If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.
But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant.
Mission and Purpose:
The Board of Deacons is responsible for the spiritual welfare and direction of the Church. This group of six men and six women are elected by the congregation to a four year term and meet monthly to consider, debate and discuss issues relating to worship, use of church facilities, and the church’s response to social issues within the local, state and global community. Deacons are called upon to serve as mentors for confirmands, and as sponsors for children and adults requesting baptism. They serve Communion, assist the Ministers in the work of the church and serve as “the pastor to the Pastor”.
The Board of Deacons meets on the second Tuesday of every month at 5:30 PM.
Contact Info: Senior Deacons for 2016-2017 - Edward Bishop, Mary Beth Fafard, and Paul Armstrong
Three subcommittees are composed of members-at-large and two representatives of the Prudential Committee
In addition, special subcommittees may, from time to time, call upon the talents of individuals to organize and coordinate special events such as auctions, pop-concerts and progressive dinners.
… and much, much more.
Each year two new members are elected for a four-year term.
Contact Info: John Peters, Chair
Contact Info: Donna Chace-Larson, Chair
Contact Info: Ed Bishop, Chair
The Stewardship Subcommittee supports the continued growth and long term success of the missions of our church. These ongoing goals are furthered through gifts of time, talent and treasure, so generously given by members and friends of our church family. The subcommittee is responsible for planning and carrying of the annual stewardship drive.
Contact Info: Jeff Baran, Chair
“Bless be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love.
The fellowship of kindred minds is like to that above.”
Mission and Purpose:
The Calling Committee is responsible for sharing the community of faith which is so abundant in Central Congregational Church, with our members who are home-bound, either temporarily or long-term. Most are long-time members of the church who cannot attend services on a regular basis due to illness, life circumstance or disabilities. A few are friends or relatives of members who have no other body of faith calling on them.
The committee meets a few times a year on Sunday mornings before worship. During meetings, we review our list, discuss our visits, and make plans for future visits.
Each committee members is encouraged to visit with two or three members during the course of the year and to visit each once, twice, or three time a year, more often when possible. Building a relationship with the folks who get visited is a key goal of the committee so that the whole body of our congregation feels welcomed and connected.
Committee members are able to take recordings of Sunday worship services when they visit. One major project held every two years is the Wisdom Luncheon, scheduled usually in May. It honors those who have been members of Central Congregational church for fifty or more years.
The Calling Committee currently has ten members. Three members are elected each year and serve a 3 year term. If any members wish to be on the list of folks to visit or to be visited, please make your wishes known to the clergy or the facilitator . The Committee wants to be able to reach as many of our congregation as possible.
Contact Info: Joan Harrison, Chair
Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine, and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house upon a rock. And the rain descended and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not, for it was founded upon a rock. Matthew 7: 24-25.
Mission & Purpose
The Care of the Interior Committee of the Church works with Plant and Properties Subcommittee on interior decorating and minor repairs. It also cares for the vestments and Communion Service pieces.
Meetings are held in the Library the first Sunday of the month immediately following services.
Interior repairs in the Sanctuary, Chapel Hall, the Deacons’ Room, and the ancillary rooms of our building are ongoing and readily observable to all. For a current list of such projects, please contact the Chair.
The Care of the Interior Committee first appeared in the Annual Handbook for 1897-1898.
There are nine members on the Care of the Interior Committee. Three members, serving a three year term, are elected each year. Please feel free to contact the Committee Chair if you wish to get involved.
Contact info: Tedford B. Radway, Chair
The Flower Committee has charge of the floral decorations for the church. Each week the Flower Committee delivers Sunday morning flowers along with the morning bulletin to the home bound, the ill, and to other members and friends of the the congregation in times of both need and joy.
The Flower Committee meets 3-4 times each year before major church celebrations, and as needed.
The Flower Committee is composed of 15 members. Five members are elected annually for a three year term. Prior experience with flowers is not necessary. Join us! We also welcome non-voting “friends” who have an interest in the work of our committee.
Contact info: Julia Bush & Heather Lynch, Co-Chairs
The Gallery Committee meets monthly to plan a full calendar of art exhibits and events for parishioners and friends of Central Congregational Church. We devote ourselves to displaying the work of local artists, both discovered and yet to be discovered. Each artist is invited to consider an opening reception to show their works to the greater community. Those receptions are typically on a Friday evening. The highlight of our year is a high-school art exhibit and juried competition at which several local high schools are represented by student artists displaying some of the best work being done at their respective schools.
Volunteers with artistic experience or not, are welcomed to join!
Contact info: Donna Templeton, Chair
Mission & Purpose
The purpose of the Leadership Development Committee, an advisory committee of nine Permanent Diaconate members, is to assist and provide relevant and topical leadership guidance and applicable resources to existing and incoming committee chairs to help them lead and manage their respective missions within our church body. Additionally, this committee serves as the nexus for the creation and coordination of the Central Church calendar relative to each committee's meetings, activities and events.
