Social Justice

Emmaus members at the 2018 Crop Walk, part of Hunger Action Weekend

Emmaus members at the 2018 Crop Walk, part of Hunger Action Weekend

We seek to make manifest God’s love and caring in a troubled world through committed outreach.  A number of excellent United Church of Christ and Emmaus programs enable us to make a real difference in the lives of our neighbors near and far.

Here are some of the programs that we either lead or support:

V.O.I.C.E

Because our faith demands and our democracy requires we stand together as people … Emmaus is an active participant in V.O.I.C.E., Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement.  Partnering with V.O.I.C.E., we are committed to bringing people together across religious, racial, economic, and political party affiliations to build a stronger Northern Virginia through concrete actions. Our congregation is active in local, grassroots organizing on various issues, including transportation, affordable housing, criminal justice reform, and immigration. Additionally, we are active participants in “GOTV” work in Northern Virginia.


First Gifts Service

First Gifts is a worship service during Advent when we prepare our hearts and sanctuary to welcome Jesus. During the service, we assemble the cradle that is the center piece of our upcoming pageant. As we prepare to welcome baby Jesus, we bring the first gifts of Christmas, which are baby shower gifts for expectant mothers and new babies in need at Second Story (previously known as Alternative House). 


Hunger Action Week

Hunger Action Weekend is a church-wide focus on alleviating hunger locally and overseas. Everyone rallies around a constellation of intergenerational service projects, with a culminating week in October. Levels of enthusiasm and participation are high as we engage in work to help feed our brothers and sisters.


The Shepherd’s Center is a volunteer-based organization dedicated to promoting and supporting purposeful, independent living for mature adults through  volunteer opportunities, transportation assistance, support services, lifelong learning and cultural enrichment opportunities. Several of us serve as volunteer drivers for the elderly through the Center’s coordination. To learn more, visit scov.org.

The Shepherd’s Center of Oakton-Vienna


OGHS is the refugee, relief and development offering of the United Church of Christ. This collection transforms lives through health, education, agricultural, and emergency relief initiatives in 138 countries. The offering is usually gathered in March. To learn more, visit ucc.org/oghs. Our participation in OGHS, as well as other programs, make Emmaus a “5 for 5” UCC church.

One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS)


NIN is a special mission offering of the UCC that supports ministries of justice and compassion throughout the United States. One-third of NIN funds support the Council for American Indian Ministry. Two-thirds of the offering is used by the UCC's Justice and Witness Ministries to support a variety of justice initiatives, advocacy efforts, and direct service projects through grants. The offering is usually gathered in October. To learn more, visit ucc.org/nin.

Neighbors in Need (NIN)