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November 2018 Volume 29, No. 7



Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow! By Ann Michel, Stewardship Team Leader ____________________________

November Worship Series at the Metropolitan Memorial campus: 9:00 & 11:00 AM services

Lighting the Way Forward November 4:


A Vision of Wholeness November 11: STEWARDSHIP SUNDAY

A Vision of True Riches November 18: COMMITMENT SUNDAY

A Vision of Completeness November 25: THANKSGIVING WEEKEND

A Vision of Thanksgiving Rocking Gospel Worship Services at Wesley’s campus are at 11:00 AM every Sunday. Watch for the next issue of The Messenger on December 7th to learn about NUMC’s plans for the upcoming holidays! Deadline for submission of articles or photos is Friday, November 30.

This year has not been easy for National United Methodist Church. We are living through a difficult period of transition marked by personnel changes, confusion, and grief. And yet, week in and week out, inspiring worship and transformative mission continue, reminding us that the strength and resiliency of our congregation is rooted in the amazing people of faith who comprise this Body of Christ and in the powerful ministries we undertake together. The growth and success of so many ministries in the past year is a testament to the generosity, commitment, and capable leadership that members of our community offer up so willingly. Those of us who care deeply about the future of our church know that the continued vitality of these ministries depends on all of us together – now more than ever. We are conducting this year’s Stewardship Campaign under the banner “Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow.” This line from the familiar hymn Great is Thy Faithfulness perfectly captures the hopes and dreams of our church at this particular juncture. It is more than a slogan. It is our sincere prayer. That we might remain strong, not for our own sake, but for the sake of the mission God has entrusted to us, so that we might be beacons of God’s hope to the world. I am grateful to the team of 24 amazing church members leading our stewardship appeal this year (see the listing below). As they invite others to make their commitments, they are also modeling the way. Each has made their own pledge early and committed to an increase in giving for 2019. I invite you to join me and the other campaign co-chairs in offering your pledge of support for 2019 and dedicating it during our Commitment Sunday services on Sunday, November 18. Thank You to Our Stewardship Leaders We are blessed that 24 amazing leaders stepped forward this year to lead our campaign efforts and model the way in giving. We are grateful for the service and commitment of these campaign co-chairs: Caralee Adams; Carlisle Campbell; Katie Campbell; Vic Clough; Steven Dawson; Judy Edstrom; Peter Fahrenthold; Rita Guenther; Rob Hartmann; Craig Hukill; Mary Ellen Huzzard; Eric and Pyper Imperial; Jeanie Mah; Ann Michel; Lincoln Mui; Gretchen SmithMui; Phil Potter; Paula Pree; Joyce Shields; Suzanne Vieth; Derek Willis; Kevin Walters; and Dee Dee Parker Wright.

Photo by John Michael Myers

NUMC’s Gratitude Trees

Have you seen a new face in the choir? by Melissa Chávez As part of this year’s stewardship campaign, the whole church will create Gratitude Trees for our sanctuaries at Metropolitan Memorial and Wesley. Each person will be invited to think of something about this church for which they are thankful and then write or draw it on a paper leaf. The leaves will be used to decorate the tree. We will have these visual reminders of abundance and gratitude as we worship throughout November. The trees will appear in worship on November 11. It doesn’t matter whether you write or draw on them, and the leaves may be as elaborate or simple as you like. Only one side will be visible, however. If you haven’t already received one, blank leaves may be picked-up in the office at Metropolitan Memorial.

