Looking Back on a Warm Welcome as Christ Church Learns about Bridges to Housing Stability During Worship Services and at the Adult Forum
Thanks to all who helped welcome Nancy Fenton, Director of Development & Marketing at Bridges to Housing Stability to Christ Church on Sunday, March 27th. She gave the sermon, “Could Joseph and Mary Afford to Live in Howard County?” and referenced 2 Corinthians 5:20, exhorting us to be ambassadors for Christ.
In her remarks at Sunday Circle, Fenton outlined the latest ways that Bridges makes it possible for people to find and keep affordable housing. It’s a challenge. Of Howard County’s 30,000 renter households, 43 percent are cost-burdened (spending a third of monthly income on rent) and another 33 percent of households are severely cost-burdened (spending more than half of monthly income on rent).
During one part of her presentation at the adult forum, Fenton told everyone about county resident Carmen Jones, who benefited from Bridges’ Alliance program. It provides rental homes at below-market rents for one year to qualifying individuals and families.
“A load of bad decisions,” as Jones described her predicament, forced her into three years of homelessness. A waitressing job was low-paying, and she often lived in her car. With the help of Bridges’ Alliance, she and her 22-year-old son were able to get an apartment. “The day we moved in, I got another breath of life,” Jones says. “It was like the sun came out.”
To promote self-sufficiency, Alliance offers Circle of Support – regular education sessions related to financial capability, budgeting, saving, credit repair, investing for retirement, and buying a home.
Christ Church has a warm relationship as a supporter of Bridges, starting with our participation in a countywide chili cook-off in 2019. At the Chili & Challenge virtual fundraiser held in 2020, Christ Church won a Silver Ladle Award. Then, at the 2021 Chili & Challenge, we won gold.
The relationship began at the urging of parishioner Jim Collins (top photo), who is among those to be honored by Bridges at its 2022 Heroes For Housing Celebration. The fundraising event will take place in person, rather than virtually, on Sunday, April 24th from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at Busboys and Poets, 6251 Mango Tree Rd, Columbia, MD 21044.
CCC Schedules a Painting Day on April 9 to Finish Preparation of Its New Pantry
The all-volunteer organization, Columbia Community Care (CCC) is recruiting volunteers to help finish painting its new pantry during a one-day effort on Saturday, April 9th, from 11 a.m. until completion. This is a continuation of a task begun on March 19-20 with community-wide volunteers, including parishioners Diana Hall and Dave Lanczynski (see photos).
In a post on the CCC Facebook Group, one of the CCC leaders wrote: “10 - 15 volunteers needed, and in the interest of time and efficiency, we prefer people who have painted before. If other volunteer opportunities present themselves for that day, I will repost the need and add them to the signup list. Thank you for your continued support and enthusiasm!!!”
The pantry is being re-established in a county-owned building that was once home to the Columbia Flier. CCC is selling a new CCC t-shirt as a fundraiser to help prep and stock the pantry. The refurbished space, in turn, will allow the resumption of home delivery to households who lack transportation. CCC also hopes people will wear the shirts when volunteering at its three distribution sites.
Sites are located at the Wilde Lake Interfaith Center, 10431 Twin Rivers Rd., the Barn/Teen Center indoor space in the Oakland Mills Village Center, 5851 Robert Oliver Place, and Long Reach Village Center, Suite 9, 8775 Cloudleap Ct., all in Columbia.
Recipients are welcomed 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 them in the yellow bin, marked “CCC,” inside the Parish Hall.
More Opportunities to Meet “Our” Afghan Refugee Family Coming Up
Join us on the Sundays of May 8th and May 22th as we’ll be hosting receptions for the family here at Christ Church, between the 8:00 and 10:30 a.m. services. The dates come at the end of Ramadan, an important period of fasting for Muslims, and so will be celebratory for many reasons. If you can help with either or both of these receptions, please contact Cherryllyn Wiliams, Jan Deboissiere, or Deacon Denise.
Baltimore Seafarers News
As a reminder, the Women of Christ Church gather donations for Seafarers throughout the year. We'll be bringing the next batch of donations to Seafarers on April 7th, so if you have any items, please bring them to the church before then. At this time, they are looking for magazines, cards, calendars, stationery, notebooks, gloves, hats, socks, men's shirts, and scarves, and you can leave them in the "Seafarers" box under the table in the Tower Room of New Brick.
FISH Continues its Request for Cookies, Crackers, and Snacks
As winter continues, 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.
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 email@example.com. Your help is greatly welcomed and appreciated. Thank you.