Justice and compassion team

The Justice and Compassion Ministry Team coordinates the efforts of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church to help those in need. 

Along with other groups in the church and local and international community partner organizations, our goal is to find ways to work in solidarity with those who are hungry or otherwise in need. We feed the homeless and food insecure, provide school supplies for area children, support those affected by disaster, organize Volunteers-in-Mission trips, and help refugees beginning new lives in the community. 

We invite you to join us in helping others as an expression of our faith. There are many opportunities for service at St. Paul’s, and many ways in which you can participate in ongoing efforts and upcoming projects.


To learn more, contact Anne and Phil Rush, Justice & Compassion Ministry Team Leaders: annesprush@gmail.com.

Nicaragua VIM

St. Paul's has an annual tradition of supporting a Volunteers In Mission team each summer. In 2018, the St. Paul's VIM group will be returning to Nicaragua in early August to continue working with the community preschools in Ciudad Sandino.

Maybe God has been tugging at your heart for a few years to participate in a mission trip. Maybe you have no idea what a mission trip is and would like to learn more. All levels of interest are invited to attend an informational meeting Sunday, April 15 in the Library at St. Paul’s starting at 11:45 a.m. 

Scholarships will be available for anyone interested in the trip. Justice and Compassion is also funding specifically youth-targeted scholarships. 

If you’d like more information but can’t make it to the meeting, please contact Athena Gaalswyk, athena_gaalswyk@yahoo.com.

Meet the Missionaries

Potluck Dinner

Heavener Hall

Wednesday, April 18

7:00 p.m.

The Justice & Compassion Team invites you to a pot-luck dinner in Heavener Hall on Wednesday, April 18 starting at 7:00 p.m. to meet Nan McCurdy & Miguel Mairena, long-time missionaries with the UMC’s Global Board of Missionaries. 

St. Paul’s has been supporting Nan & Miguel in their work for many years, including their previous posts as missionaries in Nicaragua, their efforts as part of the Disaster Response Task Force deployed to the Houston TX area in the 2017 hurricane season, and their roles helping mentor and train new missionaries. They will be telling us about their new assignment beginning later this year in Puebla, Mexico with “Give Ye Them to Eat,” a community-based social outreach and education organization founded in 1977 by the Methodist Church of Mexico. (www.gytte.org). 

If you would like to attend the Meet the Missionaries Potluck, please RSVP to J&C Co-Chair Phil Rush (phil_rush@hotmail.com; phone 240-426-9907).

Ministry Partner Highlight:

InterFaith Works

Interfaith Works, founded in 1972, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency and a non-sectarian interfaith coalition of more than 165 affiliated congregations of diverse faiths, working together to meet the needs of the poor and homeless in Montgomery County, Md. Their trained, professional staff members and volunteers work with individuals and families in crisis to help equip them to lift themselves from poverty and homelessness through prevention, stabilization, and empowerment programs.

To get involved directly with Interfaith Works, visit: http://www.iworksmc.org/getinvolved/

On any given day, 981 people in Montgomery County are homeless, including 230 children. Almost 72,000 Montgomery County residents are living on annual incomes below the Federal poverty line, and 19,757 of these residents are children. The IW Women's Center Shelter, Men's Shelter, clothing center, educational, job readiness, and family programs serve those most at risk in our community.

  • BackPack Build

    St. Paul's Justice & Compassion team again partnered with Interfaith Works to get backpacks and supplies to needy children in time for the start of school. 

    In August 2017, St Paul’s did a fabulous job packing over 100 backpacks for school children in need. We packed binders, dividers, pocket folders, pencil pouches/boxes, colored pencils, markers, highlighters, scissors, and rulers in the backpacks. We were also able to provide crayons, filler paper, pencils, erasers and pencil sharpeners. It took 2 SUVs to transport everything to Interfaith Works! Many thanks to all members of St Paul’s for their love and support – especially the 2x4s Group families who used their monthly lunch meeting to help assemble everything! 

  • IW Women's Center NeeDS

    On June 12, 2017 the sewer line failed at the new Interfaith Works Women’s Center in Rockville and flooded the Rose Room dorm where 19 shelter residents sleep each night. All items that were contaminated by sewage had to be discarded, including residents’ clothing, documents, personal care items, and irreplaceable keepsakes. The losses turned what was meant to be a time of healing for residents into a stressful ordeal. Office equipment was also damaged, offices were rendered temporarily non-functional, water service had to be shut off entirely, and all 70 residents had to be relocated from Rockville to the Interfaith Works Empowerment Center in Silver Spring. Clean-up and repairs are still underway.

    Due to the nature of this emergency, St. Paul’s UMC responded to the IWWC request for monetary donations to help address specific needs quickly and efficiently. Through a special offering, our generous donors provided almost $4,000 towards this effort. With our help, they were able to help women in the shelter replace lost items, pay for equipment repairs, and restore a safe, clean, and beautiful facility for residents.