Welcome to St. Paul’s!
We 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,
Beth Van Hanswyk, Council President
We are located between Ellicott & Everett Streets NW, between Murch Elementary School and the Fire Station.
Mark Your Calendars: Congregational Meeting This Sunday, December 9th after 11 am Service
Please join us for an important Congregational Meeting to be held on Sunday, December 9th after the 11 am service. The Congregation will be asked to vote on a recommendation from the Church Council that St. Paul's sell the Maryland parsonage at 5602 Kirkwood Drive, Bethesda. For more information, please see the message from Church Council President, Beth Van Hanswyk below.
Message from Church Council President
Dear St. Paul's Members-
As most of you know, St. Paul's has been blessed to own two residential properties, the DC parsonage on Ellicott Street next to the church and the Maryland parsonage in Bethesda. Pastor Tom and Barbara lived in the Maryland parsonage for all 34 years of their time at St. Paul's. The DC parsonage has been used for a variety of purposes over the years, including housing for interns and vicars and as a homeless women's shelter. Both properties are currently empty. After careful consideration, the Church Council has unanimously voted to recommend to the Congregation that St. Paul's sell the Maryland parsonage. There will be a Congregational meeting on December 9, after the 11 am service for the Congregation to discuss and act on a motion to sell the Maryland parsonage.
The Council believes the sale of the Maryland parsonage is the most appropriate and fiscally responsible path forward for St. Paul's. First, a portion of the proceeds of that sale (approximately $400,000) is needed to pay off the rest of the $900,000+ loan St. Paul's borrowed in order to purchase the new HVAC system for the church. Congregational donations and pledges from the Capital Campaign have successfully raised about $500,000 towards the loan amount. Please note that $500,000 reflects commitments made by members over the three-year life of the Capital Campaign, so it is very important that you continue to meet your Capital Campaign commitments!
Second, some portion of the proceeds from the sale of the house would be used to address deferred maintenance and long over due updates to the DC parsonage on Ellicott Street. This is the parsonage that will be offered to our new pastor. We have been told by the synod that pastors do want to live in a parsonage (especially in high priced urban areas like DC) and they want to live in the community where the church is located. We believe the renovated DC parsonage will be a very attractive benefit to a pastor considering our call. It is also a good and necessary investment to this very valuable church asset.
The remaining proceeds from the sale of the house would be added to the church's capital reserves to be available for new ministries and programs here at St. Paul's. Finally, the Council concluded that we do not have the need in the foreseeable future for two parsonages, nor the staff resources to maintain and manage two residential properties.
Please join us on December 9 to discuss and vote on this important motion. We need a quorum of at least 50 members. Please feel free to reach out to me or the other members of the Council with your thoughts and questions.
Church Council President
Please Welcome Pastor John Spangler, St. Paul's new Interim Pastor!
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.
Three weeks into retirement, and I'm still thinking I need to get ready for a council meeting, or prepare a sermon, or find the biggest Christmas tree to be decorated for the Hanging of the Greens this Saturday. Knowing that others are now doing all of those things and much more, I guess I can now rest a bit, and embrace and enjoy days of re-creation.
Barbara, our dog Abi, and I, along with a truckload of stuff accumulated over 34 years, made it safely to our home at Deep Creek Lake on Election Day, November 6. Jeff Koch was a tremendous help with the move, along with his brother Dick, and two good Samaritans, Will and Ernesto. After unpacking many boxes, we are just now seeing the floor to our garage. Some of the boxes contained my stoles, books, letters, diplomas, and pictures, and I immediately gave thanks to God for all of you.
The farewell dinner at the Chevy Chase Club on October 21 was a joyous occasion that touched our hearts, and will always be remembered. Members of St. Paul's as well as friends and neighbors outside of the church gathered for a feast of fine food and fellowship, and to share memories of three decades of ministry in Washington. The slide show put together by Bill Heffley truly captured all 34 years of our time at St. Paul's. I was moved to see how many hands were raised when Beth Van Hanswyk asked how many had been involved with a baptism, wedding, confirmation or funeral that I had conducted.
