Mission Project

History and Progress to Date

When the Campus Renewal Project was launched, the congregation made a parallel decision to establish a Mission Project Fund, expressed by Council thus: As we build at Rock Spring, the congregation has decided to listen for the still-speaking voice of the One who points the way to a transformed world of Just Peace, where all people live in community with each other and our earth. While the details are not yet clear, we believe that if we listen, explore, and do some hard work together, we will discern what Rock Spring can do to live toward that future.

To advance this effort, the Council established a Task Force that was asked to “draft a detailed process for receiving proposed partnerships and projects and for vetting these proposals based on clearly defined values, attributes, and objectives.”

Over the course of four 75 minute (well almost 75-minute, in one case) brainstorming sessions in April 2016, members of the Congregation identified a number of potential directions for Rock Spring’s Mission Project. A number of cross-cutting issues and approaches were identified along the way which have informed our work, including: 

  • Policy Advocacy
  • Faith-Based/Interfaith Approach
  • Education
  • Service Outreach
  • Poverty, Employment, Opportunity
  • Climate/Health/Eco-Justice
  • Nutrition/Health
  • Non-Profit or Small Business Incubator/Lab

In January 2017, a group of volunteers came forward to help develop and refine nine areas that had piqued congregation interest during our initial Mission Project discernment process. By summer 2017, the nine ideas had undergone a series of fairly organic mergers and acquisitions, reducing the number to four, and the Project Development Teams have fleshed each one of these out in greater detail.  You can find links to the proposals below, as well as a short Video summarizing the high points of the projects.  A full set of the proposals can also be found in the Seagmueller room in hard copy.   

Mission Project Proposals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Global Mission and Peacekeeping
POC: Erik Rasmussen, Phil Shull, Bob Harris

Building on Rock Spring’s focus on Palestine and peace in the Middle East, this project focuses on new partnerships.  One partner, the YWCA of Palestine (already a UCC Partner), works to improve the lives of children, youth, and women in refugee camps. The other partner, Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP), is a theologically diverse consortium which educates and advocates for peace.   As a current member of CMEP, RS would promote educational forums, and participate in advocacy to political leaders. 

Global Mission: Proposal Overview 

Global Mission and Peacekeeping Short Film 


Green Accelerator Project (GAP)
POC: Jerry Hartz, Susan Peters, Craig Cheney, Stuart Scott

Addressing climate change is not a hopeless task and practical steps can be taken to reduce energy consumption AND save money. GAP’s goals are big, bold and transformative and are intended to make Rock Spring a national leader in combatting climate change through:

  • educating RS to reduce fossil fuel dependency and increase energy efficiency;
  • bringing solar light and sustainable economic development to rural villages abroad;
  • reducing climate impact locally and assisting low-income homes and immigrants.

Under GAP, Rock Spring will partner with Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment (ACE) and Solar Village Project (SVP) - which provides solar power and light to Indian and African households. 1) Participating RS households will conduct a comprehensive energy assessment (lighting, heating/cooling, insulation, transportation) to achieve the greatest energy savings possible. 2) Energy savings will be given to SVP projects that provide solar light to rural villagers at only $50 per village household. 3) RS will volunteer in ACE’s local environmental programs, including Energy Masters, to provide energy savings to low-income and immigrant households.

Green Accelerator: Proposal Overview 

Gap Short Film


Portal/Coordination Center/Incubator For Social Justice
POC: Steve Silcox, Hugh Barton

The primary purpose of this project is to build a Coordination Center and Incubator within Rock Spring for both the dissemination of social justice related information and mobilization of volunteer opportunities for church members. This project will promote increased advocacy, participation and funding by church members of specific social justice issues. In addition, it will serve as an incubator for social service enterprises that support new social justice activities.  The project will focus on identifying existing and new social justice issues and finding effective ways to address them.  A full spectrum of issues would be addressed including immigration, poverty, racism, sexism, climate change, health care, labor laws, civil rights, education, LGBTQ, etc.  The project would require hiring a paid part-time Coordinator who would identify social justice activities in which church members might be interested.  In addition, a website would be created to disseminate information and volunteer opportunities.

Portal Incubator for Social Justice: Proposal Overview 

Portal Incubator for Social Justice Short Film


Welcoming the Stranger: Support for Refugees in Northern Virginia
POC: Betty Rasmussen, Margaret Miller, Michael Bell, Kathy Hale

This project aims to facilitate the resettlement of refugees in Northern Virginia by providing assistance related to housing, integration into community life, education, and transportation. To this end, Rock Spring would partner with Catholic Charities, an established refugee resettlement agency that has identified numerous opportunities for us to connect both personally and financially with the approximately 250 families they resettle each year. The focus would be on helping refugees both upon arrival and after the short period (3-6 months) of State Department financial assistance. Our relationship would be ongoing, highly practical, and highly interpersonal. It could be scaled up or scaled down depending upon congregational availability and interest. The budget presented does not exhaust the whole “big gift”. It could be extended to provide for more support of the same type or to overlap with other projects.

Welcoming the Stranger: Proposal Overview

Welcoming the Stranger Short Film 

 


 

Next Steps

Between now and March 11, we are working to acquaint the congregation better with the proposals as we prepare to move forward.  Listen for more during Moments for Mission in the service, watch for Laura’s “what I like” series of short videos in the Rock Spring weekly updates, look for members of the Project Development teams at coffee hour and ask them questions.  Get informed!

One Last Note

Remember, YOU are our most valuable resource in this effort — only you know where you are ready to commit your time and talents — whether you decide to start with an energy audit of your home to combat climate change, or you set aside a Saturday to greet a newly arrived refugee and help them settle into their new apartment, or you go up to the Hill to advocate for funding for Palestinians through UNWRA, or you see an open weekend and consult our Social Justice Portal for a volunteer opportunity that pulls at your heartstrings.  

 Over the coming weeks, we invite you to ask the Project Development Teams about their ideas.   As you do this, keep asking yourself, “where do I see myself?  What might I do? Where is my heart leading me? How is the Spirit moving through our process?” 

Mission Project Task Force Members:

Pam Quanrud
Charles Spencer
Lisa Trangsrud
Marty Stansell-Gamm
Kathy Dwyer

 

Mission Project Forms:

Contact: 

Pamela Quanrud

Upcoming Mission Project Events

May 6, 2018 - 12:30pm

Latest Mission Project News

Moving Out On The Mission Projects - Get Organized to GET GOING!
Posted: Apr 12 2018 - 1:20pm

Interested in helping organize as we Welcome the Stranger and put in motion the Green Accelerator Mission Projects? Get in at the start by joining a Working Group on May 6 from 12:30 to 1:15 p.m. in Hunter Building Rooms 205 and 207. Can’t make the meeting but still want to help? Email Betty Rasmussen and Kathy Hale (Welcome the Stranger: rasmussen.eb@gmail.com, HaleKatherine@comcast.net) or Jerry Hartz and Stuart Scott (Green Accelerator: jerry.hartz1@gmail.com, stuscott703@gmail.com).

Sunday, May 6, 12:30-1:15 p.m., Hunter Room 205 & Hunter Room 207

Latest News

Rock Springers are answering the call to save lives by donating blood. You are encouraged to invite family, friends and collegeaues to participate. Sign up by letting Laura Martin or Hugh Barton know you’d like to be scheduled. Online registration will be available at a later date.

On Sunday, May 20 join us to celebrate the completion of the Campus Renewal Project. We will begin our celebration with worship from 10:00 - 11:15 a.m. Our worship experience will include some recognition of those intimately engaged with this work over the past several years.