The members of St. Peter’s put their faith into action through a variety of community outreach and service projects in the immediate greater Washington area as well as nationally and internationally. Some programs provide for one-to-one experiences and others allow a volunteer to serve as part of a larger group. Listed below are ongoing programs that provide anyone with a servant’s heart the opportunity to find a service program that speaks to their talents and time availability.
These, along with many other programs, are just a few examples of the types of activities our parish members regularly participate in or take turns leading in our community. If you want to share your time with any of these programs in service to others or have questions, please click the activity interest form button. This is only a partial listing of the many St. Peter’s partnerships that offer opportunities for meaningful service to our neighbors and greater community.
Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC)
Once a month an individual or family transports all food donated by parishioners to the Arlington Food Assistance Center.
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 volunteers deliver meals (provided by Arlington County) to homebound recipients in Arlington.
So Others Might Eat (SOME)
On the first Thursday of every month, a group of volunteers brings ingredients (1300 eggs, four cases of bananas, and two cases of grits–purchased beforehand by volunteer shoppers) and cooks breakfast 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
Christmas Toy Drive/(AHC)
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; the church reimburses a set amount toward these gifts.
Christmas Trees Sales
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 are available for the parish and community to purchase. Orders are taken in October and early November and trees are delivered the first weekend in December. Order forms are available each year beginning in late October via our website.
Rebuilding Together/Christmas in April
In late spring, parishioners participate in Rebuilding Together (formerly known as Christmas in April) by assisting with repair projects for a needy (and usually elderly) Arlington homeowner recommended by Arlington County social workers. See the Rebuilding Together slide show under “Activities at St. Peter’s/Parish Activities.
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 Washington).
St. Peter’s middle school and high school youth participate in doemstic mission trips. In 2018 and 2019 the youth group travelled to Charleston, West Virginia. They joined other churches through YouthWorks, a Christian organization to particpate in a summaer program for disadvantaged youth. See “Activities at St. Peter’s – Youth” 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.
Dominican Republic Mission
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.
South Africa Mission
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 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/.
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