DOnations for Asylee Women's Enterprise center

The Justice and Compassion group welcomes your donation of personal hygiene items, toiletries, and diapers for the Asylee Women Enterprise (AWE). AWE is a 501(c)3 that provides wrap-around services and support to asylum seekers as they navigate the immigration legal process, begin to heal from past trauma, and rebuild their lives in the Baltimore-area. While AWE endeavors to help all who seek assistance, priority is given to women and children. 


Bring your items to the Narthex during Nov 6, 13 and 20 or during church hours. 


For more information about AWE, see www.asyleewomen.org


Donation Items:

  • · Deodorant
  • · Toothbrushes
  • · Toothpaste
  • · Shampoo/Condition
  • · Body wash
  • · Hairbrushes
  • · Diapers, pullups
  • · Baby wipes
  • · Maxi pads (multiple sizes)


If you have questions, email justice@stpaulsk.org.

How can I get one of those folding chairs??

During covid-times, we've all been doing things outdoors - including worship!! - where we need to bring along our own chairs. 


So as a special THANK YOU, we've ordered these cool St. Paul's folding chairs and will be giving one to each household that pledges! 


To get your chair:


A) Meet Mr. Micah Smartt, Minister of Youth & Design, after worship on Sundays. He will receive your pledge and get your chair for you. Contact msmartt@stpaulsk.org to confirm his availability. This is a good option if you want to fill out a paper form at the church and hand it in on Sunday.


B) Contact Erin Steele, Director of Communications & Administration to arrange chair pick-up on a weekday. (Please note - weekday access to the building is limited during construction.) This is a good option if you want to mail your pledge form to the office. Give us a week for the post office to do its thing and get your letter to us! 


C) Pledge online (see the section above!). Give us three business days to add you to the list for a chair, then you can contact Micah Smartt about getting a chair on Sunday or contact Erin Steele for weekday pick-up options. 

Umcor Donations - Ukraine

You can donate through St. Paul's UMC to support UMCOR and respond to disasters and crises, at home and abroad. To donate to International Disaster Response & Recovery funds directed toward the crisis in Ukraine, click the button to go to our secure donations page.

UMCOR Donations


100% of your donations to The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) goes to UMCOR. Through your support, UMCOR's local partners on the ground and its own trained early responders can move quickly to provide aid, and can remain in a community for rebuilding work that goes well beyond the initial response.


If you prefer to donate by check, please make it payable to St. Paul's UMC with "UMCOR - Ukraine" on the memo line, and place it in the offering plate on Sunday or mail it to St. Paul's UMC, Attn: Treasurer, 10401 Armory Ave., Kensington MD 20895. 

Pancake Schedule

We hope you enjoy the Community Pancake Breakfast year-round! 

Here is the 2019-2020 schedule for specialty pancakes and the charities that benefit each month. 

(Schedule may be subject to change!)


September – Gingerbread (for the B/W Conference Camping Ministry

October – Buckwheat (for the Mid-County United Ministries)

November – Pumpkin (for Wesley Theological Seminary)

December – Chocolate Chip (for the St. Paul’s Improvement Fund)

January – Egg Nog (for the annual St. Paul’s youth mission work trip)

February – Corn Hoecakes (for the St. Paul’s Educational Awards Scholarship Program)

March – Orange Whole-Wheat (for the Red Bird Missionary Conference)

April – M&M's (for the West River UM Center)

May – Whole Grain (for UMCOR)

June – Blueberry (for the St. Paul’s Library)

July & August - no pancake breakfast

Children's Programming this Summer

All Sundays in August PLUS September 4 & 11: Children are invited to be in worship with their loved ones and experience the rhythm of the worship service. We encourage all those who worship to live into the vows we share at baptism when we promise to embrace young ones as part of the family of God and help them to learn to walk in the ways of faith. There will be no Sunday School or separate children’s programming during the 10:30 worship hour until September 18 when Sunday School for the 2022-2023 programming year begins. Nursery care is available at both the 9:00 and 10:30 worship services for those preschool age and younger. “Busy Bags” with quiet activities for kids are available at the Welcome Desk. 


Questions? Contact Dr. Meg Baker at mbaker@stpaulsk.org. 



Hope to see you there!

Special Sunday: Peace with Justice

"Speak out... for the rights of all who are vulnerable. Speak out in order to judge with righteousness and to defend the needy and the poor." (Proverbs 31:8-9 CEB)


One of our denomination’s six Special Sundays, Peace with Justice Sunday calls the church to strengthen its capacity to advocate publicly in communities throughout the world. Through connectional giving, contributions from St. Paul's join with contributions from United Methodist churches worldwide. Peace with Justice funds are administered by the General Board of Church and Society with half of all gifts staying with local ministries in each conference and half supporting the work of Church and Society globally. 


Click the button to donate by credit card to this Special Sunday offering through our secure donations page. Special offering donations are processed by our partners at Clover Give / Ministry Works.

Peace with Justice Offering


We also gratefully receive checks. Please make checks payable to St. Paul's UMC with "Peace/Justice Special" on the memo line, and mail to St. Paul's UMC, Attn: Michelle Gregonis, 10401 Armory Ave., Kensington MD 20895, or place donations in the Sunday offering plates.


When you donate to Peace with Justice offering, you're supporting efforts like these examples of recent programs that received funding during the last few years:

  • The youth group at Calhoun First UMC in Calhoun, GA started the Book Blessings program with a PWJ grant in 2019. Calhoun has a high poverty rate and a high rate of non-native English speakers. Increased literacy is a key to helping kids overcome the effects of poverty, so the Calhoun UMC Book Blessings program purchases and distributes books to families through after-school programs, specifically targeting those facing homelessness or who receive free tutoring within the school system. (https://www.umc.org/en/content/pwjs-grants-make-a-difference-in-the-north-georgia-conference-pwjs)
  • Helping Our Neighbors (HON) is a community engagement ministry of First United Methodist Church in Kalamazoo, MI. Moved by regular contact with persons living in homelessness or insecure housing, HON volunteers started asking, “What do you need?” Many of those they have come to know said, “We need a reliable way to communicate with persons and places that are essential for our safety and welfare.” Through a 2022 PWJ grant, HON began offering cell phones. Recipients have used them to find employment, call 911 in emergencies, and make routine appointments. (https://www.umc.org/en/content/helping-our-neighbors-in-kalamazoo-pwjs)
  • The United Methodist Men organization in the Northeast District, East Mindanao Philippines Annual Conference, took on Environmental Justice and systemic poverty at the same time. With a PWJ grant in 2019, they divided a portion of the conference property into 10 modules, each with a focus on sustainable agriculture: tree orchards; range chicken production; duck, goat, hog and quail raising; inland fish ponds; mushroom culture and management; and organic vegetable farming. The goal is to teach sustainable agricultural practices and create a dedicated source of organic, healthy foods for the surrounding community. (https://www.umc.org/en/content/united-methodist-men-in-philippines-focus-on-environmental-justice-pwjs)
  • Seabold UMC in Bainbridge Island, WA, received a grant in 2021 through the The Pacific Northwest Annual Conference to help support the needs of community members with intellectual disabilities. Kellie Creamer, director of Island Time Activities, wrote, "Everyone’s fully integrated presence in our public and work spaces benefits us all."
  • The Summer Arts Camp of United Methodist Church of the Redeemer, in Temple Hills, MD, received a grant from the Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference in 2021 to design a program in partnership with a local youth center to help children unleash their creative abilities and artistic expressions through drama, music, dance, visual arts and photography. According to Rev. Michael Parker, "We are carving out safe space for children who live in extremely at-risk communities to have positive, safe, community building activities and receive nutritious meals throughout the summer, which is the peak time for juvenile-related offenses. Our children are able to not just build bridges but be bridges of hope and change in our community."
  • In Indianapolis IN, a grant through the annual conference supports Matthew’s Voices hosted at Roberts Parks UMC. This choir offers access to and addresses the need for the arts in populations in the city that often go untouched, unloved, and underserved. 
  • The “Letting Girls Be Girls” program provides health education programming and services for young girls in the Rotifunk community of Sierra Leone.
  • The Global Peace with Justice supported of an Economic Empowerment program for Gypsy women in Canon Nagar, India.

Readiness 360

In February you may have participated in an electronic assessment opportunity made available by the Baltimore-Washington Conference called the Readiness 360 survey. We've received the summary of those responses (with your identities shielded) and just want you to know we appreciate your participation. Stay tuned for more information about the results and what they mean to and for us as a congregation.

