Welcome to St. Paul’s!
I think you will find St. Paul’s to be a lively gathering of faithful people who are passionate about the Gospel and who care about each other and the community. We are a “Reconciling in Christ” congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Please feel free to visit with us on Sunday morning for worship or participate in some of our ministries and events.
May God continue to bless you and strengthen you with God’s grace.
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Thomas A. Omholt, Pastor
We are located between Ellicott & Everett Streets NW, between Murch Elementary School and the Fire Station.
Dear Friends in Christ,
The Day of Pentecost will soon be upon us. This means that we will once again focus our attention on the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Holy Trinity. It seems to me that of the three divine ways that God expresses who God is, the most mysterious and misunderstood is the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is sort of the forgotten person of the Trinity, seemingly not as important and certainly not as popular as God the Father and God the Son. Most of us can remember from confirmation class that the first article of the Apostle’s Creed deals with God as Creator, the second article deals with God as Redeemer (Jesus), and the third article deals with God as, well, have you forgotten? That’s right, it begins with an “s.” Sanctifier. The Holy Spirit is the Sanctifier, but what does that mean?
I think it’s time to take out our Luther Small Catechisms and look again at the meaning to the third article of the Apostle’s Creed. “I believe that by my own understanding or strength I cannot believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to him.” Am I to understand that even with four years of seminary, countless hours of continuing education, and 43 years of parish ministry experience I cannot believe in Jesus Christ on my own, but only through the Holy Spirit can that happen? Well, yes. In fact, Luther says that it is the Holy Spirit that calls us through the gospel, enlightens us with gifts and makes us holy. Makes us what? Holy? Do we look holy? Do we act holy? Does the front page of the newspaper suggest that we are a holy people? No, I think we are a work in progress. We are being made holy. We are being sanctified by the Sanctifier, the Holy Spirit. Oh, this sanctification, this being made holy is not just for Lutherans, it is for the whole Christian church.
Here’s what else the Spirit does for us. The Holy Spirit forgives our sins, and not just on high holy days, but every day. It’s not only our sins that are forgiven, but the sins of others as well, even those who we think are worse sinners than we are.
Now comes the last part of the Holy Spirit’s job description, and, in some ways for me, the best part. On the last day, which is on the day I die, the Holy Spirit will come for me and carry me to my eternal home. Again, the Holy Spirit is not selective, the Spirit will raise all those who have died, and will bring us all to live with Christ for all eternity. May we in faith then humbly declare that “this is most certainly true.”
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Thomas A. Omholt
Our New Photo Directories
St. Paul's new photo directory is now available to those who had their photo's included in it. Please contact Joy Belew to arrange a time to pick up your directory. If you can't come by the office to get your directory, Lisa Wackler will be distributing them on Sunday July 8th at St. Paul's.
Help With Worship This Summer!
Plan your dates to be a worship assistant !!
This Sunday, May 27th, we will be moving to our Summer Worship Schedule, and we're going to try something new!
Scheduling for the summer can be a little tough as people sort out their summer plans, so we're going to do a trial run of having most Worship Assistants sign up via Signup Genius. This way you can plan ahead and even sign up for more than one Sunday at a time. (Plan your whole summer in advance--what a concept!) Signup Genius will send you a helpful reminder about your service a few days in advance.
To get started, click HERE.
If you are hesitant to use signup genius but still want to serve, please contact Lisa or Joy and they can schedule you. Also, if you have any difficulties using signupgenius, please let us know so we can work out any issues that may come about!
Help the Social Ministry Committee share some summer sunshine with those in need! Please join us each week in the dining room after the 10 AM service between June 24th and August 5th. Projects will take 45-minutes and are geared for helpers of ALL ages, so please join us! We'll make cards, arrange flowers, pack toiletries, clean, and stuff backpacks with school supplies to support populations like new citizens, incarcerated populations, military members, those living in residential medical facilities, individuals experiencing homelessness, and DCPS elementary school students! Please check the bulletin, weekly e-news, and social media for specific info as we get closer to each week's project. If you have any questions or would like to make a monetary donation to offset the cost of supplies, please contact Emily Foley or Lisa Wackler .
First Communion Class Now Forming!