Then came All Saints Sunday, my last Sunday at St. Paul's. I want to thank Karen Campbell and the bell choir along with the youth choir for the lovely prelude, Marcia Perez, John Lesane, and Karen Brunn for helping me with "When Peace Like a River", and Matt Larson and Sonja Kahler and the adult choir with a stirring "Sanctus" by Gunod. As much as I love the hymn "For All the Saints," I had a hard time getting through it knowing it would be the last time I would sing it at St. Paul's Church.
I want to thank all of you who came to worship that day. It looked like an Easter crowd. Thank you. Thank you, as well for the lovely reception following the service. Thank you for the gifts that we received, and the beautiful portrait, a gift that you will live with, and hopefully not wince in pain when you look at it. I am grateful for the farewell monetary gift, and I thank all who contributed to the cause.
Another reason why I can now relax and enjoy retirement, is knowing that St. Paul's is in good and faithful hands. Inspired leadership from Deaconess Cassie Brown, Lisa Wackler, Joy Belew, Sonja Kahler and Matt Larson, Adrian Parau, Anya Burt, Beth Van Hanswyk and Church Council, Tammy and Rod Larson, Tim Boldt, Ivanna Hollar, wonderful ministry chairs, a gifted interim pastor, John Spangler, and a great transition team, has placed St. Paul's at the beginning of a great new day of sharing the Good News.
Thanks again for all of your love and support over the years. Barbara and I will think of you often, and will hold you in our prayers.
Rev. Thomas A. Omholt
Request from Transition Committee
The transition committee has met twice and will be sharing their plans with the congregation in the coming weeks. In the meantime, they have asked that the congregation pray for our future Pastor wherever he or she may be right now.
Our Transition Committee members are eager to hear from everyone in the Congregation about your thoughts and ideas about the ministries of St. Paul's and what we should be looking for in a new pastor. Contact information for the committee members is below:
St. Paul's 2018 Advent playlist is available at spotify. Click here for link.
The Empty Bowls Project "Souper Bowl" Sunday!
January 13, 2019 & February 3, 2019
Mark your calendars and come join the fun on Sunday January 13th in the lower auditorium! St. Paul's is again partnering with "All Fired Up" of Bethesda to sponsor the fourth "Souper Bowl" Sunday. "All Fired Up" will bring their mobile van complete with the pottery, paints, and brushes to St. Paul's. The unpainted soup bowls will be provided by St. Paul's. Everyone will gather in the lower auditorium to show their creative skills by painting their own soup bowl. The project will focus on feeding the hungry in the Metropolitan/DC region. All funds received from this project will benefit St. Paul's Food Pantry to assist in the on-going efforts to feed the hungry in our community. A lite lunch will be available for all participants.
The project will consist of two parts: 1) January 13th will be the painting of each participant's soup bowl which will take place in the lower auditorium following the 11:00 am
worship service. 2) The "Souper Bowl Sunday" Luncheon will take place on February 3rd following the 11:00 am worship. All painted bowls will be on display on tables prior to the luncheon and then, claimed by their "artist." Everyone will be served a meal of soup, bread, and a small salad. The focus of the project and especially the meal will be the ever-increasing numbers of individuals and families experiencing the lack of adequate nutrition, resulting in the unrelenting pangs of hunger on a daily basis. If you are unable to sign up prior to the event, please come and participate. Walk-Ins are welcome! "All Fired Up" will have extra bowls available for additional participants.
A display and sign-up sheets will be located in the portico on December 9, 2018. NOTE: The information is being made available at this early date due to the rapidly approaching busy holiday season. More information will be provided in the upcoming weeks. Contact Deaconess Cassie with questions.
NOTE: February 3: For all of the Super Bowl fans - you will be finished and on your way home by 2:00 pm.
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.
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 .
Read a note from them HERE!
Kids, Teenagers, Adults
CareNotes are again available for all ages in the congregations. The Booklets are located in the narthex and the portico. Take a few minutes to see if there are any that may be helpful to smaller children, teenagers, and various topics that adults find challenging. Contact Deaconess Cassie if there are other topics that would be of interest to you.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Are you or someone you know looking for an enriching, life-giving summer job experience? Our 2019 summer staff application is now live! Spend the summer with us building your leadership skills, connecting with children and youth, and developing your faith. Full-time and part-time positions available. Click HERE for more info.
