Hymns During the Holidays

One of the great joys of the Advent and Christmas season is the opportunity to sing and hear our favorite hymns and carols in this special time of year. At St. Paul’s, we have so many hymns and so little time to squeeze them all in. So that you don’t miss your favorite, here is our schedule of hymns for December worship services:


December 1 (First Sunday of Advent)

9:00 AM

   We Are Called (#2172)

9:00 & 10:30 AM

   We’ve a Story to Tell to the Nations (#569)

   Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus (#196)


December 8 (Second Sunday of Advent)

9:00 AM & 10:30 AM

   O Come, O Come, Emmanuel (#211)

   People, Look East (#202)

   Blessed Be the God of Israel (#209)

December 15 (Music Sunday)

9:00 AM

   Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates (#213)

   What Child Is This (#219)

   He Is Born (#228) 

10:30 AM (Sanctuary)

   Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates (#213)

   Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming (#216)

   Angels We Have Heard on High (#238)

   Hark! the Herald Angels Sing (#240)


December 22 (Christmas Pageant Sunday)

9:00 AM (Octagon)

   Sing We Now of Christmas (#237)

   Once In Royal David's City (#250)

   Away in a Manger (#217)

10:30 AM (Sanctuary)

   Sing We Now of Christmas (#237)

   In the Bleak Midwinter (#221)

   Away in a Manger (#217)


December 24 (Christmas Eve)

5:00 PM - Family Service

   O Come, All Ye Faithful (#234)

   There’s a Song in the Air (#249)

   It Came upon the Midnight Clear (#218)

   Silent Night, Holy Night (#239)

10:00 PM - Candlelight Service

   Angels from the Realms of Glory (#220)

   The First Noel (#245)

   O Little Town of Bethlehem (#230)

   Silent Night, Holy Night (#239)


December 29 - First Sunday in Christmastide

9:00 AM & 10:30 AM

   Joy to the World (#246)

   Good Christian Friends, Rejoice (#224)

   Go, Tell It on the Mountain (#251)

Poinsettias & Wreaths

The poinsettias gracing the Sanctuary starting December 22 and the wreaths on our doors have been given in honor and memory of loved ones and to the glory of God by members and friends of St. Paul’s. Please find the Poinsettia Dedications and read more at the Poinsettia page.

ADvent & CHristmas Worship Schedule

please scroll down to find other festive special activities including the christmas tree sale, caroling, and the children's craft workshop


  • Sunday, DEcember 1

    The first Sunday of Advent includes Communion at both 9:00 and 10:30 worship services. St. Paul's giving tree will be available in the Narthex. We hope you will select a tag and provide a Christmas gift for a child in need in our local area. You can read more about this project on our Holiday Giving page.

  • Sunday, December 8

    The second Sunday of Advent includes all the usual features of our beautiful worship time together. Both the contemplative 9:00 worship with communion and the traditional 10:30 worship service will offer seasonal hymns, scripture, and coffee hour afterwards in the Octagon. Visit our poinsettia coordinator, Betsy Sanford, in the Narthex after each worship service to order poinsettias, with a dedication in honor or memory of someone special.

  • Sunday, December 15

    The third Sunday of Advent is Music Sunday, as is our tradition. Our Sanctuary Choir will be leading worship with selections for the season. Soloists, full choir, and Joyful Ringers bells will make the 10:30 service ring with glad tidings of great joy. The 9:00 worship service continues to offer a quieter, more contemplative experience with communion. Our poinsettia coordinator will be available following each worship service for those who wish to order poinsettias and make dedications.

  • WEdnesday, December 18: Blue Christmas

    The pressure of the holidays can be hard on people who are hurting. Come to this special service on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. in the Chapel. Rev. Kate Mackereth Fulton will lead an informal worship time where we acknowledge the toll that pain and loss, depression, sadness, and stress can take, and we'll pause to invite in light and peace.

  • Sunday, December 22

    The fourth Sunday of Advent is our Pageant Sunday. The 9:00 a.m. worship service will meet in the Octagon this day. The centerpiece of the 10:30 a.m. service will be the pageant in the Sanctuary, as young people in Kindergarten through grade 5 present a musical setting of the popular story The Best Christmas Pageant Ever during worship.

  • Monday, December 24: CHristmas Eve

    The Christmas Eve worship service designed to be especially family-friendly will be held at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, December 24. Our Youth Choir will provide music and we'll have glow-stick lights.


    At 9:30 p.m., enjoy a musical prelude in the Sanctuary by organist Marvin Mills. The candlelight worship service starts at 10:00 p.m. The Sanctuary Choir will lead as we sing beloved carols and take time to reflect on the message of Christmas.

  • Sunday, December 29

    Rev. Adam B. Snell will share a sermon on this First Sunday of Christmastide during the usual Sunday worship times, 9:00 and 10:30 a.m. This will be Rev. Snell's final worship service at St. Paul's before he transitions to a new assignment as pastor of Glenn Dale UMC.

Worship Survey

"Covid-19 has changed everything." While we are continually adapting, the pastors would like to learn more about how YOU are engaging with worship at St. Paul's as we consider what's working, what needs to change, and where we go next. 


The BEST way to do this is using our new online survey! It should take 5-10 minutes to complete. The survey is open October 1-15. All members and friends of St. Paul's are invited to share their thoughts and experiences.


Click HERE to take the St. Paul's Worship Survey. 


If you prefer to offer your input by mail, please look for the questionnaire in the October edition of the Epistle, mark your responses, and send it to the office so we receive it no later than October 15.

