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.
Please Volunteer at the Food Pantry on September 1st!
Our food pantry operates on the first and third Saturday of every month and provides food to approximately 60 needy families in the neighborhood and across DC. The pantry requires a minimum of four volunteers to operate, with set-up from 9-10 and open hours from 10-12. We are in desperate need of volunteers for September 1st (Labor Day weekend) because many of our regular volunteers are out of town. Volunteers of all ages are welcome - please consider volunteering if you are available that day. Many of the people we serve take several buses across town to get to St. Paul's, and it is very difficult/impossible to get the word out to everyone if we have to cancel. If you are available and can help, please contact Kate Belinski (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Dear Friends in Christ,
The Day of Pentecost will soon be upon us. This means that we will once again focus our attention on the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Holy Trinity. It seems to me that of the three divine ways that God expresses who God is, the most mysterious and misunderstood is the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is sort of the forgotten person of the Trinity, seemingly not as important and certainly not as popular as God the Father and God the Son. Most of us can remember from confirmation class that the first article of the Apostle’s Creed deals with God as Creator, the second article deals with God as Redeemer (Jesus), and the third article deals with God as, well, have you forgotten? That’s right, it begins with an “s.” Sanctifier. The Holy Spirit is the Sanctifier, but what does that mean?
I think it’s time to take out our Luther Small Catechisms and look again at the meaning to the third article of the Apostle’s Creed. “I believe that by my own understanding or strength I cannot believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to him.” Am I to understand that even with four years of seminary, countless hours of continuing education, and 43 years of parish ministry experience I cannot believe in Jesus Christ on my own, but only through the Holy Spirit can that happen? Well, yes. In fact, Luther says that it is the Holy Spirit that calls us through the gospel, enlightens us with gifts and makes us holy. Makes us what? Holy? Do we look holy? Do we act holy? Does the front page of the newspaper suggest that we are a holy people? No, I think we are a work in progress. We are being made holy. We are being sanctified by the Sanctifier, the Holy Spirit. Oh, this sanctification, this being made holy is not just for Lutherans, it is for the whole Christian church.
Here’s what else the Spirit does for us. The Holy Spirit forgives our sins, and not just on high holy days, but every day. It’s not only our sins that are forgiven, but the sins of others as well, even those who we think are worse sinners than we are.
Now comes the last part of the Holy Spirit’s job description, and, in some ways for me, the best part. On the last day, which is on the day I die, the Holy Spirit will come for me and carry me to my eternal home. Again, the Holy Spirit is not selective, the Spirit will raise all those who have died, and will bring us all to live with Christ for all eternity. May we in faith then humbly declare that “this is most certainly true.”
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Thomas A. Omholt
Interim Pastor has been assigned!
Our new Interim Pastor has been assigned and will be meeting with Church Council in September. Look for more information after that meeting! Contact Pastor Tom with any questions or concerns!
Farewell and Godspeed to Glenn Ralph
Please join us for a farewell reception for our sexton and shelter coordinator, Glenn Ralph, on Sunday, August 26th, immediately following the 10 am service. Glenn has faithfully served St. Paul's for the last 10 years as its Sexton and Shelter Coordinator and will be here until September 1st. Over the next few weeks, there will be a basket in the portico in which you can place cards to Glenn. Please join us on the 26th!
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).
Homeless Shelter Volunteers Needed
As we bid our longtime shelter coordinator, Glenn Ralph, a fond farewell and Godspeed, we look 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.
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.
Help With Worship This Summer!
Plan your dates to be a worship assistant !!
This Sunday, May 27th, we will be moving to our Summer Worship Schedule, and we're going to try something new!
Scheduling for the summer can be a little tough as people sort out their summer plans, so we're going to do a trial run of having most Worship Assistants sign up via Signup Genius. This way you can plan ahead and even sign up for more than one Sunday at a time. (Plan your whole summer in advance--what a concept!) Signup Genius will send you a helpful reminder about your service a few days in advance.
To get started, click HERE.
If you are hesitant to use signup genius but still want to serve, please contact Lisa or Joy and they can schedule you. Also, if you have any difficulties using signupgenius, please let us know so we can work out any issues that may come about!
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.
Please don't forget about the food pantry during the summer months, as the cupboard can sometimes get bare!
We are always in need of canned fruit, canned vegetables, soups, canned fish (like tuna and salmon) and canned meats. Also needed is spaghetti, pasta, spaghetti sauce, rice, and peanut butter.
Toiletries like toilet paper, toothpaste, deodorant, tooth brushes, soap and shampoo are always welcome as well.
Thanks for any help! You can leave your donations in the basket in the narthex by the front door, or drop it at the food pantry (white cabinets across from the kitchen).
First Communion Class Now Forming!
The spring First Communion class is now forming. All children and youth of any age are invited to be a part of first communion instruction. There will be three classes: September 16th, September 23rd, and September 30th, with First Communion taking place on October 14th at the 11 am service. 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 #8 - Transition Team
In the coming weeks St. Paul's will form a Transition Team as directed by the ELCA Handbook from the Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Synod.
"This Transition Team (apart from the Congregation's Church Council and different from a Call Committee) to assist in the formation of the relationship between the interim pastor and the congregation. The team should be comprised of three to five energetic members who represent different demographics of the congregation. Its primary function is to be a liaison between the congregation and the interim pastor and to assist the interim pastor with analysis and process.
Responsibilities of the Transition Team may include the following:
(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!
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: August 12, 19, 26.
Please contact Joy Belew to reserve a date. Thank you.
Ring in Rally Day and the new worship year with the St. Paul's Bell Choir.
We'll be meeting during June, July and early September to prepare for Rally Day and again for double musical treats for Reformation and All Saints Sundays. We'd love to have you join us.
