Local Mission

As disciples of the Risen Christ, we are called to attend to the poor, break the chains of the oppressed, and advocate for a just and peaceful society. God calls the church to carry our faith into the world through lives of service and partnership with our neighbors.

Since COVID-19 struck, we have implemented new ways to serve our neighbors you can discover below. We have also started the 201 Washington Street Task Force to discover ways our church can assist those in need.

As a church that strives for discipleship through engagement and advocacy in the city of Atlanta, we give our time and energy to multiple mission areas including fighting Racism, Criminal Justice Reform, Care for Creation, Homelessness, and LGBTQIA Outreach & Advocacy.

  • Courtyard Lunch

    The Local Mission Committee has been working to help meet the needs of our neighbors experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic. For a couple of weeks, we have partnered with the ATL Community Food Bank and Partners for HOME to distribute donated boxed lunches on weekends in Central’s courtyard and neighborhood.

    Beginning Sunday, June 14, we are launching a Central-led effort to provide lunches and hospitality in the Courtyard. There are many ways in which we can assist in this effort.

    Click on the link below to sign up for the available options.

    https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0c49adad2fabf49-lunches

    Questions? Contact Kathy Harben: 404-405-4930 or email at kharben@mindspring.com

    1) Purchase and prepare items for sack lunches and deliver them to the Courtyard between 9 and 10 a.m. on Sunday mornings. (Suggested lunch contents include lunch meat on whole wheat bread, chips, juice or water bottle, oranges and bananas. We are avoiding peanut butter sandwiches for those who have food allergies. Also when preparing sandwiches, please do not use mayonnaise.)

    2) Set up and distribute the lunches.

    3) Help with minor cleanup afterwards. Volunteers who arrive Central to drop off the lunches or distribute them will be asked to bring their own mask and hand sanitizer. We will provide food handling gloves. If you are unable to make lunches or volunteer in the Courtyard, we would be grateful for cash donations.

  • Purchase a meal for our Peoplestown neighbors

    Our local Mission Leaders also have signed on to help our neighbors in Peoplestown through a partnership with Emmaus House.

    You can sign up here– https://form.jotform.com/201474723493053 
    Questions? Check out the Emmaus House website and/or e-mail Adam Seeley at seeleyadam@gmail.com 
    You can click here to purchase a weekly food bag for a neighbor in Peoplestown through Carver Market.

    Thank you to those who have signed up to offer their time, resources, and presence to extending Central’s care to our community.

  • Central Partners with New Hope House

    Central’s Local Mission Committee recently agreed to provide ongoing support for the ministry of New Hope House (NHH), a small non-profit organization located near Georgia’s Diagnostic and Classification Prison at Jackson GA.

    Our new partnership with NHH involves providing a small grant from Central’s Local Mission budget, and offers various ways for Centralites to be actively involved in this ministry — corresponding with prisoners, visiting inmates, preparing meals for families, helping to maintain the NHH property, and other opportunities.

    For more information contact Lee Carroll, at 404/634-7513 or LCarroll@ix.netcom.com

  • GEORGIAJUSTICEPROJECTGeorgia Justice Project | www.gjp.org

    GJP is a nonprofit organization that seeks to strengthen our community by advocating and providing legal representation for marginalized and economically vulnerable people in the Atlanta area.

    GFADP Logo.pngGeorgians for Alternatives to the Death Penaltygfadp.org

    GFADP is committed to eradicating the death penalty in the state of Georgia. They provide community and support to incarcerated individuals and their families. GFADP, along with other partners, hold vigils at the state Capitol each time someone is executed.

    Presbyterians for a Better Georgia.png

    Presbyterians for a Better Georgiap4bg.org

    PBG is a partnership organization comprised of member congregations from around the Atlanta metro. With the help of a lobbyist, PBG advocates and educates on local and state issues that are affected by laws and ordinances.

  • GIPL.jpgGeorgia Interfaith Power and Lightwww.gipl.org

    GIPL works with communities of faith to cultivate care for creation. They focus on environmental justice and education in Atlanta and beyond.

  • CentralOACCentral Outreach and Advocacy Center | centraloac.org

    The Central OAC works in partnership with individuals and families to assist them in avoiding or overcoming homelessness and to advocate on their behalf.

    CNS 2013 shadow greenCentral Night Shelter | Central Night Shelter

    The Central Night Shelter is a volunteer governed shelter open seven nights a week, beginning at 7 p.m., from November 1 to March 31. Find more information at their dedicated website on our website.

