Central In Our Community
Central sits between the capitol, MPR and the Union Gospel Mission. We see ourselves as an important part of our downtown neighborhood and are engaged in city issues. At a crossroads of real life in the city, through our missions and our presence, we try to do good. Like many, many downtown churches with large building facilities, Central has seen decades of significant change. We are in an exciting period, a pivotal time. We will risk becoming the church God needs. We focus on reaching out to new people. We are committed to connecting people with God and with others.
Our building is home to several fantastic and diverse organizations that serve our community in substantial ways. We invite you to explore these programs to learn exactly how Central is in the city for good!
Serving Lunch at Mary Hall
Continuing on the work began in the community as part of the Hunger Initiative, the Coordinated Mission Committee has scheduled volunteer opportunities for Central to serve the Saturday lunch meal at Mary Hall on Saturdays, May 11, July 13, September 14 and November 9 from 11:15 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. We need 8-10 volunteers for each meal service date. Sign up on our volunteer page.
VocalPoint an intense choral experience that challenges people through music to build a better world. Hosted by Central Presbyterian Church, VocalPoint is a 80-voice auditioned choir that sings diverse music and whose concerts support the work of non-profits working for peace and justice. Recent concerts featured soloists Jearlyn Steele, Maria Jette and DrumHeart drumming ensemble as well as the Youth Chorale of Central Minnesota.
Wednesday Community Lunch
Each Wednesday, we host a downtown community lunch beginning at 11:45 a.m.. (Buffet line closes at 1:00 p.m.) All are welcome! We are becoming well known for healthy and affordable gourmet food and a place for good conversation. Requested donation is $8, though no one is turned away for lack of funds.
Every night in November Central opens its doors to serve as an overflow shelter for homeless children and their parents. This program is coordinated by the Saint Paul Area Council of Churches for Ramsey County, which does amazing work in many areas. We need many volunteers to help staff this program. Visit our Volunteer page to sign up!
Martha’s Closet provides free interview and work clothing for low income women in Saint Paul. Martha’s Closet is open from Noon to 2:30 PM on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and from 5-7 PM on the second Tuesday of the month. Guests, who have been referred by a social service agency, are invited to stop by during the open hours. If you have clothing to donate (clean, career-wear, on hangers please), you may stop by any time the church office is open.
To learn more, visit the Martha's Closet page.
Presbyterian Coffee Project
The Presbyterian Coffee Project offers a special link between congregations and communities around the world. Central purchases and serves Fair Trade Coffee from Equal Exchange. A warm cup of coffee (or tea) in our hands is perhaps the most tangible daily connection we have with farmers around the world. It represents warmth, hospitality, fellowship, hard work and life’s pleasures both fine and simple. Buying fair trade through the this program ensures that more of the money we spend on coffee reaches the hardworking farmers who actually grow it.
Alternative Gift Market
Central celebrates the season of Christmas, encouraging members and friends to make gifts that will echo in the lives of others in our community and around the world.
Donate to worthy causes, such as Heifer Project (buy a goat!), Martha’s Closet, and VocalPoint
Make or purchase mittens, gloves, hats, scarves…. And place on the Mitten Tree
Do some Christmas shopping for Fair Trade items that support our neighbors in other parts of the world. There is beautiful handcrafted jewelry, gifts for the home, and yummy foods from all over the globe.
For the 2018 season, the Alternative Gift Market will be open:
December 2, 9, 16 - After Sunday Worship
December 5, 12 - During Wednesday Lunch
The Giving Tree
Central celebrates Christmas and has long-supported a “Giving Tree.” Working with strong year-round organizations, Central encourages members and friends to pick out gifts for needy families to be distributed anonymously at Christmas.
Over the course of any given year, Central hosts a variety of donation drives to serve the special needs of community programs. Donation drives in the past year have included the SOUPer Bowl of Caring (driven by Central's youth program to raise food and funds to benefit those in need around the time of the SuperBowl) and a diaper drive to help support need at The Family Place in Saint Paul.