A central theme that runs through the whole Bible is that God is creating for himself a people who are his own possession. God isn’t just saving individual men and women. He is building a new community in this world, creating a new humanity from Adam’s fallen race. The gathering of this community is at the heart of God’s covenant promise: “I will be your God and you will be my people.”

Building community is a key component of life in the church. If we are going to learn, grow, live, and serve together, we need to know one another, which means spending time together in a variety of contexts. We enjoy fellowship opportunities as we worship and work together as God’s people. But pursuing community requires us to be intentional about it. We must deliberately pursue it because community is a priority in Scripture.
Consider, for example, some of the “one another” commands of the New Testament:

  • Love one another (John 13:34).
  • Be devoted to one another (Romans 12:5).
  • Honor one another (Romans 12:10).
  • Rejoice with one another (Romans 12:15).
  • Serve one another (Galatians 5:13).
  • Carry one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2).
  • Be patient, bearing with one another in love (Ephesians 4:2).
  • Forgive one another (Ephesians 4:32).
  • Encourage one another (I Thessalonians 5:11).
  • Offer hospitality to one another (I Peter 4:9).
  • Confess your sins to one another (James 5:16).
  • Pray for one another (James 5:16).

All these commands assume a level of sharing our lives with one another beyond merely gathering for corporate worship.

Core Values

Community at St. Paul’s is characterized by:

  • Mutual love for one another that makes Jesus known.
  • Inter-generational fellowship.
  • Strong marriages and families.
  • Assimilation for service, fellowship, and edification of the body.
  • Disciples that make disciples who follow Christ.

Home Groups

Home groups are one way we are pursuing biblical community. Members of St. Paul’s gather around the city of Orlando in homes during the week to share their lives together. As we meet in homes, we practice hospitality, enjoy fellowship over a meal, take time to talk about God’s Word, and encourage one another in the pursuit of Christ Jesus. We pray for one another, talk about what God has done in our lives, and look for practical ways to love and serve one another.

Sharing your life with a community of believers is not easy. Just as the intimacy of marriage forces you to grow and change by seeing things about yourself that you’d rather not see, being committed to a church community will also force you to see things in your own heart and life that you’d rather not admit are there. Devote yourself to a group of people, and, over time with those people, you will see more of your own selfishness, pride, impatience, and critical spirit. But in the process, you will also discover what it means to be loved, forgiven, and accepted in spite of your sins. You will grow deeper in understanding what it means to love God and to be loved by God than you can learn by remaining in isolation from this kind of fellowship.

This is the life to which Christ has invited us—a life lived together as the people of God in a local community devoted to the loving the Lord Jesus and to loving one another.

Current Home Group meetings:

    • Sundays - Rick Tobin's group meets every Sunday at 5:30 pm, at the home Ric and Debbie Tobin (except for Evensong Sundays) in Altamonte Springs.
    • Sundays - Dan Thompson's group meets (beginning October 15) in Maitland on Sunday afternoon following the worship service.
    • 1st and 3rd Sundays - Ben Tobias's group meets after the worship service.
    • 2nd and 4th Sundays - Carl Shoemaker's group meets at 5:00 pm in Winter Park.
    • 2nd and 4th Sundays - Nathan Leopard's group meets for lunch and discussion in Casselberry.
    • 2nd Sundays - Jim Crandall's group meets at 6:00 pm in Winter Park.
    • 2nd and 4th Sundays - Zachary Cole's group meets for lunch and discussion in Oviedo.
    • 1st and 3rd Mondays - Andrew Auer's group meets in Maitland.
    • 1st and 3rd Wednesdays - J. C. Derrick's group meets at 6:30 pm every other Wednesday in Apopka.
    • 2 Wednesday evenings per month - Andrew Auer's group meets at 6:30 pm in Maitland.
    • 1st and 3rd Thursday evenings - Larry Pike's group meets in the Longwood/ Lake Mary area from 6:30-8:00 pm.
    • Thursdays - Gordon Cloke's group meets in Winter park at 7:00 pm.
    • 1st and 3rd Thursday evenings per month (first and third) - Scott Stroven's group meets at 6:30 pm in the Conway area of South Orlando.

    Young Adult Ministry

    The Young Adult Ministry meets on Monday evenings at 7 p.m. This is a group for college-aged students, recent college graduates, and those establishing themselves in the workforce (roughly ages 18-28). We invite you to participate in the various activities, Bible studies, and service projects taken on by this small community of friends pursuing what it means to follow Jesus one day at a time.

    Location for the group changes from time to time as different families provide hospitality in their homes, so contact the church office for more information.

    Men's Discipleship Groups

    Community involves knowing other people and allowing people to know you well enough to encourage you according to your needs, opportunities, and challenges. Our men’s discipleship groups are intentionally small—just 3-4 men meeting twice a month in various locations around Orlando to share in each other’s lives. The focus of these groups is spiritual formation and application of biblical truth to all of life. To learn more, contact Pastor Dan Thompson.

    Women in the Church

    Women in the Church (WIC) exists to encourage and equip women as disciples of Christ. All women are welcome to be part of our small group studies that meet on Tuesdays (morning and evening) throughout the school year. We organize two church-wide women’s gatherings a year, which typically are a Fall, Winter, and Spring Brunch/Lunch and that are intended to promote fellowship and inspire our members through speakers and testimonies. There is also a vibrant mercy ministry providing meals for new moms, the hospitalized when they return home, the ill and the bereaved. All women are warmly invited to participate in any or all of these opportunities for spiritual growth and fellowship, as well as to integrate fully into the life of the church through the many other avenues provided. Come join us!

    WIC Fall Bible Studies

    Here is the schedule for our fall Bible studies:

    Tuesday morning Bible studies:

    • Bible studies will be offered at the church from 10:00 am-noon
    • Please join us for the buffet brunch each week before the studies starting at 9:30 a.m.

    Evening Bible studies:

    • Bible studies will be offered at various church member’s homes
    • The groups may be limited in number to how many the home can safely accommodate.

    You can view the description of the Bible studies here.

      St Paul’s Women in the Church Theme Verse 2024-2025:

      For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.

      Psalm 62:5-8

      WIC Mercy Ministry

      The Mercy Ministry provides an opportunity for the church family to bless those who are in need of meals due to strenuous circumstances. Whether it be the joy of a baby born, sickness, or a hospital stay, we seek to show love and concern through prayer and action. It is a means for you to be aware of and pray for the needs in the church, even if you are not able to contribute with a meal.

      2024-2025 Women in the Church (WIC) Board

      • Laura Ragsdale (Director)
      • Deandra Auer (Past Director)
      • Julia Will (Secretary)
      • Anna Limber (Treasurer)
      • Trish Miceli and MaryAnn Stroven (Spiritual Growth)
      • Demi Longley (Meetings and Events)
      • Megan Taylor and Amy Derrick (Mercy Ministry)
      • Abby Cali (Children's Ministry Liaison)
      • Staci Little (Moms and More Liaison)
      • Jandra Leonard (Historical Advisor)

      Community Committee

      • Jim Crandall
      • David Romaine
      • Dan Thompson (chair)
      • Margaret Thompson
      • Annie Valentine
      • Reeves Valentine
      • Marcia Yount

      Contact Dan Thompson

      Dan is an associate pastor and the chair of the Discipleship Committee. He is available to answer questions or help connect you with opportunities to get involved.

      Get in touch

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