St. Columba's Episcopal Church

Local Service and Outreach

Painting in the kitchen during Rebuilding Together 2011.
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Looking to promote your ministry’s event or special program? Submit your publicity request via our online publicity request form.  It is easy to fill out and will provide us with all the necessary information we need to promote your ministry via the weekly newsletter, Sunday wrapper, Sunday announcement or Facebook page. Questions? Send them to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Searching for a ministry?

Select the Ministry Leader Directory from the Quicklinks menu at the top right of any page on our website, and you’ll get an alphabetical listing of all the ministry groups at St. C’s.

Click the following links for more information:

Bishop Walker School (BWS)
Environment Committee
Interfaith Partnerships

The Haven
Loaves and Fishes
Prison Ministry Working Group
Rebuilding Together
Refugee Response Ministry
Second Tuesday Grate Patrol
STEP/I Have a Dream
The Water Ministry
Weekend Meals on Wheels
To contact a ministry leader via e-mail, simply click the person’s name or e-mail address.

Bishop Walker School (BWS)

The Bishop John T. Walker School for Boys opened in 2008 to nurture spiritual, intellectual, social, physical and artistic development in a Christian community of learners that welcomes boys of all faith traditions. As BWS grows, we are working with teachers and parents there to support its mission and students. St. Columba’s founded a Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) program at BWS and holds at least three RIF events each year. Please contact Jane Dana or Christina Sprague (bws@columba.org) to join our listserv, participate in a RIF event or share ideas about how to support this mission.

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Environment Committee

Members seek to honor and care for God’s Earth by identifying projects at St. Columba’s and in the community that reduce our environmental burden, recycle products and encourage earth-friendly consumption. Examples include the installation of rain barrels and CFL lights, purchase of renewable energy, a cleanup of Soapstone Valley and distribution of reusable St. Columba “green” bags. Fresh ideas and helping hands are always welcome. Find us on Facebook or contact Cynthia Laux-Kreidler (environmentleader@columba.org). More >>

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The Haven

St. Columba’s partners with Friendship Place to operate The Haven, a transitional residence and counseling program for women who have been homeless. The Haven is located in Fletcher House, our former rectory at the corner of 42nd Street and Butterworth Place. The Haven Mission Group meets monthly with Friendship Place staff to discuss the progress of the program and its residents, as well as administrative and budgeting issues. Coordinator: Inga Blust (haven@columba.org). More >>

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Interfaith Partnerships

We at St. Columba’s are living out our Christian faith in a diverse, interrelated world of many faiths and beliefs that are colored by many different places, cultures, and histories. We enter into an interfaith ministry following the example of Jesus, who called all people to be a vital part of God’s community.

In the fall of 2015, our interfaith ministry planning team adopted a vision to: “connect faith communities for the purpose of greater understanding, mutual respect and service to the world.” In September 2016, we gathered with people from all different faiths for the 12th annual 9/11 remembrance Unity Walk in DC (pictured above).

Our city of Washington, DC, with its many churches, mosques, synagogues, temples and other places of worship and religious study, forms a rich landscape for interfaith exploration. For more of our thinking and plans, please read our mission strategy document, “Approaching Interfaith.” Coordinator: Andrew Trotter (interfaithpartnerships.org)

Loaves And Fishes

Every third Saturday, St. Columbans are at St. Stephen and the Incarnation (1525 Newton Street NW, on the corner of Newton and 16th), to prepare and serve a meal to about 200 homeless men, women and children. Volunteers are needed for one of two shifts, from 9:30 to 11:30 am or from 11 am to 1 pm. This is a family-friendly activity that welcomes children age 7 and up accompanied by an adult. Coordinator: Joe Kolar (loavesfishes@columba.org). More >>

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Prison Ministry Working Group

We seek to educate ourselves and the parish on issues of over incarceration and prison reform. Our desire is to better understand the struggles of our brothers and sisters who are returning citizens and to be intentionally supportive in a variety of ways. We hold monthly meetings, which typically include an outside speaker, and we serve as a resource for volunteer opportunities. Volunteer opportunities include prisoner mentoring and resume-writing at the Montgomery County Correctional Facility, as well as opportunities to participate in community, non-profit and interfaith activities focused on prison and criminal justice reform. Coordinators: Julie Petersmeyer and Peter Clamp (prisonministryleader@columba.org).

