CEC Outreach News: December 29, 2021


Refugee Ministry: GREAT News to Share!

As we mentioned last week, Christ Church's Refugee Ministry has been matched with a refugee family of four: a mother, age 46, with three sons, ages 20, 19, and 17. A team of people has been busy preparing their townhome in Ellicott City for a move this week. We encourage all to join us for our Zoom gathering this Thursday, December 30th at 6:30 p.m. to learn the latest on this important ministry and get the latest on how the moving process is going. Email us for the Zoom details: info@christchurchcolumbia.org. We’re excited to meet and get to know this family and will be sharing more information in the coming weeks.

If you’re interested in learning more or want to know how to help, please contact Jan DeBoissiere or Cherryllynn Williams. And if you'd like to donate to help support the Refugee Ministry, simply visit Realm and select "Refugee Ministry" from the Fund dropdown menu. Thank you.


Friends of Sabina Shares Progress Toward Meeting Urgent Sanitation Goals

The students and teachers at Sabina Primary School in Uganda have a lot to look forward to in 2022, as plans take shape for a major improvement in water and sanitation at their campus. Leaders of the nonprofit, Friends of Sabina (FOS), have kept us up to date on their goals, most recently during a virtual fundraising program on Dec. 8.

“We are so grateful to all who have donated and shared Friends of Sabina's message. THANK YOU for helping to improve the water, sanitation, and hygiene at Sabina,” leaders Ann Marie Davis and Maria White wrote in a Dec. 29 email to supporters at Christ Church. Watch a FOS video on YouTube about 2021 progress and the need for crucial upgrades.

For more than a decade, the Outreach Commission at Christ Church has backed efforts at the school and, as you may recall, hosted FOS leaders during a Zoom coffee hour last August. The commission has routed a parishioner’s donation of $137 for Ugandan students’ education to the campaign for Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (W.A.S.H.) as other parishioners are considering their personal support.

FOS announced this week that it has raised $48,166 of a goal of $80,000, thanks to its donors’ generosity as many consider personal support for the New Year. FOS hopes to meet its goal before students return to school in January after nationwide shutdowns due to the pandemic. Sabina teachers and staff members have taken education packets to students' homes to keep them engaged in learning during the pandemic.

Through Outreach, Christ Church also supports the Sabina library; it serves as a community center in a rural part of Uganda called the Kyotera District. Using Vestry-approved funds derived from your contributions, Christ Church pays for internet service and for the salary of the librarian, Richard Tumusiime.


Columbia Community Care Takes Off New Year’s Day, Moves Indoors for Winter

Please spread the word that the all-volunteer organization, Columbia Community Care (CCC) is taking a holiday break and changing some operations as winter arrives. All sites are closed on New Year’s Day: Saturday, Jan. 1.


Starting on Saturday, Jan. 8, distribution will move indoors at the Wilde Lake Interfaith Center, 10431 Twin Rivers Rd. The Oakland Mills Middle School (OMMS) site will relocate to the Barn/Teen Center indoor space in the Oakland Mills Village Center, 5851 Robert Oliver Place in Columbia.

There are no changes for Long Reach, which is already indoors at Long Reach Village Center, Suite 9, 8775 Cloudleap Ct.

Saturday hours are the same as before: 10 a.m. to noon for recipients, and volunteers and donation drop-off beginning at 9 a.m. There will be no Wednesday hours, as the Dec. 29 distribution at OMMS was the last mid-week operation until Spring (see photos on this week's Outreach blog).


At Christ Church, members of R.A.G.E and the Outreach Commission ask parishioners to continue supporting CCC by collecting diapers, baby wipes, sanitary and personal care items, and adult diapers. Please put any of these items in the yellow bin, marked “CCC,” inside the Parish Hall. You can drop off items on weekdays when the church office is open or on Sunday.


FISH Continues its Request for Cookies, Crackers, and Snacks

As the New Year begins, organizers for FISH of Howard County continue to ask for cookies, crackers, and snacks to fulfill shopping lists. They also say thanks to Christ Church for its response to their earlier needs, which produced an adequate inventory of household cleaning supplies and personal items. The bin is on the breezeway near the door to the Parish Hall.



Lake Elkhorn Middle School Update

We have been in contact with Principal Melissa Shindel and she is so grateful for all that Christ Church has done over the last year (i.e., money for field trips and staff shirts, food for families in need, school supplies) and she welcomes our support in the future.

That support may be a bit different this year as food for families is being handled through the county. Furthermore, because of the inability to go on trips due to the pandemic, there is money left in the field trip budget for this year.

However, Melissa is hoping that we will be able to assist with parent workshops that will be held over the school year in the evenings. The school is partnering with the Council of Elders whose mission is to support the Black community. They are hoping to present workshops on specific topics relevant to families that struggle. Melissa would love it if we could provide Grab and Go dinners (due to COVID restrictions) for those meetings, and projects that there will be about 30 people attending.


We will be in touch with you once we have definite dates for these workshops after the winter break. Melissa may discover that there are other ways that we can help as the school year progresses. There is no doubt that this is a severely under-resourced school and our help is crucial to provide these children with an equitable school experience. Please let us know if you have any questions or suggestions, by emailing us at lemspc@christchurchcolumbia.org. We look forward to working with you over this school year. ~Mary Vail and Cathy Whittaker, Co-chairs of the Lake Elkhorn Middle School Committee



In general, if you have suggestions about ways to help the community, if you want to get involved, or if you need assistance, please email Christ Church Outreach at outreach@christchurchcolumbia.org. Your help is greatly welcomed and appreciated. Thank you.