COVID-19 Updates

From the Pastor’s Desk

As COVID cases continue to climb once again in our community, I’d like to remind us of the role that we can each play keeping one another safe. We are a congregation that cares deeply about the vulnerable, and how we approach COVID is an expression of that core value. So with that in mind, please remember…

  • Masks are required during worship and other indoor activities at the church. Our worship leaders will wear masks unless they are in the pulpit or lectern where we have plexiglass screens. Our ushers will have masks if you don’t happen to have one.
  • Please observe physical distancing of 6′ or more between family units in the sanctuary.
  • 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. (Some folks weren’t necessarily huggers to begin with!)
  • Make sure you wash hands and/or use sanitizer often.
  • If you feel sick or test positive, please worship with us in our virtual service. Observe the CDC guidelines for COVID quarantine and isolation.

I truly appreciate the care that this congregation has shown over the last 2+ years of dealing with COVID. Let us continue to live out our value of care for each other during this season and beyond!

Grace and Peace,

Rev. Alex

Outdoor VBS 2022

Monday, June 20 – Thursday, June 23 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m

Friday, June 24 from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Family Celebration

Ages 5 through 6 th Grades

Ready to cook up some fun? Join us this Summer for a different kind of VBS. We are going to have a Food Truck Party where the children will have some fun, fun, fun! Food Truck Party invites children to pray as Jesus teaches us in Matthew 6:11; “Give us this day our daily bread.” These words serve as a reminder that everything we have comes from God and meets our needs. Through stories in both the Old and New Testaments, Food Truck Party opens the children’s eyes to the countless ways God provides, loves, and cares for us.
Food Truck Party will be held Monday, June 20 – Thursday, June 23 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for ages 5 through 6th grades. We will not meet during the day on Friday, June 24. On that day, we are inviting all the families to join us from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. for a Food Truck Party Family Celebration with actual food trucks!!!!

Registration begins April 1, 2022. Register your child early as space is limited this year.

Note:  At this time, masks are required.  We will re-evaluate once we get closer to the date.

Holy Thursday Soup Potluck

Please join us Thursday, April 14, in the fellowship hall at 5:30pm before our Holy Thursday Communion Service, for soup potluck meal.  If you would like to prepare a soup for the potluck please click here to sign up below. We hope you will continue your fellowship time with us at our 7pm Communion Service.  

A tag will be created to help people with dietary restrictions.

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.

Buy a Yard Sign for Inclusion

[button url=”″ size=”large” color=”blue”]Buy a Sign – $20[/button]

Show your support for inclusion by purchasing a yard sign that declares:

[box]No matter where you are from, we’re glad you’re our neighbor.[/box]

Each sign is $20; extra proceeds will go to Justice for Our Neighbors.

Buy online or from the church office during business hours.  For information contact Laurie Swain at 301-587-1215.


English Circle Builds Church Community

Food and fellowship are big at United Methodist churches. Our congregation took this hospitality a step further. Members reached out to clients of the church food pantries to ask what other ways they could enhance life in their community. When neighbors asked for more help learning languages, a popular social group called the English Conversation Circle was formed.

Video and Full Transcript