Local and Global Missions
The Meeting House has a long history of helping found, partner with, and support programs, and rally behind causes that directly serve those most vulnerable, and that seek to dismantle racism and injustice, locally and globally.
From advancing health equity, to raising our voices around environmental concerns, to addressing food insecurity for those in need, we, as a faith community, are called to serve others. Scroll down to view the many opportunities to get involved and make an impact.
To view the Service and Justice Ministry’s brochure (updated in October 2020), click here.
- Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement (VOICE) is a coalition of nearly 50 faith communities, including OPMH, and civic organizations in Northern Virginia working to build power in middle- and low-income communities. VOICE advocates for issues such as affordable housing, education, criminal justice, and immigrant rights.
- Primary Contact: Marsha Rhea
- Get Involved: VOICE is focusing on stopping mass evictions during the pandemic. Visit the VOICE website, or contact Marsha to help prevent mass evictions.
- Watch a brief video by clicking here.
The Alexandria Tutoring Consortium provides one-on-one tutoring for struggling readers at Alexandria City Public Schools. Once or twice each week, volunteer tutors help kindergarten and first-grade students learn to read using personalized lesson plans in 30–40 minute sessions. Customary in-classroom sessions stopped in March when schools closed due to the COVID pandemic. ATC tutors quickly shifted to virtual video and phone connections with their students and then, for the first time, extended lessons beyond May into August. Most families stayed with the lessons, demonstrating a strong desire to improve the children’s reading skills.
- Primary Contact: Skip Bea
- Get Involved: ATC is in most but not all ACPS schools. Serving more kids is a function of funds and volunteers. Skip is always seeking volunteers and will continue tutoring during the pandemic. Please contact him if you’re interested in helping.
ALIVE! Inc. provides local assistance with food, shelter, emergency help, and education. Meeting House volunteers provide support at food banks and with homebound or disabled residents, and participate in students’ food backpack program.
- Primary Contact: Joan Moser
- Get Involved: Financial contributions are welcome. During the pandemic regrettably we cannot accept food donations or furniture donations. Volunteer opportunities for the food distributions are posted on the website.
Since 1970, Family to Family has provided emergency financial assistance to individuals and families referred from local social workers. The Meeting House provides funds to assist with rent, utility bills, medical care and prescriptions, and job searches. Trained Meeting House volunteers process the referrals.
- Primary Contact: Olivia Michener
- Get Involved: Financial contributions are always welcome, especially during this time of increased need. Due to COVID and church office closure, additional volunteer help is not needed at this time.
Friends of Guest House provides incarceration-to-community reentry support to women in Northern Virginia including providing housing, job skills training, and the support they need to move to independent living. Meeting House youth share meals with Guest House residents a few times a year.
- Primary Contact: Eric Johnson
- Get Involved: Keep an eye on the youth calendar.
The Meeting House has supported the Holiday Sharing program for many years. In 2019, members sponsored more than 200 families, foster teens, seniors, and disabled adults, providing toys, clothes, gift cards, and groceries to people receiving support through the City of Alexandria’s Department of Community and Human Services. As we as a church seek ways to make the holidays a bit brighter for our neighbors who are struggling, what better way to show love to our neighbors in a tangible way
- Primary Contact: Anna Davis
- Get Involved: With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there are significant changes to how the program will operate this year. To keep donors, clients, staff, and volunteers safe, the program is asking for gift cards exclusively. This year, please sign up directly with the city on the Holiday Sharing website.
The Inmate Family Video Visitation Program connects prison inmates with loved ones by teleconference visits. Meeting House volunteers partner with the Virginia Department of Corrections, and host friends and families every Saturday in a confidential visitation room for pre-scheduled teleconferencing.
- Primary Contact: Bill Sundwick
- Get Involved: Following COVID guidelines, the program is proceeding. If you’re interested in volunteering, please contact Bill Sundwick.
Neighborhood Health (NH) provides primary health care to more than 30,000 low-income, uninsured patients regardless of ability to pay. NH has 5 Covid-19 testing sites plus a mobile testing team going to low-income areas. For patients who test positive, NH provides daily clinical follow-up and food, cloth masks, and other social supports. During the pandemic, NH also continues to provide regular care to children, pregnant women, and to adults with chronic medical conditions
- Primary Contact: Becky Bostick
- Get Involved: The Meeting House provides support through Alternative Giving.
