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.

Someone Who Understands

 
 
 

Happy 20th Sunday of Pentecost!

We’re glad you’re here to worship with us as we continue to study the book The Anatomy of Peace and its connection with the message of Christ.  Today we’re going to focus on empathy, a virtue that is different from sympathy.  When we have sympathy, we feel for someone.  When we have empathy, we feel with someone.  We feel their pain, we understand their emotions, and we identify with them.  It’s easier for us to understand when we’ve been through a similar experience. The beautiful thing is, even if we haven’t been in someone’s situation, we can try to understand. We can look below the surface of words and actions to what’s really driving those words and actions. We can empathize. 

As we read from John 8:2-11 and Mark 6:30-34, we’ll look at instances of Jesus showing empathy.  Moving from a heart of war to a heart of peace first requires humility- admitting our brokenness, our wounds, the shards of sin in our heart. In humility, we admit our need for God’s help, healing, and forgiveness.  The next step is empathy. God’s healing and forgiveness give us eyes to see and hearts to understand.  Let’s open our hearts, our minds, and our Bibles as we look at empathy and learn how to be people of peace.

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: 10/18/20 Online Service.  The premier 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 are relaunching our in-person indoor worship in the Sanctuary. The service will start 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.

Our Children’s ministries that include the nursery, SPKidz, and iClub have relaunched their in-person meetings. They are currently meeting at 9am in the Fellowship Hall. For this week only the iClub is cancelled. Please join them for an interactive socially distanced fun time as they learn their lessons and play games together.

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’re looking forward to getting back to a every week schedule while still allowing time for family dinners!

 

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 office hours are limited, someone will receive your message and get back to you as soon as possible.

 


Recognizing a Heart of War

 

Happy 19th Sunday of Pentecost!

Sunday’s sermon will be the second of our series on the book The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict.  This week, following part 2 of the book, we’re looking at the bad side of the penny.  A heart at war is, in many ways, just what it sounds like: an attitude that promotes, engages, and even revels in conflict.  However, there are nuances to it that are important.  We can have a heart at war from four major angles, or “boxes.”  These boxes include an attitude of Better-than, Worse-than, I deserve, and the need-to-be-seen-as box.  It’s not about fighting as much as it is about mindset, and when can be in this mindset even when we’re trying to do the right things!  So I invite you to continue to read the book with me as we engage with Part 2 and recognizing a heart of war.  We’ll be reflecting on the heart at war accompanied by readings from James 3:13-18 and Luke 18:9-14.  These scriptures give us key points of reference as we look at Jesus’s and James’s teachings on avoiding a heart at war.  See you on Sunday!

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: 10/11/20 Online Service.  The premier 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 are relaunching our in-person indoor worship in the Sanctuary. The service will start 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.

Our Children’s ministries that include the nursery, SPKidz, and iClub have relaunched their in-person meetings. 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.

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’re looking forward to getting back to a every week schedule while still allowing time for family dinners!

 

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 office hours are limited, someone will receive your message and get back to you as soon as possible.

 


Cultivating a Heart of Peace

 
 

Happy 18th Sunday of Pentecost!

You’ve probably noticed that 2020 been a banner year, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to change its ways any time soon.  Like many of you during this time of chaos and disagreement, I’m always looking for a message of peace and hope, a message that preaches love and peace, justice and reconciliation, not anger and immature spitefulness.  One book that continues to help me not get discouraged is The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict.  If you recognize the name, I preached on it about two years ago, and I think the message is one we could all use a refresher on.  It reminds us that we often misunderstand the causes of our differences and disagreements then shows us how to find true peace within ourselves and our relationships with each other.

For the first week in our series, we’re reading Matthew 5:43-48, looking at cultivating a heart of peace.  Our behaviors either come from a heart of peace or a heart of war.  That’s what is underneath our behaviors, so when we react to others, we need to remember that.  It’s about what is going on under the surface, not the behaviors we see in others that are only the tip of the iceberg.  It’s also the same with us.  When we have a heart of war, our behaviors reflect that.  We aren’t living in love as Christ commands, we’re not loving for and praying for our enemies, and we’ve all been there.  We’ll look at how to cultivate a heart of peace as we open our hearts, our minds and our Bibles in worship!

 

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: 10/4/20 Online Service.  The premier 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 are relaunching our in-person indoor worship in the Sanctuary. The service will start at 9:00am. We are asking people to register at this link: cometoworship.org so that we don’t go over our maximum. We ask everyone to wear a mask and maintain social distancing. Temperatures will be taken before entering the building.

Our Children’s ministries that include the nursery, SPKidz, and iClub have relaunched their in-person meetings. 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.

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’re looking forward to getting back to a every week schedule while still allowing time for family dinners!

 

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 office hours are limited, someone will receive your message and get back to you as soon as possible.