Peace with Justice
Peace with Justice is a way United Methodists reflect the of shalom of the Bible. It calls the church to “strengthen its capacity to advocate publicly in communities and nations” throughout the world. The Peace with Justice initiative aims to make God’s shalom visible and active in people’s lives. One component of this is an annual offering and grants awarded to local churches working for justice.
Peace with Justice Sunday is May 26, 2024.
Peace with Justice After Action Report Form
Peace With Justice Grants
Peace with Justice is a way the Baltimore-Washington Conference shows its commitment to Social Justice Advocacy. This includes advocacy for: Voting Rights; Immigration Reform; Gun Violence Prevention Legislation Reforms; Human Trafficking, and other justice related concerns.
In accordance with the United Methodist Book of Discipline (¶ 263-5), “Peace with Justice witnesses to God’s demand for a faithful, just, disarmed, and secure world.” The Discipline further states that the Conference Peace with Justice funds be administered by the Annual Conference Board of Church and Society or equivalent structure. The Global Ministries Team is further guided by the United Methodist Social Principles.
Funding for this grant program is generated by the local churches through Peace with Justice (PWJ) offerings taken on Peace with Justice Sunday, or any Sunday a congregation allocates. Peace with Justice Sunday is one of the official denomination-wide Special Sundays. Fifty percent is retained for local PWJ ministries, and the remaining is available for denomination-wide ministries. The total amount of grant money available varies according to the size of the offerings taken each year. Grants of up to $2,000 are awarded annually.
PWJ grant applications will be considered based on the following requirements:
- Seek alternatives to individual, national, and international violence.
- Promote restorative justice, including sex trafficking and victims’ rights.
- Address root causes of gun violence and promote gun reform.
- Overcome human rights injustices, including race, ethnicity, immigration status, and gender and sexual orientation.
- Support environmental justice, focusing on health of the earth and its peoples.
Applications may be submitted to the BWC Annual Conference by a United Methodist local church, district, conference, or other affiliated organization, or an Ecumenical group/organization working with and through at least one United Methodist agency or organization.
Applications are due May 1.
Jones Memorial UMC
Brighter Day Ministries
College Park UMC
Mount Olive UMC
Bel Air UMC
Bethany Korean UMC
Brooklyn Community UMC
Capital Hill UMC
Cherry Hill UMC
Christ Church of the Deaf
College Park UMC
Douglas Memorial UMC
Emory Fellowship UMC
Epworth United Methodist Chapel
Flintstone Charge Food Pantry
Glen Mar UMC
Havre de Grace UMC
Hereford Faith & Life Church
Indian Head UMC
Jerusalem-Mt. Pleasant UMC
John Wesley UMC
La Plata UMC
Liberty Grove UMC
Lovely Lane UMC
Melville Chapel UMC
Memorial First India UMC
Millian Memorial UMC
Mount Olive UMC
Mount Zion UMC
Mount Zion UMC
Mt Zion UMC
Mt. Vernon UMC
New Market UMC
New Waverly UMC
Nottingham Myers UMC
Oxon Hill UMC
Perry Hall UMC
Piney Grove UMC
Pleasant Grove UMC
Poolesville Memorial UMC
Salem Baltimore Hispanic UMC
Sandy Mount UMC
Sharp Street Memorial UMC
Sharp Street UMC
Shiloh Community UMC
St. Andrew's UMC
St. James Memorial UMC
St. John UMC
St. John's UMC
St. Matthews UMC
St. Paul's UMC
Stone Chapel UMC
The Journey of Faith Church
Tom's Creek UMC
United Methodist Church of the Redeemer
Wesley Grove UMC
West Baltimore UMC
The Community Anti-violence Project
Hughes Memorial UMC, Washington D.C.
Makiyah Wilson was 10 when she was murdered on July 156, 2018. A member of Hughes Memorial UMC’s Community Anti-violence Project (C.A.P), Wilson “was killed when four hooded gunmen drove into her apartment complex and shot 70 rounds of ammunition with automatic assault weapons while she was outside playing in a courtyard located approximately 1,000 feet from our church,” said the Rev. Paul Johnson.
