CEC Outreach News: November 13, 2021



Thanksgiving Food Drive (non-perishables only) for the Howard County Food Bank Continues Until November 18th

The staff of the Howard County Food Bank is giving out “Holiday Meal Kits” to brighten the holidays of the less fortunate among us. Please support this effort by bringing non-perishable food items that complete the menu with sides: boxed mashed potatoes, stuffing mix, gravy, cranberry sauce, olives, pickles, and cans of vegetables and fruits.


Place these items on the Thanksgiving-decorated table in the Narthex. Or, if you wish to remain outdoors, put them in the bin on the breezeway marked “Thanksgiving Food Drive." This yellow bin is near the door to Old Brick. Given cold weather, it’s best if items in glass jars could go in the Narthex collection. The drive ends on Thursday, November 18th.


Once again, due to the pandemic, Christ Church will exclude turkeys. Also, please note that the food bank will not collect pies, other desserts, or rolls because of perishability. Thanks so much for your generosity in planning to shop for items that are on the wish list of the food bank, which is among the services of the Community Action Council of Howard County (CAC).

Angel Tree Drive Will Be Next in Line to Brighten Christmas for Local Families

The Howard County (Central Maryland) Salvation Army Angel Tree Program for 2021 is underway. Stay tuned for information by next week on how you can participate and provide gifts of toys, educational items, and clothing to an angel. Once more aiming for the older children, we plan to support a group of 11- and 12-year-old angels. Christ Church will kick off our collection just as the Thanksgiving Drive is winding down. The deadline to bring in your unwrapped Angel Tree gifts will be Friday, December 10th.


Christian Jail Ministry Thanks Christ Church, Requests Parishioners’ Prayers

One of the nonprofit organizations that Christ Church supports is Christian Jail Ministry, most recently in the form of a $450 donation that the Outreach Commission derived from its Vestry-approved budget. That means your funds are helping make possible two programs described in a thank-you letter from Howard County Detention Center (HCDC) Chaplain Gerard M. Washington.

“Your donation allows us to minister effectively,” he says of the two, a Bible Study correspondence course and Celebrate Recovery, both of which are “changing the mindset of those who find themselves incarcerated at HCDC. “The Bible says in Romans 12:2: ‘Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.’”


The Bible Study literally involves testing. It consists of 24 packets on the New Testament, with multiple-choice questions, fill-in-the-blank, and essay questions. Those who finish all 24 are rewarded with a certificate and a Study Bible. “These courses strengthen the inmates’ relationship with the Lord,” he writes.

Here are the names of those engaged in the Bible courses that CJM requests we pray for on their spiritual journeys: Robert, David, Donyah, Thomas, and Jerry.

The other program is “a 12-step Christ-centered recovery program that deals with a person’s hurts, habits, and hang-ups.” Here are the names of those engaged in Celebrate Recovery that CJM requests we pray for on their spiritual journeys: Chanell, Alisha, Alexus, Courtney, Shawdel, Jamal, Christian, Christopher, Raquan, Lashara, Hilder, Stephanie, Andre, Eric, Franck, Nicholas, and Daniel.


“We are truly grateful that you have given to this awesome ministry,” writes Chaplain Washington. Some may recall that on Nov. 4, 2018, the Rev. Washington and his wife, Gwen, attended both services. The chaplain preached and was joined by a former detainee who spoke of God’s Grace (see above photo).


Save the Dates: Grassroots Meal Drop-Offs on Monday, Nov. 15; Monday, Dec. 20

Parishioners and volunteers who join their efforts are looking ahead to the monthly meal that we provide at Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center. Save the dates: Nov. 15 and Dec. 20, arriving between 3:15 and 3:30 p.m. at the parking lot outside Old Brick. Plan to bring a side dish, a dessert, or items for their pantry to be enjoyed round-the-clock by the 50 residents of the live-in facility on Freetown Rd.