Pastor Pat

Bishop's Statement on Local Tragedies

January 27, 2022

A Message from Bishop LaTrelle Easterling


Beloved:


I greet your in the name of a suffering and transcendent Savior:


On Monday, three Baltimore firefighters died in the line of duty. On Tuesday, Hyattsville Mayor Kevin Ward died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. These tragedies stir our hearts as we grieve people we might not have known, but who have lived as servant leaders among us.

 

The fallen firefighters, Lt. Paul Butrim, Kelsey Sadler, and Kenny Lacayo, and injured firefighter John McMaster, were trapped in an abandoned rowhouse when it collapsed on them. Their sacrifice reminds us of the courage and sacrificial service lived out every day by our public servants.

 

As one who worked with those in fire service earlier in my career, I know the depth of their commitment, the strong bonds they form, and the devastation they feel when a fellow responder succumbs to their injuries. We hold the families, their colleagues, and our community in prayer.

 

We also pray for the husband and two children of Mayor Kevin Ward and the town of Hyattsville. Ward was a rare public servant who gave his heart and soul to be an advocate for the poor and marginalized in Hyattsville. He was a friend to the congregation of First UMC and assisted them in their mission and ministry.

 

We lift up these losses, also aware that throughout this region, many other families and communities are experiencing heartbreak and grief. In times like this, we lament, we weep, and we turn to one another in our pain and in our hope of God’s promise of resurrection.

 

Let us keep praying for one another. Let us embrace the legacy of these public servants we lost this week, and let us go forth as servants of a risen savior – disciples who acknowledge the darkness while claiming God’s light. May we know comfort and grace.

 

Blessings and Peace,


Bishop LaTrelle Easterling

Baltimore-Washington Conference

The United Methodist Church


The letter is also available by clicking HERE.


When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and rescues them from all their troubles. The Lord is near the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit.

Psalm 34:17-18

Love Offering for Pastor Kate

St. Paul's Associate Pastor, Rev. Kate Mackereth Fulton, will celebrate her last day at St. Paul's on Sunday, June 12 before moving to her next appointment as pastor of Trinity UMC in Germantown.


We will have the opportunity to celebrate and honor her with a farewell reception and a traditional "love offering." Please consider making a generous financial gift. 


To contribute:  Click the button to go to our secure processing site to donate by credit card.

Contribute Now


Checks may be mailed to the church or placed in the offering plate on Sundays.  Make the checks payable to St. Paul’s UMC and mark the memo section “Pastor Kate’s Love Offering.” 


Gifts received on or before June 5 will be presented to Pastor Kate on her last day at St. Paul’s, June 12. (Gifts received after June 5 will be still be accepted and will be provided to Pastor Kate at a later date.)


A list of donors will also be provided to Pastor Kate; if you wish to contribute anonymously, please be sure to include a note stating your preference with your check, or click the online giving option accordingly.


Please come to the Fellowship Hall on June 12 following the 10:30 AM worship service for a farewell reception hosted by the Staff-Parish Relations Committee. There will be light refreshments and a casual time to celebrate Pastor Kate's commitment to the St. Paul's community during her four years of service here. All are welcome.

A Message from the SPRC

A Message from the St. Paul's Staff-Parish Relations Committee


Ecclesiastes 3: 1, 22

A Time for Everything

1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.

22 So I saw that there is nothing better for a person than to enjoy their work, because that is their lot. For who can bring them to see what will happen after them?


March 6, 2022


Dear Friends,


I write to you today as vice chair of the SPRC (Staff Parish Relations Committee) and invite you to join us in celebrating Pastor Kate’s new appointment. As Pastor Pat shares in her video, this is how United Methodist Pastors live out their calling. The SPRC has faith in the United Methodist appointment process, which has been working for several hundreds years, to ensure that as one pastor leaves, a new and very capable pastor will begin and the ministry of the church will continue without being put on hold. Rest assured that we will make space between now and June 12 for time to celebrate our four years of shared ministry, grieve our parting, and bless one another as we say good-bye to Kate as our associate pastor and discover what God has in store for St. Paul's.


If you are unfamiliar with the United Methodist appointment process, here is what the next four months will hold. First, SPRC already met with our District Superintendent, the Rev. Gerry Green, to develop a “profile” of our congregation, the community, and the pastoral leadership needs of our congregation. Second, Rev. Green will take that Profile to the Bishop and Cabinet (all of the District Superintendents) to thoroughly discuss the needs of our congregation and consider all of the available clergy in our Conference to select the person who best matches our Profile. After prayer and consultation with the Cabinet, Bishop Easterling will select a pastor for this appointment. Third, the selected pastor will interview with Pastor Pat and then meet with SPRC in order to discuss the ministry needs of our congregation, the ministry gifts and experience of the pastor, and the basis of this “match”. Fourth, the new pastoral appointment will be announced by SPRC in a Sunday service. Our new Associate Pastor will be on staff beginning July 1, 2022.


I hope you’ll join me and the SPRC committee in prayers for Pastor Kate, Bishop Easterling and the Baltimore Washington Cabinet, our St. Paul’s family, our new associate pastor to come, and the St. Paul’s staff in the transition.


If you have any questions about the appointment process or this pastoral transition, please connect with members of the SPRC:

Rachel Stalcup, chair

Jenny Lipford, vice chair

Alison Clark

Marge Higgins

Mike McCurry

Beth Pierce



Sincerely,

Jenny Lipford, on behalf of the SPRC

Renovation Update: 

Preparing to break ground

Updates for January 10, 2022:


Renovation Preparation: As we continue the process of contract negotiations, we want to begin to share the potential changes that will impact accessibility during the renovation. 

  • The renovation will impact entry from the parking lot, as well as restroom and administrative wing access. Please keep this in mind when you need to enter the building. 
  • If entrances/exits are designated please use them; we will not be able to provide other means of access. 
  • The administrative wing will be impacted as will access to staff. Some staff are being relocated and will not have access to regular office space. We strongly suggest that before coming to St. Paul's, you contact the staff person you wish to meet to ensure they have the ability for an in-person meeting in the building.
  • Construction means dust. If you are a person who experiences respiratory difficulties, asthma, or has allergies, keep this in mind.
  • During construction, we will not have the ability to hold things in the administrative area for pick up.
  • Dropping by to see the progress cannot be accommodated. 
  • As we enter this process there most likely will be other adjustments that cannot be foreseen at this time. 


We pray that you extend grace and patience as we navigate the completion of this phase of a long awaited project. 

~Pastor Pat



 Updates for December 2021:


Montgomery County has approved our renovation plans and we are now in the process of finalizing the contractor's contract. More information will be forthcoming once the contract and timeline have been finalized. Renovation work will mainly impact the Narthex, office hallways, parking lot, and nearby entrances. Here is an overview of the expected scope of this project:

  • Improved access into our church building and use of existing space
  • ADA ramps that allow all people to enter our church through the front door from our parking lot or from Armory Ave.
  • Re-grading our parking lot for new ADA accessible parking spaces and improved water run-off management
  • ADA ramps from our parking lot that allow people to enter the building by the music office
  • Additional outside lighting along entry paths
  • Build larger, ADA compliant accessible bathrooms near the Library.
  • Expand the Octagon kitchenette; remove the small bathrooms by the Octagon
  • Open up the Narthex by removing a portion of the coat area (while keeping a smaller coat closet)
  • Does not extend into or enclose the courtyards
  • Asbestos abatement in the areas of work
  • The total cost of this revised project scope to include allowances for unforeseen complications is $1.2 million dollars -- which we already have on hand.
  • This revised project would allow for a phase-in of the remainder of the much larger, much more costly original plan at sometime in the future, while not doing any work that would need to be “undone” later.


Questions? Please write to renovation@stpaulsk.org.

SUBMIT A QUESTION!

Please click HERE to go to our secure form to submit a question!


Note: DO NOT use this form to submit questions DURING the church conference vote meeting on Sept. 29. Use the chat function during your Zoom meeting.


Leaders from the Building Committee and Capital Campaign will use your input to create a Frequently Asked Questions handout regarding the status of the building renovation project. Your question (anonymously, without individual names attached) may appear in whole or in part in the forthcoming FAQ handout. 

REGISTER FOR Sunday Morning Nursery CARE

To ensure a safe child-to-caregiver ratio, all those wishing to use the nursery during in-person worship times are asked to pre-register by noon on the Saturday before worship. Walk-ins will be accepted as our numbers allow. 