The community is still processing emotions of fear, anger, and disillusionment, Johnson said. But it’s all the more tragic given that “the death of Makiyah is just one occurrence in a long litany of violence in our community.”
To help address that violence, Hughes UMC joined with Howard University School of Law to begin an after-school program to help at-risk children and youth who live in the community surrounding the church.
Started in 2005, C.A.P works with children in need, recognizing and working with the challenges they face to achieve academically.
The District of Columbia Public School system “has historically been defined by sometimes stark racial and class divides. Poverty, food insecurity, housing insecurity and rampant violence are just some of the factors that negatively impact the academic performance of the children who live near Hughes Memorial UMC,” Johnson said. “It is unfair and unrealistic to expect impoverished children who are hungry, cold and scared to excel in school.”
The C.A.P. after-school program seeks to help the children who live around the church to dream big dreams and to achieve their dreams by preparing them holistically — physically, mentally, emotionally and intellectually.
Students participating in C.A.P. have shown improved reading scores and other advancements. But Johnson is also convinced that “in our community there is no peace because there is no justice, and there is no justice because there is no peace.” C.A.P. is committed to peace with justice.
The church is seeking partners to join them in this ministry.
Loaves and Fishes Food Ministry
Mt. Olive UMC, Randallstown
Loaves and Fishes at Mt. Olive UMC in Randallstown was actually started by women in the community who asked to use the church. In 2013, when the women had to drop out, 17 church members stepped up to ensure the ministry continued.
Today, approximately 20 volunteers serve a meal on the third Saturday of the month and provide a four-day a week food pantry. In a typical month, 90 meals are served and 110 bags of food are distributed with food that comes from the Maryland Food Bank.
The ministry is a uniquely intergenerational one. The youth play a vital role in helping pack the grocery bags and serving guests at the tables. Adults prepare the meals and sometimes even 80-year-old church members join in the ministry in a variety of ways.
“I love that our lay people, especially our youth, see what it means to be a true servant of God,” said Cynthia Taylor.
The area around the church is about 9% food secure, said Barbara Kirchhausen.
“Hunger is a basic need. We see children of all ages come to the Saturday meal. No one wants to see children hungry. … We are called to feed God’s sheep.
“At the end of every third Saturday, we are tired, but also blessed to be living God’s word in this ministry," Kirchhausen said. “We mean to see Jesus in every face and to reflect his love in our own.”
Summer Arts Camp
United Methodist Church of the Redeemer, Temple Hills
The Rev. Michael Parker is a trained vocalist. He often uses music, especially opera, to open up. “In art,” he said, “one is free to simply be.” He and his church members wanted to give that gift to the children of the community.
Redeemer’s Summer Art Camp, which runs from July 1 through Aug. 16, is done in partnership with the Leaders of Tomorrow Youth Center. The experience is designed to help children unleash their creative abilities through a variety of artistic expressions including drama, music, dance, visual arts and photography.
“We often see a connection between art and Peace with Justice,” Parker said. “Our children are able to not just build bridges, but be bridges of hope and change in our community. At the same time, we are carving out safe space for children who live in extremely at-risk communities to have positive, safe, community building activities and receive nutritious meals throughout the summer, which is the peak time for juvenile-related offenses.”
Parker and the leaders and the camp say they find joy in how the camp gives children the chance to see life from different lenses.
“One of children,” he said, “was extremely excited to embrace mosaic art, sharing with her mother that she was excited about creating something big with such small pieces.” An apt metaphor for Peace with Justice.
DC-MD Justice for Our Neighbors
Hughes United Methodist Church, Wheaton
Justice for Our Neighbors is a ministry supported by the Baltimore-Washington Conference that provides legal assistance to immigrants. Assisting these migrants is a matter of faith, said the Rev. Ken Hawes, director of the ministry’s board.
“Asylum seekers, torture survivors, and our immigrant brothers and sisters fleeing violence in other countries are arriving at the U.S. border, where they legally request protection, only to be told, ‘America is full,’” Hawes said. “They are then forced to wait in overcrowded, chaotic camps in Mexico, where U.S. attorneys cannot reach them to provide legal assistance and prepare them for their Credible Fear Interviews, an initial test that allows them to pursue asylum before a U.S. immigration judge.
