“…Sent out to serve…”
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We put our faith into action through community outreach and service projects supporting neighbors in our local community and elsewhere. Youth and adult members of St. Peter’s and the Mission Commission work on programs providing food, housing, and special needs. Our youth missions and international mission trips typically feature service projects and vacation Bible school.
The ongoing programs below provide anyone with a servant’s heart the opportunity to use their talents as their time permits. If you want to join us in supporting these programs or have questions, please click the activity interest form button or call the church office.
Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC) Parishioners donate food throughout the year and for special food drives such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. Once a month an individual or family transports all food to AFAC. Our Sunday School and other members of the congregation also purchase and package bulk food twice a year for AFAC.
A-SPAN and EWS
From November to March. Once a week, a family or individual cooks and transports an evening meal for 45 to 50 diners at the Emergency Winter Shelter (EWS) located near Courthouse Plaza; the church reimburses expenses.
Meals on Wheels On the second and fifth Friday of each month, from 11 AM to 1 PM, St. Peter’s volunteers deliver meals provided by Arlington County to homebound recipients in Arlington.
Rise Against Hunger St Peter’s has joined with other local churches to fund and host Rise Against Hunger meal packing events. In a single morning, an enthusiastic multi-generational group of volunteers can pack thousands of meals to feed families overseas.
So Others Might Eat (SOME)
On the first Thursday of every month, a group of volunteers cooks breakfast–consisting of 1300 eggs, breakfast meat, grits and fruit purchased by the church–from 6 to 8 a.m. at the SOME shelter located several blocks north of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.
Thanksgiving Food Drive
In early November we start collecting food for approximately Thanksgiving meals for homeless and needy people, usually clients of the Samaritan Ministry of Greater Washington (SMGW) or other identified community group; the church provides funds for 40 grocery gift cards that can be used to purchase turkeys, while parishioners donate the other elements of the meals (including stuffing mix, vegetables, and ingredients to make pie).
Housing and Other Needs
Rebuilding Together/Christmas in April
Every spring for more than 30 years, St. Peter’s volunteers have turned out in force to work with Rebuilding Together (formerly known as Christmas in April). They assist with repair projects, painting, yard work and more for a needy (and usually elderly) Arlington homeowner recommended by Arlington County social workers. See the Rebuilding Together slide show on the Activities at St. Peter’s/Parish Activities page.
Samaritan Ministry of Greater Washington (SMGW)
In May and June – tied to Mother’s Day and Father’s Day – we collect food and toiletries for clients of SMGW (Samaritan Ministries of Greater Washngton).
Christmas Toy Drive/(AHC) St. Peter’s supports Christmas programs at the Arlington Housing Coalition, AHC, a non-profit housing developer providing homes for low- and medium-income families in Arlington. In late November and early December, congregants select names of families in need (as identified by Arlington County and other social service organizations), and purchase Christmas gifts from their wish lists.
Christmas Tree Donations In partnership with AHC and St. George’s, we donate and deliver free Christmas trees to families in need. The fresh cut Fraser fir trees, garlands, and wreaths are obtained from the Cline Church nursery in Fleetwood, North Carolina, and also are available for the parish and community to purchase. Order forms are available each year beginning in late October via our website.
St. Peter’s middle school and high school youth participate in domestic mission trips. On the most recent trips in 2018 and 2019, the youth group traveled to Charleston, West Virginia. They joined other churches through YouthWorks, a Christian organization, to participate in a summer program for disadvantaged youth. See “Youth Activities at St. Peter’s” for additional pictures and information.
St. Peter’s currently supports activities in the Dominican Republic, Kenya and South Africa. Adults and youth participate in international mission trips.
St. Peter’s has taken six mission trips to the Domincan Republic since 2008. In 2019, our group of 20 missioners included three generations from one family! Working through the Episcopal Diocese of the Dominican Republic, missioners from St. Peter’s have helped build and furnish the Nino Jesus school. Missioners also lead Vacation Bible School in both Montellano and Mosovi in partnership with the parishes, Iglesia Episcopal Santa Maria Virgen and Divina Gracia.
St. Lukes Ndara, Kenya
Rev. Samuel Sudhe, Vicar of St. Lukes Ndara and adjoining parishes and schools, Kenya, was a Seminarian at St. Peter’s in 2005-2006. We remember him in our prayers, and over the years have helped him meet special needs, including a herd of goats, solar panels, water tanks for churches and schools, and funds to help recover from a devastating fire.
St. Peter’s helped build two homes for children orphaned by the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Western Cape of South Africa. The first home is located in the informal settlement of Masiphumelele and was developed in partnership with the nonprofit St. Francis Outreach Trust in Simon’s Town, South Africa. A second home was built in a location close to the first home in Masi. These efforts began when a mission reconnaissance team from St. Peter’s visited the Masiphumelele site in August 2009 and met with the various mission partners in South Africa. St. Peter’s helped raise over $50,000 towards the cost of building the first home and in 2011 sent a group of 27 parishioners to work with the children living there. St. Peter’s sent a second mission team in August 2014 to work on the old home and the new home. The church has continued its fundraising to support both these efforts and is exploring the possibility of another mission trip. The mural shown at the top of the page was painted by St. Peter’s mission trip participants on their first trip to South Africa.
The Love Quilt Project grew out of St. Peter’s initial 2011 mission trip to South Africa which supported construction of an orphan home in South Africa. After providing children and the house mother of the first home with individual quilts containing messages of love from the children at St.Peter’s, several missioners led the creation of the Love Quilt Project. The project uses the power of love to change the lives of vulnerable orphaned South African children, many of them affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic, by providing love quilts and educational support. LQP is now an independent non-profit but St. Peter’s continues to offer support. The Love Quilt Project seeks volunteers to help produce the Love Quilts. Additional Information on the Love Quilt Project and its need for volunteers is available on their website. http://www.lovequiltproject.org/.
More information at the Love Quilt Project Facebook page: Facebook