When I was a kid, each week the newspaper (remember those?) would have a TV Guide included, where you would have to look at a grid ON PAPER to see what was going to be on t.v.! Can you believe the way things worked back in the dark ages? I mean paper, for Pete’s sake….Well, every year, in the lead up to the fall, the TV Guide would include a Preview that would describe the new shows that were coming out that season. I always looked forward to the preview issue to see what shows I would be wasting my time on that year that would have no redeeming qualities and would distract me from doing my school work.
The Connection that you are holding in your hand is a Fall Preview for Central (except that it is filled with events of redeeming qualities that are not a waste of your time). In it you will find a lot of information about what is going on at Central in the months to come. I want to encourage you to read it carefully, as there is a lot going on this Fall, and you can find information about the various options for you to get involved in the life of our church.
Though I am excited about all that we are doing, I did want to mention a few highlights:
Sunday Mornings at Central: Our Sunday morning sermon series, starting on September
10th, will be called “Reformation.” October 31st of this year is the 500th Anniversary of Martin Luther pounding the 95 Thesis on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, sparking the Protestant Reformation and changing the course of Western history. At the heart of Luther’s Reformation was a rediscovery of the centrality of the cross of Jesus Christ, and a deep consideration on the nature of God, of humanity, and of God’s grace. This fall, we will be spending our Sunday mornings reflecting on the cross, reflecting on the texts of Scripture that spoke deeply to Luther, and listening to what God has to say to us today about how to live out a life of justification by grace through faith as we focus our hearts and minds on the cross of Jesus Christ.
Sabbath Church: Last fall, in the lead up to the Presidential election, I taught a Wednesday night series called “Sabbath Politics,” reflecting together on what the Bible says about politics. This fall, I am offering a follow-up teaching series called “Sabbath Church,” focusing more closely on the relationship between the church and the state around us, and reflecting on how the church, as a community of Christ-followers, can both serve the world around us, but also be clear that our mission is not the same as the mission of the world. What does it look like for the church to be the church in our present culture? How are we called to be partners with the culture, and how are we called to be distinct from the culture? I invite you to join me on Wednesday nights, starting September 20th, to think and reflect together on these important questions.
Refresh/Vision Night: Each September, we hold a special night of prayer and set out the vision that God is leading us to as a church. This September, our gathering will take place on September 17th, with dinner at 5pm and the vision and prayer time starting around 5:30pm. This year, we will be laying before the congregation what God is laying on our heart for 2018 and beyond. As you may be aware, 2018 is the 125th Anniversary of the founding of Central. I believe that this is going to be a pivotal year in the life of our church, and so I want to ask you to do everything you can to come and hear how God is guiding us.
GPS (Grow, Pray, Serve) Groups: GPS Groups are a great way to get connected to a small group of people at Central in order to deepen in relationship with other in our fellowship. The focus of our study this year will be the theme of “Life in the Spirit.” In this study, we will be exploring the dynamics of discipleship and transformation by studying what Romans and Galatians say about the flesh, the Spirit, and the work of God to renew and remake us in the image of Jesus. All who sign up will receive a study guide that will be the basis on the group, and will encourage you to dig into key passages that help us to better understand the work of God’s Spirit in our lives. I want to invite EVERYONE to join a GPS group this fall!
God is at work at Central! Come and join the fun this fall!