On August 7, 2017, Anthony DeSalle passed into the Church Triumphant.
A tireless worker and active member of Central Church for 51 years, Tony also served as Chaplin at the Medical Center in Beaver as well as at the Beaver Valley Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Chippewa.
Over his many years at Central, Tony held virtually every office, including serving as our Chairman of the Stewardship and Finance Committee, as a Certified Lay Speaker, and as Lay Leader of Central Church in his final years. He also was a faithful member of our Church Choir over several decades.
In an era in which the Church is often viewed as just another community commodity, with people coming and going on slight breezes of whim, Tony provided a solid and continuous example of what it really means to be a faithful follower of Christ. We will all missing his good humor and endless willingness to engage in the work of God’s Kingdom.
All of the funeral arrangements will be at Central Church on Friday, August 11, 2017.
Family Viewing will be from 12 Noon – 1 pm in Central’s Parlor.
General Viewing will follow, from 1-6 pm, also in the Parlor.
The funeral worship service, planned by Tony himself in 1999, will be held in the Sanctuary at 6 pm.
Following the funeral service, a funeral luncheon will be served downstairs in the Fellowship Hall. (A private interment will be subsequently conducted at Sylvania Hills.)
In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made in memory of Tony to the Memorial Fund of Central Church.
Please remember his daughter, Debbie, and the rest of his family in prayer as they move through this difficult time.
Our July 30 altar flowers are given to the glory of God and in memory of one of our oldest members, James C. Balmer, who entered the Church Triumphant on Saturday, July 22, 2017.
Jim was a member of Central Church for 49 years, and previously served as Church Treasurer, President of the Board of Trustees, and member of the Administrative Council.
Jim is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Ruth & Douglas Aley, and two grandchildren, Dexter (Lindsay) Aley and Amber Aley, all members of Central Church.
In addition, Jim is survived by two brothers, Richard (Diedre) Balmer and Matthew (Mary) Balmer, all of Beaver Falls; his sister-in-law, Janice Balmer, of Darlington, PA.; several nieces, nephews, and cousins; and his second wife, Arlene (Grguras) Balmer, and her daughter and granddaughter, Lori & Sabrina Ross, of Sigel, PA.
If desired, contributions can be made in James’ name to the Central United Methodist Church, PO Box 311, Beaver Falls PA 15010.
Instead of having its regular Sunday worship service, Central Church will join with other area Churches for a Community Pentecost Service in the LGI at the Beaver Falls High School at 10:30 am on Sunday, June 4.
With the help of 72 men from our Saturday AA group, we started the process of tear-down to refinish the floors at 9 pm Saturday after their meeting since we now need to get such projects completed before people arrive for our free community lunch around 10 am on Tuesday.
After the Fellowship Hall was cleared, the floor was scrubbed twice late Saturday night and prepared to receive the new finish. Six thin coats of finish were applied starting Sunday evening and ending this evening. Six coats were necessary to get a balanced, uniform look to the shine. The 6 coats also mean that we should be able to snap the finish back at least a few times with our burnisher when the shine fades with use.
After the final coat cured, we carried the tables and chairs back into the Fellowship Hall tonight and got everything set up so our Soup Tuesday crew can start as early as they like tomorrow morning.
Many thanks to our dedicated Trustees for providing us with a brilliant, shining floor for Easter this weekend!
Here are the “Before” and “after” pictures so you can gauge the improvement for yourselves!
Central Church has a vibrant spiritual life that includes a robust missional feeding ministry to anyone in our community who comes through our doors. Every Tuesday, we provide a free lunch, and every Friday, we have a free community dinner. Several Saturdays each month also feature a free breakfast.
In addition, Central Church hosts weekly meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous on Friday and Saturday evenings. Add in our Sunday School and Worship offerings on Sunday, and you can see that our routine calendar is very full, even before adding in special events and programming.
The success of our community outreach programming is a blessing to both our volunteers and community participants, but the associated wear and tear and jam-packed calendar creates some stress in other areas, such as routine and periodic maintenance.
In particular, all of the groups using our Fellowship Hall throughout the week make it difficult to fit in our routine maintenance of the floor, and the periodic stripping, resealing, and refinishing of our old floor tiles presents real problems with finding an uninterrupted block of time to tear down and carry out all of the tables and chairs, scrub and strip the floor, reseal, refinish, and cure the new finish, and carry back and arrange all of those tables and chairs. Add in the shortage of youthful backs and getting the job done in the tiny available time blocks is almost impossible.
