Pastor James FitzGerald

July 2024

Just about all of you know that I was on vacation a few weeks ago. Hanna and I were asked many times, “Where did you go?” Our answers were about the same: “We stayed home and planned a few day trips.” We did look into finding a place to retreat for the week. We thought about traveling to a lake up north, traveling to the beach on the eastern shore, and even possibly traveling west for a mountain vacation. But no matter where we looked, we just couldn’t make any trip work for multiple reasons. We decided to stay home and plan a few day trips and I had as much fun as I would have had traveling to any of those other places. In fact, I think I had more fun.

We ended up trying out Sandy Point Park on my first Monday of vacation. We enjoyed the pebbly beach and bay water so much, we went back the next day. We realized we did not need to travel to feel like we went on vacation. We could have just as much fun close to home.

In Christ, we could have much joy. But how are supposed find that joy in a world that seems to want to take this joy away from us? We sometimes try to find joy in the material aspects of our world. We think that maybe if we had more money, we would be happier; if only we went on another European vacation, we’d find joy. But true joy is given to us by Christ. Jesus says in the book of John the 16th chapter, “Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” Jesus is where we find our joy. He says to ask for joy and you will receive joy. That teaching is simple, but difficult to accept. Especially when we are surrounded by so many voices giving us the false promises of happiness through material possessions.

God calls us to trust him. That’s what obedience to his word looks like: trusting that God’s word is true. Even when we are on the brink on despair, realizing that he is suffering with us and the joy of his grace is on the horizon gives us hope. Paul says in the book of Hebrews, “…look to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Jesus found joy on the cross. Even while enduring great suffering, he found joy in what he was doing: forgiving the sins of his people. So, if you find yourself in a time of trial, turn to Christ and pray for joy. You may find that joy is closer than you think.



Holy Spirit! Lord of Light!


Pastor Jim

The Rev. James FitzGerald

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!

Pentecost Season

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

Pastor Jospeh Lettrich - Support Pastor