Highlights This Week

Music This Sunday

Sing Praise to God Who Reigns Above
#474 Precious Lord, Take My Hand
#724 On Jordan's Stormy Banks I Stand

Sanctuary Choir:

My Tribute
AndraĆ©  Crouch


Precious Lord, Take My Hand
Emma Lou Diemer

Kum ba Yah
Emma Lou Diemer

Joshua Fit de Battle ob Jericho
Fela Sowande

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January 14, 2018

Rev. Claire Matheny, preaching
Luke 10:25-37

25 Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he said, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" 26He said to him, "What is written in the law? What do you read there?" 27He answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself." 28And he said to him, "You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live."
29But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" 30Jesus replied, "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. 31Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33But a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. 34He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, 'Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.' 36Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?" 37He said, "The one who showed him mercy." Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise."
Questions to Ponder
The priest and Levite would no doubt have been full of good reasons why not to stop and help the beaten man. The Samaritan likely had even more. Samaritans and Jews did not agree on many issues, among them where and how to worship. The surprise moment of this parable rests on the "other" status afforded Samaritans, and the compassion the Samaritan allows to transcend cultural barriers. But it's not just about what we have since labeled a "good" man. Can our compassion overcome the power we have to safeguard ourselves? Sometimes those face down are not obvious to us on the Jericho Road. We may be riding down the express lane, barricaded behind our busy schedules. We often know that if we slow down, God will have invitations before us that include empathic expectations.

Ponder these questions:
Who is the neighbor you do not yet know? 

Who is the person in your orbit that you have subconsciously or consciously kept at the periphery because you sense his or her need? 

Might there be a way to engage in order to make a "good" connection? 

What will it require you to put aside in order to tend to the wounds before you? 

As you assist, how might God also be tending to your wounds ?


Dear friends:
It took teamwork to keep the children upright.
Early on Tuesday morning the parking lot and sidewalks of St. Paul's were still covered by a thin coating of ice from the previous night's freezing rain. I discovered this quite by accident as I pulled into my usual parking space. When I applied the brakes to stop, I very disconcertingly kept going. Fortunately, my forward momentum ceased before I bumped into one of the Brookewood School's vans.
Schools were two hours late that morning, but even by 10:00 the ice had not melted much around here. I was at my post at that hour when I received a call from Laura Nelson who was out in the parking lot helping the arriving school girls navigate the slippery slopes. "Do we have any salt?" she asked. Children were falling down.
When I got out to the parking lot a couple of construction workers were already lending aid. These guys have been onsite all week to install a new chiller and water tower in the building. This equipment keeps much of our church cool in the heat of summer, but had become leaky and difficult to repair with age. (Yes, I know it seems strange to be installing air conditioning equipment in the middle of a cold snap, but we'll be thankful for the prudence of the Trustees when the July sun soon enough bears down on us.)
These laborers had paused from their mechanical work to spread salt about the area to protect the children. Tracey Furman followed with a refill box when their supplies ran low. I was shod in dress shoes, a poor choice of footwear for staying upright in these conditions, but I managed to do so while helping one of the teachers make it from her vehicle to the door. "You are my angel today," she said when we arrived at a place of solid footing, giving perhaps too much heavenly merit to someone who not long before had almost t-boned a school van.
Everyone finally got back to work and to class, and the sun and the more seasonable warmth of the day soon took care of the rest of the ice. It was a morning of excitement, though, and a demonstration of the community spirit that exists at St. Paul's every day of the week. Whether you work here, study here, worship here, or are just passing through here, everyone who comes here becomes part of the family, ready to serve where needed.
See you Sunday at St. Paul's, friends. With God's help, and a little salt, we'll all stay upright.

A.B. Snell
Upcoming Events

9:00 am

Nursery - 202
9:00 am

Worship with Communion - Sanctuary
9:30 am
Adult Sunday School: Christianity and World Religions - Parlor
10:30 am
Worship - Sanctuary
10:30 am
Opening Chapel & Children's Sunday School (age 2 - grade 5) - DuVall Chapel, classrooms
Children begin with a worship moment in the Chapel then transition to their Sunday School classrooms with their teachers.
10:30 am
Nursery - 202
10:30 am
Youth Sunday School (grades 6-12) - classrooms
11:40 am
Flower Arrangers Mtg - Library
11:45 am

Youth Choir - 211
6:30 pm
Senior High SPY - Youth Lounge, MPR


Church Closed - The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Observed

10:00 am
Prayer Lift - Chapel
10:45 am
Lectionary Bible Study - Library
12:00 pm
Tuesdays Together Worship and Meal - Sanctuary, Octagon
7:00 pm
Journey Group - 211
7:00 pm
Disciple I - Library

7:00 pm
Still Wednesday - Sanctuary

7:30 pm
Sanctuary Choir Rehearsal - 211

7:00 pm
Middle High SPY - MPR, Youth Lounge

10:00 am

Memorial Service for John Larimer - Sanctuary

9:00 am
Worship with Communion - Sanctuary
9 & 10:00 am
Nursery - 202
9:30 am
Adult Sunday School: Christianity and World Religions - Parlor
10:30 am
Worship - Sanctuary
10:30 am
Opening Chapel & Children's Sunday School (age 2 - grade 5) - DuVall Chapel, classrooms
Children begin with a worship moment in the Chapel then transition to their Sunday School classrooms with their teachers.
10:30 am
Youth Sunday School (grades 6-12) - classrooms
11:45 am
Youth Choir Rehearsal - 211
4:30 pm

