This page is specifically devoted to helping our members stay up to date with Central's response to the coronavirus. Use it to find valuable resources, submit and read prayer requests, request assistance, or offer to assist someone with coronavirus related needs.
First of all I encourage you to keep the Agresta family in your prayers. Heather’s father passed away yesterday after a long bout with cancer.
Today we have been fielding lots of calls from the media and we are trying to use this as an opportunity to point people toward God and his grace. Channel 7 will be running a story this evening and the Springfield News-Sun will run a story either Saturday or Sunday. I even had a call from the Washington Post yesterday with questions about how we were ministering to people during this crisis. That call was prompted by the pictures I posted yesterday about Julie putting all of your pictures on our pews so that when I record Sunday’s message I don’t have to look out at an empty sanctuary. I believe that the Washington Post story will probably run on Sunday. All of this is a reminder that people are inclined to look to God during times of crisis, to give him the Glory that he deserves, and help people find comfort in his love. Pray that God will use this to bring people into relationship with Jesus Christ.
This Sunday we are going to launch a program called Park, Pray, and Praise. We are inviting people to come to the church parking lot by noon, in time to hear us ring the church bells. We will then use outdoor speakers to play pre- recorded music by our praise band. Between songs we will be reading prayer requests to guide you through prayer for our leaders, our health-care providers, and any member of our church family or community who has been affected by the coronavirus. We encourage those who attend to stay in their cars and abide by the guidelines for social distancing. Please send us any prayer requests that you would like for us to announce at the service.
Coronavirus Update (March 17/12:00pm)
As a church we have decided that erring on the side of caution is the best way to protect our members and the community. With that in mind we are suspending all activities at the church through the end of March. The church office remains open and we are anxious to respond to any individual needs which come up during this time.
If you have prayer requests or a need for assistance, please call the church office, 937.390.2424, or use the forms that we have placed on the church website, one for prayer requests and another for requesting assistance.
We will be including a time for communion in this Sunday's online service. We ask those who participate to take a few moments to reflect on Christ, to confess our sins, and offer our praise.
To participate you may:
Stop by the church to pick up pre-packaged individual communion servings. Each bag includes 5 servings, please take enough to get your family through the next two Sundays. The bags are in a basket outside the office entrance.
Use this linkto request that communion supplies be delivered to your residence.
Use juice or wine and crackers that you have at home.
I also wanted to let you know we have decided to ring the church bell at noon on Sundays, for as long as we are not having services, as a reminder to the community of God's faithfulness, and as a call to prayer. We have invited other churches to join us as a testimony to God's faithfulness.
Next week we will be helping to provide meals for people on the southwest side of the city at New Day Christian Fellowship, one of our ministry partners. If you are willing to help with projects like this please let us know.
Coronavirus Update (March 14/9:30am)
This morning the church is being professionally treated with a high grade disinfectant that kills 99.9% of all bacteria and viruses, including the coronavirus. It continues to kill viruses on surfaces for 2 weeks. We are doing this now to protect the many people who will coming to the church to vote on Tuesday. Additional applications will be applied to protect anyone using the church during the outbreak of this virus.
We also have a team working this afternoon to improve our ability to broadcast services online during the duration of this virus.
Coronavirus Update (Updated on March 13/Revised at 4:00pm)
From everything that we are learning about the Coronavirus, the next two-weeks are especially important in slowing the spread of this virus so that it does not overwhelm the capacity of our healthcare system. Cooperating with the suggestions that we are getting is a very effective way for us to love our neighbors, especially those at higher risk. With that in mind I want to inform you of our latest plans for this Sunday.
We will not be meeting this Sunday, March 15. Instead a message prepared especially for this occasion will be posted on the church website by 10:30 Sunday morning.
I also want you to know we are incurring additional un-budgeted costs associated with our response this challenge. If any of you would like to contribute, we have added a category called Coronavirus Expenses, to the Church Center giving app, which we encourage all of you to use. You can also designate a contribution by cash or check and bring it to the church office. We also ask you to consider contributions to the Springfield Soup Kitchen which can also be made through our Church Center giving app.
These are very challenging days but this is a wonderful opportunity for us to be a calming, confident presence in the midst of a storm. We need to heed Apostle Peter’s advice to be ready to give an answer to the hope that is within us. Don’t miss the many opportunities for ministry that are occurring at this time.
This would also be a great time for you to consider adding our prayer meeting to your schedule which meets every Wednesday at 4:00pm. If you can't attend the meeting consider setting aside that hour for prayer at home.
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Coronavirus Update (Updated on March 12) Over 365 times the Bible includes a version of the command, “Fear Not.” Combined with the knowledge that God is in control this is ample reason for us to be confident of God’s care for our congregation and community during the current spread of the coronavirus. Jesus himself reminded us of the futility of worry, and of God’s promise to meet all of our physical needs. He cares about the sparrows and he cares about us.
The Board of Elders at Central wants you to know that we are taking this situation seriously, and that we believe that erring on the side of caution is the best way for us to show care for our members and to love our neighbors. We are especially mindful of our need to care for our older members and anyone at higher risk. This situation continues to evolve and we will keep you informed of the steps we are taking to protect our congregation and our community.
As of today (March 12) we are taking the following steps.
We have scheduled a professional company to thoroughly disinfect the church this Saturday and again in two weeks with a special disinfectant that kills 99.9% of all bacteria and viruses, including the coronavirus on surfaces and in the air for two weeks. We will schedule additional professional treatments as necessary.
We ask that anyone who is, or suspects that they may be ill or infected with the flu or the coronavirus to stay home while they may be contagious.
We are suspending the shared communion portion of our service this Sunday. We have ordered 1,000 self contained communion servings to be used as this situation unfolds in the coming weeks.
We will receive the offering in stationary attended offering plates near the exits to the sanctuary and in the Narthex. We encourage anyone who is not currently using the Church Center giving app to begin doing so if you have a smartphone. You can also give online through the church website. Please be mindful that most of our expenses as a church will continue (and in some areas, increase) even if we reach a point where we need to suspend some services.
We will have greeters open exterior doors, and we will prop open as many interior doors as possible to minimize surface contact. The CDC has stated that the virus is capable of remaining active on surfaces for up to nine days so we will be taking extra steps to clean all commonly touched surfaces. If you are willing to help us with this task please contact the church office.
We will encourage people to avoid handshakes and to maintain as much appropriate social distancing as possible. The CDC recommends 6 feet whenever possible.
We encourage members who have underlying health issues, or who are over 80 to consider staying at home and watching the service online.
We will reschedule events that are unnecessary or which could include 100 or more participants for a later date. This includes the March Madness Game Night that was scheduled for March 21.
We also encourage any member who needs special assistance during this situation to contact the Church Office so that we can provide care and support through the outbreak of this virus.
What Sundays are Like at Central
Central is vibrant nondenominational church focused on making our community more like heaven. We strive to keep Jesus at the center, looking to scripture for direction, and asking God's Spirit to lead and empower us. We care about justice, We love our neighbors, and we proclaim the gospel. Sundays are casual and contemporary, join us for service at 10:30am.
1504 VIlla Rd, Springfield, Ohio 45503 Church - 937.390.2424 Pastor - 937.305.9068