Central Church profile

The Central Connection

Central Congregational Church,

United Church of Christ

Newburyport, MA

The Rev. Dr. Christopher Ney, pastor

Pastor's Preview

Dear Friends,

What keeps you up at night? The story of Jacob wrestling a nameless foe raises a well-known story line that is ancient and yet applicable to humans throughout all of time. This Sunday I will explore just who or what wrestled with Jacob that night and why it matters. I’ll also delve into the experience of the ‘dark night of the soul’ named originally by the mystic St. John of the Cross and explore the connection to the story of Jacob. The mystics teach the lesson of letting go to let God in. When in life must we ‘wrestle’ with ourselves/foes and when should we ‘let go/rest/wait’ and what does God have to do with this? Please join us for worship on Sunday, August 6 at 9:30 AM to hear my sermon titled ‘Up at Night, Tossing and Turning’, then stay for refreshments and hospitality following the service.

In grace & peace,

Stacey Keane



Sunday worship will begin at 9:30 AM each week through and including Sunday, September 3. Services will continue to be broadcast on Facebook Live throughout the summer.

Sunday Worship 9:30 AM

Scripture Readings

GENESIS 32:22-31

ISAIAH 55:1-4 


Click Here to View Messenger for Sunday Worship Service 9:30 AM August 6, 2023
Click here to view this week's Announcements
Click here at 9:30 AM for Sunday Morning Worship on our Facebook page (scroll down to Videos. When worship begins, you will see the Live Video)


Sunday School lessons will resume on Sunday, September 10th, 2023. Stay tuned for additional youth programs to be offered during the summer months!

For more information or to register for Fall programs, please contact Lauren lauren@centralnewburyport.org (978)572-1423


If you have ever considered helping out with Sunday School at Central Congregational, now is a great time to share your time and talents with our wonderful group of students! Teaching is fun and does not need to be a yearly commitment - the more the merrier! Reach out to Lauren for more information regarding helping with Grapple (middle school ages) or Godly Play (ages 5-12).

Central Happenings 


Nourishing Body and Soul

- Final Summer Gathering

Join us Tuesday, August 8th, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Central Church for the final Family Liturgy Dinner, held in collaboration with First Church Ipswich. The theme for this gathering is ‘Service’. We will share a meal (salad and wrap extravaganza) and worship together, with liturgy, Bible stories, a children’s book and conversation. The service will include Communion and hand washing (symbolic of foot washing that Jesus offered to his disciples on Maundy Thursday). While parts of this evening will focus on families with young children; everyone is encouraged to attend and to participate. Join us for a delicious meal and creative worship service with the children!

Please RSVP Stacey at Stacey@centralnewburyport.org.


Thursday Afternoon Outdoor Adventures in August

All children and youth are invited to join us for two Thursday afternoon adventures with Lauren, Stacey, Rev. Chris, and Rev. Rebecca.

August 17th, 2-4pm: kayak/canoe at the Ipswich River Watershed Association, 143 County Rd in Ipswich. All equipment including lifejackets is provided. We will spend most of the time on the river paddling, bookended by reflection and prayer time and, of course, a fun snack.

August 24th: 2-4pm: hike Powwow Hill in Amesbury. Gather in the parking lot for Lake Gardener off High Street in Amesbury. Join us for a short hike with a truly inspirational view at the end. We’ll have time for reflection and prayer and a snack to share.

To participate in events, a parent/guardian needs to complete the permission and medical release form attached. Please be sure to give this form to Lauren prior to participation.

RSVP is required to attend either event. Please contact Lauren at lauren@centralnewburyport.org.

If you’ll need a ride, please let us know in advance and we are happy to arrange transportation.

Watch for news and details about this year’s Rally Day events. But make sure you save the date so you don’t miss anything! Rally Planning gathering will be held at Chris’s house (cook-out & pool party) on Thursday, August 17 at 6:00 PM

Community News and Events


Special Donations - Afghan Family Support

If you are interested in making a special donation to support the Afghan family that Central Church is assisting, we have set-up a specific fund that you can donate to using our on-line giving system. Follow these easy steps through the Central Church website:

1)   Go to: https://www.centralnewburyport.org

2)   In the blue banner at top of page click on: ON LINE WORSHIP

3)   On the far right of the page click on the blue text link: Click here to contribute online.

4)   Complete the Online Donation form that appears

Your Support is important.

We continue to rely upon and appreciate your financial support!

Click Here to Give Online Now
Prayer Concerns
If you have a prayer concern this week,
please send an email to Chris at chris@centralnewburyport.org by the end of the day Saturday. Your prayer concern will be mentioned in the Sunday Worship by first name only, for privacy reasons. Thank You! 
Click Here to Submit Your Prayer Request

Health & Safety Information

Per CDC guidelines, masks are optional during worship and other activities, but are highly recommended for those who are high risk. We encourage anyone who chooses to wear a mask to do so at any time. We ask that anyone who has symptoms of cold or flu stay home and participate in worship remotely. Masks and hand sanitizers are available. We continue to monitor guidelines from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and local public safety/public health officials to ensure the continued health and safety of all Central Congregational Church members, visitor and guests.

Central Congregational Church
An Open and Affirming Congregation of the United Church of Christ
14 Titcomb Street, PO Box 372, Newburyport, MA 01950
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