Save the DAte: June 12

Sunday, June 12

following 10:30 AM worship

Fellowship Hall


Please plan to join us in the Fellowship Hall following the 10:30 AM worship service for a special reception hosted by the Staff-Parish Relations Committee to honor Rev. Kate Mackereth Fulton on her last day as clergy as St. Paul’s. Light refreshments will be served. We will wish her well as she departs for her new position as the pastor at Trinity UMC in Germantown MD.

Pastor Kate's "Community office HOurs"

In order to ensure Pastor Kate has the opportunity to see and say goodbye to everyone she possibly can, she will be holding “community office hours” on Wednesdays in May and June. We hope those who are not yet comfortable returning to church, or whose schedule precludes being present on Sundays, will be able to take advantage of these “community office hours” to visit and share together one last time before Pastor Kate departs. No need to sign up, simply come as you are able to any of the following:

  •          May 11, from 10am to 1pm, at Arceli & David Suley's home. Please contact the church office (stpaulsunited@stpaulsk.org) if you need their address.
  •          May 18, from 4pm to 7pm, visit the Adventure Playground at Wheaton Regional Park, 2002 Shorefield Rd, Silver Spring, MD 20902
  •          May 25, from 4pm to 7pm, come to Caroline Freeland Urban Park in Bethesda (just off Bethesda Row), 7200 Arlington Rd, Bethesda, MD 20814
  •          June 8, from 11am to 2pm, visit in Reinhardt Park, directly across Armory Ave. from St. Paul’s UMC! (pictured at left)

New ASsociate Pastor Appointment: Rev. Joey Heath-Mason

Bishop LaTrelle Easterling has appointed Rev. Joey Heath-Mason as the new associate pastor of our congregation. 


Meet Pastor Joey! May 22 during worship, Rev. Joey Heath-Mason will join us at both services. Both services will include a “passing of the stole,” and there will also be a short Q&A with Pastor Kate and Pastor Joey during the 10:30 AM service.  We invite all to offer Pastor Joey a special welcome. (And remember to wear your nametag if you’ve got it!) 


Pastor Joey will begin his new responsibilities in July of this year. 


As a United Methodist  Church we are a part of an appointment system. Our congregation’s staff-parish relations committee has met with the district superintendent to identify our congregation’s needs and the needed skills in a pastor. The SPRC has also met with Pastor Joey to get to know him and to ask questions. Our new pastor will work with us and the conference so that we continue to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. For questions about appointments, contact Rachel Stalcup, chair of the SPRC.


Learn more from Pastor Joey's bio!

Rev. Joey Heath-Mason grew up in south Georgia, but moved to DC to earn his Master’s of Divinity from Wesley Theological Seminary. Since seminary, he has served a small church in Westminster, MD, followed by a few years at nearby Silver Spring UMC. That time was then followed by six years serving in campus ministry at American University. What excites him about ministry is the opportunity to share love, grace, and dignity with all while working to make the world around us better. He is also passionate about justice and inclusion of the excluded and forgotten. Pastor Joey lives in Silver Spring with his husband Matthew, daughter Amaya and their two dogs, Abbi and Skipper.

New Appointment News for

Rev. Kate Mackereth Fulton

A Message from Pastor Kate

March 6, 2022


Dear St. Paul’s family –


This morning in worship, we shared the news that I will be leaving St. Paul’s in June to take a new position as pastor of Trinity UMC in Germantown. This process, called “reappointment,” is a regular part of life for Methodist clergy. Each elder promises as part of our ordination vows to “itinerate” (rotate or move) between different communities at the direction of the Bishop and Cabinet. Generally, pastors begin new appointments on July 1 of each year; in order to allow space for previously scheduled travel, my last Sunday at St. Paul’s will be June 12th, 2022.


I do not have words to express how sad I am to be leaving all of you. St. Paul’s is the church where I celebrated Communion for the first time; where I baptized someone for the first time; and where someone called me “Pastor” for the first time. I tell you truly that there has not been a day in the last four years when I have not given thanks to God for the gift of serving this community. All of you will forever hold a unique place deep in this pastor’s heart, and just as you grieve when pastors leave, so too do we hurt when we must depart for the next waystation on our journeys. Know that I will miss each of you very, very much.


However, we still have three months left before that moment comes; months in which we will worship, pray, serve, witness and celebrate God’s presence and movement among us. While we do that, the Bishop and Cabinet, along with Pastor Pat and our own Staff-Parish Relations Committee, will be praying and discerning the identity of the person who will next have the joy and privilege of serving as Associate Pastor at St. Paul’s. I invite each member of the St. Paul’s community to pray for our Bishop, Cabinet, and SPRC over the coming weeks as they complete this hard and holy work. As soon as there is news to share, SPRC will make an announcement; until then, let us continue to love one another and build the Kin-dom together.


