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6800 Oakland Mills Road
Columbia, Maryland 21045

 

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©2020 Christ Episcopal Church, Columbia MD

Of Flea Market, Bargain Sales, and Community.

      There's nothing like a bargain sale. We all desire to buy something at a less expensive cost than it is sold. On special holidays when stores have a mark down, we all troop to the mall to purchase what we need and want. There are many occasions where I watch with pure wonder long lines of patrons at an Apple Store who wait to lay their hands on a new Apple product.  Black Fridays always blows my mind. It is interesting to watch people camp out at Best Buy because of the huge mark down prices. Bargain sales draw crowds.       On Saturday, Christ Church will host the Annual Flea Market where many vendors from the community will set-up tables and sell their wares. More than hosting vendors, we will also welcome shoppers from the neighborhood and beyond who are either eager for a bargain sale, a chance to get out of the house, simply walk around our beautiful campus, meet people or grab some hot dogs, burgers or some goodies.  Whatever it is that may bring people out here on Saturday is as much a celebration of our long standing openness to engage with the community that is around us.       A remarkable aspect of the Flea Market is that all proceeds goes back into ministry. For that reason, many parishioners have donated and continue to donate several items for sale. One of the interesting stories that I'd like to share with you is about our burgeoning relationship with Lake Elkhorn Middle School. As many of you know, the Principal of the school-Lynette Moore came by Christ Church several weeks ago to preach and to share stories about Lake Elkhorn with the entire parish.       During her visit, she learned about the Flea Market and the fact that proceeds go back into ministry, and she can also contribute towards it. I had a meeting with her a few days after her visit. After our meeting, she told me that she's donating five boxes of books to benefit the Flea Market. Her theory was, if Lake Elkhorn Middle School of which she is the head is benefitting so much from its relationship with Christ Church, then the best she could do to honor that relationship was to donate books to support the Flea Market.       This story simply tells of the importance of building and maintaining relationships with the community and even beyond. An important benefit of these relationships is the transformation that is made possible by it. In my mind, Mission and Outreach makes it possible for us to touch the community and be touched by the community. If we can believe that Christ Church is and can be the hope of the world, there will be nothing like it when it's working right: when it is turning lives around and being a beacon of hope.       A Christian community is one marked by the extension of hospitality, helping those in need and pleasing God with sacrifices and offerings of praise. On Saturday, our hospitality will be put to test once more as sellers and buyers ask questions about where to find what and also about Christ Church. Be ready and prepared to talk about Christ Church. Our desire to help those in need will be supported by the broader community as they walk around this campus and enjoy the beauty and grace of all that embodies Christ Church. I hope you will all be motivated to touch and be touched by those you see on Saturday and beyond, for God is pleased with such sacrifices. By the way, I will have a little table with information about Christ Church. Stop by and say hello! Manny.