The nursery is intended for children age 2 and under. Please read more about our Sunday School programming for children age 2 through Grade 5 in the sections below.


Sunday Nursery Care

Children Age 2 and Younger

10:30 AM worship

Click the button to register:

Register for Childcare


To register children age 2 and younger for Nursery Care at the 9:00 AM worship service, email Meg Baker (mbaker@stpaulsk.org)

Maundy Thursday Special Music

A Message from Director of Music, Tom Pedersen and Minister of Youth and Design, Micah Smartt


This year, our Maundy Thursday Service invites us to experience the Last Supper and the Garden in a new way through special music, liturgy, scripture, and changing our typical order of worship to better reflect the story being told.


The Sanctuary Choir will be joined by James Woods, pianist, string quartet and percussion. Mollie Weikert, Soprano, Ella Weikert, Alto and Noah Beye, Baritone will be the soloists for this very special service of music and includes a brief homily from our Minister of Youth & Design, Micah Smartt.


We will begin with the ancient hymn, “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silent” from the old Divine Liturgy of St. James. In a setting by Craig Courtney for choir, strings, piano and percussion, this hauntingly beautiful piece will set the mood for the Triduum or three days of prayer preceding Easter Sunday. This ancient chant of Eucharistic devotion is based on the words from Habakkuk 2:20. “Let all the Earth keep silence before him.”


“Come Home,” based on “Softly and Tenderly Jesus Is Calling” is a lush setting of the familiar hymn that will make a stirring invitation to the table.


We have a lovely setting of the Lord's Prayer, by Craig Courtney. Ella and Mollie Weikert will offer the duet, Panis Angelicus, “Bread of Angels.”


We will end the evening with a stately, neo-Baroque setting of “Lamb of God” by composer John Reim. The Agnus Dei is based on John 1:29 in which John the Baptist upon seeing Jesus proclaims, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.”


We pray that all of our services this Holy Week will be meaningful to you and your family as we walk towards the glorious morning of the Resurrection. Come home this Holy Week.


The recording of the service will remain available after the livestream ends. Visit the Worship at Home page to view it!

UMC Special SuNday:

Native American Ministries

Native American Ministries Sunday is an opportunity to recognize the contributions and heritage of Native American people. One of the United Methodist denomination’s six special offerings, the Native American Ministries Sunday offering equips and empowers Native American pastors, congregations and seminary students to find fresh and culturally appropriate ways to minister to their indigenous communities with Christ’s love and authentically worship and serve Jesus.  


Half of our gifts stay with local ministries in this annual conference and half support the work of Native American United

Methodist ministries nationally. The United Methodist Church, the world and our communities are in a time of transition. Together, God’s church is partnering to repair past harm, support programs and celebrate Native American ministries. 



Here are some examples of the many ways the funds raised through this designated UMC Special Sunday Offering assisted native people in 2021:

  • The Yankton Sioux Tribe on the White Swan Reservation in South Dakota, where the nearest substantial grocery stores are 60-90 miles away, faced challenged during Covid-19 getting adequate supplies. The community was still recovering from 2019 flooding when they were further compromised by the pandemic. The Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference of the UMC sent a grant to the tribe to purchase food and supplies. 
  • The Chihowa (Oklahoma) United Methodist Church received assistance to complete the final stage of construction on a new church building.
  • Delegation funding provided travel and lodging for a 13-member team that attended the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues on behalf of The United Methodist Church.


Click the button to go to the donations page for Native American Ministries Special Sunday and make an offering online.


Donate Here: Special Sunday Native American Ministries


To donate by check, please mail it to the church office or leave it in the offering plate on Sunday. Checks should be made payable to "St. Paul's UMC" with "Native American Special Offering" in the memo line.

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. 


This year, the Church Council has designated two beneficiaries: the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and their work providing aid to communities in Ukraine, and the St. Paul's Hunger Ministry, providing food and resources for 100+ families across the 20895 ZIP code every month.


Click the button to donate online securely by credit card.

EASTER OFFERING


Please give as you are able to the Easter Special Offering. To donate by check, make checks payable to St. Paul's with "Easter Offering" on the memo line, and mail it to the church office or place it in the offering plate any Sunday in April. All other donations, including pledges, tithes, and offerings, should be made using other options - please visit the Giving page to learn more. 

Still Weekend

April 8-10 at the Dayspring Retreat Center in Germantown, MD


If you desire time to unplug and deeply listen on your spiritual journey, consider joining us for a silent retreat. There will be a variety of optional contemplative activities, rest, and time in nature (a lake, pond and hiking trails, meadow, and labyrinth on 250 acres). The cost is $235 (scholarships available) and includes vegetarian meals.


Register no later than March 18: https://forms.gle/wpXZjQjMsLtJ584QA


Click the button to download the Still Weekend flyer!

StillWeekend2022print.pdf



Brought to you by the Still Wednesday Team

Marty Bartley

Sallie Chatfield

Deanna Hodgson

Molly Jackman

Beth Pierce

Kenzie Raulin

Terri Lynn Simpson

Carol Woodside

Star Words

One of our cherished Epiphany traditions at St. Paul's is the distribution of "Star Words". Unfortunately, this year we are unable to distribute star words in person due to the ongoing pandemic. However, you can still receive one!


Option 1: Click the button below to go to wordoftheyear.me. The word generator will generate your star word for 2022.

Star Word


Option 2: Contact Erin in the church office at stpaulsunited@stpaulsk.org or 301-933-7933 and we will be happy to randomly select and mail you a silver star with your Star Word on it



WHAT IS A STAR WORD?

On Epiphany Sunday, we celebrate the arrival of the Magi, who followed a star to the Christ Child in order to worship him and know him better. Just as the magi have their star, each of you will receive a “star” with a word on it to help guide your walk with God in the coming year. We hope your star will be a daily reminder of God’s desire for deeper relationship with you, and the ways in which your walk with God can and should manifest in the ways we walk with others.


HOW DO I USE MY STAR WORD?

Here are a few suggestions for using your Star Word throughout the year to guide you in study, prayer and action:

  • Place your star somewhere you will see it every day, such as your bathroom mirror, refrigerator door or in the place where you pray and study daily.
  • Study your word and write down its different definitions as a starting place for your discernment. Look up places in the Bible where your word appears and study these throughout the year.
  • Take time to reflect and journal on a regular basis about how God is speaking to you through your Star Word. How has meditating on your Star Word changed how you think, behave, and interact with others?

UMC Special Sunday:

Human Relations Day

The United Methodist Church celebrates Human Relations Day on the Sunday before Martin Luther King Jr. Day, to further the development of better human relations by involving congregations in community and youth outreach.


Established in 1972, the the offering was designated to support ministries of social justice and outreach to at-risk youth. Specific ministries include the Community Developers Program, United Methodist Voluntary Services Program (including Volunteers In Mission), and the Youth Offender Rehabilitation Program. 


As a designated Special Sunday, offerings from United Methodist communities across the globe are made in connection and the funds are administered by the General Board of Global Ministry and the General Board of Church and Society. 


Human Relations Sunday Special Offering



UMC Special Sundays: 

UMCOR

Click the button to make a secure donation to UMCOR Special Sunday

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. 


When individuals and churches donate to UMCOR relief efforts, 100% of donations go toward aid. This is because UMCOR’s day-to-day operations, including managing logistics and training emergency responders, is covered by the UMCOR Special Sunday offerings. 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 the need is great, UMCOR can respond quickly and efficiently with signs of extravagant grace and expert assistance. 


Since 1940, when UMCOR’s forerunner was established to meet the needs of those suffering at the onset of World War II, UMCOR has continued to respond to those in desperate need. Today UMCOR is organized into areas focused on U.S and international disaster response and recovery, sustainable development, and human migration and is actively involved in more than eighty countries around the world.


Please use the link above to make a secure online donation. You may also mail offerings to St. Paul's UMC, Attn: Michelle Gregonis, 10401 Armory Ave., Kensington MD 20895. Please make checks payable to St. Paul's UMC and note "UMCOR Special Sunday" in the memo line.

Announcing the Death of Pastor Pat's Father, Alvin Vincent

January 4, 2022


Hello St. Paul’s family –


It is with deep sadness that we share the news of the death of Pastor Pat’s father, Alvin Vincent, who passed peacefully this morning surrounded by his family. We are grateful that Pat was able to share in her father’s final moments.


Pastor Pat will be taking several days of bereavement leave to care for herself and her family in the wake of this loss. Condolence cards are welcome and may be sent in care of the church, or to Pastor Pat’s home address as printed in the directory. Please refrain from calling or texting Pastor Pat until she is back in the office.


