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.

A Son of Thunder

Happy Second Sunday of Lent!  

In Luke 9:46-55, we’re presented with an almost comical episode, if only John and James, the sons of Zebedee, weren’t so serious.  Just after Jesus teaches them about how they should come into the Kingdom of God, John, obviously not listening in the slightest, talks proprietary spirituality and a violent response to a lack of hospitality.  What in the world was John thinking?   

James and John are both nicknamed “sons of thunder” by Jesus because of their quick, passionate tempers, evidenced in the earlier passage.  It’s hard to believe they were able to be a part of the company of disciples and weren’t among those who betrayed Jesus to the authorities.  However, they stuck to Jesus, both before, during, and after the crucifixion.  The truth is, some of the most embarrassing liabilities we see in ourselves are actually the things God can use the most powerfully to do his Kingdom work, and we can see that clearly in John.  So, if you’ve got some embarrassing things about you, don’t let that stop you from being a follower, instead let God use them in you to do amazing things!  Let’s talk more about that at worship – I’ll see you there! 

 

Sunday’s Livestream Service at 10:30—We recommend logging into your Facebook account a few minutes before 10:30 am so you can troubleshoot any issues you might have. You can access the service at stpaulsworship.org You can chat once the Livestream service has started. If you don’t have a Facebook account, you can also access the Livestream at stpaulsworship.org without the chat feature. A pop-up will ask you to log in and in small letters at the bottom you can click “Not Now” and still be able to watch the service. The service will be available on YouTube either Sunday afternoon or Monday. 

Sunday’s In-Person Service at 10:30 –Our in-person, indoor worship is currently in the Sanctuary, starting at 10:30am.  Please go to our website to get the latest COVID-19 Update.  Masks are optional at worship, but there is still a section of pews in front of the sound booth reserved for those who wish to mask and keep a distance from others during worship. 

 

Our regular Children’s ministries include the nursery, SPKidz, and iClub.  They are currently meeting at 10:15 am in the Fellowship Hall.  

Check the calendar at childrenandyouthcalendar.org for updated information on our SPYouth meetings and Praise: New Generation meetings. 

We so appreciate you keeping connected with us. You may 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. We will get back to you as soon as possible. 



Disciple that Never Was

Happy First Sunday of Lent!  

As Christians, our highest goal is to be like Jesus.  We want to live a life centered in the kind of love Jesus gave to us.  We dedicate our lives to him as our Lord and Savior because we trust he accepts us and teaches us to love as God loves.  With that kind of mission, Christians have shown the world what saving love is truly like, and how to turn away from the selfish messages of greed, lust, violence, and destruction.   

A disciple is a student, a follower of someone or something.  When we look at following Jesus today, it makes sense to first look at Jesus, and to those ancient disciples we read about in the pages of the New Testament.  Those disciples, named and unnamed, wanted the same thing we want today —to be like Jesus.  They were just as human as us too, and in learning their stories we might find inspiration and hope for ourselves.  So this Lent, let’s strengthen our discipleship of Jesus by learning from those disciples who followed him years ago. 

We began Lent on Wednesday with the Ashes, confession and repentance of Ash Wednesday, and this Sunday we begin walking with Jesus toward Jerusalem, looking deep into ourselves along the way. Each Sunday, and during Holy Week, we’ll highlight a Disciples’ story as a lesson in following Christ.  This series has been inspired by J. Ellsworth Kalas’s book The Thirteen Apostles, which you can find wherever books are sold.  While we won’t be studying this book during our study, nor will we be covering all 13 of the characters he does, it is a wonderful and easy-to-read guide to the lives of the Disciples. 

This week we’ll look at following Jesus through the lens of someone who refused to be a Disciple.  The story is found in Mark 10:17-22.  What held this man back from the greatest life imaginable, and how can we prevent the same from happening to us? 

 

Sunday’s Livestream Service at 10:30—We recommend logging into your Facebook account a few minutes before 10:30 am so you can troubleshoot any issues you might have. You can access the service at stpaulsworship.org You can chat once the Livestream service has started. If you don’t have a Facebook account you can also access the Livestream at stpaulsworship.org without the chat feature. A pop-up will ask you to log in and in small letters at the bottom you can click “Not Now” and still be able to watch the service. The service will be available on YouTube either Sunday afternoon or Monday. 

Sunday’s In-Person Service at 10:30 –Our in-person, indoor worship is currently in the Sanctuary, starting at 10:30am.  Please go to our website to get the latest COVID-19 Update.  Masks are optional at worship, but there is still a section of pews in front of the sound booth reserved for those who wish to mask and keep a distance from others during worship. 

 

Our regular Children’s ministries include the nursery, SPKidz, and iClub.  They are currently meeting at 10:15 am in the Fellowship Hall.  

Check the calendar at childrenandyouthcalendar.org for updated information on our SPYouth meetings and Praise: New Generation meetings. 

We so appreciate you keeping connected with us. You may 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. We will get back to you as soon as possible. 



Precious Memories

Happy Transfiguration Sunday!  

Precious memories, how they linger… 

This old hymn from the hills of Appalachia is a classic and considered a “Gospel song,” even though it never mentions God.  It is truly an exercise in nostalgia, and nostalgia is a very attractive thing for us as we go through confusing times and the world changes from those simpler times when we were younger. 

I imagine Jesus’s disciples felt pangs of nostalgia as they came down from the Mount of Transfiguration and entered the dirty work of the Kingdom.  They wanted to preserve that previous holy moment, away from the cares pressing on them from every angle.  We’ll read the account from Luke 9:28-43a, and see how Jesus turns water into wine, taking the miracle of his Transfiguration into the streets below. Too many times we want church to be a memorial to days gone by, but Jesus wants us to do his work.  When we are doing that, then we’re truly fulfilling the miracle of the Transfiguration. 

On a side note, we’ll be doing the most important thing in the world on Sunday – baptizing someone!  Come and be a part of this sacramental moment as we look forward to the future of God’s kingdom through the eyes of a child! 

 

Sunday’s Livestream Service at 10:30—We recommend logging into your Facebook account a few minutes before 10:30 am so you can troubleshoot any issues you might have. You can access the service at stpaulsworship.org You can chat once the Livestream service has started. If you don’t have a Facebook account you can also access the Livestream at stpaulsworship.org without the chat feature. A pop-up will ask you to log in and in small letters at the bottom you can click “Not Now” and still be able to watch the service. The service will be available on YouTube either Sunday afternoon or Monday. 

Sunday’s In-Person Service at 10:30 –Our in-person, indoor worship is currently in the Sanctuary, starting at 10:30am.  Please go to our website to get the latest COVID-19 Update.  Masks are optional at worship. 

 

Our regular Children’s ministries include the nursery, SPKidz, and iClub.  They are currently meeting at 10:15 am in the Fellowship Hall.  

Check the calendar at childrenandyouthcalendar.org for updated information on our SPYouth meetings and Praise New Generation meetings. 

We so appreciate you keeping connected with us. You may 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. We will get back to you as soon as possible.