Missions has been posting information to our Harmony Church Facebook page as a communication platform to keep our church family informed and engaged. Realizing not everyone utilizes Facebook, we are sharing this information through our church newsletter as well.
HUMC and the Ukraine
As Pastor Debra pointed out during a recent Children’s Message, there are many needs in the world and so many ways we at Harmony help across a range of mission opportunities. Recently, you donated $1,000 to help Afghan refugees in Loudoun County and we have a scheduled donation of $2,000 to Inspiritus, a faith-based long-term recovery effort on the UMVIM projects list that provides resources to disaster victims in Tennessee. Your Missions Team carefully considers how to dedicate HUMC resources and relies on our United Methodist Church and trusted sources to ensure we are good stewards of your faithful giving.
During this week’s service, you’ll be hearing about two developing programs we’ll be supporting:
Prison Fellowship International in the Ukraine: Prison Fellowship International in Ukraine: In the middle of the war with Russia, PFI continues its work in ministry to prisoners, their families, ex-prisoners, victims, and prison administrators. This group of people are often overlooked and yet, their concerns may be greater during the conflict as their access to information and their safety may be compromised.
PFI can be a comfort and support with their established relationships and persistent message of hope in the midst of despair. Millions of dollars are flowing into organizations assisting with life-saving medicines, food, and clean water. What’s not in place are support efforts for what comes next, for when the rebuilding begins. These long-term efforts are where Prison Fellowship International will be, as the ongoing needs will be significant. With your help, we will be there to continue sharing the Gospel with prisoners and their families.
HUMC will be making a $500 donation to PFI from the Mission budget and we encourage each of you to consider donating to PFI via their web site at www.pfi.org. To learn more about PFI’s work in Europe and Central Asia, which includes Ukraine, visit: https://pfi.org/global-impact/stories-of-hope/pf-staff-and-volunteers-aid-ukraine/
UMCOR Advance #982450: The United Methodist Committee on Relief has a special section on help for the Ukraine at: https://umcmission.org/umcor/ukraine/ Your Mission Committee is considering fundraising and direct donation opportunities to UMCOR over the next few weeks. We’ll be inviting you to join in as these efforts are organized. Meanwhile, please visit the web site for more information. Our United Methodist Church has a strong track record of being quick to respond but also having a lot of “staying power.” Help for people in the Ukraine as well as future potential refugees will be a long-term commitment for the UMC and we will be taking guidance from the District as it evolves.
Community Food Pantry
Thank you to all of the kind folks who provide non-perishable food items, check on, and stock the Ted Cody Memorial Food Pantry just outside Driscoll Hall. You can sign up to join in the Pantry project by clicking on the link on the website or from the Friday email.
Pennies for Potatoes
Look for the big water jugs by HUMC’s doorways to drop off your contributions. Because “spare change” may not be as readily available in our move to cashless payments, you can also donate directly to the Society of St. Andrews at. https://endhunger.org/. Mary Preston collects up our loose change and donates it to the Society of St. Andrews that, as of November 2021, had shared 49,527,057 servings of fresh food with soup kitchens, food banks and pantries, low-income housing projects, etc. across the US.
Annual Conference – Harmony Collection
It’s that time of year when churches start collecting items for annual conference in June!
In the past, we would carry items to the Conference but this year they are trying to streamline the process for everyone. We are tracking what Harmony collects and donates to share totals by church and district at annual conference. Your help is needed to collect items to donate. Your help is also needed on June 4th at Duncan Memorial UMC in Berryville to count and package each item the churches in our district drops off and donates. Please see Verviers and information below. A donation box will be set up in Driscoll Hall beginning May 1st for collections. You can pick up a list of items needed on the table outside the sanctuary or in the social hall by the missions table.
Mission Trip Opportunity
Front Royal UMC and Harmony join to support Appalachia Service Project
Harmony members are invited to join the FRUMC Mission Trip the week of June 12 as we visit the town of Rupert in Greenbrier County, WV. We will be preparing the homes for renovations and assisting with site preparations. This could include painting, wood preparation, and also light replacements of walls, roofing, flooring, and/ or siding. Specific tasks will be assigned closer to the time of the visit.
