Welcome to Saint Paul’s!

St. Paul’s is a different kind of church.  We’re not a large megachurch with a sound stage and a suped-up production machine, but we strive to be a church full of authentic followers of Jesus.  No matter how you come to visit us, we pray you’ll find clear examples of God’s love, whether through us or through our ministries – but hopefully both!

You might be excited about finding a church to belong to, or you might be a bit fearful from bad church experiences in the past. Either way, if you are looking for a church that focuses on creating spiritual fruits, not religious nuts, then you have come to the right place!

I hope the information on this website will help you get to know us, whether you’re an online or in-person visitor. Feel free to email me if you have any further questions that are not covered here.
 
Our Mission statement at St. Paul’s says a lot about who we are and what we do:

 

As a Christian family of faith,
Saint Paul’s affirms God’s love by
transforming lives,
connecting generations,
impacting our community & world,
and
making disciples for Jesus Christ.

 
Affirming God’s Love by
transforming lives:
Here at St. Paul’s we believe that we are supposed to transform peoples’ lives for the better because of our Christian faith. Whether it is feeding people who are hungry, giving hope to the hopeless, or voice to the voiceless, faith is not just for our own benefit, but is supposed to be for the whole world!
Matthew 25:31-46
 
Affirming God’s love by
connecting generations:
Here at St. Paul’s we believe that connecting generations is a key part of how we affirm God’s love. We believe in ministry that serves the needs of particular age groups but also connects generations together. This can be seen when our Children & Youth make and deliver gifts to our homebound members, when adult volunteers attend a “youth” mission trip, or when our younger members are welcomed to be a part of our adult ministries. We believe that it takes a village to raise a child, and that we all benefit when we are all involved in age-related ministries.
Matthew 19:13-15, Mark 10:13-16, Luke 18:15-17
 
Affirming God’s love by
impacting our community & world:
Here at St. Paul’s we believe that our faith needs to have an impact in our community (through local ministries such as Interfaith Emergency Services and Open Arms Village) and our world (through Disaster Relief, Rise Against Hunger, or Peace by Piece Sewing Ministry)
Matthew 5:13-16
 
Affirming God’s love by
making disciples for Jesus Christ:
Here at St. Paul’s we believe that the core mission of the church to which all our activities point is to make people into disciples (followers) of Jesus Christ.
Matthew 28:18-20
 
St. Paul’s Christian School shares its campus with us and many of the families in our church and school come from the surrounding neighborhood. In this quiet, picturesque corner of Ocala we are like the neighborhood park – you’re likely to see families playing on our playground, couples taking a stroll around the campus, someone sitting for a prayer in our Memorial Garden, or our Scouts having a meeting at the fire pit. This is really the vision we have for St. Paul’s: a place that offers God’s grace, love and comfort to the people around us.
 
Want to know more?  Come and see what we’re all about, either online or in-person!
 
In Christ,
 
Robert

Robert’s Blog

Presence: The Authority of Christ Come to Earth

Happy 17th Sunday after Pentecost!  

On Sunday we continue our series on Revelation and the vision of the church.  Last Sunday we began the 4 “P”s with Purpose, reflecting the importance of purpose for our relationship with God and our walk with God together as a church family.  This Sunday we’ll read through some sections of our Bible Study, from John’s visions about the Dragon, the two Beasts, the Lamb, demonic cavalry, swarms of unnatural locusts, and on and on!   As the presence and authority of these horrors come to earth, we’re encouraged by John to remember that we who worship the Lamb are to represent a different kind of authority: the authority of Christ.  Through our presence, we present a different narrative to the dragon, the beast, and their minions.   

See you on Sunday! 

Sunday’s Livestream Service at 10:45—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. 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 childrenandyouthcalendar.org for updated info. 

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. 



Purpose: Who is Able to Stand

Happy 16th Sunday after Pentecost!  

This Sunday we begin our “Let the Light Shine” Visioning process.  This is also week 3 in our study of Revelation, which was written to give the church a vision of its purpose during a difficult time in history, as well as a vision of Jesus’s coming again.  Each week of this series we’ll be tying a theme from Revelation to one of the 4 “P”s that are meant to undergird and inform the ministry of the laity: Purpose, Presence, Partnership, and Passion.  Our title this Sunday comes from Revelation 6:17, which quotes the inhabitants of earth crying out “for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?” 

