We are a congregation that lives our love of God through service to those in need, whether they live in our neighborhood or on distant shores. Acting on AUMC’s overall mission to Love God, Love Neighbor and Serve the World, we support our local community and the world through service, prayer, financial support and fellowship. Our mission outreach is structured to ensure that everyone, young and old alike, can participate.
Because of the outbreak, we have postponed several upcoming in-person mission activities, including Rebuilding Together and Rise Against Hunger. We consider it a vital part of our mission to continue helping our community at this vulnerable time while also doing all we can to decrease risk and keep both our volunteers and the people we help safe.
1. Caring for Our Vulnerable Members
Our membership secretary, Dottie Rogerson (firstname.lastname@example.org) is currently working on canvassing our older congregants, soliciting prayer requests, and creating a list of those who might need help getting groceries or other supplies. Our Stephen Ministers, lay members who have undergone training to help them provide high-quality Christ-centered emotional and spiritual care, will deliver the supplies. If you have any questions about this program, contact our AUMC Stephen Leader, Pat Sherfey, at email@example.com.
2. Caring for Vulnerable Neighbors
Annandale UMC has used our Mission Center (7901 Heritage Dr, Annandale VA 22003) as a location for free food distribution on Thursdays from 5:30-7 p.m. for many years. Given the school closings and job losses due to the outbreak, this service is more important now than ever. To ensure that we can continue helping our community while keeping our volunteers and the people we serve as safe as possible, we’ve taken a few precautions.
- We are taking steps to clean and disinfect the Mission Center to eliminate any risk.
- We have identified ways to serve community members in ways that minimize potential spread of contagion (eg, pre-packaging meals and staging for outside walk-up service).
- We have switched to using a closed group of volunteers to hand out food, making certain all volunteers who are coming in contact with the community are outside of the at-risk demographic. By using the same group of volunteers each week, we can reduce the chances of anyone in the program having the virus.
While we deeply appreciate offers to join in helping our community, the high contagion rate of the virus means that we have to use a limited number of volunteers to decrease the likelihood of accidental transmission. The best ways to support our programs right now are through prayer and through financial donations that will allow us to continue this vital work.
And in this difficult time, remember—
Historically, the Church has faced pandemics, such as leprosy and other plagues, with tremendous faith and courage. As a matter of fact, it was the Church’s willingness to wisely and faithfully care for the sick and not panic in the shadow of Death that became a powerful witness to the pagan world.
In an anxious moment, Christ’s Church has an opportunity to serve our neighbors in a way that testifies to our faith in the the promise of our baptism, that is, that the only death that matters is already behind us.
John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement never left the Anglican Church of which he was a priest. Here’s a prayer from the Book of Common Prayer that we’ve been praying this week:
“For to your faithful people, O Lord, life is changed, not ended; and when our mortal body lies in death, there is prepared for us a dwelling place eternal in the heavens.”
— Book of Common Prayer
Lenten Missions Projects
Contribute to our Christian outreach by making a generous Lenten Mission Projects offering at www.annandalechurch.com/giving. The Missions Committee has set a target of $75,000 for these 10 projects:
100,000 HOMES is a national movement to find permanent homes for chronically homeless people. Our goal is to raise $10,000 to support FACETS’ Rapid Re-Housing Program, which seeks to place area homeless families and individuals in permanent housing as quickly as possible.
ACCA, the Annandale Christian Community for Action, is a coalition of 26 churches serving the Annandale area. ACCA programs include: furniture, transportation, family emergency, Meals on Wheels, shelter assistance, housing repair and child development. AUMC provides space for the ACCA furniture ministry in the warehouse next to the Little White Church. This year’s goal for ACCA is $10,000.
Programs at the AUMC MISSION CENTER include tutoring on Wednesdays, food distribution on Thursdays and a clothes closet. Each week, the Mission Center provides food to 60–70 families. It also prepares sandwiches, backpack meals for low-income students and bag lunches for Bailey’s Shelter. On Wednesdays, the center provides homework assistance to students in grades 1–9. Donated children’s clothes (and winter clothes in all sizes) are available in our clothes closet. The funding goal this year is $10,000.
