CEC Outreach News: July 29, 2021


Columbia Community Care Plans Gift-Bag Distribution to Help Kids Enjoy Summer

For a mid-summer celebration, Columbia Community Care (CCC) has made plans to bring cheer to children in Howard County on Saturday, Aug. 7. Its volunteers are adding a table to each of CCC’s three distribution sites that will offer gift bags and other new items for kids.

Please obtain medium-size gift bags and fill them with toys and other delights for children ages 3 to 10 years old. Ideas include gender-neutral gifts and small toys such as jump ropes, sidewalk chalk, sunglasses, foam visors, bubble soap, slime, play dough, stickers, art supplies, markers, and watercolors. Also consider adding individual snacks, juice boxes, granola bars, and fruit snacks. CCC will also accept single/loose, larger items such as playground balls, soccer balls, and paperback books. New items only. Please, no toy weapons of any kind.

Sue Sharff Castonguay, a member of the CCC group on Facebook, organized the giveaway and is coordinating the additional volunteers to hand out the items through her posts on CCC’s Facebook group. Volunteer hours are 9:30 a.m. to noon or until CCC runs out of bags and gifts.

Parishioners can bring their bags to the yellow bin marked “CCC” located inside the entrance to the Parish Hall. To make sure the items get to the organizer’s preferred sites on time, a member of Christ Church will coordinate with CCC. The Christ Church deadline for dropoff is Friday, Aug. 6 by 4 p.m.

Or, if you prefer, you can bring the gift bags or larger items directly to the CCC sites on Saturday, Aug. 7, from 9 to 10 a.m. The sites are: Wilde Lake Interfaith Center, 10431 Twin Rivers Rd., Long Reach Village Center, Suite 9, 8775 Cloudleap Ct., and Oakland Mills Middle School, 9540 Kilimanjaro Rd., all in Columbia.


At Christ Church, our Racially Aware Group of Episcopalians (R.A.G.E) and the Outreach Commission join in asking parishioners to continue supporting CCC in various ways. We have been gathering diapers, baby wipes, sanitary and personal care items and adult diapers. There should be enough room in the yellow bins for the summer gift bags and the usual donations. You can drop off items on weekdays until 2 p.m., but we ask that you call the church office (410) 381-9365 ahead of time.

Invitation to Take a Virtual Trip to Uganda as Leaders of Friends of Sabina

Join the Sunday, Aug. 1st Zoom Coffee Hour/Adult Forum

Plan to see and hear the latest on how leaders of Friends of Sabina (FOS) are making progress at Sabina Primary School in rural Uganda. At noon on Sunday, Aug. 1, Father Manny and the Outreach Commission will host Ann Marie Davis, who recently returned from Uganda, and Maria White, the two leaders of FOS. The FOS Adult Forum will flow seamlessly from our regular coffee hour. Here’s how to participate: Join our Zoom gathering HERE. The meeting ID is 830 0557 1585, and the password is SundayVCH.


We’ve already gotten a positive update on the performance of Sabina’s students within the Ugandan system of education. The school educates children as early as 3-6 years of age in pre-primary. Primary students in grades P1 through P7 study English, Math, Science, and Social Studies (consisting of History, Geography, and Religious Studies). At Sabina, the curriculum also includes Permaculture/Agriculture. At the end, students take the national Primary Leaving Exams (PLE). These rigorous exams affect placement in secondary school and whether some students must repeat P7.


On Tuesday, July 20th, the FOS leaders shared the news that Sabina ranked 13 out of about 400 schools in the Kyotera District: “We received the P7 results, and all of the Sabina students passed with a score of 1 or 2. One being the highest!”

“Everyone in the community is so excited as Sabina is back on the map with their improved commitment to superior academics. Thank you for believing in us,” said White in an email.


More than a decade ago, Christ Church began supporting Sabina Primary School and its library through the organization, Children of Uganda (COU). Parishioners collected shipments of books for the library, which evolved into the Ssanje Community Resource center, playing a vital role for residents of the surrounding area.

In late 2019, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese that owns Sabina Primary School entered into a management agreement with FOS, then a newly-formed organization that is co-managed by the two former members of the COU Board of Directors. FOS embarked on an improvement program that includes replacing infrastructure such as the obsolete kitchen complex. “By stepping out on faith, we built the foundation of our vision to renew and support the Sabina School,” said the FOS leaders.


Outreach continues to support Sabina through FOS. For example, Christ Church pays the librarian’s salary and covers the costs of upgraded internet service, using $2,000 in Vestry-approved funds in 2021. Thanks to Christ Church parishioners for making that possible! You, too, can take pride in the accomplishment of the high-performing P7 students.


