From the Pastor's Desk What do we do with ‘new’?

What do we do with ‘new’?

What do we do with ‘new’?

Well, this is a big week. This week, we make the new shift to 9:30AM for both the worship service and the new Central Kids Sunday school. We’ll have a new greeting team in place, as well as some new technology for Sunday. You also may not know it, but we have a brand new website ( The Women’s Bible Study is kicking off a new year this Tuesday at 10:30AM. And – I’m still pretty new! Personally, I am very excited for all of the ‘new’ we have going on. 

But I was recently reminded that not everyone is as excited as me.

And that’s ok. I know that ‘new’ can be hard. I know that sometimes when things change, things move further away from what we first liked about it or further away from what we wanted to happen. Sometimes changes works out surprisingly well – and we can’t believe why we were against it in the first place.  But sometimes changes works out equally bad – and we can’t believe we wanted it in the first place!  Sometimes the grass really is greener, sometimes not. This happens. It’s life.

But here’s what’s important at this point: that we talk about it in the right way.

One thing about change is that it can bring up negative feelings and responses, and what we do with those feelings and responses matters. What I’ve seen before in church – and I’ve done this as well! – is that we hear about change, don’t like it, complain, and then either we sow seeds of discord – or even worse – we stew about it, become unhappy, and then maybe even leave. This is what we don’t want you to do with your feelings and response to change.

Instead, here’s what we want you to do if you’re feeling unhappy with things, dissatisfied, forgotten about, or really, anything else negative: talk to us about it, using the right channels.

What do I mean by channels?  Three things.

First, please feel free to talk to me.
My door is always open (metaphorically, that is…literally, it’s often closed to keep in the precious air conditioning!). Please feel free to email me directly, or call the church to speak with me. I think you will find that a) I give a pretty mellow reaction, even to hard things; b) I have pretty thick skin; c) I know I’m not perfect and am used to making mistakes – so it’s not new to me!; d) I tend to not take things too personally; and most importantly, e) your voice matters to me, even if it’s hard to hear and even if I don’t necessarily agree….so I want to hear from you. But that being said, I know that sometimes, people are intimidated to speak hard things to the pastor, or just directly to anyone in general.  So, the good news is, we have two other channels for you to share what’s bothering you.  

Second, we have a Pastoral Relations committee here at Central for you to talk with.
Their responsibility is to be the trusted men and women who you can safely go to if you have an issue with me (or any other leader here at Central), and who will wisely bring the concerns to me. Currently, that committee consists of Michele McLaughlin-Russel, John Taylor, Laurie Gentry, and Linda Lentini. Short of coming to me directly, this is the best channel for you to discuss your concerns in a healthy way. 

Third, our Deacon board is always open to hearing your concerns.
They are a great team, full of wise men and women who care very deeply about the church – and that means about you and your concerns as well. That Deacon board consists of Larry Russel, Harry Murtha, Rob Lisi, Bev Kugele, and John Taylor. Feel free to speak with them as well.

If the New Testament is to be believed – which I think it is! – the church is something life a family, a household, brothers and sisters with one another. We know how families can be: we fight, argue, bicker about things, and then hopefully – when healthy, we talk it through, forgive, and love each other more because of it.

Let’s be like that. Because like family, you really do matter.

If you’re unhappy, worried, feeling angry, upset, forgotten about, or maybe just feel more and more like an outsider, that matters – because you matter. So please let us know in one of the three channels outlined above. 

All of that being said – I still can’t wait to see you this Sunday morning at 9:30AM (and at noon for the picnic!).  

Thank you,
Matt Agresti
Pastor, Central Baptist Church

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