Dear Friends in Christ:

You are welcome here, every summer Sunday at 10am!

St. Paul‚Äôs is a lively gathering of God‚Äôs people around the Gospel-centered promise of grace, a ‚ÄúReconciling in Christ‚ÄĚ congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in NW Washington, DC.¬†

St. Paul’s is a gospel centered gathering of God’s people, focused on living thankfully in light of God’s gracious love, gathered in prayer for the world, and actively working for justice and peace locally and globally. Join us for worship this Sunday and often!

John R. Spangler, Interim Pastor




Simply Giving: Click Below


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4900 Connecticut Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20008

We are located between Ellicott & Everett Streets NW, between Murch Elementary School and the Fire Station.








St. Paul's Podcasts available online! 



About Sanctuary


"And have them make me a sanctuary,

so that I may dwell among them."

Exodus 25:8

Iowa Bishop Michael Burk chose this biblical step-stone in his interpretation of the ELCA resolution to become a "Sanctuary church body" at its recent churchwide assembly. On the same day, hundreds of assembly participants walked to the customs enforcement office to protest the separation of children from parents and to walk in solidarity with people seeking asylum and refugee status. 

This is one of those good decisions that comes in a timely way, but before the details are known. The resolution requests the ELCA Church Council to "provide guidance for the three expressions of this church [churchwide office, synods, congregations] about what it means to be a sanctuary church body." And so, we can expect further reflection, deliberation and resources to help us walk with those who seek refuge, who seek asylum, who have been separated from family and those who have lost family. 

Confusion was made worse by media reports including some that were intentionally hostile to the church and to refugees and asylum seekers. One commentator, a pastor no less, quoted Romans 13 against the ELCA action in an open attack: "Let every person be subject to the governing authorities; for there is no authority except from God, and those authorities that exist have been instituted by God...whoever resists authority resists what God has appointed..." This passage never works as a proof text of a pre conceived opinion and is a clear sign of biblical malpractice.
Luther resolved unclear biblical statements with those he considered clearer. The command to love, the command to serve one another, the command to feed my sheep being good examples. And an old mandate surfaces too: When an alien resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the alien. The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God (Lev 19:33-34). And a newer one: Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers for by doing so, some have entertained angels without knowing it (Hebrews 13:1). I can find no clear place where scripture contradicts this command. It is as clear as the expectation that we will create sanctuary for God.
And so our responsibility is to make space and time for God to dwell among us. It is the Spirit's work to extend that hospitality and walk with those who are in need, broken by social and economic cruelty, without a friend, without love, without food, without a roof, without a prayer. We don't always know exactly how it will look. Capacities and abilities and policies and environment are different in every ministry location. Time will tell for the ELCA as a sanctuary church, and time will tell how we will live out the servant role of St. Paul's. I thank Bishop Burk for the reminder that God has chosen to dwell with us, and that includes the most vulnerable seekers of peace and freedom. All of God's people.
John R. Spangler, Interim Pastor
PS Don't forget to read a fuller summary of all the decisions and action of the ELCA Churchwide Assembly in Milwaukee, especially the marking of the 50th anniversary of the ordination of women, the decision to ordain deacons, election of leaders, and more!

Website Work for St. Paul's

We are planning for some web redesign and expansion. Please let us know what you would find useful on the congregation's website. What's missing? What do you use? If there is old and bad info, please continue to point us to that as well. But do talk to us! It makes our work better. 



St. Paul's Lutheran Church continues its commitment to ministry for and with persons experiencing homelessness and remains actively supportive of the long-term mission to address the need for short term, transitional housing in DC. You may recall that last fall, we announced the shelter would be closing temporarily and would likely reopen in the future using a new model based on peer support. That decision was put on hold when it became clear that the current residents would not be able to find suitable long-term housing before the cold winter.

Since that time, the church staff has been working diligently with the current residents to be more closely connected to Friendship Place services staff, encouraged and supported in working toward finding appropriate housing. The St. Paul's shelter was never intended to be long-term housing, and there is much evidence that long-term stays in shelters can have significant negative impacts on the residents and may even impede their ability to find suitable housing.

In order move forward with the plan to reassess its structure for short term shelter for homeless persons, the congregation's Council decided to close the current shelter on July 31, 2019. This date provides time for current residents to plan for more permanent housing or alternative short-term shelter with the help of Friendship Place. We will continue to support and assist the residents during this transition, and we ask the congregation to keep the men in your prayers.

If you are interested in participating in the reassessment of our ministry with homeless persons, please give your name to Joy Belew in the church office  or by phone.


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Introducing the

St. Paul’s Call Committee:


Sue Hollar‚ÄĒChair
Peter Guerber
Donna Hershey
Jeff Koch
Bruce Morrison
Liz Rihani
Jason Stonerook
Caitlin Thistle


Farewell Service and Reception for Bishop Graham
Sunday, August 25th at 3:00 pm -    All are welcome!
The Metropolitan Washington, DC Synod of the ELCA invites you to the Farewell Service and Reception for Bishop Richard H. Graham on Sunday, August 25th at 3 pm. 
Saint Luke Lutheran Church
9100 Colesville Road
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Please respond by August 15th at or to


Confirmation at St. Paul's

Grades 7-8

Join us as we journey toward the Affirmation of Baptism!  

Confirmation is a time for thinking about our Baptism, for learning about the Bible,  for understanding what the Bible says about our faith, for talking about what we believe as Lutherans and why, and --most important of all--for asking questions about our faith!
Confirmation class meets September--May, Sundays 9:45 am--10:45 am, and Tuesdays 4:45 pm--6:00 pm.  There will be a mandatory meeting for ALL students (including second-year students) and parents on Sunday, September 8th, 9:45 am--10:45 am.
If your child is a rising 7th grader and is planning on joining us in the fall, please let Lisa Wackler know.