Our HYPOTHERMIA PREVENTION PROGRAM partners with FACETS and Bailey’s Shelter to prevent injury or death to people in Fairfax County who are homeless during periods of cold weather. During the week after Thanksgiving, we work with FACETS to provide a warm place to sleep in our Media Center, a hot breakfast and dinner, and a bag lunch. We also provide various services, donated clothes and toiletries. We serve as an overflow site for Bailey’s Shelter for one week during the winter as well. The $3,500 raised will help us to better assist our neighbors in need.
The KAIROS PRISON MINISTRY team shares the transforming love of Christ with the men incarcerated at Greensville Correctional Center in Jarratt, VA. The team conducts a four-day retreat at the prison twice a year, monthly Saturday reunions and Monday-night Prayer and Share gatherings. The $4,000 raised will help pay for some of the expenses of the ministry. For more information, contact Fred Carns at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The MEDICAL CARE FOR CHILDREN PARTNERSHIP (MCCP) FOUNDATION is a local nonprofit that provides access to medical and dental care for children of uninsured families in Fairfax County. Our goal is to raise $5,000 to match donations to the Janet Petty Sabo Memorial Fund for MCCP. Janet was an active member of AUMC who had a passion for mission work.
The POE MIDDLE SCHOOL weekly meals ministry serves over 300 students each week during the school year. The $10,000 raised will help our teams prepare and serve a hot meal on Tuesdays after school.
RISING HOPE UNITED METHODIST MISSION CHURCH serves those living in poverty along the Route 1 Corridor. Rising Hope has a $500,000 capital campaign to replace aging kitchen equipment and the building’s HVAC system, pay down the mortgage and purchase a new church van. Our goal is to make a $5,000 contribution to Rising Hope’s campaign.
With the increasing need for relief around the globe due to natural disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes, our goal is to raise $5,000 for INTERNATIONAL DISASTER RELIEF. Funds will be disbursed on an as-needed basis through the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR).
RISE AGAINST HUNGER aims to end hunger by packaging and distributing meals worldwide. The organization’s low cost, highly nutritious meals can be easily shipped and stored. Our goal is to raise $13,500 for this project.
Below are our usual mission activities. Most have been suspended or reduced to a select group of volunteers due to the outbreak but we are leaving this information available to show our church’s longterm commitment to helping our neighbors and so that we will be ready to resume all activities as soon as we are able.
Helping Our Community Every Week
Sundays: Collecting food for AUMC’s food programs. Please note that on the first Sunday of the month, we collect food in the colorful buckets just inside the front doors of the church for the ACCA food pantry. On the third Sunday of the month, we collect food items for our Mission Center.
Tuesdays: Volunteer to serve after-school meals at Poe Middle School. The commitment includes prepping, serving or going shopping one Tuesday per month. For more information, contact Sheila Kyer, 703-981-6080 or Sheila.Kyer@dbhds.virginia.gov.
Tuesdays: Sign up to help with our Food for Others pilot at the Mission Center. AUMC has partnered with Food for Others to provide emergency food assistance at our Mission Center (7901 Heritage Drive) on Tuesdays. The pilot program runs through June 30. Volunteers age 14 and older who can lift 50 lbs. multiple times are needed to unload the Food for Others truck, 4–5 p.m., and to assist those receiving food, carry items and clean up, 5–7:15 p.m. Click here to sign up. Food for Others serves at-risk families referred by Fairfax County schools and social services. Many of the clients live in the community around our Mission Center. Food is distributed by appointment, and Food for Others anticipates about 20 clients picking up food during the two-hour window.
Wednesdays: Be a part of our tutoring team on Wednesday afternoons during the school year, 3:45–5:45 p.m., in the Heritage Drive fellowship hall. Volunteers are needed to serve as tutors, readers and snack coordinators for students in grades 1–9. To volunteer, contact Jerry Beyer at 703-399-1395.
