Showing Love by Sharing

 

Happy Independence Day Weekend! 

This week we begin a few notable things: an 8am in-person service, a new month, the second day of my fortieth year on the planet, and a new sermon series!  We leave the Gospel according to Matthew for several Sundays this summer in order to study how the newly-formed Christian church grew and stayed centered on Christ while they encountered their own hinge time.   

What’s a “hinge-time?” I encountered this phrase as I read an article from May in the Financial Times where the author equates this current crisis to other pivotal events in which history “hinged” from one course to another.  Other such examples are the 1914 assassination of Archduke Ferdinand that began the First World War (and laid the groundwork for the Second), the 1929 stock market crash which ushered in a worldwide Depression, or the 2001 Terrorist Attacks on the World Trade Center.  You can find the article at: https://www.ft.com/content/de643ae8-9527-11ea-899a-f62a20d54625. This virus, the author argues and I’m inclined to agree, have changed the world as we know it, and will probably continue to change it going into the future.  And, importantly enough, he wrote his article before we encountered the next hinge of protests around the brutal killing of Black men and women by people sworn to serve and protect those same communities. 

The early church was born in just such a time.  As the influence of Jesus began to grow after his death, the new church had to figure out how Jesus’s teaching would be manifest in the world.  They had no template to work from, and they merely prayed and constantly sought guidance on what they should do to bring the Good News to the world.  In reading through the Acts of the Apostles again, I pray we can see our own way through this time of change and anxiety into a deeper relationship with Christ and each other.  In Acts 6:1-7 we’ll read Luke’s telling of the first conflict within the church – which might sound strangely familiar – and see how we too can begin to heal the wounds that have been exposed within our society.  What if Christians were known for that? For healing emotional, generational wounds and bringing reconciliation to hurting parts of society?  I pray it is so! 

 

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 the YouTube premier page both before and during the service. Find the premier page on our YouTube channel at: 7/5/20 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).  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 because of the holiday we will be taking a break from iClub, but usually 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.