A place to reflect on the life and happenings of Center Church
At Center Church, we care deeply for our congregation in all respects, which includes the physical well-being of our community. Additionally, we want to live and act in ways with intentional regard for our neighbors, co-workers, etc.
The developments of the past few days has put our nation (and our world) in a chaotic scenario that is marked by uncertainty. Information is changing quickly. Given our current reality, it is easy to overreact in a variety of ways. As Overseers of Center Church, our aim is to lead well with wisdom and prudence. With that said, we have arrived at a decision that we think is the best course of action in the short-term and respects the call for ‘social distancing.’
For the next 2 weeks, we will NOT hold services at Hayes Elementary.
Alternatively, we will be holding a virtual gathering where Kevin will preach and we will be able to pray together. Knowing kids will be part of these gatherings, we will seek to be sensitive to provide some material that will be meaningful to them also.
More information will be sent your way regarding this.
We are also cancelling all church-related gatherings through Sunday, March 22.
Regarding future gatherings, we will continue to monitor the situation and be closely following the CDC, Minnesota Department of Health and partner churches.
Despite the uncertainty that surrounds us, we want to urge you to remain confident in God’s steadfast presence amidst all that is happening. Please be in prayer for those who are affected by illness, as well as their caregivers and those who are working around the clock to minimize the impact of this virus. In Psalm 46, we are reminded that it is God who is our refuge and strength, and our ever-present help in trouble. Let us not fear, but with confidence use this opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus through our prayers and our care for others.
As we pull away from others in this time, I hope you feel the distinctly un-Christian reality in this action. As Christians, we are people that have experienced God moving toward us and we’re called to move towards others. But in this season, "loving our neighbor" looks distinctly different. Be thoughtful and creative as to how you may "love your neighbor." If you have elderly near you, explore how you may serve them. They probably should not be walking around Wal-Mart.
Our sending community, Hiawatha Church, recently posted this blog ‘Summer in the City, Living on Mission Together’:
They offer us a great reminder, and challenge, that summer brings a new schedule and new rhythm of life, but the mission of the church stays the same. As we reflected on this, we started to talk about what this means for Center Church and the contexts which we inhabit as a community.
Below we have built off and adapted this post to explore how, we as a church community, can be present with and for our communities. This is not about “one more thing,” but an opportunity to engage intentionally with the places and spaces we already are.
Start with prayer. Prayer for awareness and openness for what God is up to in your life, the life of your community, and press into the in places that sends you. We join in with God, let’s start with prayer to celebrate, discern, and walk it out.
Stay connected to Center Church. Summer is busy and schedules change: vacations, the chance to take a break, activities for kids, etc. What doesn’t change is our need for the Gospel and for community. Sunday gatherings, when seen as one more thing on the schedule, can easily slip away in the rhythm of the summer. We have the opportunity to be an anchor in Jesus for one another, as we seek to let the Gospel transform us - let’s embrace that call as a community throughout the summer.
Neighborhood party- games, dinner, cookout, smores, bonfire, etc. - invite your neighbors. The Gospel is welcoming, let us be welcoming with the Gospel.
Community events - look at your city, and surrounding cities, website for events happening in your area: movies in the park, community sports and theater, our local libraries have many great events throughout the summer - to name a few.
Go out to eat - If you go out to eat, eat in your community. Connect with folks, build relationships with the staff and regulars.
Shared interest and/or skill - fishing, reading, basketball, running, juggling, home repair? Get a group together and do it/teach it.
On Sunday the service may end, but the community doesn’t need to. Invite folks over or out to lunch, head over to Commons park to play and picnic.
We recognize some of these things may go beyond your comfort zone. Not only does the Gospel call us out of our comfort zone, but the Gospel brings us into community to encourage us and walk with us as we go beyond our comfort. Unsure about hosting a gathering or going to an event? Invite your community along.
These are just a handful of opportunities to live out our commitment to our core values - Gospel, Community, and Mission as we embrace the warmth and life of summer. We’d love to hear your ideas and plans for making the most of the summer!