Masks required (except for small children). Latest CDC protocols that we are following:
N95 and KN-95 masks are preferred (double masking not needed).
Double masks are strongly encouraged when wearing surgical and cloth masks.
When double masking the surgical mask goes on first and cloth mask covers the surgical mask...the intent is to get a better fit/seal around the face.
You may sit in the pews that are marked.
Please maintain proper distancing at all times.
In accordance with DC's mandate, everyone must fill out a pew card with your name, contact information and the day's date. This is to allow for contact tracing.
Click HERE for Sunday Worship Bulletin
Click HERE for Sunday Children's Bulletin
Services are livestreamed on our YouTube page and video posted at the conclusion of the service.
We are located between Ellicott & Everett Streets NW, between Murch Elementary School and the Fire Station.
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FROM PASTOR WALKER'S DESK
“Grace and peace to you from God:
Creator, Redeemer and the One who sustains us.”
This is the trinitarian formula I use most Sundays to greet the congregation before I preach. I am wishing you peace from God. I could say: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This is the traditional trinitarian formula and describes the three persons of the trinity. The formula that I use describes the function of the trinity.
We understand the Father’s role in creating the world. We understand the Son's role in redeeming us from our sins by dying on a cross and rising on the third day. Yet do we understand the role of the Holy Spirit?
First, what does it mean to be sustained? Well as I looked up the word ‘sustain’ there were several definitions that I believe apply to the Holy Spirit: to strengthen or support, to give relief, to hold the weight of, to bolster, to prop up, to provide sustenance. The Holy Spirit strengthens our faith, supports us in our spiritual life, gives us relief from grief, holds the weight of our problems, bolsters us when we are down, and nourishes us spiritually. At least that is what I get when I read scripture.
How does the third person of the trinity sustain you? In the coming months we will be talking a lot about the word sustain. I hope you will think about what that word means to you as you think about your faith and this church community.
Now, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in God, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)
Food Pantry News - CURRENTLY THE PANTRY ESPECIALLY NEEDS: Regular Sized Shampoo, bars of soap and hearty soups.
Food insecurity is still a very real issue in our community.
We are still collecting toiletries for our Food Pantry - toothpaste, shampoo, soap, body lotion, body wash, etc. (regular sized, not family sized). No toilet paper, please.
These items are not covered by benefits, so having a supply of these on hand will help us meet the needs of our patrons.
If you would like to order items directly from Amazon, please use this link to see our shopping list, go to the: Amazon Wish List
The Food Pantry always needs: hearty soups, healthy cereals (i.e., Cheerios - regular sized), canned protein, low-sugar and low-sodium foods. Please remember to donate "regular-sized" items as "Family sized" are too big for the bags.
We continue to accept your donations of paper grocery bags (Whole Foods, Trader Joes) with handles.
FOOD PANTRY VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!
Spring has sprung, kids are involved in weekend sports, students have completed their required service hours for the year, college students have gone home for the summer, but food insecurity goes on.
Please consider being a volunteer for the pantry (either packing bags during the week or distributing the food on a Saturday morning), we are in real need. If you have never done it but want to try, we will pair you up with someone who can show you the ropes. Please check out the link to the signup genius which will better describe what is needed.
If you have any questions, please contact Jane Cramer at email@example.com.
PRIME TIME CENTER @ St. Paul's
A fully vaccinated group of Prime Time participants will resume gathering each week for exercise, a pre-plated hot lunch and entertainment. All those who are vaccinated and 50+ are welcome to join in on the fun from 11 am - 2 pm each Wednesday.
Masking and social distancing is still required.
Guests will be asked to provide contact information for contact tracing purposes.
Pre-registration is required for meal planning purposes. If you plan to attend, please notify Joy Belew by 11 am on the Thursday prior to each week's program.
August 24, 2022
11 am - Exercise
Noon - Lunch
1 pm - David Heckler: The Mexican Revolution
Stories and S’mores Night held at St. Paul’s on July 14th from 7-9 pm.
