Dear Friends in Christ:

You are welcome here!

St. Paul‚Äôs is a lively gathering of God‚Äôs people around the Gospel-centered promise of grace, a ‚ÄúReconciling in Christ‚ÄĚ congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in NW Washington, DC.¬†

We welcome everyone to this moment of joy, our act of praise and thanksgiving for God’s epic act of love. 
Let the earth tremble, let our voices resound, bearing witness to the great news that God was in Christ, and that God‚Äôs love is for us.¬†Let every instrument ‚Äď brass, wind, and voice -- sing for joy.

St. Paul’s is a gospel centered gathering of God’s people, focused on living thankfully in light of God’s gracious love, gathered in prayer for the world, and actively working for justice and peace locally and globally. Join us every Sunday at 8:30am or 11am for worship (watch this space for summer schedule). Please join us again and often!

John R. Spangler, Interim Pastor




Simply Giving: Click Below


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

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








St. Paul's Podcasts available online! 




A Note from Pastor John:

Welcoming Strangers, Refugees and fellow workers in the Gospel

A synodically authorized pastor and candidate for ordination, Betty Rendon, Emaus Lutheran Racine, Wis., was arrested along with her daughter, husband, and cousin at gun point at home a week ago by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). A five-year-old granddaughter was present. Rendon is beginning a PhD program at our seminary in Chicago (LSTC). Reports of the home incursion included the use of unnecessarily threatening behavior on the part of the agents. There is a prayer vigil and rally this evening in Racine. Betty fled Colombia when her school was attacked by guerrillas, seeking asylum in the US. After completing her MDiv at the seminary, she has been serving in this special and successful ministry while she and the ELCA have sought to resolve her status as an immigrant. Her daughter holds DACA status and was reportedly released. Betty's asylum application was rejected and then under appeal. It is not known why ICE has sought to arrest her now. 

I will be following this unfolding news story and contacting my elected congressional members. And I invite you to join me in praying for Betty Rendon and her family and the people of Emaus Lutheran Church this evening (7pm EDT) and in the days ahead for ethical responses and actions, for justice and for due process.
At the very least, I see this situation involving a gifted member of the ELCA candidacy process as a symptom of the brokenness in our national immigration policies, a system that is misdirecting its energy and dissipating the reputation the US has enjoyed as a place of welcome and certain justice for those fleeing intolerable violence in their homeland. Our vigilance is requested by the Presiding Bishop and required by our responsibilities as faithful citizens of the United States.
John R. Spangler, Interim Pastor



St. Paul's Lutheran Church continues its commitment to ministry for and with persons experiencing homelessness and remains actively supportive of the long-term mission to address the need for short term, transitional housing in DC. You may recall that last fall, we announced the shelter would be closing temporarily and would likely reopen in the future using a new model based on peer support. That decision was put on hold when it became clear that the current residents would not be able to find suitable long-term housing before the cold winter.

Since that time, the church staff has been working diligently with the current residents to be more closely connected to Friendship Place services staff, encouraged and supported in working toward finding appropriate housing. The St. Paul's shelter was never intended to be long-term housing, and there is much evidence that long-term stays in shelters can have significant negative impacts on the residents and may even impede their ability to find suitable housing.

In order move forward with the plan to reassess its structure for short term shelter for homeless persons, the congregation's Council decided to close the current shelter on July 31, 2019. This date provides time for current residents to plan for more permanent housing or alternative short-term shelter with the help of Friendship Place. We will continue to support and assist the residents during this transition, and we ask the congregation to keep the men in your prayers.

If you are interested in participating in the reassessment of our ministry with homeless persons, please give your name to Joy Belew in the church office  or by phone.


The Year of Luke: A 3 Part Study

Join us for a three part Bible study of the Year of Luke,, 7 pm, June 5, 12, and 19 at St. Paul's. Pastor Spangler will lead these one hour sessions providing an overview of the Gospel from which most of our gospel lessons are taken. What would the church look like if Luke were our only gospel? Who wrote it, and for whom? Come and find out.


St. Paul's Congregation Meets, Elects Leaders and 
Discusses Finances

The congregation of St. Paul's English Lutheran Church met in its 176th year for its annual meeting Sunday January 27th, engaged in a lengthy discussion about finances and conducted elections of leaders for the new year.

