The Summons

 

Happy 7th Sunday of Pentecost!

Heading toward this Sunday’s worship, we continue our journey through the Acts of the Apostles, written by St. Luke as a second volume of his “History of Jesus and the Church.” Here we see another central character emerge, almost like parallel storylines in a TV show.  We’ve had Jesus, Peter, James, John, Stephen, Philip, and now Saul.  We’ve seen Saul mentioned already as a leading figure in the persecution of Christians in Jerusalem, and we meet him in Acts 9 as he is journeying to Damascus to capture and harass any Christians who live there, or who might have escaped Jerusalem.  Think about this: he’s heading to another town with the blessing of the religious establishment to essentially kidnap and imprison Christians.  This kind of conduct would be exceedingly criminal in our world, and yet it’s the kind of mission Saul asked for – we’re told he went to the high priest and asked for the letters so he could head to Damascus.

So on this mission, as Saul nears Damascus, he has a vision of the risen Christ that changes his life forever.  Also in Damascus, a Christian named Ananias receives a similar life-changing vision to come to Saul’s aid and be the person who initiates him to the Christian life.  Saul is converted to Jesus and a new mission in life, and Ananias is converted to loving the unlovable – the terrorist who has now become a fellow Christian.  How would we react in their shoes?  What does this pivotal story in the Bible have to teach us about our lives?  Let’s open our hearts, our minds, and our Bibles as we find out!

 

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: 7/19/20 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 will have communion at every 8am 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.