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Christ Community Church set to host outdoor concert and picnic

By Staff | Feb 3, 2009

Pack your blanket and some lawn chairs, and visit Christ Community Church on Saturday for an outdoor concert and picnic.
The event will be held on the spacious grassy area of the church located on Orange Grove Boulevard starting at 2 p.m., with free hamburgers, hot dogs and chips. The Franz Family will perform bluegrass gospel music with touches of jazzy blues and acoustic pop at 3:30 p.m. There also will be volleyball, horseshoes and a bounce house for kids.
“We want to welcome the community to join us in our first outdoor concert that will feature bluegrass music,” said the Rev. Bob Hamway. “We’ll have activities for the children and some food, just a day to enjoy meeting each other and growing together.”
“We really want to encourage people to bring a blanket or lawn chair, because it is a true picnic,” added Rose Crislit, church administrative assistant.
The Franz family is a great act and have performed for the church for several years.
“Members of our church knew them. They tour all over the country. I believe they are very talented, a family of a mom and dad, two daughters and two sons,” said Hamway.
The last time the church had a picnic, several hundred in the area came to enjoy the fun.
The church moved to the North Fort Myers location about a year ago from Cape Coral because of the improved location.
“The new location is great, we’re thankful for it. We’re still learning a lot about it,” said Hamway.
He said the congregation is a mix of North Fort Myers and Cape Coral residents. He said he is hoping to see some new faces at the event.
“We’re a church that loves people, and wants to be able to minister to the community,” Hamway said.
There is no charge for the food, music and fun, but a love offering will be accepted.

Food pantry and
new food program
The church runs a busy food pantry, but officials said there is room for more participants.
“We do it on Wednesdays, and if we get an emergency, any time during the week we help those people too,” said the Rev. Ivor Marchany. “There’s a form to fill out from The Harry Chapin Food Bank, where we get the food. Anyone can come on a Wednesday from noon-2 p.m.”
Economic times have made the need for the pantry grow, he said.
“We’ve seen a big growth due to the economy. We went from 50 people to 120 a week or more. It feels great helping people in the community we live in,” Marchany said.
Another food assistance program has just been recently launched at the church, called Angel Food Ministries.
“It’s the same principal as the food pantry,” said Hamway. “We want to help people in this economy and we found this program provides good food at a very good price. Two people in our church, Rose Crislit and John Jones, started the program.”
The church’s Angel Food Ministries is a once-a-month grocery program, a nationwide program started by a church in Georgia.
“They felt a real need for this for the working poor, people that if they paid all their bills, they didn’t have enough for groceries at the end of the month,” said Crislit. “With this what you’re doing is paying $30 for $90 worth of groceries.”
People do not like a handout, she added.
“They come here and look at a menu or go to: angelfoodministries.com, and we will place their order at the church for cash food stamps or money orders,” said Crislit. “At the end of the month they pick up food at the church.”
They can purchase their main box, and they also have senior convenience meals. There is also fresh fruit baskets and more at a fraction of what one would pay at a grocery store.
“There are no qualifications, no restrictions, this program is for everybody,” she said.
The first month they signed on as a host site, they had 47 boxes. The second month they ordered 227 boxes. The goal is at least 500 boxes.
For more information on the church or the programs, call 652-5530, or visit the Web site: www.3cfl.org. E-mail address is ccc@3cfl.org.
Christ Community Church is located at 4801 Orange Grove Blvd.