The Faithfulness of Doubt

I had had my doubts about the 2004 reboot of Battlestar Galactica, a schlocky sci-fi TV show from the late 70’s—why remake something so corny as that? But I was wrong; I rented the DVDs and the show proved to be greatly entertaining and well-written, exploring a lot of important social, cultural, political, and religious themes.

Then there was one episode in particular in which a fighter pilot was being sent out on an important mission by her commander. He had a great number of reasons to be suspicious of her loyalties. She said to him, “How do you really know that you can trust me?” “I don’t,” he replied. “That’s what trust is.”

I remember pausing the episode and marveling at that line. “I don't [know]. That’s what trust is.” I immediately wrote it down and knew it would preach. 

For here in this sci-fi space opera about human beings fleeing murderous robots was a fundamental truth that so many in the church get wrong: faith—that is, trust—is not about knowing; it’s about stepping out boldly even when we do not—or cannot—know. 

So many Christians worry that they’re not being faithful enough if they have doubts, but it is precisely those doubts that make their actions faithful actions. For it is not in the certainty, it’s not in the knowing that we’re faithful; it’s in the willingness to follow the call of the One who summons us to do so, even when we don’t always know how it might turn out or where that road might lead. 

Rev. Mark Schaefer, Pastor


Thanks to everyone who participated in worship services Sunday. Thanks to Crystal Reed and Cara Schaefer for running the Zoom and Facebook livestreams during worship, and to Chiara Griffith for taking the time to record and provide our music.
         Sermon: “Am I Lost If I Have Doubt?” Rev. Mark Schaefer
         Sunday’s attendance: c. 60
         Collection: $ TBD
Third Sunday in Easter

Sermon: “Faith Questions: Is the Resurrection Real?” Rev. Mark Schaefer
Scripture Lessons: Acts 2:14a, 36–41; Luke 24:13–35

To Join Online:
Want to help out in worship? Use our online sign-up to be a greeter, usher, liturgist, lector, or communion server.
If you’re looking to make your contribution of tithes and offerings online, you can do so easily at the following links:

Community Events & Information

Are you one of the many who’ve never been able to join the Monday Methodists prayer group because you’ve always had to go to work? Are you now stuck at home and looking for ways to connect with other people? Then we have the solution for you. Join Monday Methodists every Monday at 9 a.m. for a time of fellowship and prayer via Zoom. You can use a device to log in or call in by telephone. To join us, use the login information below:
  • Via Zoom:
  • Via Phone:
    • Dial  +1 (301) 715 8592
    • Enter meeting ID: 306 194 066#
    • Enter password: 001873
Contact: Lu Lawrence,

Mondays, 5:30 p.m., Online

Join us for a special post-Easter Bible Study on the Book of Revelation. This oft-misunderstood text is viewed with fear and apprehension by many, but in reality has a powerful message of hope. Join us via Zoom video or conference call, beginning this Monday, April 20, at 5:30 p.m. using the login information below:
Contact: Rev. Mark Schaefer,

April 19–May 24, 2020

Join us for an exploration of some of the more frequently encountered questions of faith that people have. Throughout the Easter season we'll explore questions like: Am I lost if I have doubt? Is the resurrection real? Why does God allow evil? Do non-Christians go to heaven? How is Jesus both human and divine? and Does forgiveness require me to be a victim?

As with all our other programming, Rev. Schaefer’s regular office hours are online. If you cannot make office hours but would like to talk with Rev. Schaefer, you can book a time to do so through a handy online tool called You Can Book Me. You can use this to book time to talk online via chat or by phone. You can also reach him by phone at (202) 486-6061. One final option is to use Google Chat: From your online gmail, initiate a hangout chat and invite him ( to chat. Once you're connected, you can talk online through chat. 

