Worship Ministry   null

  Volunteers needed for worship services! 

We need volunteers in all areas of the worship service, especially altar guild (setup/cleanup of the altar), communion assistant, and usher.  Let's give our very loyal regular helpers some relief.  If you can serve in any of these positions, please contact Pam Wannen at 202-454-6703 or pam@wannen.com. 



The Worship Ministry at St. Paul’s plays a critical part in providing leadership on all factors influencing the congregation’s worship life. It provides input for the music environment of the congregation, including the adult and children’s choirs, the bell choir, and the congregation’s magnificent Shantz organ.  It plays a key role in advising on the liturgy, communion practices, and the general worship environment.  The ministry also is responsible for enlisting volunteers to assist with the many aspects of worship, including worship assistant, communion assistant, readers, greeters, crucifers, acolytes, banner bearers, and torch bearers.

If you are interested in getting involved with Worship Ministry, please contact Karen Leigh Campbell or 703-508-2492.


For current worship times and special events, click here.



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.


The Great O Antiphon Countdown


So what is this? This special countdown always starts on December 17, for the last seven days of Advent. The O Antiphons are one of the Western Christian Church's oldest traditions, dating from the time of Charlemagne (eighth century) or even earlier. They have been called "the great Os" for hundreds of years; the word "antiphon" comes¬†via ecclesiastical Latin from Greek¬†antiphŇćna¬†'harmonies,' neuter plural of¬†antiphŇćnos¬†'responsive,' from¬†anti¬†'in return' +¬†phŇćnńst'sound.' ¬†The Great O Antiphons¬†are a set of refrains originally used before and after the singing of the Magnificat (Mary's Song) in the Vespers (evening) service. Catholics, Lutherans and Episcopalians sing them the most, although nonliturgical churches now use them too, often in spoken form.

Each refrain or petition begins with "O" and one of the special titles given to the Messiah by the prophet Isaiah. And then each petition asks Jesus to come and save us in a particular way, also as described in Isaiah's prophecy. Using these Old Testament titles reflects Israel's yearning for the Messiah, and they help us express our own hopes and expectations as we wait for Christ's return.

During the twelfth century, these antiphons were loosely transcribed into a Latin hymn. In the mid1800s English linguistics scholar John Mason Neale translated that into English; a later descendant of his version is now sung as the lyrical paraphrase "O come, O come, Emmanuel" (ELW #257). The fifteenth-century French processional chant that fits this text so well is traceable to a copy written out for a Franciscan convent.

This quintessential Advent hymn will serve as our processional on Sunday the 17th, led by the choir. The beautiful language of the individual O Antiphons works well as part of daily devotions in the final week of Advent, as meditations taped to a mirror or door, et cetera.


December 17  (O Sapienta) 

O Wisdom, 

coming forth from from the mouth of the Most High, reaching from one end to the other, mightily and sweetly ordering all things: 

Come and teach us the way of prudence.


December 18   (O Adonai)

O Adonai, 

and leader of the House of Israel, who appeared to Moses in the fire of the burning bush and gave him the law on Sinai: 

Come and redeem us with an outstretched arm.


December 19   (O Radix Jesse)

O root of Jesse,

standing as a sign among the peoples; before you kings will shut their mouths, to you the nations will make their prayer:

Come and deliver us, and delay no longer.


 December 20   (O Clavis David)

O Key of David and scepter of the House of Israel;

you open and no one can close; you close and no one can open: 

Come and lead the prisoners from the prison house, those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.


December 21   (O Oriens)

O Morning Star,

splendor of light eternal and sun of righteousness: 

Come and enlighten those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.


December 22   (O Rex Gentium)

O King of the nations,

the ruler they long for, the cornerstone uniting all people:

Come and save us all, whom You formed out of clay.


December 23   (O Emmanuel)

O Emmanuel,

our king and our Lord, the hope of the nations and their Savior:

Come and save us, O Lord our God.



St. Paul's Youth Choir

The youth choir continues to invite young people to come and sing with them on Sundays for a 45 minute rehearsal following the 11:00 am  worship service.

Singing in this group is a wonderful opportunity to learn basic vocal  technique and explore some great music. Come and be a part of  discovering a very special way of making a joyful noise!

For information contact Marcia Perez at 301 580 8021.


Welcome to our New Music Directors, 

Sonja Kahler & Matt Larson!



Dear St. Paul's,

We are delighted to begin as your new music directors! Tuesday the 5th was our first day at the church, and we enjoyed attending our first official staff meeting. We look forward to playing the church's fine instruments, working with the dedicated choir, and getting to know you, the congregation.        

We live in Bethesda with our two children, who will accompany us to St. Paul on Sundays. We are lifelong Lutherans who met in the organ department of Northwestern University's music school 27 years ago. Our first date was to go hear organist Paul Manz play for a Sunday service in Chicago. We have served as a team in churches since our marriage (25 years ago this November). The last five years we worked at Our Savior Lutheran in Arlington, so the shorter commute to St. Paul's is great.

Sonja attended Valparaiso University to study music and journalism; then she went to Northwestern University for a Master of Music and discovered Matt in the organ department. Matt's degrees from Northwestern are in church music and computer science. He is vice president of research at ICANN, a nonprofit that coordinates Internet domain names, where he leads a team of researchers.

Sonja is finishing a third degree in organ at the Peabody Conservatory at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. Until our son was a toddler, Sonja worked as a copy editor for various publications, including  Kiplinger Magazine and its book division, guides for the National Park Service, and business documents for IBM, Verisign, and other firms.        

Our son, Christian, is a freshman at Walt Whitman High School, and he plays piano and euphonium. His sister, Ilsa, is a 7th-grader at Washington Episcopal School, and she plays piano and trumpet.         

Again, our family is delighted to begin at St. Paul's Lutheran! Please introduce yourselves, and we look forward to meeting everyone!

Sonja Kahler & Matt Larson




Easter at St. Paul's:













"How beautiful are the feet of those who bring Good News!"

--Romans 10:15


Click HERE to read  Jesus' "Sermon on the Mount," John Butler's "The Martyr President," Dietrich Bonhoeffer's "Overcoming Fear," Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I've Been to the Mountaintop,", and  a sermon preached by Tom Omholt after 9/11.