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UN ITED CHURCH OF CHRIST

Rock Spring Congregational

Social Action & Mission Programs


Rock Spring's Commitment

A commitment to Social Action and Mission lies at the heart of Rock Spring's values and ministries. A number of boards, committees, and other organizations work to carry out this commitment, which includes work aimed at: (1)providing assistance to the hungry, the homeless and others in need, both directly and through partnerships with other organizations; (2) engaging our congregation by taking steps for advocacy on progressive social issues of Christian concern; (3) inviting all people, irrespective of sexual orientation or gender identity, to share in the life of the congregation and witnessing for full civil rights for all people; (4) raising awareness of environmental justice issues and promoting better stewardship of earth’s resources both as individuals and as a church; (5) working toward a Just Peace on Earth and helping individuals become peacemakers; and (6) developing meaningful and lasting relationships with people of other faiths.


Social Action & Mission Rock Spring's Social Action and Mission (SAM) Board assists the Church in recognizing and responding to social issues of Christian concern in our local, state, national, and global communities, in realizing Rock Spring's mission as a Just Peace and Open and affirming congregation, and promoting and inspiring effective Christian stewardship. It also acts as the liaison with organizations that serve the community and promote social justice.

Just Peace As a Just Peace Congregation, Rock Spring commits itself to the goal of being a community that: (1) believes a Just Peace is possible and works toward that end; (2) enables and equips its members and others to grow as peacemakers in our congregation, our community, and our world; (3) centers its identity in the Good News of peace which is Jesus Christ; (4) establishes a community where differences may be expressed, explored, and resolved; (5) establishes solidarity with the poor and seeks to be present in places of oppression, poverty and violence; and (6) challenges social structures comfortable with violence and injustice.


Open & Affirming As an Open and Affirming (ONA) congregation, Rock Spring welcomes into its full life and ministry persons of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions, and performs marriages for couples regardless of gender. Rock Spring's ONA Committee advises the congregation on issues of concern to LGBT people and their families and explores ways in which Rock Spring can demonstrate its commitment to full rights for all people regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Rock Spring also supports organizations like People of Faith for Equality in Virginia and Equality Virginia.

Eco-Justice Rock Spring’s Eco-Justice Committee provides information, ideas, and inspiration for church members and the community as they consider the impact of humanity on the earth. Eco-Justice Committee activities include organizing Rock Springers to participate in environmental awareness and advocacy opportunities, greening our campus, and educating Rock Springers about ecologically sustainable lifestyles.


Interfaith Relations Rock Spring has a strong commitment to working with people of other faiths as a way to: promote understanding and acceptance; cultivate service to others as a way of life; affirm the dignity of all people; foster reconciliation; nourish multicultural experiences; advocate for peace with justice; and witness to the unity of the human family. We honor that commitment in a number of ways. This includes membership in the Arlington Interfaith Council and the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy. We also support Virginians Organizing for Interfaith Community Engagement (VOICE), a non-partisan group of Northern Virginia churches, synagogues, and mosques that seeks sustainable social and economic justice that aligns with its member congregations’ social goals. Rock Spring has also established a Friendship Committee with the Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church as a way to promote greater understanding between our faiths and help unite our efforts to address the needs within our communities.


Rock Spring's Wider Mission Rock Spring's Social Action and Mission ministry takes many forms—direct service, advocacy, community organizing and financial support. In this way, we serve our communities, local, regional, national and global. Rock Spring’s Wider Mission budget reflects this broad engagement. Twenty percent of all income from members’ giving to Rock Spring is dedicated to wider mission, beyond our walls. We make a major contribution to the national and global work of the UCC’s “Our Church’s Wider Mission”. This supports church ministry across the US, as well as relief, development, and advocacy that assist the disadvantaged in the USA and internationally. Through Global Ministries, the UCC seeks to share its “ resources and prophetic vision of a just and peaceful world order” through a worldwide network of 270 partners. In 2011 the Board also used funds from this budget to make approximately $38,000 in grants to local Community Partners whose work includes providing food, shelter, and medical services to those in need.


Want To Help? There are many ways to help with Social Action and Mission activities at Rock Spring. Here are a few. • We receive food donations for the Arlington Food Assistance Center and grow food for AFAC in our organic gardens. • In each month with a 5th Sunday, we undertake a major service project following Sunday worship. This has included bagging meals and collecting money to help fight hunger, and doing maintenance work at a school in Anacostia. • Each month we provide lunches to day laborers at the Shirlington Employment and Education Center and 5-6 times a year provide lunch through a food program run by First Christian Church in Falls Church. Further, Rock Springers support a variety of other community organizations. These include organizations that serve the homeless, support low-income housing, operate food banks, provide emergency assistance, and offer medical services. Many of these organizations offer volunteer opportunities.


Need More Information? Our website www.rockspringucc.org provides more in-depth information on Rock Spring's Social Action and Mission programs and on volunteer opportunities. To find out more about Rock Spring's SAM Board and the ONA and Eco-Justice Committees, highlight the Church Life tab and click on the committee name. Meetings are open to all church members and friends. For more information on volunteer opportunities and how to volunteer, highlight the Church Life tab, then click on Social Action and Mission and then Volunteer Opportunities. Questions? Please email us at socialactionandmission@rockspringucc.org and someone will get back to you as soon as possible. 5010 Little Falls Rd Arlington, VA 22207 (703) 538-4886 www.rockspringucc.org


Board of Social Action & Mission Offerings