Are you ready for summer camp 2019?! Our brochure is now available online. Take a look at the programs offered for 2019, including a brand-new "Extended Stay" program for senior high youth! Online registration for all programs begins January 1st. Click HERE for more info.
Sunday, Dec. 16: Third Sunday of Advent
Come and worship as we light the third candle on our advent wreath at the 8:30 am and 11 am worship services.
Sunday, Dec. 23rd: Fourth Sunday of Advent
We will gather for worship at one service at 11 am for our traditional Service of Lessons and Carols. This beautiful service is a wonderful way to prepare for the coming of Christ our Lord as we recount the foretelling of the prophets and the story of Christ's birth.
The conclusion of the service will feature the Sunday School Christmas Pageant.
Monday, Dec. 24: Christmas Eve
Worship with a special focus on children and families at 4 pm.
Festival Candlelight Service at 8 pm. Both services with Holy Communion.
Special Musical Prelude at 7:40 pm
No service on Christmas Day.
Sunday, Dec. 30: First Sunday of Christmas
We will gather for worship at one service at 11 am.
Sunday Jan. 6th: Celebration of the Epiphany of our Lord
We will gather for worship at one service at 11 am.
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!
On Dec. 15, 2018, share the heart of Christmas with the people of Bethlehem. Palestinian Christians, whose ancestors date back to the first followers of Christ, continue to bear witness to their faith in Bethlehem, Palestine, this Christmas. Join with congregations at Washington National Cathedral and Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem for this 12th annual Simulcast Christmas Service celebrating the birth of the Prince of Peace. Join us onsite at the Washington National Cathedral, 3101 Wisconsin Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20016, watch live online, cathedral.org youtube.com/wncathedral.
* Readings, prayers and carols in both English and Arabic alternate between Washington, DC and Bethlehem via live simulcast
* Open to the public and to people of all faiths
* For additional information, please contact: email@example.com
Please join us as a shepherd or an angel for the 4 pm Christmas Eve Service! All generations are welcome and no experience is necessary. Participating in this special service is great fun! To sign up or if you have questions, please contact Lisa Wackler (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Please join us for a cross-generational event as we celebrate Los Posadas ("the inns,") a celebration of Mary and Joseph's journey to Bethlehem, and their search for a place to stay. Las Posadas is traditionally celebrated in countries such as Mexico, Guatemala, and Cuba (just to name a few!) from December 16th-24th.
We will start with dinner at 6:30 in the church Dining Room and a brief discussion of the holiday and what it means. Then we will move upstairs to the nave where we can have our very own Las Posadas procession!
Take a break from your own hectic holiday planning and spend an evening at the church, and learn about how others wait for Jesus during this Advent season.
If you have any questions, please contact Lisa Wackler.
We are looking for gifts for the men of the St. Paul's shelter. We are still looking for specific requests from the men about things that they need, but please consider donating gift cards that the guys can use to buy lunch or toiletries--(Panera, Starbucks, and CVS are a few suggestions).
And don't forget that our Shelter Meal Coordinator, Debra Fried Levin, is always looking for volunteers to bring in food for the men's dinner--including the Christmas Day potluck.
If you're interested in helping, please contact Lisa Wackler .
To reiterate the piece in the November 28th e-news, we are celebrating the Magnificat during all of Advent at St. Paul's, as liturgical Year C, centered around the gospel of Luke, began on Sunday, December 2nd. The Magnificat, or Song of Mary, is unique to Luke's gospel. On the 2nd we heard an organ setting by J.S. Bach, one of hundreds of organ Magnificats written especially for Lutheran service use.
On Saturday, Dec. 15th at 5 pm, the Cantate chamber singers will perform a concert at St. Paul's that includes J.S. Bach's Magnificat in D.