Come to the TaBle of Grace:

A Way Forward Series For St. Paul's UMC

Following the outcome of the Special Church Conference on October 13, 2019 and at the direction of the Church Council, the Reconciling Steering Committee developed a six-month plan for exploring ways to make St. Paul’s more inclusive, including possibly joining Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN).


From December 2019 through April 2020, all were invited to “Come to the Table of Grace.” This series of events was designed to solicit, explore, and reflect all viewpoints to invite a deeper understanding of the Bible and a clearer understanding of our community.


At the end of this process the Steering Committee will recommend a date for a final vote on membership in RMN.


Reconciling Panel – Members of the Reconciling Steering Committee held an open meeting on Thursday, January 23 at 7:00 PM where representatives from area congregations that have joined the Reconciling Ministries Network discussed their experiences.


Faithful & Inclusive – This six-unit video study was led by Pastor Pat Allen beginning on February 2. The study, authored by Rev. Rob Fuquay, examines biblical texts regarding homosexuality using a United Methodist understanding of Scripture that honors Scriptural authority, tradition, reason, and experience, known commonly as the “Wesleyan quadrilateral.”


Refuge - This retreat at West River offered an inclusive faith-building weekend for LGBTQ+ youth. St. Paul's Reconciling Team helped plan and sponsor the event.


The Better Humans Book Club – The Reconciling Steering Committee and Justice & Compassion Team are co-hosting this book club which is open to everyone. Books have been chosen to challenge, illuminate, and encourage readers to explore issues of race, gender, and public policy. 


Lenten Devotional - The booklet "Come to the Table of Grace" features prayers and reflections written by members and friends of St. Paul's as they consider what it means, in the spirit of Christ, to welcome the outsider.

UMC Special Sundays: 

UMCOR

St. Paul's will observe the designated Special Sunday offering for UMCOR on July 26. Since we cannot provide the paper envelopes we would normally share as worship bulletin inserts, we have created an online option to donate securely to this Special Sunday. We will make other Special Sunday offering opportunities available on a rolling basis throughout the year.


Click HERE to donate to UMCOR Special Sunday.


The United Methodist Committee on Relief provides humanitarian relief when war, conflict, or natural disaster disrupts life to such an extent that communities cannot recover on their own. UMCOR makes long-term commitments to local partners working on recovery and reconstruction far beyond the initial crisis response. UMCOR is organized into areas focused on U.S and international disaster response and recovery, sustainable development, and human migration. 


The special offering received on UMCOR Sunday is designated to support the small but impactful UMCOR staff who are specialists in disaster response and recovery. Funds ensure adequate training for emergency response coordinators, case managers who assist victims of disasters, and construction volunteers from chain saw gangs to sheetrock installers and beyond. Since the Special Sunday offering covers these important expenses, 100% of other gifts go directly to designated relief efforts!


Because we join our church’s offerings with those of United Methodist congregations around the world, UMCOR remains strong in its day-to-day operations. When needs are immediate, UMCOR can respond quickly and efficiently with signs of extravagant grace and expert assistance. 

"Re-Entering Well"

A Message from Pastor Pat

The work of preparing to re-enter our space and life as a congregation cannot be completed by one person. Therefore we have created the Re-Entering Well Team of St. Paul’s Kensington to guide us in that work. The team members are Phil Rush, Steve Lillie, Laura Tribble, Nathan Bazawada, Dr. Hal Frazier, Marge Higgins, Tracey Furman, Erin Steele, Rev. Kate Mackereth Fulton, and Rev. Dr. Pat Allen. 


The work of this team will be to create the path and timeline in accordance with guidance from our episcopal leader Bishop Easterling and government officials, and input from the ministries of the church, that we might re-enter St. Paul’s Kensington well. 


Re-entering well is not synonymous with re-entering quickly, as we are committed to entering in a way that minimizes risk and preserves safety for all. 

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Pastor Pat's

CHat in the Park

We were just beginning to know one another when life shifted and we were thrust into social isolation and distancing. Our outdoor worship service reminded us of just how much we miss in person interactions, and just how much we have missed the opportunity to get to know each other.  


I am available to meet with you in Reinhardt Park with masks and social distancing precautions, for anyone who would like to arrange a time to chat. Please contact me (pallen@stpaulsk.org) to set up a time that works for you. 


As we continue to navigate these unusual times, I am truly grateful for the many ways in which God is stretching us to be light and witness to our community and our world. Stay safe, stay hydrated, and stay well!


--Pastor Pat

A celebration of the life of Susan Rudolph

Memorial Service available below


St. Paul's mourns the death of Susan Rudolph who died on May 12 from complications due to advanced Alzheimer's, cancer, pneumonia, and COPD, according to the attending physician at Foxchase Rehab and Nursing Care where she lived. Susan was born in Iowa and worked as a paralegal in DC until she retired. For years, she was the face that greeted anyone entering "Antiques & Uniques" on Howard Avenue in Kensington MD. Susan was a members of the Joyful Ringers! bell ensemble at St. Paul's and loved classic movies, novels, chocolate, dogs, Coca-cola, and reading the Washington Post. Susan had no next-of-kin. Condolences may be directed to Meg Baker or Robin Baum, who became Susan's co-guardians when Alzheimer's made it impossible for Susan to manage on her own.

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Pastor Kate

Medical Leave Plans

Pastor Kate will be out of the office July 30 - August 8 for a planned visit with family.


