Each November we take a special offering to support an organization working to pursue gospel renewal. Our 2017 beneficiary is Project Belong, a new partnership between local churches to inspire and resource churches and families to foster and adopt children living in Northern Virginia.
The launch of Project Belong follows our church’s long history of starting important works of grace: planting churches and ministries that serve the poor and marginalized. The offering will fund part-time staff to do the work of inspiring, recruiting and training these potential foster & adoptive families.
The opportunity in our area is astounding: there are around 600 children waiting to be fostered or adopted. But we believe that with the number of active churches and Christians in the region, it is possible to see all of these kids placed in loving homes where they are introduced to the saving grace of Jesus Christ.
The Foster/Adoption Situation in Northern Virginia
Children in the foster care system face emotional, physical, and spiritual challenges. There are around 600 children in Northern Virginia in need of foster care or adoption. With over 600 active churches and millions of Christian families, only 1 family in every congregation would need to adopt in order to place all of these children in loving homes where they will be exposed to the gospel.
The Project Belong Plan
As part of a national network of organizations, Project Belong seeks to speak into the foster and adoptive process with gospel grace, encouraging and educating families around foster and adoption, and mobilizing spiritual, emotional, and physical support for those who choose to foster and adopt.
Project Belong believes that the church is the hope of the foster care crisis. By promoting awareness and recruiting and supporting foster parents, it will aim to equip the Christian community to impact the foster care system with the hope of Christ. This is done by uniting churches with organizations, government agencies, and businesses, so that no child is waiting for a home in metro Northern Virginia.
Donations from this offering will be used toward launching Project Belong, gathering the necessary resources to hire staff who will build coalitions and relationships with local churches, the backbone of the organization’s efforts. This year’s Thanksgiving Offering will be used alongside gifts from a number of other local churches (including MPC church plants Emmanuel Presbyterian Church in Arlington and NewCity in Falls Church) to resource Project Belong, with the goal of expanding services statewide within three years.
Project Belong is part of the Project 1.27 network, which has successful organizations encouraging and recruiting foster parents in 6 states, as well as in D.C. The Project 1.27 network takes its inspiration from James 1:27, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress.”
The Project Belong strategic plan will begin by partnering with churches and organizations to educate, support, and recruit foster parents in the metro Northern Virginia area, with hopes to expand statewide within three years in order to serve the thousands of children who need families across the state of Virginia. The goal is to become a self-sustaining organization within a three-year period.
If you’re interested in getting more involved with Project Belong, or would like to know more about foster care and adoption, you can contact Chris Seaton at firstname.lastname@example.org.