Beginning in 2020, Outreach also encouraged parishioners to sponsor Sabina students whose families otherwise cannot afford fees and tuition. (They are among Sabina students pictured here.) Christ Church members stepped forward to sponsor eight children, who then ranged in age from 8 to 15. Parishioners and the first names of the students are: Steve and Linda Alpern (Sharon); Tim and Sherry Beaty, (Herbert); Ellen and Charles Hoke, (Josephine); Patricia Fanning, (Patricia); Diane Phillips Laguerre (Jackson); Paula and Chuck Rees (Sandra); Catherine Whittaker (Brian); and Melanie and Nick Yaksich (Marvin).

We’re expecting many of the sponsors to join the Zoom gathering to hear more about these students’ experiences in what has turned out to be a year of pandemic challenges.

The FOS leaders last met with Christ Church in May of 2020 during a virtual coffee hour on Zoom. This time the images will be like traveling to Uganda’s Central Region, which is west of Lake Victoria and north of the border with Tanzania. And for some members of Christ Church, the video visit will remind them of their own travels to Uganda and long-standing involvement with Sabina Primary School including the Hokes, the Alperns, and Teddy and Sonni Aribiah and their sons, Jonah and Luke.


Lake Elkhorn Middle School Supplies - THANK YOU!

We are excited to report that we have exceeded our goal of $5,000 for school supplies for the students at LEMS. We are very grateful to the generous parishioners of Christ Church for their responsiveness to the needs of families in our local community. We have ordered the supplies and will fill the bags in the near future - stay tuned for details in upcoming communications. If you would like to help us bag the supplies, please contact Onyx Williams at ow6062@gmail.com or Cathy Whittaker at catharinewhittaker@gmail.com.


Reminder: Restaurant Donation Day is July 29th to Help Bridges End Homelessness

Supporters of Bridges to Housing Stability can dine in at one restaurant or choose to dine in or take out at its sister venue in the Merriweather District in Downtown Columbia on July 29th. Cured Table & Tap and 18th & 21st will each donate 10 percent of your receipt during Bridges’ Restaurant Donation Day. Both restaurants share the same address: 10980 Grantchester Way, #110, Columbia, MD 20144. For more information about the event or about Bridges and its support by our parishioners, read the Christ Church Outreach Blog Post of July 10.

Donate Personal Care and Cleaning Supplies for FISH in Bin on our Breezeway

Organizers for FISH of Howard County request household cleaning supplies such as liquid dish soap, bleach, and cleanser as well as personal items such as deodorant, shampoo, and bath soaps. At present, its pantry has an adequate supply of groceries. The bin is between Old Brick and the Parish Hall.


Are YOU the Next DreamBuilders Webmaster? Deadline is Sunday

DreamBuilders is seeking a webmaster to join our Leadership team in September of 2021. The website is a key information source for our volunteers to learn about and sign up for local building opportunities and mission trips. The site also serves a vital communication role for construction partners, suppliers, supporters, and potential donors to understand the amazing work DreamBuilders does locally and on mission trips. You’ll be responsible for managing DreamBuilders’ web presence, ensuring our site is user-friendly and current. You should be knowledgeable in web hosting/ server management, online security, web design, and content management on the WordPress platform (no coding is necessary). You’ll participate in monthly leadership meetings to be well-informed of DreamBuilders' plans, projects, and events. This volunteer position requires a commitment of 4-8 hours a month, although the hours vary depending on DreamBuilders’ activity level. Your personal involvement and donation of web skills will have a direct impact on improving the lives of so many people! And of course, you’ll have ample opportunity to put your creative talents to good use. For more information, contact john.mcbeth@verizon.net The deadline to express interest is this Sunday, August 1st.


SEAFARER’S Donation Requests

We could use your help in gathering the following items. Delivery is made and the date is announced when the number of collections gets reasonably accumulated. Contact Carolann Sawyer with any questions.

  • Bible in modern English (or Tagalog, Russian, or Chinese)

  • Times/Newsweek/etc. up to 3 months old

  • Sports Ill/People/etc. up to 6 months

  • Cars/Computers/Consumers up to 1 year

  • Reader’s Digest up to a couple of years

  • National Geographics post-2000

  • Books (except for Bibles) are less often requested, but some seafarers do appreciate action novels, as well as picture books about Baltimore or the U.S.

  • Action/adventure DVD’s. Recent popular CDs.

  • Religious books (in easy English), DVDs, CDs; rosaries.

  • Clothing - men’s jeans, other sturdy pants (no bigger than XL) or shorts, T-shirts, warm outerwear, and non-skid shoes/boots (in good condition only), and gloves, hats, scarves, and warm socks.


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.