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Toronto Student Mission Trip

Editor’s Note: This week 25 high school students and five leaders traveled to Toronto, Canada to do inner-city mission work. The following are updates from two of the students on the trip. We were off to the church. Our luggage was squished into the back of our Toyota Highlander. It would be unloaded and then reloaded into the bus that would take us to Toronto. We checked in, said farewells to parents, completed the usual pre-mission trip duties and then we prayed. While we were standing in a big circle, hands linked ... Read More »

Hold Hands and Pray

Some of the best moments of my life have been marked by the decision to hold hands and pray. One of the places where I have learned the most about holding hands and praying is The Lamb Center, a day shelter for homeless and poor individuals in Fairfax. Many of the guests that spend the night at our church when we host the Floris Guest House each year spend their days as guests of The Lamb Center. At The Lamb Center, we hold hands and pray at least six times a ... Read More »

Spending Ourselves

For the past two years, I have volunteered at the Floris Guest House with many other members of my church family. The Floris Guest House is special to me personally because it is an overlap of two important parts of my life. The guests we serve at the Floris Guest House during the evening hours are often the same guests we serve at The Lamb Center during the day. The Lamb Center, where I have been volunteering since 2008, is a local day shelter for homeless and poor individuals located ... Read More »

Why Guest House?

Recently I shared how one of our ministries, the Floris Guest House, came to be. Earlier this year we finished our third Guest House, where we hosted 40 or so individuals at our church for a week as a part of a greater ecumenical coalition (group of churches) that hosts the homeless from December to the end of March in partnership with FACETS, a local social service agency. This year, 239 volunteers gave over 1,400 hours to serve our neighbors. In addition to a warm place to sleep, volunteers provided ... Read More »

The Story of the Guest House

The Floris Guest House is a week-long hypothermia shelter held at Floris UMC in partnership with other faith communities and social service agencies. Considering we just finished our third year of the Guest House, I thought it would be nice to share how the program started. From January 24-31, we hosted approximately 40 guests with the help of 239 volunteers and 1,400 hours of service. I worked with a team of 20 people to plan this year’s program. While we took a lot of time to plan a great week, ... Read More »

Reflections on Homelessness

From February 15 – 22 Floris UMC is hosting roughly 35 individuals as part of the FACETS Hypothermia program. The guests arrive at 5 and are fed, offered showers and various opportunities for entertainment e.g., watching television, playing games or reading. One of the guests wrote his reflections on what it is like to be homeless. When the snow falls on Northern Virginia, the bustling city stops to take a breath of fresh air – inhaling the solitude known only to a few. Dogs get more attention and families gather ... Read More »

Connecting in True Community

Sandy loves to read People magazine. She couldn’t wait for the latest issue with the fashion review of the Golden Globes. Norman likes to play cards with the guys. They laugh, tell stories and tease each other about who has the worst hand. Charlotte loves to sing. Bring out a karaoke machine, and now it’s a party! Do these people sound like people you know? Perhaps they are a neighbor or a friend from church? Maybe they even sound like you. The names have been changed, but these short sketches ... Read More »

Philadelphia Mission Trip Day Four

We started off the day today by going to Harold O. Davis summer camp to help with the kids. It was very fun because we actually took them to the local pool. After that we went to the West Philadelphia branch of the Salvation Army. It was almost 100 degrees today so luckily they let us stay inside. We helped to organize a food pantry and bag rice for distribution. We also visited the West Philadelphia high school and I have to say, it impacted me. It is an inner ... Read More »

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