Posts tagged Local
Feeding Neighbors in Need

Abiding Presence is here to support those in our community in need of food assistance. We host a monthly “Neighborhood Pantry” in the community room at local apartment complex as well as a food pantry on the 4th Saturday of the month at Abiding Presence. If you or someone you know is in immediate need of food assistance, please call the church office at 703-455-7500.

We welcome donations of non-perishable food items from the congregation and community. They can be dropped off at the church at anytime during the week or left outside the main entrance.

During the month of February we will be stocking the ECHO food pantry with the goal of one ton of food donated by the congregation and community.

Meredith KeseleyServe, Food, Local
Extending Jesus' Table Into a Hungry World
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According to Fairfax County Schools, approximately 28 percent of students qualify for free and reduced-price meals.  That’s more than 1 in 4 students in our area whose families struggle to buy enough nutritious food to feed everyone.  Members of food insecure families worry about running out of food in their cupboards before their next paycheck and some even resort to eating less so that everyone in the family can be fed. 

How are we called to respond?  Well, Jesus commands us to “love our neighbor as ourselves,” so if I don’t have to worry about where my next meal is going to come from, shouldn’t I help my neighbor to do the same?  Jesus repeatedly responds to the hunger of the crowds with abundance, multiplying the loaves and fishes so that all are filled with food left over.  And every Sunday, we gather at the Lord’s Table, where all are fed, no matter their income or status. 

So at Abiding Presence, we follow Christ in serving our neighbor through many food ministries, including the Children’s Weekend Meal Program, in which we deliver packages of food and snacks to a local elementary school. There they are distributed to children who receive free and reduced meals at school during the week, so that they do not go hungry over the weekend. 

However, during the summer, these children are receiving neither school meals nor these bags of food.  So, in partnership with the PTA and school, we started a monthly “pop-up” food pantry this summer at the school. Although we have a food pantry at the church, we realize that some may not have the time or transportation to make it to Abiding Presence so instead of asking them to come to us, we are going out to meet them at a location that is within walking distance and in their neighborhood.  Jesus didn’t wait in the synagogue for people to come to him but instead, he traveled and went out to meet people wherever they were: in their homes, at the village well, around their dinner tables.  As His disciples, we are called to do the same.

So I invite you to be part of making a difference and serving our neighbor through our food ministries.  Help make our pop-up food pantry possible this month!  We’ll meet at 8:30 am at Abiding Presence to load food and tables and then we'll head to the local elementary school, where we'll setup shop from 10-11:30 am. Let Pastor Heidi know if you can make it for all or part of the morning, donuts and coffee will be provided! Together, we can serve and love our neighbors, being the church in the world and extending Jesus’ table to all.

Recognize These Chairs?
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While the majority of our old sanctuary chairs found a second life at a Christian church in Maryland, about 30 of them found their second life at ECHO. ECHO is one of our community partners who supports people in need in the immediate Burke and Springfield area. 

Recently, ECHO lifted up the need of children's shoes, especially for older children. If you have new or gently used shoes to donate, please bring them to church and drop them in the ECHO bin under the coat rack.

If you're looking for an opportunity to volunteer this summer as a teen or adult, consider signing up for one of ECHO's backpack packing sessions to help them get ready to distribute backpacks with school supplies to local school children. 

We're grateful to have such a strong community partner with whom we can serve our community!

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Red Cross Blood Drive
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Monday, June 4 from 3:00-7:30 p.m.

One of Abiding Presence's longtime service ministries has been a partnership with the American Red Cross. We host six blood drives a year. Members of the congregation support the blood drives by volunteering at the check in table. If you would like to get involved in our blood drive ministry, please contact the church office to get connected to the blood drive coordinator.

Blood donors are always needed. Please call 1-800-RED-CROSS or visit redcrossblood.org and enter "AbidingVA" to schedule an appointment. Eligibility Questions? Call 1-866-236-3276.

You can help us share the word in the community by sharing our Facebook event

Plan for approximately 1 hour. Eat and drink plenty of fluids prior to your donation. 

Refugee Ministry

One of the ways that Abiding Presence is about living out Jesus' commandment to "love our neighbors" is to support refugees who are resettling in our community by partnering with Lutheran Social Services. As we celebrate our 40th anniversary this year, we remember that supporting refugees is part of our congregation's history. Abiding Presence helped to resettle a Polish family back in the early days of our congregation's existence. For the past few years, a group has been meeting to pray, discern and plan how Abiding Presence might support refugee resettlement once again. 

Those who are interested in working with refugees are encouraged to attend an information and training session [postponed - new date TBD] at Abiding Presence with the Abiding Presence Refugee Ministry Team. Learn how you can make a big difference in some seemingly small ways in the lives of refugees, helping them rebuild their lives and adjust to their new surroundings. The session will be held by Lutheran Social Services and is required for our refugee ministry volunteers. Contact the church office with questions or for more information. Come be a part of serving God and walking with our neighbors, following in the way of Jesus in our community!  

February is ECHO Food Pantry Month
Photo by    NeONBRAND    on    Unsplash

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

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Goal:

2,000 lbs (1 ton)
Current: 1,388 lb

s

February is Abiding Presence's month to stock the Ecumenical Community Helping Others (ECHO) food pantry. ECHO serves families in the Burke and Springfield Community who are in need of instance. Faith communities in the area take turns each month stocking the food pantry. Our goal is to collect 1 ton of food that will go directly to our neighbors in need through ECHO's ministry. Food can be dropped off anytime the church is open. While all non-perishable food items are accepted, current special needs include:

Food Items
Vegetable Oil
Spaghetti Sauce
Individual Juice/Milk Boxes
8 oz. Tomato Sauce
Jelly
Can Pasta
Jello/Pudding
Bag/Dry Beans
Flour (2 Lbs preferred)
Can Meat
Juice (Large Bottles/Cans)

Personal Care Items
Detergent
Adult and Children OTC Pain Medicine
Shaving Cream
Deodorant

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Meredith KeseleyLocal, Food, Serve
Reaching Out this Christmas

Please look for opportunities to share joy at the AP Giving Tree in the narthex. You can provide new and unwrapped toys for children in our community through ECHO, which is asking for games and clothing for children up to 14 years old, especially baby dolls, Barbie clothes and accessories (ECHO already has many Barbie dolls), hoodies for teens (sizes 14, 16, Adult sizes S and M), polar fleece zip jackets in teen sizes, car track sets, electronic toys, and activity books. The Giving Tree area also offers opportunities to support Gifts of Hope and ELCA Good Gifts.

 

Meredith KeseleyFamilies, Local