The Central community is caring and reaching out to those who are isolated and lonely. We are counting on each of you to be the Church by checking in and caring for your family, neighbors, and those in your small groups. Pastor Mark has encouraged us to pray as a community 3 times a day (at 8:30 am, noon, and 5:00 pm). The institution of the church may need a pause, but the movement of Jesus continues.
Communion at Home for Families
Parents, the Lord’s Supper can be an amazing time of worship and reflection for your children. We invite you to lead your children in experiencing this at home. You may offer communion to any of your children who desire to participate. That being said, you should do what you can before Sunday to help them understand what will be happening.
Here’s something you could consider reading to them beforehand. Feel free to put it in your own words!
Kids, you may be wondering what communion is and why we take it. You may have even seen grown-ups take it at church and had questions about it.
Jesus chose to do a special meal we call the Lord’s Supper during the last meal He celebrated with His disciples before He died on the cross. It was already a special meal for the Jewish people called the Passover, which is a yearly celebration during which Jews remember how God rescued them from slavery in the land of Egypt, Jesus gave us this supper to remind us of how he rescues us through his death on the cross.
The Bible tells us in Luke 22:19-20 (International Children’s Bible):
“Then Jesus took some bread. He thanked God for it, broke it, and gave it to the apostles. Then Jesus said, “This bread is my body that I am giving for you. Do this to remember me.” 20 In the same way, after supper, Jesus took the cup and said, “This cup shows the new agreement that God makes with his people. This new agreement begins with my blood which is poured out for you.”
The bread and cup are not the actual body and blood of Jesus, but they are symbols that remind us that Jesus died on the cross so that all people could be forgiven and live with Him forever. But they are more than just reminders! God promises to connect our spirits to Jesus’ spirit when we eat and drink this meal. We typically do this together when we are gathered at church, but since we cannot do that right now, we will do it at home, knowing that God’s spirit is wherever we are!
Dear Central Congregation,
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
As we continue to lean into God and His understanding during this uncertain time, we wanted to keep you apprised of what is happening at Central as we finish this season of Lent, prepare for Palm Sunday and the start of Holy Week, and celebrate Easter. The church building may be closed, but the movement of Jesus continues. Here are some important updates to be aware of.
Building Closure & Event Cancelations
In compliance with the State of Maryland’s directive, our church building will remain closed until further notice and all events are canceled through the end of April. Staff is working from home and meeting regularly via remote access, and our worship service will continue to be live-streamed online.
Communion usually takes place on the first Sunday of every month. This Sunday will be no exception, and while it is Palm Sunday, we will celebrate Jesus’s triumphal arrival into Jerusalem from our own living rooms. We will be sending out information to help you prepare for communion at home.
Holy Week & Easter
Holy Week services will be streamed and will include Holy Thursday (4/9) at 7:00 pm and Good Friday (4/10) at 7:00 pm. Easter celebration will take place on Sunday, April 12th at 9:30 am.
Blessing to you as we navigate what our church community looks like in these unusual times.
Dear SBC Families and Volunteers,
I hope you and your family are doing well during this unprecedented time. I am writing to bring you up-to-date on our plans for Summer Bible Camp 2020. As you may know, we made the decision to postpone our FOCUS SBC, which was scheduled for June 29-July 2.
Our SBC planning team has spent the past few weeks thinking through and brainstorming ideas for alternatives that we could offer to our children. Many great ideas bubbled up – I am very grateful for the team’s sensitivity and creativity during this process! Here’s what we’re planning:
Sundays in June and July *
- Preschoolers: June and July are all about what we can spy with our little eyes. Get ready for I Spy! It’s a great theme that not only helps us see the things that help us believe in Jesus, but it also goes right along with our SBC theme, Focus. Get it? Focus. I Spy. It’s all about the eyes. We will help preschoolers see that they can believe in Jesus. We will have one key question and bottom line for June and July. We don’t think we can say these too much. They are that good. Get ready to ask, “Who can believe in Jesus” and respond with, “I can believe in Jesus,” over and over again.
- Elementary-aged: Our elementary kids will FOCUS, too, but in a different way. Through engaging Bible stories, activities and discussion questions, they will see the connection between faith and God’s character, as shown through God’s Big Story. They’ll learn that faith is trusting in what you can’t see because of what you can see.
*Due to continued unknowns because of COVID-19, these resources will be available online for families to access and lead at home with their children.
All Summer Long
Just because we’re not meeting together for SBC doesn’t mean that we can’t still do crafts, music, games together! We will use our social media platforms to engage with kids and families by providing fun activities you can do at home using items you likely already have! Stay tuned for more details about this.