The Leadership Development Committee meets immediately following the worship service six Sundays throughout the year. Check the Church Calendar for specific dates.
Leadership Development “All-Chairs” Seminars
The seminars to which all committee chairs or their representatives are invited, are held three
times each year, Spring (June), Fall (September) and Winter (January). The purpose of these "advisory seminars" is to share views on leadership, to act as a resource for one another, to foster inter-connections and mutual understanding among committees, and to develop skills to help effectively lead and manage respective missions.
The Leadership Development Committee was formed in 2008 as an ad hoc committee appointed by the Prudential Committee to look into ways in which the standing committees of the church could become more effective. The Committee consisted of nine members: two representatives each from the Prudential Committee and the Board of Deacons and five others who were members of the Permanent Diaconate. The Leadership Development Committee, consisting of nine members of the Permanent Diaconate, became a standing committee of the Church by unanimous vote at the Annual Meeting held in June 2011.
- A Brief Current Handbook for Committee Chairs
Each year the Committee produces a handbook of useful information specifically for committee chairs. These are distributed to all incoming chairs at our late May/early June Seminars. (Committee Chairs: Contact the LDC Chair for your print copy or directions for access to a digital copy.)
- Directory of Committee Chairs
The committee prepares and distributes to all committee chairs an annual directory of Church standing committee and subcommittee chairs, clergy and deacon representatives, and coffee-hour assignments to encourage and facilitate inter-committee communications.
The Leadership Development Committee welcomes ideas about how we can be most beneficial to the work of Church committees. A recent example of this involvement is the collaboration and kind assistance of our Technology Committee to help facilitate more effective communication, online presence and interaction among our Church committees and the Church at large.
Contact: Bob Stout & Barry Bayon, Co-Chairs
The Walter Bernard Library, housed in a quiet room off the Fireplace Room, is organized to serve the needs of the congregation for study and reflection. The Library holds a growing collection pertaining to religious subjects, including Reference and Circulating books. The Library is open during church hours. A member of the Library Committee is present each week after Sunday worship to assist with locating and circulating books.
That which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you may have fellowship with us and our fellowship is with God the Creator. 1 John 1:3
Mission and Purpose
The Membership Committee is committed to the growth and development of our congregation. The committee welcomes new members, fosters an inviting environment, and creates opportunities for members to strengthen the bonds of fellowship through their participation in the life of the church.
The Membership Committee meets on the second Wednesday of every month at 6:15 p.m.
Welcome Table - Every Sunday following the church service, a member of the Membership Committee is in Chapel Hall to welcome visitors and share opportunities to participate in the life of the church.
New Member Luncheons - The first Sunday of November, February, and May, when new members join the church, the Membership Committee hosts a lunch/reception following the church service to formally welcome them into the congregation.
Membership Directory- Approximately every five years, the committee organizes a pictorial directory of current members.
Informational Brochures - The committee also plays an important role in developing informational brochures about church life.
Central Shepherds - When individuals join the church, they are each paired with a "shepherd" (a member of the congregation who guides them through the first year of membership), hopefully initiating long-term friendships. The Membership Committee hosts orientation sessions for Shepherds and provides guidance to help them integrate new members into the life of the church.
Bring a Friend Sundays - The Membership Committee hosts Bring a Friend Sundays to encourage the congregation to reach out to individuals who may be searching for a church home.
Communication - The Membership Committee is working with a sub-committee of the Prudential Committee on a comprehensive plan for communication within the church as well as in the wider community.
Special Invitations to New Members - The Membership Committee sends special invitations to church events to those who have joined the church in the last church year.
Getting Involved: The committee is composed of 18 members. Six members are elected annually for a three year term. If you are interested in helping out or in learning more contact the chair or visit the Welcome Table, located in Chapel Hall, after church.
Contact Info: Caroline Considine & Jane Duffy, Co-Chairs
“I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.” John 11:25
Mission and Purpose
The Mission of the courtyard committee is to provide oversight and care of the Memorial Courtyard in an effort to provide a sacred space for interment of ashes and quiet reflection for families. Terms and conditions for the burial of ashes in the garden’s columbarium can be obtained in the office.
The Memorial Courtyard Committee does not have regular scheduled meetings.
The committee provides care and maintenance for the garden. We do a spring cleanup before Easter and continue maintenance throughout the growing season. We also incorporate some decorations at Christmas and Easter.
Plans for the Memorial Courtyard garden were initiated in 1992 in response to congregants’ wishes for a place to memorialize members and their families, who have chosen to be cremated. The courtyard makes available to our membership and their families underground niches for the interment of ashes with memorialization on the “In Memoriam” plaque in the Wilson Chapel. The garden was completed in May of 1993.
