Christ Church Outreach News: July 28, 2022


LEMS Partnership: Please Help Us this Weekend

Thanks to all of you who have expressed an interest in helping with the Lake Elkhorn Middle School Partnership. To date, we have received over $3,000, enabling us to order school supplies for 125 students. We will need your assistance in putting bags together for 50 students on Saturday morning, July 30th from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. in the church office basement. Some of the boxes of supplies are heavy, so people with strong arms and backs are helpful, but all help is appreciated. The supplies for the remaining 75 students will be distributed over the course of the school year, as needed.


We also need help at the church on Tuesday, August 16th from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. to deliver the supplies to Lake Elkhorn Middle School. We are in need of a truck or van to transport the supplies and people who are able to load and unload heavy boxes, so if you can help, please let us know.


We are extremely thankful for the financial assistance that we have received thus far. In addition to school supplies, Melissa Shindell, principal at LEMS, has asked if we can support their staff appreciation pizza party on August 26th and possibly buy the staff spirit wear as we did last year. If you would like to support these activities that help both students and staff start the school year with enthusiasm, you may give in any of the following ways:

  • If you’d like to write a check, please make sure you write “LEMS school supplies” on the memo line, drop it off at the church office, or mail it in.

  • For giving online via computer/tablet, you'll find our "Support Christ Church" button at the top of every page of our website, or you can click here. On the secure form, choose "LEMS" from the FUND drop-down menu and write "school supplies" on the MEMO line.

  • To give via text, simply text CECGIVING to 73256 using your mobile device, and you'll immediately receive a link to our secure form. Click the link, choose "LEMS" from the FUND drop-down menu, and write "School Supplies" on the MEMO line so that your donation is used as you wish. (Note: This number will never send you unsolicited texts. To cancel further messages, text STOP. If you need assistance with text giving, text HELP. Standard text message and data rates may apply).

If you have questions about our LEMS partnership or would like to help on either of those days, please contact Cathy Whittaker at catharinewhittaker@gmail.com. Thank you!



Claggett’s Camps Offer Restful Getaways to Developmentally-Disabled Adults and to Children From Families Coping with the Opioid Crisis

Rest, play, pray, and build lifelong friendships. This description of a session at the Claggett Camp and Conference Center applies to more than one set of campers who have made their way this week and next to the 268-acre site with its view of Sugarloaf Mountain.


On Sunday, July 24th, a group of adults with developmental disabilities started their session of fun and friendship at Special Challenge Camp. For more than 40 years, volunteers and Claggett counselors have offered these adults 21 and older a relaxing experience at the retreat in scenic Adamstown, Maryland. Activities include nature hikes, swimming, fishing, canoeing, arts and crafts, and daily chapel.


Starting Sunday, July 31st, young people whose family life has been upended by the nation’s opioid crisis will spend a week at Claggett’s Camp Spirit Song, which lasts through August 5th.


At each camp, one person who might not otherwise afford to participate can attend thanks to parishioners at Christ Church. At the Outreach Commission meeting in May, we approved a $1,300 donation to Claggett toward expenses at the two different camps. The funds come from the commission’s Vestry-approved budget for 2022, which is derived from your pledges and contributions.

Thanks to all on behalf of our campers – and their extended families – for an experience that is meaningful at the moment while having a year-round impact. Please lift them in your prayers.


The first camp program of its kind on the East Coast, Camp Spirit Song serves children entering grades 4 to 8 who can benefit from a week of fun and more. Activities include swimming, games, crafts, canoeing, a ropes course, and chapel. Campers are drawn from Province III of the Episcopal Church. That is made up of a group of dioceses in Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C.

The Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, which operates Claggett, describes Camp Spirit Song as a “safe space created for children to have fun while surrounded by caring, compassionate staff and peers who can relate to their experiences.”


Given the aftermath of a tragic overdose or the other ways that children can be harmed by their loved one's addiction, the motivation is simple. Provide children “an opportunity to meet God through the support of a Christian community, fellowship with peers who share a common experience, and time to rest and play away from the distractions of everyday life,” said a Claggett statement when Camp Spirit Song resumed last year after a pandemic hiatus in 2020.

Camp Spirit Song was first held in 2019. As the Maryland Diocese said in a news release: “The Claggett Center partnered with the SpiritWorks Foundation to provide children an opportunity to lay down some of their heavy burdens and just be kids for a week.” The healing includes daily small-group sessions led by Spiritworks counselors.

After its first season, BBC America featured it in 2019, as Part III of a documentary series on struggles with opioid addiction in the United States. (View at 0:47 to 5:33 minutes and from 43:55 to the end for a look at the camp in session.)

Claggett collaborates through Camp Spirit Song with Partnership to End Addiction, an organization dedicated to ending substance abuse and supporting families and teens in recovery. The organization has a state-by-state list of partners that includes Claggett and five others in Maryland. Please share with someone whom you may know in need of help.


Columbia Community Care Requests Diapers, Personal Care Items

At Christ Church, members of the Outreach Commission and our Racially Aware Group of Episcopalians ask parishioners to continue supporting the all-volunteer organization, Columbia Community Care (CCC). Please collect diapers, baby wipes, sanitary and personal care items, and adult diapers. Put them in the yellow bin, marked “CCC,” inside the Parish Hall on weekdays when the church office is open or on Sunday. Our representative is Violet Smith, who takes parishioners’ donated items to a CCC site for distribution on Saturdays. Updated information about distribution can be found on the CCC Group on Facebook.


Donate Toiletries, Cleaning Supplies for FISH in its Yellow Bin

Organizers for FISH of Howard County are continuing to ask for cookies, crackers, and snacks to fulfill its shopping lists. The yellow bin is between Old Brick and the Parish Hall. Thanks for your contributions.


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.