Treasurer Rod Larson provided an overview of the 2018 year, responding to numerous questions about the capital campaign for the HVAC system, other capital improvements, and regular giving. One key observation was that actual giving for 2018 ($463,423) fell approximately $200,000 short of planned giving. Giving to the ELCA wider ministries (benevolence) was $31,497 short of the congregation's commitment of $69,500. Several capital expenditures, including payments to reduce the principal on the HVAC loan ($364,712), a new sanctuary sound system ($80,259), roof repairs to the education wing ($43,000), and 2018 investment losses ($40,254), resulted in significant reductions in the value of St. Paul's dedicated funds.

Several commenters indicated that this pattern and scope of deficits needed to be better understood by St. Paul's members. "Members spoke to the issues in healthy ways," said Pastor Spangler, Interim Pastor. "This was the kind of conversation that is important after a major focus on big projects, the 175th anniversary and farewell to Pastor Tom." Mike Charlton, Stewardship chair, noted that only 38 of 210 giving units in the congregation made pledges in 2018, although many more members gave generously. Mike expressed hope that many more will fill out giving "intention" cards for the new year. Those cards and statements of giving were placed in the mail January 30th. In an Epiphany temple talk, Mike asked members and friends to consider increasing their giving this year by at least $300. He asked members to indicate their giving targets by returning their intention card to the Church. This information will greatly help the Council plan appropriately.

The congregation adopted a 2019 budget of $887,309, 6.5% lower than 2018, but still roughly $150,000 more than the total income received in 2018.

There was a general consensus that the congregation accomplishes a lot of great work, reaches out in support of the world's needs, and should celebrate its excellent ministries. And, at the same time, St. Paul's needs more transparency and more interpretation of its finances. "We are working on a better format for reporting on our finances" said Larson, "so that it is easier to understand the sources of income, the use of dedicated funds, the cost of maintaining the Church and the costs of the Church's ministries."

Re-elected to the Congregation Council for second terms were Beth Van Hanswyk, Jane Cramer and Tina Schendt. In addition, Laura Denardis was elected to serve her first term on the Council. Lynn Adkins was returned to the role of Secretary and Rod Larson as Treasurer. Jay Guerber was elected as a Trustee.

In other actions, the congregation:

  • received and reviewed reports of staff and ministry chairs;
  • heard an update on the sale of the Maryland parsonage; and
  • heard a preview of upcoming Transition Team activities to gather member input.


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: May 26th;  July 14th, 21st and 28th.  Please contact Joy Belew to reserve a date. Thank you. 




First Quarter Financial Report 

Dear Church Members,

One of the themes of the most recent congregational meeting was that St. Paul's works exceptionally hard to make the Church a place where everyone is welcome.   The Church accomplishes many very important things, from managing the food pantry to educating children to supporting an active Prime Time fellowship to caring for the sick to sharing the sacraments. The Church tries very hard to do God's work and share God's love with a needy world. 

Another theme was the need to increase the transparency of financial reporting.  Many members were not aware of the financial status of the Church and this hindered their ability to respond appropriately.  Please now find an initial attempt to remedy this situation.  A concise summary of St. Paul's income and expenses and other financial highlights is attached here.  

Our goal is help members better understand Church finances.  We welcome any comments concerning how to improve the Church's financial status or how to best report the Church's financial status to members.  Please send your comments and suggestions to the Church Office. 

We also know several members gave very generous contributions to the Church during the Lenten and Easter season.  We are very grateful for those gifts.  Even so, the needs of the Church community remain great.  We ask all the members of St. Paul's to continue their support for the Church's mission.

Thank you,

Rod Larson, Treasurer


Social Ministry Committee Meeting
Sunday, June 2nd

Join the social ministry committee as they plan the upcoming Six Sundays of Summer Service (short volunteer activities the congregation can complete together after Sunday services between late June and early August... stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks)! We'll meet on Sunday, June 2 after the 11 am service in the conference room. Contact Emily Foley if you have questions or service activity ideas!




Adult Sunday School

Please join a group of curious, inquiring adult learners around the circle as they study how the Bible became a book, looking at the history of the making of the canon and related issues to the way God's story emerged in story, in text and in print. Between services in the lower level auditorium. Questions? Contact Ted Wackler .




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.


FROM Mar-Lu-Ridge


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 is now open. Click HERE for more info.




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 Sunday Worship Schedule:

8:30 am--Early Service

9:45--10:45 am--Sunday School

11:00 am--Late Service


Pentecost and Confirmation Sunday, June 9th!!

