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.

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.