If you are interested in joining in, please provide the name, e-mail address, and cell phone number of each adult who is interested and the name and parent/ guardian contact information of each child who is interested. Details and logistics for the trip will be shared by the team leader from FRUMC, Sean Coffron. Thanks for letting Becky Haines (firstname.lastname@example.org; 703-475-7897) know if you are interested and for sharing the information requested. There is a $350 registration fee per participant. If you need financial support for the trip, please let Becky know when you share your contact details.
HUMC Visit to Johnson Williams Apartments
On April 2, members of the HUMC Missions Team and Confirmation Class visited with residents at Johnson Williams Apartments JWA) in Berryville, VA. As noted in our recent highlight about this regional TOP-associated mission, JWA is an apartment complex is a residence for elderly low-income individuals and is part of our congregation’s commitment to meeting the very real physical and emotional needs of this underserved community in our region. Judy Fry, Judy’s daughter Kim Fry, Roxanne Tipton, and Evelyn McCann and her dad rounded out the team representing Harmony. They delivered hygiene items, Easter goodie bags, and refreshments to the residents. Judy reported that, “the residents were waiting for us when we arrived and some helped us to unload and take the items to the Community Room. This is always a rewarding experience for us to see the excitement generated from our visit.” The supplies are purchased through your consistent giving and would not be possible without our congregation’s financial support throughout the year. We’re hoping to see our JWA friends again in July or August and share some of the season’s bounty with fresh fruits and vegetables. With your support, we plan to make a total of four visits this year as part of our ongoing relationship with JWA residents.
Missions Card Outreach to College Students
Did you know that according to Pew Research (https://www.pewresearch.org/religion/2015/05/12/americas-changing-religious-landscape/), “fewer than six-in-ten Millennials identify with any branch of Christianity, compared with seven-in-ten or more among older generations, including Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers.?” The article linked above is an interesting read published in 2015 based on 2014 data unlikely to have changed in the last 8 years. As students move away from home, a variety of studies have shown that there is higher potential for them to fall away from their church community as they seek meaningful social connections elsewhere.
It’s in the context of this challenging trend that your Harmony Missions Team, led by Judy Fry and Roxanne Tipton, has been conducting outreach to HUMC-based college students for several years. Throughout the year, and at holiday times, Judy and Roxanne request an updated address list for our far-flung student members from Robin Good, our church administrative assistant. Then they write personalized and loving notes to each student member to let them know that their HUMC family is thinking of them and praying for them and their future success. Sometimes they include cheery items like magnets or photos to help our students stay connected with our church during this busy time in their lives. Our students have reported that they are happy to receive in-real-life mail at a time when so much of our communication is digital.
You can help support this terrific outreach mission by making sure that you have updated your student’s address with Robin. Thanks!
From 2020 to 2021, homelessness in LoCo declined 55.3% according to the annual point-in-time survey. This survey may not accurately count all homeless in LoCo, especially those who don’t want to be found. Sources: https://www.loudoun.gov/pointintime
- HUMC has been a long-time partner with the Loudoun County Cold Weather/Hypothermia Shelter (CWS)
- HUMC volunteers provide breakfast 1X a week between November and March to adult overnight guests.
- This year, HUMC donated $1,000 in gift cards to the shelter for guest use.
- Previously managed by Volunteers of America, LoCo now contracts with Shelter, Inc. to operate the services at the location off Sycolin Rd. near the Leesburg Airport.
- HUMC is one of a number of organizations and churches that support the CWS connecting us with the community.
Thank you to all of our members and the Ruritans for your support for the 2021-2022 Cold Weather Shelter
Community Giving Report
As part of our service and outreach mission, HUMC supports causes and organizations internationally, regionally, and locally. Your Missions Committee will provide a periodic report featuring the ways your faithful contributions are working in our community.
