Social Ministries at Pilgrim
"Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves...Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality." - Romans 12, vv. 10&13.
One of Pilgrim Lutheran’s core missions is to extend help and Christian compassion to persons in need throughout our community, the Greater Washington area, the United States, and abroad. Pilgrim provides many opportunities to serve others through relationships with social agencies in the surrounding community as well as far-reaching organizations worldwide.
This year, we are engaging in our first “Nehemiah Project.” This was inspired by the story of Nehemiah, cupbearer of King Artaxerxes I (Nehemiah 1:11), who received the king’s permission to help rebuild the city of Jerusalem and its fortifications. Nehemiah mobilized the people of Jerusalem to repair and fortify the wall and gates, and was appointed their governor. During his time as governor, he decided to forego the food and land allotted to him due to his office, because he wanted these resources to go to the people of his province (Nehemiah 5:14–19). He also required the other nobles and officials to forgive the outstanding debts of the people, as well as to return all land and money that had been taken as taxes. This generosity allowed the people of Jerusalem to feed themselves and their families.
For our Nehemiah Project, we are choosing one organization, charity, or cause to support each month.
During the first month of this project, we donated money to the Capital Area Food Bank in support of government workers and contractors who were affected by the unfortunate government shutdown. Our second month focused on upgrading the church security system. In April, we donated to the youth scholarship fund to support the college tuition of our graduating seniors. Throughout June, the Nehemiah Project supported the costs involved in holding Vacation Bible School (VBS), which Pilgrim offers to our community at no cost.
For both July and August, all monetary donations to our Nehemiah Project will go directly to benefit Lutheran World Relief’s efforts in helping Venezuelan refugees fleeing to Peru. These refugees are fleeing a historic economic crisis and food shortage in their country, and Lutheran World Relief is assisting them with resettling in Lima, procuring necessary legal permissions (e.g., for living, working, attending school in Peru), furnishing temporary shelters, and offering childcare to working parents.
There are several ways to contribute. You may use your designated Nehemiah Project offering envelope, send a check to Pilgrim, or click the yellow "Donate" button below to contribute via PayPal or credit card.
Check back each month to see what organization, charity, or cause we will be focusing on.
Pilgrim has a longstanding relationship with Martha’s Table, a wonderful local organization that supports children, families, and our community through increased access to high-quality education, healthy food, and family and community supports.
Our youth regularly makes trail mix for Martha’s Table and/or sandwiches for “McKenna’s Wagon,” their daily mobile food truck. We also donate food to Martha’s Table on an ongoing basis.
For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’ - Deuteronomy 15: 11
Clothing and Food Drives
We participate in ongoing clothing and food drives for local organizations such as Bethesda Cares and Martha’s Table. For example, in the winter, we partner with Bethesda Cares and area church workers to hand out blankets, hand and foot warmers, socks, and other clothing and toiletry items to those who are homeless in our community.
Pastor Josh, Pilgrim members, and area pastors and church workers served alongside Bethesda Cares on the evening of Sunday, January 20th until the early morning hours of Monday, January 21st handing out blankets, hand and foot warmers, and socks to the homeless people in our area. Although the wind chills dropped below zero that night, the volunteers all served with glad and willing hearts!
Throughout the Christmas season, we displayed a "mitten tree" in our Fellowship Hall where members and visitors donated items for those most vulnerable in our community.
For nearly two decades, Pilgrim has supported the Wycliffe Ministry of Lynn and David Frank. Since 1982, the Franks have facilitated the translation of the Bible into numerous languages, including Saint Lucian Creole (New Testament) and Gullah (New Testament). They are currently serving as Bible translation consultants in Nigeria and the West African country of Guinea-Bissau. Visit their website to donate or learn more about the Wycliffe mission.