All are welcome to participate in our community of faith. We're about being present: in the lives of each other, in the lives of strangers, and in the life of the world. Take a look at ways you can become connected.
Midweek Bible Study:
Bring a brown bag lunch & join the pastor each Wednesday at Noon for a deeper look at the lectionary Bible texts for the coming Sunday - we provide coffee & tea.
Early Bird Bible Study:
6:30 a.m. Tuesdays during the school year - no meetings in the summer months. All are welcome to join us as we take a deeper look at each book of the Bible. Coffee and tea provided.
Church doesn't just happen on Sunday mornings. Through Central, twenty and thirty-somethings gather to ask questions, study God's word, worship and just hang out.
Join us anytime. Here are some options:
Alternative worship, Thursday nights during the winter, 7 pm. Services feature the contemplative Holden Evening Prayer liturgy. Candle-lit, no expectations, no preaching. Come as you are.
Young women's Bible study (during the school year) Contact the church office for info.
Service activities (including Beans Café, holiday service projects, whatever we think of). Held at random intervals.
Random gatherings, like the Annual Young Adult Seder Meal, Annual Oktoberfest and a White-Elephant After-Christmas Gift Exchange.
VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL
Central Lutheran offers Vacation Bible School each summer to youth ages 3 through elementary school. Together we've clowned around at the circus, attended camp with Davey and Goliath, lived as a tribe in Galilee, traveled the rails, and swung through the rainforest in our search for connection with God and each other. The week is always chock full of games, stories, crafts, snacks, fun, new and old friends, songs, acting, and devotion.
Central Women meet in monthly Bible studies during the school year. You are welcome to join one that fits your schedule best. Most study the Lutheran Woman Today study from the ELCA. Here's when the Bible study groups meet:
+ Lydia - 2nd Mondays 6 pm
+ Elizabeth Lois - 2nd Wednesdays 9:30 am
+ Mary Eunice - 3rd Tuesdays at 11 am
+ Young Women's Social - two Mondays monthly at 7:30 pm (site varies)
+ Sarah Fellowship Circle - 3rd Tuesdays at 4 pm at L'Aroma
Central women serve. Each year, Central women sponsor Fair Trade coffee, tea and crafts. Funds go toward local and national ministries. Central women make Christmas stockings for Lutheran Social Services each year. They also attend state and national Lutheran women's gatherings.
All are welcome to Central's book group. The group gathers the third or fourth Monday at 7 pm (call the church office for the next date) and has read books like Three Cups of Tea, The Shack, and Lovely Bones.
Get out into the community (and world) with Central Mission Trips. Our youth group has taken trips to Mexico and Guatemala to build homes and work with an orphanage. In Summer 2010 the youth spent a week in Los Angeles, California, at Angelica Lutheran Church assisting with Vacation Bible School and other service projects.
Adults at Central have traveled four times to Port Arthur, Texas, for home repair following Hurricane Rita. The group CLAIM (Central Lutheran Adults in Mission) travel in October-November. In 2014, the group and another dozen friends focused their attentions on our Church sanctuary, repainting, repairing, deep-cleaning... and even replacing the carpet in summer 2014. Where will they focus their efforts next fall? Ideas, suggestions, and new members are welcome!
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 1-1 conversations with members and those in our Fairview community. We surface 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. An AFACT action in 2006 led to the establishment of a Campfire (USA) after-school center in our church building. The center is free to neighborhood families and funded in part through the Anchorage municipality.
EMERGENCY COLD-WEATHER HOMELESS SHELTER FOR FAMILIES
Central's Emergency Cold Weather Shelter (ECWS) is 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, on each of the two weeknights we are operating. To volunteer, please contact the church office to connect with coordinator Larry Graham.
Central Lutheran provides the parking lot space for the Anchorage Farmers' Market; the only non-profit market in the area. Each Saturday, May through October, local farmers bring their bounty of 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.
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION & SUNDAY SCHOOL
Sunday School meets during the school year, immediately following worship on Sunday mornings. Classes are grouped by age: Preschool through Kindergarten, grades 1 - 3, grades 4 - 6, middle school, high school, and one or more studies for adults. Classes include bible study, songs, games, and crafts as appropriate. The nursery is available during Sunday services at no charge for infants and toddlers.
Middle school youth are invited to attend a two year program of confirmation classes, service, and fellowship. We make faith come alive as we learn about the Lutheran faith and compare our beliefs with other world religions. Our curriculum is Here We Stand . We serve others through projects including raising funds to buy farm animals , serving a meal at Beans Café, cleaning yards for elderly members, and collecting food for local food banks. We have fun together with geocaching, hikes, rock climbing, and overnight retreats.
GIVING & GIFTS - FAIR TRADE, GOOD GIFTS, BREAD FOR THE WORLD, CROP WALK
Central Lutheran volunteers host semi-annual sales of Fair Trade coffee, chocolate, and handcrafts. We encourage the giving of "good gifts" like those below:
ELCA Good Gifts
Lutheran World Relief Fair Trade Crafts Online
Fair Trade Coffee Online
Fight hunger with Bread for the World
Our choir rehearses on Wednesdays during the school year, and sings one or more anthems each Sunday. Works performed range from simple to challenging, classic to modern to worldy, and may be a capella or accompanied by pianist, flutist, trumpet, African drums, or even full orchestra. We alternate services by month, singing at the 9:00 am service in January, March, May, September, and November, and at the 10:30 am service during February, April, October, and December. We may sing at additional services on special occasions. We are blessed to work with director Tai Wai Li.
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. We are blessed to work with bell choir director Debbie Pankow.
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.