Supporting Aid to Neighbors in Need in Baltimore County
Christ Church has become one of several congregations in the Baltimore Metropolitan Area that support RISE, a ministry that distributes food every other Wednesday to families who likely would go hungry otherwise.
RISE was established by Christ the King (CTK), an Episcopal Church in the Woodlawn area of Baltimore County whose rector is the Rev. Mary Eliot, formerly a member of the clergy at Christ Church. RISE partners include a Roman Catholic parish and a congregation in Arbutus, Md., which is a blend of the Episcopal Church USA and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
CTK lists the purpose of its pivotal ministry on the “Our Story” part of its website: “RISE is actively seeking to connect and form new partnerships, working with others to overcome the challenges of food insecurity, language barriers, insufficient housing, under-employment, transportation limitations, racism, and the trauma of economic insecurity.”
RISE offers free food such as produce, rice, beans, and meseca on distribution days and operates other programs. “Camp in a Bag” is aimed at children and another helps mothers and babies. RISE also holds community events such as one on June 3 (see video).
The Christ Church Outreach Commission at its July meeting voted to send $250 to CTK to support RISE efforts. That follows a similar donation in March, bringing the total in 2023 to $500. This is in keeping with our mission to support organizations – local, national, and international – that enhance the lives of people in need. Funds are derived from parishioner donations to Outreach and a Vestry-approved budget drawn from your pledges and contributions. Heartfelt thanks go out to all who make this possible.
In a June 29 letter expressing gratitude to the members of Christ Episcopal Church for the March contribution, Sam Alger, RISE board participant, wrote: “On behalf of the RISE ministry of Christ the King, we would like to thank you for your donation to our ministry. We are now distributing food to over 100 families at each of our distribution days, and the need continues to grow. Without the help of your contribution, we would not be able to begin to meet this need. We welcome your financial support and encourage anyone interested to join us to help on Wednesdays. Thank you again for your support in this ministry.”
RISE distributions are planned from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 9, Wednesday, Aug. 23, Wednesday, Sept. 6, and Wednesday, Sept. 20 at CTK, 1930 Brookdale Rd., just off Security Boulevard in Woodlawn, Md., 20244. Volunteers are welcome to help with preparation as well as distribution. For more information and to sign up, go online to “What is RISE”
Following Up on Our Hybrid Zoom Event with Sabina Leaders and Students
Outreach members and parishioners connected virtually with leaders of the nonprofit Friends of Sabina (FOS) after the second worship service on Sunday, July 23. An engaged group of participants also spoke with students and the librarian at Sabina Boarding Primary School and enjoyed a selection by Sabina’’s choir, which you can watch here.
For more than a decade, Christ Church has supported Sabina after helping to establish its library, a resource center for the school and for residents of Sanje, Uganda. Parishioners who have traveled there include the Alperns, the Hokes, and the Aribiahs, whose ties go back to Teddy Aribiah’s childhood. Through the Outreach Commission, we pay the librarian’s salary and other expenses. For more information about how to support FOS improvements at Sabina, please email Outreach at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since 2020, Christ Church has facilitated the opportunity for parishioners to sponsor Sabina students whose families otherwise cannot afford schooling. In an uplifting response to the July 23 event, parishioners stepped forward to sponsor two students: Roger, 10, and Phionah, 15 (pictured above). You’ll find a photo collage of children who were previously matched with sponsors on the FOS page of the Christ Church website. Several enjoyed speaking with each other on Zoom at the event.
Columbia Community Care Seeks Volunteer Spanish Translators
Please continue supporting Columbia Community Care (CCC) by giving essentials and with your time and talent. People can choose tasks to suit them such as gardening but currently the greatest need is for Spanish translators. They are a key part of a team who arrange home deliveries for those lacking transportation to obtain free groceries. Here’s a CCC volunteer signup form for translators. Other volunteers make the deliveries or sort and stock items at the CCC pantry building, 10750 Little Patuxent Parkway in Columbia. Look for updates posted in the CCC Facebook Group or on the “I Can Help” portion of its website.
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 Sunday. The Christ Church point of contact is Leigh Smith, who monitors the bins and delivers their contents.
Donate Snacks, Crackers, and Cookies to FISH in Bin on our Breezeway
Organizers for FISH of Howard County are continuing to ask for cookies, crackers, and snacks to fulfill its shopping lists. You can put items in a basket that has been returned to the altar. Or drop them in the yellow bin on the breezeway between Old Brick and the Parish Hall. Thanks for your contributions to our neighbors in need.
Lake Elkhorn Middle School Supplies
Our parish enjoys an ongoing partnership with Lake Elkhorn Middle School (LEMS). Just over a mile away, LEMS is truly our neighboring school, and at Christ Episcopal Church we believe we should love our neighbors. We established this partnership because many LEMS families are financially stressed.
One measure of whether a student lives in a family that is financially challenged is if they meet the federal guidelines for free and reduced meals (FARMS). In Howard County overall, about 14% of students qualify for free and reduced meals. However, at LEMS over 48.5% of LEMS students qualify for FARMS, the highest percentage amongst the middle schools in the county.
To help alleviate the financial hardship of parents having to buy school-required supplies (at a cost of $50 per child), Christ Church will once again provide school supplies for 125 children for the 2023-2024 school year. We are requesting your generous financial support now to reach this important goal. Please join us to pack the supplies in the Parish Hall on Wednesday, August 16 at 9:00 am. The school will distribute the supplies the week of Aug 21st, so we also will need your help delivering the supplies that week. Strong arms and larger vehicles are helpful.
Contributions can be made via check, online, or via text. If you’d like to write a check, please make sure you indicate “LEMS School Supplies” on the memo line. If you’d like to give online, please also write "School Supplies" in the Memo line. If you have questions about our LEMS partnership or would like to help, please contact Cathy Whittaker (email@example.com) or Mary Vail (firstname.lastname@example.org). Thank you for your support!
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.