Donors Needed for Altar Flowers
There are several dates available to donate altar flowers. The cost of the flowers is $65. Flowers can be donated in memory of a loved one, in honor of someone's special  event, or in thanksgiving for something special to you. Dates available: August 18th  and September 1st, 8th, 15th, and 29th.  Please contact Joy Belew to reserve a date. Thank you. 



We are looking for people interested in volunteering for this very important church function.  It consists of a two member team that works on Sundays after church or Monday for about 1 or 2 hours collecting, counting and recording the offering.  The teams are assigned a month at a time, usually 3 or 4 months a year (depending on how many teams we have).  Sundays can be switched with other teams.  Training and written instructions are provided.  Please contact Paula Stewart 410-956-7117 or the church office to volunteer.



Thank you for supporting Gifts of Hope during our 2018 Advent campaign in which we raised $119,038.00 from online giving and from congregation members across the Synod, including $3,760.00 from members of St. Paul's. These funds have been distributed to our 19 beneficiary organizations to support their work in our community.   Thanks to the volunteers who present this alternative gift-giving option to your congregation.

Your support helps the elderly, adults, and children served by our ten social-service organizations, four ministries, three international synods, and two church camps. These agencies work with people in and recently released from prison, those who want to improve their lives, those who need help with transportation, housing, school supplies, job-readiness, clothing, food, medications, wellness, and relief from homelessness. Your support helps those who are discerning God's call and answering that call. Your support helps kids go to camp and enjoy activities with other children. Your support helps people outside our borders: creating businesses, at children's orphanages, providing pastoral support, and aiding church building repair.

Our gifts are available year-round-not just during the Christmas season-via our website: We are a faith community helping each other and making our community stronger. Thank you for providing hope for today and hope for tomorrow.

Carolyn Sowinski, Director







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June 16th - September 1st

One Worship Service at 10 am 


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And don't forget!  The church nursery is available  in room 111 every Sunday during the 10 am worship service.  Let us give you a break when you need it!



A Time for Giving Thanks 

August 25th

We have confirmed August 25th following the 10 am worship service as a time to give thanks for the ministry of Deaconess Cassie Brown who is leaving St. Paul's on August 30th.  She has accepted a call to consecrated diaconal service in another Lutheran congregation.
We are planning a festive reception in honor of her 13 years of faithful service through St. Paul's.   Please save this time and plan to be a part of it.  
If you would like to help with the celebration, please contact Lynn Adkins or Joy Belew.

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A Fun Sunday Evening of Film

After an hiatus of several years, the reconstituted St. Paul's Irreverent Film Society (SPIFS for short) will hold its first showing of 2019 on Sunday evening, August 25, 6:30 p.m., in Room 207. The showing will be of the ever-relevant "The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming," portraying the comic interaction between a marooned Russian submarine crew and the inhabitants of a town in coastal Maine. The film is as hysterical now, with its tongue-in-cheek humor, as it was when it came out in 1966.
In classic cinema fashion, popcorn will be served at the showing, and attendees are encourage to bring appropriate beverages. RSVP's are helpful but not required. If you have questions, please contact Veronica Ferris . We hope to see you the evening of the 25th.


Play Ball!  

Baseball fans, it's been a year of transition but albeit later in the season, St. Paul's will be having its annual outing to Nationals Park. The faithful Nats fans from St. Paul's will once again be assembling to cheer on the home team on Friday September 27, 7:05 p.m., in the last regular series of the season. We will be hosting the resurgent Cleveland Indians, who like the Nats have recovered from a slow start and are now tied for the AL Central lead. The cost for the tickets, which are in the third-base gallery under cover in case of rain, is $20, same as last year.  For further details and to reserve tickets, please contact Gail Ferris,


Thanks to Everyone Who Attended Our  Family Campfire "Stories & S'mores" Event!





Some shots from VBS !!




Six Sundays of Summer Service

Thank you from the Social Ministry Committee

THANK YOU ST. PAUL'S! The Social Ministry Committee would like to thank you for your support during the Six Summer Sundays of Service! A number of St. Paul's volunteers helped a variety of organizations around the themes of caring for the elderly, welcoming visitors, promoting education, supporting immigrants and refugees, and uplifting people experiencing food insecurity. In the process we made 25 bouquets of flowers; stuffed 15 welcome bags, filled 10 backpacks with school supplies, and decorated 57 reusable shopping bags, and wrote 70 cards for immigrant families! The organizations we supported include Forest Hills Inclusive Senior Living, SPLC Prime Time, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services, SPLC food pantry, and Friendship Place. If you're interested in joining the Social Ministry Committee to continue work like this, contact Lisa Wackler.



Please return your intention cards for 2019 Annual Giving!

Year- end statements of giving were mailed to households on January 30th. In that same envelope was a letter from stewardship chair Mike Charlton along with an intention card to be returned to the Treasurer indicating your intentions for giving to the church in 2019. To date, 63 households have responded. Please take the time to return your card! 



Thank You to the Members of the Transition Team for All of Their Hard Work These Last Few Months:

Christi Barnhart (chair) 

Gail Ferris 

Rebecca Highsmith 

Sarah Hines 

Paul Reichert 




Our Mission Team in Houston, Texas!



St. Paul's Lutheran Church Prime Time Senior Ministry

Click HERE for more information about the Prime Time Senior Center.null

Our Prime Time Members participating in a meditative activity using Tibetan Singing Bowls.