Come and Fellowship with Us!

Come for Worship, Stay for Fellowship!

November 21, join us at 11:00 for the worship service, and then move to the back parking lot for food trucks – no charge! – (including food options for kids), games, music, and fellowship! The entire community is invited, along with our tenants. Along the way, you can find out more about the work of our Racial Justice Ministries group and make a donation for our Thanksgiving Food Drive (gift cards for Target, Giant, and Safeway). In order to maintain COVID safety, this can only be an outdoor event; so it is definitely “weather permitting.” But we’re praying for a chance to have a great time together! Again, that’s worship at 11:00 and the fellowship time will follow at 12:15!

Join Us for Advent Studies 2021

Discover a deeper, more meaningful experience of Advent and Christmas!

Advent with Alex

Rev. Alex will be leading a 4-week study during the season of Advent on Sunday evenings at 7:00 p.m. We’ll be using a study entitled All the Good: A Wesleyan Way of Christmas to explore how Wesley’s “means of grace” can enrich this season as we look toward the celebration of Christmas. The study includes a book, videos, and regular spiritual exercises to help us all be engaged in this time of hope and expectation. Participants will need a study guide, available through and There is also an optional devotional guide

Monday Mondays with Marie

Advent Study Showing Mary: How Women Can Share Prayers, Wisdom, and the Blessings of God by Renita J. Weems
will begin on Monday, November 29 at 7:00 pm via Zoom (November 29, December 6, 13 and 20). The story of a young pregnant Virgin Mary visiting her older pregnant cousin Elizabeth, told in Luke 1:39-56, is one of the most profound examples in the Bible of an empowered mentoring relationship between women. SHOWING MARY retells this touching story, revealing how both mentor and protégé use their respective gifts and energies to support each other. This relationship is then applied to modern life, emphasizing the importance of women mentoring women, nurturing each others dreams, sharing wisdom and experiences, and building networks of mutually rewarding friendships between older and younger women. Please read to page 28 for the first week.
Join Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 869 8582 9585 Passcode: 8900
Or, dial by phone: 1-301-715-8592
For more information, contact Ms. Marie

Monday Night Advent Study

The Book: Honest Advent: Awakening to the Wonder of God-with-Us Then, Here, and Now by Scott Erikson
Beginning November 29 from 7 – 9 pm and every Monday through December 20.
Join Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 897 6661 7894 Passcode: 8900
Or, dial by phone: 1-301-715-8592
For more information, contact Dan Sherk

Wonder-full Wednesdays

Wonderful Wednesdays small group will begin a 4-week study during the season of Advent with Honest Advent: Awakening to the Wonder of God with Us – Then and Now by Scott Erickson on December 1, 2021. The first meeting will be held in-person at the Tastee Diner in Silver Spring at 7:00 am (a time when the diner is not crowded), and the following meetings will continue from 7 – 8 am on Wednesdays through December. Join Zoom Meeting:   Meeting ID :663 511 170 Password 8900  Click to learn more…

Thursday Morning Women’s Advent Study

The Book: Honest Advent: Awakening to the Wonder of God with Us – Then and Now by Scott Erickson

Thursday mornings beginning December 2 at 10 a.m and every Thursday through Dec. 23. Join Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 826 7555 6889 Passcode: 8900
Or, dial by phone: 1-301-715-8592

2021 Annual Conference

The 2021 Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference begins today, October 25 and runs through Wednesday, October 27. You can find out more and follow all the happenings through the Conference website.

As a congregation, we are especially following the path of a resolution before the conference to support the “Protocol of Reconciliation and Grace through Separation.” This resolution voices the Annual Conference’s support for a framework that would allow the United Methodist Church to divide into a traditionalist branch and one or more moderate/progressive branches with congregations keeping their property. This proposed separation, in turn, is the result of the UMC’s inability to come to an agreement regarding the full inclusion of LGBTQ+ persons in the life of the church, including marriage and ordination. As a Reconciling Congregation, we support that full inclusion, and we long for the denomination that we are a part of to be of one mind on this critical issue.

Following the conclusion of the session, we’ll be sharing updates on the actions of the Annual Conference and how they might shape our ministry moving forward. In the meantime, please be in prayer for this important gathering of our larger church family!

