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.

First Things First

Happy All Saints Sunday!  

Sunday is also called Halloween, which is a shortened version of the Church of England’s All Hallow’s Eve, the name given to the day before All Saints Day on November 1st.  Since Sunday is the closest day to All Saints Day, we’re remembering the Saints a day early in worship.  It’s also a Children’s Home 5th Sunday, as you can see in our Weekly Epistle. 

On All Saints Sunday, we specifically remember the saints in our church who have passed on from this earth and now cheer us on in the church eternal.  This year we’ll remember 8 people from our church family who have passed away, and there will also be a time for remembering others as we light our own candles for them.  In a year where there has been so much mourning, death, and pain, this year’s All Saints will be another tough one.  However, as we learned in our reading of the book of Lamentations this past summer, we can enter and go through the pain because we know God is with us.  The “Valley of the Shadow of death” is painful, but as the Psalmist declares, we can walk through it because we trust God is by our side. 

Jesus is confronted yet again by one of the legal experts testing his knowledge of the law in our reading from Mark 12:28-34.  What’s the most important law, Jesus?  What’s your teaching?  They were essentially asking him to out first things first, and they were going to judge him by his reply.  How would we answer?  All Saints Sunday is a chance for us to take stock of our lives as we meditate on those who have gone before us.  It’s no secret that we’ll all be remembered ourselves one day, so let’s put first things first in our lives, starting today.  On All Saints we celebrate those who put first things first, for they left a blessing for us to grow from. 

If you’re worshipping with us online, have a candle with you so you can participate and remember the saints in your life who have left a positive, holy impact on you.  Praise God for the ways in which they pointed you to Jesus and put first things first.  In response, be encouraged and challenged to put first things first in your own life!  As Jesus said: love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, with all your mind, and with all your strength…and love your neighbor as yourself. 

 

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 mask, and masks are no longer required for worship for those who are vaccinated. 

 

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. 



The Futility of Throwing Shade

Happy Twenty-First Sunday After Pentecost!  

 

Throwing shade is defined by Mirriam Webster as “a subtle, sneering expression of contempt for or disgust with someone—sometimes verbal, and sometimes not.”  It can be given as a look, a snide comment, mockery, or a glancing blow of insult toward the person or thing to be ridiculed.  It’s common to get this when you ask for help and don’t seem to deserve it, just like Bartimaeus in our Gospel lesson from Mark 10:46-52.  Jesus interrupts his journey in order to help a poor beggar whom others do not deem worthy even to call out to Jesus.  The crowd of Jesus followers throws shade at him, scolding him and telling him to be quiet.  Surely the Messiah wouldn’t take time to worry about a despicable character like Bartimaeus.  Surely, he had done something to deserve to be poor and blind, and giving in to his begging would only encourage him to beg more, and we wouldn’t want that. 

But Bartimaeus is undeterred by the large crowd and the shade they throw to keep him quiet.  Mark tells us he shouts even louder, and he is rewarded with his sight.  Jesus tell him his faith has made him well – did you catch that?  May our faith make us both well and fearless, and prove the futility of throwing shade in the face of persistence and perseverance.  Be persistent, even if people – other Christians even! – try to shut you up.  Crawl, yell, beg, keep going and slog through…so you get to Jesus. 

 

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 mask, and masks are no longer required for worship for those who are vaccinated. 

 

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. 



Giving the Light Away

Happy Twenty-First Sunday After Pentecost!  

As we worship this Sunday, we’ll be taking part in baptizing one of our own little ones, promising to care for her and help lead her toward a faith in Christ as she grows up and can later make the decision for herself.  We’ll impart the waters of God’s grace, bless her with our prayers, affirmations of faith and love, and welcome her into the fellowship of faith!   

So, what does sharing the light with others really entail?  We’ve been talking a lot lately about light, and as we share God’s light with someone new through Baptism, it would do us well to look at Jesus’s words in Mark 10:35-45.  Do we look for our benefit when sharing the light with others?  Or do we get irritated when someone seems to have gotten more light than we have?  Do we resent people who ask the challenging questions, or give the hard answers that challenge our worldview?  And, how can we most effectively share our light with the “little ones,” whether they are an infant or someone in a vulnerable place?  Come as we dig into God’s Word and the Scriptures in 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.  

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.