The Memorial Courtyard committee is composed of 6 members. Two members, who serve a three year term, are elected each year. If you would like to help with maintenance or decorating, please contact the committee Chair.
Contact Info: Janice Schmidt, Chair
Let each of you look not to your own interests, but the interests of others.
-- Philippians 2:4
Mission and Purpose
The mission of the committee is to build loving relationships across all boundaries, within and beyond the church and its purpose is to work for the increase in the love of God and neighbor through worship, caring, sharing, and outreach.
The Committee meets on the third Wednesday of every month, September through June, at 7:00pm in the Fireplace Room.
Events/ Activities/ Projects
The committee is involved in a diverse range of projects—internationally, nationally, locally, and within the church; in human services, child welfare, health care, educational and spiritual support. It coordinates and volunteers hundreds of hours to mission projects. In addition, the committee organizes an annual Mission Day when the congregation at large serves together working on specific projects identified within neighboring communities. The committee also assists in organizing adult mission trips. Periodically, The Mission and Action Committee sponsors after church “Mission Lunches”.
- Amos House
- The Blessing Way
- Bread for the World
- Camp Street Community Ministries
- The Chaplaincy Center
- Crossroads Rhode Island
- Habitat for Humanity
- The Institute for the Practice and Study of Nonviolence
- Rhode Island Community Food Bank
- Sojourner House
The committee is comprised of sixteen members, each serving a four year term. Four new members are elected annually. Hands on opportunities for anyone interested include serving breakfast at Amos House, working at Habitat for Humanity, assisting food distribution at Camp Street Neighborhood Ministries, Spring and Fall Mission Days, Adult Mission trips, participating in the Sandwich Brigade, donating food and clothing for Camp Street Neighborhood Ministries, and donating personal care and toiletry items and cleaning supplies for Sojourner House. To learn more about the work of the committee or to volunteer, speak to the clergy or the chair of the committee.
Contact Person: Mary Marran, Chair
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
Psalm 100 v.1
Mission and Purpose:
The Music Committee is charged with supporting the music program of Central Congregational Church, directed by choirmaster and organist Patrick Aiken. Through Sunday morning worship and planned events throughout the year, the Music Committee strives to reach not only the congregation, but also the Providence and surrounding communities.
The Music Committee meets the first Thursday of every month at 6:30 p.m. in Chapel Hall.
The Music Committee organizes many events throughout the year. Some of these events include Central’s Trim-A-Tree, Special Services of Music and a Spring Cabaret.
The Music Committee is composed of eight members. Two members are elected annually for a four year term. Volunteers at any of the Music Committee planned events are always welcome.
Contact Info: Erik Wohlgemuth, Chair
God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. 1 Peter 4:10.
The Nominating Committee consists of three members elected from the church membership at large, as well as a representative from the Board of Deacons and a representative from the Prudential Committee. The three members from the church membership at large serve a three year term with one new member being elected each year. Nominating sponsors the annual Committee Fair at Coffee Hour on a Sunday in the winter. Working with the ministers of the church to match the talents of church members with committee vacancies, the Nominating Committee then proposes a slate of candidates which is presented at the Church's annual meeting each spring.
The Nominating Committee meets regularly from February through May at the convenience of the committee members.
The Nominating Committee sponsors the annual Committee Fair at an after church Coffee Hour in February. An interest survey, sent in the February newsletter, is uses to assist the work of the committee.
The Nominating Committee first appeared in the 1901-1902 Annual Handbook. On February 8, 2010 the first Committee Fair, sponsored by the Leadership Development Committee, was held. The next year the Nominating Committee began sponsoring the event.
At the annual Committee Fair at a winter coffee hour, church members can speak with committee chairs and volunteer for service in area that is of interest to them.
Contact info: Sandi Connors, Chair
At Central, Religious Education occupies an important position among children and adults alike. The religious education committee guides the educational programs for every age, from our active and vibrant Church School, to our Junior and Senior High Youth Groups, and finally to our engaging Adult Education courses and learning opportunities. This committee works in creative collaboration with the Director of Religious Education and the ministers.
The Religious Education committee supports a number of annual events, including the church campfire, game night, Christmas caroling, the Christmas angel gift tree, the church picnic, and in-depth discussion sessions on a wide range of topics.
“The mission of Christian Education at Central Congregational Church is to create a nurturing environment where people of all ages may discover, in the lessons of God’s love, the courage to live and serve as disciples of Jesus Christ.”
–Mission Statement, Religious Education Committee
Each year four new members are elected for a three year term.
Contact info: Torin Matheau, Chair
Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. – Hebrews 13:2
Mission and Purpose
The Social Committee's main mission is to assist in the social life of the congregation. The Committee is also responsible for the general oversight of the church kitchen, Social Committee silver, china, linen, and table service.
