Sharing God’s Love with the World
St. Thomas has a rich history of mission and outreach, coupled with a tradition of seeking opportunities for members of all ages to help others in need. In order to realize the mission potential of our parish, we strive to provide opportunities for both monetary and hands-on help at levels both large and small, with a balanced local, diocesan, national, and world focus. We recognize the importance of helping and serving others; when we reach out in service and love to others we strengthen our relationship to God.
Dungannon, VA – Senior High Youth Mission Trip
For many years, senior high youth from St. Thomas spent a week in Appalachia, repairing substandard housing and helping those in need. Teaming up with other parishes in the North Fairfax Region, our youth, together with adult chaperones, served Christ by serving others. Our team stayed in an old sewing factory in Dungannon. Projects included: building wheelchair ramps and decks, removing and installing flooring, installing doors, spackling and painting, and removing and installing bathroom fixtures.
Reflections on a Dungannon trip
Christ has no hands but your hands: Lord Jesus Christ, bless these hands to reach, help, heal and build, this week & always. Amen.
Over 130 hands did indeed reach, heal, help and build in the Appalachian community of Dungannon, Virginia, during a past visit. We began with a Commissioning Eucharist, where our hands, which would work hard in the coming week, were blessed. Following a rainy trip southward and a foot-stomping good time at the Carter Family Fold Music Center, we knew our mission week would be filled with wonder, depth and joy. Many work sites afforded opportunities to build, paint, cool-seal, visit with families and mend – not just structures, but hope and hearts, as well. At the end of some days, milkshakes or a visit to the Mill’s Creek watering hole kept us going. Each evening, we reflected on our Baptismal Covenant as call to ministry. It was a rich time filled with wisdom and laughter. Leaving was hard, but we knew that our glimpse of The Kingdom of God would form and inform us into the future.