The Christian life is meant to be shared together, and Central offers an open and inclusive community where all are welcome. Many people comment on the sense of warmth and hospitality they experience here. Our congregation is large enough to offer many different programs and activities, yet still foster an environment where everyone is known and where close, intergenerational relationships can be formed.
Every Sunday, worship is followed by a time of sharing food and conversation in the East Parlor. Hosted each week by volunteers from the congregation, it provides a great chance to connect with each other. Central serves fairly-traded coffee from Don Justo Coffee with Dignity.
Throughout the year, we offer a number of different opportunities for fun and fellowship. These include an inter-generational LOGOS dinner each Wednesday at 6:30 p.m., a winter Chili Chow Down, an annual church worship and picnic in Greenwood Park, and our summer “Party on the Patio” series. You can also ride monthly with our Pedalin’ Presbyterians around the metro bike trails. Each year, we organize an outing to a Drake basketball or I-Cubs baseball game for members and friends, as well as dining opportunities and various gatherings in members’ homes.
If you’re looking for community, there are lots of different groups at Central you can join: knitting group, parents group, Bible study, choirs, committees. And we have a wonderful team of volunteers called Central CREW, who help to organize all our fellowship activities. Let us know your interests, and we’ll help you to connect.
- Knitting into the Mystery – The Board of Deacons sponsors this ministry group which meets twice each month for fellowship and to knit prayer shawls, dish clothes and other pocket projects. If you can knit or crochet, or would love to learn how, this is the group for you! Prayers for peace and comfort are knitted directly into the fabric by each knitter. Knitting directions and a materials list are provided by the church. For more information about this ministry, please contact Sandy Dahl at 515-981-5410. The group meets every other Wednesday, from 6:30–8:00 p.m., in the 39th Street Lobby.
- Bible Study – Central Presbyterian has multiple study groups that are open to all who want to discuss specific Bible topics, in a focused and open atmosphere. We encourage you to come to any of our discussions that are on-going, insightful, historical and personal.
Wednesday Morning Bible Study:
Starting Wednesday, Sept. 12 , 2018, we’ll meet from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. in Room 112 at Central. Facilitated by Sue Heggen, the group will study the 2018—19 Presbyterian Women Horizons Bible study, God’s Promise: I Am with You, written by Amy Poling Sutherlun. It traces God’s recurring promise of presence from Genesis through the Gospels—from the beginning to the end of the age. Throughout this study, participants will reflect on how the promise of God’s presence speaks beyond the pages of the Bible, to their own circumstances. Individually and as a community, they will be encouraged to both see and seek God’s presence with us in the extraordinary and the ordinary experiences of our lives. If you have any questions, please contact the office by email or at 515-279-3658.
Sunday Morning Adult Education:
A Christian response to incarceration and reentry Statistics are astounding – the crime rate is now lower than it’s been in 30 years, but our prisons are more overcrowded than ever. More than half of all jail and prison inmates have a mental health problem, 70% are functionally illiterate, and roughly 35% were under the influence of drugs or alcohol when they committed their crimes. Many were also victims of homelessness, sexual assault or poverty. But when they complete their prison or jail time, what are their chances of success outside the walls? Our January adult education series will reflect critically on this country’s practice of incarceration and ask whether there are better ways to seek justice for offenders and offer support for their reentry.
Jan. 6 – 9:00 a.m. in Room 201 – Prison Nation, Part 1 – Is there a problem with incarceration?
Jan. 13 – 9:00 a.m. in Room 201 – Prison Nation, Part 2 – What is our Christian response?
Jan. 20 – 9:00 a.m. in Room 201 – Women at the Well – one Christian response, The Rev. Lee Roorda Schott lectures on incarceration issues and the Women at the Well ministry, a United Methodist congregation, located within the walls of the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women in Mitchellville.
10:15 a.m. The Rev. Lee Roorda Schott will be our guest preacher.
1:00–4:30 p.m. Join Women at the Well for an afternoon of additional learning around issues of justice and incarceration. We’ll gather in Fellowship Hall and then break into two groups:
1. Reentry Team Training, led by Pastor Paul Witmer, Minister of Reentry and Congregational Care. This training will prepare participants to work as part of a team with women coming out of prison, accompanying them during that first year.
2. Workshop Welcoming Home: How the Church Makes Room for Those Affected by Incarceration, led by Pastor Lee Roorda Schott. We’ll consider how the church can become a supportive community for those who themselves or in their families are dealing with incarceration. Will we make room for this kind of diversity? What will that call from us? How will it enrich us?
This afternoon workshop is open to anyone who is interested and we’ll meet in Fellowship Hall. For more information on Women at the Well, visit www.womenatthewellumc.org.
- Prayer Chain – Participants receive a weekly email with concerns from our congregation and visitors and a list of who to pray for during the upcoming week. If you would like to pray for others, or have prayers said on your behalf, contact the church office at 515-279-3658.
- Committees & Boards – At Central we offer an opportunity to help govern our congregation while meeting new friends and “rolling up our sleeves” for the church. Committees and boards are responsible for specific tasks and some are more time intensive than others. All are welcome to serve on any committee, but chairs must be ordained into service as an elder or deacon. Creating more and deeper friendships while having fun are often a part of doing God’s work for Central Presbyterian, or for our community and world through our congregation’s mission work. Below is a list of some of Central’s committees. For a short explanation of each, click to view Brief Committee Descriptions & Chairpersons 2018–19.
- Building & Grounds
- Business & Finance
- Christian Education
- Human Resources
- World & Community Concerns
For more information, contact the church office at 515-279-3658 or email.