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Christ Church Outreach News: November 22, 2023


Christ Church Sends Humanitarian Aid to Victims of War in Holy Land

At the Nov. 13 Outreach Commission meeting, we approved a $600 donation to Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD) for humanitarian aid in the Holy Land. These are Vestry-approved funds derived from your pledges and contributions. Heartfelt thanks go out to all who make it possible.

During the Israel-Hamas War, (ERD) has been partnering with the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem to support its hospital ministry among the Palestinians. In recent updates to an online post, ERD described efforts at Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza. Previously it posted about its partnership with HIAS within Israel in the wake of the Oct. 7 Hamas attack.

ERD also provides a link to encourage prayers in a time of crisis. Please continue to pray for peace in the Holy Land, and for ERD and its partners.



Grant a Child’s Wish for Angel Tree Gifts by Our Dec. 8 Deadline

The Angel Tree is up in the Narthex as our tradition continues. Between now and Dec. 8, the Outreach Commission invites parishioners to purchase new clothing and special items to complete Christmas gift “packages” for young angels. We are supporting a dozen children ages 8 to 13 to meet a need identified by the Howard County (Central Maryland) division of The Salvation Army. The nonprofit organization oversees the Angel Tree initiative here and elsewhere.

Please provide one or more gifts for girls and boys who are represented by tags that remain on the tree. To participate, you will need to sign up online by going to the Christ Church 2023 Angel Tree SignUp to view the list and make your choices. It has instructions on next steps.

Each child will receive an outfit, consisting of pants and a top. Besides the clothing, there are three other categories for each angel: Need, Wish, and Favorite item. You’ll find an array of wishes, so have fun shopping for items that range from roller skates and Legos to twin sheets and an alarm clock. The deadline to bring in your unwrapped gifts is 4 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 8. Please put them under the tree or in the Parish Hall Operations Room.

The aim is to lift the hearts not only of the angels but of their families. Parents obtain the unwrapped gifts from The Salvation Army to prepare for a brighter Christmas than they could otherwise afford.


We’ll do our best to update the list of angels and their wishes on a spreadsheet that will be displayed near the tree. In Old Brick, we’ll bring the list to you. In both locations, you’ll get a slip with the child’s name, ID, and wished-for gift. Someone will be on hand after both worship services on Sunday, Nov. 26 and Dec. 3 to assist in logging on.

To take part by giving of your time, please volunteer for one of two duties: Sign-up or Fulfillment. Sign-up duty on these two Sundays will help people after worship to register. The other duty is on Dec. 9 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


Thanksgiving Drive for the Howard County Food Bank Brightens Holiday Tables

Your donations of groceries such as stuffing mix, gravy, and canned goods are making a big difference at holiday meals starting this week. The Howard County Food Bank expects to feed about 1,000 people for Thanksgiving and another 1,000 for Christmas with its Holiday Meal Kits.

Christ Church collected 179 pounds of food (pictured above) during our annual drive for the Community Action Council of Howard County (CAC), which operates the food bank. We further supported CAC with a monetary donation for its holiday meal kits. On Nov. 17, members of the Outreach Commission delivered the goods (see photo). Thank you for participating!



Columbia Community Care Takes Weekend Off, Plans Holiday Help for Kids

Columbia Community Care (CCC) will observe Thanksgiving by closing the pantry on Friday, Nov. 24 and its pantry and three distribution sites on Saturday, Nov. 25. CCC has also announced holiday activities to help kids and their families. Check the CCC Facebook Group for updates. To volunteer, go to the “I Can Help” portion of its website.

Please keep collecting diapers, baby wipes, sanitary and personal care items and adult diapers. Put them in the yellow bin, marked “CCC,” inside the Parish Hall when the church office is open or on Sundays. Our point of contact is Leigh Smith, who monitors the bin and delivers its contents.



Please Donate All Kinds of Grocery Non-Perishables and Toiletries to FISH

FISH of Howard County needs non-perishable foods and toiletries. FISH provides committed support to select families in need. Please put donations in the basket at the altar or in the marked yellow bin on the breezeway between Old Brick and Parish Hall. The neighbors you help give thanks for all you do in their 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 outreach@christchurchcolumbia.org. Your help is greatly welcomed and appreciated. Thank you.


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