Revelation tells us who can stand on that day, and it is people whose purpose is centered on Jesus Christ.  Churches are the same way.  Churches with a purpose will be able to stand because they have centered their purpose on Christ’s mission.  They are the people, and these are the churches, that will not have to hide in the caves among the rocks and mountains, but will be a beacon of hope and healing to the world around them.   

Sunday’s worship in the sanctuary will begin earlier for our livestream congregation and will be shorter than normal so we can have conversations about the visioning process in the Fellowship Hall/Christian Education Center.  If you’d like to attend the in-person session on Sunday, we regret to inform you that we have reached capacity in the Fellowship Hall and will only be able to accommodate those who have already signed up.  We do have availability in our Zoom meeting, so please contact the office for further details. 

 

Sunday’s Livestream Service start time will change THIS SUNDAY ONLY to 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. 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.  

Praise New Generation and SPYouth will relaunch this Sunday, September 12, 2021. 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 childrenandyouthcalendar.org for updated info. 

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. 



Messages from Patmos

Happy 15th Sunday after Pentecost!  

Remember when we used to get mail…and read it?  While the experience of receiving a letter might not be as common as it once was, we surely know the enjoyment of reading a bit of personal correspondence.  John’s Revelation, meant for the seven churches he mentions in 1:11, has a larger purpose than first meets the eye.  Seven is the number for completeness, for all-inclusiveness, and perfection.  While he is addressing these seven churches individually, he’s also addressing all of them, and by extension, all churches everywhere.  Even the church in Thyatira could find things within the church in Ephesus that pointed to them and warned them of falling away from the Gospel, and churches throughout the world, whether in Havana, Timbuktu, or Ocala can learn lessons from reading the oracles to these seven distinct and yet generalized congregations. 

While we’ll go into more detail on the specific cities within our Bible Study, during worship we’ll look at the overall themes and warnings and how they apply to us today.  The real question isn’t “Are we Laodicea, Thyatira, etc…” but “How can we avoid the pitfalls in all these churches and be better disciples of Christ where we are today?”  

During worship this Sunday we’ll share in the sacrament of Holy Communion, and you’re invited to participate with us!  As a United Methodist Church, St. Paul’s welcomes all who come with an open heart to celebrate this sacrament with us.  For those of you in-person, we’ll give you a pre-packaged bread and grape juice when you come into the Sanctuary to worship.  For those online who are attending worship, you obviously can’t share in the same elements, but we trust in God’s grace to be present with us wherever we are when we share in the sacrament.  So, whatever you have with you that can represent the bread and the cup, bring them with you as you sing in to worship on Sunday.  We believe that Christ is spiritually present with us as we share in Holy Communion, and we pray you come to know Christ as your savior as you join us at the Lord’s table. 

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 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. 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.  

Praise New Generation and SPYouth will relaunch soon! Check with Kraig for specific details. 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 childrenandyouthcalendar.org for updated info. 

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. 



John’s Revelation

Happy 14th Sunday after Pentecost!  

John’s Apocalypse, what we call the Book of Revelation, is an account of John’s visionary experience with the resurrected Jesus, an experience facilitated from start to finish by the Holy Spirit.  To our eyes, it might seem a disjointed, disturbing, and other-worldly book, and it almost didn’t make into the Biblical canon because its imagery was so polarizing.  However, if we intend to join John in experiencing God’s revelation, we must be prepared to do so with our emotions as well as our intellect.  We must be prepared to ask “why” when we want to turn away for an easier morsel of Scripture. 

John’s first job is to tell is what he sees in this vision as he is exiled to the island of Patmos.  After a prelude in Rev. 1:1-8, he gets down to business, describing his opening instructions and the voice that speaks these instructions to him.  His description of Christ as the speaker is a strange one, and not meant to be taken literally, but the symbolism he draws on all points to who Christ is in this moment: not the babe in the manger, but the majestic, indescribable, and awesome Son of the Living God.  These words he writes down are meant for seven churches, and his command to record his vision is obviously heard with humility and supplication.   

On Sunday we’ll look at what John means to communicate as he describes this revelation of Christ to us.  John’s vision should also make us ask, “How do I see Christ?”  What’s your vision of Christ?  You might not be in a Spiritual trance on an island prison, but you still see Christ in one way or another.  Those visions can either inspire us or hold us back spiritually, and being in this present crisis might give us some good reason to edit some of the things we assume we see when we “see” Jesus.  I’ll see you and Jesus at 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 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. 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.  

