Outreach, Justice, and Community Service
Community Partnerships and Collaborations
Christians are charged by Christ to love, serve, and do justice. That's not only a Christian responsibility, all religions of the world follow that universal command. The Gospel of Matthew (25:35-36) says, "For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me." Jesus also sent his disciples out two by two, which is why St. Gabriel’s partners with many organizations in its ministries of outreach, justice and service.
We partner with and support community agencies dedicated to food insecurity in Loudoun County (Loudoun Hunger Relief, Rise Against Hunger, Grace to Go). We partner with community agencies that provide clothing for those in need Women Giving Back and Mobile Hope. We serve and support those without homes at Shelter House Loudoun County, Loudoun Abused Women's Shelter, and Good Shepherd of Northern Virginia, we collaborate with organizations and churches providing various literacy programs.
In December of 2015 St. Gabriel's launched its Spanish language worship service at St. James Episcopal Church, which helped broaden our identity of authentic inclusion. In addition to a Spanish language service and because of our relationship with Latin@s in Leesburg and Loudoun County, St. Gabriel’s partners and collaborates with organizations that serve immigrants (Kids in Need of Defense, DREAMers' MOMS, Loudoun Free Clinic, and Health Works for Northern Virginia).
Our mission and vision for outreach, justice and service at St. Gabriel's is to not reinvent the wheel, which is why we rely on collaborations and community partnerships. These are some of the ways how at St. Gabriel's we love our neighbors as ourselves!
Food Justice Ministry
"Feed the hungry"... we need not be given further instructions from Jesus than this commandment! Saint Gabrielites takes this commandment to heart through our partnership with Loudoun Hunger Relief and Grace to Go. St. Gabriel's created a special program with Loudoun Hunger Relief during COVID time. Deacon Holly Hanback and a team of volunteers formed the Alleluia Ministry to provide a weekly food distribution to families who had no form of transportation to pick up food at the pop up sites around the County.
St. James' Episcopal Church in Leesburg has a food ministry called Grace to Go and St. Gabriel's sends out a reminder to families each week to remind them of the prepared food distributed on Sunday's at the Leesburg Apartments.
Every year we raise funds at our annual BBQ to fund the half day packing event to pack and send nutritious high protein dried food packages to people around the world through Rise Against Hunger. It is a multigenerational event for the whole family and our friends to join in service for those who food insecure in the world
Educando Con Amor ~ Educating with Love: A ministry of community education
Launched In March 2016, Educando Con Amor ~ Educating With Love, is a community education program for children, teens, and adults in Leesburg and Sterling.
The programs are part of St. Gabriel's Episcopal Church's literacy and immigrant ministries and supported by community partners including the National Institutes of Health, Irene Saucedo Dance Studio, Latinos@Amazon, Sterling Community Center, Janelia Research Campus, Loudoun County Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Prevention. Together we empower children and adults with various forms of literacy including STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math), financial and computer literacy for individuals and small business owners, and more. Educando con Amor is directed by Ms. Eva María Torres Herrera.
Educando con Amor for children provides after-school biliteracy instruction to low-income, at-risk Latino children in Pre-K through twelfth grade in Sterling and Leesburg. Students have the opportunity to explore new skills and develop talents in a safe environment of peers with facilitators who educate with love. A STEAM curriculum was launched in March, 2018; the newest community education programs include painting, folkloric dance, Scratch and JAVA programming and various technology programs (3D printing and digital design) so that participants can gain confidence and trust in their academic abilities, pursue higher education, and ultimately be better positioned for desirable jobs that seek bilingual employees. The curriculum also seeks to foster an appreciation of Latino culture and heritage and build stronger Latino leaders and advocates.
Ministry of Presence - Borderland Ministries Partnership with the Diocese of El Río Grande
In addition to local presence our hand crafter's provides prayer squares, knitted and sewn dolls, and hacky sacks, hats, and scarves to immigrant children and adults served by the Borderland Ministries in Texas. The knitting ministry is now comprised by knitters, crocheters, quilters, and sewers. In addition to our prayers we send our love to people we may never meet, but who need to know that we are in solidarity with them.
The prayers and actions of our faith community are part of St. Gabriel ~ San Gabriel's ministry of presence in the community and are indicative of St. Gabriel's response to God's urgent call to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ in this part of the kingdom as Christ's agents and missionaries.
Heal the Sick
St. Gabriel's Project Linus - The St. Gabriel's faith community makes warm, fuzzy, fleece blankets each December for for children ages 0-18 who are sick, traumatized, or otherwise in need. These blankets tell a child that St. Gabriel's cares. The blankets are distributed to children and their families through Loudoun County hospitals, cancer centers, homeless shelters, foster care homes, and Fire & Rescue teams. Project Linus is a multigenerational family service project that typically takes place in the early winter months. See the Parish Calendar for specific information.