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    Immanuel Mar Thoma Church LINKs Up with Sterling Food Pantry
    immanuelImmanuel Mar Thoma volunteers Sanil and Anuroopa Thomas and daughter Sneha collect groceries during a multifamily food drive for Loudoun County. Photo is courtesy Immanuel Mar Thoma Church.
    Immanuel Mar Thoma received as a LINK Associate Member Church

    IMTC has joined LINK as an associate member. The parish as a whole is excited to be more connected to the community and increase fellowship with the member and affiliated churches supporting LINK.

    The Immanuel Mar Thoma Church (IMTC) has been associated with LINK, a food pantry ministry in Sterling, over the past few years in donating food, clothing and other essentials for the benefit of the needy within the Herndon, Sterling and Ashburn communities. The congregation, though limited, desires to serve the needy of the local community and found a wonderful opportunity through the tremendous ministry of LINK.

    IMTC was first introduced to LINK by Community Lutheran Church (CLC). IMTC Pastor Rev. Jaisen Thomas said, “It was a blessing that CLC offered its premises [for his church] to hold their Sunday worship services in Sterling allowing the parish to gradually begin participating in LINK activities.”

    LINK President Lisa Lombardozzi was excited about receiving IMTC. She commented, "LINK is thrilled to have Immanual Mar Thoma join us in our ministry to provide food to families in our community. We are always seeking strength in numbers and we welcome our brothers and sisters in Christ to our ministry." Mr. Aji Jacob, IMTC Outreach Coordinator serves as representative to LINK.

    The Immanuel Mar Thoma Church is a parish of the Mar Thoma Church. The word “Mar Thoma” means St. Thomas in Aramaic/Hebrew. Mar Thoma Church is one of the oldest groups of practicing Christians in the world. The name attributes itself to the long heritage of the church dating back to St. Thomas, the Apostle of Jesus Christ, who established the church in Kerala, Southern India in AD 52 and laid the foundations of Christianity in this part of the world. Today the Mar Thoma Church has over one million adherents worldwide.

    Over the past 2,000 years, the church has grown within and spread outside the borders of India. In the early centuries, the Patriarch of Antioch gave spiritual care to the Mar Thoma Church with bishops and clergy coming quite regularly to Kerala. Within the past 200 years, the church developed a strong relationship with the Anglican Church. The Church Missionary Society (CMS) missionaries of the Anglican Church provided a “mission of help” to the Mar Thoma Church by translating the Bible and prayer books into the vernacular of the people. This sparked a reformation movement within the church and strengthened the bond with the Anglican Church. Thus, the Mar Thoma Church shares a full communion relationship with the Anglican Communion worldwide and through that the Episcopal Church, USA. It has been said that the Mar Thoma Church is "Apostolic in origin, universal in nature, biblical in faith, evangelical in principle, ecumenical in outlook, oriental in worship, democratic in function and episcopal in character.”

    The IMTC, Virginia is a very young parish of almost five years. The parish is under the Diocese of North America and Europe of Mar Thoma Syrian Church of Malabar in India. IMTC, Virginia is the second parish in the Washington, D.C. area and the first parish in Virginia under Diocese of North America and Europe. They have about 60 families in the congregation and most are young professionals. Rev. Jaisen Thomas serves the parish as their Pastor and provides spiritual guidance and leadership.

    IMTC, Virginia truly began in the early 1990’s with a dedicated group of Mar Thoma families living and worshipping in the Commonwealth of Virginia. These families longed for a place of worship closer to home and a place of Christian learning offered by Sunday school for their children. The Information Technology boom of the late 90’s brought a new wave of Mar Thoma families to Northern Virginia. These families brought with them a desire for worship and fellowship with like-minded believers. The foundations for a future parish were laid over the years by these families as they participated actively in church organizations at the Mar Thoma Church of Greater Washington which as the parent church offered prayerful support to the infant parish.

    The parish has several organizations or specified ministries to specially serve the needs of the community. All the ministries particularly the Parish Mission, Sunday school, Choir, Youth, Women’s Ministry and Young Families Fellowship have a governing committee and work under the auspices of the Pastor to further the gospel.

    Mission (Matthew 25:35-40, 28:19)

    IMTC understands that they are called to be a living church that impacts not only their church body but those in the local community and beyond. They believe that the church body as a whole should be the active hands and feet of our Lord and Savior. Therefore, they strongly encourage all members (as a family) to actively participate in missions, local, national and global. They believe the family should be involved in mission together thus, children will grow with a deeper understanding of Christian character and faith, thus, affirming that mission must be sacrificial and relational.

