Through building bridges in our local neighborhoods, Atonement strategically leads and partners with ministries that care for the most vulnerable in our community.

serving in the community

As followers of Jesus Christ we are called to reach out to our brothers and sisters in Christ – to be the face of Jesus to those who are sick, hungry, poor, or facing other desperate circumstances. In a very real way, the church of Jesus Christ has been given the task of carrying on his ministry, following his example into the lives of our neighbors, both here and abroad. We live out this calling in partnership with a variety of mission partners. Read through the following to learn more, click on their website or reach out to the contact person noted.

CURRENT MINISTRIES

Blessings Abound Thrift Store. Blessings Abound Thrift Store is a Christian not-for-profit organization called to serve the metro Kansas City Community by selling and recycling donated merchandise in order to provide aid to people in need.  Atonement members volunteer regularly at the store to sort donations, arrange display, and a variety of other tasks. Check out their website for more. Contact: Shirley Foss

Blood Donations. Atonement members give “the gift of life;” we encourage members to visit the Community Blood Center, 10568 Metcalf Ave, just south of the church. Learn more here.

“Feed the Need” Food Drives. Since May 2020, Atonement has responded to our neighbors’ needs with monthly drives, collecting non-perishable food items, as well as personal hygiene and cleaning supplies – and delivered them to local food pantries including those at Hillcrest Transitional Housing, Jewish Family Services, Johnson County Community College, KU Campus Ministry Student Food Pantry, MLM, Resurrection OP, and Salem Lutheran. We’ve also collected school supplies for Brookridge Elementary, Christmas gifts for MLM, and household furnishings for Eileen’s Place. Contact: Ros Thorpe

Hillcrest Transitional Housing. Hillcrest provides transitional housing and other programs that combat homelessness by building the self-sufficiency of families. Hillcrest’s flagship program is a 90-day timeframe in which clients receive rent- and utility-free housing. In exchange for housing, clients agree to follow program guidelines, find and maintain full-time employment, attend life skills classes, participate in community living, and follow a budget plan. Atonement has partnered with Hillcrest to adopt one of their apartments at the KCKS site, a mere 20-minute drive from Atonement – check out this page for details. Contact: Ros Thorpe

Hollis Renewal Center. Hollis Renewal Center provides “a time and place apart” for individuals, small groups, and organizations to pause and reflect on their mission. It embodies hospitality and gives guests the time and space to be transformed from a collection of individuals into a community. Atonement members serve on the board for Hollis, and our groups are encouraged to use the facility for retreats and work projects. Learn more on their website. Contact: Ruth Ahlrichs

Johnson County Interfaith Hospitality Network. A passionate group of congregational leaders, clergy and human service professionals established JoCoIHN in 2003 with the same mission that inspires the organization today: to empower homeless families by engaging people of faith. JoCoIHN currently works with a network of 40 congregations to help situationally homeless families land stable jobs, find permanent homes and break the cycle of homelessness. Atonement members partner with our host church to provide meals, volunteers, and non-perishable food and other supplies. Learn more on their website. Contact: Lyn Bowers

Johnson County Interfaith Justice Organization. With Pastor Zac’s introduction and active support, Atonement has entered a relationship with this group of congregations, that listens to communities and then helps them organize into working towards systemic change. A similar organization has established a presence with congregations in both Topeka and Lawrence, and congregations in Johnson County are now establishing their own coalition. Atonement’s Church Council has voted to become a partner congregation; Atonement members are invited to become actively involved. Contact: Pastor Zac

Metro Lutheran Ministries (MLM). MLM first opened its doors in 1971, and today serves those in need in the greater KC area in a variety of ways, including: its Community Care Centers, the Financial Opportunity Center, Minor Home Repair program, its annual Christmas Store, an Orchard & Garden, its Family Empowerment program, and Permanent Supportive Housing. Atonement members regularly provide volunteer hours and support. MLM has now established a presence here in Johnson County, and is actively supporting families through its Rapid ReHousing Program and other services. Learn more on their website. Contact: Ros Thorpe

