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
Memorial Service for Florence Adam
There will be a Memorial Service held at St. Paul's for Florence Adam on Monday, May 21st at 11 am. Florence was a longtime member of St. Paul's and she died on May 5th at the age of 89.
Supply Drive for Friendship Place
Confirmand Hana Rihani is participating in an 8th grade service project at Deal Middle School. The service project is a supply drive in support of Friendship Place, an organization that helps homeless families in DC, specifically homeless mothers who are struggling to raise their children in our area.
Please consider contributing to this project. You can donate different things, and anything is appreciated.
You can easily pick any of these items up at Target, CVS, Walgreen's, Safeway, Giant, Harris Teeter, or any pharmacy. If contributing gift cards or cash is easier for you, Hana will use those contributions to go shopping for the supplies the women need. Items can be left in the Portico or Narthex in the bins marked "Friendship Place."
If you have any specific questions about the project, please direct those to Liz Rihani at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your support!
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 (Dates to be determined). 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.
Back by popular demand, the 2018 St. Paul's Night at Nationals Park will take place on Friday, May 18. This year's opponent will be none other than the Los Angeles Dodgers, coming off their appearance in the 2017 world series. The cost for the tickets, which as usual will be in the third-base gallery under cover in case of rain, is $20, same as last year. For further details and to reserve tickets, please contact Gail Ferris at email@example.com
A few weeks ago Pastor Omholt announced his intention to retire as Pastor in November. With this announcement St. Paul's began the journey of seeking a new pastor to lead the congregation forward into future years of ministry and service. As we begin this pastoral call process let us be mindful of our need to pray for God's presence in the discussions and the divine gift of the Holy Spirit's guidance in the call process.
In upcoming weeks informational notes regarding the call process will be in the bulletin insert. These notes will be direct quotes that are included in the "From Pastoral Vacancy to Installation. A Handbook from the Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Synod" publication. Watch for weekly notes. Contact Pastor Omholt with any questions.
"The Process Begins" At this point, the congregation prepares for the departure of an outgoing leader and the synod assists in reviewing the call process with the congregation and determining the congregation's interim ministry needs.
St. Paul's Food Pantry is a wonderful, hands-on way to do God's work in DC! The food pantry operates on the first and third Saturday of each month from 10am to noon and serves approximately 50 low-income families from across DC who come to St. Paul's to stock up on fresh produce, frozen meats, canned goods and toiletries. Volunteers help set-up the food starting at 9am and are usually finished with clean-up by 12:15. We encourage volunteers of all ages (including students seeking community service credits). If you are interested in learning more about the food pantry or volunteering please contact Kate Belinski at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our most immediate need is for this Saturday, April 21st - please let Kate know if you can pitch in!
Prayer Shawl Ministry
May 27, 2018 - NOTE: Time Change
The Prayer Shawl Ministry will gather in the dining area adjacent to the lower auditorium on Sunday, May 27th at 9:15 am.
The members continue to provide on-going comfort and caring to those in the forms of bed blankets, prayer shawls, NICU blankets, and baptismal blankets. If you are interested in learning more about how this ministry serves the congregation and surrounding communities, come join us for a cup of coffee and some great fellowship.If you have any questions please contact Deaconess Cassie.
FPA Theater's Martin Luther on Trial Returns to DC!
A trial for the soul of Martin Luther, and the prosecutor...is the Devil. In the new original play Martin Luther on Trial , Luther's beloved wife Katarina defends him as witnesses including Adolf Hitler, Sigmund Freud, Rabbi Josel, St. Paul, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Pope Francis take the stand. Five hundred years since Luther ignited the Protestant Revolt against Rome, he continues to spark intense debate. You be the judge in this witty, provocative exploration of one of history's most explosive personalities and the religious and political controversies he unleashed.
The Fellowship for the Performing Arts is returning this production to the DC area May 31st--June 3rd, with performances at the Lansburgh Theatre in downtown Washington, DC. Tickets are $39-$89. For more information, special offers, or to purchase tickets, visit FPA's website at FPATheatre.com.
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: July 15, 29
Please contact Joy Belew (email@example.com) to reserve a date. Thank you.
VBS: “Shipwrecked: Saved by Jesus” is Coming Soon!