This fall, Dayspring Choir welcomed Marco Cammarota into the tenor section leader position. Marco is an excellent singer, managed by Columbia Artists Management, and Dayspring enjoys his kind spirit, good sense of humor, and love of dogs. We are wowed by his impressive bio, and we are sure you will be too! Italian-American tenor Marco Cammarota has garnered praise for his “dark, handsome, dangerous,” and “gleaming voice” (Broad Street Review). In the 2018-2019 season, he makes his European debut as Macduff in Macbeth at l'Opéra de Limoges, l'Opéra de Reims, and l'Opéra de Massy. At Arizona Opera, he debuted as Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly and returned for a role debut as Mario Cavaradossi in Tosca in the 2017-2018 season. He also debuted with Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera as Cavaradossi in Tosca. Other recent engagements include Don Jose in a special shortened version of Carmen at the Washington National Opera, Macduff in Verdi’s Macbeth with the Glimmerglass Festival, Mitch in A Streetcar Named Desire with Kentucky Opera, and Nemorino in L'elisir d'amore at Opera Santa Barbara. Marco has also been seen as Alfredo in La traviata with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Rodolfo in Puccini's La bohème with the Owensboro and Lafayette Symphony Orchestras and Idomeneo in AfterWARds—a retelling of Mozart's masterpiece Idomeneo that was distilled, reformatted, and reduced to a 90-minute chamber opera. On the concert stage, he has been a soloist with the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Cincinnati Orchestra, and the Music Center at Strathmore and has received accolades from the Giulio Gari and Gerda Lissner Foundations. Marco is an alumus of the Academy of Vocal Arts, having studied with William Schuman. During his time at AVA, he has been seen as the Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto, Luigi in Il tabarro, Prince Sinodal in The Demon, and Avito in Montemezzi's L'amore dei tre re.

Bach’s Magnificat on Sunday, December 9 Join the Oratorio Choir as we present Bach’s Magnificat on December 9th. Rehearsals are plentiful to allow for flexible attendance and are offered on Wednesday and Thursday evenings, and Sunday mornings. E-mail Melissa Chávez, at, for the complete schedule.

November AARP Meeting

NUMC Men’s Meditation Group

Monday, November 19 Social Time at 12:30 PM Meeting at 1:00 PM Metropolitan Memorial’s Vestry

Please join us as Don and Bobby Turnbull talk about their recent cruise from Rome to Malta, with pictures and video! Refreshments will be served.

UMW Annual Recognition Lunch

Sunday, December 2, 2018 Beginning at 12:30 PM Metropolitan Memorial’s Great Hall

Each year the United Methodist Women of the National United Methodist Church hold a Recognition Luncheon honoring women who have made a significant contribution to the church, the nation, and the world.

The purpose of the Men’s Meditation Group is to experience God’s presence through scripture using a Christian process of silence and meditation known as lectio divina, or “divine reading.” Meetings are informal and begin with an initial check-in by each individual, followed by a reading of a short Bible passage, individual meditation on that passage and a sharing of thoughts by individuals, if they wish, speaking from their own truth and experience. The group meets in the Metropolitan Memorial sanctuary on the first and third Thursday of each month from 8:15 – 9:15 AM. All are welcome. If you have any questions, or for further information, contact Craig Hukill at, or John Long at

Coming Together in Thanks

A Community Dinner for New Arrivals By Caralee Adams

This year our honorees are Janet Craswell, Pam Ellsworth, Lorraine Marsh, and Susan Staines. In addition to recognizing these special women, we will also celebrate the babies who have been born this year, and remember with gratitude those who died this year. For more information, contact Marilyn Dickenson at (202) 537-6642 or

National UMC will be hosting a dinner for clients and families of the Asylum Seekers Assistance Project (ASAP) on Saturday, November 10, from 4:00 – 7:00 PM, at Fellowship Hall on NUMC’s Wesley Campus (5312 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20015). As new arrivals from around the world seek safety and a new life in DC, this is a chance for our congregation to welcome them into our community. There will be traditional American holiday food – and Ethiopian cuisine – served as we share a time of cross-cultural exchange at this family-friendly event. We invite NUMC members to bring favorite desserts to share. Activity tables will be set up for children, and adults will have an opportunity to network with asylum seekers. Clients are mostly professionals – journalists, accountants and engineers – in need of help navigating the local job market. Please join us for this “Coming Together in Thanks” event. If you’d like to learn more, contact Caralee Adams at; or, to volunteer or RSVP visit Thanks for doing what you can in our efforts to assist with our immigration ministry and show compassion to our new neighbors from around the world. For more information about ASAP, visit:

Prayer Shawl Ministry Third Sunday of each month at 12:15 PM Metropolitan Memorial’s Parlor Compassion and the love of knitting & crocheting have been combined into a prayerful ministry and spiritual practice which reaches out to those in need of comfort and solace. Many blessings are prayed into each stitch. Come and enjoy a time of fellowship, ministry, and fun! If you are interested in joining, please contact Barbara Tate, at

