WHAT TO EXPECT
(most of this still applies even to our live-streaming service)
Dress Casual (pre-service)
The Come as You Are Part (Right now you can worship in your pajamas!)
Sunday's around here are relaxed and casual, yet reverent. No one around here's particularly fashion conscious, though Calvin Klein is the preferred brand.
Grab a Gift (pre-service)
The Center Church Grocery Tote Part (Right now we'll deliver it to your doorstep if you send us your address)
As you're greeted outside when you arrive, one of our greeters will get you a grocery tote bag that is filled with some gifts. (You have to come to find out what!) If you have children, our greeters will also help you get your kids checked-in for Sunday School.
Infant & Toddlers Check-In (pre-service)
The Childcare Part (We have a segment for the kids during our live-stream service)
As you enter the building, you will see a table that says "Center Kids." This is where you sign your infants & toddlers (0-3) into childcare. The rest of the kids join us for the singing and are then released to Sunday School along with their teachers.
Worship (the service begins)
The Singing Part (Sing at home while we live-stream our worship leader)
The call to worship begins with the ringing of a bell. This lets everyone who is out in the lobby chatting away know that the service is about to begin. All the lyrics to the songs are on a large screen. If you don't know the song, foot-tapping is allowed.
The Giving Part (We have several giving options -- Venmo, Online giving through our webpage and app, and a physical address where you can mail a check -- just go to the contact page for the address)
After approximately three worship songs, one of our elders (that word just means pastor) explains what our giving goes toward and then prays for the offering. While the offering is being received, there is one more worship song.
The Children's Part (Again, we have a short segment for the kids during our live-stream service)
After the offering and song, one of our elders prays for the children and Sunday school leaders and then releases them to the Sunday school rooms that are right down the hall. The safety of your children is a priority around here. (All of our volunteers are background checked.)
The Learning Part (This is much the same online as it was live, except you can't sit close enough to get spit on now)
Our sermons are straight from the pages of the Bible and then applied to us today. These are not lightweight self-help talks disguised as sermons. These are in-depth, God-has-communicated-to-humanity type proclamations.
The Lord's Supper
The Remembering Part (We encourage you to gather the elements of bread and juice at home and participate with us)
The sermon's application is given while sealed communion cups are passed out. The pre-sealed cups have both the juice and the wafer, so no fear of germs. Generally, we have communion every Sunday.
REAL. LOVE. NOW
REAL. LOVE. NOW. also serves as our process statement. Any person who attends Center Church can know where they are in the discipleship process. The word disciples just means learner, someone who is learning who Christ is and why He matters to you now. So, to find out where you are in the discipleship process you just have to think REAL. LOVE. NOW.
That's number one, get REAL. Commit to knowing Jesus as your Lord and Savior and showing up for Sunday worship and be honest with yourself and others.
That's when Christian service happens -- now. We want you to serve God now. Don’t wait until you’re perfect (never). Don’t wait until you think you know enough. Serve God now. We have a Spiritual Gifts & Passions Test designed to help you find your place.
Be part of a community! Small Groups are simply groups of people who gather in homes to worship, read the Bible, pray, enjoy gospel-centered discussion, and eat some snacks. These groups consist of seasoned believers, newer believers who are learning to live on mission, and those not yet convinced of the truth of the gospel.
We offer small groups twice each year. The first session of groups begins in September and lasts for 12 weeks. Our second session of Center Groups begins in February of the new year and runs from 6 to 8 weeks.
"For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth..." Ain't that the truth!
I have always been convinced that most comedians are just preachers who haven't answered their call, so after 20-years as a full-time standup comedian, I answered the call and helped plant Emmaus Church (you win a Christian maturity ribbon if you can pronounce Emmaus) in Redlands, California, which is now eight-years-old and going strong. Then I was a teaching pastor at Canyon Lake Community Church for four years and have now ventured back into church planting as the lead pastor of Center Church. (You get nothing if you can pronounce that, except the satisfaction of being hooked on phonics.) We celebrated our three-year anniversary Easter of 2019.
Westminster Seminary California allowed me onto their campus even though I baptize grownups. That seminary and its professors have been formative in my life.
But not as much as my wife who I have been married to for 26 years as of July 2019. As a couple, we are both advocates of orphan care, having adopted Kate when she was 11 days old. That's me in the selfie with my wife Dinika, our son Rex (2), our daughter Eden (18), and our daughter Kate (10). That's right. Eight years between each of our kids, because we're good planners.
Children's Ministry Director
Our Children's Ministry is lovingly led by a team consisting of Jenny and Dan Cleary, and Dinika Sides. But since Jenny takes the brunt of the administrative responsibilities, she gets top billing, so to speak.
Jenny works with families during the week as an education specialist for River Springs Charter Schools, so managing the education of children is always on her radar. Dan is one of our elders and teaches economics along with government at Martin Luther King Jr. in Riverside.
Dinika Sides is my wife who gave up a career as a corporate executive to homeschool our children. (Long story on the last name thing.)
The goal in children's ministry is the same goal as the rest of the church -- that Christ is the central figure in every Bible story.
In the selfie above -- Jenny is pictured with Dan and their girls Julia (11), and Charlotte (9).
Steve Adler is a consummate rocker, as in rock n’ roll back when it was rock n’ roll and not whatever it is now. Techno. Exactly. Tech? No. The first rock concert Steve attended was KISS in 1979 and yes, he was in full makeup. Thankfully for us, he has left face-painting behind and leads the worship team at Center Church.
Steve brings his passion for the Lord into the sanctuary and with every note of his guitar. If there is an instrument, whatever it may be, Steven can probably play it, even the ukulele. He started playing music at 11-years of age, was awarded a gold medal at an international music festival with a jazz ensemble in 1984. He is a first class bass player, but his skills go far beyond his instrument of preference. This is why one of his great gifts is in developing other musicians and singers into worshippers who sing to the Lord with their whole heart and on key. Praise the Lord.
Steve has been married to Tammy (who was such a good sport for this selfie which came without warning) for 26 years in October. They have three children, one in college (Dave, 23, studying psychology at Cal State Long Beach), one who just graduated college (Michaela, 24, BS in geology from Cal State Fullerton) and Sam (19) who's still at home.
Calendar of Events
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