer as you end the season of Lent.  You can also bring flowers with you to the Sunrise service.   

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. 

 

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 and Praise: New Generation 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. 



Judas

Happy Palm Sunday!  

This week is the final Sunday of Lent, and is sometimes also called Passion Sunday, because this is where we make the turn to remember the pivotal final week of the life of Jesus of Nazareth.  This Sunday begins with the triumphal entry into Jerusalem, and ends with a deep look at the one we would rather look over – Judas the betrayer.  We’ll read from Luke 19:28-44 and ask ourselves: what can his tragic story teach us about following Jesus? 

 

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 page, just as you did before. You can chat once the Livestream service has started on either Facebook or YouTube.  

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. 

 

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 and Praise: New Generation 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. 



Thomas: The 21st Century Man

Happy Fifth Sunday of Lent!  

Congratulations, you’ve made it five weeks into Lent!  This week, continuing our look into the Disciples, we’re going to look at the Disciple Thomas.  Not much is known about him as he walked with Jesus in those days before the Resurrection, but his most famous moment comes after Easter, when he famously doubts that Jesus has risen from the dead.  His name simple means “twin,” but we don’t know who his twin was, or why he was called that.  But, although his story takes place in the first century, Thomas would have been at home in our world.  He demands concrete evidence before he believes that Jesus has risen, even when his most trusted friends tell him it is so.  Why does Thomas persist in this?  What does the discipleship of Thomas say to us about our own doubts and God’s response to them?  We’ll see what God’s word to us is on Sunday as we 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 page, just as you did before. You can chat once the Livestream service has started on either Facebook or YouTube.  

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. 

 

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 and Praise: New Generation 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. 



Phillip Come and See

Happy Fourth Sunday of Lent!  

This week we continue our series on the Disciples of Jesus by taking a look at Phillip.  The three synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke), tell us nothing except his name, but John’s gospel fills in some details to tell us he was probably someone who preferred to be in the background.  In three of the four instances we see his name in John’s Gospel, someone is seeking him, and only once is he the initiator of a relationship.  This is quite the contrast to Peter and the two “Sons of Thunder.”  We’ll read from John 1:43-51 and study this remarkable follower of Jesus.  What do you see in Phillip that reminds you of yourself, or your journey with Jesus?  In being a disciple, we are inviting others to “come and see” what being close to Jesus is all about – so what are we showing them? 

Later that afternoon at 3:30, I’ll be having a chat about the sermon on Facebook Live and our YouTube channel.  We’ll be doing the Sunday Chat in partnership with Living Room Church, which is an online United Methodist Church community here in our area.  If you’ve got questions or something you’d like to discuss about the sermon, you’re welcome to hop on and be a part of the conversation!     

Sunday’s Livestream Service at 10:30—We recommend logging into your Facebook account a few minutes before 10:30 am so you can troubleshoot any issues you might have. You can access the service at stpaulsworship.org You can chat once the Livestream service has started. If you don’t have a Facebook account, you can also access the Livestream at stpaulsworship.org without the chat feature. A pop-up will ask you to log in and in small letters at the bottom you can click “Not Now” and still be able to watch the service. The service will be available on YouTube either Sunday afternoon or Monday. 

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. 

 

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 and Praise: New Generation 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. 



Peter Rock of Ages

Happy Third Sunday of Lent!  

If you are a fan of Def Leppard, we’re not talking about that song in worship – sorry!  Also, we’re not talking about Duane “The Rock” Johnson.  No, Sunday is Peter’s Sunday, and we’ll read from 2 Peter 1: 3-11 as Jane Darling brings the message.  We’ll celebrate and shine a light on United Women in Faith, which is the organization formally known as United Methodist Women.  Peter was nicknamed “The Rock” by Jesus since his name comes from the Greek word for “rock,” and Jesus also said that Peter’s confession of faith would be the rock upon which the church was built.  Let’s explore God’s Word and celebrate the UWF on Sunday as we study Peter, the Rock of Ages! 

 

Sunday’s Livestream Service at 10:30—We recommend logging into your Facebook account a few minutes before 10:30 am so you can troubleshoot any issues you might have. You can access the service at stpaulsworship.org You can chat once the Livestream service has started. If you don’t have a Facebook account, you can also access the Livestream at stpaulsworship.org without the chat feature. A pop-up will ask you to log in and in small letters at the bottom you can click “Not Now” and still be able to watch the service. The service will be available on YouTube either Sunday afternoon or Monday. 

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. 

 

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 and Praise: New Generation 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.