The spring First Communion class is now forming. All children and youth of any age are invited to be a part of first communion instruction. There will be three classes: September 16th, September 23rd, and September 30th, with First Communion taking place on October 14th at the 11 am service. If children cannot make all three of the classes then Pastor Tom can meet with the child individually. If interested or if you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact Pastor Tom.
"From Pastoral Vacancy to Installation"
St. Paul's Journey
To assist the congregation during this transition time from retirement announcement to the installation of a new pastor an informational note concerning the process will be included in the weekly e-news and bulletin insert. Please take a moment to read these weekly notes to gain a better understanding of the process and stimulate discussions among our members.
"The transition from one called rostered leader in your congregation to another can be both exciting and uncertain. The Metropolitan Washington, DC Synod and Bishop will guide your congregation through the process and answer questions. A synod representative will offer to hold a Q&A Session with the congregation to explain the transition process and the call process." (ELCA Handbook)
Rev. Leila Ortiz, Assistant to the Bishop To Speak at St. Paul's
Rev. Leila Ortiz, assistant to Bishop Graham of the Metropolitan Washington DC Synod will visit St. Paul's on Sunday, July 22. She will preach at the 10:00 am worship service, and then will talk about the call process immediately after the service as it applies to St. Paul's Church. Pastor Ortiz has already met with the church council, and now will answer any questions the congregation might have regarding the call process.
FOOD PANTRY DRIVERS REQUESTED
St. Paul's Food Pantry continues to be a success, and we are hoping to add a few more volunteer drivers to our team to keep it running smoothly! We are looking to supplement our existing driver team with new volunteers, who would be able to pick up food at the Capital Area Food Bank once a month or so. The pickup is on Friday mornings, so anyone with a flexible schedule would be ideal!
Please email Pete Schroeder if you are interested in helping out, and keeping members of our community fed!
There are several dates available to donate altar flowers. The cost of the flowers is $65. Flowers can be donated in memory of a loved one, in honor of someone's special event, or in thanksgiving for something special to you.
Dates available: August 12, 19, 26.
Please contact Joy Belew to reserve a date. Thank you.
Ring in Rally Day and the new worship year with the St. Paul's Bell Choir.
We'll be meeting during June, July and early September to prepare for Rally Day and again for double musical treats for Reformation and All Saints Sundays. We'd love to have you join us.
We NEED to have you join us. We have three ringers at present with hopes for a fourth to return.
All you need is a willing heart. There are no age or experience requirements. Bells are of different weights, so strength is not required to join. It is a great opportunity for singles to fellowship as well as an entire family to have a group church activity.
Questions or concerns? Contact director, Karen Leigh Campbell here or in person before or after services.
Report on Annual Congregational Meeting
The Annual Congregational Meeting of St. Paul's Lutheran Church took place on January 28th. At the meeting, the congregation took the following actions:
1. Approved the proposed 2018 budget.
2. Elected the following members to serve:
Copies of the Annual Report are available in the church office.
St. Paul's Food Pantry needs your help! Please consider contributing soups, pasta sauce, peanut butter, canned tuna and canned chicken. Items can be left in the basket in the narthex or the basket in the pantry. Thank You!
In 2018, St. Paul's celebrates its 175th anniversary! Our stewardship theme for this special year is "High - Five for 175!" God's Work. Our Hands. Giving in Gratitude. We are celebrating St. Paul's past and our ministry for the future. God is doing amazing things in our world and in our church and God is doing these amazing things through each of you as you continue along in your own individual journeys of stewardship.
If you have not yet completed and turned in your time and talent survey and financial commitment card - it is not too late!Please prayerfully contemplate and complete the time and talent survey and financial commitment card and return it to the church before the end of the year. Please remember that your commitment for 2018 is in addition to your generous commitment to the Capital Campaign. Thank You!
Update on Stewardship Campaign
As of today, we have received 41 pledge cards. Of these, 3 are new pledges, 20 reflect an increase in giving, 7 were at a decreased level of giving and 11 chose to stay at the same level of giving.
We are looking for people interested in volunteering for this very important church function. It consists of a two member team that works on Sundays after church or Monday for about 1 or 2 hours collecting, counting and recording the offering. The teams are assigned a month at a time, usually 3 or 4 months a year (depending on how many teams we have). Sundays can be switched with other teams. Training and written instructions are provided. Please contact Paula Stewart 410-956-7117 or the church office to volunteer.
