Category Archives: Hispanic/Latino

Information about the Hispanic-Latino ministry program at Sterling UMC.

Amazing GRACE

Amazing GRACE

‘For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat.  I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink.  I was a stranger and you invited me in.  I needed clothes and you clothed me… ‘(Matthew 25:35-36)

The GRACE Ministries food, clothing, and diaper distribution is this Saturday, the second Saturday of this month and every month at Sterling UMC.

But this week the volunteers have been hard at work since Thursday evening; shopping for food; moving the product from storage to point of distribution; setting up the freezers; and preparing to receive the delivery from the Capital Food Bank that will supplement the donations of food, clothing, and diapers already stored on site.

Friday morning the truck from the Capital Area Food Bank arrives early.  The 9:00 AM “afternoon” delivery often catches the helpers by surprise, but the work always gets done. The caravan of hand trucks moves the five or six pallets of fresh produce, and non-perishables into the fellowship hall where the event is set up.  Later in the day the food items are sorted, bagged, and staged; the clothing racks assembled and the clothing put on hangers; the diapers from the NOVA Diaper Bank sorted by size as more volunteer helpers trickle in and the distribution line takes shape for next morning’s guests.

Though the doors open at 7:00 AM, the distribution occurs between 8:00 AM and 10:00 AM.  Those still in line at 10:00 AM aren’t turned away.  The process is very organized with check in and passes required that allow the participant access to clothing, food, and diapers.

Each family representative is assisted by a volunteer with a cart and boxes and together they move through the lines past the tables of canned goods, rice and pasta, fresh produce, juice, frozen foods, and diapers.  Once through the line, the volunteer will assist in making sure the groceries and other items are placed safely in vehicles before helping the next person in line.

Once the 10:00 AM hour has passed and the last few families make their way through, the clean up and take down begins.  Inventories are taken and documented; clothing racks stripped of their contents and placed back in the boxes that will be stored until the next month; the food items are secured in safe storage ready to be rolled out the next month.

By 12:00 PM everything is put away, and there is no sign of the mission effort that just helped feed and clothe 80 to 100 families made up of 450 to 500 local community members in need.

‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’  Matthew 25:40

The 30 to 40 volunteers required to make this happen can now go home to their own families but by no means are they going home empty.  They have been “fed” as well, their hearts are full.

From the GRACE Ministries website: GRACE Ministries of the United Methodist Church is a community outreach program serving low income families living in Northern Virginia…established to address the most pressing material and spiritual needs of low-income immigrants in the region and to empower immigrants to become community leaders. GRACE Ministries provides emergency food, clothing, household items, diapers and healthcare information and screenings at seven United Methodist Churches in Northern Virginia. GRACE Ministries also provides job training programs to become personal care aides and certified nurse aides.  

Food, clothing and diaper distributions along with health screenings are held monthly at most of the seven area churches:

Centreville UMC – Centreville, VA
Crossroads UMC – Ashburn, VA
Culmore UMC – Falls Church, VA
Floris UMC – Herndon, VA
Mount Olivet UMC – Arlington, VA
St. Stephens UMC – Burke, VA
Sterling UMC – Sterling, VA


Sterling UMC is one of many churches who participate with the GRACE Ministry program.

The GRACE Ministries mission effort at Sterling UMC is one of many local missions that benefit our Sterling community and its neighbors.

Sterling UMC is a community church and all are welcome to assist with our community outreach and to worship and pray with us on Sunday mornings.



Christmas in Sterling

Christmas in Sterling

Advent Focus:  The Redemption of Scrooge Sunday Services  at 8:15, 9:30 and 11:00 AM Based on Charles Dickens’, A Christmas Carol.  We can draw important truths from the past, present, and future about brokenness and redemption and the Advent themes of hope, peace, love, and joy. December 4:       The Remembrance of Christmas Past December 11:    … Continue Reading

SterlingFest 2016

SterlingFest 2016

October means it’s time for SterlingFest, and this year our community’s premier festival is celebrating its 29th birthday.  Sterling United Methodist Church is one of the original places where friends and families have gathered in our community.  YOU can help share our story with people who come to SterlingFest.  Click here to sign up. Continue Reading

