As a community of faith, we are sent by God into a broken world to work for its healing and reconciliation. Led by our World & Community Concerns Committee and our Board of Deacons, we put our faith into action and help meet the needs of our community and our world by sharing our gifts and participating in hands-on service projects.
PLEASE NOTE: A few of our activities are reopening now that the pandemic has eased. Please refer to our Concerns & Cares page for more information.
Power Read Program
Central Presbyterian Church sponsors a mentoring and tutoring program on Tuesday evenings during the school year from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. for children in the community who need a boost in their reading skills. Here they find a friendly environment, a family-style meal and a chance to practice their reading skills one-on-one with volunteer mentors. The program is administered by Everybody Wins! Iowa. Volunteers are always needed as mentors and tutors or to help prepare dinner. Sign up at www.everybodywinsiowa.org. Click on ‘Volunteer’ tab and select ‘Volunteer Application’.
Once a month, our deacons lead us in preparing and serving dinner for the homeless at Central Iowa Shelter and Services in downtown Des Moines. Each month we serve up to 250 guests and rely on many volunteers to make this possible. If you are interested in volunteering or donating menu items, contact the Deacon moderator through the church office at 515-279-3658
El Salvador Mission
Central Presbyterian actively supports the mission of the Des Moines Presbytery in the pueblo of Berlín, Usulutan, El Salvador, through a unique partnership called Our Sister Parish, which is now over 25 years old. Central regularly takes delegations to El Salvador to build relationships of solidarity and empower the people and cantons of Berlín. Through our gifts we help to support a PC(USA) mission co-worker, to furnish the Pastoral House and to provide much-needed medical supplies for the community. Central is proud to serve exclusively Don Justo Coffee with Dignity, which comes from the area around Berlín, and ensures fair wages for coffee growers and workers and helps to promote sustainable agriculture and economic justice.
DMARC Food Pantry
Established in 1952, the Des Moines Area Religious Council (DMARC) is an interfaith organization comprised of 133 local congregations, including Central. DMARC has food pantries all over the metro area that together serve over 19,000 families in need. Central regularly organizes drives to collect food or other supplies for the DMARC food pantries and sends teams of volunteers to help sort food in the warehouse. Food donations can be left in the grocery cart in the 39th Street Lobby or since DMARC is able to purchase food at wholesale, cash donations are also welcomed!
Des Moines is home to a large Sudanese population—and to the First Arabic Presbyterian Church of Des Moines—church which meets at the Cottage Grove Avenue Church in Des Moines. Central partners with them—building relationships, worshiping with them, supporting them financially and learning from them as we share together in the Body of Christ.
Central partners with CROSS Outreach (formerly CROSS Ministries), to provide emergency aid and assistance and other services to low- and no-income households and near-homeless people in our community. CROSS also assists each year in providing school supplies for children before they go back to school. Volunteers from Central have many opportunities to serve at CROSS with the distribution of these school supplies. Please contact CROSS Outreach at 515-279-8877 or Joyce Hoffman, at 515-669-1866, if you’re interested in volunteering at CROSS.
AMOS of Iowa
“Hate evil and love good, and establish justice in the gate…” –Amos 5:15
AMOS—which stands for “A Mid-Iowa Organizing Strategy”—consists of 30 member faith communities, including Central. AMOS employs community organizing strategies to advance an agenda of social justice. Central provides office space for AMOS’ executive director, hosts meetings, participates in AMOS activities, and supports the work of AMOS financially. Working together, we are engaged on issues of mental health, juvenile justice reform, workforce development, and affordable housing. Contact Lead Organizer Courtney Dufford, to learn more.
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Central Presbyterian Church generously supports the mission work of our denomination, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), both at home and abroad. We include the PC(USA) in our annual World & Community Concerns committee budget and take up several special mission offerings each year—such as the One Great Hour of Sharing Offering, the Pentecost Offering supporting children and youth or the Peace & Global Witness Offering—which extends God’s compassion and justice around the world.
Harvest Annual Offering
The Harvest Offering is supported through the Compassion, Peace and Justice Task Force of the Presbytery of Des Moines and is divided for two designations:
- Half supports programs and projects in rural Iowa.
- Half supports international programs benefiting farmers with an emphasis on women in agriculture.
Advent Annual Offering
The Advent Offering has long been a tradition at Central Presbyterian Church to share our gifts with those struggling with the basic needs of daily existence.