I love St. Paul’s, and I love each of you dearly.


Peace,

Pastor Kate

A Message from the SPRC

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


Ecclesiastes 3: 1, 22

A Time for Everything

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

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


March 6, 2022


Dear Friends,


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


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


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


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

Rachel Stalcup, chair

Jenny Lipford, vice chair

Alison Clark

Marge Higgins

Mike McCurry

Beth Pierce



Sincerely,

Jenny Lipford, on behalf of the SPRC

A Special Message from Pastor Pat

There are absolutely no words to adequately express how deeply touched and grateful I am for your overwhelming outpouring of love and support as my family and I grieve my dad’s death. Truly each and every card, every donation made in his memory has been the soothing and comforting presence that helps in times such as these. What a blessing you are to me!

-- Pastor Pat

February 6, 2022

Mask Update

From Pastor Pat

February 25, 2022


Montgomery County has relaxed its mandate for masks to be worn indoors. However, St. Paul will continue to mask as we gather. We acknowledge that some may be more than ready to rid themselves of masks and all things that seem to come between us and what have been familiar practices. We appreciate your understanding as we do our very best to care for all of God’s beloved, honor our call to do no harm, and create a sacred space for worship where all who desire may be a part.

Bishop's Statement on Local Tragedies

January 27, 2022

A Message from Bishop LaTrelle Easterling


Beloved:


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


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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Blessings and Peace,


Bishop LaTrelle Easterling

Baltimore-Washington Conference

The United Methodist Church


The letter is also available by clicking HERE.


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

Psalm 34:17-18

Pastoral Leave

Pastor Kate will begin a time of rest and restoration Friday January 28, 2022 through Saturday February 19, 2022. During that time all pastoral care concerns should be directed to Pastor Pat.


Beginning Thursday March 3, 2022 through Tuesday May 31, 2022 Pastor Pat will be on Sabbath Renewal Leave. Every seven years, clergy are entitled to request up to ninety (90) days of renewal leave. Pastor Pat is in her fifteenth year of pastoral ministry and at the encouragement and approval of our SPRC and our District Superintendent Rev. Gerry Green is availing herself to this opportunity. During her absence, Pastor Kate will lead the congregation. If you have any questions please feel free to contact Pastor Pat.

Congratulations, Pastor Kate!

We rejoice with Pastor Kate at her ordination.


"What a day, what a journey! 20 years after I first received my call to ministry, 12 years after being certified as an ordination candidate, I am finally an ordained elder in full connection in the United Methodist Church. My heart is so full!" 

~ Rev. Kate Mackereth Fulton, October 27, 2021


The Staff-Parish Relations Committee will share a special moment to recognize Pastor Kate's milestone accomplishment during worship on October 31 and present her with a gift on behalf of the entire congregation. If you have cards or gifts to add, please bring them on October 31.

Church Conference Reports

Sunday, October 17, 1:30 PM by Zoom


The annual Church Conference provides a "state of the church" snapshot.


As in previous years, this Church Conference meeting will include multiple churches in our geographic cluster. All are welcome to attend. The Zoom meeting will be managed by the BWC Administrator; pre-registration required. Click the button to go to the registration page.


Register for Church Conference



The packet available for download here includes reports and information that will be voted on at the Church Conference. This includes the Pastors' Report, clergy compensation summary, membership updates, and the Lay Leaders and Committees nominations list. Click the button for the *pdf file.


2021 Church Conference Reports


The entire collection of all filed reports, as reviewed by the District Superintendent and leaders at the Conference level, is available upon request. Please contact the church office (stpaulsunited@stpaulsk.org). This includes additional information like facilities and accessibility assessments, the Congregational Profile from the Staff-Parish Relations Committee,  certification of Safe Sanctuaries compliance, connected clergy updates, and other information as requested by the BWC and the UMC.

Readiness 360

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

Pastor Pat

Town Hall With Pastor Pat

On Monday, May 10, Pastor Pat held a virtual "Town Hall" style meeting. All were invited to share thoughts, ask questions, and receive information. The summary of the town hall in *pdf format can be downloaded and read by clicking here:

Town Hall Summary


Additionally, Pastor Pat prepared a slideshow to guide the conversation. That is available for viewing, as a Powerpoint file, by clicking here:

Town Hall Slideshow

Updates from the Senior Pastor

There are several updates for activities that are underway or are forthcoming. Here is what we can share as of February 25, 2020:


In-Person Worship

Update: March 25, 2021. 