To sign up, use our electronic registry no later than noon on the Sunday prior to the meal on Monday. Click on the Christ Church Grassroots Meal link on SignUpGenius to view requested items and to tell coordinators what you’ll bring. Co-coordinator Nancy Winchester meets the other volunteers (see photos of Oct. 18). Nancy then transports the hot or cold foods to Freetown Road for handoff to the staff of Grassroots.


Look at our sign-up link for Grassroots’ attached file that describes other needs for residents of the Freetown Road pantry and for its Day Resource Center (DRC) at the Dorsey Center in Jessup.

After months of reduced or no access, the DRC reopened on November 1st, and Christ Church volunteers served a hot meal on November 8th. We were given our usual second Monday at the DRC, dating back before the coronavirus shut down services in March of 2020. By comparison, there were fewer diners and, according to plan, fewer volunteers. We were limited to four people who had both flu and COVID-19 vaccinations. Numerous pandemic protocols were in place, including the need to reduce menu choices. Look for more news on the reopening prior to our next DRC meal for the homeless, set for December 13th.


For questions about meals for either of the Grassroots facilities, please contact Nancy or co-coordinator Shahra Toth or email outreach@christchurchcolumbia.org.


Collection Drive Continues to Provide Diapers, Personal Care Items for CCC

At Christ Church, members of R.A.G.E and the Outreach Commission ask parishioners to support Columbia Community Care (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.

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. The bin is on the breezeway near the door to the Parish Hall.

Registration Now Open for DreamBuilders trip to Puerto Rico - January 9-15, 2022

Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico in September of 2017. Now, four years later, thousands of Puerto Ricans are still living in damaged homes or crowded in with family members waiting for the day when their homes can be made livable again. DreamBuilders will be making its second trip to the island this January to work with SBP-Puerto Rico to repair damaged homes.

We are opening registration for this trip now and will keep it open until Sunday, November 21st. The cost of the trip is $1300 per volunteer, which covers the flights, housing, food, and rental vehicles. Daily temperatures in San Juan for January average between 80-83 degrees. SBP has COVID protocols in place to protect its staff, the homeowners, and the volunteers. All volunteers must be vaccinated. Team size will be limited to allow for distancing, and cleaning stations are established at all project sites. More information about SBP's efforts in Puerto Rico and their COVID protocols can be found on their website: sbpusa.org. You can register as a volunteer on our website: https://dreambuildersmd.org/2022-puerto-rico-details-sign-up. You will pay half the fee upon registration ($650) so DreamBuilders can reserve the flights, housing, and rental vehicles. If you have any questions, please contact Cathy Gold at heycathy@verizon.net.


Springfield Hospital Donations

The Women of Christ Church will once again be collecting Christmas gifts for our friends at Springfield Hospital. Though we haven’t been able to make our usual visits due to the pandemic, we will be gathering gifts for them to bring a little Christmas joy. If you would like to contribute, we have placed a large container in the Tower Room to accept your unwrapped donations. We will need them by December 15th, in order to meet their deadline. If you want to donate gifts but can’t get them to church, please contact Cathy Gold or email info@christchurchcolumbia.org, and we will find a way. Here is the current wish list from Springfield Hospital, in case you would like suggestions.

Baltimore Seafarer Ministry

Our next delivery date by the WOCC to the Seafarers Center is Tuesday, December 7th. Find the drop-off bin marked “Seafarers” in the Tower Room of New Brick. Each year, the WOCC helps prepare those Seafarers that come to the Baltimore Harbor with ‘Warmth and The Holidays’. These are people who are often away at sea for very long periods of time. Please help by contributing any of these needed items!

Calendars

Current magazines (especially National Geographic & Smithsonian)

Toiletries for their “Christmas shoe boxes” that are handed out to each Seafarer, such as: toothbrushes, small and medium-size tubes of toothpaste, travel-size shaving cream, disposable razors, etc.

Warm socks, warm hats, and gloves.

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.