The Mission and Local Outreach Committee of Christ Memorial Presbyterian Church proudly supports the work of numerous mission agencies in Howard County and Baltimore. Local agencies supported in 2021 include:
Bridge of Hope Baltimore Chapter
In 2018 CMPC began participating in Bridge of Hope whose mission is to engage Christian faith communities in ending homelessness through relationships that demonstrate Christ’s love. BoH’s three outcomes for families facing homelessness are safe and sustainable housing; strong and resilient families; and a supporting network of “neighborhood” volunteers. In early 2021, a part-time case manager was hired and has been working with a family in Baltimore. Two earlier families who participated in the program were living in Columbia. There are plans create a neighborhood support group and add a new family in Columbia in 2022. For more information visit https://greaterbaltimoreregion.bridgeofhopeinc.org/
CMPC Preschool provides a quality Christian education for children of all races and creeds and has been doing so since 1978. The preschool is licensed by the Maryland State Department of Education. The preschool program encourages growth of the whole child with teachers selecting activities and experiences that meet each child where s/he is on the developmental continuum. The curriculum provides a broad range of learning opportunities in the social, emotional, physical, language and cognitive areas. For more information visit https://cmpcusa.org/preschool/
Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center
The Center houses a family and women’s shelter and a men’s shelter. There is an on-site, 24-hour crisis intervention service with hotlines and walk-in counseling. A Mobile Crisis Team is located on-site. Grassroots provides overflow shelter from November through March. Congregations, including CMPC, host the Cold Weather Shelter for one week and provide volunteers for transportation, meals, laundry and work shifts in the shelter. Grassroots provides administrative coordination and a staff person to act as the team leader during the hours the shelter is open. For more information, visit grassrootscrisis.org
Howard County Cold Weather Shelter
For the past 18 years, CMPC has been part of the Howard County Cold Weather Shelter. From November to March churches of all denominations provide shelter on a rotating basis one week at a time to the homeless. Our traditional time has been the week after Christmas during which our congregation provides guests with rides back and forth to the Columbia Mall, a hot dinner, breakfast, bag lunches, and laundry. CMPC volunteers work alongside staff from Grassroots. Each night our church becomes a welcoming space for 18 – 22 guests from 6 pm to 7 am. It is not unusual for CMPC to host families with children. Grassroots provides mattresses, blankets, and sheets, while the ground floor is converted into sleeping quarters for men, women, and families respectively. It takes 80 – 100 members performing a variety of roles to make the week work. In 2020 and 2021 due to Covid restrictions, CWS guests stayed in a long-term stay hotel where they were provided with meals and laundry service.
Laurel Advocacy and Referral Services (LARS)
LARS is a non-profit organization serving homeless and low-income families and individuals in Laurel, Maryland. LARS service area includes parts of Prince George’s, Howard, and Anne Arundel Counties. LARS was founded in 1987 by a group of local congregation leaders and community members who sought a consolidated approach to responding to those who came to their doors for food and financial help. Today LARS is staffed by trained social workers and continues to receive financial and volunteer support from its founding faith-based partner organizations. LARS’ mission is to enable homeless and low-income people in crisis to achieve stability and long-term self-sufficiency. For more information, visit https://www.laureladvocacy.org/
Rebuilding Together Howard County
Rebuilding Together was formed in 1992 when a group of committed Howard County residents and businesses joined together to mobilize volunteers and provide free home repairs to low-income families in Howard County. Rebuilding Together is committed to improving the lives of the elderly, individuals with disabilities, veterans, and families with children; all homeowners in Howard County who have worked hard, but can no longer afford to keep up with repairs. Each year CMPC sponsors a home repair project by providing a volunteer team on our annual National Rebuilding Day held in April. The team works directly with the homeowner to make the necessary repairs during a very rewarding day of service. Due to Covid restrictions, RT relied on contractors to perform work in 2020 and 2021. For more information visit http://www.rebuildingtogetherhowardcounty.org/
Baltimore Presbytery – The Center
The Center’s work is all about training, and equipping, and calling people to come together – about giving people from very different cultures, races, economic classes, ages, and theologies the opportunity to get to know each other – to break through division and isolation and offer experiences of community that bridges division. Creating space for people to learn each other’s stories and to be curious about another’s perspective is at the heart of The Center’s ministry. For more information, read their 2019 Annual Report. https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5a65343b692ebe6097706063/t/5eaf7be90c24ba7906bcf7f0/1588558839527/2019+Annual+Report.pdf
Columbia Community Care
This grassroots group began in March 2020 in response to the growing and dire needs of community members who are been affected by the COVID-19 crisis. This group was set up because so many members of our community wanted to help our fellow residents in this unprecedented time of need. CCC collects and donates non-perishable food, fresh fruit and vegetables, personal care and baby items, and essential household supplies at three drive-through locations. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/807588256400584/permalink/1193138594512213
Help End Homelessness Howard County
HEH is a non-profit organization established to meet the need of homeless families whose income is too low to qualify for other safety-net services. They provide permanent – not transitional – affordable housing as the first step to addressing homelessness. They currently have two properties and will soon begin fundraising for a third one. This is volunteer-led initiative with no staff. For more information visit the website at www.HEHHCinc.org
Indian Cultural Association of Howard County
The Indian Cultural Association was formed to bring the diverse communities of Howard County together through programs, events, outreach, and community support services to address the cultural, physical, and emotional needs of the large Indian population in Howard County and those of the community-at-large. In response to the Covid pandemic, ICA began assembling and distributing food packages to struggling families in Howard County. To-date they have distributed about 2.3 million pounds of food to needy families.
Howard County Food Bank
The Howard County Food Bank offers family-choice shopping like a grocery store with fresh produce and dairy options fresh breads and baked goods, canned and boxed food, and personal care hygiene products at their location on Gerwig Lane. Since the outbreak of Covid, demand for items in their inventory has significantly increased. They are open four days a week.
Maryland Food Bank
With three branches and more than 1,450 distribution points, the Maryland Food Bank provides food insecure Marylanders with pathways out of hunger while distributing more than 102,000 meals every day. Approximately 350 food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, and other community-based organizations across the state help provide relief to members of their communities who struggle to put food on their tables. In support of this effort, between Thanksgiving and Christmas 2021 CMPC members donated 770 lbs. of canned goods and paper products which was given to the Maryland Food Bank to benefit needy families. For more information visit https://mdfoodbank.org/hunger-in-maryland/approach/
For more information about what the mission committee accomplished in 2021, please click here.