Dear Friends in Christ:

Welcome to St. Paul’s!

I think you will find St. Paul‚Äôs 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 ‚ÄúReconciling in Christ‚ÄĚ 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


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4900 Connecticut Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20008

We are located between Ellicott & Everett Streets NW, between Murch Elementary School and the Fire Station.








St. Paul's Podcasts available online! 






From the Pastor's Desk:

Dear Friends in Christ,

Rally Day was this past Sunday, September 9th. It was a time for St. Paul's to gather for worship and celebrate the ministry that takes place in Jesus' name. The day marks the beginning of Sunday school for adults and children.

I hope that St. Paul's will rally this year in several ways. I hope we will continue to rally around Word and Sacrament. Worship is that precious time when God comes to us in scripture, in the bread and wine, and in baptismal waters. It is a time for us to respond to God's great love for us by offering our songs, our gifts, and ourselves to God's glory. Worship is a healing time. It is a time for the hurting and the helpless to be embraced by the loving arms of the Savior. For those who have stayed away from worship, I pray that the Holy Spirit will lead you back into a more active worship life.

I hope that we will continue to rally around the various educational opportunities at St. Paul's. Christian education is important. Teaching and learning the Bible stories are vital for young and old to grow in faith. I encourage you to participate in Sunday school, Bible study, spirituality groups and other educational events offered throughout the year. Remember also our exciting week of VBS every June for young people to learn in a fun way how much God loves them.

St. Paul's will continue to rally around those who have special needs. By God's grace we will continue to provide food for the hungry, shelter for the homeless, a welcome place for those seeking a Reconciling in Christ congregation.  When natural disasters strike we will rally around those impacted by forming mission teams ready to help.

This was my last Rally Day at St. Paul’s, and so I pray that come November 5 th you will rally around your new interim pastor who will help guide St. Paul’s through an important time of transition. Please give him and eventually your new pastor the love and support you have shown me over the past thirty years.

May God continue to bless you with his grace and hold you in his care now and forever.


Yours in Christ,


 Rev. Thomas A. Omholt                                         


November 4th is All Saints Sunday

This is the day when we remember those who have died, and who still live on in God's heavenly kingdom. It is also the day when we will specifically lift up the names of those members of St. Paul's who have died since the last All Saints Sunday. As is our custom at St. Paul's, we will include the Commemoration of the Saints in worship that Sunday at the 11:00 am worship service. We invite you to write the names of loved ones who have died on name tags (in baskets in the narthex and portico) and they will be placed on the All Saints Banner.


Rev. John R. Spangler  

St. Paul's Interim Pastor 

We are excited to announce that the Council has approved the appointment of our Interim Pastor, Rev. John R. Spangler.  A brief biography is set out below.

The Rev. John R. Spangler, Jr. currently serves as an Interim Pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.  Earlier chapters of his rostered service included Senior VP for Administration for the United Lutheran Seminary in 2017 and from 2000 to 2016 as Executive Assistant to the President for Communication and Planning for the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg.  In that role, he oversaw all areas of communication and campus development, planning and operations as well as the Seminary's affiliated Washington, D.C.-based Luther Institute.  From 2006 to 2013, he also served as President of the Seminary Ridge Historic Preservation Foundation, a seminary subsidiary that created the award-winning Seminary Ridge Museum on the seminary campus.

Ordained by the Lutheran Church in America in 1983, he served as pastor to Christ Lutheran Church, West Boylston, MA in the 1980's and Christ the King Lutheran Church, Nashua, NH in the 1990's.  He also served the New England Synod staff and two bishops as chief communications officer for 15 years.  His educational history includes Carthage College, (B.A.) Kenosha Wisconsin and Yale University Divinity School (M.Div.), New Haven, CT.

Pastor Spangler serves as a board member of the Seminary Ridge Historic Preservation Foundation.  In the past, he has served terms on the Advisory Board of the Lutheran Magazine, the Board of Governors for the Religion Communicators Council (a national interfaith organization for religious communicators), and on the board of the Lutheran Home Care and Hospice program of Spiritrust Lutheran.  He also served on the Board of Main Street Gettysburg.  Pastor Spangler lives in Gettysburg with his wife, the Rev. Dr. Maria E. Erling, Professor of Modern Church History at the United Lutheran Seminary.


