Latest Updates

Interim Director of Music Ministries Announcement

Welcoming our new Interim Director of Music Ministries, Leona Lowery Fitzhugh!

Several months ago, our Staff Parish Committee announced that Mary Ann Willow, our Music Director and Organist for the past 43 years, would retire, effective November 20th. While the completion of Mary Ann’s service in our Music Ministry will be difficult for us, we will celebrate with her a well-deserved retirement and a legacy of excellence in music ministry at Silver Spring United Methodist Church. More information about celebrations of Mary Ann’s ministry will be shared with our congregation next week.

Today, our Staff-Parish Committee is delighted to share that we have hired Ms. Leona Lowery Fitzhugh as our Interim Director of Music Ministries. The Search Team was impressed by conversations with Ms. Fitzhugh and with her technical, interpersonal and leadership skills. We believe that she understands and will fulfill the needs of our congregation as the interim Director of our Music Ministry.

Leona Lowery Fitzhugh has music degrees from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Catholic University, and is candidate for the Master of Sacred Music at Westminster Choir College. She was a Fulbright Scholar in Japan. She has a distinguished background as a music educator and choral director with Prince George’s Public Schools and Catholic University. She is the Founder and Artistic Director of Washington Women’s Chorale. For 22 years, Ms. Fitzhugh currently serves Director of Music at Mount Carmel Baptist Chuch in Washington, DC. Leona is excited about Music Ministry and looking forward to her retirement from education to devote her work in glorifying God in song and music. One of her favorite Bible verses is Psalm 33:3 “Sing to Him a new song, play skillfully with a shout of joy”. She will begin her duties on November 21st, 2022.

A Stewardship Message from Pastor Will

GREETINGS IN THE NAME OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST!

What a gift we have in one another. Over the last few months, I have watched with joy and awe at the ways we have thoughtfully re-entered ministry spaces together both in-person and online—adapted to changes in our building, programming, and ways of gathering, and continued to identify new ways to reach people with the Good News of God’s love.

The energy of these last few months has been exciting and encouraging, and it makes all the more important this year’s stewardship campaign, Soul Food: Nourishing the Next Generation.

As we look to 2023, we are mindful that there are big questions; how can we best serve the needs of our community, from our corner, right now? How can we more radically welcome the people God is calling into our community of faith? What do we need to change—about who we are, how we gather, or what we’re doing—to more fully embody the values we profess as a congregation?

These questions are big, but when each of us brings our individual gifts of time, talent, and treasure to the table, God will be faithful to help us use them to make the next step. Our faithfulness and generosity today will help make sure that our congregation, in 2023 and beyond, will be able to continue responding to the needs of our community and world in ways that will build the radically inclusive, anti-racist, beloved community we call the kindom of God.

This year’s campaign goal is $600,000 in pledged giving, with an increase in giving units (individuals or families who give) from 267 to 290. Reaching this goal will help us make sure that we can sustainably:

  • Invest in staff that will help continue our commitments to justice, and expand our capacity deepen discipleship for people of all ages, as well as provide our first cost-of-living increase for lay staff in four years.

  • Grow in our capacity to offer radical hospitality—on Sunday mornings and throughout the week—so that people can connect and reconnect to God and one another.

  • Develop new digital resources, which expand our ability to communicate the inclusive love of God to new people.

  • Expand our ability to serve the needs of the most vulnerable in our community by deepening community partnerships and developing new ministries of mercy.

All these things are within our reach, if each of us is willing to bring to the table what God has entrusted to us

 

 

To put it into perspective: At our current level of 267 giving units, that is a goal of $2,247.19 per household in 2023
• That’s $187.26 per month
• $46.81 a week
• $6.68 a day

If 290 people gave $2,001 a year, that would hit the goal
• That’s $172.41 a month
• $41 a week
• $5.75 a month

If 100 people gave $6,000 a year, that would hit the goal
• That’s $500 a month
• $125 a week
• $17.85 a day

Regardless of how much you can give, we encourage to pledge what you believe you can faithfully share, to help
us continue building upon the momentum of 150 years of ministry together, so that we might set a feast which will
nourish not just the work we’re doing now, but the work that we hope will continue for another 150 years.

All gifts will be celebrated and consecrated on Sunday, November 20 at 10 a.m., followed by a Soul Food potluck, where we’ll connect and re-connect with the community that makes this faithful ministry we do possible.

Friends, for 150 years faithful followers of Jesus have offered their witness, generosity, and work to build the faith community we call Silver Spring United Methodist Church. We are inheritors of their faith, nourished by their
witness, and supported by their work. Their legacy reminds us that when we bring what we have to offer to the table, God is faithful to make of that offering more than we could ever imagine possible. Let us then, as those who feast upon their faithful work, bring our own gifts to the table, setting a feast for those who will follow us.


Much Peace,


Pastor Wil 

Pastor’s Appeal

As we move into the Fall, we’re excited to expand the ways we are offering radical hospitality on Sunday mornings, including a Fellowship Hour in our newly renovated Parlor. That space will include wiggle room for children, a new coffee bar and storage for weekly coffee hour, and a refreshed nursing space for mothers. 

