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,
In Shel Silverstein's poem, The Giving Tree, a boy returns to his favorite tree and a conversation ensues.
"I am sorry, Boy," said the tree, "but' I have nothing left to give you. My apples are gone."
"My teeth are too weak for apples," said the boy.
"My branches are gone," said the tree. "You cannot climb."
"I am too tired to climb," said the boy.
"I am sorry," sighed the tree. "I wish that I could give you something, but I have nothing left. I am just an old stump."
"I don't need very much now," said the boy. "Just a quiet place to sit and rest. I
am very tired."
"Well," said the tree, straightening herself up as much as she could, "well, an old stump is good for sitting and resting. Come, Boy, sit down. Sit down and rest."
And the boy did. And the tree was happy.
The prophet Isaiah declares, There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. Like a comet streaking across a darkened sky so these words from Isaiah are a flash of brilliant light piercing the lives of despairing and hopeless people. A once strong and sturdy tree had been felled and only a stump remained. The stump for Isaiah's people was what was left of the house of David. The stump for us perhaps symbolizes what's left of our hopes and dreams. The stump reminds us of broken promises, shattered lives and strained relationships.
The Good News is that even at an old stump we can come and rest, rest in the assurance that a shoot will come forth. The Good News of Advent is that out of an apparently dead stump a green shoot of new life will burst forth and blossom.
For us the shoot that appears in the darkness and that comes from the most unlikely of places is a child, a child born to Mary and Joseph in a stable in Bethlehem. Jesus is the shoot, the branch from the stump of Jesse. He is the one who brings hope to the hopeless, joy to the sorrowful, and light to those who sit in darkness.
May the hope of Advent fill your hearts and brighten your path to Bethlehem and beyond.
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Thomas A. Omholt
On Sale Now!!
Help beautify St. Paul's Chancel and Altar
this Christmas Season!
Plants are $14.50 each .
To order, please complete the form in the Sunday insert and return it to Joy Belew in the Church office. Questions? Contact Joy email@example.com.
Sunday, December 17th -- Followed by a Potluck Lunch!
The Sunday School Children's Christmas Pageant will be at the conclusion of the Lessons and Carols Service on Sunday, December 17th. Come see the children of St. Paul's as they reenact the Christmas Story, and help us prepare for the birthday of our Savior and Lord!
Everyone is invited to participate in a potluck in the Lower Auditorium directly after the service and pageant. To sign up for the potluck, please let Lisa Wackler know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Inter-generational Caroling Event!:
Saturday, December 23rd, 3pm
Put on your Santa hats and Christmas sweaters and join us to spread cheer while caroling to the residents at Forest Hills Senior Living Center across the street! All ages are welcome! We'll meet at St. Paul's at 3pm and walk over together. After caroling and chatting with the residents we'll return to St. Paul's for cookies and cocoa. Email or talk to Donna Hershey (email@example.com) to RSVP and also let me know if you'd be willing to bake some cookies for our fellowship and to share with the residents.
Casting Call for Angels and Shepherds
for 4 pm Christmas Eve Service
Please join us as a shepherd or an angel for the 4 pm Christmas Eve Service! All generations are welcome and no experience is necessary. Participating in this special service is great fun! To sign up or if you have questions, please contact Lisa Wackler (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Time is running out to participate!
StLuthRef Youth Group @ Reformation
Sunday, December 17th
The StLuthRef (SLR) Youth Group is meeting at Church of the Reformation on Sunday,December 17th, 1-4 pm. SLR is for ALL youth Confirmation age (grades 7 & 8) through high school. Our theme this year is "Named," and we are exploring all the ways that God names AND CLAIMS us. Please RSVP to Lisa if you're planning on coming, so we can get an accurate count, and plan transportaion!
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!
Prayer Shawl Ministry
The Prayer Shawl Ministry will not meet during December due to the holidays. I am planning our first gathering for January 21, 2018. Oh, my goodness! I thank the members of this ministry who continue to answer Jesus' call to serve those in need of our compassion and prayers.Contact Deaconess Cassiewith any questions.
In 2018, St. Paul's will celebrate 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 28 pledges. Of these, 4 are new pledges, 13 reflect an increase in giving, 5 pledges decreased giving and 6 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.
Advent and Christmas at St. Paul's
Sunday, December 17th: Third Sunday of Advent
We will gather for worship at one service at 11 am to light the 3rd candle on our advent wreath and for our traditional Service of Lessons and Carols. This beautiful service is a wonderful way to prepare for the coming of Christ our Lord as we recount the foretelling of the prophets and the story of Christ's birth. The conclusion of the service will feature the Sunday School Christmas Pageant, followed by a potluck lunch.
