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Highlights This Week
 
Music This Sunday

Hymns:
#98
To God Be the Glory
#159 Lift High the Cross
#206 I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light
 
Sanctuary Choir 

The Grace of the Cross
Marvin Mills

Organ:
 
I Want Jesus to Walk with Me 
Phillip McIntyre

Take Up Your Cross, the Savior Said 
Edwin T. Childs

Fugue in d minor, BWV 538b 
J.S. Bach
 

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March 11, 2018

Rev. Adam B. Snell, preaching
Numbers 21:4-9, John 3:14-21

4 From Mount Hor they set out by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; but the people became impatient on the way. 5The people spoke against God and against Moses, "Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we detest this miserable food." 6Then the Lord sent poisonous serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many Israelites died. 7The people came to Moses and said, "We have sinned by speaking against the Lord and against you; pray to the Lord to take away the serpents from us." So Moses prayed for the people. 8And the Lord said to Moses, "Make a poisonous serpent, and set it on a pole; and everyone who is bitten shall look at it and live." 9So Moses made a serpent of bronze, and put it upon a pole; and whenever a serpent bit someone, that person would look at the serpent of bronze and live.


14 And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.
16"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.
17"Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. 20For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. 21But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God."
Questions to Ponder
We read two texts from Scripture this week. Though very different, they are connected. The passage from the book of Numbers includes a bronze serpent lifted up on a pole. The passage from the Gospel of John includes the familiar verse of John 3:16 ("For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son ..."). 
 
Ponder these questions:
 
The reading from Numbers is the last of what are called "complaint stories" in this book. About what (and to whom) are the people complaining in this passage?

What is your biggest complaint this week? To whom have you complained? 
 
Jesus references the bronze serpent of Numbers in the Gospel passage. What similarities does Jesus see between the serpent on a pole and himself?

What did the people in the wilderness have to do in order to not die?

What does Jesus say is necessary to do in order for you to not perish?

 

Dear friends:

I'm ready to move some mulch.
 
Even as winter holds on, St. Paul's is always confident that spring will eventually come. We are also perennially confident that there are many green thumbs in the congregation and community. As a church all about transformation, we are annually eager to supply all the mulch these gardeners among us need to transform winter's drabness to spring's colorful brilliance.
 
Our 2018 Annual Mulch Sale is set for Saturday, March 17. On a day in which many celebrate all things St. Patrick, what a great moment to deliver the necessary ingredients to make gardens green. If you live in or very near the 20895 ZIP Code, we'd be delighted to bring you all the mulch you can use for your horticultural purposes. The last day to place an order is this Sunday, March 11. You may fill out one of the order forms located in the church office, or sign up and pay on our website using your credit card.
 
As much as I like mulch, however, I can't move a couple thousand bags of it by myself. Actually, many of those hardy regulars who do deliver mulch for us each year have noticed that I don't actually move any of it. I stand behind a table in the church parking lot on delivery day and hand out paper delivery orders to everyone else. Until David Merrick relinquishes his role on the forklift and lets me take over the fun part, I guess I'm stuck with that job.
 
Nevertheless, we need volunteers. If you can help please sign up by sending me an email at absnell@stpaulsk.org. W e'd be glad to have you as part of the faithful crew on that Saturday morning of March 17. We'll wrap it all up by lunch so you have the rest of the afternoon to shower the smell of mulch off of you.
 
We'll feed all the volunteers lunch, too. In its own way, that's the ultimate goal of the mulch sale - feeding people. For many years all the proceeds from this sale have gone to support the hunger ministry of St. Paul's. As I was coming back from the church from my own lunch today, I calculated that what you do by ordering and delivering mulch helps to give a monthly allotment of food to our 110+ families for almost three months. You are feeding many people lunch, and breakfast, and dinner.
 
Three months from now it will be almost summer. Until then, we've got some mulching to do. See you St. Paul's on Sunday friends, where some plant and some water, but where God provides the growth and the ultimate harvest.
 