Pentecost is always an exciting time at St. Paul's and 2019 will be no exception. On Sunday, June 9th,  two of our Confirmation students will affirm their Baptism in the 11 o'clock service (please note that there is only one service that day!). For these young women, 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 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. We want the whole church to recognize and support our Confirmands as they make or complete this journey. Please check the Portico for our "Prayer Flames for Pentecost."  Write a short note to one of our Confirmation students (7th or 8th grade) or the whole Confirmation class, just to remind them that they are in our prayers today and every day!  We will post these flames around the Portico by Confirmation Sunday, June 9th.

ALSO, The Pentecost Picnic is June 9th!

Join us as we celebrate the descent of the Holy Spirit on the apostles, the birthday of the church, and the Affirmation of Baptism for our Confirmands! Don't forget to wear your red!!

The church will provide burgers, dogs, all the fixin's, and drinks.  We need volunteers to bring sides and help set up, grill and clean up.  

The picnic will begin right after church:  REMEMBER THERE IS ONLY ONE SERVICE AT 11 AM! If you have questions or would like to let us know that you can bring something, please contact Kate Belinski.



Many people at St. Paul's know one or more languages besides English. If you are one of those polyglots, would you be willing to share your linguistic skills on Pentecost morning, June 9th?
We need help with two things. There will be a single, festival service at 11 am that day, including the reading from the Book of Acts 2: 1-21 that vividly describes the Holy Spirit bringing the disciples the gift of other languages and thus the power to spread the Good News.
First--we'd like for as many languages as possible to be represented in the reading of that lesson: It will be read in English from the lectern, with a simultaneous multilingual reading from a group standing next to the lectern. This will require a short practice together that morning before the service.
Second-we'd like for the Lord's Prayer to be recited that morning in multiple languages from the pews, and we'd also like to print the Lord's Prayer in those languages on a handout to be distributed with the bulletins.
If you are willing to read aloud Acts 2:1-21 in another language on June 9th, and/or if you can provide an advance copy (electronic or printed) of the Lord's Prayer in another language, please e-mail music director Sonja Kahler.


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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!


Special Meeting of the Congregation

June 16th following Worship. 

There will be a special Congregational meeting held after worship on Sunday, June 16th immediately following the 10 am Worship Service.  The reason for the meeting is to discuss proposed renovations to the DC Parsonage. Please mark your calendars and plan on attending. If you would like more information, please contact Council Chair, Kate Belinski.  



Please return your intention cards for 2019 Annual Giving!

Year- end statements of giving were mailed to households on January 30th. In that same envelope was a letter from stewardship chair Mike Charlton along with an intention card to be returned to the Treasurer indicating your intentions for giving to the church in 2019. To date, 63 households have responded. Please take the time to return your card! 





Thank you to those who have already shared their experiences and perspectives about St. Paul's. If you have not yet done so, there's still time to be part of shaping St. Paul's future.  We have extended the deadline to complete the Congregation Assessment Tool (CAT) to May 24th. Remember that if we don't have your input, we are missing an important piece of the puzzle.

PLEASE share your opinions using the Congregation Assessment Tool (CAT), a highly confidential assessment instrument. Click here for link.

If you have questions, please contact Christi Barnhart,  

A very special thanks to everyone who has participated in this process. 


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:

Christi Barnhart (chair) 

Gail Ferris 

Rebecca Highsmith 

Sarah Hines 

Paul Reichert 



Get Ready for Vacation Bible School!

VBS: "ROAR: Life is Wild-God is Good" is Coming Soon!

Mark your calendars, because St. Paul's Vacation Bible School, ROAR: Life is Wild-God is Good is June 24th-28th, 2019, from 9:00 am until 12:00 noon.

Join us as we explore God's goodness and celebrate a ferocious faith that powers us through this wild life 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 $85 per child (with a $180 family maximum) if you register by Monday, June 10th. (After June 10th, the price goes up to $105 per child, with a $220 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 $110 per child, and space is limited. St. Paul's parishioners will be given priority registration for Extended Day until June 3rd.

For more information, please contact Lisa Wackler.

To register, click HERE.



Happy 175th Anniversary, St. Paul's!




Our Mission Team in Houston, Texas!




St. Paul's Lutheran Church Prime Time Senior Ministry

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

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