Central Church’s AA program has blossomed in recent years, from a small group of 20 men to weekly meetings of 80 men and women. Despite their size, this group has managed to retain the warmth and fellowship of a much smaller group, and the folks attending are always willing to lend a hand to a friend in need.
When we made the decision to refinish the Fellowship Hall and hallway floors in this final week before Easter, we mentioned our plans to the group and asked if they would be willing to help by folding up their chairs after their Saturday evening meeting to help us get a jump on getting all of the work done before our community luncheon on Tuesday.
Instead, all 72 men attending on Saturday night meeting stayed after their meeting and completely cleared out the Fellowship Hall and hallway in 17 minutes flat! Even at top speed, our volunteers would have needed hours to achieve a similar feat.
Getting that huge task out of the way enabled our dedicated floor crew to get a big jump on the process of scrubbing and stripping in advance of the refinishing yet to come.
Our thanks go out to our AA friends for all of their help. What a blessing to have such a dedicated group meeting in our Fellowship Hall every week!
Stay tuned for further updates as the work continues!
Brent Vernon is a Christian South Florida-based singer, songwriter, ventriloquist, children’s author & illustrator. songwriter and performer, who will be performing at Central Church at 7 pm on Friday, March 17.
You are invited to join with the folks of Central Church during the upcoming Lenten season in a short daily devotional authored by our own Pastor Jan.
Beginning on Ash Wednesday, March 1, 2017 and running through Easter Monday, on April 17, our “Food for Thought” page will feature daily Scripture readings and a brief meditation to help align you to Lent and the coming Easter.
Please join us as we embark on this journey of Lenten reflection!
It would be really helpful if you would “like” it and then share it to your own timeline.
Soon, the inspiring images you share will show up in the newsfeeds of your Facebook friends. Not only will your Facebook friends see our Church name, they can like, share or leave a comment on the image, giving us the opportunity to reach those that are hurting, those that need uplifting and those that do not yet know Jesus.
As you share the post, please take a moment to pray for those who will see it. Pray that they will be encouraged and challenged, and that God will use these simple posts to draw others closer to Him. This is a great way to be actively engaged in praying for our friends who do not yet know Jesus.
Share our inspiring daily posts every day or as often as you can to help us reach those individuals and to help us introduce our Church to them!
On Sunday, February 12, at 10 am, we will get a jump start on Lent by beginning our new “6-week” study of Adam Hamilton’s just-published examination of the Apostles’ Creed.
We’re used to answers popping up on a screen right in front of us. But when the questions examine the truths that give meaning and purpose to life, finding the answers takes more than simply typing a few words and pushing a button.
Adam Hamilton believes that powerful answers to many of our complicated questions are contained in the Apostles’ Creed, an early statement of foundational Christian beliefs.
In Creed, he explores not only what Christians believe, but also why they believe, and why it matters, which in turn leads readers to confront and examine their own core beliefs and go beyond reciting the Creed’s familiar words.
The Holy Spirit
The Church and the Communion of Saints
The Forgiveness of Sins
The Resurrection of the Body
Join us starting Sunday, February 12 at 10 am as we look into one of the foundational creeds of the Christian Church!
I have come to believe that from the moment of conception, we are being formed with an adventure in mind. We were created to touch, taste, smell, see, and hear life. Our Creator has big plans for us. No settling for mediocrity. Rather, we have a high calling etched into our bones and written on our hearts.
God wants to engage us from first squall to last drawn breath and deliver us into a life he has dreamed for us. Whether our earliest memories are sailing the high seas in a steamship or walking in a kindergarten class by ourselves for the first time, the exploration of the world within us and around us is a drumbeat. And the beat goes on.
We were made to explore. For some of us that exploration is more outward than inward, like Admiral [Robert] Peary going to the North Pole. For others it is more inward than outward, like [Blaise] Pascal and his thoughts or Thomas Merton’s contemplations. Whichever it is, we were made for curiosity and more. That design drives us. It shapes our thinking and our dreams. It forms expectations of what life should be and lays the foundation of who we will become. It shapes our destiny.
Prayer for the Week: Dear God, whether my adventure is in a 9-5 office, on a foreign mission field, or someplace else, may I live in a way that draws others to you and to the adventure you’ve prepared for them.
So, should we have services on Christmas Day, or should we cancel?
