“The worship has ended; the service begins.”
We are always looking for new ways to reach beyond the church to the community and the world. Martha’s Cupboard and St. Brigid’s Food Pantry, our Companion Diocese of Ecuador, Shoes for the Phillipines, community events such as CROP Walk and Covenant House, Toys for Girls and Boys, and our Annual Coat Drive are ony a few of our ministries.
Smaller community groups within our congregation, such as Girls Friendly Society and the Knitting Pearls, have outreach as a major emphasis in their work. In addition, we keep up a lively connection with the greater church through serving the Diocese of New Jersey. We do this not only with the pledge we make to the Diocese each year (10% of our income) but also serving on various committees, participating in events such as the Annual Trinity Cathedral Golf Outing, supporting Diocesan Convention, and the many Youth Events and Mission Outreach Trips our children attend.
We also open the doors of Christ Church to accommodate such groups as the Shrewsbury Garden Club, providing hospitality and a “home” to those who need it.
Covenant House: Supporting Homeless Young Adults
Covenant House is an international organization with a local presence in Asbury Park that helps youth aged 18-21 who have ‘aged out’ of the child welfare system but who are homeless, at risk, and in need of help. One of our popular outreach ministries is to raise funds for Covenant House via a ‘Sleep Out’ on the streets of Asbury that provides our sleepers (such as Mother Lisa) the near experience of what it feels like to sleep outside with only a sleeping bag and a piece of cardboard as bedding.
Love to read a good book? Don’t know what to do with those books once they have been read? Books for Books is a program of Christ Church that supports educational concerns of our Companion Diocese of Ecuador. What exactly does that mean? Sometimes it means providing Spanish-language books for our parochial schools in Ecuador. It may mean school supplies or the “bricks and mortar” for a building. Our Outreach Committee donated $500.00 to the Companion Diocese Committee of our Diocese of New Jersey to buy a new laptop computer for use in the Cathedral School in Quito. This was part of a larger project in which we plan to place several new computers in the classrooms of each of our parochial schools. The money we have given comes solely from the quarters and dollars you place in the baskets each Sunday. So pick up a book and make a difference in the life of a child.
Members of Christ Church have participated in CROP Walk seemingly forever. Each October, we meet with literally thousands of other “walkers” from churches, schools, and organizations who come to Red Bank Regional High School to make the walk through Red Bank, and by our walking, to raise awareness and funds to help stamp out hunger. The funds we raise (and the peanut butter we bring!) are used to help such agencies as Family Promise (temporary housing for homeless families), Lunch Break, St. Brigid’s Food Pantry, the Center in Asbury Park (for AIDS sufferers), and our very own Martha’s Cupboard.
Just stop by the CROP Walk table at church during September and pick up a sponsor form. Ask your families, friends, co-workers, or church members to sponsor you for your walk (roughly 5 miles). If you are under aged 18, you will need your parent or guardian to sign for you. Be sure to collect the money as soon as possible – you will need to turn it in on the day of the walk. Then come join us at the Walk! You can run, jog, walk, bring a stroller, walk your dog (your dog can also get sponsors). It is a great activity for people of all ages.
If you aren’t going to be in town on the day of the Walk, you can still be a part of it! Simply sign up to sponsor one of our walkers. And be generous – it goes directly to help the poor and misfortunate. Another way we can all help is to bring a jar of peanut butter to church. We will take it with us to the Walk.
“Then will the King say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink…” Matthew 25.34
Once a month on a Thursday afternoon, a dedicated team of Christ Church parishioners and friends meet the delivery truck from Fulfill of Ocean and Monmouth Counties at Washington Manor on Ocean Avenue in Long Branch. There we unload and sort the food for distribution in the Community Room of the Manor. The residents, elderly and/or disabled people living in the low-cost housing apartment building (115 units), are always there waiting to greet us and see what we have brought to supplement their cupboards and refrigerators. These senior citizens live on an average of about $725 per month, with a third of their income paying for their housing. The rest is simply not enough to pay for food, medicine, and other daily needs. Because many of the residents are not in good health or have no transportation, they cannot make it to the local food pantries. Christ Church is bringing the pantry to them. Most of the food we will choose from the FoodBank is free to us. Additional food products are purchased by the management of Washington Manor, who care very deeply for the dyer situation of their residents. Still other items are provided by the generous donations of our own parishioners who in addition to giving money bring non-perishable items each week to place in our “little red wagon” in the Parish Hall or the basket in the narthex of the Church. We are always looking for volunteers. A secure building with a known population and a full-time security guard, this makes for a great opportunity for our teens to work on their community service hours here. For more information, contact the Church office at 732-741-2220 or email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Director Dianne Regiec would love to have you join us.