Adult Sunday School Metropolitan Memorial Campus 10:05-10:55 AM

In the Biblical Sense Metropolitan Memorial’s Library

Where do you turn in the Bible for inspiration? We are exploring a number of familiar (and perhaps not so familiar) passages from the Bible. Visitors are encouraged to join us. For more information, contact Bob Olson at

Questions of Faith

Metropolitan Memorial’s Conference Room

This group addresses issues of personal faith development and current trends in Christian thought, as well as social and ethical issues in light of the Christian faith. We are currently discussing “Thinking About Religion and Violence.” For more information, contact Diane Moody at

Science and Religion Metropolitan Memorial’s Parlor

This class involves vigorous dialogue on matters of faith and contemporary thought. For more information, contact Maynard Moore at

Inspired Parenting Metropolitan Memorial’s Great Hall

Open to parents with children of all ages, this class is a safe space to share the week's parenting challenges and joys. It is a great place to find advice, feel affirmed, and become connected with other parents in our church community. We meet at a corner table during coffee hour, and everyone is welcome! For more information, contact Elizabeth Burks at

Save the Dates: Advent & Christmas 2018 Metropolitan Book Club Third Monday of each month at 7:30 PM Next meeting: November 19 Metropolitan Memorial’s Parlor All readers are invited for a discussion of current fiction and non-fiction. The next selection up for discussion is Isaac’s Storm: The 1900 Storm That Hit Galveston, Texas, by Erik Larson. For more information, please contact Suzanne Clewell at, or Joan Topalian at

At the Metropolitan Memorial Campus

Sunday, December 2, 2018: Advent I Voices of Christmas: The Prophets Sunday, December 9, 2018: Advent II Voices of Christmas: The Angel & Music Special: Bach’s Magnificat A Cozy Christmas, at 4:00 PM (SEE BACK COVER) Sunday, December 16, 2018: Advent III Voices of Christmas: Mary Sunday, December 23, 2018: Advent IV Voices of Christmas: Joseph Monday, December 24, 2018: Christmas Eve Voices of Christmas: The Child Children’s Pageant at 5:00 PM; Candlelight Communion at 7:30 PM; Music Prelude at 10:30 PM & Candlelight Festival of the Holy Nativity at 11:00 PM Sunday, December 30, 2018: New Year’s Eve Voices of Christmas: The Shepherds Sunday, January 6, 2019: Epiphany Sunday Voices of Christmas: The Magi


Gift Presented to National United Methodist Church

Art Exhibit Exploration of Beauty and Light: Impressionistic Oil Paintings by Janet Raesly

By Marilu Wood

through November 11

Metropolitan Memorial’s Great Hall

In July, 2018, NUMC received a unexpected gift: the original watercolor design of Metropolitan Memorial’s West Window – the Transfiguration Window – by Nicola D’Ascenzo, the stained glass master from Philadelphia who designed all of the new windows for the 1932 church. The story of the return of the watercolor to Metropolitan Memorial is fascinating.

This past summer, Kathleen Hammer called the church office and indicated that she had a watercolor which she thought might be of interest to Metropolitan Memorial. She had bought the work from the Hirschl and Adler Galleries in New York. Her intention was to hang it as an accent for the stained glass windows in her home in Palm Beach, Florida. The style of the house was Hispano-Moresque; the medieval windows had been imported from Europe.

Flowers and Greens Gracing the Church: Celebrating the Arrival of the Christ Child The Christmas season is a time of joy and peace. Honor your family and friends with a donation toward the flowers and greens that wrap the Sanctuary, building, and halls of the church in living colors of the season.

The greens and flowers in the church are totally supported by your contributions. Poinsettias are available for a donation of $25. (Any donation amount is welcome.) All donations will be recognized in the service bulletins on Sunday, December 23. (Plants may be taken after the 11:00 PM service on Christmas Eve.) The deadline for recognition in the bulletins is Tuesday, December 18. Watch for complimentary order forms/envelopes inserted in the worship bulletins in upcoming weeks.

