Connecting Points are places on the journey for members and friends to move deeper into their relationship with God and the faith community. There are a number of points on the journey, represented by road signs, where one can connect. Each kind of Connecting Point has its own brief description. Questions, contact the church office, 941-5191.
The Welcome Team
The Welcome Team greets guests to our worship services and makes follow-up visits to deliver a welcome packet. Referrals are made to the church office with the names of those who have visited the welcome center.
Tourist Information Points
Welcome Sessions for visitors are offered once per month, on the first Sunday of the month following the 11:00 a.m. service. The Pastors host a brief information sharing session for church visitors. This is an opportunity to meet the pastors, listen to an introduction to Central Church and its ministry, ask questions, and take a tour of the building.
Junction Points ⇒top
These groups focus on fellowship, spiritual growth, and study. Maintaining an ongoing but flexible structure, each group identifies its own particular emphasis and direction, with assistance from church leaders if desired. Current groups include:
- BREATHING SPACE
- A support group for caregivers and receivers; caring, sharing & growing together. Contact: Beth Whiting
- FELLOWSHIP AND STUDY GROUPS
- There are several existing groups that meet on a regular basis throughout the year. We are forming new groups so more people can benefit from this opportunity to grow in faith and friendship with others in our church family. Contact Nan Horstman or call 946-9314 or Alline Beutler.
- MEMORY KEEPERS
- Those who have lost someone dear to them are invited to join with others who have experienced loss by sharing memories, support, and friendship. Note: Participants are welcome to join this group as they feel the need or desire. A long-term commitment is not necessary. Third Wednesdays, 4:00-5:15 p.m. in the Church lounge. Contact Muriel Peavler or call 947-1654.
- THE MEN’S ROOM
- Join others for conversations on being good men. Men, young and old, are invited to come for friendship, challenge, and inspiration. Thursday Evenings 7:00 - 8:15 p.m. Join Pastor Chris in the Chapel. Contact Pastor Chris Lane at 946-5191 or Bruce Falconer at 947-7785.
- SACRED SPACES
- This group of women, mostly young seniors, seeks a spiritual connection with God, place and others through study and occasional visits to 'sacred spaces' in various locales. Beginning Fall, 2012, they will study, "Wide Open Spaces Of God." Sacred Spaces meets the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays in room 106 from 6:30-8:00 and they hope more women will join them this fall! Contact Kathy Mead or call 941-8211.
- WOMEN OF GRACE
- If you are a women in your 30s, 40s or 50s and are looking for a community of friendship and study, please join us! We meet the 1st and 3rd Thursday mornings from 9:30-11:30 in the church library. In addition, 6 times a year we cook and serve community meal in Central's Fellowship Hall. Meets the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month. Contact: Alline Beutler or Ann Porter.
- WONDER WOMEN
- A supportive fellowship of women in their 40s-50s who share conversation and study. We meet the 2nd and 4th Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. If you have questions, please contact Alline Beutler or Lisa Cooley.
View Point groups are Bible or thematic studies for the purpose spiritual growth and equipping persons for the Christian journey. Participants will be able to make friends, explore their faith, and be exposed to different perspectives. Groups include:
- DISCIPLE BIBLE STUDY CLASSES
- The Disciple Bible Study program is designed to develop strong local churches through the in-depth study of Scripture. Through Disciple, people are strengthened in their faith and guided into service and ministry.
- FaithLink groups meet to discuss topics of current interest provided by the United Methodist Church’s Cokesbury Publishing. The groups are open to all who want to apply their United Methodist beliefs to current faith issues and world events. They are encouraged to consider their personal views on important contemporary issues, and also to act on their beliefs. Sundays, 9:45-10:45 in Room 305. Contact Alline Beutler or call 946-5191.
Activity Points ⇒top
Activity Points are activity and fellowship based groups. Some also have a service component. Groups include:
- BOOK WOMEN: Reading Beyond Our Doors
- All women are welcome; diverse age-group desired. Members read the same book. Monthly, September-May, Evenings, Members’ homes and church lounge. Contact Jan Engle or call 264-9694.
- 1st and 3rd Tuesdays, Sept.-May, 10:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. in Room 301. Members bring own lunches; snack provided. Contact Doris Thibedeau or call 946-6754.
- CENTRAL CINGLES
- A new group for singles, aged 50+, who meet for dinner and fellowship. Pot-lucks and picnics are planned. Come join them. Ideas for activities, welcomed. Contact: Judy Conn or call 995-5294.
