Central Worship Experience

Worship at Central is a corporate expression of our three core values: extravagant welcome, continuing testament, and changing lives.  The two weekly worship services have both common elements and their individual flavor.

Communion: we practice an “open table” (no one is turned away). We receive the elements by intinction: worshippers come forward, receive a piece of bread and dip it in a common chalice of juice. A gluten-free option is available and the celebrant will bring the elements to those in the pews who need it brought to them. We celebrate Communion every week at the 8:30 Service and the first Sunday of the month at the 11:00 Service.

Preaching: we believe that God has yet more Truth and Light to break forth from God’s Holy Word; as such, we strive in our liturgy and preaching to find an integration of heart and mind. Most of the members at Central take the Bible “seriously, but not literally,” even as we wrestle with the wisdom literature and seek to put our faith into action.

Sanctuary: the entire campus, especially the sanctuary, nourishes the soul of many who come to Central. Through the magnificent clear-glass windows we look out in the forest and watch the cycle of the seasons. Indeed, the space is a “sanctuary” to look “outward” and “inward,” to celebrate awe and mystery, and to prayerfully consider faith-in-action in the world.

Nursery and Childcare: Childcare is available for infants to 6 year old children during 8:30 AM worship in Rooms 201 and 202. From 9:30 to 11:00 AM, childcare for infants to 2nd graders continues in Rooms 201 and 202; while 3rd to 5th graders and youth have their activities. During the 11:00 AM worship, the 3 & 4 year olds and K to 2nd Graders will have Sunday school in the CE Wing.

8:30 Meditative Service with Communion

In the “early service,” the rhythm of the seasons is even more dramatic in the changes in the sunlight illuminating the sanctuary. Sometimes the light is bright, even blinding for a few moments; sometimes is casts shadows. Its patterns can reflect our own spiritual journeys. 

Each act of the liturgy has its own “breathing” space. We do not “rush” from one element to the next and we are often invited to “breath” something in a little deeper. Silence is widely used and appreciated in this service. The pastoral prayer has space for individual silence/prayer/meditation and includes common, corporate prayer. Before we pray, we share “parish concerns” from the pulpit and pew. Following the sharing, we keep silence for a few moments and then pray in union for the “bold type names” in the parish concerns. Usually there is an addition time of silence to “pray for those for whom no one prays” and then we pray our common prayer (Prayer of our Savior) in union.

Music at this service is supported on our Steinway piano and on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month by guitars and other instruments (frequently including a large, crystal singing bowl).

11:00 Worship Service (Communion on the first Sunday)

The most significant element that distinguishes the 11:00 Service from “the early” service is the musical leadership.  At this service, the Sanctuary Choir provides several choral offerings and the hymns are supported by a Schantz pipe organ.

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