Update from the St. Stephen’s Outreach Committee, March 2021
Volunteers serve guests at a recent drive-thru Grace Ministries distribution event at St. Stephen’s. Despite the pandemic which started in March 2020, both of St. Stephen’s monthly distribution events have continued to been held safely.
The Outreach Committee seeks to serve God and our local, regional, and international communities by deploying St. Stephen’s financial resources to assist those in need, in Christ’s name.
The overall St. Stephen’s budget supports and includes Outreach; there is no need to make a special designation. In 2021, the Outreach Committee budget is $183,660, thanks to the generous support of the St. Stephen’s congregation.
During such uncertain and unprecedented times due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have prioritized meeting our financial and other commitments to the 20+ ministries we support:
- Grace Ministries
- Junior and Senior High School Mission Trips
- Stephen’s Preschool
- Hypothermia Sheltering
- Food Pantry
- Love Is All You Need
- Rising Hope UMC
- The Lamb Center
- Fairfax FISH (For Immediate Sympathetic Help)
- Unaccompanied Youth Scholarships
- Arise Campus Ministry at GMU
- Wesley Housing
- Browne Education Center
- DC Christian Ministries
- The Jubilee Project
- Jeremiah Project
- Ebert Kakua School for the Deaf (Bo, Sierra Leone)
- Helping Children Worldwide (Child Reintegration Center and Mercy Hospital, in Sierra Leone)
- Youth to Jesus (L’viv, Ukraine)
Each of these ministries has a St. Stephen’s liaison who serves as the main point of contact between the ministry or organization and the Outreach Committee. This year especially, those St. Stephen’s liaisons have played a truly vital role – communicating the ministries’ changing needs, helping to ‘pivot’ operations to keep everyone safe, and continuing to serve our brothers and sisters in need through funding, hands-on service, and prayer.
Last year, the Outreach Committee began supporting two new ministries: Arise Campus Ministries at George Mason University is a Christian community serving GMU college students, helping them to share God’s universal love and compassionately live out faith on campus and in the community; Love Is All You Need is a ministry to support individuals, families, and caregivers for persons with special needs, focusing on each person being perfectly and wonderfully made and loved by God.
In addition, over the summer, the Outreach Committee (on behalf of St. Stephen’s) made a $10,000 donation to the Foundation for Fairfax County Public Schools to support the “Access for All” fund. This donation was made possible because of the congregation’s generous donations to the SSUMC Communion Offering. The gift from St. Stephen’s helps reach the most vulnerable children in our community with meals, school supplies, and technology support.
This year, the Outreach Committee began supporting Food4Thought, a weekend meal program that connects churches and other community organizations with local schools that have children/families experiencing food insecurity. We are partnering with Little Run Elementary School, 1.5 miles from our church.
We welcome input and new members to join our committee! We meet the first Wednesday of each month. If you have questions or would like to join the Outreach Committee, please contact co-chairs Laurie Perry or Scott Prothero, or visit our Connect page at www.ststephensfairfax.org/connect and fill out the form.