Is it happening again already? It seems like we just had this conversation…
The first time I heard about a church canceling a Sunday, ANY Sunday, for a reason other than dire emergencies, was early December 2005. This girl I was dating at the time told me that her family’s church, the squarely cool North Point Conglomerate Church in the Atlanta area, was canceling their services on Christmas Day.
Naturally, we broke up on Christmas Eve.
Thanks be to God, I eventually married a Methodist. The good kind, with plenty of good liturgical sense.
These days, I’m hearing about taking this annual snow day more and more, especially on these occasions when the 25th just happens to fall on a Sunday. You’ve heard the supporters, some of them even here on Patheos Evangelical, talk about how great it is that they’re not bound by this stuffy, rote, religious-not-relationship liturgical custom and are free to give back to their volunteers and their families by not putting them through the whole Jesus thing again on Christmas, which, again, falls on a Sunday.
Here is what some of these churches are saying about their benevolent decision to not worship together on one of the church’s traditional sacred days:
North Point Community Church; Alpharetta, GA
Please join us for our Christmas services on December 23 and 24, 2016. We will be back in 2017 on Sunday, January 8, with a brand new series with Andy Stanley.
[Yes, this big box is taking 2 weeks off! But don’t worry! Senior Motivational Speaker Andy “Big ol’ Church” Stanley will be back later on in January to help you with your anger problem and save you marriages!]
Antioch Community Church; Waco, TX No Service Christmas Day! We will not have Christmas services on December 25th. We hope you have a Merry Christmas and a wonderful time with your family.
[Baylor friends: Let me know if you see someone out with the cross on castors during this time! A picture would be great!]
The Door Church; Coppell, TX Christmas Day: No Sunday Service
We will not have services on Sunday morning December 25th. Please enjoy the time of celebration with your family and friends.
Radiant Church; Newport, OR
No Service on Christmas Day. You’re invited to join us online at radiantchurchnewport.churchonline.org for a very special Christmas Day message for the whole family. So grab your hot chocolate and connect online as every hour on the hour we’ll be sharing a message about the “Greatest Gift of All.”
[Well, that was certainly unexpected. A gathering where nobody gathers.]
Conduit Church; Franklin, TN It truly is hard to believe that the month of December is here and that the Christmas season is upon us. This year has simply flown by, seemingly faster every year. It feels as if it was only a few weeks ago we were celebrating the resurrection on Easter Sunday! And now here we are in a season where we’re feeling the anticipation and excitement of Christmas morning. Oddly enough, this year Christmas day falls on Sunday, December 25th. Therefore, there will be no formal gathering that day, as you spend time with family and friends.
River Pointe Church; Missouri City, TX
[Live Chat Operator]: Hi! So our service times are: Fri Dec. 23- 4, 5:30, 7/ Sat. 2,3;30, 5, 6:30, 8 & 11. There will not be service on the 25th.
[Their website advertised numerous Christmas Eve services, but no official word on Christmas Day. Through their live chat feature, I was able to find out that there will be no services on December 25 and January 1.]
Some of the homes of Christian entertainment culture’s biggest stars are meeting on the 25th, some aren’t. I looks like at least some Saddleback campuses are meeting. Willow Creek Chicago has a Sunday service, other locations don’t. My biggest surprise? Lakewood Church in Houston will have a full slate of Sunday gatherings with Joel “I Praise God By Not Eating Pork” Osteen at the helm. All 735 NewSpring locations will apparently worship together every day but the actual day itself. Bishop Ed Young is proud to report that Second Baptist Houston will be open for business on the 25th. Life.Church.will.not.gather.together.but.you.can.watch.online.at.your.convenience.
So, hold the phone, we’re not going to let worship get in the way of celebrating Jesus’ birthday.
Friends, I’m going to say this as kindly, as gently, and as astutely as I can, theologically speaking:
This. Is. Bullcrap.
[FYI: If you read that last line correctly, it would have sounded a lot like Johnny Gilbert saying “This… is… Jeopardy!”]
Allow me to share a few reasons for calling out this nonsense:
It’s Sunday. The whole “church” thing happens on Sundays.
It’s CHRISTMAS, for God’s sake. That whole thing about the Word becoming flesh and dwelling among us? Yeah, that’s what this whole Christmas is all about. For me personally, I think those are more than enough reason to take an hour or so off from celebrating the indulgent, gluttonous, sentimental, Hallmark reasons for the season and get your happy butts to church. But in case you aren’t quite convinced, read on.
