Being central in our community and creating community is core to our identity. Local Missions is a means for us to serve God, grow in our faith, and transform lives in our local community.
How is God calling you?
Are you called to care for the homeless and disadvantaged? Come serve with the Food Pantry or DC Homeless Project. Can you speak a language in addition to English? Join our Food Pantry volunteers.
St. Thomas has many ways for you to be in mission to others. Check out the available opportunities below:
Alzheimer's Support Group
Early stage dementia/Altzheier's Networking Group. Contact Jane Priest at 703-766-9018 or jane.priest@alz>
A "Senior Christmas"
St. Thomas provides Christmas gifts to the residents of Manassas Health and Rehab. Residents provide a wish list and our congregation plays Santa Claus.
Christmas Day Dinner
D.C. Homeless Mission
DATE: FIRST Sunday of every month
TIME: 5:00 pm-midnight
At 5 pm on the first Sunday of every month, the DC Mission Team and helpers congregate at the St. Thomas UMC Manassas Campus to pack the church van with meals, clothing, hygiene kits, Bibles, and Christian literature. After driving to a designated location, the DC Mission Team meets up with other churches’ teams, to visit with and serve 120 -150 persons living without shelter in the District of Columbia.
The general congregation can help by providing specific hygiene kit items: UNUSED hotel-sized containers of shampoo, soap, lotion, toothpaste, and deodorant, as well as NEW toothbrushes, disposable razors, and face cloths. Donations of new or gently used coats, blankets, and shoes, along with NEW men's underwear are most welcome and may be placed in the “DC Mission Box” located in the church foyer.
Please PRAY for the over 12,000 homeless persons living in our Nation's Capital and the DC Team reaching out to them.
The DC Homeless Mission was featured in the Bull Run Observer on June 28, 2013.
The Food Pantry opened its doors on March 17, 2007 and has been in continuous operation since then. We are members of the Capital Area Food Bank and are able to purchase food there at lower prices. We also pick up food every day from local grocery stores.
The Pantry is open every Saturday morning from 9:00 to 11:30 am. We give food to between 50 and 100 families each week. Families can come one time a month. We give canned goods, cereal, pasta, rice etc., as well as fresh produce, some deli items and meat.
The Food Pantry needs help every day of the week. If you are interested in volunteering, we always need help in the following areas:
- Pick up food from grocery stores: Pick ups are in the morning, usually between 8:00 and 10:00 am depending upon the store. We pick up seven days per week.
- Work in the pantry putting away we have picked up, shelving food, "bagging food" purchased in bulk, cleaning, etc. Monday through Friday, usually around 12:00 noon.
- Assist with food pick up at Lorton on Thursday morning. We need people with pickup trucks or vans to assist with picking up the groceries.
- Assist with Saturday morning food distribution. We need 15 to 17 people each week:
- Four to five people at the Old Church Building. We have three to four additional volunteers at the church who also receive food from the pantry. At the old church, we need at least one person who speaks Spanish and two computer volunteers.
- 11 to 12 down at the "shed" to pack up the food and give it to the people.
Sign up online for any of these volunteering opportunites.
The Food Pantry is a member of the Capital Area Foodbank.
Operation Bear Hug
Late January, early February is the perfect time of year for "Operation Bear Hug," a time when everyone is asked to bring NEW teddy bears to church. During the Worship Service, congregants are asked to hug "your" bear, let them sing the hymns with you, pass the peace of Christ, and even listen to the sermon while sitting on your lap. These hugged bears will be tagged with St. Thomas UMC information, along with a Valentine's greeting, and distributed to patients in Prince William Hospital, just in time for Valentine's Day. Bears should not be too large or too small; they should be just the right size to fit into a hospital bed. As our tags refer to them as "bears," please make sure bears are all you bring.