Resurrection Overland Park Food Pantry. The Resurrection Overland Park Food Pantry helps bridge the gap of food insecurity gap in our community. The Resurrection Overland Park Food Pantry offers food and children’s clothing on a once-a-month basis and is a place where families in need come for emergency assistance. All of the goods in our pantry are donated by our congregation and several other churches and groups in the community. Together we make a difference! Atonement members donate items to the food pantry, and regularly volunteer. Learn more on their website. Contact: Ros Thorpe

YES WAY! Our 3rd-8th Graders are invited to join in service projects and activities both at Atonement and in the community. WHY? Kids are creatures of habit. If we can involve them in volunteering consistently as a youth, they will do so the rest of their lives.  Watch the bulletin insert and the eNews for details. Plans are to resume activities in the fall of 2021; learn more here. Contact: Dawn Greer. “I will not change the world. Jesus will do that. I can, however, let Him use me to change the world for one person.” – Katie Davis

MINISTRIES CURRENTLY ON HOLD

Brookridge Elementary School – Brookridge Buddies. Brookridge Elementary opened in 1967 and serves children and families at 9920 Lowell in Overland Park. Today, Brookridge guides more than 500 students in pre-kindergarten through sixth grade. Atonement volunteers serve as tutors and in-class helpers; opportunities are also available to help with school parties and field trips. Learn more on their website. Contact: Janette Schumm

Drop-Off Spot. We designate different non-profit agencies each month as we collect donations of food, personal hygiene items, and more. Our Drop-Off Spot located in the hallway north of the Sanctuary. Watch the bulletin insert and eNews for more, or check here. Contact: Ros Thorpe

Leftover Food Ministry. Atonement frequently hosts gatherings where food is served, and rather than toss any leftovers, we package the remaining food and distribute it to agencies in the area, including Safehome and the Salvation Army. Contact: Ruth Ahlrichs

LGBTQ Support Ministry. The LGBTQ Support Group ministry offers encouragement, growth, and hope through thoughtful conversations and support. Perhaps you’re looking for ways to understand the questions to better care for friends and family members . . . or perhaps you just want a safe place to learn, share, and grow. Wherever you are, we are here for you – you’re in the right place. Contact: Angie Brickson

Prison Ministry. Atonement’s Prison Ministry Team is currently supporting two non-profit organizations: Journey to New Life. The US has the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world. Yet, we are ill-prepared to help former offenders reintegrate into the community once they’ve served their sentence. Given the opportunity, we believe they can become successful, contributing – and valued – members of our community. All it takes is a solid chance to begin again. See their website to learn more. Arts in Prison. Arts in Prison impacts the likelihood that an inmate will be successful upon return to community. Arts provide an opportunity for reflection, and create empathy, collaboration, and accountability and creates success opportunities for inmates. Success, combined with confidence, grows hope. And with hope, anything becomes possible. Atonement’s ministry with Arts in Prison includes hosting their East Hill Singers for rehearsals, and a concert and art exhibit each year. Learn more on their website. To volunteer to support this ministry at Atonement, please click here. Contact: LeRoy Zimmerman

SAFEHOME. SAFEHOME’s mission is to break the cycle of domestic violence and partner abuse for victims and their children by providing shelter, advocacy, counseling, and prevention education in our community. Atonement members donate personal hygiene and other items for their ministry, and SAFEHOME is included in our Leftover Food Ministry. Contact: Lyn Bowers

Senior Community Worship Services. The 4th Wednesday of most months finds a group of Atonement members sharing the Word and holy communion at two of our local senior living communities. We visit the Atriums in the morning, and the Stratford Commons in the afternoon. Volunteers to participate or to share their musical gifts are always welcome. Contact Deacon Cherri for details.