Peace,
A.B. Snell
Upcoming Events


Sunday
3/11/2018
9:00 am

Nursery - 202
9:00 am

Worship with Communion - Sanctuary
10:30 am
Worship - Sanctuary
10:30 am
Nursery - 202
10:30 am
Children's Chapel and Sunday School (age 2 - grade 5) - DuVall Chapel, classrooms
Students grade 5 and under begin with a worship moment in the Chapel before transitioning to their classrooms with their teachers.
10:30 am
Youth Sunday School (grades 6-12) - youth wing classrooms
11:45 am
Adult Ed: FaithFlix - Parlor
11:45 am
Beloved Community - 109
11:45 am
Youth Choir Rehearsal - 211
4:30 pm
Confirmation Class - Youth Lounge
6:30 pm
Senior High SPY - Youth Lounge, MPR
Monday

3/12/2018
1:00 pm
Staff Meeting - Parlor
7:00 pm
Stephen Ministers - Octagon
7:00 pm
Yarn Ministry - Library
Tuesday

3/13/2018
10:00 am
Prayer Lift - Chapel
10:45 am
Jericho Road "Lite" Study - Library
11:30 am
Friendship Club - Heavener Hall
7:00 pm
Lenten Study Classes - Octagon, 109, Parlor
7:00 pm
Disciple I - Library
Wednesday

3/14/2018
7:00 pm
Church Council Meeting - Parlor
7:00 pm
Joyful Ringers! - 109, Sanctuary
7:00 pm
Still Wednesday - Octagon
Thursday

3/15/2018 
7:30 pm
Sanctuary Choir Rehearsal - 211
Friday

3/16/2018 
6:00 pm
Senior High SPY Retreat - depart from parking lot
Note: Middle High SPY will NOT meet this day. We will resume regular meetings on Friday, March 23.
Saturday

3/17/2018
10:00 am
Mulch Sale Pick-up - Parking lot
all day
Senior High SPY Retreat - off site, West River
Sunday

3/18/2018
9:00 am
Worship with Communion - Sanctuary
9:00 am
Joyful Ringers! - 109
9:00 am
Nursery - 202
10:30 am
Worship - Sanctuary
10:30 am

Nursery - 202
10:30 am

Children's Chapel and Sunday School (age 2 - grade 5) - DuVall Chapel, classrooms
Students grade 5 and under begin with a worship moment in the Chapel before transitioning to their classrooms with their teachers.
10:30 am
Youth Sunday School (grades 6-12) - youth wing classrooms
11:45 am
Adult Ed: Faithflix - Parlor
11:45 am
Youth Choir Rehearsal - 211
3:30 pm
Senior High SPY return from retreat - parking lot 
Note: Senior High SPY will NOT meet at our regular time tonight - we will resume March 25.
4:30 pm

Confirmation Class - Youth Lounge

All God's Creation Is Very Good - Rescheduled!

Rescheduled! Last week's World Day of Prayer meeting of the Church Women United was canceled due to dangerous weather conditions, and has been rescheduled for Friday, March 9. All women and men are invited to attend the session here at St. Paul's UMC, 9:30 a.m. - 12:00 noon in the Octagon, for the program "All God's Creation Is Very Good."
Spring Forward!

When you go to bed on Saturday night, March 10, be sure to set your clocks to "spring forward" one hour! Daylight Saving Time goes into effect early Sunday morning. 
Sunday School Details

This Sunday, March 11 all children age 2 through grade 5 will begin with a worship moment in the DuVall Chapel at 10:30 a.m. before transitioning to Sunday School classes with their teachers. Youth (grades 6-12) will have Sunday School in the youth wing classrooms starting at 10:30 a.m.
Mulch Sale

