Our next First Fridays/Green Groceries distribution event of the year will take place Friday, March 12, 2021.

After being placed on temporary hiatus due to the  COVID-19 situation, the  First Fridays/Green Groceries program has returned to St. Stephen’s.

Thank you to the great volunteers who took part in the First Fridays/Green Groceries event held at St. Stephen’s, Friday, Nov. 6, the first First Fridays/Green Groceries event held since March. Until further notice, First Fridays/ Green Groceries will continue  on the first Friday of each month as a drive-thru event in the parking lot at St. Stephen’s. If  you know someone in need, please let them know about our next First Friday event in December.

St. Stephen’s United  Methodist Church in Burke, Va., is a service-oriented congregation that supports the community and is engaged in service opportunities all-year-long. How would you like to put your faith into action?

January 2021 is St. Stephen’s month to collect supplies for The Lamb Center, a daytime shelter in Fairfax for individuals who are homeless. 

Each day the Lamb Center provides breakfast, lunch, showers, laundry service, Bible studies, counseling, AA meetings, and more for those in need. The center also includes a nurse practitioner clinic and a dental clinics. St. Stephen’s is part of a team of churches that support the Lamb Center. Your  help is needed this month to provide supplies. 

Most needed this month ; good condition men’s jeans and sweatpants; new men’s & women’s thermal underwear (all sizes); travel size alcohol-free mouthwash; travel size deodorant; cup of noodles soups (chicken, beef, or shrimp); hot chocolate packets; juice boxes; individual fruit cups; paper towels; liquid laundry detergent; and dryer sheets. Please drop off donations by January 31st at the church.  Please clearly label as donations to the Lamb Center and drop off at church – outside the front doors or inside in the Gathering Space. Contact Cathy Liverman  at cathyliverman@gmail.com  with any questions. Thanks! 

2020 Crop Hunger Walk Goes Virtual

Thank you to everyone who took part in this year’s Virtual Crop Hunger Walk

The walk may be virtual, but the need could not be more real. This year, due to the COVID-19 situation, the walk is virtual.

Each year CROP Hunger walks held across the country raise and awareness and funds to provide food and fight hunger in the United States and around the world as well as in our own community.  This year, due to the COVID-19 situation, the walk is virtual and the need is even greater.

 Did you know that Fairfax County has the  highest number of food insecure in Virginia with approximately 58,000 residents food insecure with over 23,000 children suffering from food insecurity, according to the Fairfax County Food Access & Literacy Working Group.

Please make a difference and help our neighbors in need by visiting   www.crophungerwalk.org/burkeva by Nov. 22nd.  If you have any questions, please contact St. Stephen’s member Cathy Liverman at cathyliverman@gmail.com

To learn more how this “virtual” walk works and to learn the many ways you can support the CROP Hunger Walk, please visit www.crophungerwalk.org/burkeva

CROP Hunger Walks are community-wide events sponsored by Church World Service and organized by religious groups, businesses, schools and others to raise funds to end hunger in the U.S. and around the world.

Supporting Our Local Schools

St. Stephen’s donates $10,000 to
The Foundation for Fairfax County Schools

The Covid-19 pandemic and continued closure of school buildings have highlighted the vital role that public schools play in our society. St. Stephen’s has always had a deep commitment to children and youth. Many church families have children in Fairfax County Public Schools.

Thanks to your generous donations to the SSUMC Communion Offering, the Outreach Committee on behalf of our congregation, recently made a $10,000 donation to the Foundation for Fairfax County Public Schools to support the “Access for All”  fund.

The Outreach Committee felt it was important to get these funds out into the community and selected the Foundation for FCPS as the recipient.

The “Access for All” fund provides access for the most vulnerable students and families in our region, the nearly 60,000 students who live in poverty. In these uncertain times, during which students across the region will continue with distance learning, these students will need access to technology, school supplies and nutrition.

The Foundation for Fairfax County Public Schools

The mission of the Foundation for Fairfax County Schools is to energize the power of the community to invest in educational  excellence and to prepare students for the future. Since March, the foundation has:

• purchased and delivered 35,000 school supply kits directly to students who qualify for free and reduced meals
• purchased mobile Wi-Fi connections so students can access the internet and participate in virtual classroom activities
• provided grocery gift cards for homeless or unaccompanied youth and free meals at the FCPS Grab & Go sites

The gift from St. Stephen’s will help the foundation reach the most vulnerable children and to continue this important work into the fall months and beyond.

About the SSUMC Communion Offering and Giving

On the first Sunday of each month, St. Stephen’s invites congregation members and guests to make an “above and beyond” gift to the church by way of the Communion Offering. These gifts are separate from one’s regular tithe/pledge.

The monies received through the Communion Offering are held in an account managed by the Outreach Committee and are used for purposes “above and beyond” the regular Outreach budget. In previous years, some of these funds have helped to support the Rise Against Hunger meal packing events and the Rising Hope UMC capital campaign.

