Dear Centenary Family,
The Epistle reading this Sunday is Romans 12:1-8. Verse 2 of this passage says, "Don't be conformed to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you can figure out what God's will is - what is good and pleasing and mature."
This passage draws a distinction between the way the world teaches us to think and the way God would have us think. This is an odd, and much too philosophical way to put it, but how often do you ever stop and ask yourself why you think what you think? How often do we pause and ask how our families, life experiences, and the daily onslaught of news and media have shaped our thinking?
Racism, prejudice, greed, unkindness, and lust - all these things have some connection to the way we have been taught or conditioned to think about ourselves and our interests.
There are other negative habits or patterns of thinking. Some of us have been depressed because of the way our minds work. Either we have a chemical imbalance that needs medical care, or sometimes, we have engrained ways of looking at things that are inherently negative. We always anticipate the worst possible outcome and assume the worst of intentions in others. It can be a tiring way to live. But with some work, and grace, we can learn to see the world in a more positive light.
Paul says that because of God's grace, we learn to think differently. Being in touch with God changes our patterns of thinking, our ways of looking at the world. Based on other things Paul writes in Romans, we learn to see ourselves as people who are sinners, yet forgiven and loved by God. We learn to see the world as the arena of God's redemptive love, rather than a harsh testing ground to be endured. We learn to put God at the center of our thinking, rather than ourselves.
Letting our minds be shaped by God's love will change us, or as Paul says, transform us. We will be different. Our way of thinking will often put us at odds with others and the world around us. Making ourselves the starting point for all our thinking isn't wrong as much as it is simply out of date. So often, our way of seeing things just hasn't caught up with the truth that God's love will have the final say.
How would our world be different right now if more people's thinking started with first asking, "How does God want to make God's loving presence real in the world through me," rather than, "How can I get what I want right now?" Thinking like that will make you a non-conformist, but a happily maladjusted one!
The sermon title for this week is, "Your Thinking May Be Out of Date."
I look forward to seeing you Sunday.
This Weekend at Centenary
8:40 am - Informal Worship Service
10:00 am - Sunday School for all ages
11:00 am - Traditional Worship Service
Senior Pastor Matt Bates will preach "Your Thinking May Be Out of Date" based on the scripture reading Romans 12:1-8.
Sunday, August 27 at 12:15: Discover Downtown Eateries
Join us for brunch following the 11:00 am worship service at Chez Foushee. The restaurant is located at 203 N. Foushee Street, on the corner of Grace and Foushee Streets. Everyone will order from a select menu (see bulletin board) and we will each pay for our own meal. Reservations have been made already, but if interested, please see Ann Davis on Sunday morning to see if there is space available.
A Challenge from Bishop Lewis to Read the Bible with Her in 2017
This week's readings:
Outreach, Mission and Service Opportunities
Monday, September 4: New Shoes for Back-to-School Ministry
Children in the Richmond Metro area are gearing up to go back to school. It's a very exciting time for many children! However, many families are not able to afford comfortable, solid footwear for their children. When shoes are worn out, too tight, or otherwise uncomfortable, children have difficulty focusing on their studies. At Centenary, we have the opportunity to do something about this problem! One way we can help is by donating new shoes for these children. All sizes are needed! Children from kindergarten to high school need to start the new school year on the "right foot." There is a table in the sanctuary for donations: shoes must be new, and sneakers are preferred (please no high heels, sandals, or bedroom slippers). If you prefer, there is a piggy bank where money may be placed for us to purchase needed shoes. Another way you can help is to sign up to volunteer to help on Labor Day. The drive will be held in two locations this year; Centenary volunteers will be helping at the downtown location at Third Street Bethel AME Church. There is a sign-up sheet on the bulletin across from the kitchen downstairs. If you have any questions, please contact Cheryl Owen-Watson at
. Thank you in advance for helping our children start their school year with a comfortable, solid foundation!
All monetary donations will be due Sunday, August 27, and all shoe donations are due Sunday, September 3.