The Re-Entering Well Team has reviewed, commented on, revised, and approved a plan for how we will return to in-person worship each Sunday in the Sanctuary. Plans can be found on the Worship page.

        While I am certain that hearing this invites the vision of returning to what “used to be” please understand that COVID is still present and therefore our re-entering will involve precautions and practices that all attendees will be expected to adhere to. We do appreciate your patience, but most importantly your care and concern for your fellow members, understanding that none of our actions should impose harm or risk to those we are so anxious to see.


Building Project

        Yes, the Building Project is still moving forward. Though you are not seeing shovels in the ground and other signs of construction, the work that is taking place is the necessary and behind the scenes work with the various entities of this process. So don’t worry, we are still moving forward.


Finances

        We are truly grateful for the way in which St.Paul has embraced the invitation to give. Thank you for pledging and for honoring your pledge commitment. Thank you for understanding that the work of the church is seeded through giving. Thank you for loving God enough to give God your best. Look for specific financial updates in upcoming editions of The Epistle newsletter. But for now, thank you!


Stay tuned for more information coming soon!

-- Pastor Pat

pallen@stpaulsk.org

Pastor Sabbath:

A message from the SPRC

Pastor Pat and Pastor Kate are as hungry to connect with the congregation as the members & friends are for connecting with them! Pastor Pat and Pastor Kate are available to meet at the office by appointment, until regular office hours are re-established.


The easiest way to make an appointment is by emailing Pastor Pat (pallen@stpaulsk.org) or Pastor Kate (kfulton@stpaulsk.org). They also may be reached by phone using the main church number: 301-933-7933. Pastor Pat is

extension 101 and Pastor Kate is extension 103. Please leave a message as needed. Until COVID loosens its grip, St. Paul’s does not expect to have staff or volunteers on hand to regularly answer and redirect calls.


Pastor Pat and Pastor Kate both maintain personal Sabbath practices to ensure that they remain rested and restored to

devote themselves to the needs of St. Paul’s. During their Sabbath times, they break from routine email and phone

communications. 


All are welcome to leave voice and email messages for Pastor Pat and Pastor Kate at any time, but the SPRC has asked them to resist the temptation to respond immediately during their Sabbath times. Our pastors will respond to messages received during their times of Sabbath on the next day. The exception is if you have an urgent situation.


What is urgent? Serious injury, rapid decline in health, impending death, or despair leading a person to consider self-harm is considered urgent. 


In an urgent, emergency situation, please contact the pastors on their cell phones. Each pastor states their cell phone numbers in their office voicemail greeting and on page 12 of the March 2021 Epistle newsletter. Please do not leave an urgent message in any of the office phone voicemail boxes.


Thank you!


Here are the Pastors’ times of Sabbath and contact information:


Pastor Patricia Allen

office: 301.933.7933 ext. 101

email: pallen@stpaulsk.org

Sabbath Times (out of the office):

- After 1:00 pm on Thursdays

- All day on Fridays

- After 1:00 pm on Sundays


Pastor Kate Mackereth Fulton

office: 301.933.7933 ext. 103

email: kfulton@stpaulsk.org

Sabbath Times (out of the office):

- After 1:00 pm on Fridays

- All day on Saturdays

- After 1:00 pm on Sundays


Cell phone numbers are listed in each pastor's voicemail greeting at the office. Please use cell numbers in case of emergencies.

Letter from the Senior Pastor, Rev. Dr. Pat Allen

October 2020


Greetings All!


As you read this, we will have crossed the threshold of 200 days of social isolation and distancing. None of us could have foreseen that as we approach one of our holiest seasons of the church year, that not worshiping together physically could be a very real consideration.


But if we have learned nothing else during this difficult time, it is how to adjust and create. We’ve adjusted how we’ve done the work of the church and created new ways to do the work of the church. It is as though we’ve been in a season of gestation and the birth is on the horizon.


As we prepare to enter that time of the year where so much of what we celebrate is centered around togetherness, where so much of our worship is experiential and expressive, where so much of who we are is focused on connection, let us not be distracted by what may not be. Let us instead celebrate what is!


Let us celebrate…

  • the twelve young people confirmed and welcomed into our congregation.
  • the three infant/toddler baptisms.
  • the worship services now live-streamed.
  • the Daily Breath Meditation moments.


Let us celebrate…

  • being part of Kensington Neighbors Magazine’s November Issue.
  • packing and delivering Smart Sacks to Veirs Mill Elementary School.
  • Hunger Ministry continuing to provide for the 100+ families usually served.
  • Canned Good and Non-Perishable donations delivered to Bethesda Help.
  • Back Pack Build providing an entire SUV-full of new school supplies to our partners at Interfaith Works.