View Manna Foods CEO, Jackie De Carlo’s Discussion with SSUMC’s Racial Justice Group

Jackie DeCarlo, CEO for Manna Foods, was the guest speaker at the October Racial Justice meeting.  Jackie discussed how Manna is seeking to address racial and social justice in eliminating food insecurity in our region.  The deep inequalities in food and other systems became even more apparent during these many months of the COVID pandemic.  To view the recording, click on this link Jackie DeCarlo speaks at SSUMC Racial Justice Meeting

Bishop Rules LGBTQIA+ Candidates Not Eligible for Ordination

On Sunday, June 3 the following statement was read in worship:

This past week, the Baltimore Washington Annual Conference held its annual meeting in Baltimore. Rev. Angela, Rev. Michele, Rev. Katherine, Rev. Evelyn were all present as voting clergy members and Suzanne and Bob Browning were present to represent SSUMC as voting lay members to annual conference.

During the clergy session, candidates who have been recommended by the Board of Ordained Ministry are presented for final approval. During the extended clergy session, Bishop LaTrelle Easterling ruled that two of the recommended candidates were not eligible to be voted on at all. She removed their names from consideration.

The two candidates are TC Morrow who you may remember from when she has guest preached here before and Rev. Joey Heath-Mason who faithfully served this church both as a seminary intern and as associate pastor.

Both of these candidates are called by God to the work of ordained ministry.
Both have been examined and found to be exceptional candidates and faithful disciples.
And yet because both are in faithful loving marriages with partners of the same gender, their names were removed by the bishop from the slate of candidates put forward for commissioning and ordination.

We, as your pastors and lay members to annual conference, grieve this action, injustice, and true harm done to both these candidates and all LGBTQIA+ United Methodists. We grieve that for all the strategizing and all the prayers and all the commitment, this was still the result.

We are in grief. We are angry. We are exhausted from a painful several days.

But we refuse to get stuck in despair.

We recommit and we urge you all to recommit to the hard work that lies ahead. This denomination—this United Methodist Church—is ours too. We will not be bullied out. We will not be silenced. We will continue to cry out and act out for justice for ALL of God’s people.

For all the pain of annual conference, there were glimmers of hope.

After the devastating and long clergy session, we gathered in the hallway for protest and prayer. Afterwards, TC came and greeted us and showed to us a level of grace that few in her position would be able to muster. She proclaimed to us that God is yet alive in the United Methodist Church and vowed to continue her ministry of presence. If TC can keep showing up, so can we.

As a conference we voted and went on record saying that the Baltimore Washington Annual Conference urges the General Conference in 2019 to remove the harmful language in our discipline that currently excludes LGBTQIA+ folks from full participation in the life of the church.

The contingent of folks strategizing to work for inclusion, protesting the decisions made and committing to the continued fight for justice has never been larger. The circle was drawn wider this year and even as we grieved, we found power in being together. Even as we did not always agree on strategy, we found space for grace and a collective spirit of resistance. Even as we left annual conference to go home, we found that we carried with us a momentum and a sense of shared commitment and community forged through many prayers, tears, and hugs.

There is much to grieve, but our faith tells us that the story does not end in grief but in resurrection hope. We see that hope right here in each of you—in this congregation of Silver Spring United Methodist Church.

We will continue to proclaim God’s all-inclusive love.
We will continue to welcome our LGBTQIA+ siblings and celebrate their sacred worth as children of God, made in God’s image.
We will continue to celebrate the gifts and graces of our queer siblings who lead in countless ways as both clergy and laity in this congregation.
We will continue to officiate weddings for loving couples without regard to gender identity or sexual orientation.
We will continue to work for systemic change in our denomination.
We will continue to be who God has called us to be.
And we will continue to need your help, your prayers, and your commitment as we persist in our work for full inclusion of LGBTQIA+ people in the life of the United Methodist Church.

3 things we can do in the very near future
• Today sign the cards of support we have for Rev. Joey and for TC
• This coming Saturday join us for the Pride Parade. We will meet at the church at 2:30pm to take the metro together downtown and join up with other Reconciling Methodists.
• Mark your calendar for July 8 when we will have a congregational meeting to discuss the status of our denomination and how we will work for justice for LGBTQIA+ persons in our church.