Canceling Christmas services turns Christmas into a civil observance instead of a sacred day. I do love many things about this time of year. The weather, hitting the mall late into the evening, holiday parties, watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (“Where’s the Tylenol?”). But, as fun and exciting as these things can be, the discipline of the church year helps us realize that these things are merely periphery. Our lives are divided up into semesters, work schedules, electric bills, tax deadlines. Intentionally choosing a gospel-centered organization system helps us to maintain our first allegiance to Christ and his kingdom.Want to keep Christ in Christmas? Stop worry being the “Happy Holidays” police or petitioning to keep the nativity scene on City Hall lawn. We serve a higher throne that calls us to rise above that noise.
Even if it’s a low-attendance Sunday (shouldn’t be, but often it is), people will come. They will bring their families and out-of-town guests. Is worship only worth it if we get lots of butts in the seats? I would hope we haven’t sunk that low, but apparently, some of us have.
It unites us with the holy catholic church, past, present, and future. Christ wasn’t crucified during the Clinton administration, and we don’t do the Christian life in a vacuum. We are part of a long faith tradition, one that wouldn’t have canceled Christmas for anything in the world until, oh, the rise of the megachurch.
It’s theologically negligent (also practically unnecessary…maybe stupid) to deny your people the Word and Sacrament. Of course, most of the megachurches and aspiring megachurches don’t believe in all the sacrament stuff, anyway, but still. If what you have to offer is so important that it constitutes the life blood of those who claim Christ’s holy name, why would you take a week off? Oh, right, family. And volunteers.
The suggestion that cancelling church on ANY Sunday, particularly on Christmas, is a pro-family idea just doesn’t make sense. Is the church a drain on families in general? Really?!? On a Sunday when virtually everyone is off work for a day, and often longer? I would hope that our official position would be different; that corporate worship is vitally important, that the gifts God has to offer would grow, refresh, and strengthen us as individuals and as families. Certainly, don’t guilt anyone for not coming to your church, but don’t delude yourself into thinking giving families one more hour of toys and calories is going to strengthen them more than God’s gifts. And, oh yeah, again, Christmas is about Jesus, not family.
If your volunteers are so over-taxed that you have to give them all a Sunday off, perhaps you need to scale back your ministries in other areas during the rest of the year. Christmas Sunday shouldn’t be the first thing to get the ax. Cancel all your other regular Sunday opportunities. Cancel Sunday School. Cancel breakfast. Cancel yoga. Cancel Bible study. Cancel life groups. But please don’t cancel worship.
So, church, for the love, keep Christ in Christmas.
Central Church’s pastor, Rev. Jan Davis, was involved in a serious automobile accident while returning from visiting members of Central Church who were receiving physical therapy services in a local rehabilitation facility on Thanksgiving morning.
Following several surgeries and procedures, Pastor Jan is herself currently receiving rehabilitative services, and is anticipated to return to active ministry at Central Church sometime in January. However, a rotating cast of visiting pastors and lay speakers have enabled Central to maintain its regular worship schedule, and support for daily ministerial needs during Pastor Jan’s absence is kindly being provided by the pastor of one of our local sister Churches. (If you have a ministerial need, please contact the Church Office at (724) 846-3474.)
Central Church’s Christmas Eve worship service will begin at 6:30 pm on Saturday, December 24, and our Christmas Day worship service will begin at 11:00 am on Sunday, December 25, 2016.
We thank God for the opportunity to provide free warm and nutritious food for body and soul to many people in the City of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, as we work to cultivate a season of peace and joy for the people God has placed in our lives.
“Come to me all you who are weak and burdened and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28
The county’s median salary of is 10 percent less than statewide, and 1 in 5 children in the county live in poverty. Statewide, the county is in the middle of the pack, ranking 29th in median income and 32nd in poverty rate.
“It’s tough in Beaver County,” said Mike Rubino, executive director of the United Way of Beaver County. “It’s something to think about — just one of our supported programs, the Salvation Army, is feeding 4,000 people each month through food banks.”
According to the federal poverty guidelines, a family of four lives in poverty if their household income is lower than $24,250.
The new data comes from the census bureau’s Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates program, which uses information from the American Community Survey, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, federal tax records and other federal data collection programs. It is used to determine how much money school districts will receive through the federal Title I program.