- Two golfing groups meet from June through August. September and October times are pick-up events. Scores are not recorded nor handicaps kept. All are welcome. Monday evenings,18 holes, various courses. Meet at church, 2:00 p.m. Contact: John Sonnemann, 946-6196.
- Friday mornings, 9 holes, 9:00 a.m. at Bay Meadows. Contact Allen Horstman, 946-9314.
- LITTLE BRACHA
- Join other families with babies and toddlers for fellowship, conversation, and family activities. Contact: Micha Bancroft.
- KNIT ONE, CROCHET TOO
- Join others who knit or crochet for a time of fellowship and book discussion over the needles and hooks. Newcomers and those wanting to learn how to knit or crochet are welcome. Contact: Cindy Bush
- MAH JONGG
- Learn to play or practice this ancient Chinese game that has seen a recent boost in popularity.
- Central UMC ‘s softball team, “The Mighty Methodists,” plays in the YMCA co-ed recreational league. All adult players are welcome. Games are Sundays in the Spring and Summer at the Civic Center. Contact John Meyers or call 947-2881.
- SUNDAY EVENING BOOK GROUP
- This mixed-gender group selects a variety of books which participants read and discuss. Most are relatively recent titles. Contact Will Poland or call 922-0836.
- Central UMC’s co-ed volleyball team plays in the Traverse City Parks and Recreation League. All players, 16 and older, are welcome. Games are Wednesday evenings Oct.-April, Eastern Elementary School. Contact Carla Roberts at 463-8233.
- WALKING GROUP
- Members walk various, not too demanding, trails, usually 2-4 miles in length where they enjoy the area and the plants. In winter they walk at Cherryland Mall. All are welcome; most present members 60+. 4th Saturdays, 9:00 A.M. Contact Phyllis Garn at 941-8534.
- WHOLE FOODS
- This group offers programs and discussion with others interested in healthy cooking, eating and living! Contact: Ann Porter.
- WOMEN’S BOOK CLUB
- For women who enjoy reading and sharing their books. Not everyone necessarily reads the same book. All are welcome; most present members 60+. 4th Tuesdays, 7:00 PM, September-May, Members’ homes. Contact Phyllis Garn at 941-8534.
Serving Point groups provide opportunities for ministry and mission in the church and community. Groups include:
- CENTRAL IMAGE - more info
- A group of photographers capture and process digital images of Central Church ministries. Amateur and professional photographers welcome. Contact: Tom Atkinson.
- COMFORTERS & PRAYER SHAWL MINISTRY
- Members enjoy knitting, crocheting, quilting, and fellowship. The group has a number of ongoing service projects, including prayer shawls, as well as special and individual projects. Experienced, as well as inexperienced “stitchers” are welcome. Help and support are offered. 2nd and 4th Thursdays, 10:00 a.m. to Noon in Room 305. Contact: Lorna Lombard or call 943-8554.
- COOKIE BAKING TEAMS
- Teams meet once a month to bake cookies for the hospitality time after Sunday services. All are welcome. 1st Tuesdays, 1 PM– noon, contact Jan Engle or call 254-9694 or 3rd Thursdays, 6-9 PM, contact Carla Roberts at 463-823
- CONNECTION TEAM
- We know that helping people to make the connection to others who are traveling the journey of faith is so important, but sometimes difficult to do, especially in a large church. This group particularly looks for ways to help people in that process. The group meets regularly to review lists of new members and visitors, as well as inactive members, and then contacts them regarding connecting points in the church where they might want to be involved. The Team also discusses possible new opportunities for connections that might not yet exist -- new small groups for instance -- and how we create an environment that helps people to want to become a part of this journey. Contact Nan Horstman or call 946-9314.
- COMMUNITY OUTREACH - more info
- Central's Fellowship Hall opens its doors every week to the homeless and economically challenged. Services provided to clients include a hot/continental breakfast, access to showers and a phone, as well as a message and mail center. Our Community Outreach Coordinator, works with guests on job and assistance applications, provides BATA bus passes on a regular basis, and counseling on how to obtain other services that they might be in need of. Guests may stay as long as they like during the hours we are open. We have at least one volunteer assisting the coordinator each of the days we are open.
