CEC Outreach News: May 30, 2021

Updated: Jun 14

Local Families Need Our Support!

Christ Church’s Lake Elkhorn Middle School (LEMS) ministry is a partnership between our church and Lake Elkhorn Middle School, geared toward providing support to students, teachers, and families. As one element of this partnership, the LEMS Committee supports the school’s Weekend Food Program, providing food for 10 families experiencing food insecurity. This past year, we’ve done this despite the myriad challenges of the pandemic—and with the generous contributions of this congregation. The school has asked us to continue this support through the summer and into the next school year. If we’re to continue - and possibly increase - our level of support, the LEMS Committee needs parishioners to help shop for and package food, as well as parishioners to help deliver the bagged groceries to the school. Shopping is from a pre-set grocery list, is funded by the committee, and can be done on your own time. Delivery is a socially distanced, quick drop-off to the school on the second Thursday of each month at 11:00 a.m. Christ Church deeply values our partnership with LEMS, and families in our community depend on our support. If you’re available to help shop or deliver, please contact Deacon Denise at deacondenise@christchurchcolumbia.org.

Support the Diocese of Maryland’s Sutton Scholars at a Milestone Moment

People experience milestone moments, either positive or negative, and sometimes those emotions and moments intertwine. Such was the case this week during a vigil hosted by the Baltimore Interfaith Coalition for Dismantling Racism to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the killing of George Floyd. The setting was Bishop Square Park and the host was the nearby Cathedral of the Incarnation, seat of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland.

Bishop of the diocese, The Right Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton, joined in the interfaith vigil, described on WYPR-FM, with leaders representing Jewish, Muslim, and Roman Catholic congregations, among others. He led about 100 participants in calling the names of African Americans who died in police incidents and, in a more hopeful turn, in singing the hymn, “Lift Every Voice.” More coverage can be found here.

The leaders were unified in saying that although this was a moment to mourn, it also was an opportunity to look forward. At the same time, in city neighborhoods not far from the cathedral, high school students were envisioning much brighter futures for themselves because of the diocese and Bishop Sutton’s role in founding the program, Sutton Scholars.

“It has been a longtime dream of Bishop Sutton’s to create opportunities for youth who otherwise aren’t afforded equal chances for success, ‘giving back’ from the blessings he received from caring adults who took time to help him learn about life and to grow,” the program says. “Through Sutton Scholars, we strive to pay it forward, building a brighter future for our students and for Baltimore as a whole,” the program continues in an informative video on its website.

In the video, “Who Are the Sutton Scholars? Learn More,” we’re told that these are Baltimore City students who may be at risk of falling through the cracks of the school system. They make up a maximum enrollment of 120 students (freshmen through seniors) each year. The Scholars learn soft skills and critical thinking, among other life skills. And they experience camaraderie and leadership during a summer trip to the Claggett Center for environmental stewardship, kayaking, zip-lining, and team-building on the ropes course.

Since its start in 2016, the first Scholars have completed the curriculum and are now giving advice to others. Deon Jones, the new president of the Sutton Scholars Alumni Association, says, ”Write out the steps you want to take...You have to have a purpose in life to be successful.”