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.

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. 

 


Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

 

Happy Christmas Sunday!  Sunday’s worship will be in partnership with the Campus ministries of the Florida Annual Conference.  There are 12 campus ministries at college campuses throughout the state of Florida, and they help to extend the ministry of the local church to the college campus so that kids who leave youth groups and head to college can still find a place to grow their faith with a Wesleyan foundation.

Each of these campus ministries are called “Wesley Foundations,” and you can find them all over the country at different colleges and universities.  The ministry of the Wesley foundation is so important to countless college students who are trying to find their faith in an adult world as they leave home to head to college.  

It’s also personal to me, you see, way back in the previous millennium, I was a college freshmen at the University of Alabama.  By going to school there, I had moved closer to my dad’s family, but I was over 500 miles away from all my high school friends and church family.  Since I had grown up in the Episcopal Church, I tried their campus ministry but just didn’t feel like I fit in.  My roommate was randomly assigned to me at the beginning of the school year, and as we got to know each other and he found out I wasn’t having much luck finding a church, he invited me to the Wesley Foundation, where he went.  They had a dinner on Thursday night that was free for anyone who came for the first time.  Honestly, I was really tired of eating out of the dining hall and my dorm room microwave.  So I fell for the hook.

He was United Methodist, and while I had no idea what that was, I decided I would give it a try.  That was 21 years ago this Fall.  The Wesley Foundation at the University of Alabama is also where Heather and I met, and where I found a place to really search out this call to ministry I had been hearing.  So for those of you in high school now, especially if you’re close to graduating and heading off to college, know that there is an extension of St. Paul’s there for you.  It’s a place to continue to explore your faith in a more serious way as you grow into a young adult.  I hope you enjoy this special worship service today led by our Campus ministries of the Florida Conference.

Sunday’s Online Service—If 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 the YouTube premier page both before and during the service. Find the premier page on our YouTube channel at: 12/27/20 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 Sanctuary, starting 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. This Sunday will be our last in-person worship for the year. We will continue to meet on YouTube on 12/27 and 1/3, but won’t be offering in-person worship until 1/10/21.

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. iClub won’t be meeting this week (12/20), but join both iClub and SPKidz for a fun PJ party on 12/27/20 at 9:00am.

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.

 


Waiting on the Threshold

 

Happy Fourth Sunday of Advent! 

It’s almost Christmas. We hit what rocket scientists call Max-Q somewhere around this last week before the day itself. We run on overload or we find a little bit of magic, a little miracle working to make it all come out the way we hope and pray that it will. Those seem to be our choices in this season, don’t they? Overwhelmed or by the skin of our teeth.  Why? Because it is Christmas. 

It’s the fourth Sunday of Advent, and we are on the threshold of a new world. Never mind the fact that we’ve been on this threshold for over two thousand years. We are standing on the brink. We need to proclaim what is on the other side.  What does it mean for Christ to take up residence in our world?  What did it mean then, and what does it mean now?   

That’s what even the casual church-goer is asking as we get close to the celebrations of this Sunday and Christmas Eve.  The problem is, people come with their answers too.  And their answer is often “not much.” It doesn’t mean much, except in romantic holiday movies and sappy cards in the mail.  But this is your chance, our chance as a church, to tell a different story.  This is our chance to tell the story of a life with Christ that changes everything.  This is our chance to remind everyone that while we stand on the threshold of a new world, there is also another One standing on our threshold, waiting for us to open the door. 

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: 12/20/20 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 will be our last in-person worship for the year. We will continue to meet on YouTube on 12/27 and 1/3, but won’t be offering in-person worship until 1/10/21. 

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. iClub won’t be meeting this week (12/20), but join both iClub and SPKidz for a fun PJ party on 12/27/20 at 9:00am. 

Praise New Generation is not meeting this week and won’t have another practice session until 1/10/20. Our SPYouth are planning on caroling this Sunday evening (or indoor plans if it rains) from 6pm-8pm. This will be their last meeting of 2020! 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.