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Letting Go of My Plan

As one of the two Serve Ministries interns this year, I have learned a lot in a very short period of time. We are almost done with Camp Hutchison Discovery and I have learned more about flexibility, teamwork, and patience than ever before. Though they may have been a challenge, these past few weeks have been such a joy in my life. In the midst of the chaos of 100 kids and around 30 volunteers, learning and growth are apparent everywhere. I have had the opportunity to witness children that didn’t know their last ... Read More »

The Students at Camp Hutchison

The thing that I learned first about Hutchison students is that they’re a lot more than just children. They have some almost inexplicable form of hope; a drive to be more than their circumstances. We saw this characteristic every day at Camp Hutchison. In class, you can see their eyes widen in awe while watching a rocket launching. They shout the countdown in unison, never quite matching it perfectly to the rocket launch, but trying every time nonetheless. During arts and crafts activities, they become involved in every aspect of ... Read More »

Being Reckless

Editor’s Note: This week some of the high school students from Floris UMC are in Costa Rica serving on a mission trip. This post was submitted by one of the students on the trip.  Submitted by Jacquie Horvath This is my third Costa Rica mission trip so I’m pretty familiar with the area and most of the people here. This year we had a theme for our week, Reckless, and the positive ways to be reckless. Throughout the week, I looked for people who were being reckless in showing God’s love. ... Read More »

A Day in Costa Rica

Editor’s Note: This week some of the high school students from Floris UMC are in Costa Rica serving on a mission trip. This post was submitted by one of the students on the trip.  Submitted by Sam Greenfield 7 a.m.: A loud and hectic pounding on the door jolts me from my sleep which is dearly needed. I jump up exclaiming “HUH!?” which instantaneously has Ricky, another student on the trip, rolling over with laughter. 7:30 a.m.: I’m summoned down along with the rest of the group for breakfast where ... Read More »

Monday in Costa Rica

Editor’s Note: This week some of the high school students from Floris UMC are in Costa Rica serving on a mission trip. This post was submitted by one of the students on the trip. Submitted by Luke Auman I woke up to one of our leaders, William, asking Matt and I if we were asleep or just resting our eyes. Our inability to form coherent words or exhibit any evidence that we were intelligent life forms was apparently all William needed to realize we weren’t even close to being awake ... Read More »

Encourage Reading

Reading skills are critical to success in school—and in life, but not everyone has access to books at home. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), children who are read to at home enjoy a substantial advantage over children who are not. For the past six years, Hutchison Elementary School employee and Floris United Methodist Church member Marci Hoyt has passionately organized a Hutchison book drive to ensure students receive at least two free books to take home for the summer. Marci, who goes through every single book each year ... Read More »

The Story of Camp Hutchison

Pastor Tom Berlin sat down to lunch with Hutchison Elementary School Principal Judy Baldwin one day early in 2011. Just down the street in Herndon, the school educates children from diverse backgrounds, many from homes with both parents working several jobs. Tom asked her, “What keeps you up at night?” Her response was “the summer.” She worried that many of her students didn’t have access to proper nutrition, adequate adult supervision or a way to maintain their learning over the summer months. By the end of their meeting, the idea ... Read More »

Lemonade Stands Help Squash Malaria

While malaria may not be one of our top worries here in the United States, 3.2 billion people – that’s half the world’s population – are at risk of contracting the potentially deadly disease. It’s estimated that 5.2 billion in US dollars are needed each year to fight malaria around the world, but only half of that funding is available. On April 25, World Malaria Day, members of Floris and Restoration Churches responded to Bishop Young Jin Cho’s call to host lemonade stands to help raise money for the fight. ... 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 »

Making A Difference – An Update on Hurricane Sandy Relief Efforts

[Editor’s Note: In 2012, Hurricane Sandy hit along the east coast causing significant damage to New Jersey and New York. Floris UMC has sent several teams to this area to assist with rebuilding homes damaged by the storm. Most recently, a team of nine people went to Brooklyn, NY for several days to volunteer their skills and help homeowners become one step closer to moving back into their homes.]  Well, we are half way through our trip and it seems as though time is racing by. We have a great team ... Read More »

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