A great gathering of all ages met on the lawn for stories, fun, fellowship, games, and— (of course!)—S’MORES!
VBS: “Monumental: Celebrating God's Greatness” was held from June 27th - July 1st.
A great time was had by all as we explored through worship, crafts, outdoor play, Bible study, and songs to learn about God’s awesomeness and how that helps us!
Kids aged three (and potty-trained) through completed 5th Grade joined in the fun. Older kids (completed 6th Grade and up) and adults helped with the programming!
Congregational Meeting held virtually on June 26th at 1 pm.
We did not vote on a new constitution for St. Paul’s in June. This is because of the ELCA Churchwide Assembly in August at which there will possibly be changes to the ELCA Model Constitution that we then will want to incorporate into St. Paul’s Constitution. We will vote on a new constitution and by-laws for St. Paul’s at our January Congregational Meeting.
PRIDE PARADE was JUNE 11th...
Thank you to all the Metro DC Synod Congregations who joined in the 2022 Pride Parade and festivities on June 10-11.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more info and to get involved!
The Affirmation of Baptism
Pentecost Sunday, June 5th
On Sunday, June 5th, two of our Confirmation students affirmed their Baptism in the 11 o’clock service. For these young men, the Affirmation of Baptism is their time to be recognized as they take their step into the community of faith and renew their participation in the life of the church.
Our Confirmands have worked diligently over the last two years studying the Bible and the Small Catechism, online and in person, to prepare for this very special day. They have discussed and debated their roles as Christians in the world and considered the meaning of God’s grace and their own faith.
We strongly encourage the people of St. Paul’s to lift up these young people in their prayers and to recognize and support them as they make or complete this journey.
PENTECOST PICNIC - Sunday, June 5th after Worship
St. Paul's hosted a potluck picnic June 5 to celebrate Pentecost and St. Paul's newest confirmands.
Sunday School - To Resume on Rally Day, 2022
Children of all ages, please join us for St. Paul's Sunday School! We meet at 10:30 am. If the weather is nice, we'll gather in the outdoor plaza area outside the portico. If the weather is not so great, please come downstairs to the Sunday School hallway, and we'll have class in the old 3rd/4th grade classroom. We can't wait to see your faces again!
Many thanks to Our Sunday School Teachers!
Sunday School in a pandemic is always a new adventure! We appreciate our teachers who have helped share the message of God's love in a variety of ways during the past school year!
“Cantate Sunday”—a day to celebrate music in the church. HINDSIGHT is 2020 (and 2021, and 2022…)
As the St. Paul’s choir nears the end of its spring 2022 season, we’d like to show a few snapshots of their impressive service during the continuing covid-19 pandemic. With safety always in mind and therefore participation completely optional, the volunteer and professional singers of the choir have still steadfastly chosen to continue to gather, practice, and lead worship for six months total of 2020, most of 2021, and from February 2022 through now. They have faithfully and flexibly rehearsed at awkward long distances from each other while wearing masks, coats and hats in the unheated church with windows open, holding booklights over their music. They have sung for services outdoors, indoors, and online—by standing at microphones for livestreaming or to make specific recordings and videos for later broadcast. They have adapted to singing now from the chancel so that the singers who can no longer climb the 19 stairs to the organ loft can still sing with the group.
This coming Sunday, May 22nd, is “Cantate Sunday”—a day to celebrate music in the church. Since the 1978 publication of the Lutheran Book of Worship (green hymnal) this observance has been suggested for the sixth Sunday of Easter (moved from 4 Easter as celebrated in prior times).
Please take a moment then (or really any Sunday!) to thank the choir members for their continued, faithful musicianship during a continued, difficult time. Cantate Domino!
(Photo's: Rally Day, 2020; Lent 2021; Easter 2022)
WALK TO END HOMELESSNESS...
