In this issue: Hope grows in our new community park, mission partners make a difference, and annual gala will be a night to remember!
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Hope Grows

Seeds were sown in the early spring of 2015. Melissa Lee, Coordinator for Rising Hope’s Food Pantry, teamed up with volunteers to plant a garden. On the eastern side of the building, an approximately 10-foot wide area separated the neighboring 7-ll parking lot from Rising Hope’s building. This small housing of A/C units and electrical boxes, bordered by chain-link fences and overgrown weeds, had gone largely unnoticed for years. But Melissa noticed.

With the help of volunteers, a small raised garden bed was built. Seeds were planted. Melissa and her team of volunteers tended to the soil daily. As seedlings began to sprout, others joined in. The garden quickly became a beacon of life and light in the urban landscape. Herbs and vegetables grew and went directly to the tables of the food pantry. Constituents all shared in the bounty.

From a forgotten patch of earth came last year’s garden. From last year’s garden came this year’s park. The entire fenced area was cleared out and a picnic table was brought in. Blue Ridge Enterprises saw the hope that the garden was fostering and brought a team of landscapers to help. They constructed a stone path and custom flower beds along the edges. They brought in additional picnic tables, and added colorful coats of paint which echoed the bright red tomatoes and even brighter yellow flowers that could be seen from across the parking lot.

Today, the park embodies Rising Hope’s purpose: nourishment of mind, body, and soul. The Route One Corridor community has a place of life and growth to nurture, a place of peace for quiet reflection, a place of unity and respect to share. Our deepest appreciation goes out to Blue Ridge Enterprises and all of the volunteers and supporters who have helped to turn the seeds of Melissa’s humble idea into a flourishing garden of life!

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By the Power of the Spirit

by Keary Kincannon

Before Jesus ascended into heaven he made a promise to all who would follow him when he said, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you” (Acts 1:8).   And we know that the power of the Holy Spirit came upon the early church for “…many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles” (Acts 2:43).

This past summer at Rising Hope, we have been praying for the Holy Spirit to come upon us in a powerful way so that great works, wonders, and signs can be done for Christ in our community.  I am reminded that Jesus said, “… the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these.” (John 14:12).  Yet I am keenly aware that we face constant trials: 1) food deliveries and pickups have been difficult since our 7-passenger van was totaled in an accident; 2) the vigilance required in walking that tight rope of welcoming the stranger but not allowing negative behavior is challenging; 3) the need for seasoned Christians to carry the load is a challenge for every congregation but even more so when working among people who have been so deprived.

As I was praying and preparing my report for District Conference, I was reminded that the reason the early church was so empowered by the Spirit was because the “…whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul…” (Acts 4:32). Their unity in Christ and with each other is why they did such great things for the Kingdom.

As I continued to reflect, I was struck by how many churches and organizations are of one heart and soul with Rising Hope in our mission “to bring the power of Christ and the support of the church to the least, the lost, the lonely, and the left out in our community.”  The attached report lists over 100 churches and organizations, representing thousands of individuals who partner with us in bringing a rising hope to the community.  This past year, empowered by the Holy Spirit, we were able to:

  • Leverage $1,200,000 dollars of food donations that were distributed to those suffering from hunger and food insecurity.  This provided for nearly 200,000 meals in our community;
  • Provide 2,705 hypothermia bed nights to the homeless in our community;
  • Serve nearly 16,000 hot meals from our soup kitchen;
  • Provide clothing to the needy 19,000 times;
  • Serve Wesley Theological Seminary as teaching partner, training 2 students during the academic year and 10 students in a two-week immersion class;
  • Hold two “Tent Revivals” in our parking lot partnering with another storefront church and their gospel band;
  • Provide a path to recovery for many; and
  • Bring the Good News that the Kingdom of God is at hand to hundreds in our community.

Jesus created the church to continue his ministry of proclaiming and manifesting the Good News.   With the support and unity of many, Rising Hope is on a mission to demonstrate the presence of the Kingdom of God.  It is our fervent hope and prayer that God’s Kingdom will come and God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Volunteer Nicola Carter folds clothes while constituents shop in the clothing closet
Volunteer Martha Reitman places new pet food donations on the food pantry shelves.
Volunteer Andy Powell sorts canned foods while constituents shop in the food pantry.
Constituents wait in line to shop in the clothing closet.
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Provided Donations

