The United Church + Vereinigte Kirche

We are a united church; UCC and UMC, English and German language. We welcome all to join in the affirmation of love and healing, and hope you'll visit!

The United Church has been sharing God's unconditional love in Foggy Bottom since 1833. Our roots are in two Protestant traditions: Reformed (United Church of Christ) and Wesleyan (United Methodist), and two countries (the United States and Germany). We preach, teach, and embody a distinctive message: you are precious, sacred, and beloved of God, always.

Mission: Mission Statement of The United Church We believe that the church of Jesus Christ is called to share in Christ’s ministry to the world. We therefore covenant together as a local expression of Christ’s church to: · Engage regularly in the worship of God, Bible study and opportunities for growth in the Christian faith · Live in Christian love and forgiveness in our families, congregation and relations with all people · Fulfill our Christian vocation through the stewardship of our lives and possessions both within and beyond the congregation · Proclaim the Gospel through words and deeds to those whose lives ours touch and provide resources for others to do the same · Render service to the community and all humankind in commitment, unity and harmony with people of all faiths · Strive for justice and peace for all people and be faithful stewards of God’s creation.

[10/26/18]   dear friends......as 10.28, is REFORMATION SUNDAY, we will take a break from our series on "believing women"....in a sermon titled "LOVE'S INTENTION, LOVE'S FRUITION", we focus our role in sustaining a healthy, thriving spiritual community. using the story of bartimeus, MARK 10: 46-52, we will take a look at the "cloaks" that cover up our recognizing and radiating a fresh approach to Spirit. PSALM 34: 1-8 is our companion text.

REV. KATJA ALBRECHT joins me as liturgist. she will read from "the message" version of the Bible. we are sad to note that Eugene Peterson, beloved author of this paraphrase of the entire bible passed away last week.

the CHOIR will sing MALCOLM ARCHER and K. LEE SCOTT. STEVEN CARMAN will play MASSENET and PIECZONKA.

please join us for a time of empowerment, refreshment and peace.
blessing always, rev. bill

William Federici - "Ruth: The Strength of Tenderness: Part One"

[10/20/18]   our BELIEVING WOMEN series continues as we take up the BOOK OF RUTH, one of the most beloved and charming books of the Bible. in a sermon titled "THE STRENGTH OF TENDERNESS", we will have a look at chapters 1 and 2, concentrating on topics such as what it means to live with an open heart, transgressing boundaries, speaking from the heart, and how relationships mirror the Love of God in process.

the CHOIR will sing RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS and MALCOLM ARCHER. STEVEN CARMEN will play MASSENET and CHOPIN.

please join us for an hour of reflection, empowerment and healing.

at 530PM our friends from the POTOMAC VOCAL INSTITUTE will offer a free concert of German lieder following their workshop.our wonderful BETSY BISHOP extends a cordial invitation!

blessings, rev. bill

[10/14/18]   Join us today live at 11:20 for Rev Federici’s sermon: “Sophia: Mothering God”

[10/13/18]   dear friends:

tomorrow's sermon, "SOPHIA: MOTHERING GOD", the second in our "BELIEVING WOMEN" series, will take us from the south of France to the suburbs of northern New Jersey as we consider the Divine Feminine seeks to be intuited, interpreted and integrated into our lives. as we find Her embodied into our everyday, we djscover an ethics of justice, wisdom and compassion .

SAM SHELBY joins me as liturgist reading selections from THE WISDOM OF SOLOMON and LUKE 1: 39-45.

the CHOIR sings a setting of the CAROL OF BEAUTY, and WOOD. STEVEN CARMAN plays CHAMINADE and BRAHMS.

WEDNESDAY, 10.17 from 6:00-7;30PM, at a ceremony/reception, we open the first part of our exhibit on the GERMAN HERITAGE of our church.

SUNDAY, 10.21, our dear friends at the POTOMAC VOCAL INSTITUTE will offer a free program of German lieder and arias.

blessings and peace, rev. bill

Erntedankfest-Katja Albrecht

Today’s sermon by Rev Federici, “Hooks, Nets and Blessings.”

[09/30/18]   We will be on live for the sermon around 11:25am! Tune in!

[09/28/18]   dear friends:

this sunday, 9.30, in a sermon titled "HOOKS, NETS & BLESSINGS", we will have a look at how we can turn what "hooks" us into a blessing.....the story of Jacob wrestling with the angel (GENESIS 32: 22-32) and Jesus' directions about going deeper (LUKE 5: 1-7) will be our texts.

REV. KATJA ALBRECHT joins me as liturgist.

the CHOIR returns on sunday singing a setting of an American spiritual by WHALUM and another piece by CARTER. STEVEN CARMAN will play SCHUBERT and D'AQUIN.

in light of the current national discourse, I will delay my series on "the theology of tears".....next week, we will begin a sermon series titled "BELIEVING WOMEN"....in these strange and urgent times, hearing the stories of the great matriarchs of the older testament will help us respect and honor the DIVINE FEMININE as She acts through the lives of Sara, Rebecca, Rachel, Ruth, Esther....and most critically, ourselves.

blessings, rev. bill

[09/22/18]   dear friends:
tomorrow we take up "JOY & DESIRE"--how by respecting what gives us joy, we are actually honoring God, whose Desire is always for our fruition.

our main text, LUKE 2: 42-52, shows the twelve year old Jesus in the temple astonishing his elders.
MARK 10: 14-15 ia our companion gospel.