Sunday, March 11 is the last day to order mulch from the annual St. Paul's Mulch Sale! All proceeds will be used to provide food for hungry families here in our community through the Hunger Ministry's 20895 Hunger Free Zone. We are offering Shredded Hardwood Mulch, Shredded Pine Mulch, and Pine Bark Nugget varieties, $6 each bag (3 cu. ft. per bag). Order forms are available in the church office or you can order online and pay by credit card at stpaulsk.org/community/mulch. All orders must be submitted and paid in full by Sunday, March 11. Pick-up/delivery will be Saturday, March 17. Please see the order form to find out if your order is eligible for free curbside delivery! We also need several volunteers to facilitate pick-up and delivery efforts in the morning on  March 17. If you can help, please contact Rev. Adam B. Snell ( absnell@stpaulsk.org or 301-933-7933 ext. 101) or use the insert in Sunday's worship bulletin to sign up.
Youth Choir

We have some great youth voices here at St. Paul's and want to welcome more folks in grades 6-12 to sing with us! Please meet in the Choir Room (Room 211) at 11:45 a.m. Sunday, March 11, for rehearsal. We will be singing our music in worship at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, March 25. Questions? Contact Mr. Tom Pedersen, director of music, at tpedersen@stpaulsk.org.
UMCOR Special Sunday Offering

This Sunday March 11, please use the special UMCOR Sunday Offering envelope in your bulletin to contribute to the work of the United Methodist Committee on Relief. For more than 75 years, UMCOR has provided emergency assistance worldwide, often long after others have left the scene. UMCOR has helped in times of natural disasters, aided refugees, and confronted the crippling challenges of world hunger and poverty. UMCOR is funded directly through the generosity of congregations and individual donors and, unlike some other benevolent causes, receives no funds from the regular United Methodist Church budget. March 11 is the UMC-designated "Special Sunday" for UMCOR offerings but if you would like to contribute to UMCOR at other times, simply bring your contribution to the church office. Checks can be made payable to St. Paul's UMC with "UMCOR Special Offering" on the memo line.
FaithFlix

Adults of all ages are invited for food, film, and fellowship in the Parlor this Sunday, March 11, 11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m. We will enjoy a light lunch while watching and discussing some faith-provoking film clips. This week's feature is Salvation from the Inside Out with Richard Rohr, a renowned author, teacher, and Franciscan priest. "Faithflix" continues on Sunday March 18 and March 25 with other film selections from www.theworkofthepeople.com. On March 18, we will see Sidelined Faith with Krista Tippett, Peabody Award-winning broadcaster and New York Times best-selling author. Our final presentation on March 25 will be Crucified with Christ with N.T. Wright, a leading New Testament scholar, Pauline theologian, and retired Anglican bishop. No prep, no stress, no registration - just come as you are able! Led by Meg Baker. 
Senior High Spring Retreat

West River 2011
The last day to register for Senior High SPY Spring Retreat is this Sunday, March 11. This year's retreat will be at West River Center March 16-18, and the theme will be "Liturgical," in which we will explore the major seasons of the church. Lots of special holiday themed activities have been planned, so this isn't a retreat that you'll want to miss! If the weather cooperates, we will also do the Big Swing. Sign up now online: stpaulsk.org/community/youth. The cost is $85; camperships are available. Contact Micah Smartt (msmartt@stpaulsk.org, 301-933-7933 ext. 111) if you have any questions.
Easter Lily Orders

We will once again enjoy lilies in the Sanctuary on Easter Sunday. Lily orders will be taken on March 11 and March 18 after each worship service. Please visit the table in the Narthex to place your order. Each plant costs $13 and may be dedicated in memory or honor of someone. Checks may be made payable to St. Paul's UMC with "Easter Lily" on the memo line. If you wish to use a credit card you will be able to place your order online at stpaulsk.org starting March 12. The final day for all orders is Sunday, March 18.  You may take your lily home following the 10:30 a.m. worship service on Easter, Sunday, April 1.
Adam Hamilton at National Cathedral

