CCC Blog

The Old and the New

The theme for our upcoming Capital Campaign will be Preserving our Past,   Preparing our Future.  There will be more publicized about that theme, and the campaign itself, in the next two weeks.  Both of those phrases speak to some of our deepest values.  First, we love our past.  Central is slowly coming up on 200 years as a congregation in Decatur, and we were truly one of the most           influential congregations of the 20th century.  We are known for long, dynamic pastorates, and we have a tradition of exceptional financial generosity.

To celebrate some of that history, we’d like you to “save the date” of June 9.  All morning long we will offer a “walk down memory lane.”  Recently, I received 90 slides from a church member, which have been converted to digital pictures and put into a slide show, which we will show on our Friendship Center and Connection Café monitors.  The pictures were taken between 1954, when the construction of our current building began, and the early 1960’s, when (by all appearances) there was a ceremonial burning of the mortgage.  

 

Additionally, resident historian Dennis Downey has supplied other material (pictures and documents) from the time our current building came into existence.  These will be laid out in the Connection Café, and you will want to stop by to see them.  We will dedicate the hour of 12 noon – 1 p.m. for a closer look at the slideshow and memorabilia.  There will be no refreshments or food provided, but you are welcome to stay as long as you like.

We are also committed to preparing for our future.  Central has remained the vibrant congregation we are because the leaders and members have been    willing to evolve in ways that have met the needs of changing generations.  One way you can help us do that is by supporting us on Facebook.  If you are not on Facebook and would like to be, we can help you do that.  Simply call the church office, and we will walk you through the steps.  If you are not on Facebook and have no desire to, that’s fine, too, but using social media (like Facebook) is a wonderful way we can all evangelize the church and share the good things about Central with others.

Once on Facebook, the best thing you can do to help us is:

Like” our Central Christian Church page and our Central Christian  Contemporary Worship page.  In fact, we encourage groups within the church to start their own Facebook page and would likewise encourage everyone to “like” those pages.

“Liking” a page is just step one.  If you “like” a Facebook page, it will be registered with Facebook, but you may never see that page in your   timeline, so we would also like you to “Follow” the two pages listed above.  When you “Follow” a page, Facebook will automatically put   updates in your timeline so you never miss anything that is posted. 

The most important thing about all of this is that the more activity our pages get – “likes” and “follows” – the more Facebook will send alerts to others about our posts.  For example, Facebook will send a notice to one of your Facebook friends saying something like, “Hey (name) did you know that this many of your Facebook friends are following Central?  Would you like to follow them too?”  That is the best way to introduce others who do not yet know Central to some of the great things happening here.  

Preserving our Past, Preparing our Future.  The ways we do it change from era to era, but the fact that we continue to value both never does. 

Blessings… Michael

Posted by Michael Karunas with

Relax... He's Got This

I’ve always been intrigued by a particular detail in every one of the accounts of Jesus feeding the multitudes.  As the gospels all tell it, before Jesus took the bread and fish and multiplied it to feed the hungry crowds he had everyone sit down in green grass.  The writers of scripture go out of their way to highlight the fact that there was green grass in the area and that Jesus wanted the people to sit down on it before he acted. 

Why did Jesus do this?  Why didn’t he just take the bread and fish and turn it into a feast with the people standing up?  Why did the grass have to be “green?”  Would it have made a difference if it was “straw-colored” instead?  Obviously, we’ll never know for sure.  But I have to believe those two details are important or they wouldn’t be there for us to read.

Of course, green reminds us of the green pastures of Psalm 23 – perhaps the most gentle, peaceful, bucolic image scripture has to offer.  Green pastures remind us of calmness and tranquility – the perfect companion of “still waters.”  With nary a breeze to be felt, the green pastures adjacent calm waters are as far from the stormy tempests of life as could possibly be. 

And sitting down is the opposite of, well, standing up.  Standing up implies readiness – being prepared to move, to follow, to serve, to witness, to testify.  Standing up signifies action.  Sitting down, on the other hand, evokes images of reclining around an evening meal – after the feet have been washed and with the hard work of the day receding in the proverbial rear-view mirror.  Sitting down implies rest and relaxation. So maybe it is fitting that Jesus had the crowd take a seat in the green grass before performing the miracle.  It was his way of saying “Relax.  I’m here.  I’m in control.  I’m going to do this work and you can sit back and trust that it will be done in your midst.”  Taking a seat in green grass represents letting go and having faith.  It is noteworthy that Jesus had the crowd sit down in the green grass after he took the bread and fish from them but before he performed the miracle.  The bread and fish came from them.  They brought him what they had.  They placed it in his hands.  And then, before he did anything with them, they sat down in green grass.  It is as though this signals the transfer of trust – from our own abilities and resources to Christ.  Our abilities and resources only take us so far.  But in the hands of Christ, we see them to be more than they ever were in our own.  And that… that change of view; change of perspective… is a miracle.

Sitting down in green grass, far from being an oddity in the story that might seem superfluous, has come to stand out in my mind as perhaps the most significant detail of them all.      

Posted by Michael Karunas with

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