Re-Entering Well

As we slowly return to life within the church building, you may be wondering: What can be planned? What are ministries allowed to do? What cannot be done? What groups might resume in-person meetings? 

While we will continue to move responsibly and cautiously, ministries are invited to submit their plans for any meetings or activities they might want to embrace. 

Each plan should include:

  • Brief description of activity.
  • Contact person responsible for managing the event.
  • Meeting date(s) and times.
  • Preferred meeting space. (If the room you request is not available, we may offer an alternative location.)
  • Participants (e.g. committee, community, congregation, small pre-registered group, drop-in open to the public, etc.) and estimated number of people expected. Also, how attendance will be recorded and tracked.
  • How you will comply with whatever COVID Re-Entry Protocols in place at the time of your activity/event. (Please read about our current plans and those items still up for review in the section immediately below.)

To submit your plan:

  • Your plan should be submitted 45 days prior to the anticipated event.
  • Send your plan via email to Erin Steele, administrator, at Erin will provide the plan to the entire Re-Entering Well committee for review and discussion.
  • Please include the following in the subject line: Re-Entering Well Plan

Should you have any questions, please contact REW committee member Steve Lillie directly, Erin Steele in the church office (, 301-933-7933 ext 100) or Senior Pastor Pat Allen (, 301-933-7933 ext 101).

Re-Entering Well

The Re-Entering Well Team is comprised of staff & lay leaders committed to helping St. Paul's community re-enter our physical space and re-engage in activities using defined safety practices. The goal is to minimize the risk of exposing our community to covid-19. Members of the Re-Entering Well Team are: Rev. Dr. Pat Allen, Nathan Bazawada, Dr. Hal Frazier, Tracey Furman, Marge Higgins, Steve Lillie, Rev. Kate Mackereth Fulton, Phil Rush, Erin Steele, and Laura Tribble.

Re-Entering Updates: Worship

We continue to monitor and respond to the changing public health situation caused by covid-19, and the rules and guidelines provided by Montgomery County. Montgomery County officials also acknowledge that businesses, agencies, and institutions may impose their own restrictions beyond those determined by county agencies.

To date we have worshipped in person, with worship services indoors, without incident of exposure (primary or secondary). The total average attendance for our Sunday in-person worship has been about 100, allowing for ample distancing. Anecdotal conversations with members who have not been in attendance disclose personal reservations about returning whether due to (among other reasons) changing virus variants, immune-compromised family members, or children too young to be vaccinated. Additionally, some ministries and committees have disclosed their preferences to continue meeting online even if able to return to full in-person meetings. 

The Re-Entering Well committee has approved the following steps toward full re-entrance into worship and office hours.

Masks will be worn during worship and during any events involving children. Please see additional worship-related protocols in the section below.

All fully vaccinated staff members and regularly-scheduled volunteers may be unmasked while in their respective offices and work spaces. Masks will be worn when other persons are present, or when social distancing is not possible. 

We are currently limiting indoor activities that involve snacks or meals. Small groups may choose to offer food but large, open, or public events with food have not resumed. Children's activities will also not involve consuming food indoors since that would compromise masking among populations that may not be vaccine-eligible.

Small groups may submit proposals including food and drink but should either plan for individuals to brown-bag their own meals, or should have designated masked-and-gloved servers handing out plates and pouring drinks. (No self-serve/buffet style meals allowed.) Outdoor spaces are also available.

For all WORSHIP SERVICES (Sunday, baptisms, funerals, or weddings) in the Sanctuary or Chapel:

Beginning with Sunday April 3, 2022 the following Re-Entering Protocols will be implemented:

  • Sign-in at the door for worship will be discontinued. Sign-in for worship will be managed using the attendance pads in the pews. Groups that are meeting must maintain a sign-in list in some format. 
  • All those attending worship must remain masked, covering mouth and nose, at all times.
  • Bibles, Hymnals, Prayer Request Cards, and Attendance Pads will be returned to the pews.
  • Singing while masked will be allowed. The Sanctuary Choir will lead music during the 10:30 service.
  • Communion will continue to use the all-in-one element packets. These may be consumed in the Sanctuary or taken home to be consumed there.
  • Blank offering envelopes will be available at the welcome desk. Offering Plates will continue to be placed at the Sanctuary doors for offerings.
  • You will still need to enter and exit as directed, and take your worship bulletins and all other materials with you.
  • We will continue to live stream our 10:30am service.
  • St. Paul’s hopes all who are able to be vaccinated against covid-19 will demonstrate Christ-like love for themselves and their neighbors by receiving the vaccine.
  • Coffee Hour and fellowship time will be held outdoors.
  • In addition to following covid-related best practices, our worship and fellowship opportunities will adapt to the demands of our building renovation expected to last throughout summer 2022.

Additional issues will be revisited and addressed in the coming months.

