Worship at Central


Sunday, December 4

We turn to the prophets during the season of Advent. We remember the Messiah that they anticipate, the hopes that they have for humanity.  Isaiah expects a counselor filled with wisdom and understanding, who is clothed in righteousness and faithfulness. What are we looking for? What are our hopes and expectations?  Rev. Colby will preach and jazz pianist Laura Caviani will help us worship.

Our annual tradition of hosting TubaChristmas continues as we welcome over 100 low-brass players to our sanctuary. The concert features well-known Christmas carols played in 4-part harmony by players of all levels.  Free-will offering.
To Play in the Concert:
If you play Tuba, Sousaphone, Euphonium or Baritone you are invited to play. All ages welcome. (Players age range from 10 to over 80.)  There will be over 100 players. If you are interested in participating, please contact Carol at 612-788-3516 or cmj01a@msn.com.

Sunday, December 11

Central children and youth will help lead worship with a music-infused Christmas Pageant that addresses what it means to welcome Jesus into our lives as a refugee, a stranger. Choosing welcome for refugees and immigrants requires hospitality, and welcoming Jesus into our midst asks us all to consider our willingness to offer others the same compassion.

Sunday, December 18 

A special service of music, Central’s annual Service of Nine Lessons and Carols celebrates the advent of Christ, presented by the Central Choir and chamber orchestra. Third Sunday Lunch will follow worship; all are welcome! (Free-will donation.)

Saturday, December 24Christmas Eve Worship

4:00 pm with professional vocal quartet

10:30 pm with the Central Choir

Musical prelude 15 minutes prior to worship

Sunday, December 25

Like every Sunday morning, we will worship at 10:30. Join us for a simple service of worship, with prayers, Christmas carols, good news, and beauty.

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We Choose Welcome

From Central Pastor Rev. David Colby

The Refugee Task Force and the Coordinated Mission Committee invite us to gather after worship this Sunday to take a picture under a banner bearing those words.  To those who are part of the current global refugee crisis, a sight of a church proclaiming and living that message matters.

We choose welcome is not a new idea for this church.  It is in our DNA.  To those new to downtown or lowertown Saint Paul, we hope you will find a welcome at Central.  Families with young children looking for a community of support and deep values find a welcome at Central.  To those who have lived in the city a long time, but realize that they need a community, we offer welcome.  To those who are gay or lesbian or bisexual or transgender, who wonder if this church will accept them for who they are, we offer welcome.  To folks who are homeless or hungry we offer practical hospitality and we hope they feel welcomed.

We won’t always get it exactly right.  Some will come wanting or needing anonymity and find too much attention.  Occasionally people will come and we won’t provide the welcome they are looking for.  We will occasionally fail, but our intention is to choose and offer welcome.

As we continue to absorb the news of the tragedy in Orlando on Sunday, this message is all the more needed in our community.  We must not give in to fear.  We must not give in to hatred that seeks to divide and conquer.  In the midst of terrible violence, we must do our part to be the light that will continue to shine.  We must support one another.  We must keep our hearts and arms and doors open.  Not because it is the easiest thing to do.  Not because it is the safe thing to do.  But because that is the good news we learn from Jesus.

One time Jesus was busy and his disciples tried to protect him and keep him from being bothered by little children.  And Jesus responded with words that still offer us guidance.  “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.”  In Hebrews, the church is encouraged with these words:  “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it” (Hebrews 13:2).

Central Presbyterian Church.  In the city for good.  We choose welcome.  And we hope you will join us.

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Pop Up Classical Concerts, co-sponsored by Minnesota Public Radio and Central Presbyterian Church

Pop Up Classical logoPop Up Classical time and place graphic


Wed., December 14 featuring Laura Caviani (piano)

Laura Caviani has performed and recorded for over 15 years. The Minneapolis Star Tribune hailed her debut CD, Dreamlife as “…in a word, outstanding”. Marian McPartland called it “…sparkling and inventive”. Her second release, As One, was touted as “stunningly fresh” by Jazz Times. Her holiday album, Angels We Haven’t Heard, was considered “this season’s finest new jazz cd of holiday music” by the St. Paul Pioneer Press. The Star Tribune claimed her solo release,In Your Own Sweet Way was, “…poised right where the salon meets the saloon, with as much spunk as serenity.”Going There, her fifth recording as a leader, is already receiving wide praise. Bob Protzman, Downbeat Contributor and WQLN-FM host called it “…piano trio jazz of the highest order.”

As a sideman, Ms. Caviani has recorded and toured with the 2002 Grammy nominee Karrin Allyson (Concord Records) whose band, according to the Wall Street Journal, “…could waltz into any New York nightclub and tear up the joint…”. Ms. Caviani has shared the stage with other greats as Toots Theilemans, Bob Mintzer, and Dave Liebman. Locally, she has recorded with numerous musicians, including Pete Whitman’s Quintet and Xtet, and the jazz orchestra JazzMN, all on the Artegra label. She has also recorded with Twin Cities jazz vocal greats: Lucia Newell, Prudence Johnson, and Voice Trek.

In ’97, Caviani received a grant from the Atlantic Center for the Arts to study with renowned pianist and composer JoAnne Brackeen. The following year, she was selected to study in Japan at the Akiyoshidai International Art Village.

As a composer, her commissions include numerous works for jazz ensembles and smaller jazz combos (some of which are currently available through Increase Music and Really Good Music) as well as orchestral works for both the Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra and the Kansas City Symphony Orchestra.

Caviani has both a bachelors of music in Composition from Lawrence University, and a masters of music in Improvisation from The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. She has taught at a number of schools, including St. John’s University, the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire, The University of St. Thomas, and many middle schools in Minneapolis through the “Harman How to Listen Program”, an outreach program co-founded by Wynton Marsalis. Currently, she is on faculty at both Carleton College and St. Olaf College, both located in Northfield, MN.


Concert 12:15- 12:30; free;

Lunch 11:45 – 1:00; $8.00.  

No tickets or reservations required.  

co-sponsored by Minnesota Public Radio and Central Presbyterian Church
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VocalPoint has announced the beneficiary for 2017: One Heartland!

Fun group shot

For our sixth season, VocalPoint is partnering with One Heartland, which brings life-changing camp experiences of the north woods to youth facing social isolation, intolerance or serious health challenges. One of the weeks of camp is called Camp Northstar, for kids who are experiencing homelessness.  Another week, called Camp True Colors, is for LGBT youth. And yes, the name True Colors is because Cyndi Lauper has been a supporter of One Heartland from the early years.  All of the camps provide a welcoming, bully-free environment where children, youth and young adults can feel completely accepted for who they are—often for the first time in their lives.

One Heartland is a perfect fit for VocalPoint – because we know the power that community brings.  Because after our concerts every year – after singing together, and learning together, and being a part of something so powerful – we can look back on that time and see it as a transformational event in our lives.  And we can probably look back to camp experiences as a young person and see how they helped shape who we are today.

Join us to learn more on October 9!  See our website for more information:  www.vocalpointchorus.org

Want to join VocalPoint as a singer?  AUDITIONS will be this fall   — http://www.vocalpointchorus.org/auditions/

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