The Second Collection
Every month, we work with one local food pantry, and collect non-perishable food items and money for their ministry. On a rotating basis, month by month, we work with HOPE at Church of the Ascension (Lexington Park); St. Mary's Helping Hands (Mechanicsville); St. Mary's Caring (Great Mills); and the Food Pantry at St. Cecilia's Catholic Church (St. Mary's City). Parishioners drop off the food either in the parish hall or the big basket under the entryway table in the church. Or during the Sunday morning services, there's a basket that goes around, in addition to the offering plates, and folks can toss in loose change or food. Every month, we gather quite a car-full of food, and St. George's generally raises $400+ in loose change every month. The money enables the food pantry to purchase some perishable items such as milk, eggs, and other necessities.
Wrapping Arms 'Round Many - WARM
St. George's is also pleased to be a host-site for WARM, and we hosted two weeks in the winter of 2009-2010, the first year, and are committed to hosting as many weeks as we can in subsequent years. At St. George's, we believe that the church that takes to heart the good news of Jesus Christ and His commandment to serve "the least of these" is the church that will grow into His Great Commission. Working in partnership with membership from other local congregations as well as a vast representation from our own congregation, WARM is a major undertaking and one of the largest efforts we do as a congregation -- but only and always with God's grace. We are grateful to our friends and supporters from Ascension, St. Andrew's, St. Mark's, St. George Catholic, and Bethesda.
The outreach committee meets often, and contact the parish offices or clergy for more information or if you'd like to be considered for membership. Beginning in 2010, the outreach committee has begun to focus on a long-range vision for what kinds of meaningful and transformative work we can do, as one religious community among others in our complex and growing county. We have begun to focus, specifically, on targeting issues related to homelessness and hunger. On the agenda are issues related to strengthening St. George's Second Collection and our work with WARM, as well as communicating those mission strategies to the wider community and congregation. We are also in the early stages of exploring the possibility of a day-center for persons who are homeless and need a helping hand in St. Mary's County. Sadly, there is no place for homeless persons to drop in and receive any substantial help or, for that matter, a cool place on a hot summer day or a warm cup of coffee on a frigid winter afternoon.