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Devotional VLOG

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Your staff team has been thinking about how we can further support and encourage one another in this time of social distancing. Pastor Charles Godwin came up with the idea of doing a daily video devotional. 

Each evening after the dinner hour, Monday through Friday, you will receive an email from our Pastor of Congregational Care, Charles Godwin. As many of you already know, Charles is a wonderful blessing to our Central family. Each email will have a link to a short (5 minutes or less) video devotional from one of our staff. Alternatively, you can visit our Vimeo channel or this page and choose from the list below to view any of the already-released videos. We hope that you find these devotionals encouraging, and that they give you a stronger sense of connection to our staff.
 
Thank you for continuing to be part of God’s mission at Central, dear friends. It is a joy to be part of it with you. Keep an eye out for emails from Pastor Charles each evening in the days ahead with a link to your Central Evening Devotional

Devotionals

Monday, March 30 - Charles Godwin

Tuesday, March 31 - Jamie Afshari

Wednesday, April 1 - Clay Smith

Thursday, April 2 - Karen Brown

Friday, April 3 - Ben Tzeng

COVID-19 Update

Dear Church Family,

As the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues, we – and indeed the entire globe - find ourselves wrestling with a health pandemic of concerning scale and impact. While only time will tell us how widespread the situation really is, what seems very clear at present is that we must prayerfully discern how to best care for and minister to our Central congregation and our community in general. As Christians, we know we need not be afraid, but it is important that we exercise both wisdom and prudence. Please know of my personal prayers for all of you in this regard.

The health and welfare of our members, staff, and neighbors are of paramount importance. Our objective is to love our community as Christ loves us – especially those among us who are most vulnerable to this disease. With this in mind, Central’s leadership has made a series of proactive decisions:

Sunday Worship

  • St. Louis County has declared a state of emergency, prohibiting all gathering of 250 people or more. As a result, worship this Sunday is “ONLINE ONLY” via our Livestream 
  • The service will stream “live” at 8:30 a.m., and then will be available for viewing again anytime after that service concludes.
  • The church will be “closed” for worship and all other activities this Sunday.
  • As you set up your “Live Stream” at home, you might consider joining with a small group while practicing “social distancing.”
  • You can continue to make your tithes and offerings online, via text, or via U.S. Mail. For full details, please visit our giving page.

For the week of March 16-21:

  • All on-campus ministry events are suspended, including Equip Central, bible studies, and group meetings.
  • Our kitchen will be closed for the week, with no food services provided.

If you need particular spiritual care during this challenging season, our congregational care team would love to hear from you. Send us an email at and one of our pastors or shepherds will be in touch.

We anticipate that these changes are temporary, and intend to go back to our regular ministry schedules as soon as possible. To help inform any future decisions about our various ministry schedules, we have formed a Health Advisory Team with several of our Central medical professionals. That team is helping us stay on top of the situation through their expertise and access to current information. We are truly blessed to have such wonderful and generous resources among our church family.

In closing, dear friends, I pray that the Lord would draw near to each of us in a special way right now. As we talked about Romans 8 last week in worship, it is not lost on me that God can use even this to bring about his good purposes. Please join with me in prayer to that end. Let us also continue in prayer for those currently afflicted with the virus, those impacted by the many cancellations across the country, the many medical professionals serving in these difficult circumstances, and of course for the Central community and St. Louis region. May the Lord of all mercy bless and protect us. To Christ be all glory.

With great affection in Christ for each of you,

Pastor Clay

Posted by Clay Smith

Belonging & Believing

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I hope to document my journey of integrating at Central Presbyterian Church as a way to see how God is helping me as the Pastor of Evangelism and Community. It will be a way that I can listen and experience more of what God wants in leading the church to be one that continues to encourage people to come BELONG to his family and church. The church tag line is Know, Be Known and Make Known.  I am called to this church to make sure that we strive for people to come and be known. You have an important part to play in God’s family and church here at Central. The way God has made you and shaped you brings so much to his Kingdom and church. I hope you will be encouraged by my story, and join me in celebrating how God weaves together all of our stories into the deep history of Central. With a strong sense of togetherness and calling from God, I believe God will lead us to go and make known who he is to the community around us.  It will be a challenge to share the good news of Christ to those that we come in contact with, whether in or outside of the church.  I will strive to help us learn what it looks like to trust God in helping people go on that journey to BELIEF.

First Entry – 2/12/18

From 3 to 35 | My First Staff Meeting at Central 

At my last two churches, all-staff meetings were typically 3 or 4 people gathering together. On my first day at Central, this was clearly not the case. No longer a small meeting of a few, but a really big meeting of 30-plus. Was this something completely new and different? Yes. Was it strange to be in a room of people that I just met and learned their names? Definitely. Did I feel uncomfortable in this brand new environment? No, absolutely not!

Personally, I have always wanted staff meetings to be a time for the staff to share and be open with what is going on in our lives and ministries. It is a time to share, pray, and talk. Although the organizational parts of staff meetings will always be important, I have always felt that the most important thing is connecting with each other and knowing each other as we do ministry together.

Entering into my first all-staff meeting with the rest of the Central staff, I felt extremely comfortable where God has placed me. We enjoyed worship and praise together, and Pastor Clay led devotional that was clearly encouraging transparency and openness of what we each were dealing with in ministry. This led to staff members sharing what was sincerely on their hearts, both the positives and challenges in their ministries. This environment is what I was truly hoping for to be able to build relationships with ministry partners, working together as one, to impact the Kingdom.

I’ve been impacted deeply by God’s calling to be here at Central. It isn’t something that was quick, painless, or easy. In fact, it was quite the opposite, seeming more like a long journey that at times was excruciatingly painful (hard saying goodbye to close friends, church members, a context that we were so familiar with). But one thing was for sure, we knew God had called, so we had to trust God by faith and obey and “go," leaving behind our comfort zones. But how reassuring that God has given us a place where we find comfort with Him and God’s people to do His work going forward.

Posted by Ben Tzeng

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