The Peace with Justice grant provided funds to Angela Edman, the lead attorney for Justice for our Neighbors in this region, to travel to the border to teach and to learn.
Edman is “a deeply committed person of faith, who is passionate about doing justice, especially on behalf of those who are oppressed, abused and mistreated. She has made it her life’s work,” said Hawes. Her expertise is in legal cases involving asylum and torture. At the border, one of the things she’ll do is provide critical legal advice to those facing the Credible Fear interview.
“Peace with Justice,” said Hawes, begins by recognizing the dignity of each human begins as one made in the image of God. "Our work at DC-MD Justice for Neighbors demonstrates to the men, women and children we serve, that they have worth and value and strives to bring shalom to their lives."
Empowerment and Discipleship Project
Emory Grove UMC, Gaithersbug, and La Gloria, El Salvador
The third largest population of El Salvadorans in the world is within the bounds of the Baltimore-Washington Conference. Much of this community lives in Montgomery County, so, the Rev. Tim Warner reasoned, “If we want to grow as God’s church in Gaithersburg, we need to know what Jesus means in El Salvador.”
To explore what ministries Emory Grove might support, he traveled with a group from the Baltimore-Washington Conference to El Salvador, visiting La Gloria, near the town of Ahuahapan.
“It is a rural town,” he said, “where women are single because gang violence and addiction take their men. Few women have the opportunity for educational and economic advancement to begin with, and those who have children live under the constant threat of gang influence on their children. It is a desolate place in every sense of the word.”
The pastor at the church in La Gloria is a single mother. She shared with Warner her own sacrificial story and how she developed the church from the ground up among single mothers.
“When God moves most powerfully through us, our narrative becomes Gods narrative in us,” Warner said. “As she told her story of how they had scraped to get a new building up, complete with space for a commercial kitchen in which these women could learn to prepare food, to walk up the hundreds of stairs to generate income for themselves and their children, tears started coming to my eyes.
“I am the second son of a single mother, and by the grace of God alone, I have escaped a place and predicament not unlike La Gloria. Sometimes, in a moment like this, God steps out of eternity into our time. It was a moment of convicting connection, a clarion call from God about how to respond in a moment to the grace He has lavishly poured out on me,” he said.
Warner vowed to help provide the equipment for the commercial kitchen that would empower the women with training and employment opportunities. The Peace with Justice grant will assist with this.
“It is as true in El Salvador as it is in the U.S. that the best way to raise the stake of the unemployed is with a job,” Warner said. “The women and children in La Gloria are so vulnerable because they are so powerless. Being powerless in a culture pervaded by machismo, gang violence, and poverty is tantamount to a multi-generational death sentence.”
But bringing the Kingdom of God face-to-face with this systemic evil “is precisely what our baptismal vows commit us to,” Warner said. “Incarnational ministry that yields God’s shalom and wholeness, physical and spiritual, is what God requires of us.”
Centennial Advocates – Rev. Julie Wilson, Centennial Memorial UMC, Frederick
A core group of people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness will be trained in self-advocacy and other techniques for advocating for both their own needs and those of their peers. They will be given one-on-one coaching as well as real-world opportunities to practice their skills at the local and state level. Additional training and opportunities to practice advocacy will be available to the wider community as well.
The members of the core group are all persons who worship, attend Bible study, or
Furnishings for DC-MD JFON’s New Office – Sarah Gingold and Rev. Ken Hawes, Wheaton
DC–MD Justice for Our Neighbors provides free, high-quality, immigration legal services and a warm welcome to immigrants in our congregations and communities, encourages cross-cultural community building and promotes education for ministry and advocacy. In order to better serve our clients and expand our ministry, we are relocating our office and need to furnish the reception area so that a warm, hospitable atmosphere offered immediately upon entering our space.
New national policies are making it harder to seek asylum in the United States or taking away legal residency opportunities such as Temporary Protected Status, putting many more American residents at risk. By providing free legal aid and insisting on due process of law, we are defending not only our Christian but also our American values. Through the legal clinics at four area United Methodist congregations, volunteers participate by providing hospitality, building relationships with the clients we serve. We also raise awareness about the issue and advocate for policy reforms, to make it clear that immigrants, refugees
Shower Ministry and HOPE4ALL at Mt. Vernon Place UMC, Rev. Donna Claycomb Sokol, Washington, D.C.
