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.

There are opportunities to serve on Friday for clothing and food set-up after 4 p.m., 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 (currently on hold)

Every month during the school year, on the Sunday following the GRACE Ministries food distribution,  we pack about 150 backpacks with food for children in need at Rolling Ridge Elementary School.  The packing of the “backpacks” is performed as part of our SERVE activity during our Growing Deeper at Ten hour allowing the whole congregation to be involved.

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 email , or call the church office at 703-430-6455.

LINK (activities currently on hold)

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 – Periodically during the year, Sterling UMC volunteers participate in LINK home food delivery.
  • 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.

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.

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.