Cheap Grace

Ever heard the phrase “cheap grace” mentioned in conjunction with God’s free gift of salvation?  One time while I was sitting in a Bible study a couple of individuals were offended by the use of that term.  They apparently misunderstood the expression thinking that the person was saying that grace came to us at a cheap price, but that’s not what “cheap grace” means. 

It was Dietrich Bonheoffer who coined the term in his book, “The Cost of Discipleship.”...

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This Week (May 18 to 25): Tuesday @ 7:00 PM – Unsealing Daniel’s Mysteries with Pastor Mike; Sabbath @ 9:00 AM Morning Manna –Silvia Ballesteros; @ 9:30 AM - Central Study Hour with Pastor Mike + Children/Youth/Adult Sabbath School; @ 10:50 AM - Worship Service with Dr. David DeRose 


1. Israel in Prophecy: I wanted to take a moment to thank our Central church family for the wonderful support given during the Israel in Prophecy series with Steve Wohlberg. Your dedication and love for God's service was again made evident as you gave of your time or means to make the seminar a success. 

Each evening an average of over 200 individuals turned out for the event with around 30 some being guests from our community. We are now following up and inviting each guest to the Daniel seminar, which started last Tuesday, as well as giving each a courtesy call to inquire if they would appreciate receiving more information about the Bible. Please keep these precious souls in your prayers.

2. Northern California Conference Constituency Session: On May 18, this past Sunday, 503 delegates (12 from Central) met at the Pacific Union College church for the quadrennial constituency session of the Northern California Conference. All three administrators – President, Jim Pedersen; Executive Secretary, Marc Woodson; and Treasurer, John Rasmussen - were reelected. 

Delegates also voted on a motion to make changes to the NCC Bylaws, extending the length of time between election cycle constituency sessions from four years to five years and substituting town hall meetings for mid-term constituency sessions. The motion failed to receive a two-thirds majority, which was required for it to pass.

Three other agenda items (related to creation, homosexuality, and women’s ordination – go here to read the motions) were referred to the NCC Executive Committee. The motion carried by a majority (4% margin).  These items will be reviewed at the next Executive Committee and will be followed up with a report to the constituency. Click here to read more about Sunday’s constituency meeting.

3. Youth Event: Last Saturday evening David & Leticia Karn hosted a youth and family evening in the Camellia Room as they launched Youth Ministries at Central.  The evening consisted of food, planning, and fun.  About 30 individuals attended.  If you have youth (ages 15 to 17) stay tuned for information about upcoming events. 

4. Women’s Ministries: Last Sunday the Women’s Ministries department of Central church hosted a brunch event for the ladies of the church.  Keynote speaker was Pat Arribito, who shared her remarkable story of God’s leading in her life.  About 50 women attended enjoying good food and wholesome fellowship.  A good time was had by all. 

Unsealing Daniel’s Mysteries: Join us each Tuesday and Friday night @ 7:00 PM as we study the exciting prophecies of Daniel.  Everyone is welcome to attend, so don’t hesitate to invite a family member or friend. Contact Pastor Chris for more information. 

Hike to Fairy Falls: The Social committee has planned a hike for all those who enjoy getting out into nature.  The six-mile hike will take you along an easy route through an area of significant geological history to a set of waterfalls. Plan to meet by the church fountain after church this Sabbath (May 24) where maps will be distributed.  The plan is to leave by 1PM. Lunch being eaten at the trailhead. 

Ministry Fair & Church-Wide Potluck: The 2nd Annual Ministry Fair will be taking place Sabbath, May 31 immediately after church.  All of Central’s ministries will be featured giving everyone a chance to learn more about the exciting things happening at Central and how God might be leading you to become involved. More details to follow, but plan to attend by marking your calendars now.

Vacation Bible School is fast approaching! Mark your calendars for the week of June 23 to June 28, from 5:45pm to 8:15pm. This year’s theme is Creation. More information soon to follow! 

Steve Wohlberg Seminars: All four presentations on Israel in Prophecy and one on the 2520 are available on CD and DVD. The following gifts will be gladly received: $3/CD or $10/set and $4/DVD or $12/set. To receive your copy, please contact the church office today! 

NEED: A member of Central is looking for a room to rent as soon as possible.  If you know of anything that might be available please contact Jose Alfaro @ (916) 432-7034. Thank you!

BULLETIN BOARD - An assortment of happenings, announcements, and resources from around the Seventh-day Adventist Church

News & Announcements

Unprecedented Meeting Examines Church’s Missional Structure: to learn more click here.

Nearly 200 church employees and lay members attended the second EndItNow Summit on Abuse held May 1 to 4 at the General Conference (GC) office. A variety of experts on the subject of abuse including attorneys, healthcare professionals, physicians, social workers, and therapists offered training for attendees on how to respond to the abuse of women, children, and men. The Summit on Abuse is part of the EndItNow Campaign launched in October, 2009, and is co-sponsored by the GC and North American Division (NAD) Women’s Ministries departments. Click here to read more.

The Nonprofit Leadership Certification Program (NLCP), Session I, will be conducted June 2 to 4, in Boyertown, PA. It is designed to equip pastors, church administration and nonprofit leaders with strategies and professional skills to successfully lead. NLCP focuses on three major learning outcomes; a) leadership skills, b) improvement of management knowledge, and c) changes in attitude of social dimensions of evangelism. Session II will be held September 22 to 25, also in Boyertown. Watch the descriptive video and learn more here.

Generation of Youth for Christ-West presents its eighth-annual conference: "I AM: The Conflict Continues” from June 18 to 22 at the beautiful Weimar campus. This year’s conference will focus on understanding the true character of God and His work in our lives. Join us as we seek to have a closer, more personal walk with God. For information on speakers and how to register visit


For Graduates! Help the graduates in your life embrace God’s powerful promises as they leave one road and set their course on another . . . exciting, new, and rich with opportunity. This wonderful devotional for graduates covers all the essential topics—confidence, discipline, faith, and wisdom - and will direct their steps in God’s Holy Word. To order click here. Mission – to publish a Christ-centered, Bible-based, Seventh-day Adventist perspective on current events and issues within the church. Affiliation - ADvindicate Inc. is not affiliated with the Seventh-day Adventist Church, but does agree and support the fundamental beliefs of the church. Name - ADvindicate is a mash-up of A.D. (Anno Domini is Medieval Latin for “in the year of our Lord”) and vindicate. The AD refers to Christ and vindicate to his act of clearing his character of all blame. Become a part of the conversation today -

The Seventh Day is an in-depth documentary on the history of the Sabbath. To watch the entire series go to here. Be sure to tell others about this series as well.


Dear friend,

We would like to warmly welcome you to Central Happenings – a weekly e-newsletter from your pastoral staff to inform, update, and keep in touch.

It was George Bernard Shaw who once quipped, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”  Ask anyone and they will tell you how true this is.  Healthy communication is a prerequisite to healthy relationships, and no less for the church family.

We plan to make Central Happenings a pithy and relevant read with the obvious goal to simply communicate.  You can expect each edition to contain:

Pastor’s Blog - a refreshing Biblical insight from your pastors.

Central News & Happenings – important info on news and events taking place at Central.

Bulletin Board – includes various news, resources, programs, and/or initiatives taking place in the Seventh-day Adventist Church locally and around the world that may impact you.

We trust you’ll find Central Happenings (not to be confused with The Central Connection put together by Central’s Communication Department) another great resource that will allow you to stay in touch with your church family.  As your pastoral staff we look forward to continuing to reach out to you, including through this new way, as we seek to press together for the work at hand and in preparation for the soon return of Jesus.

Your Pastoral Staff