Pastor Kate has her final surgical procedure to repair a chronic condition in her left leg scheduled for August 12. As with the surgery on the right leg back in February, she will likely be out of the office for about two weeks afterward for recovery. During Pastor Kate's absence, Pastor Pat and other members of the staff will be caring for the needs of our community. For contact information for all of St. Paul's staff, visit http://stpaulsk.org/community/meet-the-staff


Pastor Kate and the Staff Parish Relations Committee are thankful for all those members and friends who donated to the Associate Pastor's Discretionary Fund to support Kate by helping cover the cost of transportation from her home in Virginia to work at St. Paul's, while she was unable to drive.


Questions may be directed to Pastor Kate (kfulton [at] stpaulsk.org) or SPRC Chair Rachel Stalcup (rachelstalcup [at] gmail.com).

Come to the Table of Grace:

A "way forward" series of events

Following the outcome of the Special Church Conference on October 13, 2019 and at the direction of the Church Council, the Reconciling Steering Committee developed a six-month plan for exploring ways to make St. Paul’s more inclusive, including possibly joining Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN). 


From December 2019 through April 2020, all were invited to “Come to the Table of Grace.” Among other engagements, we held the Better Humans Book Club and a roundtable of pastors and lay leaders from other churches in our conference. This series of events was designed to solicit, explore, and reflect all viewpoints to invite a deeper understanding of the Bible and a clearer understanding of our community.


At the end of this process the Steering Committee will recommend a date for a final vote on membership in RMN, tentatively set for April 2020.

More About... 

processing groups, aka Small Groups for Discernment

Discernment, in the Christian context, is the process of determining God’s desire in a situation or for one’s life, or of identifying the true nature of a thing. 


Processing Groups (aka Small Groups for Discernment) were designed to serve as the official way to participate in the discussion about what the future of St. Paul’s UMC should look like in the wake of the 2019 General Conference. The Summary & FAQ document available in the sections above provides useful context on these issues. Processing Groups for Discernment included members and friends of the church and were loosely organized geographically. Groups had the option to meet in homes or at St. Paul’s, on dates and times that group members found agreeable. Each Group was led by a trained facilitator who guided the discussion.


After groups met, facilitators reported back to a Steering Committee about areas of disagreement, areas of consensus, and what next steps might be useful, without sharing confidential or personal details. The Church Council, made of St. Paul’s clergy and lay leaders, used the Processing Groups' feedback as they examined what options are “on the table” and what impact each might have on the church’s leadership, finances, and future, and when or whether to call for a church-wide meeting or a special Church Conference for congregation-wide vote.

St. Paul's Info Session


Following the vote at the global General Conference of The United Methodist Church to adopt a "Traditional" plan regarding church policies on sexuality, St. Paul’s held an information session to update our congregation regarding these events on Sunday, March 3, 2019. Rev. Adam Snell, Rev. Kate Mackereth Fulton, church council chair John Seabreeze, and lay leader Marge Higgins answered questions about what happened and what this could mean for the St. Paul's community. This St. Paul's "debrief" session was recorded and is available for viewing below. For more up to date information, please see the document "Discerning a Way Forward," available by clicking the link in sections above or by picking up a copy in the office or Narthex.

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Order of Worship - Sunday, August 23

Reinhardt Park, IN FRONT OF ST. PAUL'S UMC, Kensington MD

9:30 am

Click HERE to download a *pdf of today's worship bulletin. Or, follow along using the text below!


Please wear masks at all times and maintain physical distancing in the park. Additional information about what to expect can be found in sections below. To participate drive-in style, tune the radio to 101.7 FM. The service will be shared live online using Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/stpaulskensington  


Gathering for Worship


Worship music today is presented by Beth Pierce and David Weaver.

Prelude - "Glory Hallelujah (When I Lay My Burden Down)" - traditional spiritual

Lyrics: Glory, glory, hallelujah, when I lay my burdens down. (repeat) All of my troubles will be over, when I lay my burdens down. Glory, glory, hallelujah, when I lay my burdens down. I’ll go home to meet my Savior when I lay my burdens down. Glory, glory, hallelujah, when I lay my burdens down. I will see, see my mother, when I lay my burdens down. Glory, glory, hallelujah, when I lay my burdens down.


Announcements - Marge Higgins, Lay Leader


Anthem - "I’ll Fly Away"

Lyrics: Some bright morning when this life is over, I’ll fly away; To that home on God's celestial shore, I’ll fly away. (Refrain) I’ll fly away, oh glory, I’ll fly away in the morning; When I die, Hallelujah by and by, I’ll fly away. When the shadows of this life have gone, I’ll fly away, Like a bird from these prison walls I'll fly, I’ll fly away. Oh, how glad and happy when we meet, I’ll fly away. No more cold iron shackles on my feet. Just a few more weary days and then, I’ll fly away. To a land where joys will never end, I’ll fly away. 

Words & Music: Albert E. Brumley, copyright 1932 Hartford Music Company. Renewed 1960 Albert E. Brumley & Sons (Admin. by ClearBox Rights, LLC). Used by permission under CCLI license #24106074. All rights reserved. 


Opening Prayer - Rev. Dr. Patricia Allen, Senior Pastor


Proclamation of the Word - Peggy Graham, Lay Reader

Gospel Reading: Matthew 13:18-23

18“Hear then the parable of the sower. 19When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is what was sown on the path. 20As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21yet such a person has no root, but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away. 22As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing. 23But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”

  Reader: This is the Word of the Lord. 

  People: Thanks be to God. 