- COMMUNITY MEAL
- Central Church joins eight other local churches to serve a hot meal to the homeless and economically challenged year around – seven days a week. Central hosts its Community Meal every Thursday from Noon until 1 pm in the Fellowship Hall. We have rotating teams of volunteers that cook, serve and clean up after the meal each Thursday.
- HUNGER TEAM
- The Hunger Committee plays a key role in Central's outreach to the less fortunate in our own community and the broader world. Contact Pat Batta.
- SAFE HARBOR
- Central UMC participates with over twenty other Traverse City area churches in the Safe Harbor program which provides shelter, meals and Christian fellowship for the homeless of Grand Traverse region during the cold weather portion of the year. If you are interested in serving or like to be added to our volunteer list, please contact Mike or Sandra McDonald or call 935-3759.
- CREATION STEWARDS - more info
- CREATION STEWARDS
- This group explores the role of the church in relation to the environment. Activities include anything from a film screening to a nature hike to a service project at the church or in the community. Contact: John Flesher or call 935-4003.
- OUR NEIGHBORS' GARDEN
- A new sub-group of Creation Stewards, this group has a garden which provides fresh produce to needy families. The garden is located at Christ UMC church at Garfield and 3 Mile, but is planted and tended by members of both congregations. Contact John Ellinger or call 933-4026 or Larry Winegar or call 271-2372.
- EDUCATION TEAM
- The Education Ministries Team works to develop and implement a comprehensive Christian Education program for the church. Opportunities for leadership range from teaching Sunday School classes and weekly studies to helping with the church youth groups or volunteering in the church nursery. Contact Ann Porter or Alline Beutler.
- HEALTH MINISTRY - more info
- This group seeks to help meet the wholistic health needs (spiritual, physical, emotional and mental health) of our congregation and friends. Contact Beth Whiting.
- JUSTICE FOR OUR NEIGHBORS (JFON)
- JFON is a faith-driven ministry that welcomes immigrants into our community by providing free, high-quality immigration legal services, education, and advocacy. Immigration clinics will be staffed by trained volunteers, with professional legal assistance.
- KIDS HOPE - more info
- Central Church is affiliated with KIDS HOPE USA, a national program that mentors at-risk children in local elementary schools. We as a congregation are rich in people who are looking for ways to offer their skills of hope and kindness and there is an increasing need for that service in our schools. We work with children at Willow Hill Elementary School. A mentor provides one-to-one mentoring and affirmation for one child. Contact Dave Rorabacher.
- KITCHEN KREW
- Central's Kitchen Krew is a group of volunteers who work together to provide hospitality and kitchen support for church ministries including funeral luncheons, Thursday community luncheons, Sunday morning coffee hour, Wonderful Wednesday meals and District meetings and events. Volunteers can choose a ministry team(s) and usually function in an "on call" capacity. Training is provided. Contact: Jacquie Thomas.
- MEN’S BREAKFAST GROUP
- A fellowship and service group composed of church members and friends, mostly older, but younger men are encouraged to join. Scheduled activities include: Spring and Christmas Women’s Luncheons, Sponsoring at least two “Wonderful Wednesday” dinners, Support of church softball team, Support of many mission projects, and Project “Tool Trailer.” 1st Wednesdays, 8:00 a.m., Breakfast Buffet at the Elks Lodge. Contact: Bob Grigereit.
- MISSIONS TEAM - more info
- As Central reaches beyond its doors locally and globally, we experience God's love and share that love with others. Team members plan the missions’ budget, organize fund raisers and invite the congregation to participate in mission work. Contact: Chuck Ellinwood or Staton Lorenz.
- MUSIC - more info
- Chancel Choir - Our Chancel Choir is open to singers of all ages. We are always happy to have new singers join us!
- Adult Handbell Choir - Our Adult Handbell Choir is open to any adult with an interest in ringing handbells. New ringers are encouraged to come join us!
- Youth Handbell Choir - Our Youth Handbell Choir is open to students in 7th-12th grade. If you’ve rung before, or are interested in learning how, we want you there!
- Choristers - Our Choristers group is open to all singers in 3rd-6th grade. Our year culminates with a musical that is performed for the entire church.
- The Well Music Ensemble – The Well is our casual and up-beat service in the Sanctuary. We are always looking for new singers and instrumentalists interested in being a part of our 9:00 service. We have a wonderful core of musicians, but we'd love to expand our team.
