Blog

November: The Angel Tree Program

When I was a young girl, my church used to put up a tree during Christmas outside of the sanctuary where people would gather before services. The large evergreen would loom high with its prickly branches and would fill the room with the scent of forest trees and Christmas time. The ornaments, however, were not the large luminescent balls of red or green that normally would fill Christmas trees. Instead, those branches held paper cut-outs of angels. On the angels were written names of a young girl or boy, their age, their clothes and shoe sizes, and something that they wanted for Christmas. I always loved gazing over the names of children I knew resided in my county, but didn’t know personally. Although the gifts varied on each ornament, some desiring a new doll, bike, or new tennis shoes, there was one thing that each child had in common: either one or both of their parents were currently incarcerated in a prison.

images

That tree that has stayed in my memory all of these years was an Angel Tree. This organization, which is a branch of the Prison Fellowship ministry, connects churches with children whose parents are in prison. The church is then given information regarding the age, clothing sizes, and desired gifts of the children, and are then given the opportunity to buy gifts for them. Angel Tree is an amazing opportunity for the church to be the hands and feet of Jesus to children who so often feel overlooked and unseen. What a beautiful way to show the love of Christ to those that the world views as “the least of these” (Matthew 25:40).

For the entire month of November, our tips will be blessing the Angel Tree Program participants within Franklin County, Georgia. We are so excited to partner with this organization and hope you can join us in lifting up the children who feel forgotten this upcoming Christmas season!

Advertisements

October: Atlanta Redemption Ink

When I think of October, leaves immediately come to mind.

The changing of leaves from a vibrant and healthy green into a golden yellow, burnt red, or fiery orange always fills my heart with expectancy for cooler weather and fresh, crisp air.

Eventually, those beautiful leaves will turn an ugly brown and fall to the ground, covering the grass and dirt. Where there once was flourishing life, there will only be bare limbs that stretch across the sky. Our Northeast Georgia woods will be scattered with signs that winter is upon us and that seasons have changed. But then, not long after, the seasons will change again. Trees will begin budding new growth, leaves bursting forth where only nakedness of branches stood stark before. Onlookers of the new life would never be able to guess that what now gives them shade and what provides critters with homes once looked dead to the world.

Seasons in our own lives often mirror that of God’s creation. We often walk through times of sorrow, where death seems all that is constant. We wonder and ache for a time when life will decide to burst through the door carrying flowers to crown our bare heads. This desire is echoed in the heart of Centerfield’s Ministry of the Month for the duration of October, Atlanta Redemption Ink.

Atlanta Redemption Ink provides tattoo removals and cover-ups for individual’s who have experienced self-harm, prostitution, sex-trafficking, or gang violence. They desire to   take “marks of hurt and turn them into depictions and stories of hope and healing.” ARI partners with certified removal specialists and reputable, trauma-informed, trusted tattoo artists.

For those whose seasons of hurt and pain seem they will never change, they walk alongside them and offer healing. Where individuals think their winter will never cease because of the reminders of their past, ARI provides a way for them to flourish in the skin that their Father created for them.

All of October’s tips will be benefitting Atlanta Redemption Ink! For more information, visit their Facebook or Instagram with the same name, or go to atlantaredemptionink.com.

atlanta redemption ink.jpg

September: Fellowship of Christian Athletes

When thinking back to your middle school and high school years, what adult influenced you the most? Who did you look to for guidance, assistance, and encouragement? For me, it was my middle school tennis coach. She led me on and off the field, correcting me when I needed correcting and cheering me on while she was leading an entire team. She had a unique access of influence that not many other teachers or adults did, and I will forever be grateful for her role in my life.

September’s ministry of the month is Fellowship of Christian Athletes, commonly referred to as FCA. FCA seeks to equip coaches in middle school, high school, and college contexts to disciple their students and athletes in the name of Jesus. They intertwine sports and athletics with Scripture and solid teaching to preach the gospel. They provide guidance to those who have areas of influence over students’ lives, giving them opportunities to love them, all for the sake of building relationships that glorify Jesus Christ. We are so honored to partner with them this month!

