St. John's UMC
Operation Christmas Child
Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief organization, which collects gift-filled shoeboxes and delivers them to children living in desperate situations around the world. This project sends a message of hope to children by providing them with shoeboxes filled with gifts, relief aid and Christian literature.
Operation Christmas Child offers a simple, tangible way for individuals, families and organizations to be involved in a hands-on mission project that reaches out to needy children around the world, while focusing on the true meaning of Christmas – the birth of Jesus Christ!
St. John’s supports Operation Christmas Child in two ways: 1) by encouraging our congregation to participate in filling a shoebox and, 2) by serving as a Relay Collection Center for the Springfield/Annandale area. During collection week individuals, churches and organizations deliver their shoe boxes to St. John’s where they are packed into shipping cartons and trucks.
www.samaritanspurse.org provides additional information on Operation Christmas Child and how to pack a shoebox gift. For additional information, contact the church office.
Health and Wellness Committee
The purpose of the Health and Wellness Committee at St. John’s United Methodist Church is to better care for self and others and to assist congregants to make informed health related decisions. A former Parish Nurse serves on this committee and acts as a resource and provides spiritual support for St. John’s members. Programs include monthly blood pressure monitoring, annual flu/pneumonia shots, and quarterly blood drives. In addition, members of this Committee attend and report on special programs on health and spiritual concerns offered by Community Agencies. Program reminders are published in the Church’s bulletin and in the Chimes. For further information contact the church office.
United Methodist Women (UMW)
St John’s UMC has an active United Methodist Women’s unit which is one of the more active groups within the church. St John’s UMW includes over 100 members ranging from teens to senior adults and is comprised of 8 member Circles sharing fellowship and spiritual growth. It is represented in the Alexandria District of the Virginia Conference, supporting UMW local and global missions. UMW holds several general meetings during the year (Prayer and Self-Denial; Spring Meeting; Harvest Banquet; December Holiday Reception) and provides community outreach through various local mission activities in the Northern Virginia area, as well as the US and abroad.
St. John’s UMW embraces The Purpose of United Methodist Women :
- To know God and to experience freedom as whole persons through Jesus Christ;
- To develop a creative, supportive fellowship; and
- To expand concepts of mission through participation in the global ministries of the church.
For information concerning St John’s UMW, its membership and mission support, contact the church office.
Boy Scouts of America
St. John’s United Methodist Church is chartered each year to operate three different Scout units for young people. These units legally belong to the church which is responsible for their oversight. This oversight is carried out by the Pastor, as the CEO of the church, signing the annual re-charter applications for each unit and by the church appointing a member to serve as the Chartered Organization Representative (COR) to the local Scout District and Council. The current COR for St. John's is Ken Davis. This annual appointment is part of the church's normal nominating committee process. Many of the leaders in the St. John's leaders are also very active in Scouting at the local district (Annandale, Springfield, Lorton area) and the National Capital Area Council, based in Bethesda, MD.
The purpose of Boy Scout units, no matter what the age, is to help instill character and ethical ideals, train in citizenship and encourage fitness principles in young people. The program is carried out in the three units listed below:
Cub Scout Pack 678 is for boys in grades 1-5 in school (approximately 6-10 years old). The boys meet weekly in dens of approximately eight under adult leadership and once a month as a pack where all dens join to show off crafts, put on skits, play games and receive advancement recognition which has been earned. Other activities such as day trips and overnight campouts also make up the program. This Pack has been in operation for over 45 years.
Scout Troop 980 is for boys 11-18. There is a weekly troop meeting, usually held at the church and a monthly outing, usually an overnight event. Types of outdoor events include bike hikes, canoe trips, ski trips, and hiking in nearby mountains. There is a weeklong summer camp each summer. Most years some of the older Scouts organize "high adventure" trips to backpack in the Rocky Mountains of New Mexico or do water activities in the Florida Keys. The troop is over 40 years old and has an excellent record of producing Eagle Scouts. The troop has also provided much of the youth leadership of the local Order of the Arrow chapter in recent years.
Venturing Crew 18 is a newer unit for the church and is for boys and girls aged 14-20. It is focused on outdoor activities. Many of the older Troop members maintain dual membership in the Crew. The crew will be attending Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico to backpack for ten days in 2009.
Questions about Scouting in general and the St. John's units in particular can be directed to call 703-941-9018 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ecumenical Community for Helping Others (ECHO)
Echo provides assistance to residents in the Springfield and surrounding areas who are in need of food, clothing, furniture and financial assistance for rent, utilities or other emergencies. Echo is located at 7205 Old Keen Mill Road in Springfield, Virginia. Additional information can be found at http://www.echo-inc.org.
St. John’s has been an active part of the Echo program for many years and we have a collection station at the church where donations of clothing, non-perishable food and household items can be made. For additional information, please contact the church office.
Wesley Housing Development Corporation's mission is to develop, own, operate, preserve, and maintain affordable housing and sustain quality communities for low- and moderate- income persons in Northern Virginia. Many United Methodist Church congregations participate in Wesley Housing, as does St. John’s. Our congregation annually donates funds to Wesley Housing and our members serve in shelters and support group homes in the area. For additional information, please contact the church office. Additional information can be found at http://www.wesleyhousing.org/index.htm.
Appalachia Service Project (ASP)
ASP provides vital housing services to low-income families living in Central Appalachia as well as transformational life experiences to those we serve, volunteers offering their service, congregations involved with ASP, and entire communities. Appalachia Service Project (ASP) is a Christian ministry that fosters human development by addressing the housing needs of Central Appalachia. Each year about 15,000 volunteers repair homes for 400-500 low-income families in rural areas of Central Appalachia.
St. John’s has participated in the ASP Program for many years and annually sends work teams to Southern Virginia, Kentucky, West Virginia and Tennessee to work on homes. In 2008, St. John’s sponsored several teams of both youth and adults that traveled to Lesley County, Kentucky. St. John’s will once again participate in ASP during the summer of 2009. For additional information, please contact the church office. Additional information can be found at http://www.asphome.org/.
The Hermitage in Northern Virginia is a retirement community designed for active older adult’s age 62 or better and is owned and operated by Virginia United Methodist Homes, Inc. The Hermitage is located at 5000 Fairbanks Avenue in Alexandria, Virginia just minutes from St. John’s. Members of the St. John’s community are active participants in many of the programs available to residents at the Hermitage including presenting and promoting the Samaritan Program each year between Mother's Day and Father's Day, supporting the yearly bazaar, volunteering at the Strawberry Patch thrift shop and assisting with a birthday party for residents. For additional information, please contact the church office. Additional information can be found at http://www.hermitage-nova.com/.
Kairos Prison Ministry
Kairos Prison Ministry International, Inc. is the parent organization of a body of ministries addressing the spiritual needs of incarcerated men, women and children, their families and to those who work in the prison environment. In Kairos Programs for Incarcerated Men and Women, trained volunteer teams of men and women from the communities surrounding an institution present an introductory 3-day weekend, described as a short course in Christianity. Kairos Torch for Youthful Offenders offers unconditional love and acceptance, encouraging young men and women to share their life journey through participation in a long term mentoring process. Kairos Outside is a special weekend retreat designed to support the female loved ones of men and women who are or have been incarcerated.
Members of the St. John’s community are active participants in Kairos and support Kairos events by participating as volunteers or by baking cookies for Kairos events. For additional information, please contact the church office. Additional information can be found at http://www.kairosprisonministry.org.