We will begin meeting together in person on Sunday, June 7. As always, you can also join us remotely through the livestream or Facebook. Whether we are meeting in person or online, we are still one church - Central Together.
SUNDAY Worship Service Times: 9:15 AM 11:00 AM
CENTRAL TOGETHER May 31, 2020
Central…we are coming back together! Next Sunday, June 7, we will reopen our doors for in-person worship services and Life Groups for Adults, College and Students.
There will be 2 worship services, the first beginning at 9:15am and the second at 11:00am. The earlier start time for the first service will allow us to sanitize between services. Both worship times will be streamed online, so if you are personally not yet ready to return, you can continue to watch online.
Life Groups will also be meeting during both services, as well as some groups that will meet at 8:00am. Use the Life Group locator on our website to discover when and where your group will be meeting. Some groups may choose to continue to meet online for a little while longer, but for those who are ready to return, this modified approach will allow us to come together again.
As a reminder, our Preschool and Kids (birth-5th grade) areas will not be available at this time, but children are welcome to attend with you in the Worship Center.
Our goal is to provide our church family with a safe place to worship and fellowship, so we are encouraging all those who come to help us follow a few healthy practices:
Consider wearing a mask when you are in close proximity to others
Maintain social distancing when entering and leaving the building
Refrain from shaking hands and hugging
Use good hygiene, including washing your hands and using hand sanitizer
Please continue to worship online if you are in a high-risk health category or if you or someone in your household is experiencing symptoms of illness.
Romans 12:1-2 calls us to offer our bodies as living sacrifices. Sacrifice is the act of giving up, offering up or letting go. Offering our bodies as a spiritual act of worship may cost us changing our schedules and social distancing even though those things are inconvenient. Sacrificial worship means we are willing to do so because we love those with whom we worship more than we love our own convenience. How we worship may have to change as our church regathers, but whom we worship never will.
Thank you, Phillip Bethancourt Senior Pastor
Pastor Update 05.24.20
CENTRAL TOGETHER May 24, 2020
I am excited to tell you that we are approaching the next phase of our Central Together strategy. On Sunday, June 7, just two weeks from today, we will reopen our doors for in-person worship services and also begin regathering our Adult, College and Student Life Groups on campus.
To accommodate the guidelines for safe distancing in our Worship Center, we will transition to offering 2 morning services, the first starting 9:15am and the second at 11:00am. The earlier start time for the first service will allow us to sanitize between services. Both worship times will be livestreamed, so if you are personally not yet ready to return, you can continue to watch online at centralbcs.org/live.
Randy Wilson and his team have put together a Life Group schedule that will help to balance our numbers between the 2 services and effectively utilize our available classroom space. You can locate this schedule on the Central Together page of our website or visit centralbcs.org/lifegroups. We will also be sending it out in a mass email and social media channels tomorrow. Some groups may choose to continue to meet online for a little while longer, but for those who are ready to return, this modified approach will allow us to come together again.
We’ll continue to take precautions to create a safe experience for everyone. Our pilot test groups over these last few weeks have helped us identify and refine our plans and procedures. Our Facilities Team, led by Chuck Bestor, will be working to continuously clean and sanitize the facility throughout the morning as each area is used.
As a reminder, our Kids and Preschool areas will not be available at this time, but children are welcome to attend with you in the Worship Center. We encourage you to continue leading your kids at home using the ministry resources we are providing online. Also, we will keep you updated on the status of our summer activities as decisions are reached on them.
As we prepare for gathering again, we need to remember that circumstances may change in a way that requires us to adapt our plans or even temporarily suspend in-person gatherings again in the future. We will continue to listen to municipal, medical, and ministry experts as we chart our future plans.
The world around us is changing, but I hope that you are encouraged by the knowledge that God is on the throne and He is still in control. As we navigate this season together, I’m so grateful for you and excited to worship with you and your family soon, whether it’s on June 7 or in the near future.