Join St. Paul's on Saturday, April 30th as we walk in Friendship Place's Annual Friendship Walk to End Homelessness. We will gather at the National Mall around 9:30 am to listen to speakers and get ready for the walk around 11 am. The starting point for the Walk is the corner of 17th Street NW and Constitution Avenue NW. Click here to register: https://give.friendshipplace.org/team/422377
Please reach out to Veronica Ferris if you have questions before the event (email@example.com) or need to connect with Veronica the morning of the Walk.
SATURDAY! April 30th and future dates to be announced...
Volunteer Gardeners - ALL ARE WELCOME!
As we welcome the season of Easter, the gardens at St. Paul's are awakening with cheerful blooms and budding greenery. But even mother nature can use a hand now and then to keep things fresh and tidy!
So please consider joining us anytime from 9 to 11 o'clock on Saturday, April 30, to help mow and edge the lawn and clean up our flowerbeds. All tools will be furnished.
If interested in ongoing volunteer gardening or lawn mowing assignments, please call or text Neil Berger at 202-669-2962. We will be pleased to work with...and around...your schedule!
2022 LENTEN MESSAGES
Lent: A time for Fasting (April 6th message)
Along with the disciplines of almsgiving and prayer, Lent is a time to fast. While fasting is typically thought of as abstaining from food or drink, it can be considered in a few different ways.
If you wish to fast from food, try a “mini” fast: Instead of going an entire day without eating, try fasting from one meal of the day, or fast from certain types of food or drink: meat, sugar, or alcohol. Do not fast if you are fighting illness, are pregnant, or it goes against your doctor’s recommendations. And if you decide to fast, remember to continue to drink water.
Fasting can also be a way to go without habits or activities that have the potential to be negative. Maybe you need a break from social media or binge-watching too much Netflix. Maybe you need a break from “doom scrolling,” or certain news outlets. Or maybe you want to address behaviors that have even more potential to do harm, like gossip or being overly critical of yourself or others.
While fasting is often considered as a way of “giving up,” try turning the idea around to “giving,” instead. Take this time to take a walk. Call a friend you haven’t connected with in a while. Plan an outdoor activity to enjoy the spring with family or friends. Read your Bible or a Lenten devotion!
Remember, that fasting is done as a way to spiritually and mentally prepare in Lent: for the sadness that is Good Friday and the rejoicing that is Easter. It is not done to secure salvation—that’s already been done for you!
How do YOU fast? Share your ways with us! Send your suggestions to Lisa Wackler at firstname.lastname@example.org
And p.s.—Don’t forget to fill your almsgiving jars. The money collected will go to the people of Ukraine who continue to be in our prayers. Don’t forget to add your name/envelope number to you jar before you bring it on Easter morning, so we can add your donation to your giving statement.
Lent: A time for Prayer (March 23rd message)
Along with the disciplines of almsgiving and fasting, Lent is a time to practice prayer. Prayers are not only our words to God, but a way of opening ourselves to God’s presence in our lives. When we pray we ask God for the things that we need, but we are also asking God to help us understand how we can live out what God calls us to do.
Here are two prayer exercises that you can try. The first is one to do by yourself. The second is with others.
Close your eyes and count to five. Open your eyes. What is the first thing that you look at? What can you pray about that thing you see?
Without explanation, ask every member of your family or group to bring one thing of their choosing to the table. What appears? What can you pray about the things that were shared?
We are sometimes reluctant to pray because we may think that our words are not special enough. Remember that prayer is your conversation with God, and God doesn’t judge you based on your skill or vocabulary. And if you’re really stuck, you can always say the Lord’s Prayer.
How do YOU pray? Share your ways with us! Send your suggestions to Lisa Wackler at email@example.com
And p.s.—Don’t forget to fill your almsgiving jars. The money collected will go to the people of Ukraine who continue to be in our prayers.