The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Alzheimer’s Association in Mr. Vincent’s memory. The full obituary is available by clicking here.


During this time, we request that all church business be directed to Pastor Kate and another member of the staff. Please see the Meet the Staff page for contact information.


If you have questions or concerns, you are invited to be in contact with Rachel Stalcup directly; please contact the church office if you need personal email or phone information.


Sincerely,

Rachel Stalcup

SPRC Chair

Welcoming Guest Preacher Rev. Donald Marbury

Reverend Donald L. Marbury is an ordained African Methodist Episcopal Church elder and currently serves as the senior pastor of Ebenezer AME Church in Hagerstown, MD. He had been for 11 years the senior pastor of Ebenezer AME Church in Brunswick, Maryland, and from 2000 to 2005 he was the senior pastor of St. John AME Church in Benedict, Maryland.


Marbury retired as an adjunct professor of reading, writing, and English at Montgomery College, Germantown in 2018 after 18 years, and he was also an adjunct professor, from 2001 until 2010, in the Radio, Television, Film and Video Department of the Howard University School of Communications, where he taught numerous, different courses in broadcasting.


Marbury left a 27-year career in public broadcasting in 1997 to pursue his ministerial studies. He retired from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), the parent company of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) as its Vice President of Domestic and International Programs. In that capacity, Marbury was responsible for the distribution and awarding of nearly $65 million a year in production funds to independent and station producers to create programs for the national PBS schedule.


His programming decisions brought scores of Emmys and Oscars to public television and gave starts to many then-fledgling producers who are now icons of the industry. In 1995, in a profile of his career, Broadcasting Magazine called him "one of the most powerful African-American men in television in America". A two-page profile of his decision to leave public broadcasting to enter the ministry, published in the "Style" section of the Washington Post in 1997, credited him with "setting the program direction of US Public Television over the last decade".


A 1971 honors graduate of the University of Pittsburgh with a BA degree in English, Marbury also is a cum laude graduate of Wesley Theological Seminary, having earned a master's degree in Divinity. He is a well known performance art poet whose work has been published and featured in

many television and radio broadcasts, and who has performed his work throughout the nation and internationally. His poetic autobiography, My People, My People, My God was published by Kharis Publishing House in October of 2018 and was the 2019 third-place competition winner of the coveted Fischer Prize for Poetry and the fourth honorable mention in the prestigious 2020 Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction and Essay Contest. Selections from his book were chosen for inclusion in the 2020 anthology, Maryland Bards, which is comprised of the work of Maryland's most accomplished poets.


ASh WEdnesday

March 2, 2022

Join us for a special worship service at 7:00 PM on Wednesday, March 2 in-person in the Sanctuary. This service launches us into the Lenten season and starts the journey that will bring us to Easter.

Shepherds Needed for Young Audiences

Sunday School will not be held on Musical Theatre Camp Sunday so that all may enjoy the musical. Children will be invited forward to watch up close! We need a few volunteers to help chaperone the little ones. If you are able to serve in this role, please add your name to the sheet found at https://tinyurl.com/y68848pm or contact Meg Baker at mbaker@stpaulsk.org or 301-933-7933 ext. 104. 

Advent of Action

Collection program

The Justice and Compassion Ministry Team invites you to make this Advent season one of action - learning about various challenges our community is facing and taking action to help solve them as the hands and feet of Christ. In J&C's Advent of Action program, each of the four weeks of Advent focuses on a specific area of community need and an organization working to overcome it. Each highlighted organization accepts in-kind and financial donations and offers opportunities to volunteer. Please give generously and joyfully this Christmas season. 


Click the button to download the Advent of Action booklet with details for each project.

Advent of Action


J&C will collect donated items in the narthex through January 9, 2022.


November 28, 2021: Today begins the first week of J&C's Advent of Action program. According to Manna Food Center, 1 out of 12 Montgomery County residents will experience food insecurity. A third of the county’s elementary school children qualify for free and reduced meals. A fifth of the county’s seniors live below the self-sufficiency standard. St. Paul's Hunger Ministry is the County partner providing food relief to nearly 150 residents in the 20895 ZIP code. To support this important program, please donate to the Hunger Ministry through St. Paul's website or you may donate non-perishable food items in the narthex.


December 5, 2021: This day begins the second week of J&C's Advent of Action program. When vulnerable people around the world flee violence or disaster, they often have little more than the clothes they wear. Keeping clean and groomed is an important step in restoring dignity and maintaining health. St. Paul’s J&C team supports efforts by the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) to provide hygiene kits to the most vulnerable during times of crisis. To support this important program, please designate your financial gift to "J&C hygiene kit ministry" through St. Paul's website or you may donate hygiene kit items in the narthex.


December 12, 2021: This day begins the third week of J&C's Advent of Action program. The U.S. has less than five percent of the world’s population, yet more than 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. Nearly one percent of American adults are incarcerated; the highest rate in the world. Many prisoners have little access to books or educational material. Each year, DC Books to Prisons, formerly a program of Foundry UMC in Washington, DC, sends more than 7,000 book packages to prisoners in over 600 prisons in the United States in 34 states. To support DC Books to Prisons, please consider donating English or Spanish paperback books in good condition in the narthex. J&C will collect donated items in the narthex through January 9, 2022. Please refer to the Advent for Action guide for a list of requested titles and other ways to serve as the hands and feet of Christ.


December 19, 2021: This day begins the fourth week of J&C's Advent of Action program. On any given day, 670 Montgomery County residents experience homelessness, including 60 families, 113 children, and 487 single adults. Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless (MCCH) advocates to change systems that perpetuate homelessness, operates an emergency shelter, provides rental subsidies and supportive services, and works with Coalition Homes, an affordable housing developer. To support MCCH, please consider donating household goods in the narthex through January 9, 2022. Please refer to the Advent for Action guide for a list of requested items and other ways to serve as the hands and feet of Christ.

Stations of the Cross

Holy Week 2021



Monday March 29 - Friday April 2 • 11:00 am-1:00 pm & 5:00-7:00 pm

(Saturday times canceled)

Octagon Room at St. Paul's


St. Paul’s will be hosting a self-guided Stations of the Cross event throughout Holy Week. This program honors the ancient story of Jesus’ death while recognizing the ways this narrative repeats itself again & again throughout the past and present. It provides multisensory ways to engage, confess, and lament. 


For this in-person experience in the Octagon Room at St. Paul's, participants will physically travel from one station to another. Each station will highlight a particular Scripture passage and provide instructions on how to reflect upon that station’s theme. Social distancing and masking will be observed, with access into and out of the Octagon controlled. 


Church Groups are encouraged to sponsor one of the ten stations. This involves setting up on Sunday, March 28, replenishing supplies as needed, and disassembling the station on Friday, April 2. Groups who choose to adopt a station will be provided materials from our Lenten series, Again & Again, which offers guides for station assembly while allowing the group to incorporate its own ideas as well. 


Volunteers are also needed to help greet participants and ensure safety protocols are observed during the event. To volunteer, contact Meg Baker at mbaker@stpaulsk.org or 240-723-6642.

Again & Again: 

Prayers of the community

This Lent, we invite you to come to God in prayer again & again, weaving your prayers in with those of our larger community. Woven together, our prayers fill the shape of an ampersand, &, an ancient symbol that, used here, represents God’s holy “and.”


When we feel helpless and hopeless, God’s holy “and” encourages us to lift our weary eyes to search for more. In a culture overrun by extremes, either/or thinking, and polarizing politics, this holy "and" reminds us that we are always more, and that there is always more. We are broken & beautiful. Joy & grief can coexist. Historical systemic oppression persists & God is guiding us closer to liberation and wholeness. This Lent, let us practice the power of "and"— especially when "again?!" feels like our never-ending cry of lament.


Add YOUR Prayers

Visit the "&" screen set up on the front steps of St. Paul's as often as you wish. Take a strip of black plastic then use the silver Sharpie marker provided to write your prayer. Weave the black strip into the screen inside the ampersand shape, adding it to the prayers of the community. (On Easter Sunday, the spaces surrounding the "&" will be filled with flowers.)


Again & again, God hears each prayer. 


Here are some types of prayers you might find useful:

  • Prayers of Supplication: earnest petitions for healing, peace, wholeness, or hope.
  • Prayers of Thanksgiving: expressions of gratitude and joy and blessings.
  • Prayers of Lament: bringing grief, weariness, and despair to God, openly and honestly.
  • Prayer of Confession: naming our part in brokenness and sin.
  • Prayer of Intercession: expressing the needs of others.
  • Prayer of Adoration: displays of deep reverence for all that is holy.

