Outreach

As a congregation, St. Mary’s views outreach as central to the Christian mission.

From Leviticus to Corinthians to Jesus’ life in the four Gospels, Holy Scripture is filled with examples of mission and outreach. So are the liturgies of the church. Nowhere is this clearer than in the Baptismal Covenant. There is one part of the covenant that summarizes the importance of mission and outreach: “Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?”

In keeping with that spirit, St. Mary’s has committed 25 percent of its annual budget to outreach since the early 1990s.

From Arlington and Washington, D.C., to Sudan and Tanzania, St. Mary’s and its parishioners assist those in need in a variety of ways. Assistance takes the form of direct community action, volunteer work, or the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC). St. Mary’s provides financial support, leadership, and community, such as with Samaritan Ministry, L’Arche or the Culmore Clinic.

For more information about Outreach contact: Ned Leonard

Parishioner time, talent and funds currently support the following organizations:

Community action

Virginia’s Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement (VOICE) – Co-founded by St. Mary’s in 2008, VOICE is a multi-faith, non-partisan organization dedicated to organizing citizens to bring about social change, such as access to affordable housing, health care and child care in Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax and Prince William County.

Food assistance

Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC) – A community-based, non-profit organization, AFAC provides supplemental groceries to Arlington neighbors in need. St. Mary’s provides Thanksgiving meal bags and food to keep the pantry stocked with essential perishables like eggs, milk, and chicken, and to secure funds for its current facility in Shirlington.

So Others Might Eat (SOME)  – SOME offers an array of services, from meals, showers and medical attention to clothes, toiletries and access to additional education and career services.  St. Mary’s grants help keep SOME’s doors open so those in need can be fed. Volunteers from St. Mary’s cook and serve breakfast two Mondays a month to as many as 400 people at each sitting.

Healthcare

Arlington Free Clinic – The clinic fills a critical gap in basic medical services to those in need in Arlington and has been supported by St. Mary’s since 1994 through volunteer work, board service, and financial aid – including funds for the clinic’s Nurse Practitioner Program, and more recently, the organization’s mental health program.

Arlington Pediatric Center – The organization provides consistent, comprehensive, affordable, quality health care to children through 18 years of age in Arlington County with family incomes at or below 200% of the federal poverty level.

Culmore Clinic – Founded by a multi-faith collaborative in 2007, the clinic provides health care access in the Bailey’s Crossroads area including nearly 1,200 patient visits and more than $1.3 million in donated services and time annually.

Housing

Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (APAH) – Founded in 1989, APAH is a nonprofit developer dedicated to developing, preserving and owning quality affordable housing in Arlington; this is a goal St. Mary’s has supported for years through volunteering, advocacy, and financial aid.

Culpepper Garden – A nonprofit retirement housing community, Culpeper Garden provides low and moderate-income seniors ages 62 and older with an affordable housing option.

Doorways for Women and Families – This organization provides women and families a nurturing, confidential and secure home where they can escape domestic violence and homelessness and receive holistic services that provide the best chance for long-term success.

Friends of Guest House – Founded in 1974, Guest House provides female ex-offenders with comprehensive support for a successful transition, including housing – the only program of its kind for women in Northern Virginia.

L’Arche – This inter-denominational Christian community welcomes people of all backgrounds to share life together, centered around four communal homes and 16 members who have intellectual disabilities, known as “core people.”

Rebuilding Together – Coordinated by the St. Joseph’s Ministry at St. Mary’s, this annual event helps an elderly homeowner in Arlington by making accessibility modifications, energy upgrades and critical repairs to the resident’s home.

Human trafficking

Courtney’s House – This organization offers comprehensive services, including extensive counseling, therapy, mentoring, and academic tutoring to children and teens victimized by the domestic sex trafficking trade.

International partnerships

Carpenter’s Kids – This program in Tanzania ensures that “Carpenter’s Kids” receive a school uniform, a pair of shoes, adequate school supplies and breakfast to enable them to attend primary school.

The Episcopal Church of the Sudan – AFRECS fosters a network of people and organizations interested in assisting and being in a relationship with, our brothers and sisters in the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan.  St. Mary’s raised monies to help build the Cathedral in the Diocese of Renk.

Personal crisis

PRS CrisisLink – Started in 1969, CrisisLink offers 24-hour hotline access to skilled, compassionate listening, as well as comprehensive crisis prevention, intervention and response programs.

Lay Assistance Program – Administered by St. Mary’s, the program offers those in need with small one-time grants to cover an expense in an emergency, such as a utility bill, rent payment or something similar.

Transitional services

Jubilee Jobs – The organization is a non-profit, workforce, development group committed to helping the poor, disadvantaged and unemployed in the metro area obtain jobs and guide them in moving beyond poverty toward sustained self-sufficiency.

Samaritan Ministry of Greater Washington – Founded by 12 Episcopal churches in 1986, the ministry is a community partnership between homeless people and others in need, with support and volunteers from churches, including St. Mary’s, to improve the lives of all. Goals include: promoting awareness of community needs, fostering partnerships at all levels, breaking down barriers imposed by poverty and developing participants’ abilities to help themselves to better lives.

Offender Aid and Restoration (OAR) – OAR is a community-based, restorative, justice organization, blending compassion and accountability to assist offenders in leading productive and responsible lives, to the benefit of all.

Together We Bake – Together We Bake is a comprehensive, workforce training and personal development program for formerly incarcerated women looking for an opportunity in the food industry, from bakers and chefs to marketing and business.

Youth

Sprout Therapeutic Riding and Education Center – The stables seek to raise public awareness about special needs and to provide dynamic learning, recreation, socialization and therapy opportunities for individuals and groups in a farm environment.

YMCA Arlington – The Y puts Christian principles into practice through extensive youth programming that builds healthy spirit, mind, and body for all.

The Outreach Committee:

  • Donice Gilliand (Chair)
  • Ned Leonard (Outreach Coordinator)
  • Patty Balestrieri
  • Sue Covucci
  • Mindel de la Torre
  • Margot Ellis
  • Lisa Liebel
  • Steve Ridenhour
  • Suzanne Stroup
  • Grace Stroup (Youth representative)
  • Sophie Zavada
  • Elizabeth Bruington
  • Paige McKenzie