The Outreach Committee is a vital part of our parish, helping to make it a “beacon of hope” for our community. We are always seeking new opportunities to do God’s work in the world.
During this time of pandemic, the way in which we help our neighbors may have changed, but the desire and commitment to do so has not! This includes not only supporting those who suffer from economic uncertainty but also working towards racial justice. If you have ideas, questions, or comments, please contact Seth Lloyd, Outreach Chair or Calebria Webb, Christ Church’s Associate for Community Engagement.
A social service outreach agency of the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan, Crossroads supports the community by providing emergency assistance and advocating for the poor and homeless. Each week, Christ Church gathers in canned and boxed items to help stock Crossroads’ food pantry. As we cannot meet at the church, several donation depots have been set up at the homes of parishioners for contactless drop-off. Check the eNews for those locations as well as the item of the month! In addition, we sponsor an “Advent Diaper Drive” for Crossroads clients. In Advent 2019, we supplied over 26,000 diapers, and packaged them for distribution at Crossroads parenting classes. Contact: Eileen MacDonald
Gleaners Community Food Bank
This food bank distributes food to individuals, community organizations, soup kitchens, and churches in Detroit. Currently, Gleaners has a program called “My Neighborhood Mobile Grocery.” As we understand the program, two people take a Gleaners’ van filled with food to a senior citizen complex in Detroit and the senior residents are allowed to pick out the groceries which they need. The “shifts” are two hours in length. Contact: Seth Lloyd
The Green Team identifies ways for the church and its members to be good stewards of God’s creation. For example, we have banished Styrofoam cups from our coffee hour in favor of ceramic cups and mugs, supported a service to bless Detroit’s urban gardens, and set up recycling bins in the church for recyclables, including plastic bags. We are exploring solar panels. If you have ideas, questions, or comments, please contact Jim Treece.
Homeless Shelter Week
For more than 25 years, Christ Church has housed about 40 homeless men and women for one week, as part of the rotating shelter program sponsored by Cass Community Social Services. This project involves almost 100 church members who prepare breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plan activities, and strive to provide our guests with a measure of dignity and hope. The date for the next Shelter Week will be November, 2020, and given the current restrictions, the way we support Shelter Week is changing too. Cass itself will shelter the guests, and has asked if we could provide 2 to 4 people during this week to help serve its guests and to participate in evening activities.Contact: Genet Barthwell or Seth Lloyd
Meals on Wheels
Christ Church has been for many years a distribution center for the holiday Meals on Wheels program. On Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter mornings, parishioners gather with others in the wider community to distribute meals to seniors in our area of Detroit. Contact: Margo Norris
Pope Francis Center
Like so many other routines, our monthly breakfast support for the Pope Francis Center has been disrupted. But you can still help! PFC does need help on Monday and Friday mornings picking up bagels at the Einstein’s Bakery in Grosse Pointe Woods and delivering the bagels to the Center near the University of Detroit Mercy Law School. Contact Seth Lloyd if you’d like to join a shift.
Each summer, Christ Church hosts 30-40 elementary-age Detroit children for a reading enrichment program. While we had to take a break this year, our Community Engagement team continues to explore ways in which we can support the children of our immediate neighborhood.
Spirit of Hope Soup Kitchen
Spirit of Hope (also known as Trinity Episcopal Church) is located on Detroit’s near west side. Christ Church and Trinity have been in partnership for decades. Christ Church helped to open a Saturday soup kitchen there almost forty years ago, and is still responsible for preparing food and serving guests whenever there is a fifth Saturday in a month. Contact: Jon Miller
Twelve Step Programs
Gamblers Anonymous has resumed meeting each Saturday at 10:00 am, adhering to safe social distancing protocols. We look forward to the day when Joys of Recovery – Alcoholics Anonymous can meet again in our space. Contact the church office for more information.
In addition to the above hands-on activities, the Outreach Committee reviews various requests for funding. In the last year, Christ Church contributed financially to Song and Spirit (homeless care packages), Freedom House (refugee assistance), Samaritas (social services and refugee relief), Detroit school children (coats and school supplies), the Episcopal Relief and Development Fund, and others.