Hurricane Ida Disaster Aid Goes to Episcopal Relief and Development
After Hurricane Ida slammed the Gulf Coast on August 29th, remnants of the storm moved north, bringing death and destruction in a swath from the Mid-Atlantic to Rhode Island. On August 30th, Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD) announced steps it had begun taking to relieve suffering and help in recovery.
On behalf of Christ Church parishioners, members of the Outreach Commission voted last week to contribute $1,000 to ERD to assist in relief efforts. These are Vestry-approved funds derived from your pledges and contributions. Heartfelt thanks go out to one and all who make possible such a timely response.
In a time of climate change, the need for funds to address natural disasters in 2021 has already exceeded that in recent years. On your behalf, the Outreach Commission sent $1,000 in August to ERD to help Haitians who suffered through an earthquake followed by Tropical Storm Grace. In February, we donated $675 to ERD to help people coping with the aftermath of extreme weather in Texas and surrounding states.
On both of those occasions, besides sharing word of the donations, we asked for your prayers. Once again, please pray for people near and far who have been harmed during the latest storm, keeping in mind that other natural disasters may lie ahead. On ERD’s page of “Hurricane Season Prayers,” you’ll find five. They are “Have Mercy on All Those in the Path of the Hurricane,” “A Prayer of Comfort in Times of Crisis,” “A Prayer for First Responders,” “A Prayer for People Facing Great Uncertainty,” and “A Prayer, The Threat of Additional Hurricanes.”
On its page, “Responding to 2021 Hurricanes,” ERD said it continues to work with regional partners. In the South, more than a million people were left without power that, for many, may take weeks to restore. ERD is collaborating with the Episcopal dioceses of Louisiana, Mississippi, Western Louisiana, and Texas to assess and respond to damage.
Using technology to help in ERD’s efforts, the Diocese of Louisiana employs AlertMedia, a cloud-based disaster communications tool that allows diocesan staff to text congregational leaders. ERD and dioceses also coordinate with local Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) and utilize an Episcopal Asset Map of the region to share information.
If you wish to donate personally, go online to ERD’s Hurricane Relief Fund. Or those who prefer writing a check to ERD should put “Hurricane Relief” on the memo line. Mail it to ERD, P.O. Box 7058, Merrifield, VA 22116-7058.
Inviting One and All to Get Involved in Christ Church Outreach - Next Monday
The Outreach Commission is making an effort to better spread the word about what we do and, in turn, persuade more volunteers to participate during 2021. As fall beckons, consider joining us at our next meeting to learn more about opportunities. It will be held virtually at 7:30 p.m. next Monday, September 13th. The Zoom link is here, Meeting ID is 876 3365 4968 and the Password is Outreach! To become active in other ways, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep in mind the scripture that underpins our mission: And the King will answer them, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.” Matthew 25: 40
Columbia Community Care Returns from a Holiday Break on September 18th
With the end of summer and the start of the school year, Columbia Community Care (CCC) will resume distribution on Saturday, September 18th. This week the sites of the all-volunteer organization remain closed for a Labor Day break that began Sunday, September 5th.
For those wishing to volunteer, the signups on the “I Can Help” part of CCC’s website, or in the volunteering posts of the CCC group on Facebook, stretch from Saturday the 18th to Saturday, October 30th.
Saturday hours are 10 a.m. to noon for recipients. Volunteers and donation drop-off begin at 9 a.m. The distribution sites are at Oakland Mills Middle School, 9540 Kilimanjaro Road; at Long Reach Village Center, Suite 9, 8775 Cloudleap Ct., and at Wilde Lake Interfaith Center, 10431 Twin Rivers Rd., all in Columbia.
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. You can drop off items on weekdays when the church office is open, but we ask that you call the office (410) 381-9365 ahead of time.
The point of contact is Violet Smith, who transports the items to CCC from Christ Church.
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.
Sincere appreciation to all of you for your generous contribution towards the Lake Elkhorn Middle School Supplies Drive. Your generous giving made it possible for us to contribute significant support to the students at our partnership school. Deepest appreciation to Cathy Whitaker and Oyinkan Williams for leading this effort. We also want to thank all those who helped in many other ways to make the stuffing and delivery possible. You can find a collage of images below, or visit our website's Parish News page.
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.