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
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.
June 3: Worship ministry committee meeting
The Worship ministry committee will meet in the conference room beside the church office on Sunday, June 3rd following the 10 am worship service. Contact Carol Beebe with ideas or questions!
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!
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.
June 10: Social ministry committee meeting
Did you enjoy stuffing backpacks with school supplies or arranging flowers for nursing home residents during last year's Six Sundays of Summer Service? If so, come help plan this year's volunteer activities! The social ministry committee will meet in the conference room beside the church office following the service on Sunday, June 10. Contact Ministry Chair, Emily Foley, with ideas or questions!
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 .
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.
"The Interim Pastor"
"An intentional interim pastor is an ordained pastor who serves your congregation while it searches for a new pastor. Intentional interim pastors bring additional, specialized skills to help lead the congregation through transition. This person will take care of all the pastoral responsibilities (and/or others as defined by the church council) during the vacancy. She/he may be full or part time, depending on the particular church situation."
Source: ELCA Handbook.
If you have any questions please contact Pastor Omholt.
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!
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: August 12, 19, 26.
Please contact Joy Belew 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.
Vacation Bible School Needs Your Help!
We are very excited to offer Group's "Shipwrecked: Rescued By Jesus" as our Vacation Bible School theme this year, and YOU can help make it a success!
We are looking for items to help us create the perfect deserted island, and they might be items that you already have lying around at home:
If you have any questions about anything, please let Lisa Wackler know. And if you would like to register your child at VBS, or volunteer to work, please let us know that, too!
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!
Sonja Kahler graduates from Peabody program; Will present organ recital at St. Paul's the evening of June 15th!
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.
Sonja will reprise music selections from both of her Peabody recitals in a program at St. Paul's on Friday, June 15th, at 7:30 pm.
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 the founding fathers of St. Paul's English Lutheran Church launched in the summer of 1843 the original version of our current "Our Time, Our Turn Capital Campaign?"
The eight men who made up the Church Council and Reverend Albert A. Muller devised various measures to raise enough capital for the construction of a church building. "The efforts put forth by the council and pastor were diversified, comprehensive, energetic, and full of toil. Their enterprise, zeal, and patient perseverance in plans and methods deserve to be recorded with special emphasis and approval."
A presentation of a memorial and plea were made to John Tyler, the President of the United States, but there is no record of any funds provided. In July 1843 they initiated subscription papers which were essentially pledges to contribute. The members of the Church Council were to call on their "friends and fellow citizens and friends of religion" for subscriptions which could be paid quarterly. The twenty subscriptions on paper totaled only $92. On February 27, 1844, with the strong endorsement and approval of the Maryland Synod of which St. Paul's was affiliated, a request for donations was sent to "every clergyman of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the United States" asking "the favor to bring the subject before your Council and Congregation, and that you take up a collection in aid of this objective." While it cannot be accurately determined how successful this was, there were a number of favorable responses. According to the treasurer's book: $350 from collections in Baltimore; $51 from Frederick County; $31.43 from Emittsburg, MD; $502 from Philadelphia; $50 from New York; and $66.88 from Lovettsville, VA. Many of the collections were made in Western Maryland and the borders of Virginia, by house-to-house visitations by Pastor Muller.
Sufficient funds must have been raised through these various methods for St. Paul's Church Council and Pastor Muller to feel confident enough to move forward. The cornerstone laying ceremony for the new church building took place on the 12th of June, 1844.
Source: "History of St. Paul's English Lutheran Church" by Samuel Domer
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!