    Presbyterians for a Better GeorgiaPresbyterians for a Better Georgia | p4bg.org

    PBG is also committed to alleviating and eradicating homelessness. It works with congregations and the government to understand the impact of homelessness and to advocate for people who are experiencing homelessness.

    Courtyard HospitalitySunday Coffee Hospitality

    What is Courtyard Hospitality? 

    We began serving fresh bread with coffee in the courtyard about several years ago. It seems like a natural extension for our hospitality, and for me the reason is simple, it represents an extension of the table from our sanctuary to the world nearest to us, the homeless who find refuge in the shelter of the church.

    The table is really central to our worship as we display the symbols of the meal every Sunday. And the meal is the remembrance of reconciliation and grace which meets all of us in our brokenness. A recent story in the Memphis Flyer told of a woman taken into custody on the steps of Idlewild Presbyterian Church. The story told of her being mocked and ridiculed for sweeping the steps, while also not wearing any clothes.

    Here is a lightly edited version of Rev. Stephen R. Montgomery’s response:

    I will explain it quite simply: mental illness, alcoholism, homelessness. And she has a name. Her name is Marilyn.

    At Idlewild, we have loved her, fed her, counseled with her, tried to refer her for some help, cautioned her, and have even had to use “tough love” at times. For we dare to believe that beneath all that brokenness is a beloved child of God.

    It was disheartening, even shameful at times, to hear the ridicule and the laughter that this evoked, for it is not funny. The homeless and the mentally ill are the lepers of our day, and they are ignored at best, scapegoated and abused by a narcissistic culture at worst.

    Jesus was as clear as day toward the end of his life when he told a parable about what was truly important. “When did we see you hungry…or naked?” Today I hear him asking “When did we see you mentally ill and homeless? As you did it unto the least of these, our brothers and sisters, you did it to me.”

    For we are all broken in one way or the other. Some are able, with our privilege, to hide it better than others. That is why we extend the table to our neighbors in the courtyard and meet them on their terms. We serve hot coffee, cold water, cream in china pitchers and a hardy version of fresh homemade cinnamon raisin bread. Our neighbors gather as friends, seated in groups around the courtyard in a safe place to talk about sports, politics, religion and what is going on where they live out their daily lives. We have learned each others stories, ones that can only be shared in a safe place, and so often it ends “thank you, God bless you, no one else treats us like this, can I take some extra bread for later?”

    We are not solving homelessness through this courtyard hospitality, but we are serving our brothers and sisters when we extend the table to where they are in a daily struggle of survival on the streets; manifesting God’s humanity to the least of these and sharing brokenness before the gift of reconciliation and grace, amazing grace.

    Written by Cal Engstrom

    Cal is a member of the Local Missions Committee and a member at CPC

    Finding Jesus
    Don Hayes used to question his late wife, Julia, about why she felt it necessary to get up before dawn on Sunday morning to bake biscuits for Central’s courtyard ministry.  Why did the two of them then need to drive 40 miles from Buford to Atlanta to serve the still-warm biscuits to the folks who gather for coffee, baked goods, and fellowship?  Julia, he recounts, would flash her beautiful smile and say, “But, Don… Jesus might be there.”
    Julia is gone, but Don is still making and transporting biscuits on Sunday mornings. Some of us bake loaves of bread or bring other treats to the Central courtyard for this ministry and some simply mingle and converse with the visiting men, women, and children.
    The faithful commitment of Kathleen and Cal Engstrom has nourished this ministry of hospitality for nearly three years. They define its goal in simple terms:  to create a peaceful, welcoming place for neighbors whose lives are marked by all too much rejection and personal hardship. It seems to be working, and one of the most powerful signs is that many of us know each other by name.
    As we do our work, who knows? Perhaps we are meeting Jesus, the brother or sister whom he described as someone to whom we show kindness and mercy.
    – Martin Lehfeldt
  • Covenant-Network.pngCovenant Network of Presbyterians | covnetpres.org

    Covenant Network is an organization that works toward the full inclusion of LGBTQIA people in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). They educate congregations and individuals, advocate in presbyteries and General Assembly and host a biennial gathering.

    Atlanta Pride.jpgAtlanta PRIDE | atlantapride.org

    Each year, Central marches in the annual Atlanta Pride Parade. This is a fun and visible way for the church to show its support for the LGBTQIA community.

Sunday Morning

11 a.m. Sunday Morning Worship (All of our worship is currently online due to COVID-19). You may join us on our website, Facebook or YouTube.

Contacts and Sign up

TBD