Three years ago, I started a blog about Life In Vienna. I called it "There's No Place Like Vienna (Dot Com)" because I really feel like there is no better place to live than Vienna, VA. I moved to Vienna when I was 10 years old, grew up here, was married here, raised my family here, and now my husband and I are empty nesters here. And so over the years, I have written about Vienna's history, Vienna restaurants, the schools in Vienna, the Vienna music scene, Vienna sports and more. (And I write about Vienna real estate on my "other" blog.) But truly, the absolute best part of Vienna is the people who live here.
My husband, Bill Grossman, works at St. Mark Catholic Church in Vienna. He's on staff as the Pastoral Associate and works with the various service & outreach ministries. This week he shared with me a little of what has been happening at St. Mark this past month. And I'd like to share it with you. It will give you an idea of what kind of people live here in this wonderful place called Vienna.
Here's what Bill said:
"St. Mark was founded almost 50 years ago with the idea of service and outreach in our community as a core to our faith. So many great people paved the way back then, and it continues today. I wanted to share with you what I shared with the St. Mark Staff today at our monthly meeting.
Our Tithing Allocation Committee approved 6 grants to local organizations that will help low income families in our area, will help a men’s homeless shelter, will provide winter coats for homeless/low income children, will support a continuing adult education program, will support a bereavement organization and will help a home for abused women.
The Thanksgiving Clothing Drive brought in and moved out nearly 7 tons of clothing to 15 local organizations using the help of 150+ volunteers (many were teenagers!)
Our Hot Meals Ministry cooked, delivered and fed 125+ homeless/low income folks in Fairfax County.
Our Prayer Shawl ministry knitted 70 hats, 23 scarves and 7 baby blankets for the homeless and distributed them to FACETS, the Lamb Center, Hope Center and the Reston Homeless Shelter.
Our Gift of Peace ministry made and delivered dinner to the Gift of Peace House in Washington to help feed HIV clients.
Support Our Troops ministry put together over 90 packages of much needed goodies and mailed them to our Troops overseas.
ESL (English as a Second Language) concluded their Fall session with a wonderful Christmas party hosting many of the current ESL students. 12 Computers were given away at the party courtesy of our Computer Repair Ministry.
Our Funeral Reception Committee and Funeral Bakers Committee helped celebrate the beautiful life of Barbara Comi, hosting one of the largest Funeral Receptions ever at St. Mark.
Our Giving Tree Ministry helped bring in and then distribute to 12 local organizations a total of 2,408 Christmas gifts and $14,825 in Gift Cards
We collected 41 pints of blood at the Blood Drive.
Our Second Sunday Sustenance group made over 100 sandwiches and delivered to those in need.
Our M&M (Seniors) group held their annual Christmas party and were entertained by our wonderful St. Mark School choir.
Our Catholic Social Teaching Committee hosted a speaker presentation on the death penalty in Virginia.
Our Hypothermia Shelter ministry is in the midst of planning/helping the area churches that are hosting sites for the homeless throughout the winter."
Note: the types of things Bill Grossman describes go on all year long, and not just at St. Mark Catholic Church. They happen at churches & schools & stores & homes all throughout our community - with big events like Kyllopalooza and Relay For Life and Toys For Tots and small ones too where neighbors help neighbors gently & quietly.
People who care about other people, who put their money where their mouth is, and tithe their time, treasure & talent - that's what I love about living in Vienna!