Dear Central Family,

I guess I am going to be doing this every week for a while, so I thought I’d start out with a joke: Did you hear about the mathematician that was scared of negative numbers? He’ll stop at nothing to avoid them…

Hopefully that put a smile on your face. I also hope that your week has gone well, and that you are experiencing God’s presence in your everyday lives. Bear with me, as there are announcements regarding:

Easter offering

Palm Sunday

Tenebrae Service

Easter Sunday

April 8, active shooter preparedness

Mission trip

Easter Offering: A reminder that our offering goal for this year at Easter is $15,000. The money that we raise for this is tithed directly into the missions program for Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, and helps us with the money that we typically need in the summer months. You are always generous as a church, I know you will be again. To date, we have received a little bit over $2000 toward this goal, so make sure not to forget this important giving opportunity.

Palm SundayThis Sunday is Palm Sunday in the church year. As you enter the sanctuary, you will be offered a palm frond, that you will be invited to carry forward during the worship service. This day serves as the beginning of Holy Week, and is an opportunity for you to prepare yourselves for the sacred days ahead. I hope that you will be there this week, particularly since this will be Matt’s last Sunday leading us in worship. I’ll see you there!

Tenebrae: We will be having a Tenebrae service on Friday, March 30th, at 2 pm, in the Sanctuary. This is a service of darkness, where as the service continues on, the sanctuary grows darker and darker, as we hear the story of Jesus trial and crucifixion. In all my years of ministry, this service has had the deepest impact on me. I hope that you will make time during Holy Week to be there for this.

Easter: Easter is the high day of celebration in the church year, the Day of Resurrection. We will be holding worship this year at our normal worship time. And we will be decorating the cross as we often do. Please make sure that you bring a flower if you would like to help us to decorate. This is an opportunity to take the cross, a symbol of suffering and shame, and beautify it with our flowers, our symbol of gratitude for the forgiveness we receive from the cross.  This is a day to bring a friend or a neighbor, and experience God’s power.

April 8: The Sunday following Easter, we will be welcoming Sergeant Bernie Davon from the Volusia County Sherriff’s department to talk with us about ways that we can keep the church safe in the case of an active shooter. The deacons met recently and had some discussion about it, and we want to be ready with a plan. Anthony McCulley contacted, Sergeant Davon, who has developed some training for churches and organizations that want to be prepared, so he will be the primary speaker on April 8th.

Mission Trip: The mission trip this year, as I mentioned last week, will be to Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and the area surrounding it. We will be doing support work for the Sevier County Food Ministry, some finishing work on a house that was rebuilt after the fires last fall, visiting nursing homes, and some other work that needs to be done around there. I know that everyone that went last year had a great and fun time, and had a sense of accomplishment, that we had really done something good for God’s Kingdom. Darla Petty has agreed to be our team leader for this trip, and I know she will be an asset. If you would like to be a part of this year’s mission trip, we need you to sign up by April 15th, including making a $50 deposit. For the next few weeks, someone from the leadership team will be out in the vestibule, where you can sign up to go. We will have one more fundraiser to help raise money to cover the cost of the trip. That will be on April 14th, and it will be a car wash at another location. If you are planning to go, it is important that you make plans to come for this fundraiser. I am excited by the interest that this trip is creating, and I hope that you will be praying about going, and for the success of the trip.

I hope that you have a great rest of the week. Blessings to you and your family.