Re-Entering Well Update

A message from Pastor Pat:


I know that moving fully back into the building and operations is not as simple as following a county recommendation. Not everyone is vaccinated; not everyone is certain they want to be vaccinated. Not everyone is comfortable returning with protocols and even less so without protocols.


Please be patient. It is our sincerest hope that we all are able to come together and, beloved, we will get there. 


Updates about the Re-Entering Well process, including current and upcoming plans for worship safety protocols and guidance on submitting plans for other in-person activities, can be found at the Connection During Covid-19 web page.

Christmas Offering for 2021

As in years past, 100% of the annual Christmas Special Offering collected by St. Paul's will go to help and serve others. For 2021, half of the Christmas Offering will go to UMCOR, the United Methodist Committee on Relief, designated for emergency response in "areas of greatest need." The other half of the Christmas offering will go to support the Hunger Ministry programs providing food to anyone in need in the 20895 ZIP code area.


Click here to donate by credit card using our secure service:

CHRISTMAS OFFERING



To donate by check, make checks payable to St. Paul's with "Christmas Special Offering" on the memo line, and mail to St. Paul's UMC, Attn: Michelle Gregonis, 10401 Armory Ave., Kensington MD 205895.

Special Sunday:

UM STUDENT SUNDAY

To donate to the Special Sunday Offering for UM Student Sunday, click the button to go to our secure credit card processing site. 


UM Student Sunday


Donations in the offering plate on Sundays or by mail are also welcome. Please make checks payable to St. Paul's UMC with "Special Sunday: Students" on the memo line, and mail to St. Paul's UMC, Attn: Michelle Gregonis, Treasurer, 10401 Armory Ave., Kensington MD 20895


As one of the designated “Special Sundays” in The United Methodist Church, Student Sunday is set aside as a time to recognize the challenges and triumphs of students in college, and the way the global United Methodist Church can help make attending college a financial reality. The funds received from this offering go into the United Methodist Student Loan Fund administered by the UMC General Board of Higher Education and Ministry; 100% of the dollars given on Student Sunday go to fund grants, scholarships, and loans for United Methodist students to attend the college of their choice. There are over 70 scholarships available annually, and the number of students served can increase with generous giving. Did you know, United Methodist Student Day was the original Special Sunday? The fund was first established in 1872! 

New ADult Study:

The Wired Word

Monday Night Study Group

led by Mike McCurry

Meeting Mondays by Zoom

7:00-8:30 PM



Sign Up Here


St. Paul’s will offer a new adult Monday night discussion group facilitated by Mike McCurry. Discussion will be guided by The Wired Word which provides fresh materials each week that connect current events with matters of faith, linking the latest headlines to relevant Scripture passages. 


Each week participants will receive short, timely articles to review (although this is not required) in order to formulate their thoughts ahead of the Monday night meeting. All views and perspectives are welcome for a non-confrontational discussion. 


To participate, click the Sign Up Here button above. In order to receive the articles in advance, please sign up by the Friday before the Monday session. You will only need to sign up once to participate on a regular basis, and rolling sign-ups are also welcome. 


To check out a session without signing up or receiving the articles, find the Zoom log-in information in the Sunday worship bulletin, available for download on our Worship At Home page.


About Your Leader: Mike McCurry has been an active member at St Paul’s for over 30 years. He has served as Lay Leader, a delegate to our UMC Annual Conference and worldwide General Conference, and as a professor and administrator at our local Wesley Theological Seminary. He served in the U.S. Senate and various campaigns during his career and was Press Secretary to President Bill Clinton.


About the Wired Word: The mission of The Wired Word is to supply churches with solid scriptural material to help facilitate group discussions about important matters of faith raised by the news of the week. The material is interdenominational and stands in the mainstream of the Christian faith. The Wired Word’s editorial board helps to choose the topic each week and is careful to present the material without overlaying it with the position of any specific denomination. (www.thewiredword.com) 

Christmas Pageant

As we work through the second holiday season of covid, we acknowledge the challenges faced by families with young children under 5 who are not yet eligible for a vaccine, and older children who may not yet be fully vaccinated before Christmas.


Even Covid-19 cannot possibly stifle the joyful celebration of the birth of Christ! Instead of a traditional, rehearsed pageant or a Zoom-style recorded pageant, our pastors will guide children through a Pop-Up Pageant during the family-friendly worship service on Christmas Eve, December 24. All you have to do is show up, and those willing to join in the fun will be given "roles" and shepherded through the "performance" during the worship service.


For more information, contact Rev. Kate Mackereth Fulton at kfulton@stpaulsk.org or 301-933-7933 ext. 103. 


Photo below: St. Paul's pageant 2017.

Worship

Advent & CHristmas

November 28 - the First Sunday in Advent. Worship in person in the Sanctuary at 9:00 or 10:30, or view the livestream of the 10:30 worship service.


December 5 - the Second Sunday in Advent. This is Children's Sunday, when families begin in the Sanctuary together for worship; children will be escorted to their classrooms for Sunday School following the children's message.


December 12 - the Third Sunday in Advent. 


December 19 - the Fourth Sunday in Advent. This is Music Sunday. Our ensemble this year may be smaller than some years pre-covid but the beautiful music from our Sanctuary Choir, organ, handbells ensemble, and guest instrumentalists will enliven worship at 10:30.


December 21 - Longest Night Service, 7:00 PM in the Sanctuary. On the longest night, we acknowledge that holidays can be hard for those who are grieving or depressed, but the love of God remains steadfast.


December 24 - Christmas Eve, 5:00 p.m. This family-friendly service will include a Pop-Up Pageant - all those present will be invited to participate as they wish.


December 24 - Christmas Eve, 9:30 PM Organ Prelude. Come early for this musical offering featuring our acclaimed organist, Marvin Mills, with selections ranging from classical to contemporary. Worship beings at 10:00 PM. This service features traditional music, a message from the pastors, and candlelight.


December 26 - First Sunday in Christmastide is traditionally an opportunity to sing more old favorite Christmas carols and listen to new perspectives on the birth of Jesus. We will have one service at 10:30 AM this day.


The livestream worship services and worship bulletin are available each week at our Worship-at-Home page (click here). Please note that plans may change based on covid-19, weather conditions, and clergy, staff, and volunteer availability. Thank you for your understanding!

Christmas Card Challenge

This year, St. Paul’s community and the Justice & Compassion committee are preparing Christmas greeting cards and notes for the 140+ Kensington area families in need this year. 


Please donate Christmas Cards, with personalized notes, by November 21.


Because of the pandemic, and the fact that children have only just become eligible for vaccination, we will not physically distribute Christmas gifts. Instead, our Hunger Ministry team and the people of St. Paul’s will be providing them with department store gift cards so they may purchase gifts for their children. If you would like to donate toward gift cards, please go here.


To add a personal touch, congregants are invited to participate in the Christmas Card Challenge by providing cards or notes to accompany the gift cards. 


Blank cards are available in the church office; write a short note wishing holiday cheer, and place personalized cards in the box on the pick-up shelf in the main church office. Handmade cards and store-bought cards can be brought from home, too. Please leave the envelopes open, so our volunteers can stuff them with grocery cards and gift cards!


Questions? Please email hunger@stpaulsk.org for more information.

Reconciling Sunday Special Offering

This special offering honors the work of Reconciling congregations to embrace and affirm all children of God. In the St. Paul’s tradition, 100% of the special Reconciling Sunday offering will be sent outside the walls of the church and into the community. The two designated beneficiaries will be the MoCo Pride Center, whose advocacy and outreach activities work to build support for a stronger and more diverse LGBTQ+ community in Montgomery County, and Casa Ruby, which provides social services, housing, and assistance to the transgender community in the Washington DC area. Casa Ruby started nearly 30 years ago and is led and run by transgender women.


To donate, click the button to go to our secure credit card processing partners and make your donation online.


Donate Here


Checks may be made payable to St. Paul's UMC with "Reconciling offering" on the memo line, and may be placed in the offering plates on Sunday or mailed to the office at 10401 Armory Avenue, Kensington MD 20895.


World Communion Sunday

World Communion Sunday is one of the Special Offerings designated by the global United Methodist Church. This connectional giving supports work throughout the UMC by allowing offerings from our church to combine with offerings from United Methodist congregations from around the globe. 