Eventually, Ms. Hammer sold the house and took the watercolor back to her home in New York state. One day she was cleaning and dropped the picture – the glass broke – and she could finally look at the back of the watercolor! “Nicola D’Ascenzo; Study for a stained glass window for the Methodist Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C.” Ms. Hammer called the church and eventually made her way to Marilu Wood of the Arts Council (who is writing a book about the church’s art and architecture) and arranged to send the watercolor to the church office. The West Window – the Transfiguration Window (which sits directly behind the balcony) – was dedicated to Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Gault Emery by their daughter, Mrs. William M. Hannah. The church had already decided to spend $4,000 for the window and Mrs. Hannah added $5,000. (There is a marble plaque dedicated to Matthew Gault Emery, who was one of the major donors and guiding force of the 1869 church which was downtown. For example, the stone of which the church is built came from his quarries.) The theme of the Transfiguration was chosen by the then current minister, Dr. James S. Montgomery (1926-1933) (MATTHEW 17:1-13; MARK 9:1-10; and LUKE 9: 18-36). The central scene is composed of three large figures: Jesus, who is highlighted by the pastel peach and grass green colors of his robes; Moses, identified by the Roman numerals printed on his stole; and Elijah, who was also present. The disciples who were at the Transfiguration are represented by symbols: the keys of Peter, the scallop shell of James the Greater, and the chalice and wafer of John. Below the major scene are frontal depictions of personifications of the Three Theological Virtues: Faith, Hope, and Charity, and of Justice, one of the Four Cardinal Virtues. Stay tuned for an announcement of the unveiling of this wonderful gift.

Gun Violence Prevention By Lois Weaver September, 2018: NUMC’s Silence the Violence Concert (STV) raised $12,280 to benefit The TraRon Center! Our support is transforming lives. We thank all those who planned, participated in, attended and donated. What a bar we've set for 2019! October 2018: National UMC's GVP team is part of a broader local area GVP network that helped plan the Greater Washington Community Interfaith Service & Solidarity Gathering at Adas Israel Congregation in support of victims and the wounded of Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on October 27, 2018. Though the shooting was primarily an antisemitic event and secondarily a gun violence event, this gathering showed that interfaith communities share the high goals of pursuing justice and transforming lives. NUMC GVP team members Duane Pugh, Mary Rollefson, Robin Smith, and Lois Weaver attended. Mayor Muriel Bowser applauded the gathering's collective unity and urged us to remember that change comes down to the attitudes and actions of each one of us. Rev. Timothy Warner, Senior Pastor, Mill Creek Parish UMC (where our own Megan Blanchard is now Minister of Christian Discipleship), urged us to "Leave this place and love somebody like you've never loved before." May we heed Rev. Warner's words and go forth and make a difference.

Food for Thought

Community Dinner In Metropolitan Memorial’s Vestry, Wednesday evenings, 6:00-7:00 PM $8 per person, students pay what you can Classes Locations to be announced each Wednesday evening, 7:00 – 8:30 PM November 7 and 14:

Vietnam Then and Now Reflections on Military Service and Ministry with Rev. Mike Chamberlain

Bible Study: Invitation to the Old Testament

In Metropolitan Memorial’s Christie Room, 10:30 AM-12:00 PM September 27 – November 15 Led by Rev. Janet Craswell; for more information or to register, go to:

Metro Players Fall Production: Over the River and Through the Woods

Metro Players, NUMC’s acting troupe, has been presenting theatrical productions for over 30 years. Their Fall production by Joe DiPietro may mislead and surprise you. The cute name…Over the River and Through the Woods…provides the cover for a smart and witty comedy delivering dramatic depths as it tells the story of how family generations can see things differently as life brings its inevitable changes. Mark your Calendar now to attend this production presented on Metropolitan Memorial’s Vestry Stage: • Friday, November 16 at 8:00 PM • Saturday, November 17 at 5:00 PM • Sunday, November 18 at 2:00 PM Tickets: $15 for Adults; $10 for Students (with ID) and Seniors Follow Metro Players on Facebook to keep up with latest activities and find out more about this production.

Pat Nicolette Has Published Again! Prolific author and member of NUMC, Pat Nicolette, has released another book in his Nick Mercante Mystery series: Murder In The Blood. If you would like to order a copy from him, let him know (at and he will inscribe it and get it to you as quickly as he can. (It is also available on Nick Mercante’s latest mystery has something for everyone — murders, abundant twists and surprising climaxes: Joseph Hobbs is found dead from a heart attack. His sister Daniella hires Nick to investigate, insisting it was murder. Twin brothers Alex and Stuart Hobbs have a financial motive to kill their father, as do Alex’s wife and Stuart’s girlfriend. Meanwhile, convicted felon Pamela Vickers is released from prison vowing revenge against Jason Spears who testified at her trial. Vickers meets Connie Benedetto and enlists her exhusband Leo Drakos to romance Spears’s wife, Laura Sutton. Seeking to protect Laura, Spears is lured into a trap which results in murder. Nick and D.C. homicide detective Tawana Briggs join forces to solve the cases – overcoming clever adversaries, missing Confederate half dollars, planted evidence, and rigged DNA.