Anthem"We Shall Not Be Moved" 

Lyrics: We shall not be, we shall not be moved. (repeat) Just like a tree that’s planted by the water, We shall not be moved. Glory hallelujah, we shall not be moved. (repeat) Just like a tree that’s planted by the water, We shall not be moved. On this rock of ages, we shall not be moved. (repeat) Just like a tree that’s planted by the water, We shall not be moved. On our way to glory land, we shall not be moved. (repeat) Just like a tree that’s planted by the water, We shall not be moved. We shall not be, we shall not be moved. (repeat) Just like a tree that’s planted by the water, We shall not be moved.

Words & Music: Albert Ackley, 1906.


Sermon - Rev. Dr. Patricia Allen, Senior Pastor


Response to the Word (There are many ways we can express our gratitude for God’s presence. Sharing our time, talents, and gifts are a part of our giving with joy. Although we will not pass offering plates, you will find offering buckets available near the ushers if you wish to make a donation by cash or check today. You may also visit stpaulsk.org/giving to donate securely online.)


Sacrament of Baptism

John Frederick Stephens

Congregational Response:  Through baptism you are incorporated by the Holy Spirit into God’s new creation and made to share in Christ’s royal priesthood. We are all one in Christ Jesus. With joy and thanksgiving we welcome you as a member of the family of Christ. 


Rite of Confirmation

Introduction to the Service and Presentation of Candidates  

Sophia Bartley, Audrey Brown, Connor Buss, Ella Carmen, Charlotte Markey, Matthias Meszaros, Natalie Mullens, Colin O’Neill, Anna Ruhlen, John Stephens, Aki Takata, Charlotte Weikert


Renunciation of Sin and Profession of Faith

As each confirmand is received into full professing membership of the church, he or she will be praying for the Holy Spirit to move in this milestone moment in a powerful way. Your silent prayers as each young person comes before God will magnify this effort. You may use this prayer or any similar invocation: Holy Spirit, fill [name] with your power now. Forgive [his/her] sins, strangely warm [his/her] heart. Enable [name] to speak with boldness, that all may know of Jesus Christ. Amen.


Reception into The United Methodist Church

Reception into St. Paul’s UMC

Commendation and Welcome


Congregational Response : We give thanks for all that God has already given you and we welcome you in Christian love. As members together with you in the body of Christ and in this congregation of The United Methodist Church, we renew our covenant faithfully to participate in the ministries of the church by our prayers, our presence, our gifts, our service, and our witness, that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. 


Reaffirmation of the Baptismal Covenant

Introduction to the Service and Renunciation of Sin and Profession of Faith

Leader: And so I ask you, will you turn away from the powers of sin and death?

People: We renounce the spiritual forces of wickedness, and repent of our sin.

L: Will you let the Spirit use you as prophets to the powers that be?

P: We accept the freedom and power God gives us to resist evil, injustice, and oppression, in whatever forms they present themselves.

L: Will you proclaim the good news and live as disciples of Jesus Christ, his body?

P: We confess Jesus Christ as our Savior, put our whole trust in his grace, and promise to serve him as our Lord, in union with the church which Christ has opened to people of all ages, nations, and races.

L: Will you be living witnesses to the gospel, individually and together, wherever you are, and in all that you do?

P: We will remain faithful disciples of Christ’s holy church and serve as Christ’s representatives in the world.

L: Let us join together in professing the Christian faith as contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. Do you believe in God the Father?

P: I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth.

L: Do you believe in Jesus Christ?

P: I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son our Lord: who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried; the third day he rose from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

L: Do you believe in the Holy Spirit?

P: I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.


Thanksgiving Over the Water and Reaffirmation of Baptism

Using any water you’ve brought today, the pastors will invite you to touch the water, and to remember your baptism and be thankful. With regrets, due to health concerns during the time of covid-19, we will not be able to provide a shared source of water.


Thanksgiving and Holy Communion, 

The Invitation and The Great Thanksgiving

Leader: The Lord be with you. 

People: And also with you. 

L: Lift up your hearts. 

P: We lift them up to the Lord. 

L: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God. 

P: It is right to give our thanks and praise. 

(The pastor gives thanks, remembering God’s acts of salvation.) L: And so, with your people on earth and all the company of heaven we praise your name and join their unending hymn: 

P: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest. 

(The pastor continues the thanksgiving and concludes:) L: And so, in remembrance of these your mighty acts in Jesus Christ, we offer ourselves in praise and thanksgiving as a holy and living sacrifice, in union with Christ’s offering for us, as we proclaim the mystery of faith. 

P: Christ has died; Christ is risen; Christ will come again. 

(The pastor continues and concludes:) L: All honor and glory is yours, almighty Father, now and for ever. 

P: Amen. 

The Lord’s Prayer:  Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen. 


Breaking the Bread & Consecrating the Elements

(Please, do NOT consume these communion elements at this time! Save them, and prayerfully consume them at home after washing or sanitizing your hands. This way, you will not remove your mask or touch your face in a way that could risk exposing yourself - or your neighbors here - to illness.) 


Prayer of Thanksgiving: Eternal God, we give you thanks for this holy mystery in which you have given yourself to us. Grant that we may go into the world in the strength of your Spirit, to give ourselves for others, in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 


Anthem"Lift Up Your Voice, Shout and Sing" 

Lyrics: Lift up your voice, shout and sing, let the hallelujahs ring, As we fight for peace here on Earth. Oh please don’t hesitate, Cause we’ve got no time to waste. Lift up your voice, shout and sing. Let’s get to work. Love thy neighbor as thyself, lend a hand and offer help To those in this world who are in need. Feed the hungry, clothe the poor, when you’re tired do a little more. On your journey may I wish you Godspeed. Welcome the stranger in your home, those you see who are alone, Build more bridges, not walls in this life. To the least of these, you have done unto me: That’s how the Lord did say to make it right.

