Pastor Joseph Lettrich (Support Pastor)

Greetings to you as I look forward to serving as your part-time Bridge Interim Pastor. I am a retired ELCA clergy currently serving the Delaware Maryland Synod as both an interim and supply pastor. I have been ordained for 55 years.

Growing up in Western PA and graduation from Ford City High School, my undergraduate B. A. degree in History from Indiana Statue University of Pennsylvania, 1963; with a Master of Divinity from The Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, 1967. I have had additional studies at Bethel Theological School in Bielefeld Germany. I have served four congregations in the Delaware Maryland Synod during my full-time years: St. Stephen, Wilmington, DE, Second English, Baltimore City, St. Stephen in Silver Spring, and St. John Brooklyn, MD with the congregation and their Christian Day School. Several important seminars have included three weeks at St. Andrews in Scotland, studies at the Alban Institute, and worship seminars in Chicago.

Upon leaving full-time parish ministry, I served in eight Interim Ministry parishes, supervising three interns. I continue to serve on the Global Mission Task Force assigned to Estonia since 1994 and formerly served as Dean of the Baltimore South (LCA) Conference; Church Vocations committee and the Worship and Music Task Force during the introduction of the Lutheran Book of Worship (LBW hymnal) in 1979. My Call to Ministry came during my work with the Lutheran Campus Ministry both locally and nationally. The reading of Saint Paul's Letters (Apostle Paul) greatly influenced my final decision.

Hobbies enjoyed are travel, reading, classical music, jazz and playing tennis and taking long walks. Married in 1978, my wife Carol and I currently help with Campus Ministry projects, the Global Mission work in Estonia and serving on the Nation Lutheran Communities and Service Board.

Meet Pastor James FitzGerald and Family

Hello, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church!

My name is James FitzGerald, and I grew up in Mount Airy, Maryland. I earned a Master of Divinity from United Lutheran Seminary, a Master of Arts in Education from Albright College, and Bachelor of Arts in History from Albright College. My working experiences include teaching in public schools, serving as a waiter, spending summers working as a camp counselor, and stocking shelves and packing meat in a grocery store. In addition, I completed my internship at Evangelical Lutheran Church in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, and Trinity Lutheran Church in Rouzerville, Pennsylvania. I served in several other churches as a worship leader during my tenure at seminary. My favorite part of ministry is preaching and teaching, and I am skilled at working with children and youth.

I cherish my family. My wife Hanna, and I welcomed a baby girl, Eden, into our family in February of this year. Eden is a joy in our lives, and she is a precious gift to us from God. Hanna taught middle school English Language Arts for eight years, and her goal is to teach introductory college English courses, write, raise our daughter, and serve alongside me in the ministry. We also have a black Labrador retriever named Minnie.

I enjoy watching critically acclaimed films and blockbuster movies. My favorite book is The Lord of the Rings, and I enjoy reading comic books as well. I also spend each day in devotion reading God’s Word. My favorite sports teams are the Washington Football Team and the Washington Nationals. I also enjoy taking the time to exercise and fish. Hanna and I love to garden and cook together, especially barbecue, and we enjoy traveling, meeting new people, and going on adventures.

I am looking forward to getting to know all of you!

September 2023

Reflections for September

(These reflections were written by my friend and is a grandparent.)

There is a proverb that says: “When a child is born a grandmother and grandfather is also born”. For most of us we have fond memories of our grandparents when we think of those special homemade baked goods, summer visits, holiday traditions and of course their unbounding love. For when we were at our grandparents’ house, we could do no wrong and being spoiled became the rule of their house."

It is found that the love from a grandparent has many competitors. The family unit, including grandparents, has shifted and it is now separated because of our society’s mobility and the need for parents to seek prosperity, at any cost, making close family ties difficult. The onslaught of social media has removed the personal contact with our grandparents and other family members; instead, we face time and text rather than taking time for the personal touch. These new social media phenomena no longer allow for the individual’s physical and emotional feelings to be felt and exhibited. The close personal contact of “just give me a hug” and “I love you so much” approach to relationships is hard to find and therefore almost impossible for us to bond with family and friends. And “are we at grandma’s house yet?” no longer seems to exist and has been substituted with “tell me about my grandparents, again” or why doesn’t my grandparents read my text, have a Facebook page and meet me online”?

So as we remember our grandparents on this Sunday, Sept. 10th, we must look to Jesus who used the personal approach and in that special garden called all of us to become children of God. I think we follow God’s teachings and Jesus’ preaching and keep the promises we make with each other to love one another and forgive each other, as did our Lord Jesus. Even if we are not yet a grandparent, God will give us the love each day to complete our family circle. It is our turn to make our comings and goings a shining example of faith, humility, and overflowing love.

Let us pray: Holy God, we give you thanks for this special Sunday when we remember our grandparents and all those who give grandparent like care. They shared with us and with our parents. We pray for all those who extend love, show mercy, and give hope and joy to us and others. In Jesus name we pray. Amen

Pentecost Season

There is a place for you at St. Paul's during Pentecost. Contact the church office 301-725-0241 to make an appointment for Confession, Baptism, Marriage and counseling.