On World Communion Sunday your giving helps to support the division of chaplains and ministries, and the scholarship funds for international minority groups pursuing graduate-level education as part of their ministry call to serve God's world, all while celebrating the great thanksgiving and gift of communion.


Click the button below to go to our secure donation site, or send your donation by mail to St. Paul's UMC, Attn: Michelle Gregonis, 10401 Armory Ave., Kensington MD 20895. Checks should be made payable to St. Paul's UMC with "World Communion Sunday" in the memo line.


World Communion Sunday Offering


Food Drive: THank you!

While St. Paul's Hunger Ministry in-person distribution has been temporarily suspended, we are re-routing food donations to our partner, Bethesda Help. Bethesda Help continues to serve families in the 20895 ZIP code. Rest assured that the food items that were in our pantry have gone to feed hungry members of our community!


We are so pleased to be able to partner with co-sponsors Bethesda Help, the Nighthawks band, and the Town of Kensington - and YOU! Because of your generosity, the Food Drive held at Kensington Town Hall last year on Sunday, May 17, 2020 resulted in sufficient donations to restock the Bethesda Help pantry, plus financial support through $580 in checks, $22 in cash, and 5 Safeway gift cards. 

Spring 2021

Sunday School

Lessons are available for all children grade 5 and younger. Each week, we upload our newest Sunday School lessons to our very special Sunday School page! The last day for Virtual Sunday School will be May 30, 2021.


Just CLICK HERE to go to our Sunday School Video Page!


Sunday School handouts and other materials are sent by email each week. Please contact Dr. Meg Baker (mbaker@stpaulsk.org) if you aren't receiving these emails and would like to be added to the list!

Christian Faith 101

Christian Faith 101 will be offered again this fall on Tuesday mornings, beginning September 7, 2021. This popular adult study explores the religious, historical, geographical, political, and cultural context for the birth and evolution of the major components of Christian faith, doctrine, scripture, and practice. This course is led by instructors Brian & Therese Walden.


Please click HERE for the flyer with the full class description.


Enrollment is limited. Details for in-person class meetings will be determined in consultation with the Re-Entering Well committee, and will be shared with all who register.


To sign up or request additional information, please click the button and use the inquiry form.

Christian Faith 101 Inquiry Form


You may also phone Meg Baker at 301-933-7933 ext 103.

Previous Events & long-Term activities

Here's a look at some SPY activities that take place in non-covid-times.

  • Weekly SPY Meetings

    Our regularly-scheduled SPY groups will NOT meet for now.  When we can arrange physically-distanced activities that are fun and can be done safely with masks on, we will add them to our line-up!


    Under normal circumstances, all friends are welcome at our weekly meetings, regularly held on Sunday afternoons: 

    • Middle High SPY at 4:30 pm
    • followed by Youth Choir/Pick-up/Drop-off Break 6:00-6:45pm, 
    • then Senior High SPY 6:45-8:30pm.

    Details about the 2020-2021 year and schedule changes will be shared in newsletters, bulletins, right here, and in emails. (Sign up to get our emails!)


    Want updates? Have questions? Problems? Compliments? Contact Mr. Micah Smartt - email him at msmartt@stpaulsk.org.


  • Schedule Change!

    To minimize risk and keep friends healthy during the corona virus outbreak, St. Paul's is temporarily suspending, revamping, or rescheduling all activities, including our traditional St. Paul's Youth gatherings. Please contact Micah if you have questions!

  • Acolyte & Crucifer Team

    When we worship in-person, our youth carry the light of Christ into worship or carry the cross at the opening and closing of the service.  Laura Simpson coordinates the Acolyte & Crucifer crew. In a normal year, we offer training each Spring to welcome new acolytes and crucifers, and we will reboot this ministry as soon as it is safe to worship in the Sanctuary. Questions? Please email Laura Simpson: LPSimpson44 [at] gmail. com.

  • REtreats: 

    SAve the adventures for another day!

    West River, and all other BWC camping & retreat sites, closed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Our scheduled Spring Retreats had to be canceled and families should have received a refund or had a chance to redirect their payments to support other church ministries. 


    Canceling and shuttering retreat sites are smart, safe things to do while we try to isolate and avoid transmitting the virus. But we also know how much our Youth look forward to retreat, and we're sorry to be missing our annual spring getaway!  West River & Manidokan aren't projected to re-open for some time. We will look at our options for safe gatherings and events later.


    Under normal circumstances, we spend retreat weekend with games, meals, devotionals, and tons of outdoor fun designed to boost faith and friendship. Micah had planned a great set of Spring Retreats sharing a common theme! "Into the Wilderness" was inspired by the numerous times that faithful people in our biblical stories venture into the wilderness, with different retreat experiences in store for each group. Micah will shelve these plans - for now! 

  • sT. pAUL'S Youth CHoir

    CANCELED (for now)


    Rehearsals most Sundays, MPR, 6:00-6:45 pm


    When things are "normal," all youth are welcome at Youth Choir Rehearsals, usually held between Middle High SPY & Senior High SPY during the school year. You don't have to participate in SPY to be in choir, or vice versa (but lots of folks do, and we're always happy to see your faces!). Youth Choir is led by James Woods and Tom Pedersen. Read more about choir and other musical stuff on the MUSIC page.

  • St. Paul's Camperships

    Did you know... 

    We do a lot of great things here at St. Paul's Youth, and many are free or fairly inexpensive. However, we do have some events and trips that can cost quite a bit. 


    We never want a youth to be left out because of money. St. Paul's has a scholarship/campership fund available to help individuals and families cover part or all of the costs associated with youth fellowship, retreat, camp, or service activities. These events we attend can be life changing experiences and we don't want anyone to miss out! Don't let an activity's price tag hold you back. 


    Contact Micah Smartt (msmartt [at] stpaulsk.org or 301-933-7933 ext. 111) to discuss scholarship/campership needs confidentially, one-on-one.

  • Previous SPY events

    • Celebration Days - 2019 end-of-year youth celebrations included a Middle High trip to SkyZone Trampoline Park and a Senior High Color Wars battle and cookout on the grounds of St. Paul's. In previous years we've also arranged longer trips to Six Flags and Ocean City MD.
    • Wilderness Trail - youth and adult hikers of all ages spent a week of unplugged hiking on sections of the Appalachian Trail while considering faith, community, and the natural world God created.
    • Borderlands: A Southwest Cultural Immersion Experience - high school youth visited El Paso TX to see the natural wonders of the Rio Grand, Carlsbad Caverns, and White Sands, and to take a deep dive into how we as Christians can respond to issues of particular urgency in desert southwest including conservation, firearms, and immigration.
    • Group Work Camp - St. Paul's met with other youth groups to build, paint, dig, and manage home improvement and community projects in areas of great need including the Lakota Sioux reservation (2017) in South Dakota and low income neighborhoods in Virginia Beach (2018).
    • Christmas Party - Each December, we get together for Christmas fun. Dress in holiday gear and bring an ornament ($5 value) to exchange.
    • Trunk or Treat - Youth had a big hand in the success of this kid-and-family focused night around Halloween in the St. Paul's parking lot in 2019.

Hunger Ministry

Recipient Survey

We ask all those in the 20895 ZIP code area who receive grocery support from St. Paul's to please fill out a survey, so we can plan the best way to serve our community moving forward.

Please CLICK HERE for the survey in English.


Les pedimos a todas las personas en el área del código postal 20895 que reciben apoyo de comestibles de St. Paul's que completen una encuesta, para que podamos planificar la mejor manera de servir a nuestra comunidad en el futuro.

Haga CLIC AQUÍ para la encuesta en español.

hunger ministry

we are all about feeding people in body and spirit. 

St Paul’s Hunger Ministry feeds over 115 families in the 20895 zip code. 

We serve families who struggle to make ends meet and put food on their tables. 


Upcoming Distribution: 


RECIPIENTS: Until further notice, Hunger Ministry clients will receive grocery store gift cards through the mail. The gift card amount has temporarily increased. We will NOT provide grocery items for pick-up, deliveries, or a meal. This reduces the risk of spreading illness at a distribution site while providing flexibility for clients to purchase whatever grocery-store items they deem essential for their families. 


DONORS: You can help support the Hunger Ministry with monetary donations (stpaulsk.org/giving). We will re-open a drop-off and distribution process as soon as we can find a way to do so safely.


Please note: All events are subject to change as we respond to the evolving COVID-19 corona-virus outbreak. Updates will be posted here.