On Monday, March 12 at 7:00 p.m., Rev. Dr. Adam Hamilton will speak on his new book Unafraid: Living with Courage and Hope in Uncertain Times. St. Paul's adult education offerings have frequently included books or films by Rev. Hamilton, a prolific author and pastor of the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas, the largest UMC congregation in the country. Drawing on fresh research, psychology, biblical principles, and his long experience shepherding a diverse faith community, Hamilton helps readers untangle the knots of fear and truly embrace Jesus's recurring counsel: "Do not be afraid." Tickets for this event are $30 and include a hard-cover copy of Unafraid, talk, Q&A session, and book signing.  For more information, visit https://cathedral.org/event/adam-hamilton-book-discussion/
Friendship Club

The next meeting of the Friendship Club is planned for Tuesday, March 13, starting at 11:30 a.m. in Heavener Hall. Our business meeting is followed by a pot luck lunch at 12:00 and entertainment at 1:00 p.m. This month we will be entertained by the very talented Ellis Woodward, who plays the guitar and sings. All senior adults are invited to help us welcome Ellis to the Friendship Club and to enjoy this time of fellowship, food, and fun. For additional informational, contact Erma McWilliams, 301-774-2742 or emcwill436@aol.com.
Jericho Road "Lite"

Join us on Tuesdays March 13 and 20, during the regular weekly Lectionary Bible Study slot (10:45-11:45 a.m.), for the last two installments of the Jericho Road study series led by Rev. Claire Matheny. This study features Scripture, readings, and themes related to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s work at the intersections of racial and economic justice. The devotional guide and major topics will be the same as those offered in the Tuesday night Lenten Study class, but discussion and enrichment projects will differ.
Still Wednesday

Feeling called to quiet, stillness and community in a world that is all too loud? Each Still Wednesday  is a unique opportunity to deepen your relationship with the divine. From 7:00 to 8:00 p.m., Still Wednesday offers prayer and silence in a variety of formats: walking meditation, lectio divina, poetry, journaling, art or music, all dependent on who is facilitating. Most evenings will include 20 minutes of silent prayer. Throughout Lent, we will have our usual hour of contemplative prayer followed by an additional half hour of fellowship, 8:00-8:30 p.m. The time is an opportunity to share information on contemplative practices, resources, and to be together a bit longer during this season of reflection. Still Wednesday is held in either the Sanctuary or Octagon at St. Paul's. No need to RSVP, simply come any of the following dates: March 14, March 21, March 28.
2x4s Sunday Lunch

lucky_hat.jpg
Folks in their 20s-40s, plan to join in on St. Patrick's shenanigans over lunch at home of Travis & Rachel Stalcup following 10:30 a.m. worship on Sunday, March 18. For the address and any questions, email Rev. Claire Matheny: cmatheny@stapaulsk.org.
Biblical Archaeology: The Synagogue at Huqoq

St. Paul's is a sponsor of the Biblical Archaeological Forum, a series of scholarly community lectures on ancient times. This month's lecture, The Ancient Synagogue at Huqoq in Israel's Galilee, is on Sunday, March 25, starting at 7:30 p.m. at B'Nai Israel (6301 Montrose Road, Rockville, MD). Dr. Jodi Magness, Professor of Early Judaism at UNC, Chapel Hill, will describe the exciting finds of her recent excavations in Huqoq, Israel. These excavations have brought to light the remains of a synagogue building replete with stunning and unique mosaics, including depictions of the biblical hero Samson, Noah's Ark, the parting of the Red Sea, plus the first non-biblical story ever discovered decorating an ancient synagogue. Reservations are not required. Fees per lecture are $10 for the general public; high school students are admitted free of charge. For more information please visit: http://www.benderjccgw.org/event/huqoq or call 301-881-0100.
Lenten Resources

