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.

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. 



Spirit Poured Out

Happy Pentecost!

Pentecost worship is about joy, and the invitation is to let the Spirit be poured out on you. But remember, that “you” is plural in the Scripture we will read from Acts 2:1-21. Let the Spirit be poured out on all y’all. It was because everyone was gathered together that this happened.  The Spirit is, essentially, corporate. Whether you’re attending worship online or in-person as we open up more capacity for our sanctuary, this gift, the Spirit poured out, is for the whole body, not just for a few.

The story of Pentecost is also about bridging gaps of understanding between people who see the world differently based on their cultures, languages, or political affiliations.  All these different people heard about God’s deeds of power in their own languages, and they began to understand, thanks to Peter’s preaching, that God was bringing the work of Jesus to continued fruition, this time to people groups outside the 12 tribes of Israel and Judah.  The Holy Spirit directly contradicts our tendency to tribalism, which is a lesson we could use these days.  As a part of our Christian faith, we should seek out and learn from people different than us who can show us the unique work of the Holy Spirit.

For worship on Sunday, let’s wear red, which signifies the Holy Spirit, as a symbol of our celebration!

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).  

 

Our nursery and SPKidz ministry will meet this week, but our iClub has the week off. 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.



We Are Yours

 

Happy Week 7 of Easter! 

This Sunday we recognize our Youth as they lead us in worship, and we also recognize our graduating seniors as they head off into more independence after High School.  It seems like yesterday they were 6th graders in my first Confirmation Class here at St. Paul’s!  We’ll be presenting the 5 of them with Bibles that have all been signed by the congregation, wishing them well and offering encouragement for the road ahead.  As many of you can attest, there is a lot of growing up yet to do, and these upcoming years will be pivotal to them and who they become as adults.  So we celebrate, encourage, and lift them up for prayers as we worship! 

So the passage this week from the Revised Common Lectionary, recording Jesus’s words as he prays, seem perfect for a Youth Sunday and Senior Recognition Sunday.  This prayer that John records is a prayer that Jesus prayed for his disciples. The part that includes us (“but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word,” John 15:20) happens just after our text for this week. But we can be included anyway. Jesus is praying for us! What an amazing thing. Set this thought alongside the idea of Ascension, which happens on the church calendar on the 13th of May this year. Jesus is leaving, but Jesus is with us. Jesus takes his place at the right hand of God, returns to the circle of the Trinity, but at the same time continues to be present with us. 

Worship this final week of Easter needs to be a celebration of living the Resurrection with the Resurrected one at our side. It is a reminder that we are not alone, that we continue to journey with the one who calls us and the one who saves us; even as we look forward to the one who will empower us to continue the work of building toward the kin-dom of God. 

 

Sunday’s Livestream Service—We recommend logging into your Facebook account a few minutes early, 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.   We are asking everyone to register at this link: cometoworship.org so that we don’t go over our maximum capacity. We ask everyone to wear a mask and maintain social distancing. Temperatures will be taken before entering the building, and communion elements will be provided as you enter the sanctuary to worship on the first Sunday of the month.  

 

Our nursery will still be open this week, but our Children’s ministries are invited to join their parents in the Sanctuary for Youth Sunday! Our regular Children’s ministries include the nursery, SPKidz, and iClub.  They are currently meeting at 10:30am in the Fellowship Hall.  

This week is Senior Recognition Sunday and Youth Sunday, so our regular Youth Schedule is cancelled for this week. 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.