Regional/National Mission Activities

The FPC Mission Committee’s five-year strategic plan places emphasis on expanding efforts beyond the bounds of Hall County (Local Mission) and outside of the United States (World Mission). We call this Regional/National mission. Some of this activity has been going on either full time or sporadically for years but is seldom mentioned except in annual reports. Others are relatively recent. All provide an opportunity for members to participate either financially or in person in a variety of services to those who need to feel God’s love in tangible ways.

 

Regional Mission Activities/Support (Georgia outside Hall County)

Owned and operated by Presbyterian women of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee since, is located adjacent to Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur. Since 1851, it has served as a “home away from home” for Presbyterian missionaries on sabbatical from serving in the mission field.  Mission Haven also provides short-term housing for missionaries who are studying at the seminary and those who are in transition after retirement. There is also a clothes closet of donated clothing so missionaries and their families can obtain suitable and seasonal clothing for their stay in the U.S. or to take back with them to the mission field.

Columbia Friendship Circle (CFC), supported through our Presbyterian Women, began when the spouses of two seminary professors encouraged other Atlanta wives to contribute one dollar each to help the seminary. Throughout its history, CFC has been deeply concerned about the well-being of ministers, missionaries and Christian educators called to be leaders of Christ’s church. Projects include ongoing support for the Peter Marshall Chair of Homiletics, furnishing seminary residence halls, housing for married students, and the library.  Currently, CFC activities are focused on scholarships for students with families.

National Mission Activities/Support

Founded in 1875, Thornwell is a diverse non-profit ministry across Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina committed to the most innovative and effective solutions to heal, strengthen, and empower children and families. Thornwell aligns with child welfare agencies to prevent child abuse and neglect, build up and reunite families, and support healthy communities in the name of Jesus Christ. Their core values include: helping children and families in need; continuing their legacy of hope and healing; providing a continuum of care; relying on a community of support; providing therapy, training, and enrichment activities are critical to healing; and motivation through faith in God. Their mission is to prevent child abuse and neglect, build up and reunite families, and strengthen healthy communities in the name of Jesus. Both financial support and weekend and summer in campus work projects are appreciated.

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) enables congregations and mission partners of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to witness to the healing love of Christ through caring for communities adversely affected by crises and catastrophic events. In 2020, PDA responded to disasters with relief funds and disaster relief teams in 27 states which addressed wildfires in the West, Hurricanes in the Southeast, flooding and tornadoes in the Midwest, etc. PDA also supports presbyteries in disaster-prone areas as they recruit, train, and prepare volunteers who are willing to respond to a nearby disaster. These “commuter volunteers” provide their own transportation to the work site and return home the same day, eliminating the risk of spreading COVID-19 in the close quarters of a Volunteer Host Site.

Since its beginning in 1982, Son Servants has provided opportunities for youth and adults to experience short-term mission trips, both within and outside the United States. Son Servants’ aim is to provide quality experiences that can be carried back to the local church and, with God’s help, into a lifetime of service. FPC youth and adults have a long history with Son Servants, through both international and week-long mission trips and multiple trips to both West Virginia and Chattanooga.

The purpose of the Wee-Kirk Conference is to nurture biblical faithful mission minded leaders of small membership congregations, recognizing and affirming the unique role of their ministry in the mission of Go.  This conference is for pastors, their spouses and church leaders of those small congregations who would not have the financial ability to attend.  These conferences are usually convened at Montreat Conference Center for churches in the southeastern states.

Asheville Youth Mission (AYM) is a week-long faith-based mission experience which FPC youth have attended for a coup le of years now.  During this week, youth learn through educational opportunities as well as participate in physical labor and relationship-building experiences at local mission sites throughout Buncombe County, North Carolina. They also participated in Bible studies, group conversations, and creative projects as they reflected upon what they’ve seen and learned and who they’ve met during the week. College students home for the summer lead small groups of youth, and other adult volunteers participated alongside the youth as they learned and shared more about God’s love for all people. FPC’s plans to replicate this program in Gainesville in 2020 were foiled by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, God willing, this program will be implemented in the summer of 2021.

Since 1904, Black Mountain Home for Children has sought to provide an atmosphere in which their children are treated just as we would treat our own children or grandchildren.  They serve children from birth through college age and beyond. Many of their children have been abused, abandoned, or neglected. Some may stay for only a few weeks, while others may spend a considerable part of their childhood. In 2020, Black Mountain Home served more than 150 children from Western North Carolina, however, they will consider placement of children from throughout the Southeastern United States. Opportunities to participate in their program include weekend or week-long work projects at the Home, volunteering in a variety of training programs for the children, working in the thrift store, and of course, monetary donations are appreciated.

Orphanage, the Home began its ministry taking in children whose parents had died or disappeared. Today, we serve youth from birth through college graduation and beyond through family foster care, residential care, transitional living, and independent Rev. Robert Perry Smith in 1904, the Home began its ministry taking in children whose parents had died or disappeared. Today, we serve youth from birth through college graduation and beyond through family foster care, residential care, transitional living, and independent living. Begun by Rev. Robert Perry Smith in 1904 as Mountain Orphanage, the Home began its ministry taking in children whose parents had died or disappeared. Today, we serve youth from birth through college graduation and beyond through family foster care, residential care, transitional living, and independent living.