In order to help fund this exciting ministry move, you’re invited to make a one-time gift between now and Sept. 25th to help us increase our capacity for vibrant fellowship and community by giving online to our Pastor’s Appeal or sending a check marked Pastor’s Appeal to the Church Office. In addition to helping support this shift, 10% of all gifts given will go to support our ministry partner, Shepherd’s Table, as they too do the work of hospitality for our neighbors. If you have additional questions, please email Pastor Will at wgreen@silverspringumcp.org

COVID-19 Update (August 22nd, 2022)

As many of you know by now, COVID transmission has reached the second highest level of concern in Montgomery County. Your pastors, staff, and lay leadership remain committed to diligently protecting the safety and health of the most vulnerable members of our community, especially children, their families and those who have yet to receive their COVID-19 vaccination. We are also committed to creating space, virtually and safely in-person, through which we can continue to connect and reconnect with God and one another. 

Here are some of the ways we–and you–can continue to respond as a movement of Christ’s love in this season: 

  • Please remember that masks are required during worship and other indoor activities at the church. Our worship leaders will remain masked unless actively speaking at a microphone. Should you join us for worship in-person at 11AM, our ushers will have masks available for you. 
     
  • Please observe physical distancing of 6′ or more between family units in the sanctuary, and distancing when gathering in congregate settings in the building. 
     
  • Please respect the wishes of others regarding their physical space. Some people are wary of hugs and handshakes during this time, or even elbow-bumps. We encourage you to ask others about their comfort level and to share your own as you are comfortable. 
     
  • As of today, staff, key lay leaders and volunteers–including our choir–will be required to provide proof of vaccination before participating in our worship or food distribution ministries. Our Operations Department is currently tracking the vaccinations of those required members.  
     

If you feel sick or test positive, please worship with us in our virtual service. Observe the CDC guidelines for COVID quarantine and isolation.

We encourage you to remain up-to-date about County-wide response efforts by using the Montgomery County COVID-19 portal. If you or someone you know is experiencing housing insecurity due to COVID-19, we encourage you to use the recently-reopened COVID relief fund for those who need rental assistance or contact one of our pastors for assistance. Finally, if you are able to make a contribution toward our Benevolence Fund, through which we’re able to offer direct assistance to members of our community continuing to face COVID hardship, I encourage you to do so. 

For the last 2+ years, our congregation has faithfully worked to remain a movement of Christ’s love, feeding all people–mind, body, and Spirit–so that none go hungry. Together, we will continue to do so, safely and well, as we move into this new season of ministry together. 

 

With Deep Gratitude and Love, 

 

Pastor Will

BSA Troop 209 Pumpkin Patch! October 15-27

Find all your Halloween and fall festival needs –  jumbo, large, medium, and small pumpkins, beautiful mums, some specialty pumpkins – local apples, too!
Payment:  Credit Card, Paypal, check to “Friends of Troop 209”, or cash. 

NEW THIS YEAR…pay for pumpkins ahead of time ONLINE: https://secure.givelively.org/event/friends-of-troop-209-incorporated/troop-209-pumpkin-patch

Children’s Sabbath October, 30

Join us on Sunday, October 30 for our annual Children’s Sabbath service. Our children lead the worship services and the grown-ups will sit down!   Bibles will  be presented to our 3rd grade students and our children’s choir will bless us with special music.  The children will also trick-or-treat the congregation for UNICEF during the children’s message dressed in their Halloween costumes. Children AND adults are welcome to wear costumes to worship. Please no scary masks or weapons.

Trunk or Treat 2022 October, 29

Join us for some fun, fun, fun at our annual Trunk-or-Treat. It is that time of year.  Halloween is just around the corner. With Halloween approaching that also means that Trunk-or-Treat is coming!   Our Annual Trunk-or-Treat will be held on Saturday, October 29th from 12 noon – 2:00 pm in the back parking lot of the church. There will be tons of candy, games, a cake walk, pumpkin decorating, face painting, a moon bounce and more!  Yes. You heard it right.  We are having a moon bounce!  Bring your family, friends, and neighbors. You don’t want to miss the fun! 

Racial Justice Book Club and Discussion – Open to All

The Last White Man: A Novel by Mohsin Hamid

Beginning Sunday September 25, 2022

9:00-9:50 AM Congregational Care Room

This book powerfully uplifts our capacity for empathy and the transcendence over bigotry, fear, and anger it can achieve. One morning, a man wakes up to find himself transformed. Overnight, Anders’s skin has turned dark, and the reflection in the mirror seems a stranger to him. Soon, reports of similar events begin to surface. Some see the transformations as the long-dreaded overturning of the established order that must be resisted to a bitter end. In many, a sense of profound loss and unease wars with profound love. As the bond between Anders and Oona deepens, change takes on a different shading: a chance at a kind of rebirth–an opportunity to see ourselves, face to face, anew. Please read Part One in advance of the first meeting (book is available at Barnes and Noble, Amazon and other vendors, and also on Kindle) and register here . If you have questions, contact Gladys Baxley at gbbaxley@comcast.net or Marie Matthews at mmatthews@silverspringumcp.org.