Driver(s) Needed for our Syrian Refugee Family
A driver or drivers are needed to take Shazia Rahmaty (the mom) to physical therapy on Tuesday, September 5, 12, 19, and 26 (at 4 pm). They live in the West End off Staples Mill near Hermitage High School. The appointments are not far from their house. Driver(s) would just need to pick her up and drop her off, as her husband will pick her up after the appointment. Driver(s) would not have to be 'vetted' by the IRC. We just need for them to be reliable. Please contact Nancy (cell phone 804-495-5674 or email email@example.com) or Vic Grand (cell phone 804-495-5674).
One of the classes at Chimborazoo Elementary School (located at 3000 E Marshall Street in Richmond) is in need of chair bags. These hang on the back of students' chairs to give them a place to store their books and school supplies. If interested and available to make one or more, please contact Ann Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meals Needed for Two CARITAS Locations
Two locations - St. David's Episcopal (1801 Camborne Road in North Chesterfield) and Grace Baptist Church (4200 Dover Road in Richmond) have been secured for August 26 through September 8, but neither church has the volunteers to provide meals. CARITAS has created a new sign-up website for individuals to sign up to provide a meal for these and other locations. If you are able to help, please go to www.SignUpGenius.com/go/5080F4FADAB2AAAFE3-caritas.
Want a minimum of 10 months of "feel-good" moments? Join the Outreach Committee today. If interested, please let Nancy Cook (email@example.com) know as soon as possible. A small sampling of Outreach's projects: Rise Against Hunger (2x yr), golf tournament (2x yr), Walk-in Ministry, donations to Richmond incarcerated, support for refugee family, Thanksgiving food donations, and more! Outreach would enjoy your participation. As my granny used to say, "Many hands make small work." Thanks for your consideration.
Altar Guild Volunteers
Interested in serving? We are in need of a few willing and eager volunteers to help with the altar guild duties. If you feel lead to help and would like to serve, please contact the church office at
Items for School Kits
With back-to-school sales already starting in the stores, this is the ideal time to pick up items for the school kits we will be assembling for the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) this year. The items we really need to complete kits are: pads of wide ruled paper (spiral or top bound pads 150 sheets or less, can also be packages of loose leaf paper 150 sheets or less), pencil sharpeners (handheld - must be at least 1 inch long),
1 pair blunt scissors (rounded tip only, not plastic scissors),
24-count boxes of crayons (must be 24 count),
30 centimeter ruler (hard or flexible, no advertisements), u
nsharpened pencils (no advertisements, religious, patriotic, military or camouflage symbols, cartoon characters are acceptable), and
2 ½ inch erasers (no advertisements, religious, patriotic, military or camouflage symbols, cartoon characters are acceptable).
Read more about the school kits here.
The UMW Annual Pecan Sale is here! To order, sign up on the list on the bulletin board across from the kitchen. Please note - extras bags of pecans will not be ordered this year so be sure to get in your order.
Welcome to our new Intern Ms. Rebekah Dyer!
Mark your calendars for a picnic following the 11:00 am Worship Service. Grace Street will be closed in front of the church and tables will be set up on the street and sidewalk. Hot dogs and beverages will be provided by the Congregational Care Committee. Please bring a large covered dish or dessert to share. Bring your families, friends, and neighbors!
We are pleased to announce that Ms. Rebekah Dyer will be a student intern working at our church from August 30, 2017 until April 27, 2018. Ms. Dyer is a second year graduate student from the School of Social Work at Virginia Commonwealth University. She will be working Wednesday through Friday and will be assisting with our various outreach and social service programs. We look forward to working with her this school year.
