We reach out to the local community and beyond, and strive for justice and reconciliation in the world.
The parishioners of Holy Comforter make generous financial contributions to many local and global mission projects. In addition, volunteers contribute many hours of hands-on labor to Pennywise Thrift Shop, Britepaths (formerly Our Daily Bread), and FACETS (Fairfax Area Emergency and Transition Services)
Eases the plight of low-income residents in the Fairfax, Virginia area. It draws volunteers from local faith-based groups, community organizations, local businesses, schools, and universities. Holy Comforter helps stock the emergency food pantry by collecting, sorting, and delivering grocery items on a weekly basis.
CHO – Committee for Helping Others:
A Vienna-based mission comprised of members of most of Vienna’s churches and synagogues as well as civic groups. CHO helps people in need of food, clothing, shelter, and transportation. The Committee collects, stores and distributes food, clothing, and household items at several sites in Vienna.
FACETS – Fairfax Area Christian Emergency and Transitional Services:
Provides emergency intervention and educational programs for homeless and low-income people in Fairfax County. It responds to individual need and offers numerous volunteer opportunities. Holy Comforter prepares and delivers meals on the second Sunday afternoon of the month.
The Food4Thought program works with volunteers and staff at Marshall Road Elementary School to provide healthy meals, drinks, and snacks over the weekend to children who receive free or reduced-price meals during school days. For many of these children, school meals might be the only ones they receive. Holy Comforter collects, packs and delivers 100 of these meals once a month during the school year.
Habitat for Humanity:
Serve the local community by volunteering your time and talent to build affordable housing through the Northern Virginia Habitat for Humanity affiliate as we help the working poor reach their goal of home ownership. “A hand up, not a hand out.” Must be at least 16 years old to work on a job site. No skills required. We’ll teach you.
Under the guidance of the Fairfax County Office to Prevent and End Homelessness, and in conjunction with FACETS and over 30 other faith communities, Holy Comforter annually joins in opening its doors for a one-week hypothermia shelter for homeless guests. As hosts, parishioners and community volunteers share hospitality with the guests through meals, conversation, games, and prayer. Parishioners who aren’t available to serve as hosts in the Ministry Center, donate prepared meals and much needed personal supplies (toothpaste/brush, socks, soap/shampoo, etc.), as well as provide entertainment such as music, games, books, and magazines.
Holy Comfort Boxes:
The Episcopal Church Women (ECW) send care packages to young adults—18 through 24-year-olds, who are away from home either in college or serving their country in the military. These Holy Comfort Boxes remind our young adults of the continuing support from their church family. Several Holy Comforter groups help pack these annual boxes.
Based in Fairfax and supported by a consortium of interdenominational churches, the LAMB Center operates as a daytime drop-in site for homeless and needy people. Volunteers are always needed to meet ministry and client needs.
Mount Carmel House:
A permanent supportive housing program for women recovering from homelessness located in downtown Washington, D.C. near the Verizon Center. Holy Comforter has supported Mt. Carmel House for more than 20 years. Our youth traditionally visits the shelter in December to provide a meal and Christmas cheer as well as providing a gift bag of needed items. Typical donation requests include $20–$25 Walmart gift cards, gloves, scarves, and more. Exact needs are posted in the narthex and published in church communications in the fall.
Pennywise Thrift Shop:
For 53 years, Pennywise Thrift Shop has provided much-needed clothing and household items at low cost to the community. The shop is staffed by Holy Comforter member volunteers, who serve shifts at the front desk or in the back-room sorting and pricing donated items. Income from the shop provides funds, through ECW, to Holy Comforter, its ministries and missions, and to other local, national, and international outreach recipients.
In 1986 Holy Comforter became one of 35 Episcopal churches in the area to provide a significant ministry to homeless and lower income persons in the Washington, D.C. area. The ministry provides a far-ranging variety of services with an emphasis on next steps to self-sufficiency and is known for the phrase “hand-up instead of a hand-out.”
Serves older persons in our community by offering a number of services including Friendly Callers (contact for the homebound), Handy Helpers, transportation to appointments, grocery delivery, and a registered nurse on site. Holy Comforter provides financial support and volunteers who provide everything from office work to client contact services.
Stewardship of Creation:
The Bible calls on Christians to be stewards of the natural world. Recognizing the importance of such stewardship, the SOCC seeks to explore, inform, and act upon this call. Our mission is to consider environmental issues as religious concerns.
Holy Comforter joins other faith communities, civic organizations, and businesses in booths set up along both sides of Church Street at this joyous festival to celebrate the life and community of the Town of Vienna Memorial Day weekend. Parishioners volunteer to witness to the community about the worship, formation, and outreach ministries at Holy Comforter through conversation, handouts, and activities.