Unrestricted gifts to the church — that is, gifts to the Annual Budget — provide the church with the most flexibility to meet needs as they arise and to respond to circumstances that may not have been anticipated during the annual budgeting process. We encourage gifts to the church to be “unrestricted” for this reason. The Communion Offering gives those with a special heart for supporting community needs, above and beyond the Outreach Ministries identified in the annual Outreach Budget, the ability to support special needs identified by the Outreach Committee.

The Finance Committee’s procedure is that restricted gifts — those that are designated for a specific purpose, such as a specific Outreach Ministry or simply Outreach or some other Annual Budget line item — are of course used for that purpose, as required by the law, the Book of Discipline, and our own policy. However, restricted gifts do not necessarily increase that particular budget line item. Instead, the church’s undesignated funds are reallocated to be used elsewhere as needed for the Annual Budget.

Both the Outreach Committee and the Finance Committee are dedicated to being effective stewards of God’s resources, and we greatly appreciate the generosity and commitment of the St. Stephen’s community in serving and assisting our brothers and sisters in need, in Christ’s name.

To learn more about how you can give to St. Stephen’s please visit St. Stephen’s Giving Online.

Summer 2020 Youth Mission Goes Local

 This video features volunteer work provided by our Youth Mission Group in June, 2020

Update from the St. Stephen's Outreach Committee, March 2021

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)
  • Food4Thought
  • 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.

Ways You Can Put Your Faith Into Action

Thanks to everyone who donated blood at our January drive during which 22 units of blood were collected.   Our next drive with Inova Blood Donor Services is scheduled for Monday, May 24, from 1:00 – 7:00 p.m., If the use of church facilities is still limited, we will use IBDS’s bloodmobile, as we did in January.   Please keep checking the our website at www.ststephensfairfax.org/blooddrive for updates and sign up links. Our January event filled up faster than expected, so don’t wait to sign up for this drive! Thank you. You can also sign up for the May 24th event by calling INOVA Blood Donor Services at 1-866-256-6372 and say “I want to donate at the May 24th donor event at St. Stephen’s.”

To view a short slide show featuring information on how you can help people in need in our community  during the COVID-19 situation, please click here. Thank you!

Here is some additional information about volunteer opportunities mentioned in during the Mother’s Day Service:

 Where to send cards to Senior in local nursing homes :

Department of Life Enrichment

Heatherwood Nursing Home

9642 Burke Lake Road

Burke, VA 22015  or you can send cards to

Activities Dept/Hermitage Nursing Home

5000 Fairbanks Avenue

Alexandria, VA 22311

To make an appointment to donate blood with Inova Blood Services, please call Inova Blood Donor Services at (866) 256-6372 or visit https://www.inovablood.org

More About Outreach Ministries at St. Stephen’s

Volunteers serve guests in March during St. Stephen’s Church’s week to host the Hypothermia Prevention and Response Program. (Photo by Cathy Livereman)

One way we Reflect Christ as the catalyst for community, inclusive and engaged, igniting mission and service for all.  Your support of and involvement in the St. Stephen’s Outreach ministries reflects Christ to the world. 

We are pleased to let you know that the Outreach Ministries at St. Stephen’s continues to touch many lives and share God’s love with our community.  The Outreach budget supports about 35 ongoing ministries and mission trips.  Last year, the people of St. Stephen’s gave approximately $250,000 above and beyond the operating budget to support these outreach efforts.  The ministries help those close to home – the Lamb Center in Fairfax City, Browne School in DC, Rising Hope UMC on Route 1, and the Fairfax County Unaccompanied Youth Program to name a few.  They also help those farther away – the Jubilee Center in Sneedville, TN, the Bo Deaf School in Sierra Leone, and Youth for Jesus in Ukraine.  The mission trips include youth going to Jeremiah Project and Appalachian Service Project and adults traveling to Tennessee, Sierra Leone and Ukraine.

Outreach has also been integrally involved in the Gift to the Manger activities helping people who are homeless obtain permanent housing — just like Mary and Joseph in the Bible who were once homeless themselves.  With the more than $100,000 that has been given over the past few Christmas offerings, St. Stephen’s has helped more than 40 individuals/families find a room or apartment.  We have learned much about the complexity of homelessness and the joy of watching God multiply the gifts that were given.

The Outreach Committee also works with the Church and Society Committee and others to offer short-term outreach ministry opportunities to the congregation and the neighborhood.  These have included hosting a hypothermia shelter in the winter, Change the World Weekend in May where we packed 50 each of UMCOR Birthing, Layette and Health Kits to go to Annual Conference, and Stop Hunger Now in October where over 300 volunteers packed 50,000 meals.

God uses us in many ways – your time, talents, prayers and gifts bring the love of Christ to others.  If you are not already involved, please consider participating.  Download our Outreach Brochure for a full list of outreach opportunities and contact information.

Last but not least, each month we provide free clothes, toys, food, and diapers to our guests through our First Fridays and Grace Ministries programs.

Please visit our other service ministry pages for specific information on how you can be involved.

Are you interested in service opportunities at St. Stephen’s?
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