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.

The Starfish of Lystra

 

Happy 11th Sunday of Pentecost!

Studying through Acts over the last few months, we’ve covered a lot of historic and cultural ground, going from the last words of Jesus before he ascended, through both the Jewish (Acts 2) and the Gentile Pentecost in Acts 10.  We’ve watched the Holy Spirit work in those mysterious ways to bring more and more people into contact with the message of Christ.  We might be lulled into taking victory and heroic deeds for granted, and so coming to Barnabas and Paul’s first missionary journey feels a little jolting.  Things go well at first, but they encounter trouble as soon as they enter Pisidian Antioch.  In the small, out-of-the way town of Lystra, Paul is left for dead after being stoned outside the city walls.  The mission, especially in Lystra, seems to be a failure, so Paul and Barnabas head back the way they came, with a rather quick, hushed description of their route back to where they started.  What can we learn about failure from their story, and how can we recover spiritually from failures in our lives?  How can we get the courage to try and fail at new things during these uncertain times when our best efforts and guesses seem to fall short?  We’ll read the story from Lystra in Acts 14:8-20 and some encouraging words from an older Paul in Romans 5:1-8 as we worship online and in-person 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: 8/16/20 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 – At 8am we will worship in the church courtyard (between the Fellowship Hall and the Sanctuary).  We will have communion at every 8am service.  Worshipers are asked to bring their own chairs or picnic blankets, face coverings, hand sanitizer, and Communion Elements (bread & grape juice) to each service.    

This week we will be relaunching our in-person nursery, SPKidz, and iClub during the 8am service. The kids are excited about getting back together in person even wearing masks and socially distancing. We can’t wait to see you!

We still have introductions to both our SPKidz Church and iClub lessons on our YouTube channel. After you watch the introductions to the lesson, be sure to download the packet with discussion questions and activities to do at home!

Check our YouTube channel for the SPKidz & iClub Video introductions: St. Paul’s YouTube

SPKidz Packet

iClub Packet

 

The Youth will be taking a break from regular meetings throughout the rest of the summer. Praise NG will be meeting in the Sanctuary on Sunday evening at 4:30pm as part of our re-launch plan approved by the trustees. Masks will be required!  Contact Kraig by email for more information if you are interested.

 

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.

 


But We’ve Always Done It That Way Before

 

Happy 10th Sunday of Pentecost!

Come join St. Paul’s and in-person as we continue walking through the Acts of the Apostles together.  This book of the New Testament tells the story of the early church, from Jesus’s ascension to Paul’s ministry in Rome.  This Sunday we’re going to look at Peter’s story, after he returns to Jerusalem from witnessing the Gentile Pentecost in Cornelius’s household.  To put it frankly, he’s in trouble!  Let’s study how the early church reacted in a good way to this early challenge to “the way it had always been.”  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: 8/9/20 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 – At 8am we will worship in the church courtyard (between the Fellowship Hall and the Sanctuary).  We will have communion at every 8am service.  Worshipers are asked to bring their own chairs or picnic blankets, face coverings, hand sanitizer, and Communion Elements (bread & grape juice) to each service.    

We have introductions to both our SPKidz Church and iClub lessons on our YouTube channel. After you watch the introductions to the lesson, be sure to download the packet with discussion questions and activities to do at home!

This week we have a special lesson and learning for our iClub at 9:45am on Sundays, just as we would if we were together!  You will be able to access this through Zoom, which is an online conferencing tool. Contact Kraig by email for directions on how to access this.

Check our YouTube channel for the SPKidz & iClub Video introductions: St. Paul’s YouTube

SPKidz Packet

iClub Packet

 

The Youth will be taking a break from regular meetings throughout the rest of the summer. Praise NG will be meeting in the Sanctuary on Sunday evening at 4:30pm as part of our re-launch plan approved by the trustees. Masks will be required!  Contact Kraig by email for more information if you are interested.

 

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.

 


Learning An Important Lesson

 
 
 

Happy 9th Sunday of Pentecost!

As we worship this Sunday in-person* and online, we continue to study the story of the early church as they began to expand ministry and impact throughout the world.  This impact was especially felt when the Holy Spirit began doing something unthinkable – including people in the vast world of non-Jewish, or Gentile, people.  For thousands of years, Judaism had held the dormant promise of welcoming Gentile communities, but awaited God’s action to, in many leaders’ imaginations, have those nations come and acknowledge the righteousness of Judaism above all other peoples and religions.  Imagine the pearl-clutching horror of the early Christian community (all Jewish) when they began to realize that God was rushing ahead of them and that Jesus’s Good News of the Kingdom of God was reaching people who had not become Jewish yet!  All of their assumptions about the way God was supposed to work were being challenged, and we can learn a lot about God’s plan by watching God work in Acts, chapter 10.  Peter’s ministry to a “God-fearing” Gentile can also shed a lot of wisdom on God’s desire for our own reactions during these times of racial and ethnic strife.  Let’s open our minds, our hearts, and our Bibles as we worship God and learn from Peter!

The story in Acts 10 is a bit long, so I won’t read the whole thing in online worship.  Instead, let me recommend a great dramatic storytelling from the late folk storyteller Michael Williams at https://vimeo.com/262057300.  Watch this before or after the service for a great way to see the impact of this story in the Bible.

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: 8/2/20 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 – At 8am we will worship in the church courtyard (between the Fellowship Hall and the Sanctuary).  We will have communion at every 8am service.  Worshipers are asked to bring their own chairs or picnic blankets, face coverings, hand sanitizer, and Communion Elements (bread & grape juice) to each service.    

*Special Note: Please stay tuned to our website and social media pages for information about this Sunday’s service as Tropical Storm Isaias is forecast to approach the Florida coast.  If the 8am worship service is cancelled, we will announce it by Saturday evening via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and on our website at spocala.org.

We have introductions to both our SPKidz Church and iClub lessons on our YouTube channel. After you watch the introductions to the lesson, be sure to download the packet with discussion questions and activities to do at home!

This week we have a special lesson and learning for our iClub at 9:45am on Sundays, just as we would if we were together!  You will be able to access this through Zoom, which is an online conferencing tool. Contact Kraig by email for directions on how to access this.

Check our YouTube channel for the SPKidz & iClub Video introductions: St. Paul’s YouTube

SPKidz Packet

iClub Packet

 

The Youth will be taking a break from regular meetings throughout the rest of the summer. Praise NG will be meeting in the Sanctuary on Sunday evening at 4:30pm as part of our re-launch plan approved by the trustees. Masks will be required!  Contact Kraig by email for more information if you are interested.

 

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.