The Refugee and Immigrant Ministry is in its second year of helping a promising immigrant student at the T.C. Williams International Academy remain in school rather than needing to leave due to financial hardship. The student is identified by the social worker and principal in conjunction with the Meeting House.
- Primary Contacts: Olivia Michener and Gerry Cooper
- Get Involved: Volunteers assist students in their regular classes and speakers of other languages—especially Spanish—are needed. The program will be adjusted according to COVID guidelines for schools during the current school year.
The goal of the Senior Services of Alexandria Ambassadors program, with which the Meeting House is involved, is to reach more older adults, as well as friends, loved ones, and caregivers of older adults, so that they can be aware of available programs and services of interest to older adults.
- Primary Contact: Kate Theisen
The Bag Lunch Program provides lunches for 35–70 individuals each weekday at Meade Memorial Church in Old Town. Meeting House volunteers prepare sandwiches, make cookies, and pack/serve the lunches. Lunches are delivered and served at Meade Memorial. The Meeting House volunteers work 2-3 days each month.
- Primary Contact: Amy Kavalman
- Get Involved: Contact Amy Kavalman to be added.
Carpenter’s Shelter supports the homeless in achieving sustainable independence through shelter, guidance, education, and advocacy. Meeting House volunteers provide and serve resident dinners on the fourth Sunday of even months each year. Volunteers deliver a ready-to-serve evening meal and stay to serve and cleanup.
- Primary Contact: Atilla Kocsis
- Get Involved: More volunteers are needed to help provide meals. If interested, please contact Atilla.
Christ House welcomes 50–80 guests daily who are in need of dinner. Meeting House volunteers take turns six times a year to buy groceries, cook, plate and serve dinners, and set and clear tables for two evening seatings.
- Primary Contact: Nancy Van Gulick Cooper
- Get Involved: During the pandemic, meals are prepared by Jeffrey’s catering. If you’d like to contribute to the catered meals, please contact Nancy.
Meals on Wheels is a national program offering two meals to homebound people, primarily seniors. The Meeting House delivers meals on eight routes the fourth Friday of each month.
- Primary Contact: Lynn Eiseman
- Get Involved: Volunteering has been restricted to only volunteers who are not in a high risk category during the pandemic.
Open Table is just that, an open table for anyone in the community seeking breakfast and fellowship on Thursday mornings. We served our first breakfast in August 2013 in Heritage Hall with food prepared and served by volunteers and have welcomed guests every week since then from 6–8 a.m. Donated time, food, and supplies support our program.
- Primary Contact: Susan Grandy
- Get Involved: At the beginning of the pandemic, Open Table moved to an outdoor breakfast in our courtyard with limited numbers of volunteers and with distancing to adhere to CDC guidelines. Please contact Susan if you would like to donate food and supplies or are interested in future volunteering.
AA groups meet six days a week in our Flounder House building’s Westminster Hall for those who have a desire to stop drinking. To learn more about meeting times and types of meetings held, please visit the Washington Area Integroup Association website.
- Please note that while Meeting House facilities are, for the the most part, closed during the COVID-19 crisis, some meetings may be being held in person. Please check the WAIA website link above for more information.
The Community Coalition for Haiti and the Meeting House have partnered in service projects in Haiti for three decades. Volunteer efforts have included training in Cholera prevention and mentoring teachers and principals in their schools.
- Primary Contacts: John and Lee Klousia
The Meeting House supports two partnerships in Kenya. The first, Moi’s Bridge United Orphanage & Academy, cares for orphaned and vulnerable children. The Meeting House provides financial support for secondary school and college, career counseling, construction and maintenance of dormitories, food, and clothes. Learn more about the Moi’s Bridge United Orphanage & Academy through this video.
The second program is the Presbyterian Children’s Program in the village of Njoro. The Meeting House supports the Saturday program for orphans and vulnerable children, which provides tutoring, school supplies, food for children to take home, career counseling, and financial support for secondary education and college.
- Primary Contact: Rhonda O’Bannon
The Presbyterian Education Board in Pakistan provides quality education rooted in Christian values to all children and youth regardless of race or religion at an affordable cost.
- Primary Contacts: Ellen and Dave Smith
Rise Against Hunger is an international hunger-relief agency that distributes food and other lifesaving aid to children and families in countries all over the world. OPMH hosts two meal-packing events annually after worship services assembling 10,000 meals for distribution worldwide.
- Primary Contact: Larry Williams
- Get Involved: Currently on hold during the pandemic.
“And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”