The StLuthRef High Schoolers just returned on Sunday, July 1st from attending the ELCA's National Youth Gathering in Houston, Texas. For five days, twenty-five kids and four adult leaders showed the people of Houston and each other what it means to be a child of God, by serving in the community, learning about ministry, attending a synod gathering, worshiping with each other, being a part of the Gathering's "Mass Cast" on opening night, and having a whole lot of fun through it all! And we were in good company, because the triennial event was attended by 31,000 other ELCA Lutherans!
If you'd like to check out some of the many activities that we did, please watch the ELCA's videos posted on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=elca+youth+gathering+2018.
A big thank you to the congregations of St. Paul's, Luther Place, Church of the Reformation, and Augustana for their support! And mark your calendars now, because the next ELCA National Youth Gathering is in Minneapolis, June 29-July 3, 2021.
St. Paul's musician Sonja Kahler will present an organ recital on June 29th-that's a Friday evening at 7:30 pm.
On May 23rd she received a Graduate Performance Diploma from the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University; this marked completion of a two-year, full-time program, on scholarship, of classwork and two big recitals. She will play a combination of music from those two recitals at church on the 29th. The organ of St. Paul's is almost twice as large as the concert-hall organ at Peabody, so the music will sound that much better!
(See you next year!)
Just a reminder that from Sunday, May 27th through Sunday, September 2nd, there is only one worship service at 10 AM.
Also, please note that Sunday School is over until September 9th!
And don't forget! The church nursery is available every Sunday during the summer, 9:45--11:15 am (or until the last child gets picked up). Let us give you a break when you need it!
The 2018 Confirmation bulletin board has been taken down and saved. Each confirmand's picture and Confirmation Scripture verse are clipped together and located on the small table in Deaconess Cassie's office. You are welcome to stop by the office and pick up the packet to add to your Confirmation keepsakes. If you are unable to pick them up and need to make other arrangements please contact Deaconess Cassie.
Sonja Kahler graduates from Peabody program; Will present organ recital at St. Paul's the evening of June 29th!
Today St. Paul's musician Sonja Kahler received a Graduate Performance Diploma in Organ from the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore. This conservatory program takes two full-time academic years to complete, and requires classwork and two significant recitals. Peabody is the oldest music school in the United States, and has been officially linked to Johns Hopkins since 1977.
At Peabody Sonja received the E. Carl Freeman Scholarship in Organ, the Milton H. Miller, Sr. Endowed Scholarship in Organ, and the year-end Richard Ross Memorial Prize in Organ. Her Master of Music is from Northwestern University; her undergraduate studies, in music and journalism, were at (the Lutheran) Valparaiso University.
As part of our on-going celebration of St. Paul's 175th Anniversary, please mark your calendars to join us Wednesday, July 18th, at 6:30 pm for a tour of our fabulous stained glass windows!
We will begin the evening in the Portico for complimentary wine and beer, and take in the windows while we have ample daylight to appreciate them. Come and hear the story of how the stained glass windows came to be, learn about their donors, and discover some of the fun facts and trivia about their design.
After we're done touring the windows, we'll take the party outside and picnic on the lawn outside of St. Paul's, so be sure to bring a blanket (and pray for good weather!).
We are offering a boxed sandwich dinner from Panera if you don't want to bring your own picnic. Cost of the boxed dinner is $15, and can be paid for by cash or check (payable to St. Paul's) All sandwiches include potato chips, pickle spear, and a cookie. Please designate when you RSVP which of the following sandwich choices:
Please RSVP NO LATER THAN MONDAY, JULY 16TH!
We hope you'll join us, and if you have any questions, please contact Lisa Wackler.
Sunday, April 15th, 2018, marked the actual 175th Anniversary of St. Paul's English Lutheran Church. While St. Paul's first service was actually on January 8, 1843, the complete organization of the church was not until April 15th 1843 when the first church council was elected. We had a wonderful celebration to commemorate the special day!
