At Christ Church, outreach to those in need occurs at the local, national, and international level. This is motivated by the Holy Gospel: And the King will answer them, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.” Matthew 25: 40.
The Outreach Commission endeavors to offer hands-on opportunities, multi-generational activities, and ways to support helping others when direct service is not an option for you at a given time.
Another goal is to experience the fellowship of shared experience as we work for others. For example, at least half a dozen volunteers build camaraderie among themselves and the friends whom they serve while providing a monthly hot meal for the homeless in Jessup, Md. And from time to time, the commission organizes a “food, fun, and fellowship” event to give many hands a chance to do the Lord’s work. Through this approach, Outreach provides additional support for a designated charity. The most recent beneficiary was ECSM’s The Ark, a preschool for homeless children in Baltimore.
Here are some of the recipients of the generosity of the parish in which you may wish to become involved:
* Children of Uganda – Christ Church supports the work of this nonprofit that educates and helps to raise disadvantaged children in rural Uganda in multiple ways. Some members are directly involved by serving on the board and/or sponsoring a child; Outreach is committed to support a community library by paying for a librarian’s salary, internet service and other needs. In 2014, the congregation helped host the COU Tour of Light.
* In a related ministry, Christ Church supplies mosquito nets and other needs for Philip’s House, a home for disabled young adults in Kampala.
* CCD-Thailand The Christian Care Foundation for Children with Disabilities receives support to help pay the salary of a therapist.
* Somos Amigos medical mission in El Naranjito, Dominican Republic.
* DreamBuilders – This interfaith, multi-congregational group brings adults and youth together to build or rehabilitate housing for those in need in different parts of the country. Closer to home, Christ Church parishioners raise money for supplies through sale of fair-trade coffee, tea and chocolate and support and/or participate in rehab activities in Maryland.
* Route 1 Day Resource Center – Christ Church members supply and serve a hot meal on the second Monday of the month as well as bring donations of clothing and nonperishable food collected from the congregation. In a long-term, ongoing commitment to support medical services, Christ Church also provides the Center’s medication supplies, provides a fund for respite care so that homeless people are not released from the hospital with no place to go during recovery, and responds to other special requests from the clinic’s medical director.
* Support for needy families in Howard County through Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center, FISH, and the Salvation Army; for Howard County AGAST (anti-human trafficking), spiritual outreach to prison ministry at the Howard County detention center; and to Episcopal Community Services (Baltimore).
* Annual Christmas gift collection through Salvation Army for children in Howard County, including the inter-generational stocking stuffer activity held each December, when young and old gather to fill stockings for kids who likely would have little or nothing otherwise.
PARISH AND DIOCESE-WIDE:
In addition to the above activities supported by Outreach, we encourage parishioners to engage in the traditional outreach activities of other parts of Christ Church such as the Women of Christ Church, who make monthly visits to brighten the lives of residents of Springfield Hospital in Sykesville, Md., and the children at the Ark Preschool in Baltimore. In August, we support the collection of school supplies through a charity that began at Christ Church but that is now a free-standing, county-wide nonprofit, Prepare for Success. Other opportunities include the diocesan-sponsored Seafarers mission helping mariners from around the world whose ships call in Baltimore and the work of the church’s own Knitwits, whose handmade items help the Seafarers as well as children far and wide. The Bishop’s annual appeal also offers selected worthy causes many of which fulfill spiritual as well as material needs.
Outreach welcomes new members to the Commission and stands ready to connect anyone with ways to serve either on a one-time or regular basis. For information, please contact us.