Service is an act of thanks. We believe that we serve others as a way of living out our lives in Christ. By serving others, we recognize the humanity of strangers, and in a small way, we participate in the grace of God.
Central members care for each other. 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.
+ Offering Counters - serve one hour, one Sunday a month, by collecting the offering plate proceeds and preparing the bank deposit. Counters work in pairs for safety and security.
+ 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.
+ Lectors - read old and new testament lessons during a worship service
+ Lead Children's Sermon - 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 to worldy, 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. We are blessed to work with director Tai Wai Li.
+ 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. We are blessed to work with bell choir director Debbie Pankow.
+ Special Music - Members and friends are invited to perform music during our services, especially for holidays. Musicians may perform vocal, instrumental or mixed pieces, solo or in groups. Our organist / pianist may be available to accompany performers. If you are interested in sharing your gifts, please contact the pastors, choir director, or organist.
+ Assisting Ministers - lead portions of sung liturgy and / or prayers during service
+ Greeters - greet members & visitors before services - a great way to meet new people!
+ Ushers - distribute bulletins, collect offertory & direct congregation to communion during services.
+ Acolytes - light the altar candles (and advent wreath candles), accept the offerings, may serve communion, and extinguish the candles. We actively invite our 5th through 8th grade students to participate as acolytes.
+ Communion Assistants - distribute wine & grape juice or bread / wafers during worship services.
We're always looking for volunteers to help with Sunday School, youth group, and Vacation Bible School. Please contact the church office to see how you can serve!
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 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. Additionally, Central staffs a hospitality and informational booth at the market. Please contact the church office if you'd like to help!
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. Our AFACT group is currently focusing on the issues of homelessness and public inebriates in the West Fairview area.
Please contact the church office to connect with AFACT.
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.
LUTHERAN SOCIAL SERVICES OF ALASKA
We partner with Lutheran Social Services by collecting donations of funds and foods for the LSSA food bank, foods and volunteers for LSSA programs like the Anchorage Thanksgiving Blessing and Neighborhood GIFT programs, and participating in other special events like the annual Charity Walk.
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.
Our 2014 Council: President Brian Bjorkquist, Vice President Anna Bryant, 2nd Vice President Carol Norquist, Secretary Hilary Emmel, Sharon Jones, Elaine Pedersen, Karen Nordgaard, Judith Muller, Linda Padden, Jane Hanson, Della Barry, Wes Tonkins, and Scott Strand. Read our most recent Council meeting minutes. Please contact the church office for more information.
Central members and friends provide meals to women and children staying at Clare House, an Anchorage shelter. Volunteers prepare food for about 50 people and deliver it by 3 pm on the fourth Thursday of each month for the evening meal. If you'd like to help, please contact coordinator Meg Vandergon.
Central members and friends serve lunch at Beans Cafe the fourth Sunday of each month. No cooking, experience or dishwashing involved! Volunteers arrive around 11:15 am and serve food from Noon - 1. We're done about 1:15 pm. Contact coordinator Nancy Jo Upthagrove.
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.