Central

Address

6 West Dickson Street
Fayetteville, AR 72701

More Info

Service Times

Sunday 8:30 AM

Sunday 9:30 AM

Sunday 10:45 AM

Contact

(479) 442-4237

Genesis

Address

205 Martin Luther King Blvd.
Fayetteville, AR 72701

More Info

Service Times

Sunday 9:00 AM

Sunday 10:45 AM

Contact

(479) 442-1827

UA Wesley

Address

520 N. Lindell Avenue
Fayetteville, AR 72701

More Info

Service Times

Tuesday 8:00 PM

Wednesday 12:00 PM

Thursday 11:30 AM

Thursday 6:30 PM

Contact

(479)-442-1820

This Sunday at Central

Coming Events

CCM Family Night at the Farm
Friday, October 18, 2019, 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM

CCM Family Night at the FarmFriday, October 18 | 5 - 8 p.m. | Farmland AdventuresThe whole family is invited to an evening of good ol' fashion fun at Farmland Adventures...

HOPE Event
Thursday, October 24, 2019, 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Central will host the Hope Event for our community in partnership with the Veterans Administration and the University of Arkansas.  The day will include health and...

CCM Bible Blast-Off!
Friday, November 01, 2019, 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM

CCM Bible Blast-Off!Friday, Nov 1 | 6 - 8:30 pm | Ed. BldgRegistration required3rd graders are invited to participate in Bible Blast-Off! Through games and song, the...

Ministries at Central

We offer many areas of ministries available to help you grow closer to Christ and deeper in  your faith. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email us at  and a staff member will be in touch shortly.

Adult MinistriesCentral CARESChildren's MinistryCentral Children's AcademyMissions & OutreachCollege MinistrySr. Adult MinistryStudent MinistryWorship Ministries

 

Central UMC Blog

Just Ask
Oct 16, 2019

Editors Note:  How often do we just rush out of church on a Sunday, in a hurry to get on with our day?  We are a part of the best community we could wish for but often we are too busy to stop and savor it.  For some of us it's hard to step out of our comfort zone and begin conversations. But imagine how much harder it is for that person who is alone or new to our community. Maybe it's time we slow down, take a risk, and say hello. It might just result in the start of a new friendship.
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I often find myself lingering in the back after the service has ended wondering if this will be the Sunday someone starts up a conversation with me or invites me to lunch. After a little bit, I begin my walk out slowly, giving anyone the chance to call out my name before I get to the door. I say to myself, “Here I go, last chance". I have reached the door and begin to pull it open while trying to push down the dread that is creeping up inside. Once again, I make that long drive home, alone.

Did you know that Sundays can be one of the loneliest days? There is nothing like being in a place full of likeminded individuals worshiping the God you love, and then as soon as that service ends, everyone goes right back to the busy flow of their lives. It is almost like those moments when you are peacefully resting with the lights off, then someone just comes barging in and turns the lights on. No one lingers after Worship; to revel in the presence of God as long as possible. Everyone is so quick to rush out. No one sees the hunger in some for continued fellowship with other believers and to continue in that Worship we just experienced. There is power in community and in relationships. People of today are longing for authentic relationships and conversations within a faith community. Don't let them go unnoticed. If they go unnoticed long enough, they will seek out that fellowship and belonging somewhere outside the church.

As you walk out after the worship service, don't miss seeing me as I linger in the back. Ask me how I am doing. Ask me about who I am. Ask me if I can go to lunch. Just ask. I want to share my life and be a part of this family of believers. You may be saving me from driving back to an empty house feeling completely unseen.

- Anonymous

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Scroll down to leave comment.

Central UMC Blog

A Man Out of Balance
Oct 03, 2019
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Saul was a persecutor of early Christians until Jesus confronted him on the road to Damascus. Jesus commanded and encouraged Paul to be a witness to Jews and Gentiles that eternal life and salvation was through belief in the resurrected Jesus and the triune nature of God the Father, God the Son Jesus, and God the Holy Spirit.

