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CEC Outreach News: October 15, 2021

Christ Church Helps to End Homelessness and Wins the Golden Ladle in Bridges to Housing Stability’s 2021 Chili & Challenge Competition

Thanks to the generosity of parishioners — and to our competitive spirit — Christ Church has won The Golden Ladle in the 2021 Chili & Challenge conducted by Bridges to Housing Stability. Competing against at least a dozen other Howard County congregations to raise funds for Bridges, we contributed $2,535 toward programs to help individuals and families who are at-risk or experiencing homelessness.

Parishioners participated by donating directly and by purchasing meal tickets for chili made by the Bare Bones restaurant; each $20 meal resulted in a $12 donation to Bridges. The nonprofit organization surpassed its goal of $12,000 by raising nearly twice that amount. Its leaders thanked competitors and the businesses and organizations who sponsored the event during the Chili & Challenge meal pickup and awards ceremony held on October 10th.

The Rev. Emmanuel “Manny” Mercer accepted the Golden Ladle from Bridges Executive Director Jen Broderick. Two churches who were runners-up won a Silver Ladle award (as Christ Church did in 2020). The second-place winner was First Presbyterian Church in Columbia, represented by Woody Collins, and Glen Mar United Methodist Church in Ellicott City, represented by Heerak Kim.

In thanking Bridges for its work on affordable housing, Father Manny gave a shout-out to Christ Church parishioners for supporting this vital cause. He also brought up future plans for Christ Church to co-sponsor an Afghan refugee family and said he is “deeply grateful” for the congregation’s generosity.

The ceremony was livestreamed and archived on Bridges’ YouTube channel. Go to this link to watch the recording. (The awards presentation begins at 8:02 minutes in the video) In her remarks, Jen Broderick describes how Bridges -- and you -- have helped a formerly homeless student who has successfully entered his senior year in Howard County schools.

Christ Church has had a warm relationship with Bridges since 2019 when we participated in its countywide chili cook-off, Holier Than Thou. Parishioner James Collins, a Bridges board member, was that event’s master of ceremonies. The Outreach Commission keeps our parish informed about Bridges’ efforts and its members organize parish-wide involvement such as these annual chili competitions.

Save the Dates: Grassroots Meal Drop-Offs on Monday, Oct. 18; Monday, Nov. 15

Once again, 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: October 18th and November 15th, 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 here). Nancy then transports the hot or cold foods to Freetown Road for handoff to the staff of Grassroots.

Grassroots lists some other needs for the Freetown Road pantry and for the homeless friends served by its Day Resource Center (DRC) at the Dorsey Center. Look for Grassroots’ attached file at our sign-up link. For any questions contact Nancy or co-coordinator Shahra Toth or email

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, but we ask that you call the office at (410) 381-9365 ahead of time.

DreamBuilders are Planning a Trip to Puerto Rico in January!

DreamBuilders is in the planning stages for a trip to Puerto Rico during the week of January 9-15, 2022, to repair homes damaged by hurricanes and earthquakes. We were not able to go last year due to COVID restrictions, but in 2019, we were able to help rebuild two homes, working with our St. Bernard Project (SBP) partners. They are once again allowing volunteers to come to the island and work through them, as there are many still in need of help. If you are interested in joining our group, please contact Cathy Gold or Stacey Frith to let us know.

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 between Old Brick and 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 Your help is greatly welcomed and appreciated. Thank you.


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