Lent Supper & Study
Please visit the display in the Narthex on Sunday for materials that might be helpful to you on your own Lenten journey: The Jericho Road , our church-wide Lenten study; Lent 2018, a weekly study geared toward young families; and About Lent , a helpful guide to the meaning, history, and traditional practices of this time of repentance and renewal. You can also test your knowledge with the UMC Lent Quiz!
Family Easter Eggstravaganza

easter_bunny_run.jpg
St. Paul's will be hosting an Easter Eggstravaganza from 9:30-11:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 31 in Heavener Hall.  Families will enjoy a light breakfast, crafts, story time, and, of course, an Easter Egg Hunt for ages 10 and under.  Bring a basket, bring a friend! While there is no cost for this event, registration is encouraged; please sign up in the Narthex or online: http://stpaulsk.org/community/children. We are also in need of many volunteers - both adults and youth - especially folks who are able to host craft stations and help with Egg Hunt logistics. To volunteer, or for more information, please contact Meg Baker at 301-933-7933 ext. 104 or mbaker@stpaulsk.org.  Donations of pre-filled Easter Eggs (no nuts or chocolate, please!) would also be most welcome and may be placed in the labeled bin in the church office.
Holy Week and Easter Schedule

Before we know it, we will be at the end of the Lenten season and preparing for Easter. St. Paul's offers a number of unique worship and fellowship experiences during this time.

  • March 29: Maundy Thursday, worship at 7:30 pm in the Sanctuary. Maundy Thursday commemorates the events of the day before Jesus's execution, including The Last Supper and the arrest of Jesus. The Sanctuary Choir will lead this service.
  • March 30: Good Friday, worship at 7:30 pm in the Sanctuary. Good Friday commemorates the crucifixion.  This quiet service invites us to reflect on Jesus' sacrifice and death upon a cross.
  • March 31: Saturday Eggstravaganza, 9:30-11:30 am in Heavener Hall. This time of family-friendly fellowship and fun will include breakfast, crafts, and an Easter Egg hunt.
  • April 1: First Service of Easter, worship at 7:30 am in the Memorial Garden (weather permitting). By long tradition, the St. Paul's Youth lead this time of prayer, praise, and scripture marking Jesus' resurrection.
  • April 1: Easter Worship, 9:00 am in the Sanctuary. This service is designed to be especially appropriate for families with young children and features seasonal music.  Nursery care available.
  • April 1: Easter Worship with Communion, 10:30 am. in the Sanctuary. This service includes seasonal music and the sacrament of Holy Communion. Nursery care available.
Greeters Wanted

If you would like to help welcome friends and members to church before the 10:30 service, we would love to have you as a greeter. We simply ask that you arrive at church 15 minutes before the service begins wearing your name tag and a smile. Choose one of the two doors leading into the sanctuary and welcome each person as they enter. If you are interested or have questions, please email Debbie Zechar at dszechar@me.com. We will choose a date that fits your schedule. Thank you for your help! 
Rally to End Racism

A group from St. Paul's is planning to attend the National Council of Churches ACT Rally in Washington, D.C. Join us at St. Paul's on Tuesday, April 3, 7:00-9:00 p.m. in Room 115 as we gather to sing, pray, educate, and make signs! On Wednesday, April 4, meet at the Forest Glen Metro station at 9:30 a.m. to travel together into D.C. We will walk from the Metro Center metro stop to the National Mall and participate in the rally, concluding at 4:00 p.m. A.C.T. stands for Awaken, Confront, and Transform. The National Council of Churches challenges faith communities and individuals to join in truth-telling conversations leading to actions that right the wrongs, and thereby, with God's grace, bring healing and wholeness to all people and unity to the nation. To learn more about this event, visit rally2endracism.org, or contact Kenzie Raulin (301-237-1520, kenzier@rcn.com). You can sign up to make signs or to participate in the rally through http://stpaulsk.org/service/beloved-community.
Pancake Breakfast