Our Lenten devotions explore the Lord’s Prayer and we focus on the beginning of this familiar prayer and the full meaning of “Our Father.” We are called to love one another as a family no matter the circumstances. It is with this commandment in mind that we have developed our long-term relationship with the Backpack Buddies Program in Loudoun and families and children in need at Hamilton and Lincoln Elementary Schools. And we are not alone in this work. Many organizations and individuals collaborate across a variety of school-based food distribution programs to ensure children can access nutritious meals. There are so many ways we can connect with our communities and work here on earth to help anyone in need, anyone who is hungry, and anyone who is hurting, as we prepare to meet Our Father in heaven.
- For several years HUMC members have provided food to school children on weekends and during school breaks.
- Fifteen volunteers take on weekly shopping and delivery to meet our community need.
- HUMC’s Youth Group also helps with sorting and packing the bags
- Working with Hamilton and Lincoln Elementary School Parent Liaisons, families can confidentially receive aid to ensure their children don’t go hungry.
- HUMC works locally but Backpack Buddy programs exist in a variety of forms across the U.S., e.g. via Feeding America.
- You can learn how to join in from our team lead, Roxanne Tipton.
- You can learn more about Backpack Buddies Loudoun at https://www.bbfloudoun.org/about-us and Feeding America’s national efforts at: https://www.feedingamerica.org/our-work/hunger-relief-programs/backpack-program
Community Giving Report
This past week’s Lent lesson focus has been on the third section of the Lord’s Prayer, “Give us this day our daily bread.” Pastor Debra encouraged the Monday evening class to consider the use of the collective pronoun “our” when we pray, noting that we are not just praying for ourselves but also for others to receive just what they may need in their lives. And, in the spirit of “ora et labora,” Adam Hamilton, the author of our study guide, quipped that we hadn’t woken up to angels scattering manna on our lawns lately and that most angels don’t have wings. The Lord’s Prayer is a call to those of us who have more than enough of our literal daily bread to seek out the spiritual manna of that provides faith and fulfillment by ensuring that all in our community receive their daily bread.
HUMC and Teens Opposing Poverty: Leadership across generations
Teens Opposing Poverty (TOP) began in 1987 at Pleasant Valley United Methodist Church with outreach to homeless people in Washington, DC. In 2005, the group expanded to cities in Virginia serving the homeless as well as seniors in subsidized housing and low-income homeowners who cannot pay for repairs. TOP brings together over 1,000 volunteers from over 50+ youth groups, including Harmony’s, to serve low-income people. HUMC’s youth and congregation have helped homeless people in Washington, DC in partnership with DC TOP for almost a decade and have conducted service projects and visits (like the one coming up on April 2) with Johnson Williams Apartments (JWA) in Berryville, VA. JWA is a low-income residence for seniors developed in the early 1990s in a refurbished historical building built originally in 1928 to house a training program and high school for Black students.
- HUMC donated winter clothing and gift cards to DC TOP in November 2021
- HUMC volunteers conduct regular visits to Johnson-Williams Apartments including one coming up on April 2
- Our HUMC congregation made a $1,000 financial contribution to the Teens Opposing Poverty Ministry in 2021
To learn more about the JWA visit on April 2, please contact Judy Fry or Roxanne Tipton.
HUMC at Johnson Williams Apartments, a relationship fostered our HUMC teen members and TOP
DC TOP homeless community outreach
HUMC works continually with the Salvation Army Potomac Division. You can learn more about their work, donate to support their community efforts, and volunteer with them by visiting: https://salvationarmysouth.org/
Mobile Hope Stays committed to their “Listen for the Honk” program while at the same time helping at risk youth in our community. Visit https://mobile-hope.org/
Loudoun Hunger Relief (LHR):
LHR continues to work urgently to make sure that they are able to serve everyone who comes to them for food. Visit https://www.loudounhunger.org/ to see opportunities for donating time, food, money.
Tree of Life:
Tree of Life Ministries is available during this challenging time. They provide food deliveries, food to-go meals, and a food pantry. Contact and email information is listed at http://tolministries.org/food-purcellville.html as well as information about volunteering and donations.
Society of St. Andrew (SoSA):
SoSA’s mission statement is simple: to bring people together to harvest and share healthy food, reduce food waste, and build caring communities by offering nourishment to neighbors. Visit https://endhunger.org/ for the opportunity to donate.
