The mission of Oak Chapel is to excite and grow our Christian community through vibrant worship and fellowship, Christ’s teachings, and growing involvement in the needs of the local community. In a nutshell, we’re all about Celebrating, Connecting, and Caring.
At Oak Chapel, we like to say we are the little church that can. We have been in the heart of Layhill with a heart for Layhill for over 125 years, and part of our ongoing mission is to find ways to support those in need around us. We do that a couple of different ways:
Community Food Pantry – We operate a food pantry 2 days each month: the 2nd Wednesday and the 4th Saturday from 9:30am-11:30am. We provide basic food staples for between 35-45 families each month to them make it during this tough economic time.
Food is donated by our members, by friends from Layhill Church, by food drives done by local Scouts and the Kreative Kidz Academy, which meets in our church during the week. We also accept donations from the community, either financial or in kind: peanut butter, jelly, soup, pasta, sauce or chili, rice, cereal, crackers, canned meat (like tuna), canned fruit, canned vegetables, juice, and desserts.
Argyle Middle School – We collect school supplies on an ongoing basis to help students in need, and did a big drive in August to help students in need (we collect: 2-inch, 3-ring binders, dividers for binders, loose leaf notebook paper (wide rule), backpacks (new or gently used), and 4-gigabyte flash drives). We have a member who is working with 8th graders to help them apply and prepare for the HS magnet programs, and a small team of us is working with the Capstone Project, helping to develop leadership and business skills in our young men and women.
Zip Zone – This past year we have been partnering with several of our sister churches to extend our reach (Liberty Grove, Colesville, Good Hope Union, and Emmanuel UMC’s). We’ve journeyed to Baltimore to help run a summer camp for children and youth in the area where there was civil unrest. We also helped with the construction of a new youth center at one of those same churches. We joined together to pack 88,000 meals in 3 hours time to help some of the world’s hungriest and most vulnerable during a Stop Hunger Now event, and are getting ready to pack more meals this November! We’ll also be doing a day of service on the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday in 2016.
Shepherd’s Table – We are collecting supplies, like small toiletries and gently used, clean clothing items to support the ministries of Shepherd’s Table in downtown Silver Spring.
Youth Mission – We took our youth group on a mission trip last summer where they learned about the ongoing challenges faced by the homeless, prepared meals and served them at a DC women’s shelter, and walked the streets of our nation’s capital distributing food and water to those in need. Our youth also participate in monthly local mission helping out older adults and neighbors in need.
Community Outreach – We provide a “safe place” for the local community to bring their children for seasonal fun events like Trunk or Treat at Halloween.
United Methodist Men – Our men gather one Saturday each month for a time of prayer and devotion, and take on projects here at the church, in the homes of those in need, and do mission in the local community.