Words & Music: David Weaver, 2019. Used by permission.


Sending Forth

Blessing of the Backpacks

You are invited to present backpacks, laptop bags, tablets, or other items symbolic of the new academic year. We will also bless the annual “Backpack Build” school supplies, generously placed in the bins at the Town Hall parking lot area by our members and friends today. Our partners at Interfaith Works will distribute items to Montgomery County children whose families are less able to provide essential school supplies. If you wish to donate directly, visit stpaulsk.org/service/justice-and-compassion for the link to the Interfaith Works “Amazon Wish List.” Financial gifts can be sent to the church office by check, made out to St. Paul’s UMC with “Backpack Build” on the memo line, and will be used to purchase additional supplies. 


Benediction


Postlude - "Shine, Jesus, Shine"

Lyrics: Lord, the light of your love is shining, in the midst of the darkness shining. Jesus, light of the world, shine upon us, set us free by the truth you now bring us. Shine on me, shine on me... Chorus: Shine, Jesus, shine, fill this land with the Father’s glory, Blaze, spirit, blaze, set our hearts on fire. Flow, river, flow, flood the nations with grace and mercy; Send forth your word, Lord, and let there be light! Lord, I come to your awesome presence, from the shadows into your radiance, By the blood I may enter your brightness. Search me, try me, consume all my darkness. Shine on me, shine on me... As we gaze on your kingly brightness, so our faces display your likeness, Ever changing from glory to glory; mirrored here may our lives tell your story. Shine on me, shine on me... 

Words & Music: Graham Kendrick, copyright 1987 by Make Way Music (Admin. by Music Services, Inc.). Used by permission under CCLI license #24106074. All rights reserved.  


Scripture Next Week: Matthew 13:31-35; Rev. Dr. Pat Allen, preaching. Worship-at-Home at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday: stpaulsk.org/worship/worship-at-home


Click HERE to read current announcements, also posted in the latest Weekly News.

In-Person Worship

August 23, 2020

Join us on Sunday, August 23 for our In-Person Outdoor Worship, 9:30 a.m. in Reinhardt Park (across from St. Paul's front doors). 

SUmmer Sunday School

What it is: In the summer, we offer two Summer Sunday School classes during the 10:30 a.m. worship hour: one class for children ages 2-5, and the other for students ages 6-10. Older children and youth will be in worship in the Sanctuary. (Nursery care for children age 2 and under is available during each worship service year-round.)


When we meet: Summer Sunday School for 2019 runs from May 26 through September 1


Can you spare an hour? We are looking for adults who can volunteer their time for one or more Sundays to lead Summer Sunday School. At least two adult volunteers are needed each week. All materials – curriculum, suggested activities, and snacks – will be provided. Youth helpers are also welcome and encouraged to participate. Please consider serving our church community in this way! Thank you!

Flat John Wesley                                                       

John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement, was a preacher on the go, traveling and preaching outdoors throughout Great Britain and abroad. He was convinced that it was important for him personally to spread the gospel through relationships and continue to grow closer to God in those relationships. In fact, John Wesley rode far enough on horseback to circle the earth 10 times! Methodism grew from four to 132,000 members in Wesley’s lifetime, and there are more than 30 million worldwide today. 


John Wesley traveled with many families during the summer of 2019! Photos of Flat John Wesley at the beach, enjoying lunch, traveling overseas, and visiting family can be found on the Education bulletin board in the hallway near the office. Email questions, comments, or photos to Meg Baker at mbaker [at] stpaulsk.org. 


Happy trails to you!

Easter Eggstravaganza

Easter Sunday may be behind us, but Eastertide – the church season that begins on Easter Sunday – continues through May 31st! If you missed the "eggsperience" over Easter weekend, we encourage you to continue to enjoy this series of video clips, craft projects, storytelling, idea alerts, and even a recorded virtual Easter egg hunt!  


Click HERE to be redirected to our Easter Eggstravaganza page!


Questions? Email the Director of Christian Education, Dr. Meg Baker: mbaker [at] stpaulsk.org.

Outdoor In-Person Worship

Sunday, July 19

8:45 a.m. - last names A-L

10:00 a.m. - last names M-Z


Reinhardt Park, Kensington (directly across Armory Ave. from St. Paul's front doors)


Things to know:

  • Parking along Armory Ave and the Baker's Union driveway is available for attending "drive-in" style from the safety of your car. Tune your radio to 101.7 FM. (Please reserve this option for those with health concerns that could make other outdoor options unsafe. Other parking is available in the church lot, at Town Hall, and at the Baker's Union garage.) 
  • Bring your own chairs or blankets and socially-distance your family's seating in the park. 
  • Bring your masks. All those attending outdoors MUST wear masks the whole time.
  • Do not bring snacks, meals, drinks, or anything that might cause you to remove your mask in the park.
  • Bring your own bread and juice! Pastors will lead a service of Great Thanksgiving & Communion and will consecrate the elements. However, we ask everyone NOT to consume the elements immediately but to SAVE the consecrated bread and juice, consuming them safely and prayerfully once you return to your car or home and can wash or sanitize your hands. This way, you will not remove your mask or touch your face in a way that could risk exposing yourself - or your neighbors - to illness.
  • Music will be provided by members of the Sanctuary choir. There will be no congregational singing. 
  • A virtual worship bulletin will be available for viewing on your smartphone or as a downloadable *pdf. You will be able to find the link at stpaulsk.org. It will include the order of worship, scripture, and text for prayers and songs for those who wish to follow along. We will not provide paper handouts.
  • Offering "buckets" will be in place at the front of the church for those who wish to drop off financial gifts.
  • Ushers will be present to help direct traffic and answer questions.
  • In the event of inclement weather, a decision will be made by 7:00 a.m. and cancelations notices will be posted on stpaulsk.org, Facebook, and sent by email to the weekly news group. (Click here to sign up for the Weekly News emails.)
  • Barring any technical difficulties, the service at 8:45 a.m. will be shared over Facebook Live: https://www.facebook.com/stpaulskensington (No Facebook account is required for viewing.) We will also be recording the worship services, and will make a higher-quality video available for viewing later in the week.
  • Our goal is to minimize the risk of exposing anyone to illness. Please participate with best practices in mind to care for our whole community.

All other Sundays in July: worship-at-home recording available at stpaulsk.org/worship/worship-at-home, 11:00 a.m.


A letter from Pastor Kate:

Dear St. Paul’s family –


We cannot wait to see you! 


We will be gathering for our first in-person(ish) worship since March this month! Save the date for July 19 at 8:45 a.m. (last names A-L) and 10:00 a.m. (last names M-Z). This will be a “beta test” for us, and if all goes well we hope to hold at least some of our worship services this way until it is safe to resume indoor worship together.


We want to be sure that EVERYONE who participates in this service can do so safely. Our Re-Entering Well Team and I have been collaborating on how best to do that, so these services will look and feel a bit different than normal in several ways:


First, we’ll be holding worship outside in Reinhardt Park (across the street from the front doors of St. Paul's) so there will be plenty of room to social distance – bring camping chairs or a picnic blanket so you can sit down and spread out! We’ll also be reserving parking on Armory Ave. from Mitchell St. to Knowles Ave. so high-risk members and families can park and participate “drive-in style” via their car radios. (Dismissal will be done by section in order to keep everyone safe and properly distanced!) Regular parking will still be available in the church lot, at the baker’s union and at Town Hall.


Second, we’ll ALL be wearing masks, since we want to keep the most vulnerable among us safe. If you’re not comfortable wearing a mask, feel free to stay in your car and participate “drive-in style” with the windows closed – but please be aware that we will not permit anyone to participate outside their vehicle without one. If you arrive and realize you forgot yours, let us know and we’ll be happy to provide one!


Third, we may not be able to sing our hymns together, but we will still have music! Members of our choir will be providing music throughout the service (and again, if you want to sing along, stay in your car with the windows up and belt it out to your heart’s content!)


Lastly, we WILL be celebrating Communion together – but since we cannot safely pass out bread and juice, we’re asking everyone to bring their own elements to be blessed at the close of the service, which you can then share in your car together or at home.


None of us could have imagined all that we have been through this year, but I am so grateful to be in community with you and four months apart, I am so looking forward to seeing (part of) your faces!


Peace,

Pastor Kate

Easter Special Offering

Click HERE to make a one-time secure donation to the Easter Special Offering.


St. Paul's has a tradition of generosity and giving that sends our special offerings beyond our walls to aid people in need. As in years past, 100% of the Easter special offering collected by St. Paul's will go to help and serve others. Half of the 2020 Easter Offering will go to UMCOR, the United Methodist Committee on Relief with global reach helping those during natural disasters and man-made crises. The other half of the Easter offering will go to support our Hunger Ministry programs, feeding our hungry neighbors in the 20895 ZIP code. Please give as you are able. All other donations, including pledges, tithes, and offerings, should be made using the options and links above.


Click here to download the *pdf version of the 2020 Easter Offering Letter, with a list of resources while the building is closed.

Easter Lily ORders

We will once again enjoy lilies in the Sanctuary on Easter Sunday. Plants have been sponsored by members and friends of St. Paul's and are dedicated in honor or memory of loved ones. Please see the full list of dedications in the bulletin for the 9:00 or 10:30 worship services.


Sponsors may take home their plants following the 10:30 a.m. worship service on Easter, April 21. Plants can also be picked up in the Narthex during office hours April 23-26, or on Sunday April 28. Plants left after that time may be delivered to those who are ill, home-bound, or otherwise wishing for a little extra cheer.

A Message from Pastor Pat


LOADING PLAYER…

Raise the dough:

A Campaign by our Partners at National UMC

February 15-22, the Campus Kitchen DC, a food ministry of National United Methodist Church, competed against Campus Kitchens at other institutions across the country in the annual Raise the Dough Challenge.


Thanks to all who donated directly to the Campus Kitchen Washington DC campaign!


Your critical support helps Campus Kitchen DC continue to recover food from Mom's Markets in DC and Virginia, from Palantir Technologies in Georgetown, and Sidwell Friends School and Horace Mann Elementary in DC. In the past year we have welcomed volunteers from the congregation, community, and from universities such as American University, Georgetown University, and as a "spring break alternative" program from Georgia State University!

Stephen Ministry Events:

Understanding Advance Directives and MOLST

On November 18, 2019, Stephen Ministry will sponsor a continuing education program on Advance Directives and MOLST (Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment). 