The apostle Paul experienced great trials and tribulations.  He was called bad names during his ministry as expressed in 2 Corinthians 11: 16 – 33. He was imprisoned, whipped, beaten, and stoned. He faced danger and death. Paul was shipwrecked, spent many sleepless nights and was frequently hungry, thirsty, and cold. But because of his zeal for the truth, Paul was driven. He lived passionately for the Lord and to share the gospel with the lost. The Apostle Paul was viewed as crazy.

With his fervor for serving the Lord, he seemed like a man out of balance and fanatical to the world. While most of us would have fallen into despair, depression, and resentfulness from all the worldly persecution, the Apostle Paul persevered with joy, love, and a thankful heart as he shared the Good News of Jesus Christ. Paul was blessed for his faithfulness and he is recognized for his instrumental impact on Christianity and the development of the early church from the Mediterranean region to Rome.  And even though he didn’t start off in perfect harmony with Jesus, Paul was able to share his God-given gifts and talents through his God-spirited written word and missional actions.

Some may say that our son Steven is a man out of balance. Born with an extra chromosome on a brisk October morning and delivered by a family practice physician. The doctor who delivered Steven told us he had Down Syndrome and asked if we wanted to institutionalize him.  

Steven has experienced great physical trials and tribulations during his 38 years of life. He had surgery at only six months of age. At nine months of age, he had open-heart surgery to repair a hole between heart chambers. And in the following years, he had five pacemaker surgeries, survived a diabetic-induced coma and became a Type I diabetic at age 33. He is now insulin-dependent with four doses each day and he has become gluten intolerant. Truly a man out of balance.

But, through all the physical surgeries and body ailments, Steven has persevered with joy, love, and a thankful heart. He has had many triumphs. He graduated from Fayetteville High School. He worked nine years at the Jones Family Center and three years at McDonald’s. Steven is quite the athlete with a collection of Special Olympics Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals won by competing in the 50 Yard Walk, Softball Throw, and Bocce Ball. Steven has experienced 38 years of church worship, praise, and community. He enjoyed singing praise songs with 60,000 men at a Promise Keeper event in the Dallas Cowboys Stadium. He is an avid reader of the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette, Sunday edition. And against all odds, he has accomplished his level of independence with an apartment in the Life Styles residential community.

Like Paul, Steven has had his share of trials and tribulations. Our son has faced danger and death. I’m sure at times he may have felt shipwrecked.  But through it all, he has shared his God-given gifts and talents, through mostly non-verbal actions, that are God spirited and filled with love and joy. He has influenced many individuals in direct and indirect ways. Whether we have an extra chromosome or not, we all are unique in God’s eyes and we experience trials, tribulations, and triumphs in our daily existence. We know without a doubt that Steven has been held physically by Jesus on several occasions during his ongoing 38 years of life. Ann and I are blessed and thankful to have two grown children that know Jesus on a personal basis.
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For families like the Johanson's, normality may look a little different than our cultural norms.  But, what is normal? Perhaps we're asking the wrong question. For a subculture that passionately wants to be seen as normal, the question becomes––what gives a person value?  

We hope you will join the Central family for a special screening of Normie. A true story about young millennial woman seeking independence and intimacy as she grapples with the illusion of normal and the realities of living with Down syndrome. 

Coming November 7!

To leave your comment, please scroll down to the comment section of this blog.

Central UMC Blog

Never Give Up
Sep 25, 2019

When contemplating the future of The United Methodist Church, we all find ourselves asking a couple questions: How did we get to this point? Why is the theological gap so wide? My answers take me back to an experience in my own life that propelled me on this journey of awareness and struggle within the UM Church. 

Some United Methodist readers might not be surprised that one of the most disappointing, trying, and life-altering times I had ever experienced happened within the walls of a UM general church agency. About seven years ago I attended a General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM) training program for US-2 missionaries (a US-2 missionary agrees to serve two years in domestic missions). Initially, I was excited to be around other Millenials like myself, who, I assumed, shared the same passion for missions and spreading the Gospel as I did; I quickly learned otherwise. Some of us clearly did not share the same perspective and values regarding missions.