Praise New Generation and SPYouth will relaunch soon! Check with Kraig for specific details. 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 childrenandyouthcalendar.org for updated info. 

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. 



The Armor of Love

Happy 13th Sunday after Pentecost!  

Beginning in August, we usually turn our attention to the school season.  Our patterns return to slowing down for school zones, watching for school buses, and the daily pattern of school days and weekends off.  Even if you don’t have children in school, this pattern still affects you in one way or another.  Our whole world has a different heartbeat to it, and we all feel it.  

And so the apostle Paul writes to the Ephesians to help them live their new Christian lives.  The decision to follow Christ has given these people a whole new heartbeat to their lives, and that new pattern of belief and behavior is affecting everything around them, even those who aren’t Christian.  Resistance to the change was building as more and more people began to take notice and didn’t appreciate the disruption to their lives, like people who curse the school buses and new drivers for slowing down traffic on the roads.  Some Christians were succumbing to the pressure to revert to their previous lives, or were doing their best to find a bland compromise.  Still others were looking for the advice Paul gives here, to “be strengthened by the Lord and by his powerful strength.” to “put on God’s armor…” so they can resist the societal pressure to go back to the way things had always been.   

So what does it mean in today’s world to “put on the Armor of God?”  Isn’t armor kind of uncomfortable?  Why should we do that?  Let’s find out as we read Ephesians 6:10-20 and study together.  See you then! 

 

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 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. 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.  

Praise New Generation and SPYouth are cancelled for 8/15/21 and 8/22/21 due to sickness (both COVID and non-COVID). We will keep you posted when they will relaunch! 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 childrenandyouthcalendar.org for updated info. 

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. 



Live in Wisdom

Happy 12th Sunday after Pentecost!  

Have you ever met a wise person?  I’m not talking about someone who is just intelligent, but someone who is wise.  Wisdom, the Bible says, is known by its fruits, and we can rightly say that the fruits of a wise life would be good things; a loving family, a legacy of kindness, and wisdom passed to the next generation, to name a few fruits.  King Solomon, as he begins his rule as a wet-behind-the-ears 20-year-old king, knows he will need one thing to rule well: wisdom.  We can read about it in Chapter 3 of First Kings.  When God appears to him in a dream and grants him a request, it is granted – and more.  This isn’t an argument for the prosperity gospel that claims we will have material and financial success if we follow God, but rather it is a lesson about priority.  Keeping first things first, Solomon asks for wisdom, and so should we, if we want to live in wisdom. 

 

Sunday’s Livestream Service at 10:45 am—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 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 am –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 childrenandyouthcalendar.org for updated info. 

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. 



This is a Day of New Beginnings

Happy 11th Sunday after Pentecost! Oh, and Happy Back to School! 

This coming Sunday is a day of new beginnings, but in an old mess.  As a worship planning team, we had high hopes that this Sunday would be a freer worship experience, welcoming everyone back from their summer vacations and starting this new part of the year we so love here at St. Paul’s.  Once school starts, the sounds of children come back to us here at the church, and quite honestly it just fills a void, like things are finally all put back together.  However, this year, with a surge in Coronavirus cases and a society that is tired of precautions, it looks like our worship celebration will have a different context.  Blessing of the Backpacks, something we all love doing as a part of worship, will take on an added importance as we pray for those who work and study in schools this year amid a raging pandemic. 

But, whatever the mess may be around us, we have the promise in Scripture that God is with us.  There will always be one thing or another that is out of whack, messy, and unfortunate, and we practice our faith that world.   How can we sing the songs of God in such a strange land?  Sunday we’ll read from 1 Peter 1:13-21 and Psalm 137:1-6.  While the Psalmist empathizes with us, Peter gives us great advice for the messy business of dealing with other people.  Come, or attend online and be a part of learning how to live with the mess and see God in the middle of it. 

Sunday’s Livestream Service—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 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 –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.  

The next Praise New Generation practice is August 15th! Our Youth is taking a break this week and will relaunch next Sunday, August 15th. 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 childrenandyouthcalendar.org for updated info. 

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. 



From Lament to Story: Memorializing

Happy 10th Sunday after Pentecost! 