Almsgiving on Our Lenten Journey (March 16th message)
In our world today, we might find ourselves relying more on "cashless" payment systems: PayPal, Venmo, or just paying with our debit and credit cards. If so, you might think that you don't have any change to spare! Karen Leigh Campbell shared this last week:
My jars filled to brims quickly when I was little and conducted all purchases in cash. But now I use the lighter weight credit card and my jar is sparse. So, if you are experiencing the same thing, join me in keeping receipts and tossing in the coins that would have been your change, and if you’re able, reckon the change from large bills! And don’t forget: if you were generous enough to round up at the store, look at the earlier figure to know how much to « feed the kitty » - or fill the alms jar!
Or make filling your jar an activity! Using the Internet as inspiration, count how many wheels and/or doors you have in your household--which is more? Put a quarter in your jar for every door that you have. Put a dollar in for every wheel that you have. How do wheels and doors help people? How might windows and doors hurt people? This a great mini-devotion to talk about over dinner with friends or family.
Our alms jar offerings will go toward helping our brothers and sisters in Ukraine, who are suffering through unimaginable circumstances right now. We lift these people up in our prayers every Sunday, and we will use our offerings to provide care and support.
Haven't picked up your alms jar yet? There is still time to do so--Alms jars are located in the narthex and by the Portico doors in the Baptistery. Fill your jar with your offering and then bring it with you to church on Easter morning. If we run out, we will order more!
Have ideas on how you give alms? Share them with us! Send your ideas to Lisa Wackler at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, please check the church narthex and portico if you would like a book of devotions for Lent, or contact Lisa Wackler (email@example.com) if you'd like one mailed to you.
Almsgiving on Our Lenten Journey (March 9th message)
On Ash Wednesday, we learned of the three Lenten Disciplines: Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving. Throughout Lent, we will learn about different ways that we can follow those disciplines as we journey alongside Jesus to the cross.
Last Sunday, we learned from Deuteronomy about the Feast of Weeks, where the Israelites would bring the first fruits of the harvest and offer them to God in thanksgiving. In his book Giving to God, Mark Allan Powell says that people brought things of value to the altar and gave them up. The point was not what happened after it was placed on the altar—Powell says that “the point was simply putting that grain on the altar in the first place.” Sacrificial giving is an act of worship that helps us remember that everything belongs to God first.
As we journey through Lent, what can you give? Maybe it’s forgoing that cup of Starbucks that you buy on the way to work and bringing coffee from home instead. Maybe it’s not buying a new pair of sneakers. Maybe it’s giving yourself a break from Amazon Prime for a few weeks. Try giving what you would spend on those purchases to God instead.
If you need an “alms jar” to help remind you, feel free to pick one up at the church. They are in the narthex and by the Portico doors. Fill your jar with your offering and then bring it with you to church on Easter morning! Alms collected in our alms jars will go to those who need our help.
Have ideas on how you give alms? Share them with us! Send your ideas to Lisa Wackler at firstname.lastname@example.org. Almsgiving on Our Lenten Journey
Join us During Lent! (March 2nd message)
The word “Lent” comes from an Old English word that means “to lengthen.” As we see the days grow longer, we begin to remember the promises of spring when the earth starts to put forth new green growth—take a look around the beautiful grounds at St. Paul’s, and you will see things starting to sprout and even bloom!
Lent is 40 days long, and lasts Ash Wednesday (March 2, 2022), until Easter Sunday, which this year is on April 17th. (You might notice that there are more than 40 days on the calendar between now and Easter, but since every Sunday is a celebration of the Resurrection, we don’t count them in the overall number of days in Lent.)
Lent is a time of reflection and preparation for Easter. As a church we often practice three “disciplines” during Lent: Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving.
Bishop Leila M. Ortiz, of the Metropolitan Washington DC Synod has invited us to spend these next 40 days in intentional and active prayer. Let us spend this time praying for the things that weigh on our hearts. There is much going on in our families, communities, and the world—this is a time to bring our burdens to the Lord—who holds our suffering and sadness.