One thing we have learned: area food banks are desperate for help year-round. People respond well during the holiday season when food pantries fill to the brim. But as the year unfolds, the need remains while the shelves empty. To meet this need, the St. Paul's Justice and Compassion Team invites you to contribute generously each month. 



HOW TO VOLUNTEER

We are assessing how to revamp our program while we are closed due to COVID-19. Under our previous operating conditions, friends of St. Paul's fill our donation bins with non-perishable foods on Communion Sunday, the 1st Sunday of each month, and volunteers transport food from the Narthex to the Fellowship Hall, sort grocery items, and organize bags. On the following day, volunteers arrive at 6:45 p.m. to set up for Monday night distribution. Additional food sorting, greeting recipients, serving a hot meal, and working on seasonal projects are all possible tasks. Our volunteer drivers deliver food to recipients who are home-bound. 


To get involved, contact the church office: stpaulsunited@stpaulsk.org. Erin Steele, office administrator, will get your message to our Hunger Ministry coordinators, and they'll find the best ways for you to be involved!


HOW TO RECEIVE FOOD

There are no on-site distribution events currently due to COVID-19. Food recipients for our program must have an address in the 20895 ZIP code area. To sign up, contact the church office at stpaulsunited@stpaulsk.org or phone 301-933-7911 EXT 511 and provide your name and a call-back telephone number. We are currently providing grocery store gift cards by mail. Please contact Bethesda Help to request a delivery of grocery items to your door: 301-365-2022. 


Under normal operations, we provide a hot meal and grocery items once a month. Families with children may also select free children's books. Special Thanksgiving baskets and Christmas gifts for children are offered seasonally. Here's how to receive assistance here during normal operations:

  • Recipients should arrive at the Fellowship Hall entrance (on the corner of Fawcett & Mitchell Streets) at 7:30 p.m. on Distribution Nights (the Monday following the first Sunday of each month). To stay on top of any schedule changes due to holidays, please check this site or the paper letter distributed each month along with the food.
  • New recipients should bring a piece of mail or other evidence showing an address in the 20895 area. That's it! There are no income requirements, no need for referrals... we'll feed anyone living in the 20895 ZIP code area.
  • Please note, our program is limited to those who live within the 20895 ZIP code. (Please see the section below for other resources if you don't have a 20895 address.)
  • If you cannot attend on distribution night, please call 301-933-7933 ext 511 before 12:00 noon on distribution day, to request a pick up in the church office during the week. 
  • We have a limited capacity to offer home delivery to those who are disabled or home-bound - please contact us to discuss this possibility.


HOW TO DONATE

We welcome non-perishable food, Safeway & Giant grocery store gift cards ($20 value each, please), and financial donations any time. 


Food Donation Suggestions 

  • Non-perishable food items can be placed in bins in the church Narthex when the church is open. 
  • We always need the pantry staples listed on the shopping/packing "Bag #1 and Bag #2" lists (see below).
  • We especially need cold and hot cereals. 
  • ALL unopened, shelf-stable donations are appreciated. Bottle of olive oil? Box of pancake mix? Granola bars? Crackers? Nuts? We'll take it!
  • Please make sure all donations are not expired or beyond their use-by date!

You can help streamline our sorting process by packing a full bag of essential food items using the guide below. Please attach a number to your filled bag so we know when it's ready to distribute - no additional sorting or packing needed!


Bag #1  

Rice - 1 bag or large box or 2 small boxes

Beans - 1 bag or 2 cans

Pasta - 1 box or bag

Pasta Sauce - 1 large jar or can

Mac & Cheese - 2 boxes

Chicken Breast - 1 or 2 cans

Tuna (or other fish) - 2 cans


Bag #2

Vegetables - 3 cans

Fruit (including applesauce) - 2 cans or jars

Peanut Butter - 1 jar

Jelly or Jam - 1 jar or bottle

Soup - 2 or 3 cans


**PLEASE NO GLASS**


Please deliver donations when the church is open. We are currently closed due to COVID-19. Under normal operations, the church is open on Sunday mornings, or throughout the work week Monday-Friday 9:30 a.m.- 3 p.m.


Food is normally sorted on the first Sunday of the month; food is distributed to families the following day. We look forward to being able to resume on-site, in-person operations once we can find a way to do so safely.

SUmmer Sunday School

Sundays June 6 - July 25


Summer Sunday School for rising 3rd Graders and younger will begin June 6 in the Fellowship Hall and continue through July 25. 


Children will begin in the Sanctuary with their families for the 10:30AM worship service, when they will enjoy a Children's Message from their seats, then our childcare workers or staff will escort them to Fellowship Hall for Summer Sunday School. 


Parents should come directly to the Fellowship Hall to pick up their children at the end of the worship service. 


There will be no Summer Sunday School classes in the month of August.


Registration for Summer Sunday School is required; please complete your registration online by clicking the button: 

Summer Sunday School

Easter Special Offering 2021

Click HERE to use our secure online donation form for the Easter Special Offering.


As is our tradition, the special Easter offering this year will go entirely to serve those outside the walls of St. Paul's. Half the donations will go to our Hunger Ministry, feeding all our neighbors in need in the 20895 ZIP code area, and half will go to the Adrienne Terry Housing Fund, an initiative of the Baltimore-Washington Conference of the UMC to move people experiencing homelessness into stable housing.


Please click the link above to go to our secure online donation form. 


You may also choose to mail a donation to St. Paul's UMC, Attn: Michelle Gregonis, 10401 Armory Ave., Kensington MD 20895. 


If you plan to attend Easter worship, you may drop your offering in a designated locations; ushers will be able to assist you.


Please make checks out to St. Paul's UMC with "Easter Offering" on the memo line. You may also return donations in the Easter Offering Envelope included in the Lenten Packets.  


(To donate to the general fund, other causes, or toward your pledged regular giving, please use an envelope other than the special Easter envelope.)


If you have questions, contact Mrs. Michelle Gregonis, Treasurer, at mgregonis@stpaulsk.org or 301-933-7933 ext. 110. 


We are thankful every year for the generosity of St. Paul's members and friends, and the way their special offerings touch those in need.

Collecting Hygiene Kits for UMCOR

Let’s join together and support the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) in a hands-on way this Spring!


We’re collecting hygiene kits, which provide necessities to people who have been forced to leave their homes because of natural disaster or human conflict. The kits that we provide will be used where they are needed. One example of a recent UMCOR focus was the emergency response following winter storms in Texas. The kits are also used as learning tools in classes on topics like personal hygiene.


Many of you will remember having made hygiene kits to support UMCOR in the past. The instructions may have changed just a little, so please read more below. 


We’ll collect these kits at St. Paul’s as we return to in-person worship! Kits can be dropped off in the Narthex beginning Sunday, April 11 through Sunday, May 2. 


Once collected, we’ll bless the kits during worship and send them off to the UMCOR warehouse in Louisiana to be put to good use. St. Paul's United Methodist Men are supporting these efforts by covering our mailing costs, as well as providing the $2 per kit required so that UMCOR can purchase toothpaste for each one.


To learn more about UMCOR’s work and to watch a video with instructions for putting hygiene kits together, go to https://umcmission.org/umcor-hygiene-kit/


Please consider assembling some kits and bringing them to St. Paul’s to be forwarded to folks who need them. And, as you pull together items and make up a kit, be in prayer for the recipients, that our help will be a blessing to them following an emergency.



Hygiene Kit Instructions

Value: approx. $12.00 per kit


MATERIALS

One hand towel (15 x 25 to 17 x 27 inches)

     NO kitchen, cleaning, or microfiber towels

One washcloth

     NO kitchen, cleaning, or microfiber towels

One comb

     Must be sturdy with at least 6 inches of teeth

     No pocket combs or picks

     Rattail and combs without handles are acceptable but must have at least 6 inches of teeth

One toenail or fingernail clipper

     No emery boards or metal nail files

Bath-size soap - 3 oz. bar or larger

     No Ivory or Jergen’s soap (due to moisture content)

     Do not remove from packaging

One adult toothbrush

     Do not remove from packaging

     Personal advertising not acceptable

10 adhesive bandages (¾ by 3 inches)

     Common household "Band-Aid" bandages acceptable

One 1-gallon size re-sealable zip-top bag



ASSEMBLY

  • Lay hand towel flat on a table.
  • Lay the washcloth in the center of the hand towel.
  • Place all remaining items on top of the washcloth (except the plastic bag).
  • Fold the sides of the hand towel to cover the items.
  • Grasp the bundle tightly and roll over the remainder of the towel.
  • Place the tightly rolled bundle in the plastic bag, remove air, and seal.



