“Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”
As a parish in the greater Washington area, we are shaped by the international nature of DC area residents and much of their work. Our eyes are constantly being lifted beyond the needs of our local community to those in need around the world.
One form that has taken is a medical mission trip to Chantal, Haiti each winter. Members of our congregation with medical backgrounds spend a week working with children and adults at a local hospital. Each year, the broader congregation does a drive for over-the-counter medications and vitamins which are brought to Chantal where they greatly improve the quality of life for people there. In 2017 we collected enough medication to treat 1,500 adults and children and enough money to purchase food for 300 families.
We feel especially called by Jesus’s command to welcome the stranger among us, particularly in the form of refugees at this time of an international refugee crisis. Our Refugee Support Ministry focuses on education and resettlement work. We partner with Lutheran Social Services to set up apartments for families that have recently been relocated to the United States, and we partner with Homestretch to sponsor a family of five Iraqi Kurds who arrived in January of 2017. Our congregation provides tutoring, transportation, and job search support for the family while we help them get on their feet in their new home country.
During a series of conversations around the development of our new parish vision and mission, it became clear that the congregation is interested in becoming more involved in service on an international level, and we are discerning what the next steps might be.
If you have any questions about how The Falls Church serves the world, please contact the Outreach Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.