Shower Ministry and HOPE4All provide opportunities to authentically engage with those who are experiencing homelessness. The HOPE in HOPE4ALL stands for Housing Opportunities and Permanent/Promising/PaidEmployment
The Shower Ministry which like HOPE 4 All is designed not only to meet immediate needs—offering showers, toiletries, basic and thermal undergarments, coffee, and pastries two teams each week—also serves as a safe place for the development of an intentional community. For volunteers, facilitators, and those receiving services, these two ministries have created a grassroots network of people that can be mobilized to promote and support policies that address systemic poverty and racism.
The Community Anti-Violence Program at Hughes Memorial United Methodist Church
C.A.P.provides after-school tutoring and mentoring for children and youth who are vulnerable to the trauma of poverty and violence in their community. The Peace with Justice grant, which was awarded to Hughes for the second year in a row, is used to partially offset the cost of stipends to Howard University students who serve as mentors/tutors. The primary objective of C.A.P. is to show children and youth the love of God by providing them with mentoring, tutoring and a healthy meal. C.A.P. meets every Tuesday from August through May. The ministry partners with Campus Kitchens, which prepares and delivers the meals.
COVID-19 Church & Community Equity Grant
Following Jesus’ example of servant leadership, we were called to build a Beloved Community to ensure equity, resilience, agency, justice, and human flourishing guided by our Wesleyan vision for social holiness. Toward that end, the Baltimore-Washington Conference offered a 2021 year-end COVID-19 Church and Community Equity Grant. This microgrant sought to alleviate hardship and realize congregational and community equity among persons who are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. This serves as a step toward creating greater equity in and beyond the walls of our local congregations as we live the gospel of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
Capitol Hill United Methodist Church
Capitol Hill United Methodist Church (CHUMC) was awarded a Covid-19 Church and Community Equity Grant in December 2021 to support our outdoor worship service through upgrading the technology used for this service.
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown, CHUMC initiated an outdoor worship service primarily designed to meet the needs of our Capitol Hill neighbors experiencing homelessness. For this portion of our CHUMC community, turning to on-line worship was not an option, as the church pivoted to video-streaming of worship services through Facebook and the church’s website. For those living on the street and/or lacking internet access, such worship services were not accessible to them. In response to this need, we launched an outdoor, 9:30 am Sunday morning worship service that took place on the church’s parking lot. In addition, the usual Sunday Café meal that was served after worship in our fellowship hall was also moved outdoors, served in a “grab-and-go” (safe and socially-distanced) style from the church parking lot.
In order to improve the quality of this outdoor worship, we proposed upgrading the technology we use to make this worship possible. Specifically, we requested improvements to our television monitor, speakers and microphones. As we have continued this service, we realized the need for live music and have decided that in addition, we will purchase a portable keyboard so that we can produce live music for the outdoor worship as well.
Emmanuel United Methodist Church
With their portion of the grant, Emmanuel UMC plans to purchase iPads and tripods to use during our eventual hybrid service. So that there would be some interaction with those at home during our hybrid service, it was decided that an iPad would be stationed at each speaking post (pulpit, lectern, choir, ASL interpreter) and that we would log these into Zoom to spotlight them during the service. This will allow those at home to see speakers up close. Emmanuel UMC will also continue to use their wide shot in the back of the church to capture anything that happens outside of the speaking zones. Additionally, the ESL Ministry at Emmanuel UMC has used a portion of the grant money to purchase an online ESL curriculum through Off2Class. The curriculum provides lesson plans and resources to help students at all language proficiency levels.
Four Church Collaborative
Community UMC, Douglas UMC. Mt. Vernon UMC, Petworth UMC
The purpose of this FCC Ministry (Community, Douglas, Mt. Vernon, and Petworth UMC) is to serve as the hands and feet of our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ in 4 Corners of DC.
