Friday, January 23
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
Northeast Georgia Presbytery
Covenant Presbyterian Church in Athens, a congregation of 350 members, demonstrates compassionate and prophetic discipleship in a host of ways: language and cultural training for refugees, ministries and hands-on service with the homeless and other people in need, Habitat for Humanity projects, and ecumenical cooperation for racial justice—just to name a few. Additionally, many Covenant members are involved in agencies and projects across the Clarke County area. Rev. Mark Harper has pastored the church for nine years.
In 2006, Covenant began an outreach to community youth. Located on a main road, the church property includes a recreational area that has become a pass-through for students from Hilsman Middle School and Cedar Shoals High School. After school, many of these young people buy snacks and drinks from local businesses but then don’t have anywhere to go to hang out. Instead of heading home, they began gathering in the church’s recreational area. While some raised concerns about possible drug sales and other inappropriate behavior, rather than ask these young people to leave, Covenant decided to open its youth rooms for fellowship after school.
Over the years, the Cave (named for the cavernous recreation space) has served more than 1,500 young people, including a large percentage of multicultural youth. Currently, about 50 students meet on Fridays, and more than a dozen church members provide supervision. Beecher Mathes, associate pastor of 20 years, comments: “Even though these youth are culturally diverse, they are finding that they have more in common than they realize.”
Northeast Georgia Presbytery is home to 55 congregations.
—Rev. Jim Choomack, pastor, First Presbyterian Church, Greensboro
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray
Loving God, we thank you for the young people of our community and for our ministry with them. We pray that this partnership will touch our community in redemptive ways. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.