This month, all tips at Centerfield Coffee Shop will go to support Broad River Area FCA. This includes Madison, Hart, Elbert, and Franklin County, as well as Emmanuel College. If you are interested in learning more about FCA, check out their website at fca.org and ask your local middle or high school how you can get involved.

 

August: Missionary Month

As far as religions go, Christianity contains many simple truths.

These are those truths: we were created by a God who loves us and desires to have an intimate and personal relationship with us. He is not a god who is far off and distant, unjust and unkind. He is a Father who loves and created us in His image and desires to have an intimate relationship with us. He is perfect and demands perfection; but the sad thing is, we are a people who are far from perfect. Where He is holy and pure, we are mistake-filled and tainted. Where He is kind and just, we are vindictive and demanding of retribution.

But the good news is this: that to attain that personal relationship with the ones He created to love and be loved, He did something that was just as radical as the grace He pours out so freely. He sent His Son Jesus, who was God and man, to live, to teach and to show what faith looks like walked out and talked out to people who had been getting it wrong since the Garden of Eden.

Then, He died. He died a death that was gruesome and terrifying, so that we wouldn’t have to pay the price of our own sins and screw-ups.

But, not only did Jesus die, He also rose. When He rose, He explained to His closest friends, His tightest-knit circle that they would receive power through the Holy Spirit, the Comforter who would stick with them when He wasn’t there anymore. Not only would they be able to do the things that He did, but they would do even greater things (John 14:12). They would then be able to tell the people in their city, the city next door, the entire nation, and eventual the world about how they could have the same power, grace, healing, and love poured over them that they too had experienced (Acts 1:8).

That is the simple gospel that we as Christians are inclined to share to anyone who will listen, and even to anyone who won’t listen.

For Centerfield Coffee Shop’s August Ministry of the Month, our tips will be divided into three parts and given to three different missionaries and families that are preaching that same simple gospel wherever God has called them to. We would like to take this time to introduce you to these lovely folks and let them tell you a little bit about their ministries!

Meet Megan Parham

IMG_4384.JPG

What do you do? I work as a full time missionary with an organization called Adventures in Missions.

Who do you serve? I train and disciple young missionaries (21-35 year olds) serving on the mission field with The World Race, an 11 month mission trip that goes to 11 different countries. Throughout the year, I have the opportunity to visit and serve with them in various countries.
Why do you serve? One reason I serve is because I love Jesus and want to partner with Him in fulfilling God’s mission here on earth, “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10-11). Another reason I serve is because I participated in The World Race back in 2012 and it drastically changed my life, my intimacy with Holy Spirit, my partnership in the Kingdom, and my perspective of God’s purpose here on earth. I love being able to give away what I have been given and train up the next generation of missionaries to fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20).
How can we pray for you? Continued wisdom and discernment to pour into their lives and teach them what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. Strength, energy, and passion to remain focused on Kingdom work and God’s heart for all nations.

Meet the Dillard Family

1114c031-08a3-43b8-8188-fbdec1eb8f46.jpg

What do you do? We are church planters to Irvine, CA.

Who do you serve? I am the Family Pastor at Grace City Church and Mel is the Worship Leader Assistant and manages our social media.

Why do you serve? The reason we moved here and serve is to “Make disciples that make disciples”. That is our passion and purpose in life. 55% of the people in Irvine do not claim a religion. That means 240,000+ people don’t personally have a relationship with Jesus.
How can we pray for you? Pray for us to continue to make disciples, further friendships with those far from God, reach more unchurched families in our community, raise up leaders in our church family, our church to live a life of generosity, our girls (Ellie Mae and Addison) start back to school and routine, Mel’s throat issues to be healed so she can sing, and my Mom’s healing as she fights cancer.

