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 pledge as you're able for 2021, click HERE for the pledge form

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

For assistance, contact Michelle Gregonis, Treasurer at 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.

Worship Services

During the pandemic we have been able to enjoy in person fellowship in Reinhardt Park and most recently the Sanctuary. Few if any of us will deny the sense of normalcy that allowed us to reclaim, if only briefly. It reminded us of just how much we missed being together.  

It was our sincerest hope that we would be able to celebrate worship in person on Christmas Eve. However, the rising number of COVID cases statewide, state and local government re-imposition of more restrictive measures, the onset of the flu season, and concern for each of you, has led to a difficult yet responsible decision. We will not be gathering for in person worship on Christmas Eve. We will continue to live stream and/or record services until further notice.

To be clear we have heard each of your voices: those who agree, those who disagree, those who say not yet. And it is out of our caring concern for each of you that we have arrived at this difficult decision.

However, there are plans for music and other reminders of God present with us in this season, that will be shared during Advent and on Christmas Eve. As you wait for that information, you are encouraged to remember that Christ was not born in a Sanctuary, nor was the birthing room adorned with poinsettias and wreaths. More than 2000 years ago Christ was born in the most humbling space. Today Christ yearns to be born again in the most humbling place we know... in our hearts.

Pastor Pat and Pastor Kate

November 12, 2020

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 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.