Partnership: In Praise of Organized Religion

Happy 18th Sunday after Pentecost!  

“I don’t like organized religion…”  How often have you heard that, or maybe even felt it yourself?  Well, this Sunday as we read Revelation 14:6-13, we’ll talk about partnership.  It’s essentially what puts the “organized” in any religion or group of people.  Without partnership, we never disagree, we never feel put-upon, obligated, or misunderstood, and we also never get anything done.  With partnership, we are more organized, and we enter the dance of relationship, sharing life with others in all its forms.  Oh, and we stand a much better chance of getting things done.  Do we get the wrong things done sometimes?  Yes, absolutely.  But we also get the right things done too!  And on this side of the garden and Judgment Day, that may be the best we can do.  Thank God for that amazing grace. 

The real question is brought up in our passage from Revelation: With whom are you partnering?  Organized religion is wonderful when it is a true expression of God’s love, and it can be terrible when it is warped and twisted into the coercive, selfish, zero-sum world of what John would have identified as “the beast and its image.”  In his world, that was Imperial Rome.  What would it be in our world, and how much are we partnered with it in our day-day lives?  Let’s ask ourselves that question and pray for God’s wisdom, judgement, and partnership to be more evident in our hearts.  See you for worship! 

Sunday’s Livestream Service at 10:45—We recommend logging into your Facebook account a few minutes before 10:45 am so you can troubleshoot any issues you might have. You can access the service at You can chat once the Livestream service has started. If you don’t have a Facebook account you can also access the Livestream at 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. There will be space for those who still wish to social distance, and masks are now required for worship due to the increased communication of the Delta variant of COVID-19.  We encourage everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated in order to protect themselves and others. 


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

Our regular Youth schedule is: Praise New Generation meeting from 4:00 pm-5:00 pm every Sunday and SPYouth meeting from 5:00 pm-6:30 pm every Sunday. You can always check the calendar at for updated info. 

We so appreciate you keeping connected with us. You may contact the church office by email at 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.