We NEED to have you join us. We have three ringers at present with hopes for a fourth to return.
All you need is a willing heart. There are no age or experience requirements. Bells are of different weights, so strength is not required to join. It is a great opportunity for singles to fellowship as well as an entire family to have a group church activity.
Questions or concerns? Contact director, Karen Leigh Campbell here or in person before or after services.
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.
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.
On August 18th from 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm there will be an evening concert at St. Paul's with something for every musical taste and then some! RÓMEZ3arts' Threefold mission is bringing the highest quality of Musical Performance, Community Engagement, and Musical Mentorship to stages and other venues in the US and abroad. Check them out on Facebook or their websitewww.romez3arts.com or follow the link to Eventbrite to purchase tickets in advance!
Please mark your calendars for our annual Rally Day Picnic, Sunday, September 9th, after the 11 am service. Hot dogs, hamburgers and drinks will be provided by the church. Please bring a side dish or dessert to share. We'd love volunteers for set up, grilling and clean up. Contact Liz Rihani with questions or to volunteer.
The first day of Sunday School is, Sunday, September 9th, which is Rally Day at St. Paul's. Opening Sunday School Chapel will be at 9:45 am in the Lower Auditorium.
Sunday School is offered for grades pre-K through high school. Sunday School meets weekly from 9:45 am - 10:45 am. If your child is aged 2 ½ -3, they are old enough to start Sunday School!
To help us prepare for the new Sunday School year, please register your child now for classes. For registration form click here.
Registering early will help us finalize our classes, plan for materials, and develop a Sunday School contact list with your contact information.
And are you willing to help out in any way? We are always looking for classroom teachers! Please contact Tammy Larson if you can help.
Begins on Sunday, September 9th!
Attention all 7th and 8th graders:
Mark your calendars, because we are starting the new year of Confirmation on Sunday, September 9th!
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.
The StLuthRef High Schoolers just returned on Sunday, July 1st from attending the ELCA's National Youth Gathering in Houston, Texas. For five days, twenty-five kids and four adult leaders showed the people of Houston and each other what it means to be a child of God, by serving in the community, learning about ministry, attending a synod gathering, worshiping with each other, being a part of the Gathering's "Mass Cast" on opening night, and having a whole lot of fun through it all! And we were in good company, because the triennial event was attended by 31,000 other ELCA Lutherans!
If you'd like to check out some of the many activities that we did, please watch the ELCA's videos posted on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=elca+youth+gathering+2018.
A big thank you to the congregations of St. Paul's, Luther Place, Church of the Reformation, and Augustana for their support! And mark your calendars now, because the next ELCA National Youth Gathering is in Minneapolis, June 29-July 3, 2021.
Just a reminder that from Sunday, May 27th through Sunday, September 2nd, there is only one worship service at 10 AM.
Also, please note that Sunday School is over until September 9th!
And don't forget! The church nursery is available every Sunday during the summer, 9:45--11:15 am (or until the last child gets picked up). Let us give you a break when you need it!
The watercolors of St. Paul's member, David Cox are currently on exhibit at the District Architecture Center, Suman Sorg Gallery located at 421 7th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004. (www.aiadc.com).Gallery hours are Monday - Wednesday, 10:00 am - 7:00 pm and Thursdays from 10:00 am -5:00 pm. The exhibit runs until August 31st and admission is free.
The 2018 Confirmation bulletin board has been taken down and saved. Each confirmand's picture and Confirmation Scripture verse are clipped together and located on the small table in Deaconess Cassie's office. You are welcome to stop by the office and pick up the packet to add to your Confirmation keepsakes. If you are unable to pick them up and need to make other arrangements please contact Deaconess Cassie.
Sonja Kahler graduates from Peabody program; Will present organ recital at St. Paul's the evening of June 29th!
Today St. Paul's musician Sonja Kahler received a Graduate Performance Diploma in Organ from the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore. This conservatory program takes two full-time academic years to complete, and requires classwork and two significant recitals. Peabody is the oldest music school in the United States, and has been officially linked to Johns Hopkins since 1977.
At Peabody Sonja received the E. Carl Freeman Scholarship in Organ, the Milton H. Miller, Sr. Endowed Scholarship in Organ, and the year-end Richard Ross Memorial Prize in Organ. Her Master of Music is from Northwestern University; her undergraduate studies, in music and journalism, were at (the Lutheran) Valparaiso University.
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 in 1992 Pastor Tom Omholt called Joan Janshego, chair of St. Paul's Social Ministry Committee, and said, "I think we need to open a homeless shelter," and by December 1992, it was a reality?
The idea for a homeless shelter at St. Paul's was motivated when the D.C. government received pushback from neighbors to its plan to build an emergency homeless shelter at Guy Mason Recreational Center at Calvert Street. Two local churches came to the rescue and opened homeless shelters in their buildings.
The desire for St. Paul's to be part of the D.C. homeless solution launched a whirlwind of activity by the Social Ministry Committee. There were consults with the churches who had homeless shelters to determine a viable model. Anticipating resistance and wanting buy-in, meetings and forums were held to discuss the project and to answer questions with St. Paul's members, immediate neighbors, organizations that used the church building, and nearby schools.
On November 1,1992, the establishment of an emergency shelter was approved by the congregation, and the shelter opened in December 1992 with four residents. Four years later, the shelter expanded to house five men, and in November 2001, the shelter began year-round operation. Volunteers, many of whom are not St. Paul's members, provide dinner each night for the residents.
For more than 25 years, St. Paul's has supported hundreds of men by providing a safe environment so they could take the first step towards getting their lives back together.
To find out more about the hard work to establish St. Paul's Homeless Shelter, you can talk with Joan Janshego or can read her article on the Historic Chevy Chase DC website,
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!