Tuesday, September 5 at 7 m: Centenary Bowling League Organizational Meeting
The Centenary Bowling League will be Initiating it's 79th year with an organizational meeting at Shrader Lanes, 8037 Shrader Road (near the intersection of Broad and Parham). Join us for fun and fellowship! As the summer winds down, several of us meet on Wednesdays at 6:30 for some casual bowling. If you would like to join us for that, you are more than welcome. For additional information, please contact Mary Dobbs, 262-5801 or
Sunday, September 10 at 12 noon: Church Picnic on Grace Street
Saturday, September 16 at 2:30 pm: Theatre Outing to Ken Ludwig's Baskerville (A Sherlock Holmes Mystery
A group from Centenary will be attending a production at CAT Theatre (located at 319 N. Wilkinson Road in Henrico).
Comedic genius Ken Ludwig transforms Arthur Conan Doyle's classic The Hound of the Baskervilles into a murderously
funny adventure. Sherlock Holmes is on the case. The male heirs of the Baskerville line are being dispatched one by one. To
find their ingenious killer, Holmes and Watson must brave the desolate moors before a family curse dooms its newest heir.
Watch as our intrepid investigators try to escape a dizzying web
of clues, silly accents, disguises, and deceit.
Tickets will be between $0 and $20, depending on the size of our group. Please sign up on the bulletin board across from the kitchen.
Thursday, September 28: Centenary Travel Group Trip to the Eastern Shore
You are invited to join the Centenary Travel Group for a "Behind the Scenes Tour" of the Eastern Shore of Virginia. We will be leaving Lakeside UMC, via Winn Motor Coach, at 8 a.m. and will arrive at Cape Charles at 11 a.m. for a tour of Northampton County with life-long residents. Then, we will have a delicious lunch at "The Shanty" with Eastern Shore Winning Clam Chowder, Oyster and Shrimp Po-boys, as well as gluten free and vegetarian options. Next we will journey to discover a history of the Eastern Shore with a bus tour of Northampton and Accomack counties and the Barrier Islands of Machipongo, as well as visiting the Virginia Institute of Science in Wachiponga. Finally, we will finish our tour with a buffet dinner at the Island House and will arrive back at Lakeside UMC at 7 p.m. See the bulletin board across from the kitchen for more information, including an itinerary and a reservation form for the trip. All forms, and questions concerning the trip, can be submitted to Bob Almond, 804-833-3355. The cost of the trip is $128.00 per person and forms must be submitted to Bob as soon as possble - there are only a few remaining spaces.
Thursday, November 16: Centenary Travel Group Trip to Selma, North Carolina
Join us for a Centenary Travel Group to Selma. Enjoy some great Christmas shopping at DeWaynes, a one-of-a-kind gift shop and garden center all under one roof! Next, there will be lunch at a local favorite, The Robbins Nest Restaurant. Enjoy their popular "Country Buffet" featuring many delicious hot entrees. Last, but not least, an exciting afternoon of holiday entertainment awaits you at "The American Music Jubilee!" The motor coach will depart Lakeside UMC at 7:30 a.m. and return to Lakeside UMC at 7:00 p.m. The cost is $130.00 per person and includes round-trip motor coach transportation (as well as refreshments served during the trip and driver gratuity), lunch at The Robbins Nest Restaurant, and tickets to "The American Music Jubilee." Payment is due Thursday, October 5. Make check payable to SignaTours and mail to Bob Almond, 1309 Westwood Ave., Richmond, VA 23227. Also see the bulletin board across from the kitchen for flyers and sign-up sheet.
Please Remember in Prayer
The family of Gloria Anderson, who passed away August 11
Joe Ciucci Jr.
Jack & Lois Hinerman
Jennifer (friend of Nancy Grand with lung problems)
Kassi (niece of Nancy and Vic Grand who has blood clots in lung)
Mary Mismas' sister-in-law, Mary
Linda Vegas (friend of Doug and Patsy Wilson)
Celebrating Birthdays in August
Mary Beth Siddons
Anne Harrison Beck
Photo of the Week
Donations of shoes in the sanctuary for the New Shoes for Back-to-School Ministry - have you brought in your donation yet?
Visit Us: 411 E. Grace St., Richmond, VA 23219