KEVIN ROST joins me as liturgist.

STEVEN CARMAN will play DELIBES and GRIEG.

please join us for an hour of healing and empowerment.

blessings, rev. bill

[09/15/18]   ear friends:

every reading of sacred text is a translation---an appropriation of the words so that they might give life to the ordinary of our days. every reading of sacred text is a transformation---a perceiving and an experiencing of the world and a living of lives as extraordinary.

we begin by "FILLING IN THE BLANKS", immersing ourselves into the blank, white spaces surrounding the material words so that we flesh out---or not--the Divine and Us.

ACTS 2: 1-6, the story of Pentecost, helps us set out this method; we will then begin to fill in the blanks over at the wedding in Cana, JOHN 2: 1-12

BOB SHUE joins me as liturgist.

STEVEN CARMAN will play SCARLATTI and BACH.

COFFEE HOUR will come to you in the SANCTUARY, directly following the postlude.

I look forward to seeing you for an hour of inspiration, healing and empowerment.

blessings, rev. bill

[09/08/18]   dear friends:

we often use the phrase "lost in translation". the fact is, that nothing translated, including the first attempts to capture , the original saying, is ever one hundred percent accurate. it is up to us to become original translations of sacred texts as the Spirit uniquely colors us for Her work in the world.

in a sermon titled "FOUND IN TRANSLATION", we will have a look at how we become "original".
the story of the tower of babel GENESIS 11: 1-9 and Jesus reading in the synagogue LUKE 4: 14-21 will help us flesh out these ideas.

REV KATJA ALBRECHT joins me as liturgist.

STEVEN CARMAN will play FAURE and BACH.

please join us for an hour of inspiration and empowerment.

blessings, rev. bill

Bilder vom Glauben - Predigt. Pfarrerin Katja Albrecht.

[09/01/18]   dear friends:

biblical texts--like those who read them, (and those who do not), --are precious, sacred and beloved.
and so begins a sermon series titled " THE SACRAMENT OF READING".
tomorrow, in a sermon of same name, we will look at how a text might be considered precious, sacred and beloved, and how we might read with urgency and risk in these polarizing times. what is the difference between a literal and non-literal interpretations? is there a difference how we read a material book and an e-book? how does that difference affect the way we create theologies of compassion, wisdom and justice?
over the next few Sundays, we will consider the issues of translating, "blind-spotting",and encountering the texts in both jubilance and sorrow.

REVELATION 10: 1-11, on eating the book, and MARK 8: 22-25 (Jesus' tweaking, (or re-reading) one of his healings accompany us.

STEVEN CARMAN will play BRAHMS and BACH on the piano.

we will gather around the COMMUNION table, and witness grace, power and illumination.

blessings, rev. bill

[08/25/18]   dear friends:

sometimes we think we have missed the moment---a lost opportunity, a road not taken, a source of regret. although that might be true, we can always take up the present moment with loving intention for the highest good and greatest joy. we will then find that the moments that follow will bear much fruit. our sermon "NOT MISSING THE MOMENT" is based on ISAIAH 43: 15-19 and JOHN 1: 35-51.

rev. katja will join me as liturgist. STEVEN CARMAN will play PACHELBEL and SCARLATTI.

this is the first weekend that GW students are back. it would be good for you to be on hand to greet old friends, and welcome new ones to our congregation.

blessings, rev. bill

[08/18/18]   dear friends:

what is the relationship between laughter and Light? is it possible to laugh through the strange and urgent times of our lives? what is the quality of that laughter?

a look at GENESIS 18: 1-15, the story of the angels visiting Abraham and Sarah will help answer these questions. the angels foretell the birth of Isaac--("he who laughs"); Sarah, hidden behind the tent flap, laughs---but in a cynical, scoffing manner. how can we rise above our own cynicism, weariness and negativity to bring about everyday miracles? how can we not scoff at the promise and the possibility of the Light? our companion text is JOHN 1: 1-14.

STEVEN CARMAN will play BACH.

please keep the people of KERALA, INDIA , home of the TRICHUR PROJECT in your prayers. there has been extensive flooding in the area.

always peace, always blessings, rev. bill

[08/04/18]   dear friends:

the way we start our days is perhaps the most important thing we do all day.
connecting with the Divine in a process of "speaking and hearing" is a natural instinct, but one that we resist.
tomorrow I will talk about how we can connect and not resist these "BETTER ANGELS".
you will find that this daily manna will ground, inspire and empower us more than we can ever know.

our texts are PSALM 78: 23-29, and JOHN 6: 24-35.

