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Christ Church Outreach News: November 17, 2022


Angel Tree Drive Will Brighten Christmas for Howard County Children

In a heartfelt tradition, the Outreach Commission invites parishioners to purchase new clothing and special items to complete Christmas gift “packages” for young angels. We are focusing our support on children ages 10-to-12 to meet a need identified by the Howard County (Central Maryland) division of The Salvation Army.

The nonprofit organization, which oversees the Angel Tree initiative here and elsewhere, continues its theme: “Wear, Need, Want, Read!”

To participate, you’ll need to provide one or more gifts for a girl or boy on our list. There are a dozen children in our group of 11- and 12-year-olds. Each one will receive an outfit, consisting of pants and a top. Besides the clothing, there are three other categories this year for each angel: Wish, Need, and Educational Item.

Some parishioners prefer to sign up for just one slot, such as the practical (need) category for a single child. Some parishioners desire to complete the entire “package’ for an angel by signing up in all four categories. Another shopper might choose the clothing (outfit) category for multiple angels.

We are launching this year’s drive in two steps. The first stage is fully online. Starting this week, you can go to the Christ Church 2022 Angel Tree SignUp to view the list and make your choices. It has instructions on the next steps.

The second stage begins after Thanksgiving when the Angel Tree goes up in the Narthex. You can gaze at tags on the tree, in keeping with tradition, but the definitive list of the children’s names and needs will be displayed on a nearby easel. For those in Old Brick, we’ll bring the easel to you. In both locations, we’ll ask that you actually sign up for your angel by using the online form. Someone will be on hand after both worship services on Sunday, November 27th and December 4th to assist if you wish to log on then.

The deadline to bring in your unwrapped Angel Tree gifts will be 2 p.m. on Friday, December 9th. Please put them under the tree or in the Parish Hall conference room. With your help, we will lift the hearts not only of the angels but of their families. Parents obtain the unwrapped gifts from The Salvation Army and prepare for a Christmas that will be much brighter than they could otherwise afford.

If you wish to participate by giving of your time, please volunteer for one of two duties: Sign-up, or Fulfillment. The former is to help people on November 27th and December 4th to log on to a device after services to sign up online. The latter takes place December 10th when you collate packages or shop for --but not pay for-- any unmet items. To volunteer, specify Sign-up or Fulfillment, or both, in an email to outreach@christchurchcolumbia.org.




Kudos to All Who Have Helped Hungry Households by Donating to Our Thanksgiving Food Drive for the Howard County Food Bank

The table in the Narthex and the yellow bin at Old Brick were brimming with goods such as stuffing mix, gravy, and canned fruits and vegetables. These will brighten the holidays for many of our neighbors, as the Howard County Food Bank expects to feed about 1,000 people for Thanksgiving and another 1,000 for Christmas by distributing "Holiday Meal Kits."


Christ Church partners with the Community Action Council of Howard County (CAC), which operates the food bank. We further supported CAC with a monetary donation to make sure the type and amount of protein in its meal kits will match the nutritional needs of each household.


The donation of packaged goods for the Community Action Council of Howard County's Food Drive ends today, November 17th - members of the Outreach Commission will deliver the bounty the following day - but you can still help after that deadline by donating online. Using our giving form, choose "Outreach" from the dropdown menu and write "Thanksgiving Food Drive" in the memo line to help them achieve their goal of feeding over one thousand people for the holidays.

We thank each and every one of you for your generosity!




Columbia Community Care Holds a Holiday Toy Drive for Kids 2 to 12 Years Old

To brighten the holidays, Columbia Community Care(CCC) is holding its annual holiday drive to gather gifts and treats for children from 2 to 12 years old, as described in the CCC Facebook group. CCC is also recruiting volunteers to help sort Items and help to distribute them at Oakland Mills High School on Sunday, December 11th from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. or until supplies run out.

For people who prefer a remote option, at least for shopping, CCC posted an Amazon wish list.

For the sake of simplicity, the Outreach Commission is suggesting parishioners buy kids’ books, coloring books, and arts-and-crafts items, all of which can be obtained at a reasonable cost from multiple retailers. Please drop off new and unwrapped items by 2 p.m. on Friday, December 9th.

This is in addition to the typical collection at Christ Church, which consists of diapers, baby wipes, sanitary and personal care items, and adult diapers. Please put the holiday items along with the usual ones in the yellow bin, marked “CCC,” inside the Parish Hall.



United We Pray, Our Interfaith Prayer Vigil for Refugees was Held Last Sunday

What an extraordinary gathering this was of leaders and members of seven very different congregations, representing Christians (Episcopalians, Quakers, Roman Catholics), Jews (Columbia Jewish Congregation), Muslims (Dar Al-Taqwa Mosque), and Hindus as we met to pray together for refugees – here in Howard County, in our nation, around our world. We listened to readings about care for the stranger from the Christian Bible, the Hebrew Torah, the Muslim Quran, and in the Hindi tradition. We heard prayers read in Arabic, English, Pashto, Hebrew, and Hindi. Leaders from each of the different faiths, including Father Manny, offered reflections.


Those of us in the Refugee Ministry thank Deacon Denise for her leadership in making this Prayer Vigil happen. It would not have occurred without her.


At a time in our world when so often what divides us receives the most attention, when the worst of human nature can seem the most prominent, the gathering last Sunday night reflected the best of what we are, how we can choose to reach across what divides us, to find we are actually so much the same, to see how we can work together for the common good. How wonderful. What a blessing.


For more information about Christ Church’s Interfaith Refugee Ministry, go to https://www.christchurchcolumbia.org/refugee-ministry.

You can also see more photos and read an article in this week's Baltimore Sun.




FISH Asks Our Prayers Along with Snacks and Cookies

Our representative from FISH of Howard County recently had surgery. Paul Wisniewski is recovering; please pray for his good health. Pickups have resumed from our yellow bin between Old Brick and the Parish Hall. Please continue donating cookies, crackers, and snacks to fulfill the shopping lists. Thanks for your contributions to our neighbors in need.















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.



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