Central's Update on COVID-19

Updated at: 05/15/2020 3:30pm

Dear Central Community,

Though we are not able to meet in person for worship services for the time being, we at Central are diligently developing creative ways to strengthen our bonds with one another and with God. This is a time for us to demonstrate the church at its very best. And as Jason Harris suggested in his message from March 15, we can use this time of uncertainty as an opportunity to turn to God and deepen our commitment to Jesus.

Here are a few new initiatives that we have rolled out over the past several weeks, and we will continue to adapt our plans in light of the situation on the ground.

1. Daily Guide to Scripture Reading and Prayer
Every morning we send out a Daily Guide to Scripture Reading and Prayer. The guide will include a reading from the Psalms as well as a selection from the New Testament. Each Scripture reading will include a few reflection questions along with ideas for how we can pray together as a community for our church and our city. You can either subscribe or opt out of receiving this daily email by managing your newsletter subscriptions here. Also, feel free to share that link with anyone you know who may be interested in receiving these daily prayer emails.

2. Weekday Prayer by Zoom & Prayer Requests
One of the benefits of technology is that it enables us to not only hear one another’s voices but also see each other’s faces while we are physically apart. To that end, we have set up an opportunity to pray together for 20 minutes via Zoom on Monday at 6pm, Wednesday at 8am, and Friday at 12pm. Our hope is that this daily practice of corporate prayer will help ease our feelings of isolation and provide a greater sense of togetherness. Use this link to download Zoom and join the call or call +1 253 215 8782 (meeting ID: 258 249 142). To view further details about our weekday prayer, you can visit our Weekly Calendar.

If you have any prayer requests, please let us know so we can be praying with and for you. We have church leaders standing by ready to confidentially pray with you over the phone if you like. 
3. Online Worship Services
We have consistently sought to foster Sunday services that engage the heart and the mind by providing insightful teaching and expressive worship. We remain committed to that goal even if we are separated from one another. “Social distancing” is requiring us to develop a new art form through the creation of an “online worship service.” We have created a compact worship service including music, Scripture reading, prayer, a word for the children, and a brief message. Our goal has been to create a spiritually meaningful and artistically engaging worship experience that makes us all feel even more connected to one another even if we cannot be in the same place physically. 

We will post the online services to the website each week, and we encourage you to use this as an opportunity to share your faith with neighbors and colleagues. You could invite a friend who does not regularly attend church to view the worship service with you or share this link to the Sermons page of our website for others to view.

4. Zoom Community Groups
In addition, our community groups and bible studies are continuing to find creative ways to connect with one another during this unusual time. If nothing else, this protracted period of social isolation has reminded us of how much we long for human contact. If you are not yet connected to a group, now would we a great time to get involved. Sign up for a Zoom Community Group on our website, or you can also reach out to Lauren Brown at lbrown@centralchurchnyc.org for more details.

5. Practical Support & Financial Assistance
Finally, let’s remember that this is a time to love our neighbors in practical ways. Please take the initiative to find out how members of our community may require practical support. Please also bear in mind that we have a rather healthy congregation so the primary area of need may lie outside rather than inside our congregation. If that is the case, then we can mobilize our congregation to provide support to the elderly people who live in our buildings or the homeless who live on the streets. Let’s be attentive to the myriad of ways in which we can put our faith into action at this time. If you or anyone you know is in need of practical care or financial assistance, please let us know by submitting this form.

The health and safety of our congregation continue to be one of our top priorities, and we have sought to continually follow the guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and the New York City Department of Health as it relates to the COVID-19 outbreak in New York City. Our desire is to honor God by loving our neighbors and caring for those who are most vulnerable among us. To that end, we will keep you apprised of changes to our church programming as restrictions on large group gatherings are reevaluated by city and state leaders in the weeks and months ahead.

Thank you all for the many ways in which you have encouraged and supported our church community during this time, and please do not hesitate to reach out to any of our church staff if we can be of help to you in any way whatsoever.


Central Presbyterian Church

Read a message from Jason Harris from March 17 >>

Read the Health & Safety Update email from March 13>>

Read the update regarding our Youth Ministry>>

Read the update regarding our Children's Ministry>>