According to a release from the census bureau, the majority of counties — more than 84 percent nationwide — did not see a statistically significant change in median income between 2014 and 2015. Even fewer counties saw a significant change in poverty rates.
Central Church provided over 10,000 free, nutritious meals to our community in 2013. In 2014, that number increased to 11,500, and the numbers of the hungry coming to us continue to increase as we reach the end of 2016, all through the generosity of many small givers and an active congregation of less than 25 dedicated souls.
Please click on the “Donate” button in the right column of this page if you would like to support this critically-needed outreach ministry.
Every meal that we serve is hot, nutritious, and wholesome. A warm welcome and a promise from God go a long way to lift a heavy heart. When someone knows how much God cares, they don’t feel lonely and powerless anymore.
Please join us to care for those in hard times. Your gifts meet desperate needs for food, and you pave the way for hurting people to be blessed.
This is our prayer for everyone who walks through our door – providing hope for new life.
United Methodists are being asked to name their favorite and least favorite hymns as part of the initial research conducted by Discipleship Ministries and a diverse committee to revise The United Methodist Hymnal after almost three decades.
The first of several online surveys is under way to support the development of the new hymnal, which will be a hybrid print/electronic resource for use in multiple contexts.
“We are a singing church, and this survey will help us launch an important new hymnal for our denomination,” said the Rev. Junius B. Dotson, General Secretary (CEO) of Discipleship Ministries, which shares responsibility for the denomination’s hymnal with The United Methodist Publishing House.
The initial survey will be followed by other general surveys about hymn and worship resource preferences and use and about worship styles and perspectives on congregational music, said Naomi Hope Annandale, director of research and strategic evaluation at Discipleship Ministries, who is directing the hymnal research.
It’s officially Christmastime and everyone’s schedule is filling up with shopping, decorating and visiting.
While you’re making your holiday plans, why not take a break from the hectic shopping season and take a moment or two to reflect on the true nature and reason for our Christmas season.
Central Church would like to invite you to a special Christmas concert on Saturday evening, December 17.
Central Church is hosting a special concert of Diane’s Joysong Christmas on Saturday, December 17 at 7:00 p.m. The concert is free and open to the public.
After growing up in a pastor’s home, Diane hit the night club circuit traveling around the country. She is a master of stagecraft, an actor at heart, who understands the connection of lyric and music.
More than a singer, Diane is a thoroughly engaging performer who is thoroughly engaged. Her joy attests to her passion for the Lord and her personal connection to Him while embracing everyone in the audience.
The concert will begin at 7 pm and will be between 45 & 50 minutes – a perfect, refreshing break from the hustle and bustle of the season, especially for those who are active in the work and ministry of our local Churches.
The public is invited to attend the concert. There is no admission charge, but a free-will offering will be received.
Please share this opportunity with your friends, and join us on December 17!
11Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness
14So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. 15Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.
17Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position. 18But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen. – 2 Peter 3:11-18
So as the prophets of old and those to whom they ministered looked for the coming Jesus (the Messiah), so we God‘s people look for His second coming…the second great advent. Christians look for a new heaven and a new earth, in which a great deal more of the wisdom, power and goodness of God and Savior Jesus will be manifested.
In these new heavens and earth we shall be freed from the futility of our former life and the sin with which it was polluted. Now only righteousness shall dwell; this is to be the habitation of such righteous persons as do righteousness, and are free from the power and pollution of sin; all the wicked shall be turned into hell; those only who are clothed with a righteousness of Christ, and sanctified by the Holy Spirit will be admitted to dwell in this holy place.
What is the basis for this thought? First of all, if we look for anything which God has not promised, we presume upon Him. Second, if our expectations are according to the promise, both as to the things we look for and the time that they will occur, we will not be disappointed. Scripture says, ―He is faithful who has promised it all.‖ “See therefore that you elevate and are in command of your expectations of all the great things that are to come according to the word of God.
As to the new heaven and new earth, look for them, praising God for this new advent. The second coming of Jesus sees him clothed in white robes of righteousness in place of swaddling clothes!! He is alive! Expect to see Him any time. …what kind of people ought you to be?
As we move into the second week of Advent, our elves at Central Church have been busy decorating the Parlor with Christmas trees to match the theme of our current short-term Sunday School study, “The Redemption of Scrooge”, based upon Charles Dickens’ classic novel “A Christmas Carol”.
“A Christmas Carol” is a story of brokenness and redemption. The beginning is dark – the book opens with, “Marley was dead.” Scrooge begins the story as an unrepentant miser whose greed has caused harm to himself and others, and ends with him a changed – a redeemed – man.
