United for Service


At SJU, we believe God calls us to find Christian meaning in life through creative involvement in Christian social action. We believe 1Peter 4:8-10 provides the Christian model: “Above all, maintain constant love for one another…. Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received.”

Appalachia Service Project
ASP has provided hope and service through volunteer home repair in Central Appalachia since 1969. Together, teens and adults work to make homes in Appalachia warmer, safer, and drier. SJU has sent teams on ASP mission trips since 1980. In 1991, we expanded our mission by inviting our brothers and sisters from St. John Roman Catholic Church and others in our community to join us. Together, we consistently send over 100 youth and adults to Appalachia for a week each summer, and do local projects in Howard County throughout the year. While touching the lives of those we serve, we enrich volunteers’ lives even more. To volunteer your time, contact sjuaspmd@gmail.com

Every October, preparation begins for the following year's trip. If you will be in 9th-12th grades and are interested in participating or getting more information send email to sjuaspmd@gmail.com

People Acting Together in Howard (PATH)

PATH is a broad-based community power organization, rooted in Howard County’s neighborhoods and congregations. PATH is non-partisan, multi-faith, multiracial, and dedicated to making our county and state a better place to live and thrive. 

Recognizing a shared vision to fight for social justice in Howard County and throughout Maryland, SJU was proud to be a founding member of PATH. Together we fight for affordable housing, affordable health care, green, living wage jobs for young adults, quality of life for seniors, healthy children and families.


To get involved in working for any of these issues contact sjucolumbia@gmail.com

Bryant Woods Elementary School

SJU has a special relationship with Bryant Woods. At the end of summer, we gather supplies for the students. We help the students learn about various foods in Days of Taste. As winter comes on, we donate gloves and hats to keep them warm. We collect "Box Tops for Education" for the school. And on the first day of class, we welcome all the students back to school as shown in this photo!

Education Scholarship Fund 
St John United provides scholarships to Howard County English Language Learner graduates through the Melvin Foundation. The goal is to provide two scholarships each year for three years to a graduate of a Howard County public high school. Some of the funds used in this program are obtained through partnering with local restaurants that agree to donate part of their revenue from SJU members who dine there on a specified day. 

Bridges to Housing Stability      
SJU supports Bridges to Housing Stability by bringing chili and chili eaters to the annual Hotter Than Thou chili cook-off contest. We have a chili cook-off at our annual meeting in January and the winner goes to the Bridges to Housing Stability cook-off. Individuals tasting our chili donated $229 for housing stability last year. 

National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) 
NAMI provides support programs for individuals living with mental illness and for their friends and family. NAMI also provides education programs to help recognize and deal with mental illness. St John United supplies dinner and servers for a Sunday Supper in October for adults living with mental illness. Each fall we collect calendars and note pads to distribute to members of NAMI and other adult care organizations.

Christian Women's Thrift Shop
The first Sunday of every month SJU collects non-perishable food, household, and personal products for the pantry at Christian Services of Howard County (also called the Thrift Shop), now run by the Salvation Army.  Cash offerings, used to buy meat for the clients, are also collected in the small baskets. In 2016, monthly collections of products and nearly $1,300 in cash were provided to the Thrift Shop

Give It A Second Life Collection
SJU volunteers collect and process used bicycles, some of which will be sent to Bikes for the World and some of which will be donated to inner city children. Sewing machines, cell phones, eye glasses, purses, pocketbooks, sports gear, and musical instruments are also collected.


CROP Hunger Walk
CROP Walks help to support the overall work of Church World Service, particularly grassroots development efforts around the world. In addition, each local CROP Hunger Walk can choose to return up to 25 percent of the funds it raises to hunger-fighting programs in its own community. SJU participates in CROP by providing walkers and donations. 

Aurora Foundation
The Aurora Foundation operates the Jesus Christ Children's Ministry orphanage in Liberia. The foundation is run by St John United members Dawn and Nate Barnes. SJU contributes financially to the foundation and also collects school supplies and health kits to be used by the students. 

Cold Weather Shelter  
In partnership with Christ Memorial Presbyterian Church which hosts the shelter, SJU members volunteer to prepare meals, transport guests from the Columbia Mall to the church, play games with children, provide lunches, do laundry, and provide evening and/or overnight supervision. This program is led by Grassroots. 

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) 
PDA enables congregations and mission partners of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to witness to the healing love of Christ through caring for communities adversely affected by crises and catastrophic events. SJU helps fund PDA through One Great Hour of Sharing. 

United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR)  
UMCOR serves as a “voice of conscience among Methodists to act in the relief of human suffering without distinction of race, color, or creed.” SJU helps fund UMCOR through One Great Hour of Sharing.