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.

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.