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.

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.