Mark your calendars, because St. Paul’s Vacation Bible School, Shipwrecked: Saved by Jesus, is June 18th-22nd, from 9:00 am until 12:00 noon.
Join us as we will learn about how Jesus helps us with our struggles, through worship, crafts, outdoor play, Bible study, and song. We will even have a Bible-themed snack every day!
Kids aged three (and potty-trained, please) through completed 5th Grade are invited to join in the fun. Older kids (completed 6th Grade and up) and adults are welcome to help with the programming!
Cost of the program is $80 per child (with a $160 family maximum) if you register by Monday, June 10th. (After June 10th, the price goes up to $100 per child, with a $200 family maximum.)
There is also an option for Extended Day programming from 12:00 noon until 4:00 pm every day. The cost for the Extended Day programming is $100 per child, and space is limited. St. Paul’s parishioners will be given priority registration for Extended Day until June 1st.
For a registration form, please contact Joy in the church office at 202-966-5489, or click HERE.
American Red Cross Babysitter's Training Class - Sunday, June 10th
St. Paul's is offering a Red Cross Babysitting Class for any interested youth in the congregation. It will be held on Sunday, June 10, 2018 11:30 am - 6:00 pm in the lower auditorium. The class is open to all children/youth between the ages of 11 - 16 years of age. The class will be conducted by a certified ARC training instructor. The class will consist of instructional, DVD presentation, and demonstrations by the students of various lifesaving technics. Upon successful completion of the class participants will receive an ARC Babysitting Class Certification card. The class is limited to 12 participants. The cost of the course is $85.00. Please make checks payable to TFC Lifesavers. Families are encouraged to contact Pastor Omholt if there is a need for financial assistance. Payment is requested in advance or on the day of the class. A lite lunch will be provided for all participants prior to the beginning of class. The sign-up sheet is located in the Portico. If you have any questions please contact Deaconess Cassie.
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.
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!
This past Sunday 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 May 20, 1843 is a significant date for St. Paul's? On that date - 175 years ago this week - John Peter Van Ness, a noted politician, military officer, landowner, and philanthropist in Washington, DC, responded to a request made by a group of St. Paul's women. They had visited him to ask for a donation of a suitable site for a church building. According to the "History of St. Paul's English Lutheran Church" by Samuel Domer, "They were kindly received, and after a friendly conversation, which was favorable to their mission, he expressed a desire to see the pastor in order to cover with him on the subject." General Van Ness met with the Reverend A.A. Mueller and on May 20, 1843, he sent a lengthy letter to Reverend Mueller outlining the terms of the donation. On the same day, Reverend Mueller assembled the Church Council to read the letter to which they unanimously agreed.
There were stipulations to the offer. St. Paul's had to prove in good faith that construction of a church building would actually take place. From General Van Ness's letter, "Without going into unnecessary details, I hereby pledge myself to convey the lot referred to above, in trust or otherwise, for the appropriate purpose, as may be indicated and desired by the fathers of your congregation, so soon as such a proportion of the estimated means shall have been obtained for application to the intended work, and such a foundation shall have been laid as to justify a reasonable confidence in its completion."
In an interesting side note, the original church building could have been located elsewhere than at 11th and H Street NW. In a letter from General Van Ness dated April 2, 1844, "At the insistence of the Church Council of the English Lutheran Church of the city of Washington . . . Lot number 11 in square 319 has been substituted and is accepted in lieu of the lot in square 227.
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.
We are excited to report that as of this writing, we've had 71 commitments totaling $372,616 for the Our Time, Our Turn Capital Campaign. Thank you to all who have taken the step of turning in their pledge cards. Your early commitment to this campaign is much appreciated!
For those of you who have not yet committed, we need you now more than ever as we have a ways to go to reach our goal of $900,000. There is still time to fill out a pledge card--pick one up in the Portico, the Narthex, or by clicking HERE. Remember that your pledge-no matter the size-is crucial to the success of the Capital Campaign.
Do you need help figuring out how to take the next step? Please contact Mike Charlton, the Chair of the Capital Campaign. Mike can discuss with you the various ways that you can contribute to the Our Time, Our Turn Capital Campaign.