    The Church Motto: “Lighted to Lighten”

    The role of the church is to spread the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Every believer and member of the church here in their position, wherever they are, are given the light so that they can lighten others. As Matthew 5:14 says, “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”

    Mar Thoma Church was commissioned with this vision of mission. Rev. Jaisen A. Thomas, Pastor and Vicar can be reached at 214-604-6678 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).
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    Becky Dvorak - Healing Conference in Leesburg
    becky dBecky Dvorak
    So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God.” Mark 11:22

    Becky Dvorak – 2 day Healing and Impartation Conference

    And these signs shall follow them that believe…

    Who: Becky Dvorak
    What: 2-day training and impartation in the gift of healing
    Where: Best Western Hotel and Conference Center, 726 East Market St, Leesburg, Virginia 20176
    When: Friday, September 19th 6PM – 10PM; Saturday, September 20th, 9AM – 5PM
    Preregistration is required, visit
    Why: Come together for a time of equipping and activating the gift that these signs shall follow…

    Worship Music: with/Jeremy Hall

    You will not to want to miss this opportunity to have the gift of healing activated and operating in your own life! Becky Dvorak is a prophetic minister, evangelist, missionary, and author whose daily life gives way to the spiritual gifts fully operating, with signs following!

    She is a full-time missionary to Guatemala, and travels throughout America and the nations, bringing a fresh word and a fresh impartation of God’s Spirit through conferences, prophetic healing services and international miracle crusades. Becky’s heart is to help train and equip believers in the power of the Holy Spirit, through the finished work of Jesus. She feels we are in the end times, and as believers, we must demonstrate the love and power of God unto salvation.

    Becky carries a powerful anointing for healing and deliverance, with signs following (dead raised, blind see, deaf hear, paralytics walk, cancer destroyed, in Jesus’ name). God’s ministry, through Becky, ignites a fresh passion in the hearts of believers to go deeper in their relationship with God.

    Becky’s desire is for people to experience the manifest presence of God and power of the Holy Spirit, bringing revelation of the completed work of Jesus, His love for them, and His desire to heal. She encourages us, as believers, to dare to believe: God is who He says He is, He will do what He says He will do, and as is He (Christ), so are we, in this world. For more information about Becky Dvorak, visit

    Space is limited. Pre-registration is required.

    There will also be personal ministry and prayer for healing.

    If you have questions regarding this event, please contact Odessa Criales-Smith at 571-420-5866 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

    About Becky Dvorak

    Becky Dvorak is a minister of divine healing and miracles, prophetic Bible teacher with 20+ years of walking in the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit, Destiny Image author of “Dare to Believe – The True Power of Faith to Walk in Divine Healing and Miracles” and “Greater Than Magic – The Supernatural Power of Faith”. She is the co-founder of Healing and Miracles International and co-founder of Vida Ilimitada in Guatemala, where she, alongside her husband, David, of more than 34 years, have founded LIFE Homes – Guatemala for children that have been orphaned, abandoned and LIFE Tender Mercy Home for children born infected with the HIV Virus, but are in the healing process.

    She is a firm believer in the healing power of Jesus Christ with signs and wonders following and travels around the globe equipping the Church on how to walk in divine healing and miracles, ministering at DARE to Believe Healing Schools, Services, Seminars and Conferences.

    Becky is a wife, mother of 8 (3 adult biological and 5 adopted), plus 1 son-in-law and 2 daughters-in-law, grandmother of 6. She has resided with her husband, David in Guatemala, Central America as full-time missionaries since 1994.

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    Feed Loudoun Hosts Fresh Food Drive to Benefit Loudoun County Food Pantries
    truckfullWhat is gleaning? It is the harvesting of food for the needy. This tradition goes back to ancient times when landholders allowed folks in need to harvest left-over crops. In eighteenth century England, the sexton would often ring a church bell at eight o'clock in the morning and again at seven in the evening to alert needy families when they were invited to collect crops. As a volunteer, gleaning is a fun, family activity that usually lasts no more than about 2 hours on a beautiful fall day. It is also a good activity for groups who are looking for community outreach projects.
    Feed Loudoun, a non-profit organization of Loudoun County, will host a county wide food drive of exclusively fresh fruits and vegetables August 9th through August 16th.

    Individual gardeners, farm markets and farmers are asked to donate their surplus fruits and vegetables to participating food banks.

    Following a successful 2013 gardening season Feed Loudoun donated over 24,000 pounds of produce to local food banks in an effort to provide fresh nutritious food to those in need in the community. Feed Loudoun is an associated volunteer network with the national movement Plant a Row for the Hungry established by the Garden Writers Association. The total of donations for the Feed Loudoun 2014 Harvest will be added to the national Plant a Row totals for the “20 by 20” campaign where the national goal is to have 20 million pounds donated by 2020.

