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.