Connect & Serve
How do we connect with our fellow Christians at Central? By breaking bread at dinner groups, engaging in fun activities, praying for one another, devoting time to service projects which show the Love of God in our church and in the community, and sharing joys and sorrows. It’s been said that “Fellowship is a relationship of inner unity among believers that expresses itself in outer co-participation with Christ and one another in accomplishing God’s will on earth.”
If you see something you'd like to join now, simply click the Sign Up! button to connect and serve.
Coffee Klatsch for coffee lovers and those that prefer tea or a steamer. Wednesdays at 9 am. Check the email blast for the latest location (currently meeting online only).
Book Group gathers the third Monday of the month at 4:30 pm and read books like Three Cups of Tea, The Shack, and Lovely Bones. February 21 we will discuss The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles.
Men’s Breakfast and Bible Study is held the first Saturday of each month. Come for breakfast, casual conversation and more. Men of all ages and backgrounds welcome!
After worship on Sundays, gather in the Narthex and meet new people or catch up with those you may already know after worship with coffee and a treat or join the Zoom from home for a virtual zoom coffee time following worship.
Music Ministry is always looking for new singers for Chancel Choir and ringers for the handbell choir. Rehearsals are on Wednesday evenings. The choirs are a fun and easy way to meet new people who share a love of music. We are masking when gathering to sing or ring.
Central Lutheran Prayer Chain will sincerely pray for your needs, joys and sorrows. Our prayer chain always welcomes new links. If you would like to contact the prayer chain with a prayer request or become a part of the chain, contact the church office.
Service is an act of thanks. We believe that we serve others as a way of living out our lives in Christ. You may be asking yourself: “I want to be involved, but how do I start? I don’t know anyone.” Fear not! Each of us has been equipped by God with Spiritual Gifts. If you like to bake or set up meals, you have the gift of serving/hospitality. If you like telling others about Jesus love for you and feel comfortable inviting them to worship at Central, you are gifted with evangelism or outreach. And there are others: leadership, giving, administration, healing, mercy, service, apostle, pastor, teaching, wisdom, faith, exhortation, prophecy, tongues, giving and knowledge. If you’d like to pinpoint where your gifts lie, Pastor Jeff can assist. Time and Talent forms are available. These help us know where your gifts lie and where you can plug in. Here's a PDF of the form for you to print out and complete. It's simple! Please pray about how you can serve at Central and return this to the church office so we can reach out to you when the need arises.
When all of us share our gifts, we are a living and active body of Christ. If you are interested in helping, please contact the church office for information.
Outside of Worship
Garden Group: Assist in trimming bushes, mowing the lawn and other seasonal upkeep.
Kitchen Cleaning: If you can spare a few hours a month by keeping our kitchen looking its best, contact the church office. Please bring rags, bucket and gloves.
Clare House Meals: Clare House is a 24-hour emergency shelter open to women with children and expectant mothers over the age of 18. Central provides a meal to Clare House the 4th Thursday of every month. Two to three volunteers cook a meal for 50 and deliver to Clare House at 3pm. More information at www.cssalaska.org/our-programs/clare-house/
Caring Ministers: Caring Ministers are available for hospital visits, home visits, check-in phone calls and other support for those dealing with illness, grief or loss. This group also supports a prayer shawl ministry. Members pray regularly for those in need. The Caring Ministers meet every fourth Friday at the home of Dahna Graham.
Community Rewards: Did you know you can help earn dollars for LSSA just by shopping with your Fred Meyer Rewards Card? If you haven't signed up simply join the program by linking your Fred Meyers Rewards Card to Lutheran Social Services of Alaska at www.fredmeyer.com/community rewards. You still will receive the Rewards Points, Fuel Points, and Rebates at the same time you are helping LSSA.
Farmer’s Market: Central Lutheran provides the parking lot space for the Anchorage Farmer's Market (the only non-profit market in the area). Each Saturday, May through October, local farmers bring their locally grown and organic produce, seedlings, and even honey and oysters. This partnership between Central Lutheran and the market began in 2007 and has been a great blessing to all. Additionally, Central staffs a hospitality and informational booth at the market serving coffee and baked goods. Please contact the church office for the Saturdays you can help.
AFACT: Central is a member of AFACT (Anchorage Faith and Action - Congregations Together), a faith-based community organizing member. Our congregation's local organizing ministry group meets monthly. We have 1 on 1 conversations with members and those in our Fairview community. We discuss issues that matter to our families. We research those issues with public officials. We host public meetings (actions) with those officials to ask them to follow through on issues that matter to our families. Our AFACT group is currently focusing on the issues of homelessness and public inebriates in the West Fairview area. More information at www.anchoragefact.org/
Emergency Cold-Weather Homeless Shelter For Families: Central's Emergency Cold Weather Shelter (ECWS) was designed to provide a warm and secure location for homeless families who have no other place to stay overnight. We are prohibited from housing inebriates. Under Anchorage Municipal Code Title 16, Chapter 16.120, designated churches can serve as temporary cold weather shelters for homeless families that are not under the influence of intoxicants, when the outside temperature is 45 degrees Fahrenheit, or below, by ambient or wind-chill measure, as measured by the National Weather Service, Merrill Field Airport station. Central Lutheran Church provides homeless families/adults with an evening snack, a safe bed for the evening, and a light breakfast.
