Community ServiceWritten by Craig English on May 24, 2012
How wide is the community we serve? The traditional church families and the immediate neighborhood? Yes. We also serve the surrounding community, including those who are very different from us. We also serve the world, as Methodist founder John Wesley did, famously stating, “The world is my parish.”
Beginning as a place of summer refuge, our church rapidly became a year-round center of worship for farm families in the nascent Montgomery County. Today some of us grew up on farms, and some of us come from the town of Washington Grove and the nearby community. One way in which we serve the local community is by hosting an Interfaith Thanksgiving service annually, on Thanksgiving Eve. At this service, town residents watch slides of the beauty of the Grove year round, while listening to music performed by our town’s violin-maker. A Jewish cantor sings during the service, and neighbors of all faiths attend, giving thanks for God’s bounty in this place.
Members of our church also compete in the traditional annual Labor Day races,and provide some of the flagmen and women (and popsicles) for this town event.
Our mission field is the whole surrounding community, not only Washington Grove but also Emory Grove,
and the city of Gaithersburg. Members of Emory Grove UMC were invited to celebrate our 100thanniversary with us, sending a youth choir. We recently helped to create and celebrated the Emory Grove Community Garden.
Each month a team of cooks and servers from our church also feeds up to 150 men, women, and children, at the Lord’s Table, an ecumenical soup kitchen located in St. Martin’s Roman Catholic Church in Gaithersburg. This ministry and our annual “Grove Relief” rebuilding ministry serve the wider community; for more info see “Serving” in the drop down menu under “Our Ministries.”
Creation Care is another local focus of our church. We study and learn about the care of our environment through classes, and as supporters of the ecological group “Greater Washington Interfaith Power and Light.” Because of our camp meeting heritage, our church enjoys the stewardship of a large meadow filled with oak, hickory, dogwood, locust, and pine trees. We take seriously our responsibility to care for our trees, and to plant others, as seen at this Arbor Day tree-planting…