There is so much we can celebrate, so much we have accomplished.


The Re-Entering Well Team has approved and welcomed the Brookewood School back into the building for in-person instruction in compliance with state and local guidelines, protections, and precautions. 


Our Re-Entering Well Team continues to work toward our re-entering well, having also approved the youth ministry for hybrid (virtual and socially distanced in-person) meetings and activities. The United Methodist Men prepared a “virtual” apple sale, so place your orders until October 22. The Re-Entering Well Team is reviewing our staff plan to reestablish office hours and some in person meetings. Soon, we will share a “road map” of where we are in re-entering. 


Our Building Committee has presented a revised building project scope for which church members voted to proceed.


We have taken bold steps to launch our stewardship campaign for 2020, acknowledging the great work to be done through the ministries of our church. 


None of us could have prepared for what this year has offered. However we have continued to find ways to be the church.


It can also be said, for all that we might celebrate, we have had our moments of sorrow. These moments of grief are compounded by our inability to gather and comfort one another. 


It is our sincere hope that we will find a way to celebrate together the “Roll Call of the Saints” on All Saints Sunday November 1, 2020. We invite you to join us in prayer as we explore how this might be done safely for all.


We will continue to live stream services from the sanctuary each Sunday, and hold as-weather-permits worship outdoors in the park. 


We are invited to join the Kensington-Chevy Chase Ministerium for a virtual Thanksgiving Service on Tuesday November 24, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. And we are planning our Advent and Christmas Eve Worship experiences.


There are still a few months remaining to this unimaginable year. I pray you are willing to continue with me along this journey of so many firsts.


“So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9 NRSV

GIVE

God Invites Victorious Engagement

The Latest News from Pastor Pat


December 3, 2020


2020 has understandably deeply impacted life as we know it. Many of us have had to re-evaluate our personal budgets and make adjustments. So has our church. In previous years we have been blessed by giving which has allowed us to serve our community and provide for the operational expenses (staff salaries and building maintenance). This year with the pastoral transition, the pandemic, and social unrest we have seen a measurable decline in giving which has necessitated a re-evaluation of our current and 2021 church budget as well as making those difficult decisions of deciding what will need to happen if there is no turnaround in 2021.


It is important that you hear this. We’ve invited you to watch the Let’s Talk Video to gain understanding of the financial picture of the church. (Click HERE for the video.) We’ve provided information in the weekly email blasts as well as the Epistle that without creating panic, shares the financial picture.


Now we need you to decide what you are willing to do to help St. Paul’s continue to be the beacon of light to the Kensington community. If you hold a leadership position in the church and have not pledged, I invite you to make 2021 to be the year you make that commitment.


If you have not pledged, please do so. Pledge what you are able to give and honor that commitment. If you have pledged and are able to increase your pledge, please do so. If you are unable to pledge or give, do know the giving of others is what will allow us to support you if necessary, so do not worry.


To make an offering online, click HERE to go to our Giving page

To pledge as you are able, contact Michelle Gregonis, Treasurer at mgregonis@stpaulsk.org or call 301-933-7933 ext. 110.



November 26, 2020


Giving in the church can be viewed through a variety of lenses. For some it is considered the “dues” paid for membership. For others it is the bill the church continues to dangle before its members. But in reality, our giving is one of the expressions of our relationship with Christ. As we grow in Christ so should our ability to express our love for Christ through our witness, service, and giving. These are indeed difficult times but please know your giving has impact!


Your giving serves ministry purposes. It definitely impacts our efforts which currently: helps us feed approximately 150 families through the Hunger Ministry; supports the families at Veirs Mill Elementary; feeds Montgomery County families we adopt for the holidays; makes it possible for us to support community efforts such as Bethesda Help, the Women’s Shelter, and our local libraries. Your giving serves administrative and operational purposes as well. Your giving is what helps St. Paul’s accomplish our mission in the community and the kingdom.


We give God praise for our stewardship campaign which resulted in pledges that thus far amount to 1/3 of our projected budget for 2021. But with 2/3 of our budget dependent upon “possible” giving and not realistic pledges, difficult decisions may need to be made.


God invites us into the victorious engagement of giving. Remember the young boy who gave his lunch witnessed the unimaginable feeding of 5000+ people that day. Whatever you give God can and will multiply. So GIVE, accept the invitation to be a part of the victorious engagement that feeds the hungry, reaches out to the disconnected, and builds the Kingdom.

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 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
  • 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 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.