Additionally, the Re-Entering Well Team continues to encourage the leaders & coordinators of ministries of the church as well as those outside groups regularly using the facilities of St. Paul’s, to contact us to discuss re-entering and to submit written proposals for how they are prepared to adhere to the guidelines and restrictions. Questions about our re-entering may be directed to the Re-Entering Well Team via


Here are some of the ways you can stay connected to the St. Paul's community, make a space for worship, and receive updates during the public health crisis caused by COVID-19 novel corona virus.

  • Worship Services In-Person & on-Demand

    As of April 11, 2021, we will have in-person worship in the Sanctuary each Sunday at 9:00 AM and 10:30 AM, while the county health policies and covid rates make this possible. To keep everyone as safe as possible, worship will look and feel somewhat different from services held in pre-covid times. Please read more on our Worship page. Nursery and Childcare is available with advanced registration- read more on the Children's page.

    Since not everyone is ready or able to come back into the Sanctuary, we will continue to offer a livestream of the 10:30 service. You may choose to worship with us from the safety and comfort of your own home, or wherever you find yourself. Go to the Worship at Home page to access the service and the worship bulletin.

  • Contact Us

    As of April 12, 2021, we will offer drop-in office hours Monday-Thursday, 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Our crew of volunteers will answer your phone calls and welcome you into the building to drop off letters, pray in the Sanctuary, or pick up items. However, if you want to see someone specific, please make an appointment! Individual clergy and staff availability varies!

    While the office voicemail still works, email is really the BEST way to reach us and get a timely response! Please go to for contact information.

    (Photo from Staff Christmas Lunch, 2019.)

  • Prayer Requests

    Click HERE to go to the Prayer Requests page. From here, please use our secure form to submit your request. You may choose to share it confidentially with the pastors or share broadly with the Prayer Lift team, just as you would if you picked up a yellow pew card or Lenten Prayer Request paper. 

  • Making Offerings SEcurely

    If you usually mail your checks to St. Paul's, you can continue to do so since we process the mail regularly. To donate online, click here to go to the Giving page. Online giving allows you to make a secure financial gift as a one-time donation or a recurring offering. From our Giving page, you can choose to donate to the General Fund, the Hunger Ministry fund, the Improvement Fund, the Capital Campaign, or Special Offerings as they arise. 

    We are especially thankful for those who are able to pledge their support for 2021 - contact treasurer Michelle Gregonis at if you would like to make a pledge or update your information.

  • Christian Education

    ADULTS: Multiple different adult Bible studies are underway, meeting at different times via Zoom usually on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and/or Saturdays. Visit the Adult Education page to learn more about each study, and to find out how to join! 

    CHILDREN: Sunday School for kids age 2 through grade 5 will be online for Fall 2020 & Spring 2021 - contact Dr. Meg Baker to be added to the group! Click to go to the Children's page for updates and additional activities. 

  • Daily Breath

    Live at 9:00 a.m. on Facebook on Wednesdays through the summer, our pastors, staff, and volunteers take turns reminding us all to pause to reflect and take a breath. You might find Pastor Kate or Pastor Pat offering a short meditation, music led by Tom Pedersen, a reading from Micah Smartt, a reflection from Meg Baker, or even a guest speaker. The messages are designed to connecting biblical concepts with our lives in this current moment. Once the Facebook Live session closes, the recording remains available for later viewing. No Facebook account required - simply go to

  • Prayerwaves

    Pray over the airwaves (get it?) on Wednesdays at 10 a.m. We've transformed our Prayer Lift into a weekly call-in time of prayer over the phone. Click HERE for instructions on how to join the conference call from any phone.

  • Still WEdnesday, Still Meeting

    Still Wednesday provides a time of meditative worship and quiet prayer every Wednesday at 7:00 p.m., currently using the Zoom platform. Email Kenzie Raulin or and you'll receive an email invitation from the organizers with the link to join the next meeting.

  • Weekly News Email & Epistle Newsletter

    Click here for the Weekly News. To sign up and receive these emails, you'll simply enter your name and email address, click a box, and you're done! Once a week, you'll get an email with the Sunday scripture, a message from the senior pastor, and announcements. Once a month, you'll get a note that the Epistle newsletter is available. (You can read it online through our Epistle & Weekly News page - click here.) This email list is also one of our methods for communicating breaking news, such as schedule changes due to inclement weather.

  • Pastoral Care

    Pastoral care is available to all, for any reason, via phone, video messaging, email, or text. To get started, reach out to Pastor Pat at or Pastor Kate at In an emergency, phone 301-933-7933 ext 103 and you will hear Pastor Kate's cell number listed in her voicemail message.

  • Pastor Pat's Guide to Worship outside the walls of St. Paul's

    Click HERE to download "Worship from Home" a 2-page document that will take you step by step through the process of preparing and worshiping at home, or wherever you may be.