“The Tree of Christmas Past”
Just as Christ brings light and hope to a world in darkness, the events of A Christmas Carol shine light into the darkness surrounding Scrooge’s life, ultimately leading him to embrace the peace, hope, love, and joy that we associate with Christmas.
Our study is looking at the four main parts of A Christmas Carol the opening and visit of Marley’s ghost, the visit of the Ghost of Christmas Past, the visit of the Christ of Christmas Present, and the visit of the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come.
“The Tree of Christmas Present”
In our study, we are exploring how we can draw from the past, present and future, important truths about brokenness and redemption and the Advent themes of peace, hope, love, and joy.
Take a moment when you’re at the Church to examine the three Christmas trees in our Parlor: the Tree of Christmas Past, the Tree of Christmas Present, and the Tree of Christmas Yet to Come.
“The Tree of Christmas Yet to Come”
As we walk with Christ, we discover the divine all around us, and, in turn, the world invites us into a deeper picture of its Creator.
Join us this Advent as we continue our exploration of A Christmas Carol and discover how God is working in and through us and in the world around us to tell God’s great story of redemption!
Starting Sunday, November 27, 2016 and running through Saturday, December 31, our daily “Food for Thought” selections will be taken from the 2016 Advent Devotional by Central Church’s own Pastor Jan Davis.
Please plan to check back each day and share with us in the daily reading as we prepare our hearts and minds for the miraculous gift of Christmas.
In preparation for the first daily devotional tomorrow as Advent begins, here is a short introduction from Pastor Jan:
What Are You Hoping For This Christmas?
Each year when Christmas approached, I made a list of what I was hoping to receive. I remember the hope I felt as I awoke on Christmas morning and looked expectantly under the tree. Do you still remember the intensity of that feeling?
The years have now passed and my list has certainly changed. Now what I am hoping for cannot be bought or wrapped and placed under a Christmas tree – but I continue to hope. I wonder, what are you hoping to receive this Christmas.
It is my prayer that this Advent booklet, which contains a number of devotions, will guide you throughout the Word of God to the only source of Hope I am aware of:
God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
May God truly give you the desires of your heart this year!
Maybe it’s a tree decorated with ornaments, or oversized socks hanging from the mantle? Maybe you’ve recently come from Bible study, so you picture a child wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger?
One of the first things that comes to many minds when thinking about Christmas is the carols. Interestingly, few of these songs are new. Many of the most popular songs of the season are about 200 years old or older! There’s something about Christmas carols that transcends generational divides and connects us all.
Charles Dickens’ class story A Christmas Carol was originally titled A Christmas Carol in Prose, Being a Ghost Story of Christmas – a curious title to say the least. A Christmas Carol is a timeless story, not only because we hear about Scrooge’s past, present, and future, but because generations have told and retold this story. Everyone knows what it means to be called a Scrooge, and poor little Tiny Tim still has the ability to pull on our heartstrings. For over a hundred years now, A Christmas Carol has been a part of our pop culture.
Sometimes it’s easy to see God in the midst of culture – in the stories of Scripture and in reverent hymns. But other times the divine is more veiled – hidden in a novel, concealed in classic rock, obscured by an impressionist’s palate.
This Sunday at 10 am and continuing through December 20, Central Church will explore Dickens’ A Christmas Carol as part of this year’s short-term Advent study as a way to examine questions and issues of the Christian faith. Our hope and prayer is that the study will open our eyes to the spiritual truths that exist all around us in books, movies, music, and television.
As we walk with Christ, we discover the divine all around us, and, in turn, the world invites us into a deeper picture of its Creator. Through this lens of God’s redemption story, we are invited to look at culture in a new and inviting way. We are invited to dive into the realms of literature, art, and entertainment to explore and discover how God is working in and through us and in the world around us to tell His great story of redemption. And if Scrooge can be redeemed, then so can we!
Please join us at 10 am at Central Church over the next five Sundays as we seek to take a look at the Christmas season through fresh eyes!
Calling all volunteers! Wednesday night, November 9, is our first night to make Apple Dumplings at Central Church.
We’ll be starting at 6 pm, so come on down to the Church and join in the fun.
Our Apple Dumplings will be available for purchase at Noon on Thursday – just $3 for baked, unbaked, or frozen. To order, leave a message at the Church at (724) 846-3474, then come to the Church to pick them up on Thursday at Noon.