Operation Christmas Child
The mission of Operation Christmas Child is to demonstrate God's love in a tangible way to needy children around the world, and together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Since 1993, more than 100 million boys and girls in over 130 countries have experienced God's love through the power of simple shoebox gifts from Operation Christmas Child. St Thomas UMC has a year-round team dedicated to filling shoeboxes with a variety of gifts that will delight any child. See below for some ways you can assist with filing a shoe box:
Crafting: The craft group for those with limited crafting talent or copious amounts of crafting talent continues every second Saturday of the month in room 305 from 10 AM-12 noon. We're making all kinds of things for our shoebox kids. If you're an at-home crafter, please let me know that, too, and I can get you materials and patterns for little things if you want to work from home.
Spring/Fall cleaning? Running into buttons? Plastic bottles (like large pharmacy bottles, vitamin bottles)? Fabric remnants? Yarn? DMC floss? Even if they're not brand new, please bring them in to the work room at church and put them in the Operation Christmas Child bin. We'll make good use of them. We LOVE to upcycle!
School supplies: We also collect school supplies, so as you clean out from under beds and in cabinets at home, please think of us. We're taking compasses, pencils, pencil sharpeners, rulers, markers, crayons, and older children's books (chapter books).
Gently used and brand new clothing items for children in sizes 2-14: If you find almost-new t-shirts, underwear, and socks in your children's dresser drawers and you're looking for a good place to donate it, please give it to us for our shoeboxes.
Plastic GLAD/sandwich meat containers (nearly new containers) are needed to put soap bars in. We turn the old sandwich containers into little hygiene kits for our shoebox kids to use over and over, even as the soap wears down to a sliver. Ivory soap bars are greatly needed because our kids can use them for cleaning not just their bodies, but also their clothing. If the Lord places this on your heart, we'd love your help.
Quilts for Kids
A dedicated dozen or so ladies meet at the church at 10 am every Wednesday. Usually some of the ladies have previously taken fabric home and sewn the squares and strips into small quilts tops. At each meeting, each quilt top is secured to batting and backing by binding the three pieces together at the edges and then tying small knots of stout thread through the materials at regular intervals, making a quilt.
Over 80 quilts were made and donated in 2012!
Small tags are stitched onto each quilt proclaiming God's love from St. Thomas United Methodist Church. Some quilts are donated to the hospital's Newborn Intensive Care and some are donated to SERVE, but most are given to ACTS, which uses them in their Countywide Domestic Violence Intervention Program.
For more information, please leave a message with the church office at 703-368-5161. Better yet, come by the quilting bee next Wednesday.
Stop Hunger Now
Stop Hunger Now ( http://www.stophungernow.org) is an international hunger relief agency that coordinates the distribution of food and other lifesaving aid to children and families in countries all over the world, including the USA. The Stop Hunger Now program’s food packaging assembly process combines rice, soy, dehydrated vegetables, and a flavoring mix, including 21 essential vitamins and minerals, into small meal packets. Each meal costs only 25 cents. The food stores easily, has a shelf-life of two years, and transports quickly. The packaging operation is mobile enough to go wherever volunteers are located, and can be adapted to accommodate as few as 25 and as many as 500 volunteers at a time.
On April 28, 2013, St Thomas UMC sponsored its first meal packaging event and it was an absolute blessing to all who participated. In just two hours, 100+ volunteers, from both campuses, filled over 3,400 bags, bags that each included six meals. A grand total of 20,498 meals were packaged for hungry people in this country and abroad.
The Un-Trim-A-Tree Holiday Gift Program is a very special program that serves children, seniors, and teen moms in need in the Greater Prince William community. The program is overseen by Volunteer Prince William, which partnered with local churches, clubs, and businesses to bring a brighter holiday season to over 7500 people in 2012! St. Thomas UMC has been a joyful participant in the program for some years now and can always use more volunteers for Un-Trim-A-Tree tasks, to include sorting, bagging, and delivering the gifts donated by the congregational members. For more information, or to volunteer to assist with the Un-Trim-A-Tree program this year, please leave a message in the church office: 703-368-5161. Merry Christmas!
USDA Food Bank
The USDA Food Bank works in conjunction with the St Thomas UMC Food Pantry. Please visit the Food Pantry for more information on the USDA Food Bank distribution schedule and eligibility requirements.
Vacation Bible School
If you're interested in getting involved in any of these mission projects please contact the individual listed or the main church office.