Next morning, on Sunday the 16th at the 11am service, the choir will sing a Magnificat setting by American composer Gerald Near. And on Sunday the 23rd, the fourth Sunday of Advent, when the account of the Magnificat is specified in the readings, we will hear a version for soprano and organ by American composer Calvin Hampton. (Just one service that day, at 11am, with children's pageant following the traditional Lessons & Carols format.)
Luke's opening account is very dramatic, with so many miraculous events happening in just the first chapter: the angel Gabriel meeting Zechariah in the temple; Zechariah's muteness from disbelief; old Elizabeth's pregnancy with John the Baptist; Gabriel's conversation with Mary (the Annunciation); Mary's visit to Elizabeth and Elizabeth's prophetic greeting; Mary's lovely song in response; the birth of John the Baptist; and Zechariah's song of prophecy in gratitude for it, after months of enforced silence. All this between verses 5 and 80 in Luke, chapter 1.
The Magnificat: Song of Mary
Luke 1: 46-55
And Mary said,
"My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly;
He has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy,
according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and to his descendants forever."
-Sonja Kahler & Matt Larson, music directors
The Great O Antiphon Countdown: the final week of the Church's Advent calendar
So what is this? This special countdown always starts on December 17, for the last seven days of Advent. This year, Dec. 17 is next Monday, the day after the third Sunday of Advent. The O Antiphons are one of the Western Christian Church's oldest traditions, dating from the time of Charlemagne (eighth century) or even earlier. They have been called "the great Os" for hundreds of years; the word "antiphon" comes via ecclesiastical Latin from Greek antiphōna 'harmonies,' neuter plural of antiphōnos 'responsive,' from anti 'in return' + phōnē 'sound.' The Great O Antiphons are a set of refrains originally used before and after the singing of the Magnificat (Mary's Song) in the Vespers (evening) service. Catholics, Lutherans and Episcopalians sing them the most, although nonliturgical churches now use them too, often in spoken form.
Each refrain or petition begins with "O" and one of the special titles given to the Messiah by the prophet Isaiah. And then each petition asks Jesus to come and save us in a particular way, also as described in Isaiah's prophecy. Using these Old Testament titles reflects Israel's yearning for the Messiah, and they help us express our own hopes and expectations as we wait for Christ's return.
During the twelfth century, these antiphons were loosely transcribed into a Latin hymn. In the mid 1800s English linguistics scholar John Mason Neale translated that into English; a later descendant of his version is now sung as the lyrical paraphrase "O come, O come, Emmanuel" (ELW #257). The fifteenth-century French processional chant that fits this text so well is traceable to a copy written out for a Franciscan convent.
This quintessential Advent hymn (a verse at a time) has served as our Advent wreath-lighting hymn this December.
The beautiful language of the individual O Antiphons works well as part of daily devotions in the final week of Advent, as meditations taped to a mirror or door, et cetera.
-Sonja Kahler & Matt Larson, music directors
The O Antiphons:
December 17 (O Sapienta)
coming forth from from the mouth of the Most High, reaching from one end to the other, mightily and sweetly ordering all things:
Come and teach us the way of prudence.
December 18 (O Adonai)
and leader of the House of Israel, who appeared to Moses in the fire of the burning bush and gave him the law on Sinai:
Come and redeem us with an outstretched arm.
December 19 (O Radix Jesse)
O root of Jesse,
standing as a sign among the peoples; before you kings will shut their mouths, to you the nations will make their prayer:
Come and deliver us, and delay no longer.
December 20 (O Clavis David)
O Key of David and scepter of the House of Israel;
you open and no one can close; you close and no one can open:
Come and lead the prisoners from the prison house, those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.
December 21 (O Oriens)
O Morning Star,
splendor of light eternal and sun of righteousness:
Come and enlighten those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.
December 22 (O Rex Gentium)
O King of the nations,
the ruler they long for, the cornerstone uniting all people:
Come and save us all, whom You formed out of clay.
December 23 (O Emmanuel)
our king and our Lord, the hope of the nations and their Savior:
Come and save us, O Lord our God.
A thank you to all the community friends and members of St. Paul's who provided Thanksgiving baskets for Friendship Place. The baskets were wonderfully filled with all the foods that created a holiday meal for families in need at Thanksgiving. Friendship Place expressed their thanks for all of the baskets.