The FCC will join together to be a light to our beloved brethren who have lost their way amidst the challenges that have intensified as COVID 19 impacts the least, the lost and the marginalized. We want to serve our communities with a healing ministry that provides hot meals, groceries, and fresh produce to nourish the physical body. We also will put in place platforms where the gospel is preached in every outreach ministry, including communion, and ministering to those who have suffered losses due to deaths. We will make inroads directly to those who need immediate and ongoing assistance in their time of need. Outreach will be in the form of Worship and thanksgiving whenever the opportunity is presented; in the form of joining with our beloved community in silent contemplation; being available to take care of a family, brother, or sister and through sharing resources on an emergency and long-term basis to meet people where they are in their time of need..
A vital component of our collaborative ministry is developing connections with other organizations to help address the needs of the communities in the 4 corners of Washington DC and to expand our services beyond addressing the food desert. We feel it is critical to also begin the process of educating our beloved with knowledge, i.e., having a vessel that is to be treated as holy and filled with and nurtured in body, mind, and spirit. We will include those who have been labeled because of their status as Veterans, gender preference, age, and race. We have witnessed that those so labeled often do not get even the basic necessities. We intend to start here.
We strive to come from the place where we recognize that all are our brothers and sisters. We are modeling the early church that had the mindset that “They were all in this together …and gave to anyone as he had need (Acts 2:44b,45:b).”
We want to expand and continue to help and be of service. We want to provide proper clothing in winter months, provide educational training on mental health, financial stability, and healthy eating habits. We need to upgrade our technology capabilities so that we can use social media platforms to reach further into the community. We recognize and have witnessed that knowledge is a powerful tool. The intent of the FCC will include our inner-city children, young men, and women at the tender age of pre adulthood. We will encourage and train our beloved community to know what to do in any given situation, including when they encounter institutional racism, employment issues (ranging from providing basic necessities, appropriate clothes for successful interviewing and the skills needed to interview well.) We will set a platform where our young people hear truths relevant to their concerns. We want to reach out to those who are physically incarcerated and help lighten the load on their families left behind. We want to reach out to our young people and provide programs and opportunities where they see hope when they look in the mirror thinking about their future. We will advocate and teach what is so truly important - to do more than just thrive to succeed and reach their potential. We can address that with simple changes in diet and their chosen environments as we support families and those marginalized on the edges of society. with evidenced based groups that nurture body and spirit.
We want to strengthen our bridge in the community and continue to meet basic needs of those who deserve to be seen. We want to not only continue with our current partners but expand further to increase the funds available for new outreach and continue to fund the projects currently in place. We want to ensure longevity as well as sustainability.
Our ultimate goal, knowing that we can go further to assist with the basic needs that nurture the body, the spirit, and the mind. More than being the “Good Samaritan,” we can, and we will faithfully, actively, and visibly be the hands and feet for Jesus the Christ our Lord.
Hughes United Methodist Church
At Hughes United Methodist Church, funds were used for our COVID-19 Test Kits project. The church was able to purchase COVID-19 kits for people to test themselves at home. Tests were distributed to people who attended their COVID-19 prevention services, so they could self-test without fear of infecting others on the outside. This was an effective way of preventing the spread of the virus by keeping people at home to verify their condition instead of venturing to clinics. The church aims to reduce the COVID-19 spread among families within our community.
Mission Central Parish
Frames Memorial UMC, Poplar Grove UMC, Texas UMC, Ebenezer UMC, Cranberry UMC, Presbury UMC, Cokesbury UMC, Smith’s Chapel UMC, Fallston UMC.
It is clear from data that the summer learning gap grew during the covid pandemic. Elementary-aged children have been impacted significantly and particularly those in Title 1 schools. Our goal is to provide free tutoring and support for families in need within the schools. It was announced that this summer again, the tutoring offered by the schools in Harford County will be all virtual. We will provide in-person tutoring for 60 children along with providing them takeaways each week that will be helpful such as school supplies, groceries, etc. We also will provide meals for the whole family for the three nights each week the tutoring center is open. The other important goal for us is to teach parents how to teach their children. Based on evaluation and feedback from families, the children gained immediate confidence in their learning ability and we have anecdotal evidence from several families that it made a huge difference. One note we received thanked us because she received straight A’s on her report card for the first time ever.