Since this topic is important for everyone, we decided to open it all members and friends of St. Paul's. The speaker will be Beth Kleimeyer from Montgomery Hospice who will discuss the difference between these documents and their importance, and why it is best to discuss these documents before there is a crisis and they are needed.  

The program will be in the Octagon room, 7:00-8:00 pm on Monday, November 18. Please join us for this informative discussion.

UMC Judicial Council rules "Traditional Plan" may proceed

In brief: At the close of their meeting April 23-26, the UMC Judicial Council has ruled that about 60% of the total legislation passed in February is constitutional. The parts of the Traditional Plan legislation that are valid will go into effect in January 2020. This includes new minimum penalties for clergy conducting same-sex weddings and a specific ban on ordaining self-avowed homosexuals to the clergy or as bishops. The streamlined "church exit plan" for those congregations wishing to explore disaffiliation has also been ruled constitutional.


https://www.umnews.org/en/news/court-oks-part-of-traditional-plan-exit-plan


Photo: Members of the 2016-2020 Judicial Council. (From left) Front row: Deanell Reece Tacha, N. Oswald Tweh Sr., the Rev. Luan-Vu Tran. Back row: Lydia Romão Gulele, Ruben T. Reyes, the Rev. Øyvind Helliesen, the Rev. Dennis Blackwell, and the Rev. J. Kabamba Kiboko. (Not pictured, Beth Capen) Photo by Kathleen Barry, United Methodist Communications.

What was The Commission

on a Way Forward?

In response to discussions at the 2016 United Methodist General Conference, the Council of Bishops created The Commission on a Way Forward. This body of clergy and laity from across the denomination and across the world was charged with discerning a path forward for our denomination concerning human sexuality, same-gender unions, and inclusion of our LGBTQIA+ brother and sisters. The Commission was tasked with making a complete examination of every paragraph of the United Methodist Book of Discipline concerning human sexuality and to develop possible revisions. The Commission's goal was to explore options that could help to maintain and strengthen the unity of the church.


The Commission on a Way Forward presented their final report and possible plans to the Council of Bishops at their meeting in Chicago, the first week of May 2018. The Bishops voted to recommend the "One Church Plan" for deliberation at the global UMC Special General Conference in February 2019.


  • The One Church Plan (recommended by the Council of Bishops) removed restrictive language from the Book of Discipline while protecting any annual conference, bishop, congregation, or pastor so they would not be asked to act contrary to their convictions.
  • The Connectional Conference Plan (not recommended by the Council) proposed three values-based conferences in place of the current geographic conferences, with working titles of Progressive, Contextual, and Traditional Conferences based on theology and perspective on LGBTQ+ ministry. 
  • The Traditional Church Plan (also not recommended by the Council) strengthened the language in the current Book of Discipline concerning human sexuality and streamlined the process for handling violations of the Book of Discipline.

 

According to the United Methodist News Service, the recommended One-Church proposal aimed to "align with centrist models which would see the removal of restrictive language from the Book of Discipline, letting conferences decide how inclusive to be while protecting clergy who could not, as a matter of conscience, perform a same-sex union or support ordination of openly gay clergy.”


For the full statement on the Way Forward from the Bishop of the Baltimore-Washington Conference, please read more here: http://www.bwcumc.org/news-and-views/bishop-easterlings-statement-on-a-way-forward/

Year End Giving 2019

As 2019 draws to a close, we are happy to work with you to achieve your giving goals for the year. To ensure that your contributions are received by December 31:

  • Place donations in the offering plate during worship on Dec. 29.
  • Use our online giving portal (scroll down!) to donate by credit or debit card, checking, or saving account before Dec. 31.
  • Mail your check to St. Paul’s UMC at 10401 Armory Ave., Kensington MD 20895 in time for us to receive it by Dec. 31.
  • Bring your gift to the office during office hours (9:00 am - 3:00 pm, Monday-Friday) so that we receive it no later than 3:00 pm on Dec. 31.
  • Use your bank’s bill pay system within their time-frame for a Dec. 31 delivery.
  • Transfer appreciated stock directly to St. Paul’s to avoid paying capital gains. Please contact Michelle Gregonis, treasurer, for St. Paul’s brokerage account.

If you have questions about your 2019 giving statement to date, please contact Erin Steele in the church office.

Sunday SChool: Fall 2019

From September through May, we offer Sunday School classes for children and youth from age 2 through grade 12. Classes are generally divided by age group. There is no advanced registration required for Sunday School, and visitors and friends are always welcome! 


New for 2019: Starting September 8, youth in grades 6-12 will be in worship in the Sanctuary during the 10:30 worship service. Youth Sunday School will be held after worship, at 11:45 a.m., allowing for a focused discussion about themes from the sermon, Scripture, and other topics. (Younger students will continue to have class during the 10:30 worship hour. Our nursery is available year-round for children under age 2.)