The day began with a festival worship service at which Bishop Graham brought greetings and presided. A brass quartet joined us and all of the choirs (the Bell Choir, Youth Choir and Adult Choir) contributed lovely music to mark the day. The congregation read Psalm 46 in unison, just as was done at St. Paul's Semi-Centennial in 1893.
Following worship, St. Paul's hosted a celebratory luncheon and program. Thomas L. Bowen of DC Mayor's Office of Religious Affairs presented a congratulatory letter from Mayor Muriel Bowser to Pastor Omholt and then led us in Grace.
There was a delicious buffet luncheon and while people were eating there was a video of the construction of the present day church accompanied by music of David Hearn playing the first organ. During dessert, we had a good old fashioned hymn sing!
Following the meal we heard comments from 2 of our Trustees (June Ericsson and David Cox) and then there was a surprise visit from Pastor J.G. Butler who served at ST. Paul's from 1849-1873! He was portrayed by Dwayne Starlin, a professional impersonator and delivered parts of Rev. Butler's famous sermon from the day following President Lincoln's Assassination and answered questions from the audience.
There was also a display highlighting St. Paul's through its 175 years in the baptistry and a new brief history of St. Paul's was available. This display will be evolving throughout the year. If anyone would like to help out with the display, please contact Joy Belew in the church office.
DID YOU KNOW is a weekly feature in observance of St. Paul's 175th Anniversary.
Did you know that a member of St. Paul's was the recipient of the Lamb Award, the national recognition and highest award given to Lutheran adults by the National Lutheran Association on Scouting (NLAS). The award acknowledges distinguished service to foster the spiritual growth of youth through church and civic faith.
Ralph Frederick Bartley was presented the Lamb Award Medal in a special ceremony during St. Paul's Worship Service on Sunday, June 20, 1965. The Scripture lesson was John 21:15-17 in which Jesus responds to Peter to feed my lambs, tend my sheep, feed my sheep. The solo was "The Good Shepherd."
From the award citation, "The example and influence which you have brought to thousands of Scouts and Scouters has been enriched by your service to your own Congregation as a church councilman, committee chairman, and devoted leader."
Ralph Bartley devoted his life to service and leadership in the Boy Scouts. He first joined the Boy Scouts in 1917 and became an Eagle Scout in 1920. As an adult, he served in many Scout leadership roles including the organization of Troop 78 sponsored by St. Paul's. He served as Scoutmaster of several troops, was District Commissioner for the Montgomery District of Maryland, and was recognized with many Scout awards and citations.
As you come across pictures from your own time at St. Paul's, please share them with us , so we can include them on our website, Facebook page, Twitter feed, and in displays around the church. If your pictures are hard copies, we will scan them and return them to you.
As spring turns to summer, we give thanks to our new HVAC system for keeping all parts of the church cool and comfortable for worship, gathering, and fellowship!
We are also thankful for pledges totaling $420,616.00 which represent 47% of our fundraising goal of $900,000. We still have a ways to go, and the Capital Campaign Committee remains dedicated to helping make this "Our Time, Our Turn."
Is now YOUR time and YOUR turn to consider your pledge, or re-consider your existing pledge? Yes! In fact, there have been some recent changes to tax laws affecting how charitable organizations like St. Paul's receive donations.Did you know that after turning age 70 ½, you may make a direct transfer of up to $100,000 to St. Paul's to satisfy all or part of your Required Minimum Distribution? This action is known as a Qualified Charitable Distribution, or QCD for short.
Changes in the tax laws in 2018 eliminate miscellaneous deductions, and state and local taxes are limited to $10,000. Many taxpayers who have no mortgage may qualify for a greater deduction by taking the standard deduction ($12,000 for singles and $24,000 for a couple on a joint return). By using the QCD, an individual or couple could effectively gift funds to charity and still take the standard deduction. This would leverage their tax situation not unlike those who gift appreciated securities. The QCD is tax-free to the charity and the donor is not taxable on the distribution.Such planning could be very effective this year for your annual giving or Capital Campaign contributions at St. Paul's.
Clear as mud? Then we are here to help. Please contact Mike Charlton, Capital Campaign Chair, John Wannen, or the church office if you have questions. They are happy to discuss leveraging your standard deduction for charitable causes, or other ways that you can pledge to the Capital Campaign.
And thank you for continuing to support the Our Time, Our Turn Capital Campaign!