March 7, 2021

Central family,

Believe it or not, it was one year ago this coming Sunday that was our last time to gather together as a church before we had to shut down operations over concerns about COVID. It’s amazing what’s happened over the course of this past year. As you know, our governor has made a significant announcement that changes the landscape of expectations around our state. As you’ve probably seen by now, he is eliminating the state-wide mask mandate. He’s also enabling businesses and organizations to open up to 100% capacity. I’m sure if you’re anything like me, one of the questions you’re wondering is: What does that mean for us as a church at Central?

Here’s what I want you to know. The moment we heard about that decision, our staff immediately convened a meeting together. We’ve been in ongoing conversations amongst ourselves as well as checking in with partners in churches around the country and right here in the Brazos Valley. We’re hard at work trying to figure out the best way to keep our posture of creating an environment that’s safe for us to worship Jesus. So far our policy when it comes to masks has been that we’ve expected masks when we can’t be socially distanced. Y’all have done an amazing job of being accommodating to that while respecting people who might see things a little bit differently. We want to have that same posture towards one another regardless of what happens with the mask policy in the days ahead.

But as we map that out, we’re going to continue to communicate with you about what we’ll do in that regard as well as in terms of our capacity, especially in our worship service. As you probably have noticed in the past few weeks, we’ve continued to grow the number of people in our Sunday morning worship service. With every other row marked off, that’s created more and more tightness in the spacing. We’re actively evaluating other things like that. So our plan is that coming into this Sunday, because the mandate is not in operation until March 10, there will be no change for this Sunday service. But what we will do is look towards those Sundays ahead and the lead up to Easter to try to make the best decisions we can for our church in the days ahead.

Now speaking of Easter, I want you to be aware that we’re just a few weeks away. As a matter of fact, once we finish Colossians 2:15 this Sunday, we’re going to kick off a four-week Easter series leading up to Easter. We’re going to spend our time looking at Old Testament passages that point ahead to the coming of Christ. Once we arrive on Easter Sunday, we will have no Life Groups, but instead will offer two services at 9:30am and 11:00am. I don’t know about you, but I always look forward to the Easter season because it helps us fix our eyes on what matters most in the death and resurrection of Christ.

We look forward to worshipping with you soon.

In Christ,
Phillip Bethancourt
Lead Pastor