Several nights during my initial training I remember lying in bed wondering why I decided to join this GBGM program. I had come to the training eager to learn how to talk to others about Jesus and how to be an effective missionary, but to my dismay, we hardly ever talked about Jesus. The primary focus was on social justice issues and very little about evangelization and spiritual growth. To be clear, like many Millenials, I am very passionate about injustices toward individuals and groups of people, but fighting injustice cannot be done effectively without passionately sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ. He is, after all, the one who compels us to share the Gospel with others in both word and deed. Unfortunately, the GBGM program seemed primarily interested in being open and affirming of other people’s beliefs and convictions than in making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world

When I raised some concerns based on the UM Church’s evangelical and traditional beliefs, I was not taken seriously. Instead, I was treated as somewhat of an outcast. Years later, I still struggle with the fact that a general agency of the UM Church would send young adults out on the mission field without covering them in prayer, teaching them the spiritual disciplines, and equipping them to share the Gospel.

My first four months of service were spent in New Jersey with the intention of focusing on recovery and relief in response to Hurricane Sandy – a worthy effort. However, in the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference, I encountered an institution confused and desperately trying to figure out how to keep dying churches open by creating more programs.

Eventually, I was transferred to Miami and placed in a non-profit called Branches where I served the remainder of my two-year term. Branches, an organization originally started by the UM Church, seeks to educate and inspire people through student, family, and financial wellness services. There, I had the privilege to work alongside many deeply faithful Christians. I ended up serving at Branches for nearly five years.

I am grateful to GBGM for the opportunity to work and serve in these cross-cultural communities. However, I began to see ever more clearly that at least parts of my beloved UM Church had significantly strayed from a warm-hearted, Wesleyan expression of the Christian faith that has always excelled at integrating faith and service.

As I have reflected on my service as a US-2 missionary, my service in local UM churches, and as a General Conference delegate in 2016 and an alternate in 2019, I have observed some things about UM Millenials.

First, I think many of them, especially those new to the faith, are struggling to find their way, to find their place and purpose in the world. They desperately desire an authentic community, a community that speaks the Truth into their lives. They want the church to speak honestly to them about their struggles and not dismiss or ignore them. They don’t want a church that simply mirrors the world; they can find that kind of community in a variety of places. They want the church to speak Truth into their lives. However, like new Christians of any age, some do chafe at a church that challenges them to change and grow in holiness.

I have also observed that some young adults find their identity in how they feel about things, in their desires, and their experiences. They’re at a bit of loss as to how to find their identity in the Creator God. Our feelings and emotions are a gift from God, but like anything else, our feelings and emotions can be used by the enemy to confuse us. Millenials need a church that will help them ground their identity in Scripture, the great teachings of the church handed down through the ages, and above all, in Christ, who is constant and never changing. Unfortunately, I fear the church has failed many young people by not teaching these foundational Truths.  

Finally, I’ve discovered our differences are far deeper and wider than I was aware of. Certain quarters in American Christianity appear incapable of making sound moral judgments rooted in Scripture and the teachings of the church. Young people are growing up learning we need to be “slow to speak and quick to listen” – a good thing to be sure – but I am afraid some are so slow to speak up at all for fear of being bullied or shamed for their theological and ethical convictions. They are reticent to answer questions about what is right and wrong or state why they believe what they believe. These young people need to hear us proclaiming the Gospel and our orthodox views with clarity, compassion, and confidence! Christians must model a kind of fearlessness that is tempered by grace and wisdom.

Admittedly, I was naïve about the church’s theological and ethical differences when I attended that GBGM training event several years ago, but no longer. The bitterness evident at our annual conferences and General Conference revealed that chasm. I was heartbroken in Portland in 2016 and St. Louis in 2019 when I witnessed young people quote Scripture out of context, use mean spirited words, attempt to shame those who disagreed with them, disrupt the work of the church, and claim tolerance and acceptance as the church’s preeminent values.