Escuela de Desarrollo Congregacional 2016

ESCUELA DE DESARROLLO CONGREGACIONAL, 2016       Rev. Patricia Peña Rev. Patricia Peña es presbítero en la Iglesia Metodista Unida. Ella nació en República Dominicana y viene de una familia de pastores y ministros. Rev. Peña tiene una maestría en Divinidades de la Universidad de Boston. Tiene un corazón para las naciones, la misión, es apasionada… Continue Reading

God, Our Ever-Present Father

There is a social reality these days called “the missing father” that has a drastic negative effect on individuals and society.  Studies document that children from fatherless homes are more likely to be poor, become involved in drug and alcohol abuse, drop out of school, and suffer from health and emotional problems. Boys are more… Continue Reading

Amigos Taco Breakfast

Amigos Taco Breakfast

Join us for our annual TACO BREAKFAST, with authentic Latino cuisine. May 1  7:30 AM – 11:30 AM $7.00 Adults $5.00 Children (ages 5-12) Free for children ages 4 and under. All proceeds support our Amigos Latino-Americanos ministry. Taco image by Luca Nebuloni. Used under creative commons license from Continue Reading

Lenten Devotional for March 24

Resurrection or Resuscitation Read: John 11:17-26 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.” — John 11:25-26 (NRSV) Reflect: When Jesus brought Lazarus back to life, he knew Lazarus would… Continue Reading

Lenten Devotional for March 23

The Tragic Gap Read: Isaiah 43:19 Look! I’m doing a new thing; now it sprouts up; don’t you recognize it? I’m making a way in the desert, paths in the wilderness. —Isaiah 43:19 Reflect: When familiar contours disappear and the earth moves beneath our feet, where can we stand? We can stand in the tragic… Continue Reading

Lenten Devotional for March 21

The Heartbeat of Jesus Read: 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Every time you drink it, do this to remember me.” —1 Corinthians 11:25 Reflect: Overhead lights reflected through the tiny glass cup into the Communion grape juice. I was visiting a church where we waited until all were… Continue Reading

Lenten Devotional for March 20

Follow Me Read: Matthew 4:18-22 “Come, follow me,” he said, “and I’ll show you how to fish for people.” —Matthew 4:19 Reflect: “So how are we to live now? Can we bear the light of Christ into the darkness of our time? Jesus gave several directions that serve as signposts to guide us on that… Continue Reading

Lenten Devotional for 3/19

The True Note Read: Psalm 150 Let every living thing praise the Lord! —Psalm 150:6 Reflect: A few nights ago my wife and I attended a program by a symphony orchestra. When the lights were dimmed the concertmaster came out, received applause, and then sounded one note, “A,” on his violin. One at a time,… Continue Reading

Good Friday Tenebrae Service with Rutter Requiem

On March 25th we will observe Good Friday at Sterling United Methodist Church with a Tenebrae candlelight service combined with the Rutter Requiem.  This service will feature our Aldersgate Choir, several instrumentalists, and the changeless scriptural account of Good Friday.  The music is haunting, transcendent, and sorrowful.  Please join us in this emotional, ancient service… Continue Reading

Lenten Devotional for March 16

The Fruit of the Spirit Read: Galatians 5:22-26 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. —Galatians 5:22-23 Reflect: Fruit is expected of every Christian, regardless of stage or condition of life. In John 15, Jesus defines this fruit in terms of love and obedience. Paul… Continue Reading

Lenten Devotional for March 15

Bearing Fruit Read: John 15 He removes any of my branches that don’t produce fruit, and he trims any branch that produces fruit so that it will produce even more fruit. —John 15:2 Reflect: It’s spring! Freshness all around us—earth being turned, trees budding, daylight growing longer. Let the spring cleaning begin. Throw open the… Continue Reading

Lenten Devotional for March 14

The Master Gardener Read: Isaiah 64 But now, LORD, you are our father. We are the clay, and you are our potter. All of us are the work of your hand. —Isaiah 64:8 Reflect: In my second-year college study of agriculture, I learned that fruit growers employ three pruning techniques to produce a good fruit… Continue Reading