Events/Activities and Projects
The Social Committee is responsible for organizing and serving...
- Luncheon for the Visually Impaired - usually the first Thursday in December
- Silver Tea (directly after the Carol Service)
- Annual Meeting Luncheon - the last Sunday in May or the first Sunday in June
- Summer refreshments after services in June, July and August
- Special events throughout the year as needed
The Social Committee meets as needed.
"The Social Committee was established because, from the earliest days of Central Church, the ministers have felt the need of the help of a group of devoted people to make their church a warmly, hospitable and friendly place in which strangers would find themselves welcome, and which would supplement in practical ways the spoken gospel of brotherly kindness."
“The purpose for which the Committee was originally called together (in 1882) has never changed. It is a legacy of privilege and opportunity which the present has received from the past, which in turn it will bequeath to the future. By its very nature it cannot be otherwise.”
The Social Committee is composed of 12 members. Four new members, each serving a three year term, are elected annually. Being a part of the Social Committee means working with a team of other members with whom you spend time, laugh while preparing and serving food, sample cookies, wash dishes, and get to know. While working together, the committee members are able to continue the wonderful traditions of Central Congregational Church by joining with the community that makes Central such a unique place. “Friends of the Committee” are always welcome!
Contact info: Blair Maiers & Carol Maiello, Co-Chairs
And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. - Genesis 11:6
Mission and Purpose:
The Technology Committee serves the needs of Central Church in a variety of ways primarily focused on using technology to make our church more efficient and our outreach more effective. We are responsible for the acquisition and ongoing maintenance for equipment ranging from computers to the phone system. Tech also assists, trains and educates other committees on ways to use technology, the Internet and even Social Networking to carry forward their own missions and responsibilities. The committee also maintains and seeks to continually grow Central Church's presence on the Internet - www.centralchurch.us.
The committee generally meets the first Monday of each month at 7PM and at other times when necessary.
Tech keeps an inventory of the phone systems, computer equipment and peripherals, and the sound system. The committee is also responsible for ongoing maintenance of all these items, and for ordering new equipment as needs arise. The Tech Committee, guided by the Webmaster, reviews the design and uses of the website and email blasts in an effort to make these tools as accessible and useful to the congregation as possible.
Mid-to late1990s: The first donated computers appear in the church office, originally for word processing. A copy of the “Church Windows” software was later obtained to create a database for tracking church membership, committees, and donations. (A much-expanded version of this software is still in use by the office.)
2001-2002: An informal group of church members (George Delaney, Robert Stout, and Tom Viall) begins to gather to discuss the role of technology in the church, especially the potential for a web site. A testing site is opened to flesh out the structure and functions of the web site. The informal committee expands to include more people with web and/or technology skills. The office is connected to a DSL service replacing dial-up Internet access.
2003: The Technology Committee becomes a recognized committee (originally called the Web Committee), with its first formal meeting on January 24. Those present were Steve DeWitt, Pamela O'Hara, Robert Stout, and George Delany. The web site is formally opened to public access on April 27, Heritage Sunday. With the web site came the first e-mail addresses with the centralchurch.us address.
2005: The Technology Committee becomes a permanent committee of Central Church by a vote of the Prudential Committee approving the following addition to the Church bylaws: “The Technology Committee shall consist of six members elected for terms of office not to exceed three years, which are arranged so that the terms of one-third of the members shall expire annually. The Church Webmaster, appointed by the Prudential Committee with the advice of the Technology Committee, will serve as an ex officio member of the Technology Committee. The Technology Committee at Central Congregational Church shall be responsible for the needs of the Church in matters regarding the acquisition, updating, maintenance and operation of electronic and accessory equipment, content, software and furnishings, and such other matters as the Prudential Committee or the Deacons shall assign to it.” Tom Viall was formally named the first Webmaster.
Post 2005: The committee has overseen a number of significant projects over the past few years including the installation of a new phone system and now manages and maintains eight office computers as well as associated software, printers and peripherals. Reliance on technology has grown so rapidly at Central that in 2008 the church retained a part-time computer systems and networking technician, Natalya Philibert. The committee continues to take on new and interesting responsibilities and recently completed the first two phases of a comprehensive upgrade to the church sound system.
There are many ways to get involved, whatever your level of experience! To become part of the committee, visit a monthly meeting or speak to a member of the Tech or Nominating Committee. If you prefer substituting occasionally, we offer training to operate the Sanctuary sound system. Photographs from church events are always welcome on the website (especially with captions). Anyone with an idea for the use of technology to enhance the mission of the Church is also welcome to submit a proposal to Tech for consideration.
Contact Info: Tom Viall & Bob Stout, Co-Chairs