 

Meet the McClure Family

unnamed.jpg

What do you do? We make disciples! Our end vision is to glorify Christ through Kingdom expansion, accomplished through equipping Dominicans to fulfill the Great Commission by reaching their own people and planting biblical churches among them. Our long-term discipleship vision is to have self-feeders on the Word of God making disciples who make disciples multiplying across the Dominican. We long to see this island covered with a knowledge of the glory of God the way the waters cover the sea (Has 2:14). My official role is church planter and overseer of Dominican discipleship efforts with SCORE International. I am also the Atlanta Braves Rookie League affiliate chaplain here in the DR. Joanna is an RN and runs a medical clinic she started in our village.

Who do you serve? We are based in a small village called San Jose where we have been for over seven years. We we arrived in San Jose there were zero christians and zero churches. Today, within our area of operation we have church plants and dozens of cell groups lead by disciples from the harvest extending into nearly two dozen other communities. Our demographic in these villages is the more impoverished population of the Dominican.

Why do you serve? We serve first and foremost for the glory of God. God has a people created for His glory and has granted us, the church, the unique privilege of laboring in the ingathering of His people through missions. Recognizing that the purpose of man is to worship and enjoy Jesus for eternity motivates us to remain diligent in service (Isa 43:6-7; Jer 13:11). The glory and praise due the Name of Jesus is being given to another and the immeasurable joy found in Him is being sought through the fulfillment of worldly lusts and passions. This is an unacceptable tragedy that demands obedience to the Great Commission.

How can we pray for you? Pray for God to call out new young men from within our churches to be discipled and sent out as leaders to advance the Kingdom in our area of operation. Pray for our family that we will be encouraged, energized and given boldness to continue pressing into difficult areas of ministry despite opposition. Pray for the hearts of those we serve to be broken for the glory of God and set free of the voodoo and tradition that holds them in bondage.

 

We are so stoked to partner with these awesome folks who are growing the kingdom of God where He has called them! These missionaries benefit from the support, both financial and in prayer, of their friends, families, and others who feel called to walk alongside them in this journey God has called them on. We are more than happy to do just that, so join us and make sure to throw your change into the tip jar for our friends here and abroad!

 

July: BeLoved Atlanta

In the Gospel of John, there are countless accounts of Jesus loving, uplifting, and empowering women in a day and age that seemed to discredit them. Jesus showed mercy to the woman who had been caught in adultery (John 8:1-11), He spoke life into the woman at the well who was living in sin (John 4:1-42), and a woman was the first person who had the opportunity to tell others that Jesus had risen from the dead (John 20:1-18). Jesus saw value where others saw none at all and He saw opportunity for redemption where others saw a dead end.

Jesus is still in the business of restoring, healing, and loving women and He is doing so through organizations like BeLoved Atlanta. BeLoved is a two-year residential home and program for women who have survived prostitution, trafficking, and addiction in the Atlanta area.  Their program is focused on freedom being found only through Jesus and allows the women within their program to gain counseling, therapeutic groups, access to GED programs, assistance with job placement, and more.

BeLoved’s vision to bring freedom and restoration to the women of Atlanta who have been marginalized, disenfranchised, and made powerless is one that is necessary and urgent in our state capitol. As BeLoved’s website explains, Atlanta is the number one city in the U.S. with the highest sex economy income of $290 million per year. Not only that, but 87% of the women in prostitution said that they wanted to escape, but had no other means of survival. With the average age that a girl enters prostitution being between 11-14 years old, this is not an issue of illegal activity, but one of sin and hurt and a cry for help that only a Savior can heal and only His children can respond to.

We are so excited to partner with BeLoved ATL for the month of July as our ministry of the month and can’t wait to cheer them on from Royston as they minister to women that Jesus sees as loved, honored, and worthy of being rescued. Come in to Centerfield and grab a cup of joe that will bless Beloved ATL! For more information about this organization and for ways you can volunteer or donate to them directly, go to http://www.belovedatlanta.org.

©Kathryn+McCrary+Photography+Atlanta+Lifestyle+Photographer-44

“We often look at women in prostitution as criminals, but we believe that each woman deserves to be respected by her community. She is gifted, strong, and trustworthy; she is a survivor.”

— Amelia Quinn, Founder of BeLoved