Jesus asks us to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27).
Serving Our Neighbors
Called to love our neighbors as ourselves, we at Christ Church are committed to serving those in need -- those in our local community and beyond. In service to and with others, we meet real needs in the community and also deepen our relationships with one another and with God.
We have a long tradition at Christ Church of actively participating in service within the Needham and Boston area communities. For example, our members:
- Cook and serve a hot lunch to 150 homeless guests monthly at the Monday Lunch Program at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Boston
- Celebrate the Eucharist and share brown bag lunches with the homeless on the Boston Common as part of Ecclesia Ministries
- Share reading time with young campers and assist on field trips during the Bishop’s Summer Academic and Fun Enrichment Camp (B-SAFE) at Church of the Holy Spirit in Mattapan
- Collect and donate food monthly to the Needham Community Council
- Donate gently used clothing to Circle of Hope, which distributes them to individuals and families living in shelters throughout Boston
- Knit hats, scarves, and mittens for our guests at the Monday Lunch Program
- Purchase and wrap Christmas gifts for children and assemble Winter Care gift bags for women living at Shepherd House and other shelters
Each year our Youth Group plans and raises money for a mission trip in the United States. In spring 2012, the youth group and their adult leaders journeyed to Shoal Creek, Alabama to re-build homes destroyed by tornadoes in spring 2011. Upon their return, our youth reflected on the powerful life lessons they learned as they worked with people in a community devastated by tornadoes. Through their experience, the teens built friendships, faith and bonds with people in the community they served.
We welcome friends from outside our parish to join the Youth Group on these mission trips.
Through our Haiti Medical Mission, Christ Church members and clergy visit Haiti to set up mobile medical clinics and provide hands-on routine medical care. Without the visiting medical team, many Haitian men, women and children would not receive the medical attention they need. Our medical team
members develop relationships with the Haitian people as they provide medical care, and find themselves forever changed by their experience.
Our Haiti Mission trips also serve educational goals. This year’s mission team will deliver school supplies and small musical instruments to a primary school in the rural village of Lazile, Haiti.
Sharing our Resources
Christ Church annually funds a number of local, national, and international non-profits, and also directly supports primary education in a small village in Haiti. This funding represents a commitment by the Vestry on behalf of the parish to share our resources within our larger community. Our Christ Church youth also select outreach projects through Church School classes and raise funds to support their chosen organization.
Funding Community Organizations
With funding allocated from the annual operating budget of the church, the Christ Church Community Concerns Committee meets twice a year to select worthy non-profit organizations and to award grants. To name a few recipients: Needham Cares, the Boston Medical Grow Clinic, Boston Healthcare for the Homeless, African Baobab, and Jubilee AIDS Fund. The grants play an important role in helping these organizations provide food and assistance, housing, medical care, counseling support, and disaster relief to people who are hungry, homeless, sick and disabled, or in financial need. Click here for a full list of organizations funded by Christ Church in 2011.
Youth Funding and Participation
Our Christ Church youth respond to the call to share resources within the community by selecting an outreach project or organization to support through church school. Our youngest Children’s Chapel members collected socks and mittens for Boston Healthcare for the Homeless. Our 6th and 7th graders raised funds to help at-risk babies thrive through the Boston Medical Grow Clinic program, and our 4th and 5th graders chose to be good stewards of our furry friends by collecting monies to support abandoned animals at the Animal Rescue League of Boston. Our 8th and 9th graders collected food and clothing for the homeless of Boston and distributed them during an overnight service project with Ecclesia Ministries.
Supporting United Nations Millennium Development Goals
In support of the National Episcopal Church's commitment to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, Christ Church helps fund primary education in the small village of Lazile, Haiti. This partnership deepens our relationships and friendships with the people of Lazile (a community we serve on our Haiti Mission trips) and provides the best long-term path for the children in Lazile to escape poverty. Christ Church funds help pay teacher salaries, purchase pencils and books, and provide tuition support to students. The Vestry has pledged these funds in support of the United Nations goal of providing all children access to primary education.