News from Lutheran World Relief

 The mission quilts made by Carol Wake and blessed last year at Christ the King Sunday went to Armenia! LWR's partner there is International Orthodox Christian Charities and they distributed the blankets to Syrian refugees as well as vulnerable Armenians struggling in the grip of chronic poverty. Thanks to everyone for your generous donations of fabric and thread for the project. Please know that Carol is still quilting and welcomes any extra fabric and thread for her next batch of quilts. 


Homeless Shelter 

Volunteers Needed


We are looking to the future with excitement for continuing our ministry caring for the homeless in D.C.  We hope to work with our partners from Friendship Place, a leading provider of housing services for the homeless, to implement a new peer model for St. Paul's Shelter.  The peer model focuses on personal empowerment to facilitate connecting people to permanent housing effectively and efficiently, and is a best practice model in transitional housing.  We are looking for members of the congregation to serve on an advisory board to help lead this important ministry.  No experience is needed, just a strong desire to ensure our shelter is a welcoming and supportive transitional space for our residents.  If you are interested, please contact Beth Van Hanswyk or Kate Belinski .   



Prayer Shawl Ministry 

Sunday, October 28, 2018

The Prayer Shawl Ministry will gather on Sunday, October 28 at 10:00 am in Room 209. (4th floor - fifth door to the left in hallway. The group will catch up on current prayer shawl projects, possible new organizations to serve, and informing members of the upcoming "Blessing of the Prayer Shawls." Everyone is welcome to join us to discover how this ministry serves our congregation and surrounding communities. Contact Deaconess Cassie with questions.



Thanksgiving Baskets

November 18, 2018


St. Paul's is again partnering with Friendship Place to provide Thanksgiving baskets for those in need of holiday meals. I have been in touch with the representative at FP and will pass along new information that they are requesting for the baskets. The Thanksgiving display and sign-up sheets will be located in the Portico on October 21st. Information sheets will be available at the display to take home and assist in the assembly of the baskets. All baskets will be blessed during both worship services on November 18th prior to being given to Friendship Place.  

Additional information will be provided in the weeks ahead. November will be a busy time of the year for everyone but I would ask that each of us prayerfully consider participation in this service ministry at Thanksgiving. Make it a family project or simply your individual service to a family - a family that you will never meet but who will be deeply grateful for your gift of a meal. Any basket is a gift to others - new, old, decorated, or even a bag of food. All will be deeply appreciated. If you have any questions contact Deaconess Cassie.


Many Hands Make Light Work!


St. Paul's Sunday School Needs You!!

At this time, St. Paul's does not have a Sexton on site. We need a team of people to volunteer to set up the lower auditorium for Sunday Chapel. Chapel begins at 9:45 am every Sunday morning. The room then needs to be set up for the Murch Extended Day program which comes in Monday morning at 7:30 am. We need to know if you can help immediately, otherwise we have to hire someone to do this. We would like this to start this Sunday and it is not going to be a permanent need! Please let Pastor Tom know if you can help!


Welcome to our new Evangelism Chairs,

Blake and Holly!

Read a note from them HERE!


Parents of College Students: 

Please make sure that the church office has your son's or daughter's college address so we can reach out to them periodically.  

If you have any questions, please contact Lisa Wackler.


Our New Photo Directories 

Have Arrived!!!!

St. Paul's new photo directory is now available to those who had their photo's included in it. The directory is available for pickup on Sundays or you can contact Joy Belew to arrange a time to come to the office to get yours.



"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.

NOTE #9 - "Tween Time"

St. Paul's seems to be in an area of "tween time" as we move through the process of calling a new pastor. The congregation has begun to emotionally and spiritually accept Pastor Omholt's retirement while at the same time moving through the procedural process of prayerfully extending a divine call. The interim pastor will be announced shortly and the members of St. Paul's will seek ways to support his/her ministry among us. So, what now? Well, there isn't a lot that can be done at this point - it's that "in between time." The leadership and congregation are in a "between time" prior to the introduction of our interim and the appointing of a Transition Team who will help establish a ministry relationship between the pastor and congregation.