All are welcome at our Community Pancake Breakfast on Saturday, April 7, 8:00-10:30 a.m. in Heavener Hall. We will feature regular pancakes, eggs, sausage, bacon, ham, fruit, and grits. This month's specialty pancake will be orange-whole-wheat. Proceeds from this breakfast will benefit the West River United Methodist Center ( http://www.bwccampsandretreats.com/westriver/) . Instead of a fixed price, we invite donations; as a guide, we suggest $8 for adults, $2 for children, or $20 for a family of four.
UMW Book Club

The UMW Book Club meets about every other month, providing women the opportunity to read and discuss books with friends. We typically select books from the UMW reading program list, which are available in the church library. Our next meeting will be on Sunday, April 15, at 12:00 noon, in Room 109. Our book will be What is the What? by David Eggers. This epic novel was inspired by the life of Valentino Achak Deng who, like thousands of other children - the so-called Lost Boys - was forced to leave his village in Sudan at the age of seven and trek hundreds of miles across the deserts of three countries, pursued by militias, government bombers, and wild animals.  When he is finally resettled in the United States, he finds a life full of promise but also myriad new challenges.  What is the What? is an astonishing novel of the human spirit, moving, suspenseful, and unexpectedly funny.
Yard Sale

Another Yard Sale is coming up! The Spring Yard Sale, sponsored by the UMM, will be on Friday, April 27 and Saturday, April 28, with our "receiving day" on Thursday, April 26. This event is a big fund raising opportunity and helps us support the church's ministry and outreach efforts. The household items you donate also provide a real benefit to others, especially recent immigrants, those getting settled in the community, and those with limited income.  Your volunteer work at the Yard Sale is a great contribution in itself! Look for a sign-up sheet in the office soon to volunteer.
Communion Collect

The next Communion Collect will be  April 7 with distribution on April 8, but you can bring non-perishable food items to the Narthex any time. Monetary gifts or grocery store gift cards (Giant or Safeway, $10 value each) are always gratefully received in the office. Each month, we serve 110+ families in the 20895 ZIP code who face hunger, providing hungry neighbors over 2,450 food items per month, and we can only do it thanks to your generosity. To volunteer, contact Dawn Ely ( dawn.c.ely@gmail.com) and read more at:  http://stpaulsk.org/service/hunger-ministry 
New Baby Meals

As we celebrate new additions, we've got some joyful feeding to do! Please sign up to provide a meal for St. Paul's families who have just welcomed a newborn. Jim & Rachel King welcomed baby Hazel Joan on February 15 - support Jim, Rachel, and big brother James by signing up at www.TakeThemAMeal.com/EIAM4619. Ryan Miller & Emily Sama-Miller and big sister Cora welcomed baby Aurelia Noelle on February 21. To provide a meal for the Sama-Miller crew, sign up at www.TakeThemAMeal.com/NXHB3311. Each TakeThemAMeal page has additional instructions, including notes about any allergies. Share the love of St. Paul's by blessing these families from your kitchen.
Liturgists and Communion Stewards

Would you like to read Scripture or help serve Communion at the 9:00 a.m. Worship Service? We are looking for Liturgists and Communion Stewards to assist in the first worship service on Sunday mornings. There are dates available now for March and April. To sign up online, simply add your name and email address to the sign-up sheet found at this site: goo.gl/Xz5T79. Contact Rev. Claire Matheny ( cmatheny@stpaulsk.org, 301-933-7933 ext. 103) if you have questions.
Online Prayer Requests

Upcoming surgery? Have a joy or concern? In need of prayer support? Submit a prayer request online, day or night. You have the option to share your request with the Prayer Lift team or only share directly with the pastors. Visit our online prayer request form linked on our website at:  http://stpaulsk.org/community/prayer-requests.
 

Thank you for staying connected to St. Paul's UMC through this weekly publication.  The email addresses used in this mailing were provided by the addressees for church use.

 

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