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.

Growing in the New Creation

Happy 3rd Sunday after Pentecost! 

Worship this week is about growing into the new creation that we are called to be in Christ. So, think about about growing.  We need stories to help us see what living as a disciple is like. We tell our stories, and we tell stories of others as examples of a faithful life.  What is your story of growth with God?  How has your relationship with God grown over the years, or has it?  If God were to co-author a book with you, what would be the title?   

Jesus was also good at telling stories and using metaphors, as we can see in our reading from Mark 4:26-34.  They were hints of stories, glimpses of something just out of reach. Some find these stories or images confusing. “Why doesn’t he just tell us plain?” Well, some things are too complex to be plain. Sometimes you have to share the bigger picture in order to see.  Jesus’s stories and metaphors were his way of giving us the eternal, other-worldly glimpses of the New Creation; a reality we were unable to see with our own eyes, unable to realize with our own efforts.

As we read about in 2 Corinthians 5:6-17, in Christ we are a new creation, reconciled to God. Just as it says, when someone comes to Christ – BOOM! There is a new creation!  So therefore, we are agents of God’s reconciling love for all creation. How, then, do we do the right thing and stay grounded in God’s love?

Worship with us in-person or on Facebook live during these Spirit-filled Sundays of Summer as we explore growing in the new creation– with God at the center of that new creation – the Kin-dom of God.  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 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.  

SPYouth will be meeting from 4:00pm-5:00pm. The next Praise New Generation practice is in July! 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.  

On Sunday we have a special Kingdom of the Sun Brass Quintet concert, and we invite you to come!  The concert will be in the courtyard between the worship building and the Fellowship Hall at 6:30.  The concert is free, but a love offering for Kingdom of the Sun will be taken during the concert.  Please bring your own chair and some friends and family for this special summertime concert. 

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. 



Coming Home

Happy 2nd Sunday after Pentecost! 

Where do you go for sabbath rest? For time with God, alone or in community? Where is the place? When is the time? How do you plan for a time when you surrender fully to the presence of God and set aside everything else?  If you had only one word to describe that comfortable, anchored place, it would probably be home. 

That’s where we start this week, in Mark 3:20-35. Jesus went home – except it wasn’t home. Other translations don’t say home. One says he entered a house or the place he was staying. In other gospels, the text says he doesn’t have a home. But maybe that’s after he tried to go. Maybe that is the result of finding that homes aren’t the haven you hoped they would be.  That’s certainly what Jesus found in our passage today.  Jesus went home, and his family tried to restrain him, and his neighbors tried to call him out. Welcome home, Jesus.  

We think of home as a place of renewal. We think we can go home and rest. And we can, but only if our focus is right. Home won’t renew us, won’t build us up, unless the focus of our home is on the One who raises us into a new kin-dom, a new reality. Unless it is our true home, “not made with hands but eternal in the heavens.” That is the place of renewal, of strengthening. And it is available now as it will be in eternity. It is our peace, our grace now and a grace to be shared. A home to be built, here and now with all the people of God. 

Worship with us in-person or on Facebook live  during these Spirit-filled Sundays of Summer as we explore coming home in the truest sense of the word – with God at the center.  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 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 will include Holy Communion, which ou are invited to participate in, even if you’re not attending in-person.  Before worship, grab some bread and grape juice and join us as we partake in God’s grace through the sacrament. 

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.  As you enter the sanctuary for Holy Communion, you’ll be invited to take pre-packaged bread and grape juice with you so you can be a part of the Sacrament. 

As a United Methodist Church, St. Paul’s celebrates Holy Communion with an open table, meaning we don’t have any tradition of refusing Holy Communion to anyone who comes forward with an open heart to celebrate with us.  We believe God’s grace is available to all who come forward to receive it, so we feel the same way about God’s grace through Holy Communion!

 Our regular Children’s ministries include the nursery, SPKidz, and iClub.  They are currently meeting at 10:30am in the Fellowship Hall.  

The schedule for SPYouth is different this Sunday. They will be meeting from 6:00pm-7:30pm. The next Praise New Generation practice is in July! 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. 



Born Again of the Spirit

Happy Trinity Sunday! 

This is the first Sunday after Pentecost.  The beginning of a long season that takes us all the way through the rest of the liturgical year until we reach Advent once again in November. So, this journey has some length to it. It’s also the church’s journey, the church’s story. The first half of the year, from Advent until Pentecost is Jesus’ story. From Pentecost, then, the story shifts to us—to all the followers really, to how we seek to live out the call to discipleship, how we fulfill the commission that Jesus gave us as he ascended. And we begin our journey by turning to our Creator first.  This isn’t an accident, as you might surmise. In part at least, this is a reminder that we are who we are because of who God is. Our identity is in God. Our story is wrapped up in “The Story” or in “God’s Story.” 

Today we dive into the story of “Nick at Night,” from John 3:1-17.  We’ve landed in this story recently already, but this week, as we celebrate Trinity Sunday on the Sunday after Pentecost, it’s a time to look again at this familiar passage.  This Greek-named Pharisee is coming to Jesus with questions, but what he needs is a re-orientation of his entire worldview in relation to God.  He needs a new birth of understanding, a new vision of God’s eternity, a conversion to a different life. 

This Sunday should be a time of wonder and awe. Let us pray to the God who astounds us, who surprises us, who can’t be nailed down. We tried that, remember, it didn’t work out so well! So, let’s open up to something bigger, something that inspires and transforms, something that unsettles a little bit too. The God we worship doesn’t want to leave us as we are, but to continually transform us. That is never an easy and often an uncomfortable process. But let’s prepare ourselves to tell the church’s story by reminding us that there is a God who guides us, who calls us, who claims us, and who loves us. Let’s be reminded that we are made new in the Spirit, continually renewed in the Spirit, as we seek to make disciples of ourselves and the world. 

 

 

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 10:30am in the Fellowship Hall.  

This week there is no Praise New Generation or SPYouth meeting. The next scheduled SPYouth meeting is June 6 and the next Praise New Generation practice is in July! 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.