New Waverly United Methodist Church
New Waverly United Methodist Church applied for funding to continue the expansion of their audio and visual equipment for programs and services and to launch their monthly, "3rd on 33rd" workshops for the youth. Their first meeting will take place on March 12th, 2022.
New Waverly UMC wants to create a safe space for youth and young adults to express their concerns, worries, and their fears. This will be a platform where everyone can listen and interact with inspirational speakers in a non-threatening venue. The speakers will be from all walks of life including mental health, addiction counseling, drug and all rehab activists, previously incarcerated, and those struggling with self-image issues. It will include a communal meal where everyone is invited to share. Crisis intervention specialists will also be available when the need arises. They plan to use social media and neighborhood entities to spread the word.
The church is very active in the community. Last year they provided Grab & Go meals; free clothing boutique; food pantry; meals and medical kits for the homeless; Thanksgiving meals for the needy; benevolence fund to assist with rent and utilities; back to school supplies for youth; partnership with University of Maryland's Project Heal program to provide COVID information, access to vaccination services and hosting onsite health counselors. They also provided toys for twenty-five families through the Toys for Tots program and donated winter clothing items to the Baltimore Rescue Mission.
Oak Chapel United Methodist Church
The Oak Chapel United Ministries (OCUM) is the official outreach arm of the Oak Chapel United Methodist Church. Oak Chapel UMC has been in the same location on Layhill Road since 1886. Throughout the years the church has always looked for new ways to serve the community whether it be via education, food assistance or a safe space for people in need. Oak Chapel UMC is a diverse congregation that takes pride in their racial and ethnic diversity which provides a greater understanding of our community needs.
For many years the church ran a little food pantry, however at the onset of the pandemic, we were forced to shut it down. We reached out to our local elected officials in the summer of 2020 and offered our help in whatever way would be needed. We were invited to become a food hub for the 20906 zip code. We accepted the invite and since October of 2020 we have run the OCUM Hub (OCUMH). The mission of the OCUMH is to reach out to our community providing food and other resources to those in need in the greater 20906 community. Since October 2020, the OCUMH has been providing essential items of no charge, such as food, diapers, social services, and COVID-19 health and safety supplies. In the past 2.5 years we have provided food weekly through a drive thru distribution, off site partnerships with apartment complexes and an elementary school, as well as home deliveries.
We received a COVID-19 Church and Community Equity Grant from the Baltimore Washington Conference in 2021 and used the designated funds to buy deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, bar soap, adult diapers, baby wipes, and COVID-19 at home tests. Our case manager had informed us that many of these items were being requested by clients, so we wanted to ensure that the need for these basic items was addressed.
The supplies were given to our clients most in need in the 20906 area, such as those who were quarantined due to COVID-19, elderly folks who are homebound and in need of continence supplies, and mothers with young children who rely on the Oak Chapel Hub for diapers and baby supplies. The 20906 zip code in Silver Spring is one of the communities most affected by the pandemic because of the high number of low-income residents and immigrants. Further, this area has residents who worked in fields that the COVID-19 pandemic especially impacted.
The grant funds received from the BWC assisted our mission to provide essential item access to the most vulnerable in our immediate community. Through our work at the Oak Chapel UMC Hub, we live out our Christian vocation to be the hands and feet of Christ by caring for others in their moments of need.
Sharp Street United Methodist Church
Sharp Street purchased an Apple Laptop as the version the church had was outdated and a member’s laptop was on loan to us. This purchase has enabled us to produce documents for virtual worship that can be shared via Zoom or Facebook. We have reestablished a weekly newsletter distributed via email to members. The opportunity for the grant allowed us to “reach people wherever they are. The preached word is going out. The virtual worship experience also has evangelistic opportunities as well to reach those who do not come into the church building. As we have returned to the church building as of 3/6, we will continue both in-person and virtual worship.
Lastly, our purchase of the laptop has ignited creativity in how ministries can work. Our Food Panty serving the community to help reduce community food insufficiencies now has a QR code by which those coming to the pantry use their phones to scan the code and register. The registration documents can be reviewed and stored by the committee for reference regarding food supply and individual family need.