Their desperate pleas have challenged me to think about my own words and actions. Am I hateful and causing harm? Am I leading people away from God? Have I misunderstood the Bible? I have spent much time praying and reading Scripture; I want to be as sure as I possibly can that I am not in the wrong. Thankfully, instead of engendering doubt and uncertainty, prayer and Scripture reading have only re-enforced my strong evangelical and traditional convictions that Christ is Lord, and the teachings of Scripture and the church universal provide all of us with a sure foundation.

As I continue to think about Millenials like me, my deepest desire is to see them enter into a deep and committed relationship with God. How? By extending them extravagant hospitality, by inviting them into genuine and honest conversations about what it means to follow Christ, by a willingness to speak the truth in love, and, by teaching them the great spiritual disciplines of our faith. My first instinct is to avoid those who are screaming and shouting their disagreements at me because I fear their rejection. I am reminded in those moments to view what scares me in relation to God and not myself, and it is in Him that I will be triumphant. Let’s not allow the world to convince Millenials and younger people to believe falsehoods about God and themselves. We need to do the hard things. We need to speak up with grace and truth. We need to reach out and pull them back. If we don’t, who will?

Central UMC Blog

Created for Community
Sep 18, 2019

I want to tell you about a friend of mine. Let’s call him Joe. I met Joe at Community Meals. He’s one of the smartest, kindest people I know. Joe is also homeless.

A couple of months ago, Joe was riding his bicycle on the Razorback Greenway in Fayetteville and was hit by a car at a crosswalk. He was thrown from his bike, fracturing two vertebrae, and was taken to the ER. Without insurance, the hospital did what they could and then released him. Joe was in terrific pain, unable to sit up, could not walk or care for himself – with nowhere to go. What was he to do?

Here’s the cool part – a member of the Central family heard what happened to Joe and paid for him to stay in a motel for a couple of nights. Another friend from Central, one he had met at Community Meals, went to the motel, bathed and fed him; and then took him in for a couple of weeks until he was on his feet.

The next time I saw Joe was at church. He was smiling ear-to-ear. I don’t think I have ever seen him happier or more at home. This was all because a community surrounded him, showering him with love, restoring his dignity and self-worth, showing him that he is a beloved child of God.

We need community.

Recently, I met a man we’ll call Wesley. He spent most of his adult life in and out of prison, released only to re-offend. Wesley was raised in North Little Rock by his grandmother who had to work all the time to provide. Therefore he grew up on the streets, learning how to sell drugs to get by.

He got out of prison three weeks ago. When I met him, he told me,

“I know I’ll never go back. I’m a new man!”

The difference this time was that his final 18 months in prison were spent in Pathway to Freedom, a Christian ministry within the Arkansas Department of Corrections, a ministry that Central supports. He said the difference was becoming connected to Christ and to other inmates going through the program – men he now calls his “brothers.” They encourage one another and hold each other accountable. The difference was his new life in Christ coupled with living in authentic community with others.

We are all made for community. You don’t have to be homeless or in prison to need real connection. Made in the image of the triune God, who, from before time, exists in community – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We truly thrive most and are at our best in authentic community, in relationship with others.

It’s why we’ve been talking about this idea of Worship+. “Church” is more than a place we go for an hour on Sunday morning. As important as it is for us to gather in worship (and we must not give up on that!), the idea of “Church” in the New Testament was not attending a service but Christ-centered relationships. Not an hour a week, but sharing life with each another, all centered in the one thing we have in common – Christ.

What would it look like for you to more intentionally invite community into your life? Would it be joining a Sunday morning class? A Wednesday evening group? Maybe “banding together” with some brothers or sisters, sharing hurts and habits, praying for each other? Or maybe it’s a baby step like getting involved with Beyond Our Walls, our one-day outreach to the community? Maybe it’s getting involved with Community Meals or Pathway to Freedom? Or even joining others on a short-term outreach to the Amazon or Uganda?