The Way Forward

Upcoming Called General Conference in St. Louis Next February By Ellen Bachman

Last month, I wrote to encourage all in our congregation to pay attention to plans being offered as a Way Forward for the denomination. Those plans may be found at: Our own Bishop LaTrelle Easterling has written of her support for the One Church Plan, see: And the recent rulings of the Judicial Council as to the constitutionality of the plans can be seen at Now is the time to consider if you would like to attend the 2019 General Conference in St. Louis, February 23-26, as a volunteer advocate and witness. Now is also the time to consider if you are able to donate airline or hotel credits that might support others who would represent our congregation. Please contact me by December 1 if you are considering either of these possibilities. We need to identify those who would like to represent us I St. Louis, as well as to know what support might be needed or available, so that plans can be made before the end of the year. I will coordinate receipt of any such interest. In the interest of transparency, our Serving Pillar co-chairs, Cynthia Pugh and Anita Seline, will review any applications for assistance and determine how any resources gathered will be distributed. In the meantime, be in prayer for the United Methodist Church and for all those who are our delegates to the General Conference, that they may help lead our denomination to a new polity that will be inclusive of all. Specifically, please join United Methodists from around the world in "Praying Our Way Forward" as we prepare for the called General Conference 2019. Everyone is encouraged to stop and pray from 2:23 to 2:26 daily (morning or afternoon) in recognition of the dates the General Conference will meet: February 23 through 26, 2019.

MORE INFORMATION NEEDED? Please contact Ellen Bachman at or Kerm Towler at

A Cozy Christmas: A Celebration of Carols, Crafts, and Cookies for All Sunday, December 9, 2018 4:00 – 6:00 PM Metropolitan Memorial’s Great Hall

Be an Angel This Christmas The annual Angel Tree returns this holiday season and is now open. National United Methodist Church will provide holiday gifts to 50 angels from the Salvation Army's Angel Tree Program. These angels, 50 children of Washington, DC, who otherwise wouldn't receive any gifts this Christmas, would love your help. Select an angel from the list and receive additional details, instructions, and your packing materials from coordinators. Check the child's wish list and buy a selection of clothes and toys. Expect to spend about $90. Drop off the gifts in the main foyer of the Metropolitan Memorial campus Sunday, November 25 and Monday, November 26. If you would like to drop off the gifts before the collection days, contact the coordinators to make arrangements. All gifts MUST be received by November 26. Please note: Items listed for each child are among the gifts they wish for this year. Donor does not need to provide everything on the child's list. To select a recipient, go to and search Please contact Cynthia Pugh at or Anita Seline at if you have any questions. Note: If the gift price of $90 is too high, the Serving Team also will offer a lower-cost gift program benefiting Friendship Place clients later in the season.

Come celebrate the Christmas season at a family-friendly event – there will be various crafts, a time of carol singing, and dinner. Please bring your favorite cookies to share. As we approach the Christmas season, carve out this time for friendship and make this part of your family's holiday tradition. All ages welcome. The gathering is a perfect opportunity to invite friends, neighbors, extended family, and anyone looking for a sense of connection and community this Christmas.

National United Methodist Church 3401 Nebraska Avenue, NW | Washington, DC 20016 202.363.4900 NUMC consists of three campuses: 1: Metropolitan Memorial Campus 3401 Nebraska Avenue, NW | Washington, DC 20016 Location of Metro House Shelter

2: Wesley Campus 5312 Connecticut Avenue, NW | Washington, DC 20015

For a complete listing of our ministerial and administrative staff, please visit our web site:

3: St. Luke’s Mission Center 3655 Calvert Street, NW | Washington, DC 20007 Location of St. Luke’s House Shelter, Campus Kitchen of DC, and Shalom Place Retreat Center

November 2018 Messenger  
November 2018 Messenger