Congregational Life Update with Pastor Will

SSUMC Awarded Montgomery County Security Grant

Montgomery County has awarded Silver Spring United Methodist Church $8,000 as a part of its 2023 Security Grant program. The grant funding will be used by the Leadership Council to offset costs related to security assessments, training, developing safety procedures, and/or installing additional security cameras on our campus. 

Grant funds will be administered by the Leadership Council in collaboration with our Facilities Committee.  Learn more about the 2023 Security Grant program

Baptism Renewal Worship on January 8th, 2022

Join us at 10 A.M. on Sunday, January 8th, 2022  for a worship celebration that helps us give thanks for the gift of Baptism.

This worship celebration is held annually on Baptism of the Lord Sunday, a liturgical celebration held at the end of Christmas to commemorate and remember Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan River. The ancient church would have celebrated the baptism of new converts on this day following a time of preparation during the season of Advent. By remembering our baptism, we both celebrate the gift of God’s active grace in our lives, and recognize our need of God’s continued action and involvement as we seek to feed people–mind, body, and spirit–on our corner and in our community in Silver Spring.

Baptism is one of two sacraments celebrated by The United Methodist Church, and is celebrated for all people regardless of their age. Children who are unable to speak for themselves at their baptism later participate in Confirmation, a time of intentional learning and service, after which they are invited to publicly acknowledge and profess their faith. Confirmation classes will be held this Spring at SSUMC, and you can contact Pastor Daniel Cho for more information. As a function of God’s grace, we also acknowledge that–even though we may fail in living up to the covenant promises made in baptism–God’s faithfulness through the sacrament is absolute. For this reason we do not re-baptize. You can learn more about our United Methodist beliefs about baptism here

All worship celebrations at Silver Spring United Methodist Church are held in-person and online (via Facebook and YouTube). For more information on how to attend in person, please use this link

Silver Spring United Methodist Church is a reconciling congregation of The United Methodist Church. We fully recognize and celebrate the gift of human diversity as experienced and expressed through our age, race, ethnicity, gender and gender expression, sexuality, ability, and economic status. All of who you are, and all of what you bring, is welcome to find a place in the movement of Christ’s love among us.

Covenant Renewal Worship Celebration on January 1st

John Wesley introduced the annual covenant renewal service for use by the Methodist societies in 1755. Every year, on or near January 1, the Methodists gathered to renew their covenant with God. The service is adapted from a Puritan ritual. It is a powerful time of self-examination and confession that culminates in renewal of commitment to discipleship.

Join us on Sunday, January 1st, 2022 as we celebrate Covenant Renewal and Holy Communion, remembering both the grace with which God sustains us in the work of discipleship, and the call to continue growing in love of God and neighbor in everything we do. Through song and sacrament, prayer and intentional promise-making, we will recommit our lives and work to feeding people–mind, body, and spirit–in 2023. 

All worship celebrations at Silver Spring United Methodist Church are held in-person and online (via Facebook and YouTube). For more information on how to attend in person, please use this link

Silver Spring United Methodist Church is a reconciling congregation of The United Methodist Church. We fully recognize and celebrate the gift of human diversity as experienced and expressed through our age, race, ethnicity, gender and gender expression, sexuality, ability, and economic status. All of who you are, and all of what you bring, is welcome to find a place in the movement of Christ’s love among us. 


Leadership Council Elects Officers

The Leadership Council of Silver Spring United Methodist Church met Tuesday, December 20th to elect officers and begin planning for the new year. Officers elected include: 

  • Mr. David Ottalini, Chairperson 
  • Mr. Bill Scanlan, Vice-Chairperson
  • Mr. Ryan Lincoln, Secretary 
  • Ms. Leah Bullis, Treasurer 

Additionally, the Board unanimously affirmed the appointment of the following persons to serve as Equipping Board Members for its Standing Committees: 

  • Daniel Sherk, Personnel Committee 
  • Kevin Perry, Facilities Committee 
  • Debbie Boger, Governance Committee 
  • Melissa Politio, Nominations & Lay Leadership Development Committee 

Leah, in addition to serving as the Council Treasurer, will serve as the Equipping Board Member for our Budget and Operations Committee. 

Members of the Council will officially take office on January 1st, 2023. Monthly Council meetings will be held on the third Tuesday of every month from 6:30 – 8 PM and are open to the congregation with the exception sessions which are closed to deliberate confidential matters. All Council meetings will be held in a hybrid format, and links and information for joining can be found on our Church Calendar. 

For questions, or to contact the Council, please email

Celebrating Our Newly Elected Leadership Council

Following a special Church Conference led by our District Superintendent, Rev. Gerry Green, the Nominations and Lay Leadership Development Committee are excited to share the names of our newly elected Leadership Council. The include: 

Nominated to serve for one year: 

  • Dave Ottalini
  • Kevin Perry 
  • Ryan Lincoln
  • Caleb Perry 

Nominated to serve for two years: 

  • Marge Kumaki
  • Leah Bullis
  • Tijuana Irons
  • Becky Eager

Nominated to serve for three years: 

  • Bill Scanlan
  • Melissa Polito
  • Debbie Boger
  • Dan Sherk 
  • Cheryl Lammy

Additionally, we give thanks for the continued leadership of our Financial Secretary, Lynne Waters, and for our Lay Representative to the Baltimore-Annual Conference, Daniel Colbert, who have agreed to serve in 2023. 

The election of a Leadership Council marks a change in our governance structure that was passed at our annual Church Conference in November. The new Leadership Council will replace the Council on Ministries and the Administrative Board, fulfilling the functions assigned to the Finance, Nominations and Lay Leadership, and Staff-Parish Relations Committee, as well as the Board of Trustees. Serving alongside the Council, four Standing Committees–Budget and Operations, Facilities, Governance, and Nominations–will assist them with these duties. The newly elected Council will begin their service on January 1st, 2023. 

For more information, please email Pastor Will Green or watch the special Church Conference below. 

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 Mrs. Leona Lowery Fitzhugh as our Interim Director of Music Ministries. The Search Team was impressed by conversations with Mrs. 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, Mrs. Fitzhugh currently serves Director of Music at Mount Carmel Baptist Church 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


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