Christ Episcopal Church
Welcome to Christ Episcopal Church, Columbia! We are a vibrant and diverse, multicultural, Christian church family celebrating our faith together in worship and in the world around us.
Worship with us this Sunday morning! Our 8 am service is without music and is perfect for those who prefer the intimacy of the congregation and an early start to their day. Our 10:30 am service is filled with uplifting music and provides age-appropriate opportunities for all youth. We celebrate Holy Communion weekly at both services.
Visitors to our church often have questions about who we are and what we believe, especially when they come from other Christian faiths and traditions. Here is a list of the most frequently asked questions along with their answers. If your questions are not answered on this page, please contact us or see our Rector after a Sunday service and he will gladly assist.
- I'm not Episcopalian. Can I come to your church? Yes! All are welcome.
- I have small children. Can we attend services? By all means. Christ Church is family-friendly, with a dedicated and vibrant youth ministry. Your young children may either remain with you during the 10:30 service or they may join with other children under the age of six in an educational program we call "Godly Play". There is nursery care as well between the hours of 9:30 am - 12:00 noon. Christian Education (Sunday school for all ages) will be in recess during the summer months and will resume in September.
- How are you different from a Roman Catholic Church? There are theological differences between the two churches - some subtle, some not-so-subtle. There are several key differences, though: The Pope is not the head of the Episcopal Church, although we recognize him as the head bishop of another branch of the Christian Church. In the Episcopal Church, women, as well as men, can be deacons, priests and bishops, and priests can also be married. Also, all baptized persons are welcome to take communion in Episcopal churches, not just Episcopalians.
- Can Episcopalians believe whatever they want? As the Church of England (which is the mother church of the Episcopal Church) developed in the 16th century under the crown of Queen Elizabeth, it was conceived as the "middle way" between Catholicism and the Protestant Reformation that was sweeping Europe. And so, the Episcopal Church traditionally has been a place where many points of view - and many questions - are welcomed as part of the life of faith. The foundations of our faith are based on what we call the "three-legged-stool": Scripture, Tradition and Reason.
What if I have other questions? If you have questions or wish to know more about us, take the opportunity to contact us or speak with our Rector following a service.
Christ Church Link assists our Howard County neighbors in need. With a special focus on children, families and seniors, Christ Church Link serves all county residents regardless of faith, race, nationality, gender or other discriminating factors. Through the help of many parish and community volunteers, Christ Church Link offers a range of outreach programs. We operate a helpline at (410) 309-9695 for emergency assistance, such as evictions/foreclosures, utility turn-offs, food, medicine and health care, shelter, clothing, jobs, transportation, and other basic needs. We differ from other information & referral services. Our volunteers not only provide resource phone numbers, agency schedules/requirements and advice on seeking aid, we also follow-up with callers to see if they've gotten help. In crisis situations, advocacy support may also be offered.
In addition of our helpline, we founded, coordinated and participate in the county-wide Prepare for Success Backpack & School Supply Program, that has equipped over 18,000 Howard County Public School System students from low-income families ith backpacks filled wth essential school supplies. We coordinate the collection and distribution of Christmas gifts, clothing and food gift cards for over 200 children from low-income families through The Giving Tree Christmas Program.
This Commission includes the work of our tellers, Finance Committee, Audit Committee, EMC Committee, Compensation Committee and the Planned Giving Committee.
This Commission includes the Cemetery Committee, Gardening Team, Special Projects, Building Use Task Force and work days.
This nCommission includes our Youth and Adult Choirs, Acolytes, LEM-LEV, Ushers, Altar Guild, Liturgical Dance, Lectors, and Flower Delivery Committees.
This Commission organizes and leads us in Retreats, Quiet Days, the annual Lenten Program and Lay-led Bible Study.
This Commission includes Baptism and Confirmation, our Newcomer Ministry, Godly Play, Sunday School, Adult Education, Nursery, Bible Study, Youth Ministry, In-reach and Vacation Bible School.
Ths Commission includes the Women of Christ Church, Knit-Wits, Pins and Needles, Texas BBQ, Hospitality, Foyer Groups, Parish Festival, Tongues of Fire, and our Annual Meeting.
This Commission includes our Website, Signage, Gathered Together, Email Communications, and our Facebook page.
At Christ Church, outreach to those in need occurs at the local, national, and international level. This is motivated by the Holy Gospel: "And the King will answer them, Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.'" Matthew 25:40
The Outreach Commission endeavors to offer hands-on opportunities, multi-generational activities, and ways to support helping others when direct service is not an option for you at a given time. Another goal is to experience the fellowship of shared experiences as we work for others. For example, at least half a dozen volunteers build camaraderie among themselves and the friends whom they serve while providing a monthly hot meal for the homeless in Jessup, MD. From time to time, the Commission organizes a "food, fun, and fellowship" event to give many hands a chance to do the Lord's work. Through this approach, Outreach provides additional support for a designated charity. The most recent beneficiary was ECSM's The Ark, a preschool for homeless children in Baltimore.
Here are some of the recipients of the generosity of the parish in which you may wish to become involved:
International: -Children of Uganda - Christ Church supports te work of this nonprofit that educates and helps t raise disadvantaged children in rural Ugnda in multiple ways. Some members are directly involved by serving on the board and/or sponsring a child; Outreach is committed to support a community library by paying for a librarian's salary, internet service and other needs. In 2014, the congregation helped host the COU Tour of Light.
- In a related ministry, Christ Church supplies mosquito nets and other needs for Philip's House, a home for disabled young adults in Kampala.
- CCD-Thailand, The Christian Care Foundation for Children with Disabilities receives support to help pay the salary of a therapist.
- Somos Amigos medical mission in El Naranjito, Dominican Republic
National: - DreamBuilders - Ths interfaith, multi-congregational group brings adults and youth togeher to build or rehabilitate housing for those in need in different parts of the country. Closer to home, Christ Church parishioners raise money for supplies through sale of fair-trade coffee, tea and chocolate and support and/or participate in rehab activities in Maryland.
Local: - Route 1 Day Resource Center - Christ Church members supply and serve a hot meal on the second Monday of the month as well as bring donations of clothing and nonperishable food collected from the congregation. In a long-term, ongoing commitment to support medical services, Christ Church also provides the Center's medication supplies, provides a fund for respite care so that homeless people are not released from the hospital with no place to go during recovery, and responds to other special requests from the clinic's medical director.
- Support for needy families in Howard County through Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center, FISH, and the Salvation Army; for Howard County AGAST (anti-human trafficking), spiritual outreach to prison ministry at the Howard County detention center; and to Episcopal Community Services (Baltimore).
- Annual Christmas gift collection through Salvation Army for children in Howard County, including the inter-generational stocking stuffer activity held each December, when young and old gather to fill stockings for kids who likely would have little or nothing otherwise.
Parish and Diocese-Wide: In addition to the above activities, we encourage parishioners to engage in the traditional outreach activities of other parts of Christ Church such as the Women of Christ Church, who make monthly visits to brighten the lives of residents of Springfield Hospital in Sykesville, MD, and the Children at the Ark Preschool in Baltimore. In August, we support the collection of school supplies through a charity that began at Christ Church but that is now a free-standing, county-wide nonprofit, Prepare for Success. Other opportunities include the diocesan-sponsored Seafarers Mission helping mariners from around the world whose ships call in Baltimore and the work of the church's own Knitwits, whose handmade items help the Seafarers as well as children far and wide. The Bishop's annual appeal also offers selected worthy causes many of which fulfill spiritual as well as material needs.