What do we do with the "tween time"? Let's use this time to be in prayer both individually and as a congregation. As St, Paul's, part of the body of Christ moves into a more active phase of the call process let us pray for God's guidance and direction on the journey. Let us daily reflect on these words of wisdom from the Book of Proverbs:

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding: In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6.

(Handbook from the Metropolitan Washington D.C. Synod - ELCA)

                        -- Deaconess Cassie



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!

Please consider a donation to the food pantry. We are in real need of soups, canned tuna and meats, canned fruits and vegetables, canned beans, pasta and pasta sauce, rice, cereal. Also, any type of toiletry is always appreciated-deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, soaps, toilet paper, Kleenex.

You can leave the donations in the basket in the narthex or by the white cupboards in the hall by the kitchen.

Many thanks.


Donors Needed for Altar Flowers

Donors Needed for Altar Flowers

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. Date available: November 25th. 

 Please contact Joy Belew to reserve a date. Thank you. 


Prime Time

Click Here for more information about the Prime Time Senior Center.null

Our Prime Time Members participating in a meditative activity using Tibetan Singing Bowls.




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.










Special Note:

There will be one worship service at 11 am on Sunday, October 28th (Reformation) as well as Sunday, November 4th (Pastor Tom's final service and also All Saints Sunday).

(The 8:30 am worship service will resume on November 11th.)



Regular Schedule of Sunday Services

8:30 am:  Worship Service

9:45 am:  Sunday School--Epiphany Chapel

11:00 am:  Worship Service




                                             Image result for young kids 

And don't forget!  The church nursery is available every Sunday 10:30 am--12:30 pm (or until the last child gets picked up).  Let us give you a break when you need it!


St. Paul's Reformation Lunch

Sunday, October 28th


Plese join us immediately after the 11 O'clock Service on Sunday,

October 28th for a German-inspired luncheon and the opportunity to celebrate the 501st Reformation Day!

We will gather outside, weather-permitting (and inside in the Fellowship Hall, if not). We need volunteers to help with set-up and breakdown for this event. Please contact Lisa Wackler if you are able to assist. 

This is not a potluck, so you don't need to sign up to bring anything-just come and enjoy each other's company!

And if you want to continue celebrating, there is a Reformation Worship Service at the Washington National Cathedral at 4:00 p.m. hosted by the ELCA Metro D.C. Synod. 


So what exactly is a cantata?

And what about the one on Sunday, October 28th?

A cantata is a vocal genre of the Baroque era, which lasted from around 1600 to 1750 (with the death of J.S. Bach literally marking the end of an era). A cantata consists of variable mixes of solos, duets and larger-ensemble pieces, with instrumental accompaniment ranging from a couple of instruments to a small orchestra. When cantatas originated in Italy early in the 17th century, they were distinctly secular works created for social gatherings. As this vogue spread beyond Italy, numerous composers in England, France, and the German-speaking countries set texts in their own languages and adapted the Italian musical models. Cantatas evolved into miniature oratorios in even more varied styles in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries elsewhere in Europe and the United States. 

The Lutheran cantata (or chorale cantata) is a descendant of the Lutheran motet (meaning a serious, sacred choral work that was not necessarily directly liturgical) that, as the form developed in Germany in the 17th century, adapted various characteristics from the Italian cantatas. Pastor Erdmann Neumeister (1671-1756) put an especially Lutheran stamp on this growing repertory by creating several cycles of cantata texts, mostly poetic paraphrases of Scriptural passages specific to various feasts of the church year. The musical bases of Lutheran cantatas became the chorales, the hymn style created by Martin Luther: strong, metrical tunes adapted from older sources, in the modern language of the people. Within the Lutheran worship service, sacred cantatas functioned as sermons in music on the lessons of the day, preceding the actual sermon itself (similar to our Hymn of the Day).

Many German Lutheran composers both before and after J.S. Bach wrote chorale cantatas, but he brought them to their artistic apex, using chorale melodies in very diverse and often elaborate ways. However, despite the variety among the hundreds of J.S. Bach's cantatas, the last movement of each is a relatively simple setting of a chorale melody, such as the congregation might sing as a hymn.