Whatever authentic community looks like for you, you can find it here at Central – no matter your age or background. We need each other. God created us to live in community.

Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.

Hebrews 10:24-25

Central UMC Blog

Bookends
Sep 04, 2019
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Worship+
Worship+ community-based discipleship.
Worship+ serving others.

I know, I know. We’re all pushed for time! You may be thinking, “Isn’t Sunday morning worship enough? I’m already doing so much! I can't add anything else to my weekly schedule.” Don't worry! Worship+ isn't about adding more to an already overloaded schedule. Worship+ is all about giving – giving back to the God who created us.

Let me explain…

Sunday morning worship is the way the Central community of faith gives themselves to God in a gathered setting. The natural bookends of this Sunday morning worship are community-based discipleship and serving others. Discipleship fuels our worship and our worship sends us out into service.

Let’s begin in the middle of those bookends by talking about worship. Our English word for worship means to “ascribe worth.” Worship is our response to God’s revelation of Himself. In our Sunday morning worship, we declare the truth about God through song, through liturgy, and through the proclamation of Scripture.

Of course, true worship is never rote participation in these things, nor does true worship spring from a void. True worship must be grounded in an accurate understanding of God’s nature and character. True worship stems from being a disciple of Jesus. Discipleship can happen in multiple ways, but it often happens especially well in community with others who bear God’s image. This is what Jesus modeled for His disciples.

"Come, follow me," Jesus said...

Matthew 4:19 NIV

Jesus was not calling Peter into single file formation like a game of follow-the-leader. When Jesus calls, he calls us into community – to be face to face with him and others - to share all aspects of life.

Jesus did not call Peter in isolation. That same call of “follow me” was also heard by Peter’s brother Andrew, along with two more fishermen brothers, James and John. Instant community! These two sets of brothers already knew each other, but now they would be companions on a spiritual journey, sharing life with Jesus. Eight others would soon be added to this close-knit community.

Just as it did for the twelve disciples, community-based discipleship of Jesus forms us spiritually, too. Within community we draw closer to God and open our hearts to one another. In community, we gain fresh insights and perspectives different from our own. We learn to speak less, listen more, exhibit patience, and receive grace. Conflicts may bubble up but resolutions can be found. Confession, repentance, and forgiveness come into play.

With this first bookend solidly in place, our participation in the liturgy and the songs on Sunday mornings become as important to us as the teaching we receive from the pastors. No longer are we merely wanting to “get something” from public worship. Instead, we want to give something. We want to share the love of Jesus and invite others into His story of mercy and grace.

This brings us to the other bookend - serving others. Our worship of God leads us to practical application. The deeper our worship, the greater our desire to help. This can include service within the church – greeting, ushering, teaching, singing in the choir or being part of the contemporary worship team. But it also involves praying for revival, providing meals to the hungry, replenishing the clothing closets, stocking the food pantries, and assisting those in crisis.

When our worship flows from our discipleship, we become better family members, friends, neighbors, and employees. We seek out those we have avoided and invite them into our faith community. We open our hearts to those we once considered outsiders. We meet the needs both within and beyond our local community. We share the good news of Jesus in a relational way.

Community-based discipleship and serving others are the bookends which anchor both our private and our public worship. Without community-based discipleship, what may appear to be worship can simply be a matter of going through the motions. And without the fuel of heartfelt worship, serving others can become a burden.

In his book “Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places,” Eugene Peterson states that Sunday morning worship should be “an exposition of the week” and “when we walk out of the place of worship, we walk with fresh, recognizing eyes, and a re-created obedient heart into the world in which we are God’s image participating in God’s creation work.”

Worship+. I can’t think of a better formula for living!

What about you? What questions do you have about the many opportunities at Central to connect in discipleship and to serve others?

Please don’t hesitate to reach out. I’d love to talk with you!

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