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

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 

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:

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! 

Worship Ministry Teams Forming Now

Have you ever wondered about how worship planning happens at SSUMC? Interested in learning more about how you can participate in supporting ministries like our Altar Guild, Scripture Readers, and more? Curious about lending your creativity as we think about our worship series? Join Pastor Will and Mary Ann Willow for an interest meeting for our newly forming Worship Ministries Team on Sunday, August 28th at 12:45PM in the Parlor. For more information, email