Updated on Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Dear Central family,
As we head into the holiday season, we want to update you about upcoming services at Central and our reopening plan. In addition to our online worship services each Sunday, this Christmas season Central will:
- Have an outdoor worship service (weather permitting) on December 6 at 11 AM; if the weather continues to allow us, we will hold a second outdoor service in December.
- Begin live Sunday morning watch parties, so that you will have the opportunity to fellowship with others as you enjoy our Sunday morning services online.
- Hold an outdoor Christmas tree lighting event on December 5 at 6:30 and 7:30 PM.
- Have an outdoor Christmas Eve caroling and candle lighting event.
Importantly, we will not have indoor worship services at Central this Christmas season.
We are not resuming indoor services at Central because of the recent surge in coronavirus cases in our area. Our outdoor worship services this fall have been a blessing to many. But with winter approaching, it will soon be too cold to worship regularly outdoors. Consequently, we began planning to resume indoor services under social distancing guidelines just after Thanksgiving. Since that planning began, however, coronavirus cases have substantively increased in our area. Local businesses and schools are facing new restrictions designed to slow the spread of the virus. Though there are no new restrictions for Central or other churches because of our freedom to worship, the events around us strongly suggest that resuming indoor worship services could increase the rate of virus transmission among attendees. And there is evidence to support this concern—several local churches that recently resumed indoor worship services have suspended them because people reported having COVID after attending their services.
In 2021, Central will restart in person worship services as soon as local coronavirus cases meaningfully decline—either naturally or with the availability of vaccinations. We understand that some of you will be disappointed with this decision because you would like to return to indoor worship services at Central sooner. We share your frustration! However, after reviewing recent data, extensive discussion and prayerful consideration, we do not believe we can keep attendees reasonably safe in an indoor worship service—even under social distancing guidelines—when the virus is spreading so rapidly.
We are hopeful that new vaccines and therapies will enable us to resume all normal activities at Central sometime in 2021. Please know that we are continually monitoring the situation and assessing the best path forward for our Central family. In the meantime, we pray for God’s protection over you and look forward to worshiping with you outdoors and online as we celebrate the birth of our Savior this season! Have a blessed Thanksgiving!
In His Service,
Central Overseeing Elder Board