    Feed Loudoun is a uniquely community-based program designed to assist in feeding the hungry here in Loudoun County. Founded in 2009 by Julia Brizendine, the nonprofit is part of a national grass roots initiative started by the Garden Writers Association in 1995.

    Feed Loudoun is comprised of individual gardeners, agri-businesses, farm markets and other community partners who donate their surplus fresh produce to help feed Loudoun's hungry. Fresh food does not go to waste but instead is donated by volunteers in our community to those in need. The collected food is given to various food pantries throughout Loudoun County. Feed Loudoun donates 100% of the produce collected. To date, they have coordinated the donation of over 90,000 pounds of fresh produce to food pantries all over the county!

    Feed Loudoun is an all-volunteer organization. What they need most is your time! However, they do have some modest expenses which have been covered primarily by individual donations and two small, start-up grants from 100 Women Strong and Farm to Fork. The focus is on food and volunteerism.

    Are you a gardener? Could you plant an extra row or two for the hungry? Even if you have no more room in your garden, you probably have excess produce that goes to waste every year, right? Why not put it to good use? Food pantries stock mostly canned goods and other non-perishables because these are the easiest to distribute. However, good nutrition depends on fresh fruits and vegetables. Increasingly, food pantries are willing to accept fresh fruits and vegetables during the growing season. This helps conserve the non-perishable items so that shelves stay fully stocked during lean times in the summer season.

    You can drop your own produce off at one of the listed drop-off locations. Or, if you have a large quantity of food, let Feed Loudoun know and they may be able to help with gleaning.

    The Loudoun farms who donate regularly through gleaning:
    Wegmeyer’s – Hamilton, VA
    Quarter Branch Farm – Lovettsville, VA
    Crooked Run Orchard – Purcellville VA
    Willowsford Farm - Leesburg, VA
    Potomac Vegetable Farm - Lovettsville, VA

    What to grow:

    There is no right or wrong when it comes to growing fruits and veggies for Feed Loudoun Plant a Row. What you want to consider is how long your fruit or veggie will last once harvested. Fruits and veggies with a longer shelf life tend to be more practical (like squash, zucchini, potatoes, beans, onions, carrots, and apples). Food pantries accept all edible fruits and veggies for distribution. You are certainly welcome to donate tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, peppers, melons, pears, peaches, herbs, etc. Please don't limit what you grow or donate because it will all be consumed!

    For more information, contact Feed Loudoun's Julia Brizendine at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or visit

    Please Note

    Some locations (not all) require that you call before drop off (see phone numbers in each listing).

    Catholic Charities (Leesburg)
    Martha Michael, Program Manager
    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    12 Cardinal Park Drive SE,
    Leesburg, VA 20175
    703 443-2481
    Donation times: Monday – Thursday 9:30 am until 4:00pm
    * Please call first

    LINK (Sterling)
    Lisa Lombardozzi, Executive Director
    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    Bob Ashdown, Pantry Manager
    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church
    46833 Harry Byrd Hwy.
    P.O. Box 443
    Sterling, VA 20167-0443
    Donation times: LINK can accept produce donations anytime.
    * Please call first.

    Loudoun Interfaith Relief (Leesburg)
    Jaime Rubinos, Manager of Operations
    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    750 Miller Drive SE
    Leesburg, VA 20175
    703 777-5911
    Donation times: Monday – Friday 9:30am until 4:00pm Saturday 9:30am until 1:00pm

    Messiahs Market (Ashburn)
    Erika Huddleston, Community Life Executive Director
    Sheri Toler, Pantry Manager
    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    19790 Ashburn Road
    Ashburn, VA
    Donation times: We can receive donations by appointment most any time the building is open: M-F: 8:00am until 6:00pm,
    Saturdays we usually have a team here 10-Noon
    * Please call first.

    Seven Loaves (Middleburg)
    Melanie Maloney, President
    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    15 W Washington St
    Middleburg, VA 20117
    540 687-3489
    Donation times: M-W-F from 9:00a.m. to Noon or Thursday from 9:00am until 10:00a.m.
    Donations preferred Wednesday, Thursday or Friday.

    Tree of Life (Purcellville)
    Brian McMullen, Executive Director
    Linda Watkins, Pantry Manager Tree of Life Center
    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    210 N. 21st St., Unit D
    Purcellville, VA 20132
    Donation times: Monday - Thursday 9:00am until Noon.
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    About the Blogger
    Mark Gunderman writes and solicits articles that reflect the Church ministries and faith-based organizations' spiritual rhythm and follows the seasons of the Church. The Church and its ministries are relevant for news articles all year round, not just during Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. The Church and the media have many philosophical differences, yet common denominators link them together. Both have a message they want to articulate. An inherent responsibility for both is to communicate successfully.

    "If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all and servant to all" (Mark 9:35).


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