As much as we’ve come to rely on technology—and in these strange times who hasn’t—the continually shifting nature of it all can be exhausting. There is an ever-growing list of logins to remember, and it can feel like someone is telling you about some hot, new platform every five minutes. That’s why we’re always looking for ways to provide you with stable, centralized (pardon the pun) access to the church’s media.
For a long time, our video library has existed on two completely separate platforms: Vimeo and Livestream. One stored all the videos we make or film in-house, and the other handled live-streaming our worship services and select events. A few years ago, Vimeo acquired Livestream and began integrating live-streaming into their service plans. Still, it’s only recently that the two services have reached something like parity in their actual functionality. This meant that we could cut the cost of our video streaming and hosting in half while giving you the same level of service by consolidating on Vimeo.
This summer, we’ve been hard at work moving years of archived services and events over from Livestream, as well as getting the integration of our website and platforms like Facebook switched over. It’s been a long process, but we’re in the home stretch, and we expect to phase Livestream out entirely by the end of August.
And what does that mean for you? If you watch on our website or Facebook, we’ve done all the work, so you don’t have to do anything. If you regularly use the Livestream app on either your mobile device or smart t.v., we recommend downloading the Vimeo app and following Central’s account—just like you did on Livestream. The apps are available for iOS and Android devices, Apple TV, and more.
The main difference you’re going to notice is in finding archived services or events. On Livestream, we had a First Service and Second Service event, as well as events for special services, concerts, etc. You can rewatch the daily devotionals, Children's Church videos, and more. On Vimeo, videos are organized into Channels and Showcases; to keep things as simple as possible, we’ve titled those as descriptively as possible (ex. Concerts or Resurrection Transformation Sermons).
Looking for a baptism in a service from 2017? Simply go to the 2017 Services channel and you will find all the videos in chronological order. If you’re looking for one of Scott Sauls talks from our 175th Anniversary year, go to the Irresistible Faith showcase. We’ve added titles, date recorded, and who was preaching to all the archived services to make finding what you’re looking for as easy as possible
On the Central Pres website, you will still find our extensive sermon audio archive, searchable by Pastor, date, or sermon series. Beginning earlier this year, this same archive includes video of the sermons as well
We understand that navigating Vimeo may take a little getting used to, but ultimately we believe it will give you even better access to content from Central. Have questions? As always, we’re here to help!
We continue to be so grateful to all of you who continue to partner with Central financially. By God’s grace and through your generosity, our financial condition continues to be relatively healthy in this season of pandemic uncertainty. On behalf of your Session and staff, thank you for making ministry possible at Central.
Ministry Giving. Through the end of July, giving year-to-date to the ministry budget is ~ $1,832,000 (actual). Our giving budget through the same period is ~ $1,996,000 (budgeted). We are lagging our giving budget for giving by ~ $164,000 at this point in the year.
Ministry Expenses. On the expense side, we continue to operate in a “spending freeze.” We enacted this freeze when the pandemic began, which is allowing us to keep our ministry expenses as low as possible. July expense totals are still being processed, but we estimate that actual ministry expenses through July will be roughly $2,241,000 (actual) against a ministry expense budget of $2,544,000 (budgeted). We have underspent our ministry expense budget by ~ $303,000. It is important to note that our spending freeze does not affect our annual missionary support. We are overjoyed to continue to support all of our local and global missionaries at full budgeted levels this year.
Looking at the net combination of giving and expenses, our actual giving through July ($1,832,000) is lagging our estimated actual expenses through the same period ($2,241,000) by roughly $409,000. This is not uncommon for this point in the ministry year, and we are actually $140,000 better than the budgeted estimate for this point in the year. The fourth quarter, especially December, is when giving typically exceeds expenses and catches the budget back up for the year.
For those of you who are able, please continue to partner with us financially – perhaps even in a special way in the coming weeks. Your generosity is keeping our church stable and ministry-ready during this most unusual season. We are so grateful for your partnership in this way.