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,
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
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.
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!
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.
New members will be received into St. Paul's on September 23rd during the 11:00 am worship service. There will be a class for the prospective members on Tuesday, September 18th at 7 pm in room 207 of the educational building. If you would like to become a member or if you have questions about membership, please contact Pastor Tom (202-966-5489).
Our New Photo Directories
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.
Thank you from the Social Ministry Committee
THANK YOU ST. PAUL'S! The Social Ministry Committee would like to thank you for your support during the Six Summer Sundays of Service! About 30 St. Paul's volunteers supported a number of organizations around the themes of caring for the elderly, thanking veterans, welcoming refugees, supporting people experiencing homeless, and promoting early childhood education. In the process we made 30 bouquets of flowers; designed 40 cards for veterans, new citizens, refugees, and incarcerated populations; made 30 toiletry bags for people experiencing homelessness; wrote 20 letters to Lutheran Members of Congress; cleaned the church kitchen to support food pantry efforts; and packed 24 backpacks with school supplies! The organizations we supported include Forest Hills Inclusive Senior Living, Prime Time, A Million Thanks, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services, Lutheran Social Service, the SPLC food pantry, and Friendship Place. If you're interested in joining the Social Ministry Committee to continue work like this, contact Emily Foley.
First Communion classes will continue this Sunday and next, September 23rd and 30th during Sunday School.
We will celebrate the rite of First Communion on Sunday, October 14th during the 11 AM service.
All children and youth of any age are invited to be a part of first communion instruction. If children cannot make all three of the classes then Pastor Tom can meet with the child individually.
If interested or if you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact Pastor Tom.
"From Pastoral Vacancy to Installation"
St. Paul's Journey
To assist the congregation during this transition time from retirement announcement to the installation of a new pastor an informational note concerning the process will be included in the weekly e-news and bulletin insert. Please take a moment to read these weekly notes to gain a better understanding of the process and stimulate discussions among our members.
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
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!
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. Dates available: November 11th, 18th and 25th.
Please contact Joy Belew to reserve a date. 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.
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!
Benefitting The TraRon Center
Helping those affected by gun violence heal through the arts and activism.
Come out to hear good music and to support a good cause on Saturday, September 29, 7:30.
National United Methodist, the National Cathedral , and three synagogues (Addis, Micah and Sinai) are sponsoring a concert to benefit the TraRon Center, a Ward 7 trauma center aimed at helping people affected by gun violence.
The concert -on Saturday, September 29 at 7:30, at National United Methodist Church - features several choral groups, including the Children's Chorus of Washington (and Grace!), and the acapella group Augmented 8.
Click here for further details about the concert and info on ordering your tix. Please spread the word. They're hoping for a full house.
For more about the The TraRon Center - check out this profile of the founder that ran in Politico. https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/04/14/washington-dc-gun-violence-anacostia-217842
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!
To RSVP and make payment via credit card online,
The deadline to RSVP is OCTOBER 14th!
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.
While we don't have any details yet, St. Paul's is beginning to plan a Mission Trip to help our brothers and sisters in North Carolina after the devastating Hurricane Florence. Please contact Pastor Tom if you are available and interested in going the week of October 7th.
Confirmation is a time for thinking about our Baptism, for understanding what the Bible says about our faith, for learning what we believe as Lutherans and why, and-most important of all-for asking questions about our faith!
Confirmation is a two-year program that meets twice a week: Sundays: 9:45 am-10:45 am, and Tuesdays:4:45 pm-6:00 pm. Second year students will be confirmed on Pentecost Sunday: Sunday, June 9th, 2019.
To register for Confirmation, please complete the registration form by clicking on this link:
There will be a mandatory meeting for ALL Confirmation students and their families on Sunday, September 16th during the Sunday School hour (9:45 am-10:45 am). Please let Lisa Wackler know right away if you are unable to attend this meeting.
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.
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 for Rallying Day on September 25, 1892, Old St. Paul's, the original church at 11th and H Streets, NW, was "nicely decorated with pictures, plants, and flowers and cages of singing birds were suspended in different areas?"
Rallying Day was the equivalent to our current Rally Day which was celebrated two Sundays ago at St. Paul's, but alas without cages of singing birds. In the 1892 version described in "The History of St. Paul's English Lutheran Church":
Their second Rallying Day was attended by 233 members of the Sunday School. After the regular Sunday School session, the students marched up to the nave for a special service opened by Reverend Samuel Domer. There was prayer, music by the church choir, and a Scripture reading. A donation for the Lutheran Orphans' Home was collected, and Sunday School Superintendent Lucius Alden read a letter from one of the orphans.
"A large audience was present, and a delightful hour it proved on this first reunion after the summer vacations."
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!