Sunday, December 24th: Fourth Sunday of Advent
Come and worship as we light the fourth candle on our advent wreath at the 11 am worship service.
Sunday, December 24th: Christmas Eve
4 pm Worship with a special focus on children and families.
8 pm Festival Candlelight Service. Both services with Holy Communion. Special Music Prelude at 7:40 pm
Sunday, December 31st: New Year's Eve
One Service at 11 am.
From the ELCA Washington DC Metropolitan Synod:
BETHLEHEM SIMULCAST SERVICE
On December 16th
Bishop Graham will again participate in a faith-enriching use of technology when worshipers at Washington National Cathedral in D.C. and worshipers at Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem alternate readings, prayers and carols in both English and Arabic. Be there in person or view livestream. https://metrodcelca.org/events/bethlehem-simulcast-service/
Gifts of Hope
Gifts of Hope is our Synod's alternative gift giving program which enables people to give gifts that reflect the gift God gave us, God's Son Jesus Christ. Please consider substituting a Gift of Hope for a more traditional gift on your list for friends and family, or supplementing those other gifts with a donation that will lighten the lives of others this Christmas season.
This program gives anyone the opportunity to purchase a practical gift to help our brothers and sisters in the DC area and around the world. Real challenges of homelessness and poverty continue to grow in our community, and there are needs across the globe that call for our attention. With Gifts of Hope, you will have the opportunity to choose from a group of Lutheran social ministry organizations, camps, and our synod's companion synods abroad to directly support their mission and programs. Many children in the Washington area and throughout the world have benefited from Gifts of Hope by receiving books, camp scholarships, free lunches, and educational trips. Social ministry organizations, Lutheran camps, and Lutheran Churches in El Salvador, Namibia and Slovakia have also benefited from Gifts of Hope.
Beginning Sunday, December 3, you can make a monetary contribution in honor of those on your gift list. Your contribution goes to the beneficiary organization to purchase the gifts you have selected. View all the beneficiary organizations on the back of the catalog or on the web at http://www.giftsofhopedc.org/beneficiary-organizations/
Watch for the display after each service beginning December 3 and ending December 24 in St. Paul's narthex. You can review the gifts, fill out an order form, and purchase your gifts. You will receive a beautiful card and insert to use as the gift. For more information about Gifts of Hope see the web site, http://www.giftsofhopedc.org or contact Rebecca Highsmith at 202.309.2812 or email@example.com or Drew Morrison at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friendship Place's Neighbors First Program Needs YOU!
As we begin Advent, please consider helping Friendship Place's Neighbors First program. Neighbors First currently serves several hundred children ranging in age from newborn to 18 years old. All of the children in the program are living in apartments with their parent(s), and are assigned to the program due to their history of homelessness, low income status, and other challenges such as mental and physical health disabilities or addiction. The children's families receive some benefits, but they are limited, which make the holidays difficult. Neighbors First assists families by helping them provide small gifts for their children.
Starting Sunday, December 3rd, please take an ornament for each gift that you are planning to purchase, and sign your name to the copy (to allow us to track who has taken what). Children are identified by name and age only, along with a special "Wish List" item. The gift can be wrapped, but ONLY if the package has the child's name and family number CLEARLY MARKED on the wrapping.
The deadline for returning gifts is Sunday, December 17th. Friendship Place will pick the gifts up from the church. Please give your gifts to Lisa Wackler for safekeeping.
If you run into any problems with the purchase of your gift(s), please let Lisa know as soon as possible at email@example.com or 202-966-5489, ext. 125.
Thank you so much for sharing God's love this Advent Season!
Help the St. Paul's Men's Shelter This Christmas!
We will soon have Wish Lists for the residents of our own St. Paul's Homeless Shelter, so stay tuned for specific requests, but if anyone would like to donate Starbucks, Panera, or CVS cards to the effort, that would be much appreciated. These cards go a long way in helping with a lunch or snack during a long day of job searching!
Also, we have a donation of Metro cards that need fares added to them. These are helpful to have on hand when folks stop by the church looking for transportation assistance. If you'd be interested in taking a couple of the cards and loading them with fare money, that would also be really appreciated!
Please contact Lisa Wackler at firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help out in any way.
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.
The 500th anniversary of the Reformation isn't the only big celebration happening here at St. Paul's. Next year, in 2018, the Congregation of St. Paul's will be celebrating its 175th Birthday!
We are currently looking for people who might be interested in serving on a committee to help plan the celebration. Interested? Please let Lisa Wackler know.
And as you come across pictures from your own time at St. Paul's, please share those 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.