Confirmation Class - Youth Lounge
6:30 pm
Senior High SPY - MPR, Youth Lounge

Sunday School Details

This Sunday, January 14 all children age 2 through grade 5 will begin with a short worship experience in the Chapel at 10:30 a.m. and will transition to their Sunday School classes with their teachers. Youth in grades 6-12 will have Sunday School classes in Youth Wing classrooms at 10:30 a.m.
Human Trafficking Awareness

January is Human Trafficking Awareness month. Human trafficking happens world-wide, but also in the United States and even Montgomery County. Look for blue ribbons and hot-line information at the Welcome Desk starting throughout January.
Winter Weather Reminder

In the event of inclement weather, St. Paul's follows the Montgomery County Public Schools announcements concerning delays, closures, or cancellations. We try to update the office voicemail and the stpaulsk.org website, but you may also contact the leader of a specific activity or refer to http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/ for more information. Your safety is always the first priority - please use your own best judgment before venturing out in wintry conditions.
Youth Choir Schedule

The St. Paul's Youth Choir for singers in grades 6-12, led by Director of Music Tom Pedersen, will have our first rehearsal of 2018 on Sunday, January 14 at 11:45 a.m. in the Choir Room, Room 211. We'll work on music we'll share during worship in February. We hope to see (and hear) you there!
Sunday School Help Needed

We are in need of a few more adults in our faith community who are willing to teach children's Sunday School classes this Spring. Each teacher typically leads class twice a month during the 10:30 AM worship hour. No experience necessary - training and materials will be provided! Please prayerfully consider participating in this valuable ministry. Contact Meg Baker, Director of Christian Education, at mbaker@stpaulsk.org or 301-933-7933 for more information. Thank you!
Still Wednesday Worship Experience

Still Wednesday meets every week at 7:00 p.m. Each gathering is unique; attend whenever you feel called to reflection, silence, and prayer. Please join us on Wednesday, January 17, 7:00-8:00 p.m in the Sanctuary.
2x4s Book Club - January

2x4s (folks in their 20s-40s) Third Thursday Book Club January book pick is Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In this prophetic work, he lays out his thoughts, plans, and dreams for America's future including the need for better jobs, higher wages, decent housing, and quality education. Join the discussion at the Matheny Noyce home during MLK week, Thursday, January 18, 7:30-9:00 p.m. Contact Rev. Claire Matheny for more information (cmatheny@stpaulsk.org).
Lenten Study Coming Soon!

This Lent, St. Paul's Adult Education Committee will again sponsor several six-week class offerings. Registration for the classes, as well as further details and full descriptions, will be available starting Sunday, January 21. Classes begin the week of February 11 and meet through March 25; most courses will be held on Tuesdays, 7:00-8:30 p.m.
Communion Collect

The next Communion Collect will be Sunday, February 4 with distribution on February 5, but you can bring non-perishable food items to the Narthex any time and monetary gifts 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
Friendship Club

Due to icy winter weather, the January meeting of the Friendship Club was canceled. All older adults are invited to come for the February meeting on Tuesday, February 13 at 11:30 a.m. in Heavener Hall. Please plan to join in the fun, food, and entertainment.
Biblical Archaeology

Biblical Archaeology: The Book of Esther - St. Paul's is co-sponsoring next month's Biblical Archaeological Forum, "The Book of Esther Revealed," on Wednesday, February 21 starting at 8:00 p.m. at the Bender JCC of Greater Washington (6125 Montrose Road, Rockville MD). University of Maryland scholar Dr. Adele Berlin will explore the origin and meaning of this fascinating Old Testament text about a religious queen. Admission is $5 for members and friends of St. Paul's, $10 for the general public, and free for high school students. Transportation is available; to sign up please contact Meg Baker at mbaker@stpaulsk.org, 301-933-7933 ext. 104.  Go to http://www.benderjccgw.org/event/book-esther/ to read more about this event.
Confirmation Class Prayers

Confirmation Sunday
The five-month journey to Confirmation is now underway for eleven members of St. Paul's Confirmation Class of 2018. Please be in prayer for these young people as they dig deep into faith and explore what it means to be a Christian. Prayers for their parents, mentors, and teachers are appreciated as well, and that a Spirit-led journey will be had by all. Those who choose to become full members of St. Paul's will be received in worship on Pentecost Sunday, May 20.
Memphis Sojourn

Rev. Matheny will be leading a trip to her hometown of Memphis TN, April 3-7, 2018. She welcomes you on the journey alongside lay and clergy United Methodists of the Baltimore-Washington Conference. This Sojourn of remembrance commemorates the life of The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., marking the 50th anniversary of his assassination on April 4, 1968. We will visit historic sites, hear from dynamic speakers, and engage in daily prayer. Through the lens of Civil Rights and the Poor People's Campaign, sojourners will consider what it means to work for King's Beloved Community today. For more information, contact Rev. Matheny: cmatheny@stpaulsk.org. Registration is live: http://www.bwcumc.org/events/mlk50/
BWC Scholarships

Each year, the Baltimore-Washington Conference of The United Methodist Church awards a variety of scholarships to qualified students attending or planning to attend college. The scholarship application process is open  January 3 - March 7, 2018. The entire process will be handled online. For details about individual scholarships or to apply, please visit www.bwcumc.org/administration/finance/local-church-resources/scholarships/. If you have questions, please contact Cheryl Cook at ccook@bwcumc.org or 410-309-3446.
Worship Participation

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 January, February, and March 2018. 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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