ARE WE THERE YET?
Dear Central Church,
Lately, I have felt like the child who’s on a car trip with their parents and asks, “are we there yet?” And when a parent replies, “Not yet;” the child demands to know just how much longer the trip will take!
This trip we are on is called the coronavirus pandemic and we have all been wondering “how much longer” it will take. Sadly, too many in our world have been hurt by this virus. Gratefully, it has brought out the best in many others. It’s a hopeful thing to see so many neighbors helping neighbors. We are “getting there” together.
As the church we do miss being together during this time. These days of “stay home, stay safe” reminds us of what a blessing in-person community is for us. And while we are the church wherever we are, we are our strongest and best when we can be together. Unfortunately, it is going to be a while before our in-person experience of church resumes. For as challenging as it is, we are making plans for when we can be together again. Here’s our current thinking:
- The Church Building will remain closed to the public through the end of May. As Governmental and Health Department safety protocols ease, additional staff and key volunteers may be permitted in while observing safety practices. Pastors and Staff will determine who is allowed into the building while it is closed to the public.
- Following the “last out – first in” rule, all non-essential meetings in the building will remain canceled until we are reasonably capable of assuring the health and safety of those involved. Online meetings and learning via programs like Zoom will continue to be used for health and safety reasons. Off-campus church meetings must follow up-to-date Health Department protocols.
- In-person worship would resume with Church-in-the-Park on June 21st. There the congregation could spread out and distance from each other as needed. We are open to starting CIP earlier in June if that is possible and prudent.
- We would not hold worship in the sanctuary this summer. However, we would continue to offer online and radio worship on Sunday mornings. This would continue as pre-recorded worship. By then it may be possible for musician and others to gather for collaboration. We’ll see.
- Sunday worship in the sanctuary and chapel Could resume after Labor Day on September 13th. This may include nursery care for our families with young children and children’s Sunday School.
- Wonderful Wednesday could start up on September 16 and may include the resuming of Christian Education classes and groups for all ages.
- New opportunities for remote groups and classes will be offered to better include those who cannot attend in person.
We are not there yet, but we are still the church! Vital ministries continue to happen. Outreach
programs are caring for neighbors in need, missionaries and missions are receiving our financial support, Staff members are being paid as they do their best to offer their services and support, online worship and classes are being offered, and plans are being made for what comes next.
As you offer your daily prayers for our world and community, please pray for your church. Pastors and Staff are praying for you too. Also, you may use our website Prayer Wall to request prayers for yourself and others.
Finally, thank you for your continued financial support. Your generosity speaks of your love for Christ and Central Church.
Getting There with You,