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.

Anything Good?

 
 

Happy 2nd Sunday after the Epiphany! 

“Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” That’s our guiding phrase from our gospel text for this week in John 1:43-51. “Anything good?” Surely you can hear how that sounds. Surely in our contentious environment, you hear the presupposition behind the sarcasm. You can hear the prejudice tucked away in such an innocuous joke.  In the end, the question “can anything good” come from those unlike us, gets turned around to be asked of us, “can anything good” come from within us? Is there anything good in us that is worth God’s grace and Christ’s compassion? 

Then there’s the story of Samuel’s call we’ll read from 1 Samuel 3:1-10.  The atmosphere is set well by the narrator telling us that “the word of the Lord was rare in those days, and visions weren’t widespread.”  God spoke to the boy Samuel when visions weren’t widespread, and spoke to Nathaniel through his prejudicial sarcasm of Jesus’s hometown.  Maybe, just maybe, God can speak to us too, in the middle of our chaos, dysfunction, social media-fueled polarization, and pandemic weariness.  Maybe some heaven can come down to this dumpy place after all, because we could sure use a clean-up and a little joy right now.  Let’s worship on this Sunday, the second after the Epiphany, and have an Epiphany of our own. 

 

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: 1/17/21 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. 

 


Tearing Apart the Heavens

 

Happy Epiphany AND Baptism of the Lord Sunday! 

 

Welcome to worship everyone!  Yes, we’re combining a lot into worship, celebrating what would normally be two Sundays into one.  But this year, as we look at our world so differently, and as we see our need for the presence of Christ so clearly in light of recent events, it might make more sense than ever to combine these two Sundays.  This new year, while we are glad to have the old one over with, is still a year where we need the light of Christ to shine brightly within our human experience.  If we don’t see it after this week, then we’re really in trouble.  We need to find that light, we need to use it to keep our own spiritual chins up, but we also need it so we can point others to Christ.  We need to remember that Christ works in us as well as beyond us.  We’ll read from Acts 19:1-7 and Mark 1:4-11, as well as Matthew 2:1-12 on this important Sunday.  We’ll reaffirm our Baptisms and our commitment to God’s work of bringing all things together in Christ, the things in heaven along with the things on earth.” (Ephesians 1:10)  

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: 1/10/21 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. This Sunday’s SPYouth meeting will be an informational session on this year’s mission trip. 

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. 

 
 


Living the Celebration

 
 

Merry Christmas! 

So, we’re wrapping up Christmas this week. The Christmas season officially ends on the Feast of the Epiphany, which is January 6th.  Some of you may have already packed everything away; some of you may still be sitting in the glow of the lights and tinsel. But the goal of this Sunday isn’t to shuffle all of our Christmas away, but rather to embrace the new community that we have become through the Christmas we’ve just celebrated.  Paul tells us in our scripture reading today from his letter to the Ephesians that this gift we have received, the gift of new life, is so that we might live for the praise of God’s glory.  

That’s what this worship is about – praising God. Yes, of course, every worship service includes praise, but God wants us to live a life of praise, living the celebration of Christmas every dayNow our circle is wider because of the company who have come and stayed, so we can share the celebration with more people!  

Maybe during your “different” COVID Christmas you built new connections with new people, maybe you were able to talk to them about Jesus… We’ve done this at the church this yearbecause  our service is on Youtube, we’ve been able to expand our community and reach new people in new ways, and there have been some exciting results!  The company that has stayed is the renewed spirit of Christ who dwells among us in new and dynamic ways, even as we fumbled and stumbled our way through last year 

In this new year, we should be embracing the new thing that God is doing in our midst. We celebrate the new community that we have become. Even if it is the same people, we are renewed and revived by our attention to the Advent and Christmas season. We didn’t simply endure all that went before; we are being transformed into a better, stronger church family in this new year because of it. 

What that transformation looks like is still being worked out, but as the new year gets started, let our hearts be glad as we live the celebration of Christmas with all the new company that has come and stayed, and the company of Christ that has dwelt among us in new ways this Christmas season 

 

 

 

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: 1/3/21 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. Please join them for an interactive socially distanced fun time as they learn their lessons and play games together. All the SPKidz ministries and iClub will not be meeting on 1/3/2020 

SPYouth and Praise New Generation are invited to come hang out on 1/03 from 3:00pm-4:00pm for a Christmas Concert Livestream on the big screen! Praise New Generation won’t have another practice session until 1/10/20. Our regular Youth schedule is: Praise NG will be meeting from 3:00pm-4:00pm every Sunday and SPYouth will be 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.