If you miss this week, you have one more chance next Wednesday and Thursday.
Don’t miss out on this opportunity to have a blast making our Apple Dumplings on Wednesday night and/or feasting on them on Thursday!
Orders are now being accepted for Central Church’s delicious Apple Dumplings that will be baked each Thursday morning for pick-up at the Church on 6th Avenue and 13th Street between 1:00 and 2:00 p.m. on:
Our band of hard-working Trustees has finished assembling and installing a new storage shed in our new fenced-in area on the Church’s front lawn.
Our new shed is intended to store supplies and materials (such as a snow shovel, bags of salt, buckets) for use by folks from the community who are not affiliated with Central Church who are hired to help with shoveling snow or cutting the grass.
The shed can accept a padlock, so we can secure the supplies and give a padlock key (instead of a key to the entire Church) to non-member workers and still protect the supplies stored in the shed from any acquisitive passers-by.
The shed fits sideways at the top of the fenced-in area next to the Church and can be accessed from the side gate to the enclosure while still leaving enough room for others to enter the enclosure from the side gate or the front gate.
The Trustees specifically selected a shed with a restricted height so it would not be visible from outside the fence or from the side with our neighbor’s hedge, and they mounted a new LED floodlight in the enclosure at the perfect height so the light would flood the entire enclosure over the shed without shining over the fence or the hedge.
The shed has a retractable roof that slides back half its length, as well as two doors on its front face to enable access to all of the shed’s contents without stooping or crawling.
Our thanks to our dedicated trustees for their continuing work to both maintain and improve our Church building and grounds!
Central Church’s 2016 Charge Conference will be held on Thursday, September 29, 2016 at 7 pm.
Following the retirement of Pastor Cleary on June 30, and effective with the bishop’s appointment of Pastor Jan Davis to Central Church on July 1, Central changed from being part of a 4-Church Joint Charge to returning to a single-Church charge for the first time in 20 years.
Our Charge Conference this year will be in the form of a mini-cluster Charge Conference with Bennett’s Run UMC to be held at Bennett’s Run Church.
Prior to the Charge Conference, Rev. Joel Garrett, our District Superintendent for the Butler District, will meet with the Pastor-Parish Relations Committees from each Church at 6 pm.
Please mark your calendars and plan to attend our Charge Conference at Bennett’s Run UMC this year!
New United Methodist Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi “can’t wait to see how God is going to work in and through and among us,” she told Western Pennsylvania delegates and leaders shortly after being assigned to serve in the Pittsburgh Area. She will begin her new assignment on September 1, the same day Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton will become bishop of the New York Area.
The daughter of a United Methodist pastor who served 40 years in ministry in the Baltimore-Washington Conference, Bishop Moore-Koikoi said that as a bishop she is committed to work toward a “vision of a diverse church that embraces justice and the life-saving love of Christ.”
She acknowledges that it won’t be easy, but said, “I remind myself that God has got this. God is in control. My role and the church’s role is to experience the reign of God here on earth and point that out to people.”
Acknowledging deep divisions in the denomination around human sexuality issues, she said that after being notified of her assignment, “God said to me: “Cynthia, you’ve been talking about this. We have an opportunity to show the world what unity really looks like. You asked for this.’
“I know there are folks in the room who are diametrically opposed to what I believe about this issue,” she added. “But we have an opportunity to show the world what it might look like for brothers and sisters to dwell together in unity. And it is going to be that witness that claims souls for Jesus the Christ!
“We won’t have to say a word about who God is,” she pointed out. “Seeing us working together….is going to say something about who God is. And there are going to be people who will say, ‘If they can do it, they must have something inside of them that is greater than what is outside in that world. And I want to find out about that!’
“This, I believe, just might be our call,” the Bishop added. “This just might be our call!”
On Wednesday night, July 13, she became just the second African-American woman to be elected a Bishop in the Northeastern Jurisdiction (NEJ), receiving 64 percent of the vote on the 11th ballot. Another African-American woman, LaTrelle Miller Easterling of the New England Conference, was elected the following morning after several other candidates withdrew from the process.
Moore-Koikoi is familiar with church life and ministry in rural, urban and suburban settings. Growing up in a preacher’s family, she said, “you experience about every kind of church you can serve. When she was in elementary school, her father served a rural church “on the top of a very, very long hill, and in the back yard was a cemetery. Beside the church property was a farm with cows that would frequently get out and we would have to call up to the farm and ask them to come and round up their herd. “
Later, her father served a church in suburban Silver Spring, MD, where she went to junior high and high school.
