What’s Happening @ Central
|We are already halfway through February. Easter will be here before we know it (April 4th this year). While I don’t think the COVID restrictions will be gone by then, I do hope that more people will feel comfortable beginning to return to the pre-pandemic way of life in regard to church. While we have worked hard to make the online experience as good as possible, nothing will replace the fellowship that we are meant to have with one another. With that in mind, and Easter being only seven Sundays away, I want you to begin now to prepare for how you can engage with someone, connect with someone, that doesn’t know Jesus and get them to commit to either attending an in-person service on Easter or watching our service online.|
In the next couple of weeks, we will be adding another option for watching our services online. Currently, Facebook is the only platform that we live stream to on Sunday mornings. I tested streaming to YouTube yesterday and it was success, other than it had no audio feed. I will be working on fixing that issue and as soon as I get it working, we will live stream our Sunday services on both Facebook and YouTube. One thing that has become clear during the past year is that our online presence will be crucial to our future. This is one of the reasons we invested in the new equipment for our A/V system. I will continue to look for ways to engage with people online and improve our digital footprint.
Our kitchen remodeling project continues to move forward. Seeing the progress each week is exciting, and I am really looking forward to the final “reveal.” Once the project is complete, we will post some pictures online so that those who are not currently getting out can see the result. Thanks to all who have put in time and effort on this project! I want to challenge everyone to think of ways to connect and engage with our community once the COVID restrictions are lifted. I do believe that these will be a thing of the past by mid to late summer. Once these restrictions are gone, I do believe that many people will be looking for ways to reconnect with other people, and I want our church to be a good place to do so. Be creative and spend some time thinking about ways Central can be a place of connection for people, then share those ideas with me or with one of the deacons.
I can’t begin to tell you how proud I am of Central Church. We have gone through an exceedingly difficult time of transition and uncertainty. In the past year we have completely revamped our worship style, with three different “worship leaders” in the previous 12 months. We have remodeled our front entrance to provide a more welcoming experience only to have a pandemic limit our ability to welcome guests. We had a new roof put on the building, which was a huge financial burden to undertake during a pandemic. Throughout this entire year, you have remained faithful. You have weathered this year with a minimum of complaints. I am looking forward to what the Lord has in store for us this year, as the changes we have made are fully implemented and integrated into Central’s mission! I look forward to having a celebration with all of you once the pandemic restrictions are lifted and we can more freely gather in worship and fellowship.
Thought for the Day
During yesterday’s message I mentioned that I was not going to be dealing with arguments or evidence in relation to faith. I didn’t avoid those areas because of a lack of evidence, I did it to keep the message within the time constraints of our worship service. That being said, I want to address one aspect of faith in this newsletter—does God exist?
In our universe we generally see that everything has a cause. If I enter a room with a piano, and there is music coming from the piano, I can safely assume that there is a cause for the music emanating from the piano. Either someone is actually playing the piano, or there is some mechanical process that plays the piano without the need for a pianist. In either case, there is a cause for the music.
This is true for just about the entirety of the universe. Everything has a cause. So what happens if we try and make this work without God? If there is no God, then there is nothing outside of the existence we can detect with our senses. If that is true, then what is the cause for the existence of anything? If everything that exists depends on a cause, then without God everything that exists depends on nothing. I don’t know about you, but that just doesn’t make sense to me.
It seems to me that there must be something that exists outside of the cause and effect loop that began the process of causation. We understand this to be God, the one Being that is uncaused, yet also capable of causing all things to exist that do exist. If there is a God, then all of existence depends on Him.
This is how the Apostle John wrote it: John 1:3 (ESV) ~ All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. The Apostle Paul said it this way: Colossians 1:16 (ESV) ~ For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. Everything that does exist does so because God created it, caused it to exist. Not only does God cause it to exist, He even causes it to continue to exist (Colossians 1:17). I still remember sitting in a physics class in Naval Nuclear Power School. We were learning about something called binding energy. Binding energy is the energy that holds the component parts of an atom’s nucleus together. One of my classmates asked our instructor a question concerning the source of the binding energy. It was a simple question, “Where does the energy come from that keeps an atom from flying apart?” The answer from our instructor was a shrug of his shoulders and a wry smile. He stated that we really had no idea where the binding energy had its source. As I was sitting at my desk the answer seemed to pop into my head. The source of that energy is, I believe, divine. Colossians 1:17 tells me that all things hold together by God’s authority. You see, the individual components in an atom’s nucleus should not co-exist. They should fly apart. Something holds them together, or more accurately, Someone holds them together. The One Being who has no cause causes all things to exist.