Thank you, Phillip Bethancourt Senior Pastor
Pastor Update 05.17.20
CENTRAL TOGETHER May 17, 2020
Thank for being prayerful and patient as we move forward through these early stages of our Central Together strategy. We learned several things after having our first pilot group in worship last Sunday and we will continue to refine our plans after this Sunday as we celebrate with our High School graduates and their families.
These pilot groups are helping us test-drive our strategy as we: • ensure that our facility can be properly cleaned and sanitized, • configure our worship center to facilitate social distancing requirements and • secure adequate supplies of personal protective equipment for our staff, volunteers and guests rally and equip our Volunteer Team.
Our Summer Activities workgroup is also carefully evaluating all our summer ministry events to determine which ones will go forward as planned, those that can be carried out in a new way and those that will need to be postponed or cancelled.
We are excited that our Tuesday evening Hispanic Worship service will open back up for in-person worship this week, and I want to encourage everyone to watch our Wednesday Worship service online each Wednesday evening at 6:00pm. Events like these provide important connections for our Central family as we anticipate and work toward the day that we can all be back together.
Gov. Abbott is set to announce another set of reopening plans on Monday. Following his press conference, we will determine how our Central Together Strategy may be adjusted based on that information. We hope to be able to give you a date very soon that we will officially open back up for in-person worship. Once we do that, we will be able to gradually phase in additional on-campus ministry.
We are striving to make the best decisions we can at every step, but we recognize that we will make some mistakes in this process. We will find things we missed the first time and may need to reconsider previous decisions. Thank you for your patience and trust as we prudently move forward. Know that our goal is to open as soon as possible and as safe as possible. Quarantine is not permanent, so don’t lose hope and don’t give in to frustration. Keep your eyes on Jesus, continue to pray for one another and love one another as God has loved you.
Thank you, Phillip Bethancourt Senior Pastor
Pastor Update 05.09.20
CENTRAL TOGETHER May 9, 2020
Last week, we asked you to take a survey and share your thoughts with our staff as we put together a strategy to reopen Central. Over 800 people completed the survey, and it is clear that our church is anticipating the opportunity to be together again.
The survey also showed us that you are willing to be flexible. It was encouraging to see that many of you are willing to attend a worship service at a different time and even in an overflow room, if needed, to ensure that people are able to spread out. Each of our ministry areas (Worship, Life Groups, Preschool, Kids, Students, College, Special Needs) is working on specific plans that will allow us to return as soon as possible and as safe as possible.
We realize that there are many different opinions regarding this issue. Some of you are ready to come back today, and others are reluctant and feel safer waiting. I pray we can all be gracious and kind in our interactions through this time and seek to encourage one another patiently as decisions are made from hearts desiring to shepherd well the flock at Central.
Although you are ready to return, you are asking us to take sensible precautions, and we are striving to take those prudent steps. Proverbs 1:5 says, “A wise man will hear and increase in learning, and a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel.”
To test-drive our preparations over the next few Sundays, we are using some pilot groups, starting with the volunteers on our Welcome Team and Deacons this week, followed by our High School graduates and their families the following week.
We are so thankful to you all for your continued faithfulness to God during this time. Our Life Groups are continuing to meet online and our age group ministries continue to provide weekly resources for teaching and ministry. If you are not currently in a Life Group, I encourage you to connect to one today. We firmly believe that everyone needs community and there has never been a greater time to jump in. We are committed to do all we can to meet your spiritual needs, at the same time, do all we can to safely gather for worship, prayer and ministry.
Know that we are committed to doing all we can do to reopen the church as soon as possible and as safe as possible. We will continue to keep you updated on our Central Together plans in the days ahead.
Phillip Bethancourt Senior Pastor
Pastor Update 05.02.20
CENTRAL TOGETHER May 2, 2020
As you can imagine, it is complicated for a church of our size to resume normal activities. Our ministerial staff has done amazing work to assess possibilities and develop plans. We are working on a strategy toward regathering our church coming out of COVID, and we are calling this initiative “Central Together.”