This shelter program is necessary because there are not enough beds to support the number of homeless families in Anchorage. Each year, an average of 1,500 Anchorage families find themselves homeless. Some are able to stay with friends or family. Others choose to stay in a hotel room until they are able to find a place of their own. However, a certain number of families have no other option than to seek emergency shelter. There are two main shelters in Anchorage that accept families: McKinnell House and Clare House. Often these shelters are full in the winter months and that is where we and several other churches can help. If your family is need of such assistance, please call the shelter hotline at 272-1000. Central volunteers staff the shelter overnight in the church in groups of three. To volunteer or learn more, please contact the church office to connect with coordinators.
Update: The Emergency Cold Weather Shelter provided by nine Anchorage churches including Central Lutheran has closed for the duration of the viral outbreak. Beginning 3/24/2020 our homeless families will be given shelter in a hotel downtown where they will have their own room, with bath and shower, 2 or 3 meals per day and where they will be encouraged to stay throughout the day. The Salvation Army is taking the lead on this change. This is a better situation for our families and our volunteers and we appreciate the work that went into this arrangement.
Lutheran Social Services of Alaska (LSSA): We partner and support Lutheran Social Services by collecting donations of funds and foods for the LSSA food bank. We also volunteer for LSSA programs such as the Anchorage Thanksgiving Blessing and Neighborhood GIFT programs, and participating in other special events like the annual Charity Walk. More information at www.lssalaska.org
Council and Ministries: Central's Church Council works hard to take care of the day-to-day business of being a church. Additionally, the council organizes ministries and helps envision the future of the church.
Adopt-a-Road: Central has adopted a section of 15th Avenue from E Street to Gambell, which travels right past our property. Members and friends gather twice each year to pick up litter and keep our neighborhood looking great. To volunteer, contact coordinator Anna Bryant.
In and Around Worship
Altar Flowers: The 2022 Altar Flower Chart is now posted near the office with open dates. If you would like to provide the Altar Flowers as a memorial to a loved one, to celebrate a birthday or anniversary, just fill in your name and phone number for the Sunday that you desire. The cost will be $40.00 and may be taken home to be enjoyed following the service.
Altar Guild: Members meet monthly to maintain, clean, and prepare our worship space, including communion supplies, banners, and paraments. Members volunteer at one or more services each month to set out or clean up the communion elements and vessels. No experience necessary and training is provided.
Lectors: Each week, the lector reads Old and New Testament lessons during worship. Text is provided in advance if requested.
Children's Sermon: Occasionally, Pastor Jeff needs a back-up to provide the children’s sermon if he is away. If you have a fun story or lesson that relates to how we can serve Jesus better, you can prepare and lead the children's message during a service.
Chancel Choir: The choir rehearses on Wednesdays at 7 pm during the school year, and sings one or more anthems each Sunday. Works performed range from simple to challenging, classic to modern, and may be a capella or accompanied by pianist, flutist, trumpet, African drums, or even full orchestra. We may sing at additional services on special occasions. Contact director Tai Wai Li after worship for more information.
Bell Choir: Our bell choir rehearses on Wednesday during the school year, and performs sacred music at worship approximately six times each year, especially on Easter and Christmas Eve. New members are welcome and do not need bell choir experience. Contact Debbie Pankow after worship for more information.
Assisting Ministers: Supporting Pastor Jeff, the assisting minister leads portions of sung liturgy and / or prayers during service and assists with communion.
Greeters: Share your smile! Greet Central’s incoming visitors and members before worship and guide them where to find the sanctuary, facilities, etc.
Ushers: Our ushers distribute bulletins, collect offering, monitor the sound system and direct congregation to communion during services.
Projectionist: The projectionist assists with placing the worship elements on the screen using a computer program. Some computer literacy required and training will be provided.
Acolytes: We actively invite our 5th through 8th grade students to participate as acolytes. Acolytes light the altar candles carry the cross on special Sundays, accept the offerings, and extinguish the candles.
Communion Assistants: Distribute the elements (wine or juice and bread / wafers) during worship services.
Faith Formation/Sunday School: Sunday School teachers are needed to assist on Sunday mornings. VBS is held in June of each year and a lot of fun for both Central and Fairview neighborhood children. If you’d like to help with Sunday School, VBS or Youth Bible Class on Sundays, contact the church office to see how you can serve. (Update, we haven't been holding classes during the pandemic, and found that our families were "zoomed out" - we look forward to these programs returning in the future.)