Thank you.

The Winter Messenger Is Here!

The Winter edition of the Messenger newsletter is here. Download it now!

Included in this edition is:

  • Learn about Lenten & Easter Opportunities this Year
  • Meet Our New Director of Operations, Andrew Kirkland
  • Support the Silent Auction and Potluck Fundraiser
  • Get an Update about the Four Corners Mission and Outreach Center
  • Read about Volunteering for Vacation Bible School
  • SSUMC Ministry Opportunities
  • And more!

Our Commitment to LGBTQIA+ Full Inclusion in the United Methodist Church

For many years reconciling UMCs like ours have fought to change the harmful language in the Book of Discipline of the UMC. We continue the fight for full inclusion of our LGBTQIA+ siblings in Christ–in ordination, in marriage, and in general principle as beloved children of God.

Right now there is a special commission called The Way Forward that is working to figure how we might proceed forward as a denomination in which we are not all of like mind around issues of LGBTQIA+ justice. As we await the results of this commission and the special General Conference in February of 2019 when decisions are supposed to be made, there are increasing factions within both the conservative and progressive wings of the UMC.

We lament that these factions are causing additional hurt, confusion, and conflict; however, we stand firm in our commitment to full inclusion of ALL God’s beloved children.

Recently a letter has been circulated by a group of UM clergy and laity calling themselves the Uniting Methodist Movement. While there is some confusion about what this “movement” is seeking to do, their stated “solution” would allow for continued exclusion of LGBTQIA+ persons in large portions of the UMC and appears to sacrifice full inclusion/justice on the altar of unity. As SSUMC we stand with the Queer Clergy Caucus and support their poignant response:

As a local church, we can be proud that SSUMC’s very own Rev. Michele Johns is one of the original signatories on this firm yet grace-filled prophetic response. If you want to learn more:

If you have questions or concerns, you are invited to discuss them with Rev. Michele or Rev. Angela and you are encouraged to attend our Beyond Reconciling gatherings on the second Sunday of every month starting October 8th at 12:15pm.

Welcome Message from New Lead Pastor Rev. Angela Flanagan

Hello, Silver Spring United Methodist Church! I’m Rev. Angela Flanagan and what a privilege it is to be your new lead pastor! I am so looking forward to getting to know you and your stories and to set to work together discerning all that God has in store for us in ministry here in Silver Spring.

I absolutely love the church’s mission statement—We are a movement of Christ’s love, feeding all of God’s people—body, mind, and soul—so that no one goes hungry.

Summer newsletter is here!

[button url=”” size=”large” color=”blue”]Download Messenger newsletter[/button]

In this edition:

  • Saying Goodbye and Hello to Our Pastors
    By Rev. Rachel Cornwell, Lead Pastor, and John Taylor, SPRC Member of the Administrative Board
  • BSSUMC’s Pastoral Change – Your Questions Answered
  • Summer Worship Opportunities
  • Recognizing Promotions & Graduations
  • Community Easter Event Photos
  • Four Corners Mission & Outreach Update
    Reflections on Screenagers
  • “Reaching Up, Reaching Out” — Our Capital Budget priorities
  • And much more!

Greening our landscapes

Over the past 18 months, Grounds and Gardens leader Rob Horn has been hard at work. You may have seen his handiwork in the many beautiful native species of plantings that he has done around our downtown campus. What you may not have seen is the hard, behind-the-scenes work he has put into raising funds for improvements to the grounds and gardens.

That work has paid off in several grants that the church has received to create sustainable landscaping that helps the environment. In the next few months, you’ll see work in the following areas of the church.

Along the driveway leading from Ballard St into the main parking lot, grants from the Montgomery County RainScapes program and The Chesapeake Bay Trust will fund a rain garden along the driveway and a trench drain that will feed water to it from the parking lot, thus diverting polluted runoff water from running into the storm drains.

Ballard St Driveway Rain Garden (click for full size)

And along Georgia Avenue, the Anacostia Riverkeeper is coordinating a project that will install a Rain Garden:

Plan of Rain Garden to be located along Georgia Avenue near driveway (click to enlarge)

Just some of the beautiful, native species of plants that will be installed in the Georgia Avenue rain garden (click to enlarge)