February 13, 2020
FRANCISCO-FACT: Why do we do the Winter Gala?
Interesting truths about St. Francis is that upon its founding it was not a place of well-healed Northern Virginia types. It was a place that welcomed the broader community off Great Falls and its surrounding neighbors from McLean, Reston, Ashburn, Herndon, and Sterling. It represented a broad cross-section of folks who lived in the area: car mechanics, salesmen, military personnel, State Department personnel, personnel of a certain three-lettered bureau located near Langley High School, and more.
In order to keep growing, provide ministry to its members, to overcome small budgets, and to connect to the community, St. Francis created the Country Fair (now the Fall Fest), and later, created the Winter Gala. When this writer arrived, Country Fair/Fall Fest filled the budget needs alone, and Winter Gala split proceeds between the church's budget and designated beneficiaries. This split has been an important source of funds to fund mission beyond our wall including Samaritan Ministry, Second Story, and our South Sudan ministry—St. Francis Basic School in Juba and the Diocese of Ezo.
Building fellowship and serving our neighbors is not only a St. Francis tradition, it is a Biblical act. Reading, especially Paul's letters and the book of Acts is reading a series of stories about the followers of Jesus feasting together and collecting funds to serve the Jerusalem Church and their closer neighbors.
This year's Gala, Saturday, February 22, themed Sailing on the Royal Franciscan, is devoted to that same purpose: Fellowship—dinner, entertainment, and live auction; and fund raising for Juba and Ezo.
All aboard! See you when the ship departs!