Coming Home

Happy 2nd Sunday after Pentecost! 

Where do you go for sabbath rest? For time with God, alone or in community? Where is the place? When is the time? How do you plan for a time when you surrender fully to the presence of God and set aside everything else?  If you had only one word to describe that comfortable, anchored place, it would probably be home. 

That’s where we start this week, in Mark 3:20-35. Jesus went home – except it wasn’t home. Other translations don’t say home. One says he entered a house or the place he was staying. In other gospels, the text says he doesn’t have a home. But maybe that’s after he tried to go. Maybe that is the result of finding that homes aren’t the haven you hoped they would be.  That’s certainly what Jesus found in our passage today.  Jesus went home, and his family tried to restrain him, and his neighbors tried to call him out. Welcome home, Jesus.  

We think of home as a place of renewal. We think we can go home and rest. And we can, but only if our focus is right. Home won’t renew us, won’t build us up, unless the focus of our home is on the One who raises us into a new kin-dom, a new reality. Unless it is our true home, “not made with hands but eternal in the heavens.” That is the place of renewal, of strengthening. And it is available now as it will be in eternity. It is our peace, our grace now and a grace to be shared. A home to be built, here and now with all the people of God. 

Worship with us in-person or on Facebook live  during these Spirit-filled Sundays of Summer as we explore coming home in the truest sense of the word – with God at the center.  See you soon! 

Sunday’s Livestream Service—We recommend logging into your Facebook account a few minutes before 10:30 so you can troubleshoot any issues you might have. You can find a direct link to our Facebook page at stpaulsworship.org You will be able to 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. There will be a pop-up asking you to log in and in small letters at the bottom you can click “Not Now” and still be able to watch the service. We will also post the Livestream service to YouTube after the service is over. Sunday will include Holy Communion, which ou are invited to participate in, even if you’re not attending in-person.  Before worship, grab some bread and grape juice and join us as we partake in God’s grace through the sacrament. 

Sunday’s In-Person Service –Our in-person indoor worship is currently in the Sanctuary, starting at 10:30am.   Our current COVID Protocols have changed, so please go to our website to get the latest COVID-19 Update.  We will no longer be doing registration or temperature checks at the door, but we will still be entering from the south Narthex doors (facing the Fellowship Hall).  There will be space for those who still wish to social distance, and masks are still welcome, but not required, for worship.  As you enter the sanctuary for Holy Communion, you’ll be invited to take pre-packaged bread and grape juice with you so you can be a part of the Sacrament. 

As a United Methodist Church, St. Paul’s celebrates Holy Communion with an open table, meaning we don’t have any tradition of refusing Holy Communion to anyone who comes forward with an open heart to celebrate with us.  We believe God’s grace is available to all who come forward to receive it, so we feel the same way about God’s grace through Holy Communion!

 Our regular Children’s ministries include the nursery, SPKidz, and iClub.  They are currently meeting at 10:30am in the Fellowship Hall.  

The schedule for SPYouth is different this Sunday. They will be meeting from 6:00pm-7:30pm. The next Praise New Generation practice is in July! Our regular Youth schedule is: Praise New Generation meeting from 3:00pm-4:00pm every Sunday and SPYouth meeting from 4:00pm-5:00pm every Sunday.  

We so appreciate you keeping connected with us as we navigate these trying times for everyone. Please 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.  While in-person office hours are limited, someone will receive your message and get back to you as soon as possible.