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?

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

Ways You Can Put Your Faith Into Action

 Feed The Sheep

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

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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