Thank you to all of the Prayer Shawl members who have worked so faithfully to provide shawls, blankets, lap covers, and hats to our members, family, and friends. The display of these prayers gifts on November 18th stood as a testament to the ministry's commitment to provide love, prayers, and compassion to those in need. May God continue to bless the efforts of your hearts and hands.
Last year, our Christmas pageant costumes received a nice uplift. But with the pageant quickly approaching, we need some assistance with enhancing our new Christmas pageant costumes. We need both sewers (hand and machine), and some donations. Please let us know if you are interested in helping - you can contact Christi Barnhart or Amy Moorhus Baumgardner or on her cell phone - 301.602.4729.
Gifts of Hope is our Synod's alternative gift giving program which enables people to give gifts that reflect the gift God gave us, God's Son Jesus Christ. Please consider substituting a Gift of Hope for a more traditional gift on your list for friends and family, or supplementing those other gifts with a donation that will lighten the lives of others this Christmas season.
This program gives anyone the opportunity to purchase a practical gift to help our brothers and sisters in the DC area and around the world. Real challenges of homelessness and poverty continue to grow in our community, and there are needs across the globe that call for our attention. With Gifts of Hope, you will have the opportunity to choose from a group of Lutheran social ministry organizations, camps, and our synod's companion synods abroad to directly support their mission and programs. Many children in the Washington area and throughout the world have benefited from Gifts of Hope by receiving books, camp scholarships, free lunches, and educational trips. Social ministry organizations, Lutheran camps, and Lutheran Churches in El Salvador, Namibia and Slovakia have also benefited from Gifts of Hope.
Beginning on Sunday, December 2, you can make a monetary contribution in honor of those on your gift list. Your contribution goes to the beneficiary organization to purchase the gifts you have selected. View all the participating organizations on the back of the catalog or on the web.
Gifts of Hope catalogs will be available in our congregation on Sunday, November 25. Watch for the display after each service beginning December 2 and ending December 23 in St. Paul's narthex. You can review the gifts, fill out an order form, and purchase your gifts. You will receive a beautiful card and insert to use as the gift. For more information about Gifts of Hope see the web site, or contact Rebecca Highsmith, or at 202.309.2812.
In honor of our 175th anniversary, we ordered a limited run of custom pewter finish ornaments featuring St. Paul'son the front with the dates of our anniversary (1843-2018) and a quote from Martin Luther on the back: "Now the church is not wood and stone, but the company of believing people."
Each ornament is $25, and checks may be made out to St. Paul's.
To purchase an ornament, or if you have any questions about the ornaments, please contact Lisa Wackler at . They will also be available for purchase on Sunday.
DID YOU KNOW is a weekly feature in observance of St. Paul's 175th Anniversary.
DID YOU KNOW that St. Paul's choir was featured in the Washington Post Rotogravure Section published on December 25, 1932?
The headline declared "Some Prominent Capital Choirs To Be Heard In Christmas Programs." Along with St. Paul's, choirs showcased included Washington Cathedral Choir, St. Thomas Episcopal Church Choir, and National Baptist Memorial Church Choir, and others.
Joe Tenschert, a well-known DC photographer who specialized in group portraits and panoramic photographs, took the photographs. St. Paul's Choir photograph was taken in the lower worship area before the reredos, ornamental screen covering the wall at the back of an altar, was installed.
Reverend Henry Snyder is standing center, bottom row. Edith Stowell, Director of Music, is center, top row. She had also served as Director of Music at Epiphany Lutheran prior to the merger with St. Paul's.
Some history and explanation. Beginning in the early 20th century, rotogravure was the printing process used for high quality pictorial sections of newspapers and magazines so hence the name for that section in the Washington Post in 1932.
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.
Our next StLuthRef meeting is Sunday, December 16th, 1-4 pm, at Luther Place. Youth grades 7-12 are invited to join in on the fun, and meet other Lutheran Youth from DC! For planning purposes, please let Lisa know if you plan to attend by Thursday, December 13th.
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.