Regular Weekly Calendar

  • Monday
    • Monday Methodists, 9 a.m. (ONLINE)
      • Using Zoom on a smartphone, computer, or other device
      • Calling in on your telephone
        • Dial  +1 (301) 715 8592
        • Enter meeting ID: 306 194 066#
        • Enter password: 001873
    • Knitting Circle, 10 a.m. (ONLINE)
      • Using Zoom on a smartphone, computer, or other device
      • Calling in on your telephone
        • Dial  +1 (301) 715 8592
        • Enter meeting ID: 306 194 066#
        • Enter password: 001873
    • Revelation Bible Study, 5:30 p.m. (ONLINE
  • Tuesday
    • Cheltenham Academy, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
    • Pastor’s Bible Study, 9:30 a.m. (ONLINE)
      • Using Zoom on a smartphone, computer, or other device
      • Calling in on your telephone
        • Dial  +1 (301) 715 8592
        • Enter meeting ID: 456 431 396#
        • Enter password: 001873
    • Pastor’s Office Hours, 11 a.m.–1 p.m. (ONLINE)
      • Using Zoom on a smartphone, computer, or other device
      • Calling in on your telephone
        • Dial  +1 (301) 715 8592
        • Enter meeting ID: 173 570 837#
        • Enter password: 001873
    • AA and Al-Anon, 8 p.m.
  • Wednesday
    • SLOGGS Meeting, 11:30 a.m. (2nd Wed of month)
    • Pastor’s “Office” Hours, 2–4 p.m. (ONLINE)
      • Using Zoom on a smartphone, computer, or other device Calling in on your telephone
        • Dial  +1 (301) 715 8592
        • Enter meeting ID: 493 671 679#
        • Enter password: 001873
    • Book Club, 6 p.m.
    • Band, 6 p.m.
    • Choir Rehearsal, 7 p.m.
  • Friday
    • Pastor’s Sabbath
  • Sunday
    • Sunday School, 9 a.m.
    • Sunday Worship, 10 a.m. (ONLINE)
    • Fellowship, 11 a.m.
The COVID-19 outbreak has been a challenge to so many of us, and yet, in our responses offers us some real reasons for hope. Read Rev. Schaefer’s reflection entitled: Solidarity, the Coronavirus, and Salvation.

Prayer List

Family, friends, and all those mourning the deaths of
     Phyllis Cooke Decker
     Barbara Langley
     Terry Putnam

     Dave Dargo
     Irene, mother of Lydia Gladstone
     The brother of Janice
     Judy Stone
     The son and grandson of Rev. Warren
     Judy’s son
     Amy Mackey

     Bradley Brown
     Ginny Lang
the brother of Connie
     Chris' friend and co-worker
     Lisa’s father
George, with gallbladder issues
Brenda’s family member
, in the hospital
Lisa’s mother, with an illness
Jimmy, with medical issues
IT Professionals, helping to keep us all connected
Barbara Chase, battling cancer
Billy, recovering from COVID-19
Governor Hogan and all those in leadership during this crisis
Steven Banks, diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia
Phoebe, in a custody struggle, hoping to return to the US with her children
Sy, tested positive for Coronavirus
Annie, ill with autoimmune encephalitis
Robin, working to provide comfort to patients and families 
Cristina, returning to work as an RN to treat COVID-19 patients
For artists left unemployed without income
For students whose education has been interrupted
For parents, providing safe, happy, educational and nurturing environments for their kids
Meredith, for healing for her foot
Meredith's daughter, weeks from delivering a baby
Pets left worried and confused while owners suffer from COVID-19 in hospitals
Dan, called back into service with the army
Maria del Mar, comfort after losing her job of 10 years this week
Porters, doormen, and staff working in apartment buildings to keep conditions safe and clean for residents
Kendra’s friend’s father, elderly and hospitalized with presumed COVID-19 complications
Kris, with a serious illness
Susie, whose son-in-law Steven is a first responder in DC and daughter Brooke, a nurse
Jonas Brachfield, 95, loving in locked down independent living home, struggling with loss of sight
Connie House’s mother and family, mourning death of her brother Steve as her mother’s dementia continues to progress
Sarah, distressed and looking for a job
Ellie, recovering from hip surgery, suffering from COVID-19
Sarah, furloughed from her job
Betty McDermott, dying from COVID-19 and her daughter Martha, quarantined with her
First responders, providing urgent medical care during this pandemic
Doug House, the homeless ministry, and those he serves
Connie, and all those working in nursing homes during the pandemic
Indigo, traveling mercies and all those concerned with job insecurity and finding employment
Joanne and Bill, with health issues
Leonard B., for quick recovery and good test results following recent surgery
The son of Pastor Denise Millett, at high risk for infection, seeking excused absence from work
Clayton, with ongoing health problems
Miriam, with back problems
Eddie, with lung problems
Lucien, with foot sprain
Becky, with a back injury
Jaime, with difficulties in pregnancy
Landon, with a broken arm
Derek, deployed to Bahrain
Jenn, going through a difficult time
Leora, with increasing memory problems
Becky Flade, recovering from a stroke and going through a difficult time
Crystal’s friend, diagnosed with Parkinson's
Elsie and Chuck Tyler, in the hospital

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