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

        I want to take a moment to share an update on where we are with returning to in-person worship. We have prepared a plan for submission to our Re-Entering Well Team. Once the Re-Entering Well Team has reviewed, commented and decided upon our plan, THEN we will share what you can expect. 

        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. Again, all of this will be spelled out for you once we have the decision of the Re-Entering Well Team. 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 of conversations 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 a more specific financial update in upcoming editions of The Epistle newsletter. But for now, thank you!


Stay tuned for more information coming soon!

-- Pastor Pat

pallen@stpaulsk.org

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.

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

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.