IMPORTANT NOTES

  • All items must be NEW.
  • Contents of kits or the containers of kits should NOT be imprinted with cartoon characters, advertisements, religious, patriotic, military, or camouflage symbols.
  • Do not wash any of the items as they will no longer be considered new.
  • Do not include any personal notes, money, or additional materials in the kits.

Short-Term Adult Study

Our popular seasonal "Supper and Study" program will be unable to meet in person for meals and discussions together for the immediate future. However, St. Paul's pastors and staff are leading short-term studies online, so we can still engage with opportunities for focused learning and discussion. 


If you have never "zoomed" before, have no fear. Zoom allows for participation from your computer, by cell phone, or even by calling in from your home phone. Please contact the class leader or Dr. Meg Baker for assistance.

  • Again & Again

    The sign up window for this class has closed. Please scroll down to consider our other Lenten Study.


    7:30-8:30 pm

    Tuesdays

    February 23, March 2, 9, 16, 23, 30

    via Zoom


    The Again & Again Lenten study, led by Rev. Kate Mackereth Fulton, aligns with our Again & Again sermon series and the Lenten devotionals being distributed to congregants. In this season of Lent, we’re reminded that, again and again, suffering and brokenness find us. We doubt again, we lament again, we mess up again. And yet, in the midst of the chaos, God breaks the cycle and offers us a new way forward. Join us as we explore the Scripture, art, reflections, and poetry that will shape us into more faithful disciples, trusting that God will meet us, time and again, along the way. Please contact Meg Baker at mbaker@stpaulsk.org if you have questions.


  • Living Well Through Lent: Listening with all your Heart, soul, Strength, and Mind

    4:00-5:00 pm

    Wednesdays

    February 24, March 3, 10, 17, 24, 31

    via Zoom


    Living Well Through Lent 2021: Listening with All Your Heart, Soul, Strength, and Mind is a new offering from Living Compass (https://www.livingcompass.org/) to help participants navigate the Lenten journey together. 


    The study, led by Dr. Meg Baker, includes the voices and deep reflections of ten guest writers representing diverse backgrounds. The Baltimore-Washington Conference of the UMC has encouraged its churches to engage in this opportunity to foment spiritual renewal throughout the holy season of Lent. 


    Participants may attend as many or as few sessions as they wish. Sign-up is ongoing. To receive class materials and the Zoom link, please use the sign-up form here: https://forms.gle/dwp8kS98Uoe8rZvbA or contact Meg Baker at mbaker@stpaulsk.org. 

Flat St. Paul's

In summers past, congregants have taken Flat John Wesley and Flat Paul hand fans on their travels, taking pictures of themselves with their flat fans as a way to stay in touch with the faith community in Kensington. These flat celebrities made appearances in well over 200 locations throughout the world. This year, of course, most people are staying home and curtailing their adventures.


Introducing… Flat St. Paul’s! We hope Flat St. Paul's will help keep us connected even when we can't visit our church in person. Click HERE to download Flat St. Paul's as a *pdf. Printer broken? Don't worry! Meg can also provide Flat St. Paul's upon request!


You can color it in if you’d like, then take some pictures of yourself with your Flat St. Paul’s. Send them by text or email to Director of Christian Education Meg Baker at mbaker@stpaulsk.org or 240-723-6642. 


This pandemic may keep us from attending church, but it sure can’t keep us from being church. We would love to hear your stories of "being church" during this season of crisis, whether by reaching out to others, sewing masks, spending extra time in prayer, volunteering with food banks, supporting front-line workers, or just observing safety guidelines. Even the simplest gestures can make a big difference in our hurting world.

BWARM Welcomes St. Paul's

St. Paul's UMC will be recognized at the next Baltimore Washington Area Reconciling Ministry (BWARM) Meeting on February 13, 2021. There will be a panel discussion featuring 3-4 new Reconciling congregations from the BWC. The panel will be led by our friend Mittie Quinn from Dumbarton UMC.


To attend, please pre-register for the Zoom seminar. Click here to go to the link:

tinyurl.com/4rv5wtv6




Stephen Ministry & AARP Presents:

Know the 10 signs: An Alzheimer's Checklist

NEW DATE

October 26 at 7:00 p.m.


All are welcome to attend the Zoom presentation “Know the 10 Signs: An Alzheimer’s Checklist” by AARP Speaker Phyllis Meyerson. 


While this one-hour event is a part of St. Paul’s Stephen Ministry continuing education program, it is open to all. 


As we age, it is tempting to attribute the gradual changes our bodies go through to normal aging. Mrs. Meyerson will identify changes we should be more attentive to, including memory lapses that begin to affect our quality of life. For more information, contact Meg Baker,  mbaker@stpaulsk.org.

Readiness 360 Survey

now-February 14

https://app.readiness360.org/survey/login

passcode: 7630534073


At St. Paul's we are looking into fresh ways to be the hands and feet of Christ in the world. As part of that, and at the urging of leadership of the Baltimore-Washington Conference of The United Methodist Church, we are asking everyone to take this "Readiness 360" survey. We are currently engaged in church revitalization and community development initiatives, but we desire additional guidance regarding innovative and relevant strategies in our increasingly demographically diverse community.


This will help us identify opportunities and challenges by assessing our congregation's spiritual intensity, dynamic relationships, mission alignment, and cultural openness.


Readiness 360 would normally only be available as part of an expensive package, and the BWC is providing it to us at no cost. The more people take the survey, the better our understanding of our community's goals will be! 


Please set aside 15-20 minutes for this survey and share your point of view.


The last day to submit answers is Feb. 14. This survey will close at midnight on Sunday!


All members, friends, and those connected with St. Paul's (whatever their formal membership status may be) are encouraged to take this survey. 


After a critical mass within our congregation takes the online survey, we will report back our findings and discover next steps together.


Please click here to go to https://app.readiness360.org/survey/login to log in and type in our congregation’s unique passcode: 7630534073

Holiday Giving

For 2020, St. Paul's made the holidays brighter for families in our area with fewer resources, including those in our Hunger Ministry and those referred to us by partners at Montgomery County through the Department of Health & Human Services. Due to the Covid-19 rates, we sent department-store gift cards (such as Target) and grocery gift cards by mail. Although we deeply missed the annual Cookies & Carols party and stacks of donated gifts under the tree, this plan gave the recipients maximum flexibility to select meaningful presents and prevented any possible spread of Covid-19 among our families and volunteers. Donations directed to the Holiday Giving project are accepted year-round.


Click HERE to go to our secure form to donate to this special Holiday Giving project

Christmas Offering 2020

Despite the changes 2020 has brought us, we continue the long-held tradition of receiving a special Christmas Offering and, as in years past, 100% of the special offering collected at Christmas will be sent beyond the walls of St. Paul's to bring help and hope to those in need. This year's offering will be divided between the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), which aids those facing disasters or crises worldwide, and the Hunger Ministry that feeds all hungry people right in the 20895 ZIP code.


In a normal year, envelopes would be provided in the Christmas Eve worship bulletins. Since we are not gathering in person due to Covid-19, please use our secure online donation system. 


Please click HERE for our secure donation form.


We also gratefully receive checks in the mail - please make your check out to St. Paul's UMC and note "Christmas Offering" on the memo line, and mail to St. Paul's UMC, 10401 Armory Avenue, Kensington MD 20895.


The annual Christmas Offering Letter is available to read by clicking HERE.

End of Year Offerings

As 2020 draws to a close, we want to thank those who have been able to give faithfully and whose contributions have sustained St. Paul's work and ministry during difficult times. To ensure that your contributions intended for 2020 are received and processed by December 31, consider the following options:

  • Use our online giving portal at the top of this page to donate by credit or debit card, checking, or saving account before December 31.
  • Mail your check to St. Paul’s UMC at 10401 Armory Ave., Kensington MD 20895 in time for the post office to deliver it by December 30.
  • Drop off your gift at the office using the mail slot in the office door on Mitchell Street, so that we may receive it no later than 12:00 noon on December 31.
  • Use your bank’s bill pay system within their time-frame for a December 31 delivery.
  • Transfer appreciated stock directly to St. Paul’s to avoid paying capital gains. Please contact Michelle Gregonis for St. Paul’s brokerage account.

If you have questions about your contributions, contact Michelle Gregonis, Treasurer, at mgregonis@stpaulsk.org.

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)

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.

"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, 2020 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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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

A Message from Pastor Pat


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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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