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Christ Church Outreach News: January 25, 2024

African Team Ministries is Here beginning Sunday! 

It's that time of year - African Team Ministries' beautiful handcrafts will be on display beginning this Sunday, January 28th. This ministry provides East African artisans with a market for their beautiful creations. Come and see intricate wood carvings, primitive musical instruments, eye-catching soapstone décor, natural elements nativity sets, stunning necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and more!

We also need volunteers to help with set-up, selling, and pack-out. If you are interested in helping and are available after Sunday services or on Shrove Tuesday (the final ATM day), please contact Sara Kirkpatrick at

How We Helped Grassroots Feed the Homeless at Jessup Despite a Recent Snowfall, and How You Can Do Your Part This Winter 

In a pinch, who do you call? The answer: Christ Church! For our homeless friends at the Day Resource Center (DRC), once again our volunteers came through on Saturday, Jan. 20, as Central Maryland was digging out from Friday’s snowfall. A family emergency had occurred, leaving an unexpected gap in the breakfast menu for midday.

The Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center operates the DRC, located at the Leola Dorsey Center in Jessup where a Christ Church team led by Shahra Toth provides a hot meal on the second Monday of each month. The DRC staff contacted her and other faith-based groups who regularly serve there. Altogether the menu lacked six pans of scrambled eggs. Shahra and George Toth responded by shopping and preparing two pans. That’s 30 eggs in each pan, with added cheese and ham.

The snowstorm complicated matters, as no one knew until early Saturday if the DRC could open to welcome its homeless friends. To assist the Toths, Suzanne Ziobro accepted the role of the driver as Shahra and George made the dropoff in icy circumstances. The leaders of two other groups responded, too, and the DRC staff members cooked a mound of bacon. They – and the DRC’s cold and hungry diners – were greatly pleased! In what has become a routine donation for the Toths and their neighbors, George donated warm blankets for the DRC inventory.

The Outreach-led team next prepares and serves meals for two Grassroots facilities on Monday, Feb.12. You can sign up online and read about the differing procedures for the meals on our DRC online signup form or our Grassroots online signup form.

Both the DRC and the Live-In Facility have wider needs for their pantries and welcome in-kind donations to be dropped off for delivery on the second Mondays. Look for the latest needs list on bulletin boards at church or online, under the words “Related Files,” on each signup form.

If you wish to do more, parishioners are encouraged to sign up individually to provide the evening meal at the Live-In Facility. Pick a date to provide an entree and side dishes, or just the entree, for the 50 adults and children. For example, a parishioner ordered more than a dozen pizzas to be delivered for the evening meal on MLK Day.

Grassroots suggests ideas to make choosing your menu as easy as possible. Go to Grassroots’ sign-up list, which has multiple open slots through Feb. 29. (Leap Day is taken, but Valentine’s Day is still open. And this year, Ash Wednesday falls on Feb. 14.)

Look for the FISH Bin Inside the Parish Hall During Cold Weather

FISH of Howard County needs non-perishable foods and toiletries, which we collect in the basket at the altar or in a marked yellow bin that has been moved inside the Parish Hall during cold weather. FISH provides committed support to select families in need. The neighbors you help give thanks for all you do in their support.

Columbia Community Care Seeks Baby Care Items, More Volunteers

Please continue supporting Columbia Community Care (CCC) by giving essentials and with your time and talent. One task is sorting at the pantry building, 10750 Little Patuxent Parkway in Columbia. Go to the “I Can Help” portion of its website or check the CCC Facebook Group for updates.

Please keep collecting diapers, baby wipes, sanitary and personal care items, and adult diapers. Put any of these in the yellow bin, marked “CCC,” inside the Parish Hall. Drop off items on weekdays when the church office is open or on Sundays. The Christ Church point of contact is Leigh Smith, who monitors the bins and delivers their contents.

DreamBuilders: Save the Date!

DreamBuilders will have its General Meeting on Sunday, February 4th from 3-5 p.m. at Temple Isaiah in Fulton.  We will be talking about our upcoming Kentucky trip this June, when we hope to "blitz build" THREE Houses in one week! It’s going to be great fun, and we’ve got lots of pictures from last summer’s trip to show you at the meeting, so mark your calendars - see you there!

"Souper Bowl" Time has Two More Weeks

Each year youth groups across the country participate in "Souper Bowl" Sunday, collecting canned goods and monetary donations for local charities. Last year groups brought in more than $4 million to support local causes! We invite you to contribute this year by placing your donation in the CEC Youth Group soup pot after each service this Sunday, and please continue to until February 11th. You can also donate using our Online Giving Form; just choose "Souper Bowl" from the FUND dropdown menu. This year, the canned items will be donated to the FISH food pantry and monetary donations to Grassroots in Columbia.

Save-the-Date: Bridges to Housing Stability Sets Next Chili and Cornhole Event on May 5 at Centennial Park in Ellicott City

For many years, chili has been a key part of fundraising for Bridges to Housing Stability, an advocate for affordable housing that helps individuals and families who struggle to keep a roof over their heads. Last year, Christ Church was a supporter of Bridges' chili event and cornhole tournament, which was held in March. The cornhole competition was heated, but the word “chilly” also applied to the outdoor festivities.

This year the Beans & Bags event will be held on Sunday, May 5, from 12:30 to 3 p.m. at Centennial Park, Pavilion H, 4760 Woodland Rd., Ellicott City 21042. Save the date, and start practicing your cornhole skills!

The event raises crucial operating funds. Christ Church has been a supporter of Bridges since participating in a countywide chili cook-off in 2019. At a Chili & Challenge virtual fundraiser 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, who was honored among Bridges’ “Heroes for Housing” in 2022.

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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