On most Sundays:

  • Sunday School for children age 2 through Grade 5 will begin at 10:30 a.m. A list of class locations will be posted in the Narthex. You can also pick up a detailed plan with classroom locations, teachers, and other information in the church office.
  • About once a month, on Children’s Sunday, these younger age groups will first come to the Sanctuary to participate in the Young People’s Message in worship before transitioning to their Sunday School classrooms. Please see below for special dates to know!
  • Children's Choir, for students in Kindergarten through grade 5, will meet Sundays, 11:45-12:30, to prepare music for worship on Children's Sunday and to prepare the Christmas Pageant.
  • All Youth (grades 6-12) will be in the Sanctuary each Sunday at 10:30 a.m. to engage in the full worship service. Beginning Fall 2019, we will offer a new Sunday School / Bible Study class at 11:45 a.m., after worship, where youth will dive deeper into the themes of the day's sermon, the Bible passages read during worship, and other devotional material.
  • Information about St. Paul's Youth fellowship and Youth Choir can be found on the Youth page: http://stpaulsk.org/community/youth


Special Dates to Know for Fall 2019:

  • September 15: All students and teachers begin in worship at 10:30. We will consecrate the work of our teachers and Third Graders will receive Bibles, then students and teachers will transition to their classrooms together.
  • October 13: Children's Sunday. All students grade 5 and younger will begin in the Sanctuary with their families at 10:30 a.m. The Children's Choir will sing during worship. Following the Young People's Message, students will transition to their classrooms with their teachers. 
  • November 24: Children's Sunday. All students grade 5 and younger will begin in the Sanctuary with their families at 10:30 a.m. The Children's Choir will sing during worship. Following the Young People's Message, students will transition to their classrooms with their teachers. 
  • December 22: Pageant Sunday. The Children's Christmas Pageant is the core of the 10:30 worship service. There will be no Sunday School so all may enjoy this time together.
  • December 24: Our Family Friendly Christmas Eve worship service begins at 5:00 pm in the Sanctuary and features seasonal music, the voices of the Youth Choir, and child-safe glo-sticks for use in the pews (instead of candles).

2020 schedule coming soon!


Contact Mrs. Meg Baker, Director of Christian Education, for more information! 


Thanksgiving

Our "regular" hunger ministry volunteers and donors join forces with our St. Paul's Youth to provide those in need in the 20895 ZIP code with a hearty Thanksgiving meal. This program is only possible through your generosity. 


There are three ways you can help:


1) Donate individual Thanksgiving food such as corn, green beans, sweet potatoes/yams, other vegetables, stuffing, potatoes, rice, cranberry sauce, gravy, fruit, dessert item, juice (no refrigerated items, please!). If you are providing baked goods or pantry-stable produce, please be sure it has a "use by" date of November 30 or later.


2) Make a monetary contribution which we will use for supplies and/or provide $25 Safeway and Giant gift cards, which will allow families to purchase things like turkeys, dairy, and frozen foods. Donations may be placed in the large envelope in the church office. 


3) “Adopt” a family, providing "all the fixings" for a savory Thanksgiving feast. There is an adopt-a-family sign-up sheet in the church office - contact the church office by 3:00 pm on Friday, Nov. 22 to be added to the adopt-a-family list.


Please bring all donations to St. Paul's no later than Sunday morning, November 24; we will be distributing Thanksgiving food baskets to our Kensington neighbors that evening. 


Distribution will take place 7:30-8:30 pm in Heavener Hall. 


Middle High and Senior High Youth will help with sorting, set-up, and preparation during their normal youth fellowship times. For more information about volunteering, please contact or Jean Langbein.  

Cookies & Carols Party

St. Paul’s will be hosting our Eighth Annual Cookies and Carols party for Hunger Ministry families on Sunday, December 15, 2:00- 4:00 p.m. in Heavener Hall. 


Please join us in celebrating the season with our neighbors that day! There are many volunteer opportunities such as baking cookies or cupcakes, moving Giving Tree gifts to parents' cars, serving snacks, and helping with children’s crafts. Please sign up here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090c48afac29a6fd0-cookies1


For more information, please contact Kim Longsworth or the church office. 

GIving Tree

As in years past, we will again be providing gifts for our neighbors in need this Christmas. We will serve our regular Hunger Ministry families in the 20895 ZIP code area, plus local referrals from Montgomery County's DHHS.


The Giving Tree is in the Narthex. We hope you will stop by to select a tag showing the age and gender of a child, and then provide an appropriate Christmas gift. There is also a log to make a note of your selection (so we can check things off in the end, which helps us in case tags fall off or the numbers don't quite add up). 


All gifts must be delivered to St. Paul’s no later than Sunday morning, December 8and should be placed on the tables near the tree. Please wrap the gift and securely attach the tag to the outside of the present.


We will also be giving a $25 gift card to our adult-only families. If you prefer not to shop for a child's gift but would like to contribute, $25 department-store gift cards (such as Target, JCPenney, or Kohl's) are welcome. Gift cards or financial donations may be placed in the large envelope in the church office.


If you have questions or would like more information, please contact Jean Langbein or Kim Longsworth, or the church office.

Children's Advent Craft Workshop

This annual workshop for children will be held Saturday, December 7, 9:30-11:30 a.m. in the Multi-Purpose Room. 


Children (and their adult and youth friends) will have the opportunity to make a variety of Advent and Christmas-related crafts.  This is free of charge, but donations are welcome. 


For more information or to volunteer, please contact Meg Baker (mbaker@stpaulsk.org, 301 933-7933 ext. 104).


(If you want, make plans to also enjoy pancakes and other dishes at the monthly Pancake Breakfast upstairs! Serving hours 8:00-10:30am.)

Hidden Pages


Make a donation

https://app.clovergive.com/f/f2.asp?formid=64e4391b-be56-4caa-a53e-bf6cf1bceb61


Use this link above to reach the Clover Give page that allows us to process one-time donations meant for Special Funds. Example: someone wants to use a credit card to pay the room use fee for a funeral service, but the card reader is unavailable...


THIS page is hidden from the navigation menu, so you can't click to it through our published website. But you CAN access it by entering stpaulsk.org/community/hidden-pages into the navigation bar on your browser.



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