Social Justice and Outreach

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The St. Aidan's Social Justice and Racial Reconciliation ministry includes Outreach and all programs that serve to support and strengthen our communities by truly loving and serving others as Christ taught.  We are committed to working for social justice as we take actions to transform our own lives and the lives of others according to the teachings of Jesus. This important work includes readings, conversations, and honest dialogue on race and racism as we build a faith community that honors and values each and every person as a unique individual and child of God.  Please check the Weekly Epistle and ENews for updates about our social justice focus and activities.

Racial Reconciliation Parish Engagement

  • Members of St. Aidan’s participated in Sacred Ground, a film- and readings-based dialogue series on race, grounded in faith.

  • Adult education series hosted book discussion group: How to Be an Antiracist, by Ibram X. Kendi

  • Interim Rector and Senior Warden of St. Aidan’s participated in Bishops’ book group discussion of Episcopalians and Race, by Gardiner H. Shattuck.

  • A 10-person delegation representing St. Aidan’s walked in the Prayer Walk for Justice, sponsored by Alfred Street Baptist Church and the NAACP. 

  • Parishioners marched in support of the March for Justice, organized by Woodlawn Faith United Methodist Church and other faith-based organizations.

  • Members of St. Aidan’s joined thousands in the Episcopal Church’s Becoming Beloved Community NOW, three-part series of webinars on different aspects of the church’s racial reconciliation work.

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Outreach Ministries

 

St. Aidan’s enjoys a rich tradition of service to the community with a focus on addressing the needs of the underserved and overlooked.  Members of our congregation see the work of God in their lives and God’s love for them in the service they provide to the community, through a variety of ministries.   Members contribute their time and talent to the following organizations:

Ventures in Community (VIC)

St. Aidan’s is one of some 30+ members of this organization that unites faith communities and nonprofit organizations in southeast Fairfax county to advocate for and serve those in need. Our participation in VIC has enabled us to leverage our resources to more effectively meet the needs of underserved communities along the Richmond Highway corridor.

Ventures in Community Hypothermia Outreach Program (VICHOP)

The County of Fairfax, in coordination with Rising Hope Methodist Church, operates a hypothermia shelter to ensure that individuals experiencing homelessness have a warm, clean and safe environment to retreat from the elements of weather at night.  St. Aidan’s parishioners are part of a rotating group of volunteers at the shelter, spending the night there and providing meals for visitors who use this shelter during the winter’s coldest months.

 

Support for Local Food Pantries

St. Aidan’s runs a non-perishable food drop-off program for parishioners and neighbors in the Stratford Landing neighborhood, taking donations collected to food pantries operated by Rising Hope Methodist Church and United Communities.

Agape Ministry

St. Aidan’s collaborates with the Mount Vernon Presbyterian Church to support its “Agape” program, established 29 years ago to provide a supportive community for individuals suffering from mental illness. Agape provides a range of services, including weekly communal meals and fellowship for more than 70 members.

 

Outreach Funding

 

During 2020 and 2021, St. Aidan’s outreach funds supported the following organizations:

 

Alice’s Kids - provides direct, targeted assistance to children in need in grades  K - 12.

 

Artemis House - provides a safe living place for individuals and families escaping situations of domestic violence.

 

Day to Serve - as part of our activities with Ventures in Community, St. Aidan’s joins with several dozen churches and NGOs to provide food and other donations for underserved communities

Good Shepherd Housing - provides housing options for individuals and families with low income and those who struggle with mental illness.

Just Neighbors - provides high-quality immigration legal services to low-income immigrants, refugees and asylees in the Washington DC metropolitan area.

Koinonia - provides food, clothing, learning, and emergency financial assistance to qualified clients regardless of beliefs.

 

Neighborhood Health - provides comprehensive health and dental care on a no-cost or reduced-cost basis.

New Hope Housing - ends homelessness in Northern Virginia by providing housing, offering hope, and building community.

 

Progreso Hispano - provides immigration and naturalization legal services and English language classes for residents of southeast Fairfax County.

United Community - provides emergency assistance with food, rent, utilities and medical prescriptions in an  effort to allow families to keep their homes and break the cycle of generational poverty. In addition to monetary donations, St. Aidan's coordinates a school supply drive which benefits students from Creekside Community Center.