AARP Mt. Vernon Chapter
Aldersgate UMC
Aldersgate UMM
Aldersgate UMW
Alexandria District UMC
Alexandria District UMM
Alexandria District UMW
Alfred St. Baptist
Andrew Chapel UMC
Annandale UMC
Barnabas Fund
Belle Haven Community Ladies
Bethel UMC (Warrenton)
Bethel UMC (Woodbridge)
Bethlehem Baptist Church
Beverly Hills UMC
Blue Ridge Enterprises, Inc.
Boy Scouts Troop 6400
Bread for Brothers
Buckhall UMC
Burke UMC
Calvary Presbyterian Church
Cameron UMC
Cameron UMM
Cameron UMW
Camp Highroad
Capitol Area Food Bank
Celestial Manna
Christ UMC
Church Women United
Cokesbury UMC
Community Covenant Church
Community of Faith UMC
Community UMC
Cranford UMC
Cranford UMW
Cub Scout Pack 1509
Curves – Belle View
Del Ray Baptist Church
Del Ray UMC
Dumfries UMC
Epiphany UMC
Fairfax County Juvenile Detention
Fairfax UMC
Fairlington UMC
Fairlington UMM
Fairlington UMW
First Baptist Church
Floris UMC
Food for Others
Franconia UMC
Friends of Jeff McKay
Front Royal UMW
Giant Food
Gifts for the Homeless
Good Shepherd Catholic Church
Good Shepherd UMC
Grace UMC
Graham Road UMW
Gum Springs Community Center
Heritage Presbyterian Church
Hollin Hall Automotive
Hollin Hall Senior Center
Islamic Saudi Academy
Knights of Columbus
Lorton Community Action Center
Manassas St. Thomas UMC
Mary Gabriel Fund
Messiah UMC
Morrisville UMC
Mount Vernon Computer Repair
Mount Vernon UMC
Mt. Calvary Community Church
Mt. Calvery Baptist Church
Mt. Vernon LDS Stake
Mt. Vernon Presbyterian Church
Mt. Vernon Unitarian Church
New Hope Housing
Oakton UMC
Orlean UMC
Ourisman Ford Lincoln Mercury
Palmyra UMW
Panera Bread
Robert’s Memorial UMC
Route One Community Kitchen
Silverbrook UMC
Springfield UMC
Springfield UMM
St. Agnes Church
St. Aiden’s Episcopal Church
St. George's UMC
St. George's UMYF
St. James’ Episcopal Church
St. John’s UMC
St. John's UMW
St. Louis Catholic School
St. Luke’s Episcopal Church
St. Mark’s  Episcopal Church
St. Matthew’s UMC
St. Stephen’s UMC
St. Stephen's UMW
Stellar Solutions Foundation
Sydenstricker UMC
The Scottish Rite Foundation of DC
Trader Joe’s
Trinity UMC
U.S. Army Reserves – Ft. Belvoir
US Postal Carriers - Community
US Postal Carriers - Engleside
Van Heusen Store
Ventures in Community
Virginia UMC Sustaining Grant
Virginia Conference UMM
Virginia Conference UMW
W. Potomac H.S. Student Activities
Walker Chapel UMC
Washington Farm UMC
Washington Farm UMW
Washington Street Preschool
Washington Street UMC
Wesley UMC
Witcom, Inc.
Word Alive Ministry

Volunteered Services

Aldersgate UMC
Alexandria District Young Adults
Alexandria Friends Meeting at Woodlawn
Andrew Chapel UMC
Annandale UMC
Bethlehem Baptist Church
Blue Ridge Enterprises
Burke UMC
Cameron UMC
Christ UMC
Cindy Dennis Ministries
Clarendon UMC
Cokesbury UMC
Community Covenant Church
Cornerstone Church in Christ
Crowns of Life
Ephiphany UMC Vienna
Fairlington UMC
Franconia UMC
Fredericksburg UMC
Good Shepherd Catholic Church
Grace UMC
Groverton Baptist Church
Harvest Assembly Baptist Church
Harvest Life Fellowship
Heritage Presbyterian Church
Islamic Circle of Northern Virginia
Knights of Columbus
Messiah UMC
Missio Dei
Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church
Mt. Vernon Presbyterian Church
Mt. Vernon UMC
Mt. Vernon Unitarian Church
New Hope Housing Board
Old Bridge UMC
Roberts Memorial UMC
Springfield UMC
St. Aidan's Episcopal Church
St. Aidens Episcopal
St. John’s Catholic Church
St. John’s Ministry
St. John’s UMC
St. Luke's Episcopal Church
St. Stephens UMC
Sydenstricker UMC
Trinity UMC
Wesley UMC
Woodlawn/Faith UMC
Word Alive Ministry

Did we miss naming your organization? This list includes partners from September 1, 2015 to August 31, 2016. If we made an error, please accept our apologies and contact us so that we may correct our records.
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