Journey through 2020 and see how faithful God has been and how His Church has served wholeheartedly.
During the series Role Call, when we were discovering who we are and what we bring, the world changed….
Committed to protecting the weak and vulnerable in our community, our worship gatherings moved to exclusively online, starting Sunday, March 15.
The Church scattered onto your screens and into our community, being the body of Christ outside the doors of the church.
Online attendance went from 1,005 to 7,330 that first weekend. And it didn’t stop there. Keep reading to see our peak online attendance on Easter.
Love Your Neighbor
“Right away our focus turned to providing meals to kids in Harbor Village, Meadow Lanes, Crown Pointe, and Lincoln Estates apartment complexes. But that quickly expanded to providing meals to a variety of families throughout our community through weekly food drives. Because of your generosity and food donations, we were able to provide over 20,000 meals to families in Holland by the end of May.”
Molly Latchaw | Missions Pastor
500 bags of food went home with Jefferson Elementary kids
Marked 10,000 meals provided to families in our community
That number doubled to 20,000
Worship opportunities for the entire family
By March 25, virtual worship was happening
6 days of the week, including additional Sunday worship opportunities, Central Kids Online, weekday student devotionals, Central Recovery Online on Mondays, Midweek Worship, and Legacy devotional on Fridays.
The Student Team put together over 130 daily devotionals between March and June, ministering to so many more than just our teens.
Prioritizing connection over content, these were opportunities for our community to not just “watch” online, but truly engage.
“Wibke and I recently moved homes. We were shopping for furniture when someone approached us and asked me if I was the pastor of Central. They proceeded to tell me how they’d started attending Central Online during COVID. They’d been looking for spiritual input for their children and discovered Central Kids Online airing Sunday mornings. Their family loved it so much that they decided to check out our main Sunday worship as well, saying ‘We’ve been attending regularly online and can’t wait to attend in person!’ That encounter blessed Wibke and I so much. Our Central Kids team put a lot of effort into providing resources for the entire family, not simply to get content out there but to help people connect! What they did blessed a family in need of spiritual connection. Thank you, Central Kids!”
Craig Rees | Lead Pastor
Given the demographic of the Celebrate Recovery (CR) community, the risk of not meeting was greater than the risk of meeting.
When limited to exclusively meeting online, we knew we needed to continue to wholeheartedly serve our recovery community online:
Online on Monday nights
On Facebook Community
Devotionals + Zoom Gatherings
“For the last four years Celebrate Recovery (CR) has been a place where people have experienced life change. Anonymity and confidentiality are fundamental values at the heart of our ministry. When the pandemic began to affect in-person ministry, we knew that not meeting offered a greater risk than meeting. During the shutdown, we saw people struggling, isolating, and some, even relapsing. Our amazing CR team, together with a very busy Central tech team, started streaming weekly recovery meetings. Our goal was not to put out even more content, but to foster much needed connection. To make this work our leaders gave up their anonymity and confidentiality and openly shared practical teachings and personal testimonies. These meetings were then followed by online Zoom meetings where participants could further connect. I am thankful to serve alongside a team of dedicated volunteers who will go the extra mile to wholeheartedly serve those of us in the recovery community!”
Wibke Rees | Director of Recovery Ministry
The Care Room Online openedSet Up An Appointment
“Our team, along with 18 other staff and volunteers, made hundreds of phone calls to make sure our community felt connected even while apart. We listened to struggles, referred people to resources, prayed with each person, and wrapped our virtual arms around people the best we could. Sometimes we had unusual requests for help: one of our home-bound seniors needed Tylenol and toilet paper delivered, another needed bags of water softener salt, and another needed help to dispose of a Christmas tree! These phone calls are on-going, with a focus on our most vulnerable: our Shut-ins/Long-term Illness friends and those over 65. Our goal is to offer kindness and hope to people who might be experiencing fear and anxiety.”
Elise Zuber | Director of Community Care
Jennifer Stohler | Community Care Administrator
People celebrated Easter with us online
From last year
2019 | 6,730
combined in person and online attendance
Easter came quickly, and with it the realization that we were going to be online for a little while yet—but we didn’t let that stop us from sharing the Good News…
Continued to encourage one another, meeting online.
Group Life in a Global Pandemic
pints of blood given
Wibke Rees inspired and challenged us for our first ever online only Mother’s Day.
At our first ever virtual Annual Church Meeting we announced our official Scattered to Gathered Plan.
We began collecting items for our first ever We Love Jefferson Shop.
Several months before COVID, God revealed to us that it was time to shift our focus from the Christmas Store, a once a year gift, to supporting our neighborhood families. We had no way of knowing that a few months later we would be in a pandemic and the dream God put on our hearts to provide for the basic needs of Jefferson families would be so profoundly needed. Because of God’s direction, your generosity, and your willingness to make a shift with us, you have been able to serve this school and its families and teachers wholeheartedly.
“The We Love Jefferson campaign is meeting many tangible needs of the staff and families at Jefferson Elementary School. More than that, We Love Jefferson is ministering to hearts. We hear the question “Why are you doing this?” often, and we respond “Because we love you!” We pray that as we serve our community they feel Christ’s love pouring out on them. One instance—we are witnessing an outwardly anti-church and anti-religion person’s heart softening. Saying things like “you’re the nicest Christians I’ve ever met”, this person has donated money to Central in support of We Love Jefferson. They even have popped onto some of our online services! We are confident that We Love Jefferson is meeting tangible needs, but more importantly is a tool God is using to plant seeds in the hearts of many. We know God will grow those into a relationship with Him in His time.“
Kids Hope Director
Holland Public Schools
“In the midst of a Pandemic and with demands on staff that seem impossible, we have been surviving (even thriving) in large part to the support of our community. We can’t thank Central enough for all of your support.“
Holland Middle Principal
Water’s Edge Family
On top of local missions, because of your generosity, our churches all over the world were served in even greater ways. This year you…
In March 2020 the world changed, but you gave what you had through it all. Our God is faithful! Thank you for SERVING WHOLEHEARTEDLY.
Weekly giving average of $117,900
Last fiscal year you gave wholeheartedly, raising 30% of our entire General Budget during the last three months of the calendar year! As we come to the close of another calendar year, our General Budget is behind 9.9% (as of October). The General Budget accounts for all the expenses to operate our church ministries, including all the areas we see God using to serve and love our community. Our fiscal year runs from
June 1–May 31 each year, and knowing where the funds are at the end of calendar year greatly impacts ministry budgets, not only for this fiscal year, but also in establishing the following year’s ministry budgets.
[See how the General Budget is disbursed].
Central is committed to ending the fiscal year with a balanced budget, just as we have always done, and we encourage members and regular attenders to follow the Biblical model of giving cheerfully and sacrificially, in response to all that God has done.
PRAY FIRST, GIVE WHOLEHEARTEDLY
We’re asking you to pray about giving and to follow with obedience. If God enables you with an ability to give a little extra at the calendar year-end, consider making an investment in the General Fund, impacting every ministry at Central.