Parish Outreach Ministries

Parish Outreach Ministries

Taking God’s love out into our community and the world

Emmanuel’s Table Food Pantry

Open every Tuesday (except holidays) from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, the pantry is associated with the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank and staffed by volunteers from our parish.

The number of people served has risen steadily since the pantry opened in summer 2017. Currently, we are serving approximately 50 households and 150 people weekly. Clients are invited to participate in other parish activities, such as our Thanksgiving meal. We always need volunteers to staff the pantry when it’s open and to help with food pick-up, stocking, and inventory on Mondays. Contact Alice Findler if you can help.

Find out more about the pantry and how you can help. 

Please note: In the case of inclement weather, the food pantry closes if the county schools do.

The Clothes Closet

Along with other area churches, we provide volunteers on the first and third Thursday of each month to support this well-stocked local thrift store in Woodstock that provides very affordable clothing, gifts, and household items to those in need (or those who love bargain-shopping). Free clothes are given to those referred by a government or non-profit charitable organization and to those in need as a result of a fire/flood. The Clothes Closet organization puts their significant profits back into the local community and is one of our oldest outreach programs.

The Clothes Closet welcomes donations of clothing and small appliances, home goods, books, and gifts. You can drop them off during their open hours Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Recent extended hours means they need more volunteers. If you’d like to help or learn more, contact Trudy Pence.

 Clothes Closet

Community Luncheons

On the second Thursday of each month the entire community is invited to join us for a free lunch and fellowship. Typically, 50 or more people are served from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the St. Andrew’s parish hall. The lunch lets the community know we are here and open to them. Excess food is delivered to a local group home and parish shut-ins. Help is always welcome and appreciated. Contact Carolyn Wilson for more information.

Bingo at life care center

St. Andrew’s parishioners provide volunteers on the third Saturday of each month for Bingo at the Life Care Center in Mount Jackson. The Life Care Center residents look forward to this, and our volunteers enjoy it too. Members of the congregation provide the prizes awarded to eager winners. If you can help, contact Richard Torovsky.

Family Promise

Family Promise of Shenandoah County was founded in 2015 as the 200th local affiliate of the national Family Promise organization which serves homeless children and their families. Local congregations host families in their churches for one week every quarter while support churches like Emmanuel Episcopal provide dinner and companionship one night during that week. A paid staff works with the families to create permanent solutions to homelessness by working with other local agencies and nonprofits to secure jobs, affordable housing, and medical care. Katherine Morrison and Ellen Fairchild-Flugel are the main contacts for Emmanuel.

St. Andrew’s Special Projects

  • Breakfast with Santa at Stonewall Jackson High School (we help the students with a craft project)
  • Wine and Cheese Reception at Shrine Mont for the Spring Clergy Conference in May
  • Emergency needs as they arise
  • Bell ringing for Salvation Army 

Call Marcia Brownfield for more information or to volunteer.

Shenandoah Alliance for Shelter

The plate offering from the first Sunday of every month (“Mission Sunday”) is donated to this county organization. Its mission is “to prevent homelessness by providing supportive services and/or temporary shelter to enable our clients to achieve independence.” They do a great job of coordinating with other services to avoid duplication of effort and to ensure their clients get the best help they can.

Prayer Shawl Ministry

Volunteers meet Tues from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. at Linda and Sparky Clark’s home. We crochet and knit prayer shawls as well as lapghans, and small blankets for hospice. These are blessed in church before distribution to those who need healing from illness or loss.

We had a hospice representative speak to us about the ongoing needs of hospice ministries and how we can support them.

We also support each other in our spiritual journeys. We have become true sisters and have been truly blessed by our Lord and His gift of friendship and outreach. Those in the group are Jill Gochenour, Sallie Raynor, Gail Giles, Doris Guenther, Maryann Sherry, and Linda Clark. Any of them would be glad to tell you more. 

St. Andrew’s Rummage Sale

This annual event sponsored by the St. Andrew’s Guild and supported by donations from the parish raises money for their Outreach projects. Donations of clean clothing, household goods, gifts, and accessories are welcome. Contact Colleen Gray to help with sorting, set-up, working at the sale, and clean-up. Unsold items in good condition are donated to the Clothes Closet.

Salvation Army Bell Ringers

Every Christmas season, volunteers from our parish join other county bell-ringers to raise money for this worthwhile organization. It’s a wonderful way to get in the Christmas spirit! If you can help, contact Richard Torovsky at St. Andrew’s or Mal Sarna at Emmanuel.

Halloween on Court Square

Parish volunteers, on behalf of the Episcopal Churches of Shenandoah County, provide food and beverages for all the trick-or-treaters—young and old—who come out for the Town of Woodstock’s Halloween celebration, usually the last Saturday in October. Our parish administrator, Melissa Sorokas, is the point person for this right now, so let her know if you can help.

Light Up Woodstock

Parish volunteers arrange for, provide, and serve hot chocolate and 75 dozen (or more) cookies for the Town of Woodstock’s annual Christmas event and parade. It’s a wonderful way to increase visibility for our churches and to let the community know we love and support them. Our parish administrator, Melissa Sorokas, is the point person for this, so let her know if you can help.