CEC Outreach News: February 24, 2022


African Team Ministries - Final Sunday!

After 2020's COVID-19 hiatus and 2021's abbreviated booth, ATM is back! Handcrafts will be on display this Sunday and at the Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper next week. This ministry provides East African, primarily Kenyan, artisans with a market for their beautiful creations. Come & see intricate wood carvings, privative musical instruments, eye-catching soapstone décor, natural elements nativity sets, stunning necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and more!


We also need volunteers to help with set-up, selling, and pack-out. If you are interested in helping and are available after services or on Shrove Tuesday, please contact Sara Kirkpatrick at kirkpasf@gmail.com, leave a message at 410-730-6797.


Columbia Community Care Makes Plans to Restore Home Delivery, Starting with a Call for Volunteers to Clean and Prepare Its Next Pantry

In late summer, the all-volunteer organization Columbia Community Care (CCC) had to suspend home delivery service after it lost access to the last of the pantries that it had arranged with faith-based partners during the pandemic. The delivery service, which benefits people who lack transportation or face other challenges, was put on hold until CCC could obtain a new pantry.


There’s no date yet for the resumption of deliveries, but there is news of Howard County coming through with the site for a new pantry and dates for a weekend clean-up to establish it.


“We officially have the keys to the Columbia Flier Building for a temporary home for now, and we will begin our process to re-start our home delivery service!” wrote CCC founder Erika Strauss Chavarria in a Feb. 21st announcement to the CCC Group on Facebook.


“The first step of this process is to clean and decorate our new space, and we need YOUR HELP! We will have a “CCC Volunteer Clean-up and Beautify the Flier Building Weekend Extravaganza” on Saturday, March 19th, and Sunday, March 20th,” she wrote.


The building, located at 10750 Little Patuxent Parkway, had been the iconic home of the Columbia Flier and other community newspapers of Patuxent Publishing Co., which was acquired by the Baltimore Sun Media Group. After the building was vacated in 2011, the Howard County government bought it in 2014.

CCC is asking for a community-wide effort to get the space in shape as a pantry. “Anyone looking for service hours, this is a GREAT opportunity to get those hours in! Hope to see you all there!” said Chavarria. CCC set up an online sign-up form for volunteers who are willing to perform duties during various shifts from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on March 19 and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on March 20.


“Can’t make it to the cleanup weekend, but still want to help?” CCC asks supporters to pitch in by lending or donating items needed to clean and paint. If you are interested, go to a separate online sign-up form that promises to provide further instructions by email as the weekend approaches.


Last year, while the organization still had access to a pantry at a partner church in Fulton, Md., CCC made more than 12,000 home deliveries to families in Howard County. Several Christ Church parishioners had volunteered to make deliveries, starting their duties by “shopping” among the supplies at the pantry to fill recipients’ grocery lists.


CCC said it will not begin accumulating groceries to resume deliveries until after the new building is ready.


In the meantime, CCC still distributes items to walk-up clients at its three indoor sites during the winter. Neighbors in need can pick up necessities at three locations: Long Reach Village Center, Suite 9, 8775 Cloudleap Ct.; the Wilde Lake Interfaith Center, 10431 Twin Rivers Rd., and the Barn/Teen Center indoor space in the Oakland Mills Village Center, 5851 Robert Oliver Place in Columbia.


Recipients are welcome from 10 a.m. to noon. For volunteers, donations and drop-offs begin at 9 a.m.


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. At Christ Church, our point of contact is Violet Smith, who transports goods in the bin to CCC for distribution.


The Long Welcome: Refugee Ministry Update

Our refugee family continues to make great progress in their transition to life in the U.S. After weeks of hurdling administrative requirements, and thanks to the tremendous efforts of Paula Rees, Mati was successfully enrolled in Wilde Lake High School. He recently shared that his school back in Afghanistan was just one room, so getting to classes at Wilde Lake has been interesting. But he’s making friends and learning how to navigate the technology used for instruction. His mother Ziba just moved up a level in her English class at Howard Community College, and she enjoys Mother Marcia’s supplemental tutoring sessions. The entire family is immensely grateful for Christ Church’s support. In fact, calling from Afghanistan, the family’s father recently expressed his deep appreciation to everyone for taking such good care of his family. He is aware there is a large group behind the effort, who’ve contributed in so many different ways.


Moving forward, the ministry team is engaging in workforce preparation, exploring options for higher education, and mentoring in financial literacy, among other tasks. In fact, we particularly need help with fundraising—a critical part of being able to help the family meet both their short- and long-term goals. If interested, contact Deacon Denise. Finally, our Signup Genius for donations has been updated; just go to https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0c44aaaf22a1fac34-refugee to access it. Thank you for all you do to serve the many needs of the world.


Baltimore Seafarers News

As a reminder, the Women of Christ Church gather donations for Seafarers throughout the year. At this time, they are looking for magazines, cards, notebooks, gloves, hats, and scarves. If you’d like to donate any of these items, the "Seafarers" box is under the table in the Tower Room of New Brick.

Donate Snacks, Crackers, and Cookies to FISH in Bin on our Breezeway

Organizers for FISH of Howard County are continuing to ask for cookies, crackers, and snacks to fulfill its shopping lists. The yellow bin is between Old Brick and the Parish Hall. Thanks for your contributions to our neighbors in need.


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.