St. Thomas has a rich history of outreach and tradition of seeking opportunities for members of all ages within our parish community to help others in need. In order to realize the outreach potential of our parish, we will strive to provide opportunities for both monetary and hands-on help at levels both large and small, with a balanced local, diocesan, national, and world focus. We recognize the importance of outreach; when we reach out in service and love to others we strengthen our relationship to God.
Sharing God’s Love with the World
Upcoming Mission Trips (Summer, 2013):
1) Dungannon, VA
Senior High Youth Mission Trip
For many years in the first week of August, senior high youth have spent a week in Appalachia, repairing substandard housing and helping those in need. This coming summer, St. Thomas’ will once again participate in this important outreach ministry. Teaming up with other parishes in Region V, youth/adult chaperones from our church will serve Christ by serving others. Our folks will stay in an old sewing factory while they are doing mission work in Dungannon. In the past, participants built wheelchair ramps and decks, removed and installed flooring, installed doors, spackled and painted, and removed and installed bathroom fixtures.
2) Les Cayes, Haiti
We will continue to build our relationships with Ascension Church in Beraud and the Bishop Tharp Institute this summer. In July a small group of adults will travel to Les Cayes for a week to hold a Vacation Bible Camp for the children of Ascension at the Bishop Tharp Institute with the support of several college students from BTI. This is a wonderful opportunity for us to share in Jesus' love as we all form a community together.
Ministry with the Elderly:
Iliff Nursing Home—Friday Morning Eucharist
On the 4th Friday of the month, Fr. Stephen leads the 10:30 worship service at Iliff and he brings communion to residents who are bedridden. Members of the parish are invited to join him in this wonderful ministry that we share with Holy Cross, Dunn Loring. If you are interested and able to participate in this ministry, please contact Kathleen, our parish administrator, at email@example.com.
Ministry with Youth:
Alternative House—Fourth Sunday of the Month
On the third Sunday of each month, a family or small group from our parish prepare and have dinner with residents at Alternative House--an emergency shelter for abused and homeless teens located near Tyson's Corner. This ministry offers a great opportunity for fellowship with teens that are struggling with difficult circumstances. If you are interested in participating in this ministry, please email Mary Beth at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Agencies to which we donate items/money:
SHARE, McLean – This charity operates a food pantry and clothes closet out of the McLean Baptist Church serving needy local residents. Members of St. Thomas donate food and paper goods items throughout the year and transport them to SHARE regularly. Furniture is also accepted. There are also special collections at Thanksgiving and Toys and other gifts at Christmas.
Samaritan Ministry of Washington, D.C. – This charity seeks out people who are ready to change their lives and assists with its “Next Step” program. St. Thomas helps plan and organize a Christmas party and provides gifts for needy children and adults. Volunteers may also contribute in a wide variety of ways including casework and literacy training. St. Thomas also participates in this organization’s “Walk for the Homeless.” www.samaritanministry.com/2006/index.htm
Falls Church/McLean Children’s Center – This center provides affordable quality childcare, especially for low-income working families with children having special needs. Various supplies are also collected and donated to needy families and the church makes a financial contribution. Volunteers may help by reading to children, helping maintain the playground, painting, etc. www.fcmlcc.org
FACETS Hypothermia Program – This program (www.FacetsCares.org) shelters and feeds approximately 60-80 individuals nightly from December – March with the goal of preventing hypothermia related deaths during the winter months. In 2006, St. Thomas made its first grant to FACETS for the purchase of heavy-duty boots and socks, winter hats, long-john winter underwear, and scarves. The items will be distributed to homeless clients who must face the hardship of winter without shelter.
Young’s Memorial Church – St. Thomas collects clothing to be distributed to needy residents in the Southeast Washington, D.C. neighborhood in which Young’s Memorial Church is located.