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.

She Began to Serve

 

Happy 5th Sunday after the Epiphany! 

Peter’s mother-in-law doesn’t have any lines in this gospel drama we’ll read from Mark 1:29-39, but her witness is strong. As soon as she got to her feet, her first action was to serve. As soon as she came to herself, she didn’t think of herself. She set herself aside in order to serve.  And she served them.  Not just the “big guy,” Jesus, but all of them 

Let us celebrate service today, but not as another call to do more, to give more, to work harder or to fill our overburdened schedules with work. Yes, there is always a call to more service. But instead, let’s celebrate service by saying “thank you.” Who can we thank for service? How can we cultivate a spirit of gratitude for the ones we have gotten used to ignoring, those who have become a part of the background noise of living in the world as it is? A few months ago, we called them “essential workers.” Do we remember that? They were essential, but as a society, we don’t pay them enough, or give them enough time off, or provide adequate healthcare, or thank them enough. 

And we who carry the name of Jesus before us, must, like him, carry it out to those who haven’t yet heard֫—those who don’t yet know him. We are making disciples, even as we are being made disciples. That is our service. Like Simon’s mother-in-law, we don’t just serve him; we serve them. All of them. Any of them. We serve them. 

Sunday’s Online ServiceIf you log in to your Google/YouTube account about 10-15 minutes early, you will be able to easily access the chat and fellowship through thYouTube premier page both before and during the service. Find the premier page on our YouTube channel at: 2/7/2021 Online Service.  The premiere page will be active from the moment the video is uploaded, so you can practice any time this weekend!   

Sunday’s In-Person Service – We‘ve launched our in-person indoor worship in the Sanctuarystarting at 9:00am. 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 Children’s ministries include the nursery, SPKidz, and iClub.  They are currently meeting at 9am in the Fellowship Hall.  

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. 

 


What Have You to Do With Us?

 
 

Happy 4th Sunday after the Epiphany! 

A warning: today’s scripture passages might seem far-removed from today’s world.  We’ll read from 1 Corinthians 8:1-13, and hear St. Paul talk about sacrificing food to idols.  Our Gospel passage from Mark’s gospel, chapter 1, verses 21-28, tell us about Jesus confronting an evil spirit in a synagogue.  Sound applicable, right? Just you wait.   

It is hard to deny that we are surrounded by the demonic in our world today—haunted by it, perhaps.  Just over the past year, we’ve seen lynchings of African-Americans in broad daylight, violence and anger on the streets of American cities and in our own Capitol buildingschool shooting after school shooting, we’ve seen rampant disregard for the health and safety of people who are created in the image of Godand we’ve accepted lies, accusations, and viciousness when we really need to pull together to get through a crisis that affects all of us.  That there are powers and principalities in the world over which we have little power seems undeniable. 

 But what do demons have to do with worship? Well, by the power of Jesus, we proclaim that there is help available. We worship a power and a presence greater than all that is broken around us and within us. Worship is an opportunity to celebrate all that is possible in Christ. 

Two weeks ago, we acknowledged that the question “can anything good” be asked about us. In the reading from Mark’s gospel, the question asked could also be our question: “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?” It is a question afraid of change; ultimately, it is a question of surrender and  of transformation. We ask if Jesus has come to destroy us, destroy our lifestyle, destroy our image of ourselves, our self-confidence, our self-dependence. 

We are people on a journey of transformation, and it isn’t always easy. Today, we acknowledge the hard work of becoming disciples and of setting aside the weight that clings so closely, of handing over the reins of our lives so that we can be led into wholeness. Let our worship not be burdened by defining the demonic, but by praising the power that conquers all that would press us down, by praising the one who breaks the chain of oppression in whatever forms it presents itself. And let us join in the proclaiming of this setting free, not fearing any power, not shrinking from any evil but offering grace and a way to wholeness. 

Sunday’s Online ServiceIf you log in to your Google/YouTube account about 10-15 minutes early, you will be able to easily access the chat and fellowship through thYouTube premier page both before and during the service. Find the premier page on our YouTube channel at: 1/31/21 Online Service.  The premiere page will be active from the moment the video is uploaded, so you can practice any time this weekend!   

Sunday’s In-Person Service – We‘ve launched our in-person indoor worship in the Sanctuarystarting at 9:00am. 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 monthThis Sunday we are not offering in-person worship, but we will return to in-person worship next week, the 10th of January. 

Our Children’s ministries include the nursery, SPKidz, and iClub.  They are currently meeting at 9am in the Fellowship Hall.  

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. 

 


Follow Me

 
 

Happy 3rd Sunday after the Epiphany! 

Fishing for people. What images come to mind with this phrase? Can we move beyond the simplistic “rounding people up for Jesus” and talk about making connections? The fishing idea needs to expand beyond the numbers, because Jesus is inviting his followers to a life of engagement & relationship.  We hear a lot of fishy stories today: from Jonah 3:1-5, 10 and Mark 1:14-20.  Jonah has his second call from God – after being regurgitated from the briny depths – and finally goes to Nineveh.  Jesus calls four fisherman from the Sea of Galilee, telling them that they will now fish for people.  Are we willing to go to Nineveh?  Are we willing to lay down our nets and follow Christ where he’s going, even in if means going to uncomfortable places and doing uncomfortable things?  Each one of us has a call given to us from God.  What’s yours?  Let’s think about all this as we worship on Sunday! 

Sunday’s Online ServiceIf you log in to your Google/YouTube account about 10-15 minutes early, you will be able to easily access the chat and fellowship through thYouTube premier page both before and during the service. Find the premier page on our YouTube channel at: 1/24/21 Online Service.  The premiere page will be active from the moment the video is uploaded, so you can practice any time this weekend!   

Sunday’s In-Person Service – We‘ve launched our in-person indoor worship in the Sanctuarystarting at 9:00am. 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 monthThis Sunday we are not offering in-person worship, but we will return to in-person worship next week, the 10th of January. 

Our Children’s ministries include the nursery, SPKidz, and iClub.  They are currently meeting at 9am in the Fellowship Hall.  

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.