Bishop Moore-Koikoi earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Loyola College in Maryland in 1988, and a Masters of Arts and advanced certification in school psychology from the University of Maryland in 1992. She worked as a school psychologist for Anne Arundel County Public Schools for 17 years before answering her call to the ordained ministry.
Attending Wesley Seminary, she was appointed as a student pastor to “a small congregation with a proud EUB heritage in a section of East Baltimore that was experiencing change.” The first wave was African-American, then Hispanic, she said, and the congregation had to learn how to navigate that change. Later she was appointed associate pastor at Calvary UMC, an affluent congregation in Annapolis.
Ordained an elder in 2010, she served on the Conference staff working with churches on discipleship. She later served as district superintendent for the Greater Washington Area, and most recently as superintendent of the Baltimore Metropolitan District.
In that role, she played a pivotal spiritual role in the city following the unrest in 2015 after the death of Freddie Gray in police custody. She helped to organize United Methodist Churches to open their doors and minister to children and families whose schools were closed, and to meet other basic needs. She became the face of the United Methodist Church, and church volunteers in red T-shirts were visible praying for and ministering to the neighborhoods. Read her commentary Is Baltimore rising a year after Freddie Gray’s death?
Bishop Moore Koikoi answered her call to ministry while a member of Sharp Street Memorial UMC in Baltimore, her great-grandfather’s church and the church which sent her father into ministry. Her husband of three years, the Rev. Raphael Koikoi, currently serves as pastor there.
“We are in an area where people struggle daily…to feed their children,” Pastor Raphael Koikoi told the Western Pennsylvania group. “We are in one of the five zip codes where we fund the prison system. In other words, the majority of people who are in prison in Maryland come from one of those five zip codes. My heart is with youth ministry; my heart is with the marginalized, the disenfranchised.”
The new Bishop also loves working with youth and doing mission work, she said.
“I love painting stuff, building stuff. I love doing that with youth because they have that work-play balance. They know how to do the fellowship stuff while they do the building stuff. Sometimes the adults get so focused on finishing the project that we forget that it’s important to just stop and be with each other. So youth help us get that right,” she said.
“I also feel increasingly called to do the kind of mission work where we are dismantling systems; where we are speaking truth to power; where we are showing the world the true power of God. God’s power includes making sure that everyone is fed, but God’s power also includes speaking truth to powerful people.
She told the Western Pennsylvania delegates and leaders: “What you see is what you get. Know that you can trust me—what you see is what you get. And that’s what I require of you also — that you be honest and open.”
As she told her husband when they were contemplating marriage, she said: “If you have a problem, if there is some issue, you need to tell me about it rather than having me find out about it. And I can work through anything! I can work through anything as long as you tell me about it and we can work together. That’s who I am.”
Standing at the podium of the NEJ Conference after her election, she said the being elected Bishop is a sacred trust. “I’m going to need your prayers so that I can fulfill that trust,” she said. “…God spoke through you tonight, and that’s going to continue.”
The newly elected Bishop said she once sang in a group called Tapestry. “Sometimes, God took all of the single chords and wove them together into something spectacular,” she said. “We need to show the world that God is more than just a good and beautiful God; God is a spectacular God.”
In overseeing the work of the church, “working prophetically, evangelically and apostolically with all,” she said bishops must “leave space for the transforming movement of the Holy Spirit, especially at this time, when the denomination is divided and many people may be wondering about what the future might hold.
The Glory Way Quartet is coming to Central Church Tonight!
Where: Central United Methodist Church
6th Avenue & 13th Street
Beaver Falls, PA 15010
Time: 6:00 pm
Date: Saturday, June 25, 2016
The Glory Way Quartet sings good old gospel music that touches the hearts and souls of everyone who hears them. It’s laughter, fellowship, and a moving of God’s Holy Spirit in our midst while we usher in the glory of the Lord.
A freewill offering will be collected for the group.
Central Church’s hard-working Trustees have been at it again.
Earlier tonight, they finished replacing old mercury-vapor and high-pressure sodium outside lights with new LED floodlights, doubling the amount of light while at the same time reducing our outside lighting electric usage by 50%!
Our thanks to our Trustees for working to make the outside of our Church safer and more secure!