Three things are going to drive our Central Together effort. We want to be biblical, incremental, and safe.
First, we want to be Biblical: Instead of rushing into this with a “business as usual” mindset, we are applying 1 Corinthians 14:40 to our present situation: “Let everything be done decently and in order.” While this verse refers specifically to the worship service, I think that the principle of orderliness in the church is applicable in every aspect of this situation.
Second, we want to be incremental: To be orderly, we are working on a plan that will reopen the church in phases, each one preparing the way for the next and building on previous ones. Our goal is to resume gathering as soon as possible but also as safe as possible. Step-by-step and middle ground answers will help us move toward this goal. As our staff solidifies the plans for these stages, we will continue to update you.
Third, we want to be safe: We will make every effort to adhere to guidelines for sanitation while ensuring we adhere to best practices for social distancing. Part of what it looks like to love your neighbor as yourself during this season is to prioritize everyone's safety.
As we put together this “Central Together” strategy, we want to hear from you. We have emailed out a survey that we would ask each adult in your home to complete. Your input will play a key role in helping to map out where we go from here.
To refine our plan and develop what works best in each area, we will soon begin using pilot groups of people to “test-drive” our facility and logistics. Test-driving our plan will ensure that we have done everything possible to be successful when we launch each phase.
I know that church online isn’t ideal. But God is still moving! God is still working! Our attendance and participation online has been unbelievable these past weeks. LifeGroups are still meeting and our various ministries are still being effective. Ministry to our community is happening, and the Lord has continued to bless us as you have been faithful in your giving.
These are challenging days, but I am trusting God that our best days are yet to come. The main thing I want you to hear from us today is that, through our Central Together effort, we are going to do everything we can to bring us back together as safe as possible as soon as possible. Until then, let's all keep pressing on.
Phillip Bethancourt Senior Pastor
Interested in finding authentic fellowship? Join a Life Group!
Beginning Sunday, June 7, as part of our Central Together phasing plan, we will offer 3 different times for Life Groups that will coincide with our 9:15am and 11:00am worship services. Life Groups will meet at 8:00am, 9:15am, and 10:30am.
In Life Groups at Central, you will build genuine connections through small group Bible study. This is where real, life-enriching relationships can form and develop. There is no need to register - just come as you are! Questions? Email: .
Need Help? If you could use some assistance, we are here to help!
Looking to get plugged in? We have a place for everyone!
Follow along with our Sunday Gospel Project lessons on our ‘Sunday at Home’ webpage which includes Bible Story videos, discussion questions, memory verses, and other activities. Also, be sure to join our Facebook and Instagram pages for the latest information on what is happening in the Kids Ministry.
Legacy Life Groups and men's Bible study are meeting via zoom. Email Jennifer Hawley for more information. Be sure to sign up for email notifications for the latest information on what's happening in the Legacy Adults Ministry.
Join our Preschool Facebook Page for the latest information on what is happening in the Preschool Ministry and fun activities for your preschoolers. You can follow along with our Sunday Little Life Group lessons at home with videos, songs and Bible verses through our Facebook page or blog.
Singles are meeting via Zoom! Join the singles Life Groups meeting on Sunday mornings or the Wednesday evening singles Bible study. Links are sent through the singles Facebook page. Email Bill Wise for more information.
Middle school and high school students are meeting on Wednesday evenings through Zoom. Zeal groups are meeting throughout the week on Zoom for groups divided by age & gender. Zoom links are sent out through email and text.
The American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC) would like to offer free tuition to members of Central who wish to enroll in a Dare 2 Care - Mental Health Coach First Responder Training program.
Easily become a Certified Mental Health Coach, and learn to help those who struggle with serious mental illness, including topics like:
Addiction Phobias Suicide Boundaries Depression
Relationships Grief and Loss Panic Disorders Communication Crisis Intervention
Trauma and Abuse Stress and Anxiety Faith and Spirituality Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) ...and more!