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Reopening

Your Session and staff teams continue to pray and plan for reopening the church. As the St. Louis area begins to gradually reopen, we are watching the situation – including local health statistics – closely. We all want to be back at church together, but we also want to ensure that we do not unintentionally make things worse by moving too fast. We are considering a range of different ideas for reopening, and are praying for the Lord to give us abundant wisdom together.

The Biblical standards that will guide us in making decisions are four-fold. First, we will be subject to our governing authorities (Rom. 13:1-7; 1 Tim. 2:1-4; Titus 3:1-5). Second, we will seek to love each other and our neighbors as Christ has loved us, so that we might “shine as lights” in this world (John 13:35, 15:12; Gal. 6:10; Phil. 2:15). Third, we will seek to honor the most vulnerable among us who are also most to be honored (1 Cor. 12:22-23a; Rom. 12:10). Fourth, these are unprecedented times without a “playbook” and we need wisdom in a special way right now. We will pray unceasingly for wisdom, that the Lord would make us abundantly wise in considering what is most appropriate for our local church context in these times of uncertainty (James 1:5).

Please pray for us as we continue to discern what is best for our church family! Your Session will be meeting on Monday, June 15th to discuss what a first phase of reopening might look like, and we will be sharing our plans with you shortly thereafter.

Lastly – thank you to all who participated in our recent reopening survey. The results are tallied and we will be sharing those with soon.

If you have questions about reopening, we would love to answer them!

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Posted by Clay Smith

Sunday Evening Service Announced

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This past Monday, June 15, your session met again to determine the initial steps to reopen the church. The consensus was that we definitely need to begin reopening in some way, with an emphasis on offering safe options for people to engage with in-person worship.

We are thrilled to announce we will soon begin to provide an in-person worship service. This evening, or "vespers," service will be held Sundays at 6pm on the lower level of the garage. The first vespers service will be on June 28, and be held weekly thereafter for the foreseeable future. We will continue our ongoing online livestream worship service each Sunday morning at 8:30. A few details about the vespers services:

  • Capacity for the vespers service will be limited
  • Advance reservations will be required. The reservation system will be activated each week on Wednesday at noon for the following Sunday's vesper service. Links will be available on the home page of our website or by using the button below.
  • Social distancing practices will be implemented
  • The wearing of face coverings is strongly encouraged for the well-being of everyone involved
  • Seating will not be provided, instead attendees are asked to bring their own lawn-style chairs.

More details about this exciting new service may be found by clicking the link below. As with many things right now, plans are subject to change, so be sure to watch for updates as the summer progresses.

We are also continuing to strategize on returning to worship in the Sanctuary later this summer, which is what we are all looking forward to happening as soon as we can safely do so. The session will be reconvening for a special meeting in a couple of weeks to begin discussing that process.

Please pray for the Lord to provide wisdom, courage and compassion as we move forward. As you know, things have been changing quickly regarding the virus and we need wisdom from the only one who sees the future clearly. Thank you for your faithfulness to the Lord and the church he has gathered at Central.

Learn more about the vespers service by visiting the Frequently Asked Questions page

Vesper Service FAQ

Reserve your space at the next vespers service

(available at noon each Wednesday for the following Sunday)

Vespers Reservations

Updates to Online Worship

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The availability of Central's worship services online has been a valuable resource for several years now. It not only allows those unable to be present on Sunday mornings an opportunity to worship with us "live" online, but also can be an uplifting and encouraging mid-week blessing, available anytime and anyplace you have internet access. 

Obviously, since March of this year the importance of providing the best viewing experience possible has increased significantly. While many people have reported how much they have really enjoyed our livestream, there is always room for improvement. There are no guarantees of course - there are simply too many variables involved well outside of our control - but our goal is to make every viewer feel welcomed, appreciated, and engaged with worship.

To this end, by the end of June we will be transitioning to a new streaming partner, moving from the Livestream platform to Vimeo. Last week we simulcast on both platforms, and it was very successful. We will be doing the same thing this week, and by July plan to fully transition to Vimeo.

So, what does this mean for you?

  • If you currently view Central's worship services on our website, you DO NOT need to make any changes. Our services will remain accessible at www.centralpres.com/live.

  • If you prefer joining us on Facebook Live, you DO NOT need to make any changes. We will continue to simulcast to Facebook from Vimeo, just as we are now from Livestream.

  • If you are currently using the Livestream app (on your phone, tablet, or smart t.v.), you WILL NEED to download  the Vimeo app. By the end of June, our services will no longer be aired live on Livestream.

  • If you currently access past services/sermons on via our website, you DO NOT need to make any changes. The links will be redirected to our new Vimeo archive.

  • If you currently access past services by going directly to Livestream, you will need to update your links/bookmarks to go to Vimeo. More information will be shared about this as we get deeper into the transition.
  • In the coming weeks, Central will also be launching our own YouTube channel. Did you know YouTube is the second most popular website in the world? While Vimeo will be our primary video archive, containing all our our video content, we will simulcast our full worship services to YouTube, as well as share out some of our other video content such as daily devotionals, sermon excerpts, etc. Watch for more info coming out later this month about this exciting addition. 

We are confident this transition will make Central's worship services even more accessible than they are now, and also provide our viewers with a better overall experience. There are numerous "behind the scenes" benefits as well as some new features that will be rolled out over time for our viewers as well. Thanks in advance for your patience during this time of transition. Should you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to send us an email

Posted by Jeff Brown

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