Thursdays: Help make sandwiches and assemble meals. We make sandwiches and assemble backpack meals throughout the school year. We also provide bag lunches for the Bailey’s Crossroads Community Shelter. If you’d like to help, join us at noon on Thursdays at the AUMC Mission Center on Heritage Drive. Volunteers can come for all or part of the time, and there are both stand-up and sit-down jobs. We begin by making lunches for the Bailey’s shelter, then assemble the backpack meals for local elementary schools, followed by making sandwiches for our food site. If you’d like to volunteer for the evening food distribution, plan to arrive at 4:30 p.m. to help unload the food and set up. Contact Betsy Clevenger at 240-682-2067 for details.
Fridays: Lend a hand with backpack meals: Our food ministry provides backpack meals to designated fourth- and fifth-grade students at Annandale Terrace and Braddock Elementary Schools. Volunteers are needed on Friday afternoons during the school year to pack the meals and on Wednesday mornings to deliver them. Contact Betsy Clevenger at 703-425-6424.
Collecting Donations for Neighbors in Need
Reuse plastic grocery bags by donating them the food distribution site on the Heritage Campus. Place clean, dry, plastic grocery bags in the Heritage Campus box under the coat rack or bring to the office.
Reading Books for AUMC Tutoring Program: The Annandale UMC Tutoring Program at our Heritage Drive facility invites donations of any used reading books for children in grades 1 – 8. Please place donated books in the bin marked for Heritage Drive Reading Books located under the coat racks near the front entrance to the church. If you have any questions, please contact Barb Pearson at email@example.com or 703-323-6114.
Children’s Clothes Closet: Donations of new or gently used clothing for infants and children are being collected for families who live around the Heritage Drive campus. A collection box is located on the third floor of AUMC Parent Resource Area (near room 311).
Collecting food for AUMC’s food programs: Please note that on the first Sunday of the month, we collect food in the colorful buckets just inside the front doors of the church for the ACCA food pantry. On the third Sunday of the month, we collect food items for our Mission Center.
Heritage Drive Campus Food Drive: Donations of non-perishable food are welcome! Bring donations for the Heritage Food Site to Sunday services the third Sunday of the month. For more information call Betsy Clevenger, 703-425-6424.
The need is greater than ever. A special offering is taken on Communion Sundays (first week of each month) to help ACCA and for our neighbors in need. So when you see the plates by the communion rail, please give generously.
The AUMC Foundation was established to solicit and receive gifts, bequests and endowments; manage those assets; and disburse funds for the support and enhancement of the current and future ministries of AUMC. To find out more about the AUMC Foundation and how your legacy gift can benefit future generations, contact Bill Iwig at 301-365-7532.
Disaster response? We have a team for that. Have you ever wondered how you might help those in need after a tornado or hurricane? For many years, AUMC has had a Disaster Response Team comprised of members trained by the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). We are seeking to gauge interest in rebuilding our team, which has not been activated in some time. UMCOR-trained teams are not first responders. These teams are invited to a disaster site to help clean up once it is secured. If you are interested in being a part of the team (which requires a day of training), contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We are also looking for a team coordinator to organize and recruit new members, maintain our inventory of equipment and serve as the point of contact with the United Methodist Church’s disaster response liaison.
AUMC Human Trafficking Task Force: The AUMC Human Trafficking Task Force is committed to educating community members and supporting survivors across northern Virginia. Our outreach includes training about the risks and harms of human trafficking, a monthly e-newsletter with the latest news and events, fundraising for survivors, and engaging with local organizations that are leading the battle against human trafficking in all its forms. For more information or to receive our monthly newsletter, contact Kristine Grow at email@example.com. The National Human Trafficking Hotline is 888-373-7888. Click here to read our latest newsletter.
The AUMC Mission Center
In 2012, Annandale UMC merged with Immanuel UMC. While all worship services take place in the original Annandale UMC, we have converted the Immanuel UMC building into a mission center, hosting various community outreach activities. Current activities at the Mission Center (7901 Heritage Drive) include a weekly food program, weekly tutoring sessions, and more!