In a pair of tombstones reads a tragic story in the history of my family.  August 1850 was a terrible time for the panhandle of the newly-created state of Florida, and yellow fever took the lives of 30-year-old Elizabeth Matilda Baker, her newborn daughter of the same name, and her two-year-old son Simmons Jones Baker, Jr.  Their memorials still stand in the graveyard of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, a testament to a father and husband’s grieving heart and his belief that he would meet them again one day in heaven.  This was the third wife he had lost in his rather long life, and it would mark the end of what was a promising start to a new family.  He had only had one child prior, a son, born in 1799 when he was 24. 

And still, 171 years later, a relative of his can look down and see the history of that terrible month and feel a bit of sorrow for all that Dr. Simmons Jones Baker, my 4th great-grandfather, had to endure during that long, hot summer.  Also, with all that we’ve been through recently, I do feel more of a connection to him.  And that’s what memorializing really does; it keeps a connection alive.  We turn the grief into a memorial, keeping our connection to the person or the thing we have lost.  As we read from Lamentations 5:1-3, and 15-22, we’ll see how memorializing might be the best thing we can do as we rebuild our identity in light of our loss.  Instead of trying to get to this step too quickly, as we are often want to do, we need to approach it with the grief and lament still in our hearts and see the throne of God as a place we can lay down our old self and get help creating the new self.  Is it easy? No, it’s like walking to church every day and being reminded of the wife and two children you recently lost.  But memorializing helps us see our connection to our grief, not an absence from it.  What in the world am I talking about?  Well, you’ll find out on Sunday! 

 

Sunday’s Livestream Service—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 find a direct link to our Facebook page 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. We will also post the Livestream service to YouTube after the service is over. 

Sunday’s In-Person Service –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 still welcome, but not required, for worship. 

 

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

 The next Praise New Generation practice is in August! Our Youth will be taking a break for the next two weeks and will relaunch on Sunday, August 15th. 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 childrenandyouthcalendar.org for updated info. 

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. 



Remembrance

Happy 8th Sunday after Pentecost! 

This Sunday, we begin a three-week series on grief, studying the Book of Lamentations.  Now, you may be wondering what in the world I would be thinking to preach on such a topic in this happy summer vacation season.  A summer when we’re all chomping at the bit to catch up on the summer memories we lost last year to the pandemic.  That, however, is precisely why we need it.  Dealing with and naming our grief is what we must do during this time if we’re to make a spiritually healthy transition and see this new post-pandemic world with God’s eyes.      

The book of Lamentations is a work of art produced in response to a historical disaster. Its five poems grieve over the destruction of Jerusalem, military occupation, and the deportation of its leading citizens by King Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians in 586 BCE, which you can read about in 2 Kings 25:8–21. The book’s powerful poetry enables it to encompass the sorrows of the world.  In fact, its title in the Hebrew Bible is actually ‘ekah, which is more properly translated “How?”  Recognize the grief there? 

During this first week we’ll read from Psalm 89:46-52 as well as Lamentations 1:1-3 and 4:1-5.  As we read these verses we’ll lean into our own grief and explore it.  Yes, I know it sounds horrible, but if we want God to heal us, we’ve got to show God our wounds!  If we want to grow up spiritually healthy, we’ve got to eat our spiritual vegetables, and learning from grief is one of them.  So let’s practice good grief these next three Sundays so we can grow into the new reality that God is bringing forth.    

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’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. 

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

Praise New Generation won’t be meeting until August. SPYouth are having a special pool party send-off for the Seniors. Check with Kraig for details about that! 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. 



Youth Mission Trip Celebration

Happy 7th Sunday after Pentecost! 

This Sunday we are celebrating Mission Trip 2021 that the SPYouth and adult volunteers went on a few weeks ago. We are excited to see what they accomplished and learn how it changed their lives! We will also have a report from those who attended Annual Conference at the beginning of June and what they learned from their time there. Please make time to worship with us in-person or on Facebook live during these Spirit-filled Sundays of Summer.  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 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. We will also post the Livestream service to YouTube after the service is over. 

Sunday’s In-Person Service –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 still welcome, but not required, for worship. 

 

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

SPYouth are having a Senior Celebration Pool Party next Sunday starting at 3:00 pm. Contact Kraig for information. The next Praise New Generation practice is in August! Our regular Youth schedule is: Praise New Generation meeting from 3:00 pm-4:00 pm every Sunday and SPYouth meeting from 4:00 pm-5:00 pm every Sunday. You can always check the calendar at childrenandyouthcalendar.org for updated info. 

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.