“…I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” – Jesus, quoted in Matthew 25:36-37
Christ Church seeks to be a strategic partner with local non-profits, government and faith communities in addressing needs and challenges in the community and in the world. Our primary outreach activity is our Food Pantry which is now expanding to serve people who are homeless. We periodically hold a series of Community Catalyst Conversations designed to create a safe space for members of the community – all are welcome – to learn more about big issues challenging us, focus on our assets, and convene in “strategy circles” to develop solutions, so that we can help La Plata and the broader Charles County and Southern Maryland become a place of justice and equity, joy and generosity, security and hope. See more on that here…
We have opened the first Community Fridge in Southern Maryland to give 24/7 access to free food and local produce. Please contact Rev. Kate if you are interested in being part of the team that will keep it monitored and refreshed. We need regular drop-offs of food – produce and protein especially. Please start buying a little extra at the store and putting it into the fridge.
- Allowed items:
- Whole fruits and vegetables
- Eggs and frozen meat
- Pre-packaged, non-potentially hazardous foods (shelf-stable), including baked goods and dry cereals
- Commercially packaged meals
- Homemade goods following Maryland Cottage Food Laws
- Donations must be labeled with:
- All ingredients, package date, expiration date, and any allergens.
- Allergens may include: dairy, eggs, fish, shellfish, wheat/gluten, soy, nuts
please download the flyer and share it!
The Food Pantry is an outreach ministry of Christ Church in La Plata. The pantry, on church grounds at 112 Charles Street, is open each Friday from 9 am to 11 am, except for some holidays. Food items such as canned meats, fruits and vegetables, as well as fresh produce, dairy and eggs (when available) are given to residents of Charles County.
Laypersons of the parish and outside volunteers run the pantry. Mary Rice oversees operations: food pickups, Food Bank purchasing, and fundraising. Volunteers are always welcome to help with food pick-ups at area stores on Thursdays and Fridays (trucks helpful), and with food distribution on Friday mornings.
COVID-19 Update: Since March 2020, for the safety of both volunteers and clients, we have changed the way we acquire and distribute food. Instead of clients shopping inside the pantry, we now have curbside pickup only: clients currently receive pre-packaged collections of food from the safety of their cars.
Sacred Ground – Racial Justice Curriculum
Periodically we convene new discussions circles of this powerful curriculum. Here are some comments from those who participated last year: “If you have not experienced Scared Ground, please include this in your Spiritual Practice. Of all the programs released by the Episcopal Church, this is the best I’ve seen.” “I am thankful for this space to learn about racial justice where I can ask questions and become a better champion with a deeper understanding. Confronting my own bias has been an incredible experience.”
Community Catalyst Conversations
Christ Church hosted its first Community Catalyst Conversation on the topic of Affordable Housing on February 26, 2019. Some 35 people gathered to hear from Christina Pompa, Deputy Director of Planning and Growth for Charles County speak about the need for affordable housing for entry-level workers and their families, as well as a critical need for housing for those below the poverty line. Groups then met in Strategy Circles to articulate a vision for effective affordable housing, and how we might increase public support. Community Catalyst Conversations will be offered on other topics in the coming year.
Christ Church hosts the annual National Homeless Person’s Memorial Day on December 21. We partnered with LifeStyles of Maryland to remember individuals who had died homeless in the past year. We hosted an Election Eve Prayer Vigil on the eve of the last national election, as well as periodic interfaith prayer vigils.
What’s your passion? Who do you want to reach out to? Let us know, and see if we can support you.
Outreach Projects of Individual Members of the Community
Many of our members are involved in outreach projects as individuals. All are invited to share this work with the community.