Three Northern Virginia congregations, Christ the King (Great Falls), Community (Sterling) and King of Kings (Fairfax) have banded together as the Northern Virginia Lutheran Trio to host a refugee family as part of the Good Neighbor Partner (GNP) program of Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area (LSSNCA).
Through emails and phone calls, lay leaders in the churches discovered a mutual interest in supporting a refugee family for a year but also concerns about the capacity of an individual congregation to meet the financial and volunteer requirements. Those includes an estimated $21,000 in rental assistance and other support; fully furnishing and setting up an apartment for the family; stocking the pantry for two weeks; transportation assistance, including possibly providing a used vehicle; helping the family acclimate to all aspects of their new community; possibly mentoring; and providing rides to medical and other appointments.
Agreeing that pooling resources would enable them to do far more of God’s work with many hands, the leaders and pastors from the three churches formed a committee that underwent background checks and participated in two training sessions to prepare them to assume the GNP obligations. They established a three-congregation Sign-up Genius to accept household supplies and gift cards, located a housing developer willing to donate new furniture and furnishings, raised funds to provide financial support for the family, and began soliciting commitments from their members to provide services to the family as needed. Now they are waiting eagerly for LSSNCA to assign them that family.
The Holy Spirit is at work in the Synod!