While fasting is not a requirement during Lent, we might find that simple fasting puts us in place to consider more deeply the gift of a God who became “God with us,” and understands our humanity even to the point of death. While we may practice fasting by skipping meals or giving up a favorite food, we can also fast by giving up other things—habits such as spending too much time on social media or gossip. We might even want to “give up” things by cleaning out our closets and donating gently used items to charity.
The third Lenten discipline is almsgiving, which is giving food or money to those less fortunate. St. Paul’s has “alms jars” available for those who would like one. Place the jar in a prominent place in your home. Place your change in your jar throughout Lent and bring it to the church on Easter Sunday for the offering. The alms collected will go to help others. (If you’d like a jar, please let Lisa Wackler know: email@example.com)
Please check the church narthex and portico if you would like a book of devotions for Lent, or contact Lisa Wackler (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you'd like one mailed to you.
Each week, we will share new ideas about how you can practice these Lenten disciplines, but also share your own with us! Together let us journey with Christ to the cross, with the reminder that Good Friday is not the end of the story.
St. Paul's "Racial Equity and Advocacy" Task Force
Dear Fellow Church Members,
The Metro DC Synod in accordance with the ELCA has strongly recommended that congregations across the church read and study the ELCA's Apology to the People of African Descent for the evils of slavery.
To that end, the Racial Equity and Advocacy Team will begin a study of the Apology beginning Tuesday, March 8. The sessions will begin at 7 pm and will last approximately 1 hour.
Please join us in studying and discussing this vitally important work. The apology is linked below as well as the study guide.
If you have any questions, please contact Veronica Ferris or Debbie Goerlich for further information.
What is Creation Care Ministry
How does care of God's Creation (or lack thereof) affect us, and does it affect all of us equally?
You are invited to participate in a one-hour Zoom meeting to learn more and ask questions together. Larry Ryan, who is on the Creation Care Team in the Delaware/Maryland Synod, will lead the discussion.
When: Sunday April 10, 2022 at 4 pm.
Please RSVP to Donna Hershey email@example.com or Larry Ryan firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
St. Paul's Annual congregational meeting was held VIRTUALLY at 12:30 pm on January 30, 2022.
Trustee – 3-year term: Jay Guerber
Council - 3-year term: Dave Hollar (incumbent)
Council - 3-year term: Cynthia Jensen
Council - 3-year term: Amelia Nuss
Council - 3-year term: Rami Rihani
Council- 3-year term: Paul Thistle
Congregational Secretary: Angela Huskey
Congregational Treasurer: unfilled
The church budget for 2022 was approved.
We pre-recorded a full service that was led by the children and youth of St. Paul's and is now posted on YouTube. Thank you to all of the youth who participated in our service last Sunday. Our video has been watched over 150 times!
Hanging of the Greens 2021!
Gifts of Hope:
A More Meaningful Way to Give!
Are you ready to change the world but don’t know where to start? Do you have a loved one who doesn’t need or want any more “stuff” but whom you’d like to recognize with a gift in his or her honor? Consider giving a tax-deductible Gift of Hope.
Gifts of Hope is an alternative gift-giving program and ministry sponsored by the Metropolitan Washington D.C. Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).
Gifts of Hope is open to all people and helps people in need regardless of their faith or religious affiliation.
We have a limited number of hard copies of this year's catalog which will be available in the narthex and portico. Order online or send a check to the address in the catalog also available online at giftsofhopedc.org
Afghan Refugee Family Resettlement
Completed on Sunday, December 5th!
For many weeks the congregation of St. Paul’s has been collecting items to furnish a home for a refugee family. Last Sunday that bounty was loaded up by many caring hands and delivered to the Afghan family who has been settled in our area.
Thank you to everyone who made it all come together, especially Caitlin Thistle who spearheaded the project!