Happy 8th Sunday after Pentecost! 

This Sunday, we begin a three-week series on grief, studying the Book of Lamentations.  Now, you may be wondering what in the world I would be thinking to preach on such a topic in this happy summer vacation season.  A summer when we’re all chomping at the bit to catch up on the summer memories we lost last year to the pandemic.  That, however, is precisely why we need it.  Dealing with and naming our grief is what we must do during this time if we’re to make a spiritually healthy transition and see this new post-pandemic world with God’s eyes.      

The book of Lamentations is a work of art produced in response to a historical disaster. Its five poems grieve over the destruction of Jerusalem, military occupation, and the deportation of its leading citizens by King Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians in 586 BCE, which you can read about in 2 Kings 25:8–21. The book’s powerful poetry enables it to encompass the sorrows of the world.  In fact, its title in the Hebrew Bible is actually ‘ekah, which is more properly translated “How?”  Recognize the grief there? 

During this first week we’ll read from Psalm 89:46-52 as well as Lamentations 1:1-3 and 4:1-5.  As we read these verses we’ll lean into our own grief and explore it.  Yes, I know it sounds horrible, but if we want God to heal us, we’ve got to show God our wounds!  If we want to grow up spiritually healthy, we’ve got to eat our spiritual vegetables, and learning from grief is one of them.  So let’s practice good grief these next three Sundays so we can grow into the new reality that God is bringing forth.    

Sunday’s Livestream Service—We recommend logging into your Facebook account a few minutes before 10:30 so you can troubleshoot any issues you might have. You can find a direct link to our Facebook page at You will be able to chat once the Livestream service has started. If you don’t have a Facebook account you can also access the Livestream at without the chat feature. There will be a pop-up asking you to log in and in small letters at the bottom you can click “Not Now” and still be able to watch the service. We will also post the Livestream service to YouTube after the service is over. 

Sunday’s In-Person Service –Our in-person indoor worship is currently in the Sanctuary, starting at 10:30am.   Our current COVID Protocols have changed, so please go to our website to get the latest COVID-19 Update.  We will no longer be doing registration or temperature checks at the door, but we will still be entering from the south Narthex doors (facing the Fellowship Hall).  There will be space for those who still wish to social distance, and masks are still welcome, but not required, for worship. 

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

Praise New Generation won’t be meeting until August. SPYouth are having a special pool party send-off for the Seniors. Check with Kraig for details about that! 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 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.