Old Cell Phones
Donated phones are programmed with “911” numbers for use by elderly persons and victims of domestic violence. A box is located in the Parish Hall.
Soda and Water Bottle Caps
Did you know that if you leave the plastic caps on your bottles they do NOT get recycled? In fact the cap has to be removed from the bottle in order for the BOTTLE itself to be recycled. NOW you can recycle the bottle CAPS too! Boxes have been provided for you in the parish hall for you to drop off all your plastic bottle CAPS into so Aveda, the manufacturer of beauty products, can recycle them into new caps for their products.
Used computer ink cartridges are redeemed and the monies received are used to support the programs of the Church. A box is located in the Parish Hall.
Shoes for the Philippines
We welcome your gently used sneakers, athletic and walking shoes. You may be done with them, but there are many who could use them after you. Currently we are sending donated shoes to the Philippines. They can be dropped off in the Parish Hall.
Supporting Filipina College Student Queeni Caay
It’s rewarding to assist groups of people in need, but it’s special to help an individual in need. For years now, Christ Church has supported the young Filipina college student Queeni Caay with her college tuition and other living expenses.
We accept almost all books at Christ Church, which are resold and the monies used to support our missions in Ecuador. Call the Church Office if you have a donation to make.
“Those who are generous are blessed, for they share their bread with the poor.”
Since 2002 St. Brigid’s Pantry at our sister congregation of St. James, Long Branch, has been serving the greater Long Branch community. From its inception in 2002, our congregation has been an active supporter of the Pantry. Since 2007, they have tripled the number of family households that are served monthly during these difficult times.
What began as a modest effort of collecting food (that was easily contained on two shelves in the janitor’s closet) has now become a full-fledged pantry stocked through food donations, bread donations, and monetary contributions as well as fresh and canned goods obtained from the local FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties. The Pantry is staffed by volunteers from Saint James and surrounding churches. Between 1,500 to 2,000 people are served each month, but what is even more astonishing is that the Pantry is open only five hours each week.
St. Brigid’s Pantry is a ministry of love and compassion. Our parishioners are encouraged to bring an item for the Pantry each time they come to worship. Our motto “Don’t come to church empty handed” applies to our children as well as our adults. The “Little Red Wagon” into which our children deposit their contributions makes it way to the altar every month with their heart-felt offerings.
Items always needed include… Peanut Butter, Tuna, Canned Stews & Soups, Toilet Tissue, Toiletries, Diapers, Canned Juices, Crackers, Rice, Tomato Sauce Macaroni & Cheese, and Volunteers!
Once again this year, we are teaming with other churches to collect toys for the children of Keansburg and surrounding communities. The children who are recipients are those for whom we can make the holiday season come alive with love and kindness. For many families right here in Monmouth County the purchase of toys at Christmas is beyond their means, as they struggle to make ends meet.
Please consider, as you begin to shop for the holidays, purchasing a toy for a youngster. You may drop off toys for the drive at the Parish House. They should be unwrapped, but including wrapping paper or gift bags would also help the cause. Make some children happy again this Christmas! Deadline for delivering the toys is December 5th when they will be blessed at the altar.
Every August our parishioners bring backpacks filled with school supplies for needy children in Monmouth County. The backpacks are blessed at our 10:00 am service on Labor Day Weekend and distributed thereafter. Children generally range from age 7 – 12, but we try to help any family with need. The office can provide you with a list of needed supplies.
Coat and Mitten Drive
In addition to backpacks and toys, we don’t forget the poor and needy when the temperature drops and the flakes fly. Each year in the runup to Christmas we collect used but serviceable winter coats and warm mittens for distribution in the New Year.
Christ Church Community Garden
The year 2021 marked the fourth anniversary of the Church Community Garden in a plot set up by Kim Honecker in the borough of Shrewsbury’s community garden across from the church just down Sycamore Avenue. Multiple parishioners water, weed, and tend to the flowers and vegetables, while the bounty is donated to a local food pantry.