- OFFICE ASSISTANTS
- The Central Church office staff members rely on volunteers to help carry out the ministries of the church. From answering phones to stuffing envelopes, filing, sorting mail, inputting membership data, to recording attendance in worship and classes, our volunteers do it all! We are always looking for folks who can come in regularly each week, help with special projects or help cover staff vacations. Training is provided. For more information, contact Kim Burch.
- RECONCILING MINISTRIES COMMUNITY - more info
- Reconciling Ministries is a study/action group that supports full inclusion of gays and lesbians, transsexual and bisexual individuals in the life of both Central United Methodist Church and the greater United Methodist Church. Contact Mike and Sandra McDonald or call 935-3759.
- UNITED METHODIST WOMEN - more info
- The organized unit of United Methodist Women is a community of women whose purpose is to know God and experience freedom as whole persons through Jesus Christ, who develop a creative supportive fellowship, and expand concepts of mission through participation in the global ministries of the church. more info.
- VAN MINISTRY
- Using the church vans, drivers pick up and deliver to Sunday worship for those unable to drive.
- VISITORS IN THE PARISH
- The Visitors in the Parish Team seeks to maintain personal contact with those congregants unable to attend regularly. Contact Bruce Falconer or call 947-7785.
- WELCOME TEAM
- Our Welcome Center is located just outside the narthex, in the Gathering Place. It is a wonderful resource for guests of our church as well as our church family. At the Welcome Center, team members offer brochures about our programs and activities, information on Methodism, and greet visitors and answer questions they may have regarding Central United Methodist Church. Contact: Beth Chisholm.
- Board of Trustees
- The Trustees are responsible for the inventory, inspection and maintenance of all church property. You don’t have to be a “handy with a hammer” to join the trustees, you just need a genuine interest in seeing our church’s property be its best.
- Church Administrative Council
- The Church Council plans and carries out a program of nurture, outreach and witness in our congregation. The Council is also responsible for the administrative and organizational life of the church. If you are a church member and interested in helping our church carry out current plans and envision new ones, this is a good opportunity for you.
- Church and Society Committee
- This committee cares for the outreach ministries of the church. Hunger, homelessness and health care issues are examples of its concern. If you have a heart for social justice and the connection between church and society, this is a place to live out your call to action.
- Church Archives Committee
- The Archives Committee collects and maintains the church’s historical record. If you are interested in history, creating displays, labeling documents or doing oral interviews, this is a good fit for you.
- Columbarium Committee
- The Columbarium Committee is charged with the administration and care of the church columbarium located next to the church chapel. Team members work with the Pastors to help families through the process of interment.
- Committee on Lay Leadership
- This group seeks to match and equip potential leaders for ministry in and through the church. If you are interested in helping connect people in ministry positions, this is a role for you. Typically meets four times a year.
- Communications Management Team
- The CMT works on creative and consistent ways to present the church’s message and ministry to the larger community. The Church Cyber Team works to maintain the church Web site. If you’re interested in developing and implementing creative marketing for the church the CMT may be a good way to use your gifts.
- Finance Committee
- This group is responsible for raising, managing, and distributing the financial resources of the church. If you are interested in helping our church’s stewardship of finances, this is a ministry for you.
- Staff Pastor Parish Relations Committee
- The SPPRC serves a key role in establishing the focus of the pastors, staff, and congregation’s ministry. By advocating for the pastors and staff and helping to interpret their roles and ministries, the SPPRC supports and nurtures the entire congregation. Members interested in working with the pastors and staff in developing a healthy congregation will appreciate this team’s work.
- Wills and Memorials Committee
- The Wills and Memorial Committee receives and manages bequests and memorial donations given to the church. It oversees the church endowment fund and distributes grants to fund ministry projects. Committee members work to promote endowments within the congregation. .
- Worship Team
- The Worship Team is charged with supporting the worship ministries of the church. While the committee does not directly plan worship services, it cares for the many important tasks that make a meaningful worship experience possible. Those interested in helping our worship experiences be the best they can be may be interested in serving on this team.
- Well Design Team
- This group has helped to develop and continues to guide the Well worship services. THE WELL offers an engaging new worship experience and welcomes seekers of all ages looking for a worship and time different from the traditional Sunday format. Our Well Worship Team is laying the groundwork for our new worship gathering. It’s challenging, exciting and forcing us to live by faith.
222 Cass Street Traverse City, Michigan 49684