The heart of the Christian community is regular worship. We gather at 10:30 a.m. each Sunday to acknowledge God’s presence in the world and in our lives; to hear the Word of God, to offer ourselves to God and be equipped for service in the world. Through song, prayer, story and proclamation we thoughtfully and joyfully offer praise to God.
Our usual place of gathering for worship is the church sanctuary, designed the Greek revival style by the architectural firm of Shepard and Wiser in 1921. The openness of the space elevates the spirit with its soaring stained glass windows that admit ethereal sunlight from both the east and the west sides of the nave. Batik banners adorn the chancel area. Both Ionic and Corinthian columns support the sky blue ceiling. Dark walnut woodwork, original to the architecture, creates a sense of gravity and evokes the communion of saints who in all times and all places have grounded their lives in God’s word.
From time to time we worship in the church dining room so that we can gather around tables, or utilize visuals more effectively. On specific special occasions we may worship outside, on the grassy east church yard, or in the garden.
Music is integral to our worship, providing the means to express what, in faith and in life, often transcends the capacity of mere words to capture.
We sing together a blend of music from around the world and more traditional hymns. We use the current Presbyterian Church (USA) hymnal, Glory to God.
Under the direction of Dr. Cynthia Sheppard, the Chancel Choir meets to rehearse at 9:00 a.m. each Sunday to prepare anthems in a variety of musical styles. The Chancel Choir regularly sings for the 10:30 a.m. service and supports our congregational singing from the pews.
The four octave Handbell Choir meets to rehearse on select Saturday mornings 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. to prepare for music leadership in worship at least quarterly.
Sarah Jacobs, SPC, CAGO, is our accomplished organist, pianist and accompanist.
Members and friends of Central are invited and encouraged to share their musical talent with the faith community by working with Dr. Sheppard to offer their gifts in worship.
Different seasons call for special music. In December, special Sunday morning services for Hanging of the Greens and Decorating the Christmas Tree are carried by the singing and hearing of Advent and Christmas music. Other services whose meaning is enhanced by choral and instrumental music include Maundy Thursday during Holy Week and a Christmas Eve Service at 5:00 p.m., December 24.
As we are located near the University of Missouri, Kansas City, and its Conservatory of Music, our sanctuary is sometimes used for student and faculty recitals. The public is welcome to these events
The centerpiece of the sanctuary’s chancel is the console for a thirty-four rank Austin pipe organ. A Yamaha C – 6 (7′) grand piano allows for different music styles and also organ/piano duets. Four octaves of Schulmerich handbells plus two octaves of hand chimes add another musical dimension to our worship.
Central Presbyterian is a congregation of the Presbyterian Church (USA).
We are rooted in the love of the creator, God. We are followers of Jesus Christ. We are sustained by the Holy Spirit in and among us who calls us to courage and attracts us to goodness. The way we behave toward one another is the fullest expression of what we believe.
We treasure the Bible as a collection of 66 books which, taken together, tell the story of people bound by their common faith in God. The Bible is the means by which we come to understand how God has been present with humanity since the beginning of time and is present in our world today.
We recognize two sacraments, the Sacrament of Holy Communion and the Sacrament of Baptism. We celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Communion on the first Sunday of each month and at other special services during the year. Around the table of the Lord, God’s people are in communion with Christ and with all who belong to Christ. At Central Church all worshipers who desire to receive the sacrament are welcome at the table. We use non-alcoholic juice and provide the option for gluten-free bread.
The Sacrament of Baptism is the sacrament by which we belong to the covenant community. Baptism makes tangible, and seals God’s redeeming grace offered to all people. The Sacrament of Baptism is celebrated as a part of our Sunday worship when adults desire to make their first public profession of faith, or when parents present their children to receive the sacrament. As there is one body of Christ, there is one baptism. The Presbyterian Church (USA) recognizes all baptisms administered by other Christian churches.
If and when you are interested in joining Central Presbyterian Church, please let the pastor or a Session member know. The pastor will meet with you to share information about the church, its ministries, policies, and relationship to our denomination. Church membership allows one to vote at congregational meetings and to be nominated and elected to serve on the Session.