Dear Church Community,
Each year, I take off the month of July, and this year I’ll be on staycation from July 4-August 2. This is such an important period of rest and restoration for me, and I’m grateful to the church for making it possible. If you have questions about programming or member care during this time, please email Meg at email@example.com, and she’ll connect you with the appropriate lay leader. If you have a pastoral emergency, don’t hesitate to call me at 301-404-0893.
Summer Worship: For the third summer in a row, our Worship Team has selected a fabulous Preaching Fellow. Stephanie Dorsey will preach a sermon series entitled Gender Non-Conformity in the Sacred Stories and lead two Coffee Hour Conversations. Stephanie is a transgender woman who recently earned her Master of Divinity from Lancaster Theological Seminary. She lives with her family in Pennsylvania where they’re members of a UCC congregation. Her ministerial aspirations include a strong focus on “building bridges of empathy and care between those who are more theologically traditional and marginalized groups such as LGBTQ+ folks.” Please welcome Stephanie to our midst!
Opportunities to Help: Many of the organizations our church supports are struggling at this time. Some need financial help and others could use volunteers:
- Friendship Place—Ward 3’s Transitional Family Housing Facility, The Brooks, is up and running. Other Friendship Place Programs also need support. Please see this page for links and information about FP’s Amazon “wish lists” and other needs.
- Jubilee Jobs—this organization assists individuals looking for employment and is in need of both financial donations and virtual volunteers to help job seekers with resumes, applications, and phone interviews. If you’d like information about volunteering, please contact Ashley Holst (our Mission & Social Action Chair) at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’d like to make a financial contribution, do so by August 1, and it will be doubled!
- Paul’s Food Pantry—The only food pantry in Ward 3 is open the 1st and 3rd Saturday mornings of each month. If you’d like to volunteer (masks and safe social distancing required), please email Ashley. If you’d like to donate non-perishable food and/or toiletries (African American hair products are especially needed), you may drop them off in the bin outside St. Paul’s Ellicott St NW entrance.
Covid Update: Our church building is closed to all church events through Labor Day. We’ll review our options in August to make a decision about the fall. If you’ve been looking for masks, Melissa Loughlin says the small local business, Sargent Cleaners, 2420 Wisconsin Ave. NW, sells handmade masks available in two styles (with wire inserts to fit glasses wearers). They’re currently open 1-4 pm, Sat and 10-5 pm, Mon-Fri.
Racial Justice: 20 congregants have recently gathered for two meetings to examine our own racial bias; we’ve also met in small groups to plan educational programs and social action. If you’d like to get out the vote in states like VA and NC, please email Carol L. Rogers, email@example.com. If you’d like to help us plan educational programs for the whole congregation, please contact Emily Parker, firstname.lastname@example.org. If you haven’t yet filled out the 2020 Census, please do so. All sorts of important decisions are made using Census statistics!
You can get counted by using one of these easy options:
Please note that the DC Public Library has made available unlimited eBook copies of the following books on race:
- Why We Can’t Wait, Martin Luther King, Jr.
- Unapologetic: A Black, Queer and Feminist Mandate for Our Movement, Charlene Carruthers
- Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor, Layla F. Saad
- White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, Robin DiAngelo
The entire list of recommended reading, including books for children and teens, can be found at: Black Lives Matter Reading List.
Rally for Racial Justice: We’ll meet again this Friday from 5-6 pm in front of the church. On Juneteenth we had 21 people and 2 dogs. Last Friday, we had 15 people (including 1 youth) and 3 dogs. This Friday, we welcome all manner of adults, kids, and pets!
Finally, if you haven’t yet contributed to our GoFundMe Campaign for Celestine, please do— and share the link with family and friends. You might want to consider how much commuting money you’ve saved over the past few months and contribute that amount! It’s currently a buyer’s market for used vehicles, and Celestine is hoping to find a good deal on a Toyota minivan (2016 or newer). If anyone could provide assistance with this search, I’d be grateful. Please email email@example.com.
As always, if you need help or support, our congregation is here for you. Don’t hesitate to reach out.
Blessings of peace, health, safety, and justice to you and yours,