St. Luke United Methodist Church (Scotland, MD)
Planting, Watering & Harvesting Disciples for Jesus Christ
The name of our project comes from Matthew 9:35 “Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore, pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” The mission of St. Luke is to supply believers and supporters to serve our Lord and Savior within the community. By serving the community through worship and fellowship we are able to manifest the presence and love of Jesus. St. Luke was cognizant that COVID-19 was detrimental to many friends and families in the surrounding area which affected their spirit, financials, and basic needs. For 2021, St. Luke’s goal focused on planting, watering and harvesting our community.
Our first mission at the beginning of the year was the WARM program. WARM stands for Wrapping Arms 'Round Many and provides up to 25 homeless men and women with a warm, dry, safe place to be nightly during the cold winter months. Due to COVID-19, St. Luke was not able to assist by providing shelter like previous years. However, our congregation still came together to support the program through essential and monetary donations.
In the Spring and Summer, St. Luke tended to our youth and graduates. Again, due to COVID-19, our graduates were not be able to experience the full effect of having a senior graduation and all that comes with closing out such an important accomplishment. Our church has many young adults that went off or returned to college at the end of summer. Saying “see you later” and knowing some of our members would not return until the holiday’s was bitter sweet. To congratulate our Seniors and celebrate their achievements, we decided to encourage our members to surprise our graduates with gifts. Each graduate gave a little information about themselves and St. Luke, as a body of Christ, successfully showered our graduates by sending gifts through the mail, scheduling a time to safely meet and drop off gifts in person, or by congratulating them virtually. Our youth is our future, and we always pray for their safe return.
In the fall, we had a wonderful opportunity to be a blessing to our community. The St. Mary's Caring Soup Kitchen wanted to create and distribute Thanksgiving baskets to families in our area. St. Luke asked for food drive donations from members and local friends and family to be dropped off to the church. We were able to graciously fill up the truck bed of our Administrative Council President! St. Mary's Caring Soup Kitchen was very grateful for our assistance.
In December, St. Luke decided to end our community outreach with a bang. We joined in with not 1 but 3 programs in the last month of the year. The first weekend of the month included a Coat and Blanket Drive. WARM was not able to carry out their traditional program again this winter, so our church decided to find other ways to help the homeless or those in need in the area. Members and friends were asked to donate new and/or washed, gently used coats and blankets. We had about 4 trunk loads of items. The following weekend, our members contributed to Building Bridges Annual Stocking Drive. Building Bridges is a Black, female run non-profit centered around mentoring at-risk youth in the community. The stocking drive included donating items for Christmas stockings as well as volunteering to stuff stockings for the children of Lexington Park Elementary School. Finally, the weekend before Christmas, St. Luke honored the Veterans buried at our cemetery by laying a wreath at their grave site through a program called Wreaths Across America.
Giving is not just about making a donation, it’s about making a difference. The reward is positively impacting the lives of those in our community. The challenges faced by our locals are increasing. More and more individuals need help making ends meet or spiritual uplifting. We, as a Christian community, must use our faith, talents and resources to plant, water and harvest Disciples for Jesus Christ.
Stone Chapel UMC
Lovely Lane UMC
St. James Memorial UMC
Poolesville Memorial UMC
St. John's UMC
Hughes Memorial UMC
Perry Hall UMC
Sandy Mount UMC
Bel Air UMC
New Market UMC
Pleasant Grove UMC
Wesley Grove UMC
Wesley Chapel UMC
Oxon Hill UMC
Mount Olive UMC
Memorial First India UMC
The Journey of Faith UMC
West Baltimore UMC
Shiloh Community UMC
Jerusalem-Mt. Pleasant UMC
- Faith in Action article on gun violence Bible study, “Kingdom Dreams, Violent Realities.” Download the three-session study for free
- Advocacy packet for use in local congregations: Working for a Just and Lasting Peace in Israel and Palestine
- Peace, Peacebuilding
andPeacelearning: A Holistic Introduction — 90-day study guide for peace builders of all ages
- Article: Peace on the Land, The Bible
- Peace with Justice Covenant Congregation Workbook