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Rebuilding Together

Join St. Columbans on the last two Saturdays in April to refurbish the homes of low-income, elderly or handicapped District residents. All levels of construction and clean-up expertise are welcome. St. Columba’s was instrumental in founding Rebuilding Together, formerly Christmas in April, which is now a nationwide nonprofit organization. Coordinator: Ryan McNavage (rebuildingtogether@columba.org). More >>

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Refugee Response Ministry

This ministry was initiated in response to the worldwide refugee crisis–in particular, the millions of people fleeing war and terrorism in the Middle East. Our mission is to sponsor a refugee family from the Middle East, to help them resettle in the United States and to assist them in becoming self-sufficient within one year of their arrival. Our goal is to be ready to welcome a family in Fall 2016. We will be working with Lutheran Social Services (LSS), a long-standing, trusted resettlement agency with much experience in placing refugee families in Maryland.

In Spring 2016 we will launch a fund-raising drive to support the family (rent, food, clothing, etc.). Beginning in Summer 2016, and increasing in Fall 2016, we will need volunteers for many aspects of support: preparing and furnishing a home for the family, setting up medical and other appointments (schools, driver license), assisting with transportation, helping adult family members find suitable employment, etc.–and dozens of other tasks related to life in the America that we take for granted but which may be new to the family. We welcome your participation! Sign up online to either help in various capacities or donate at: tinyurl.com/StCRefugeeResponse. Coordinators: James Losey and Jean Ann Wright (refugeeresponse@columba.org)

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Second Tuesday Grate Patrol

The Second Tuesday Grate Patrol, launched in March 2015, offers up food and fellowship to people who are homeless and in need in seven-plus locations in downtown Washington, in partnership with The Salvation Army National Capital Area Command. St. Columbans ride on The Salvation Army canteen van and serve an evening meal that other St. Columbans have purchased and prepared. St. C’s takes its Grate Patrol name from the evening of the month (the second Tuesday) that we serve our meals. Coordinators: Alex Acosta, Mary Beth Campbell and Abigail Gorman (gratepatrol@columba.org) More>>

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A graduating STEP Dreamer

STEP/I Have A Dream

In 1994, St. Columba’s made a promise to 73 children at Truesdell Elementary School to support them through college, in exchange for a promise that the children would participate in tutoring, life skills workshops, summer programs and other enrichment programs organized by church staff and volunteers. The STEP program celebrated the fulfillment of its mission in the fall of 2013. Read this inspiring story. More >>

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The Water Ministry

The Water Ministry is a hospitality ministry that provides lunch, showers and laundry facilities for people who are homeless or in need. Managed by volunteers under the leadership of a paid director, it offers services on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 11 am to 1 pm, early September through early June. Volunteers contribute three or more hours per week, or once or twice a month, working as a team to host 30 to 40 guests each day. New volunteers are trained and mentored by those with experience. Coordinators: Larry Shelley, director of the Water Ministry and Thelma Triche, chair of the Volunteers Steering Committee (waterministryleader@columba.org). More >>

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Weekend Meals On Wheels

Deliver nutritious sustenance and ease the isolation of an elderly shut-in by delivering a hot meal one day a month. Deliveries are scheduled for the second Saturday of each month from 10 am to noon. The meals are picked up at Iona Senior Services (4125 Albemarle St., NW) and delivered to homes in relative proximity to St. Columba's. Willingness to drive is helpful, but not required. Weekend Meals on Wheels is a family-friendly ministry; children are welcome to accompany you. Coordinator: Noreen Shanbacker (mealsonwheels@columba.org). More >>

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Click the following links for more information about groups at St. C’s:

Environment Committee
The Haven
Loaves and Fishes
Rebuilding Together
Serving Our Neighbor (SON)
STEP/I Have a Dream
The Water Ministry

Click the following links for more information about outside groups:

The Bishop John T. Walker School for Boys
Friendship Place
Montgomery County Correctional Facility
Reading Is Fundamental (RIF)
Rebuilding Together
St. Stephen and the Incarnation

Top Photo: The Rev. Rose Duncan. STEP Photo: Daniel Kim.


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