STEVEN CARMAN will play CHOPIN and HANDEL.

we gather around the COMMUNION TABLE for the healing of all that is not Love, individually and collectively.

blessings, rev. bill

[07/21/18]   dear friends:

original sin, can be reframed as an original trauma, as you will hear in the sermon tomorrow, titled "HAUNTING, HEALING".
the original original sin referred to a necessary lust built into conception.
and that lust was a sin in the eyes of the church.
you can see why that is not so helpful.
and yet---this is a big "and yet"--we are born into a world that is far from the New Jerusalem---that exquisite geography of Love Itself.

we come into the world "haunted" by unthought, yet known, ghosts.
there is a trauma that has been transmitted from generation to generation.
it has to do with all the ways fear takes form.

we will have a look at a foundational traumatic incident in the life of one the original families in the Bible--Abraham and the binding of Isaac, GENESIS 22: 1-19.
we will also contrast this horror with the beautiful images of healing with compassion in MARK 6: 30-34, 53-56.

we will tie it all together with one of the images in the PAUL KLEE angel collection.
the question is, along this "steep path": will you be haunted by fear? or haunted by love?

STEVEN CARMAN will be on the piano bench, playing BRAHMS and HANDEL.
we will celebrate STEVEN and THOMAS at a FESTIVAL COFFEE HOUR.

big blessings this perfect summer's day....rev. bill

[07/14/18]   dear friends: tomorrow, 7.15, we will be "BEARING WITNESS" to the story of Hagar in GENESIS 16 &21. an Egyptian slave woman, Hagar bore a son Ishmael to Abraham, at his wife's Sarah's request.

we will look at this text, fraught with emotional complexities, from Hagar's perspective, and will also have a look at what it means to speak up on behalf of others, another issue that is more complex that one would think. from what perspective might we speak and be spoken for without invoking condescension or privilege?

GALATIANS 3: 28-29 is our companion text; an iconic selection from ALICE WALKER's "THE COLOR PURPLE" will be our time of centering.

we are delighted to welcome guest pianist MARDON SHARIPOV who will play BACH and DEBUSSY.

please join us for a time of inspiration, healing and empowerment.

blessings, rev. bill

[07/07/18]   dear friends:

tomorrow we will have a look at THE ORIGINAL FEAR through a reading of the Sarah and Hagar story in genesis. this fascinating story changes as you read from the perspective of Sarah or Hagar.

selections from GENESIS 16 & 21 and MATTHEW 20: 1-15 will be our texts.

we welcome MARY GOTTLIEB is our guest pianist. she will play HOGAN, ORFF and HAYES. we are delighted Mary can be with us.

please join us for an hour of reflection and empowerment.

peace and blessings, rev, bill

[06/30/18]   dear friends.....blessings are a portal to the Divine....blessings name, create, witness and reveal the presence of God, Love Itself...they are often intentional....yet, just as often, blessings rise up at the most unexpected times and places....hallowing the space of our everydays...in a sermon titled "BARCELONA IS NOT WHERE I THOUGHT IT WAS", we will deepen these themes.

.I will read GENESIS 28: 10-17, the beautiful story of Jacob's pillow, as our TIME OF CENTERING.

SAM SHELBYwill assist in HOLY COMMUNION and serves as liturgist reading EPHESIANS 3: 14-20 and JOHN 14: 26-27, the special texts I have selected as we bless cordula, giving thanks for her ministry, and empowering her for the next chapter of her life.

we are happy that MARDON SHARIPOV returns as guest pianist, playing SCHUBERT and MENDELSSOHN.

immediately following the service, we will honor CORDULA and her family at a POTLUCK LUNCHEON in the Cooper lounge...many of you have signed up, but if you have not, please do attend....you can bring an entree or a salad....

to top off what is shaping up to be a wonderfull day, pianist SARA DANESHPOUR will be in recital in the sanctuary at 2:30pm....

I look forward to seeing you tomorrow.....with grace & joy, rev. bill

[06/23/18]   dear friends:

the greatest injustices must be vanquished with "THE GREATEST TRUST OF ALL".
our hearts and heads reel in outrage at violations of the sacredness, preciousness and belovedness of human beings. we can feel powerless or we can do what David did when he meet Goliath so long ago on the plains. what was David's secret? how can we develop and use the same trust as we confront Goliaths of every stripe? how can we still the storm as Jesus did on that famous boat ride on the sea of Galilee?

our texts are selections from I SAMUEL 17 and MARK 4: 35-41.

we are delighted to welcome our good friend MARDON SHARIPOV as guest musician. Mardon will play DEBUSSY and RACHMANINOFF.

please join me for an hour of inspiration, empowerment and healing.

blessings, rev. bill

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1920 G St NW
Washington, DC
20006

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Located in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood, we are offering worship in German and English, spiritual growth, and opportunities for fellowship. We are a compassionate, vibrant, warm-hearted and open-minded community in the heart of the city. We are a community of Christians who strive to share the love of God, good news of Jesus Christ, and the movement of the Holy Spirit in ways that invite people to join us on a joyful, life-affirming, transformative journey of faith. Jesus never turned anyone away, and we try to practice that as well. When we say all are welcome, we mean it without exception. So no matter who you are, or where you are on life's journey, you're welcome here!
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