The cantata you'll hear on October 28th at the single, 11:00 festival service was written for the Feast of the Reformation in 1725, when J.S. Bach was 40 years old. It has three movements for choir, two solos and a duet (that will be sung as a quartet). It is a beautiful 15 minutes, not long, especially when we consider that in Bach's day a church service could last four hours, with a sermon of one to two hours, in a church with no climate control! Bach directed this piece, played the organ and led the choir all morning at St. Thomaskirche in Leipzig, then hurried across town to the Nikolaikirche and did it all again later that day.

We, along with the choir and guest orchestra, are looking forward to presenting Bach's cantata number 79, Gott der Herr ist Sonn und Schild (God the Lord is sun and shield), October 28th. Please invite your friends, and we hope to see you there!


Celebration of Tom and Barbara's many years of service to St. Paul's


We are planning two main events to commemorate Pastor Tom's upcoming retirement and to show our appreciation and recognition of Tom and Barbara's lifetime of service to St. Paul's and its members. We hope to see you there!

October 21st Dinner Party at the Chevy Chase Club:  On Sunday, October 21st from 5:30-8:30 pm, St. Paul's will host a dinner at the Chevy Chase Club to honor and celebrate Pastor Tom's many years of outstanding service to St Paul's Lutheran Church. Complimentary valet parking will be provided and the evening will feature an hour long cocktail reception followed by a three-course dinner and program.  There is a charge of $50 per person to help cover the cost of the event. This evening event is intended for adults only. If by any chance you have not received an invitation and are interested in attending, PLEASE call the office at 202-966-5489! 


November 4th Post-Service Reception: There will also be a family friendly luncheon in the lower auditorium at St. Paul's following the 11:00 am service on Sunday, November 4th (there is only one service that day).  This will be the last service officiated by Pastor Tom and our final opportunity to bid a fond farewell to Tom and Barbara.  In the best St. Paul's tradition, this will be an organized potluck, and, of course, the famous strawberry shortcake cake will be served.    


Seeking 10 Confirmation Sponsors

This year we are blessed to havethirteen students in our Confirmation class.  The Confirmands are a  combination of first-year students in the 7th grade, and second-year students in the 8th grade.

Confirmation students will spend this year learning what it means to be Christian, discussing our faith and what God says about living our lives in the way that Jesus taught us. We will also study Martin Luther's small catechism to see what this reformer-(and father of the Protestant faith)-says about faith and grace, and what we as Lutherans believe.

One of the most important things we can do as a congregation is support these students as they make this journey toward the Affirmation of their Baptism.  We hope to pair each one of our Confirmation students with a Confirmation Sponsor from the congregation.

What does a Confirmation Sponsor do?  It's very simple! 

Confirmation Sponsors will periodically reach out to their Confirmand by phone, text, email, or snail mail.  Extensive knowledge of the Bible or the Confirmation process is not  required...just a desire to help and get to know your Confirmand, and a commitment to keeping him or her in your prayers! If interested, please contact  Lisa Wackler.

Image result for Confirmation


St. Paul's Celebrates 175 Years!


175th Anniversary of St. Paul's!


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 during St. Paul's Vacation Bible School some very special individuals join in the learning and fun?

While on an icy mountain expedition, Trek stopped by to show how God's awesome power guides through life's challenges. Clark Cavern, struggling spelunker, learned that Jesus is the one who lights our way and gives us hope. Grumpy Roman Guard Brutus who watched over Paul in prison, but eventually discovered God's love. Castaway Jimmy Noland experienced that Jesus carries us through life's storms.

Whenever Trek, Clark Cavern, Brutus, and Jimmy Noland made appearances, the VBS participants loved it. Interestingly, each and everyone of them looked a lot like Pastor Tom. 

On the final day of VBS, there was always a big "reveal" to the delight of the children with lots of  "I knew it was Pastor Tom!" 




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.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact Lisa or Joy in the Church Office.



Happy 175th Anniversary, St. Paul's!


Our Mission Team in Houston, Texas, last November!