We are hopeful for a great summer filled with connecting kids to God and helping them grow in their faith, even though we won’t be able to gather.
Director of Children’s Ministry
Preschoolers love to show adults how BIG they are . . . “Look at my BIG muscles! Look how BIG I can jump! Look at this BIG bite!”
We don’t have to teach a preschooler to show everyone how big they are. And, if we’re all honest, there’s something deep inside us that wants to do something big, too. We want to show the world that we can do things that matter— things that really matter. Could it be that we were all made to do big things? We think so.
That is why we have planned an entire month around what being a Super Kid really looks like—doing the things God made us to do. God made us to do BIG things!
Bottom Line: God made me to do big things.
Memory Verse: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid…for the Lord your God goes with you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV
ELEMENTARY-AGE & PRETEEN
When Jesus was a boy, He grew in wisdom. God wants us to discover wisdom, too. When we make a wise choice, we reflect the character of Jesus to the people around us. That’s why giving kids a strong foundation of wisdom is important. We want to equip them to face down whatever choice they may face in the future.
Monthly Theme: Wisdom – Finding out what you should do and doing it
Memory Verse: “If any of you needs wisdom, you should ask God for it. He will give it to you. God gives freely to everyone and doesn’t find fault.” James 1:5, NIRV
This week: October 17, 2021
Listen to our curriculum music at home or on the go!
In these challenging times, it is so wonderful to hear all of the sorties about how people are deepening their faith and coming together. If you have a story, we want to hear it!
Dear Central friends:
I believe that one of the ways our Lord will be exalted will be through the quiet acts of compassion and faithfulness that his people demonstrate in this season. Here are some encouragements and suggested guidelines for our life as “the church scattered” in our homes and neighborhoods. Pastor John encouraged us in Sunday’s message to let this “interruption” be an opportunity and reminded us of Central’s three discipleship questions and how we can live them out right now.
How are you spending time with Jesus? In this time of disruption, new rhythms can and must be developed for our personal walk with Jesus. Children’s Ministry is sending out suggestions for families. Central’s Lenten Devotional is one resource (www.centralpc.org/adultmin and click on Lenten devotional) and we will have others to share with you. Keep praying and spending time in God’s Word.
How are you connecting with other Christians? We encourage this to happen through technology — Google Hangouts, texting, phone calls. Please refrain from meeting in-person, but do not refrain from checking in with one another. We are counting on the “priesthood of all believers” to care for, check on, and support everyone in Central’s community. Should situations of urgent financial or other need arise for someone you know, something that is beyond the resources of yourself or your group, contact me or Linda Ferree (Linda@centralpc.org) and we will work together to address these needs as we can. We are all in this together!
How are you blessing your neighbors? For the time being, one of the ironic ways we care for each other is through social distancing. As time goes on, new opportunities to bless others may arise. One way to bless others is to pray, keeping our eyes and ears open for opportunities. The deacons have a history of excellence and experience with situations of crisis and Central also has funds designated for neighborhood initiatives. Share your story with us. Where have you seen God at work in your networks and neighborhoods? Is this something that someone else could replicate in their neighborhood?
This is the church’s moment! The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Psalm 46:11
In His name,
In addition to our worship services and activities, giving has been disrupted because we are not able to gather regularly. Sunday offering time is still where we receive the bulk of our weekly tithes and gifts, and where we collect funds for the deacons’ work (all cash donations on the first Sunday of the month go directly to their efforts).
We are able to provide live streaming of worship services during this shutdown because of your support which allowed us to invest in needed technology. Your giving also provides tangible support to our neighbors in need and our network partners who might be particularly challenged at this time.
For those who have established regular contributions through automatic account withdrawals, thank you for your dedication. For those who go on-line and give, we encourage you to keep practicing this (www.centralpc.org/give) as a Sunday discipline. Thank you! For those who are accustomed to bringing their offering to worship, please consider mailing your checks to the church office (7308 York Road, Baltimore, MD 21204). Thank you for your support despite this extra step. We are still processing mail and have limited staff handling the financial transactions to keep our bills current. In all cases, we thank you for helping us keep Central focused on the work God has called us to do.
Finally, we recognize that these times may bring unexpected financial hardships. Some may experience job loss, decreased hours, or increased expenses. We want to acknowledge this possibility of an adjustment in giving that it might bring. Let us keep leaning on God’s understanding and providence. We do not want to burden those who are experiencing unpredicted income disruption at this time.
Thank you for your support of Central Presbyterian Church‘s role in building God’s kingdom and we pray that in this time, we can all carry each other’s burdens, and in this way fulfill the law of Christ.