Serve the Community

Sterling United Methodist Church is active in mission and service in Sterling and surrounding Northern Virginia communities. Below are listed some of the ways we engage in ministry to our neighbors.

Grace Ministries

On the 2nd Saturday of every month we provide food and clothing for those in need in our community.  Doors open at 7:00 AM. Distribution runs from 8:00 – 10:00 AM.

Volunteers are needed on Friday night for set-up, and on Saturday for distribution and clean-up.

Each month we have a “bucket list” item of requested donations. Donations can be brought to the church lobby by Gallihugh Hall.

To get involved with Grace Ministries, contact Jeff Bradley or Jim Jochems, send an email to , or call the church office at 703-430-6455.

Backpack Buddies

Every month during the school year, we pack about 150 backpacks with food for children in need at Rolling Ridge Elementary School.  Volunteers are needed to pack and deliver the backpacks.  Every month we need donations of the following food items:

  • 300 individual cereal boxes
  • 300 shelf-stable milk boxes
  • 300 ready meals
  • 300 juice boxes (no pouches please)
  • 300 snack items like fruit snacks or granola bars
  • 300 applesauce or fruit cups

To get involved with Backpack Buddies, contact Carol Lipscomb, email , or call the church office at 703-430-6455.

Potato Drop

Once a year, a semi truck rolls up with 40,000 lbs of potatoes aboard. We unload those potatoes, re-bag them and distribute them to about 25 local food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, and schools.   Many hands are needed for this wonderful ministry of plenty!

To get involved with the potato drop, contact Jeff Bradley or Jim Jochems, send an email to  or call 703-430-6455.


Sterling United Methodist is an active member of the LINK network of churches, providing food, clothing and other items to those in need in our community.  There is a shopping cart in the fellowship hall where you can place non-perishable food items year-round. In addition, our connection with LINK involves the following activities:

  • Food Distribution – During the month of October each year, Sterling UMC makes all of LINK’s food deliveries.
  • Coat Drive – In November the people of Sterling UMC collect, sort and distribute well over 1,000 coats and many more hats, gloves and scarves to people in need in our community.
  • Diaper Drive – Each fall we have our “Operation Keep ’em Covered” diaper drive to support the Link diaper bank.
  • LINK provides breads and pastries to us monthly for our Grace Ministries distributions.

To get involved with LINK, contact Amy Thomas, email , or call the church office at 703-430-6455.


Sterling UMC has a small, dedicated team of volunteers who serve as tutors for children at Rolling Ridge Elementary School in their BEARS tutoring program.  This is an excellent way to make a difference in the life of a child who needs a little extra help.

To participate in tutoring, email , or call the church office at 703-430-6455.

Red Cross Blood Drives

Every fall and spring we give life to others through our Red Cross Blood Drive.   The Red Cross sets up in the fellowship hall on Sunday morning, and we give blood to save lives.

To participate in the next blood drive, contact Jim Talbert, email , or call the church office at 703-430-6455.

Senior Citizen Luncheons

On the first Saturdays of October and May, we welcome the senior citizens of our community to the church for a banquet meal of ham and turkey, along with a full complement of side dishes and desserts. Entertainment, door prizes, and take-home meals top off the event.  All seniors are welcome.  Rides can be arranged on request.

Many volunteers and donations of food items are needed.

To participate or to volunteer, please email , or call the church office at 703-430-6455.

Shepherd’s Run

On Christmas Day we honor those in our community who serve tirelessly to keep our community safe.  We deliver cookies and other goodies to the local fire stations. police stations and hospitals.  Volunteers are needed to prepare baked goods, coordinate the event, and to make the deliveries.

To participate, contact Jim Jochems, email , or call the church office at 703-430-6455.

Community Outreach Day

Each spring we take a day and reach out into our own community with helping hands.  Whether painting bathrooms in a homeless shelter, mulching the flower beds of an elderly neighbor, or sprucing up the grounds of a local school, we seek to make a difference in our community.

To participate or to suggest project ideas, contact Jim Jochems, email , or call the church office at 703-430-6455.

DeShong’s Gift Back

DeShong’s Gift Back is a local non-profit organization run by church members Jane and Vini Short. DeShong’s Gift Back has several community gardens, and they grow produce throughout the growing season to support local food pantries, including our own Grace Ministries. Many volunteers are needed to tend and weed the gardens and harvest the crops.

To participate, contact Vini Short at


Offerings collected at the communion rail are used to support our Benevolence Fund.  We work closely with Loudoun Cares and other local charities to provide for the needs of those in our community who find themselves in difficult financial situations and need special assistance.

Sterling United Methodist Church

Iglesia Metodista Unida de Sterling

304 East Church Road, Sterling VA 20164

Phone: 703-430-6455 Fax: 703-430-0753