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.


Umcor Donations

You can donate through St. Paul's UMC to support UMCOR and respond to disasters and crises, at home and abroad. 


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. We are directing funds to their critical "Where Most Needed" designation. This will allow UMCOR to assist those recovering from Hurricane Ida in the Gulf Coastal region, flooding in Tennessee, Afghani families displaced by turmoil in their country, and earthquake survivors in Haiti. 


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" on the memo line, and place it in the offering plate on Sunday or mail it to St. Paul's UMC, Attn: Michelle Gregonis, 10401 Armory Ave., 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.

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 here to make a donation by credit card.

Peace with Justice Sunday Offering


When you donate to Peace with Justice offering, you're supporting efforts like these recent programs that received funding last year:

  • Seabold UMC in Bainbridge Island, WA, received a grant through the The Pacific Northwest Annual Conference to help support the needs of 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 to designed 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, "Our children are able to not just build bridges but be bridges of hope and change in our community. 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."
  • In Indianapolis, 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.

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 the church office Attn: Michelle Gregonis, Treasurer, 10401 Armory Ave., Kensington MD 20895, or place donations in the Sunday offering plates.

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.

UMC Special SuNday:

Native American Ministries

Native American Ministries Sunday is an opportunity to recognize the contributions and heritage of Native American people, and the special offerings made by donors throughout the global UMC empower congregations to find fresh and culturally appropriate ways to minister to their indigenous communities with Christ’s love, and to provide scholarships for Native American seminary students.


Here are some examples of the many ways the funds raised through this designated UMC Special Sunday Offering went to assist native people last year:

  • 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.

UMC Special Sundays: 

UMCOR

Click HERE to donate to UMCOR Special Sunday.


The United Methodist Committee on Relief provides humanitarian relief when war, conflict, or natural disaster disrupts life to such an extent that communities cannot recover on their own. 


Whether that's responding to a typhoon in the Philippines or a tornado in Oklahoma, UMCOR makes long-term commitments to local partners working on recovery and reconstruction far beyond the initial crisis response. 


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.

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)

Poinsettias & Wreaths

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

ADvent & CHristmas Worship Schedule

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


  • Sunday, DEcember 1

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

  • Sunday, December 8

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

  • Sunday, December 15

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

  • WEdnesday, December 18: Blue Christmas

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

  • Sunday, December 22

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

  • Monday, December 24: CHristmas Eve

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


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

  • Sunday, December 29

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

Worship Survey

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


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


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


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

Come to the TaBle of Grace:

A Way Forward Series For St. Paul's UMC

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

"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

Easter Special Offering

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


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


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

Easter Lily ORders

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


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

A Message from Pastor Pat


LOADING PLAYER…

Raise the dough:

A Campaign by our Partners at National UMC

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


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


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

Stephen Ministry Events:

Understanding Advance Directives and MOLST

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


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

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

UMC Judicial Council rules "Traditional Plan" may proceed

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


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


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

What was The Commission

on a Way Forward?

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


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


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

 

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


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

Year End Giving 2019

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

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

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

Sunday SChool: Fall 2019

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


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


On most Sundays:

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


Special Dates to Know for Fall 2019:

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

2020 schedule coming soon!


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


Thanksgiving

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


There are three ways you can help:


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


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


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


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


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


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

Cookies & Carols Party

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


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


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

GIving Tree

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


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


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


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


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

Children's Advent Craft Workshop

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


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


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


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

Hidden Pages


Make a donation

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


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


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



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