Loudoun Abused Women’s Shelter (LAWS):
LAWS’ commitment to provide free and confidential services for anyone who has experienced domestic violence, sexual assault, or child abuse. If anyone is aware of anyone in need, share with them the LAWS’ HOTLINE number 703-777-6552. For opportunities to donate to this important community resource, visit https://www.lcsj.org/donate-to-laws/
COVID-19: Loudoun County’s Response:
During this time of community need, residents, businesses and government are pulling together to respond. Here are suggestions for what you can do to help your neighbors, as well what the county is doing in response to the crisis. https://www.loudoun.gov/5322/COVID-19-Loudoun-Countys-Response
Pet Pantry Serves Fuzzy Family Members
Loudoun County Animal Services, Loudoun Hunger Relief and the Humane Society of Loudoun County have partnered since 2013 on a pet pantry to help people who can’t afford to feed their dogs and cats. And just like the human food pantry, the pet pantry has seen a surge in demand at the same time that donations and fundraising became more difficult.
Are you interested in donating to pet food pantries visit the web site at: https://www.loudoun.gov/3020/Pet-Pantry to learn more
HUMC’s Missions MinistryOur Missions Ministry encourages the people of Harmony UMC to contribute to missionary service under the direction of God. The Missions Committee works to make the greatest use of the Lord’s resources for mission efforts by supporting donations/collections and outreach/Mission Trips in three areas: Local, US, and International.Harmony UMC has a passion for leading people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. We are committed to serve inside and outside of our church walls. We believe when people engage in service, it leads new friendships, life changing experiences, and growth in your relationship with Jesus.
The Missions Committee maintains mission policy, plans for mission opportunities and projects, develops and promotes means for involvement in missions, monitors activities of missionaries, and manages the mission’s budget. The work of the Missions Committee supports Harmony Church and coordinates with other ministries and committees within the church.
Mission Committee Members
- Joann Ballard, District Representative
- Tracy Cody
- Sharon Evick
- Judy Fry
- Marsha Keim
- Marcey Kellogg, Co-Chair
- Mary Preston
- Joy Smith
- Sharon Thomas
- Roxanne Tipton
- Becky Haines – Chairperson
- Clarin Gaucher, Youth Member
Harmony Mission Policy and Proposal Application process
In an effort to better communicate and coordinate mission initiatives/activities in the church, we have put together a process to bring forth new mission opportunities.
ONGOING: LOUDOUN HUNGER RELIEF
This is one of our many missions to provide food for the hungry. Escalating costs of housing, health care, food, transportation and utilities provide challenges for more and more families to make ends meet. The working poor, senior citizens, the ill or disabled, the homeless, and children are helped every year by Loudoun Hunger Relief. Harmony designates the fourth Sunday of each month for food collection but donations are welcome anytime. The collection bin for donations is in Driscoll Hall. Following is a list of food items most needed:
- canned meats (tuna/chicken)
- low sodium, hearty soups
- cereal/breakfast items
- canned tomatoes
Emergency Contact Numbers
Have you ever had anyone ask you where they can find food or shelter for the night? Maybe you’ve seen a person with a sign on a street corner or someone has asked you for money to help with food. Here is a list of phone numbers of organizations that offer assistance to individuals/families — safe shelter, warm meals, gas/utility money, etc.
- Cold Weather Shelter, 571-258-3033
- Good Shepherd Alliance, 703-724-1555
- Heifer International, www.heifer.org
- Loudoun Abused Women’s Shelter (LAWS), 703-777-6552; (Spanish – 703-443-2810)
- Youth & Children Services (LAWS), 703-771-3973
- Loudoun Cares, 703-669-4636
- Loudoun County Youth Shelter (behavioral), 703-771-5300
- Loudoun Drop-In Shelter, 571-258-3033
- Loudoun Emergency Homeless Shelter, 571-258-3033
- Loudoun Hunger Relief, 703-777-5911
- Mobile Hope, 703-771-1400
- Salvation Army, 703-771-3371
- Tree of Life, 540-441-7920
Listing of Mission Organizations
Click on this link to see a listing of mission organizations we work with along with Mission opportunities. Look for the links throughout the document for more information.