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,
Henri Nouwen tells the story of an old man who used to meditate every morning on the bank of the Ganges River. One morning, after his meditation, he saw a scorpion floating helplessly on the water. As the scorpion washed closer to the bank, the old man reached out to rescue the drowning creature. As soon as he reached it, however, the scorpion stung him. Instinctively the man withdrew his hand. A minute later, though, he tried again. This time the scorpion stung him so badly with its poisonous tail that the hand became swollen and his face contorted with pain.
At that moment, a young man passed by and saw what had happened. He shouted: "Hey, stupid old man, what's wrong with you? Only a fool would risk his life for an ugly, evil creature. Don't you know you could kill yourself trying to save that ungrateful scorpion?" Looking into the stranger's eyes the old man said calmly, "My friend, just because it is the scorpion's nature to sting, that does not change my nature to save."
This is such a wonderful story about the love of God. Just because it is our nature to sin, that does not change God's nature to save. It seems to me that ever since the fall of humankind recorded in Genesis 3, God has been on a rescue mission to save the world. God has been on a rescue mission to save you and me! The tragedy seems to be that every time God reaches out God's hand to help us, we sting God with our disobedience and rebelliousness. We continue to sting one another with the poison of our hatred, prejudice and indifference.
The good news is that we have a God who doesn't give up on us. We have a God whose very nature it is to save. For God did not send his Son to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. (John 3:17). The love of God in Jesus Christ is the vaccine that saves us from the sin that continues to poison our lives and our relationships. It is, as the spiritual says, "the balm that heals the sin-sick soul."
During the course of Lent let us remember and rejoice in this life saving love from above. Let us reflect upon all that our Lord endured for you and me through his sufferings and death on the cross. By humbly confessing before the Crucified One our "scorpion" like ways to sting and poison the world God has given us, we will come to praise the Risen One who gives us hope and life eternal.
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Thomas A. Omholt
Thank you from St. Paul's Social Ministries!!
Thank you for supporting refugee families through this year's Lenten Service Project! Tables, towels, and toiletries, oh my! St. Paul's collected these items and more (dressers, cookware, kitchen utensils, baby supplies, etc.) which will be donated to Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area and distributed to refugee families resettling in the area. From the social ministry committee, thanks for making this project a success!
Emily Foley, Chair
Prayer Shawl Ministry
The Prayer Shawl Ministry will gather in the dining area adjacent to the lower auditorium on Sunday, April 22nd at 10:00 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.
St. Paul's Food Pantry is a wonderful, hands-on way to do God's work in DC! The food pantry operates on the first and third Saturday of each month from 10am to noon and serves approximately 50 low-income families from across DC who come to St. Paul's to stock up on fresh produce, frozen meats, canned goods and toiletries. Volunteers help set-up the food starting at 9am and are usually finished with clean-up by 12:15. We encourage volunteers of all ages (including students seeking community service credits). If you are interested in learning more about the food pantry or volunteering please contact Kate Belinski at email@example.com. Our most immediate need is for this Saturday, April 21st - please let Kate know if you can pitch in!
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 6th, 13th, 20th (Pentecost and Confirmation).
Please contact Joy Belew (firstname.lastname@example.org) to reserve a date. Thank you.
Now accepting College Scholarship Applications!
As you know, St. Paul's has a college scholarship fund and we are now accepting applications! So, if you have a daughter or son planning to enter college this fall, and are in need of financial assistance, we would like to hear from them by May 1st. Please have them contact Pastor Omholt in writing (by email or letter) stating briefly where they plan to attend school, when, and a brief reason why they need this scholarship. Your family financial data is not necessary, just basic reasons. Priority will be given to students beginning their first year but we may consider those starting their second, third or fourth year. Please contact Pastor Omholt if you have any questions.
More information coming soon!
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.
From Pastor Tom...
After the 11:00 am worship service on March 4th, I came into my office to find a beautiful gift with a note attached. However, the note was not signed and I feel terrible that I have not been able to properly thank the generous gift giver! Please let me know who you are so I can personally thank you!
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.
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 on Easter Sunday, April 16, 1865, the day following Abraham Lincoln's death, St. Paul's sanctuary at 11th and H Streets NW was described as displaying both the "emblems of sorrow and joy"?
The Lutheran (April 27, 1865) described St. Paul's that morning:
"On the Sunday following the murder of the President the pulpit of this very tasteful church was completely draped in mourning, ornamented with a beautiful wreath of white flowers and evergreen. The front of the orchestra, also, was hung in heavy festoons of black cloth. A profound solemnity pervaded the entire audience, the house being completely filled."
Reverend John George Butler, pastor of St. Paul's from 1849 to 1873, preached his famous Black Easter Sermon, "Our Grief and Our Duty." Reverend Butler preached "wholly extemporaneous, inspired by the deep grief which so suddenly overwhelmed our nation," but he "hastily endeavored to reproduce it" in writing. A copy is in St. Paul's archives.
Hosted by the National Youth Gathering Team, this is a fundraiser to support the 25 area youth heading to Houston in June! $10 per person for 5 Bingo Game Cards. Food and Drinks available for purchase.
Questions? Contact Lisa Wackler at email@example.com
We are excited to report that as of this writing, we've had 71 commitments totaling $372,616 for the Our Time, Our Turn Capital Campaign. Thank you to all who have taken the step of turning in their pledge cards. Your early commitment to this campaign is much appreciated!
For those of you who have not yet committed, we need you now more than ever as we have a ways to go to reach our goal of $900,000. There is still time to fill out a pledge card--pick one up in the Portico, the Narthex, or by clicking HERE. Remember that your pledge-no matter the size-is crucial to the success of the Capital Campaign.
Do you need help figuring out how to take the next step? Please contact Mike Charlton, the Chair of the Capital Campaign. Mike can discuss with you the various ways that you can contribute to the Our Time, Our Turn Capital Campaign.