Dear Centenary Family,
I want to continue some reflections with you about some of our thinking about aspects of our future ministry that are emerging from our 2020 Committee's work. A couple of weeks ago, I wrote to you about our desire to initiate a new governing model utilizing what some refer to as the Single Board model. This model combines the work of the Trustees, Finance Committee, Staff Parish Relations Committee, and Lay Leadership Development into one single board. This board helps us stay focused on our mission and utilize our resources to fulfill that mission in the most effective way.
There is another aspect of this I hinted at in a previous article that I'd like to share with you this week. This Single Board, entrusted with overseeing our ministry, makes sure that we're doing effective ministry, but then we need to have committed volunteers who help us carry out our ministry. One of the reasons for streamlining our administrative structure is so that fewer people are involved in administration and more people are freed to give their valuable time in ministry and service.
We're still working on a new vision/purpose statement unique to Centenary, but as United Methodists we know we're called to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Every administrative decision we make, whether about facilities, finances, or staff, needs to be oriented to that purpose.
There are several different ways to think about the task of making disciples. One common way is to break that process down into four inter-connected processes:
Bring People In (Going out into the world to build relationships and invite people.)
Retain People (Connect them in meaningful ways to Christ and our congregation once they show interest by attending worship or another event.)
Disciple People (Help people understand how to live as a disciple of Jesus Christ through Christian practices. As Wesleyans we would invite people to use the "means of grace" - prayer, study of the Scriptures, worship, service to others.)
Send People Out (Send people out into the world to witness to their faith by their words and actions.)
Some churches develop their own language to describe this process such as "Connect, Grow, Serve." Another common way to implement a discipleship process is to make sure our church has intentional and effective ministries of Nurture, Outreach, and Witness.
One common way of thinking about implementing these essential elements of a process of discipleship is to invite people to form teams dedicated to these ministries and help the church fulfill these aspects of ministry. So, we need volunteers who feel called to be engaged in ministries like worship and Christian education, missions, evangelism, and communication. The idea of forming teams is attractive because we are inviting people to serve in areas of ministry where they feel gifted to serve.
When new ideas for ministry or mission emerge, we can invite people, or better yet, empower people, to form new teams around these opportunities and lead the rest of us into service and ministry with them.
It's our hope to implement this new structure in January of 2018, but we know it will take us some time to get used to carrying out Christ's call to grow and serve in a new way. But the exciting thing about trying to do ministry in a different way is that we have the opportunity to move toward a more lay-led, lay-driven ministry. We're inviting you to consider what your gifts are and where your passions lie and how God might use you to help us share the good news here in downtown Richmond and beyond.
The sermon I'm working on this Sunday is based on the Gospel reading Matthew 14:13-21 and is entitled "Enough for All."
I look forward to continuing to grow in our faith together and serve God in new and exciting ways in the days to come!
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 "Enough for All" based on the scripture reading Matthew 14: 13-21.
Sunday, August 6 at 6:00 pm: Summer Movie Night
Centenary's Fellowship Hall is again being turned into a movie theatre (yes, with popcorn!). The featured movie this time is enjoyable for all ages - A Dog's Purpose. A devoted dog discovers the meaning of its own existence through the lives of the humans it teaches to laugh and love. Reincarnated as multiple canines over the course of five decades, the lovable pooch develops an unbreakable bond with a kindred spirit named Ethan. As the boy grows older and comes to a crossroad, the dog once again comes back into his life to remind him of his true self. Rated PG.
Request from Bishop Lewis:
Stand Together in Nonviolent Protest
July 27, 2017
Brothers and Sisters,
Charlottesville, VA has become the center of national attention as various white supremacist organizations have staged rallies in the downtown parks. Another rally, "Unite the Right," is planned for Saturday, August 12 in Emancipation Park, parallel to First United Methodist Church, in support of keeping a Confederate statue of Robert E. Lee.
Congregate Charlottesville and the Charlottesville Clergy Collective are two groups that are currently making plans to join together in an interfaith response to this rally.
At Annual Conference, I announced my vision for the clergy and laity of our conference to be disciples of Jesus Christ who are lifelong learners who influence others to serve. The opportunity before us in one of influence; the influence to join together in holy resistance to groups who support white supremacy.
As I have cast this vision, I ask our clergy, can you use your influence to stand together in nonviolent protest? I ask the laity, can you use your influence and stand with Charlottesville's community members, groups and with our faith communities?
With this interfaith response, we as the Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church have the potential to be a positive influence with our ecumenical brothers and sisters in Christ. We as the Church need to be a visible beacon to support this community against hate.
I urge our conference to partner together to support the Charlottesville District as well as the other faith and community groups whether through participation or with our prayers. I will not be able to participate due to my scheduled renewal leave, but I hope you will join me in prayer for all involved in this interfaith endeavor as they show a witness to Christ.
Congregate Charlottesville put forth a call to 1000 clergy and faith leaders to show up in Charlottesville to confront the rally in late July and updates, training sessions and witness opportunities can be viewed at
The Charlottesville Clergy Collective (
) will also be sharing their plans once finalized. Please direct questions to the Rev. Phil Woodson (firstname.lastname@example.org), Associate Pastor at First UMC, or contact Congregate Charlottesville directly at email@example.com.
Grace and Peace,
Sharma D. Lewis
A Challenge from Bishop Lewis to Read the Bible with Her in 2017
This week's readings:
A pink rose will be placed on the altar on Sunday, August 13, to celebrate the birth of Sadie Ella Brooks, on July 22. She is the daughter of Michael and Brittany Brooks, and the new little sister to Penelope Brooks. Brittany had been our soprano section leader for 9 years. We welcome Sadie to our Centenary family!
Want a minimum of 10 months of "feel-good" moments?
Join the Outreach Committee today. If interested, please let Nancy Cook (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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), 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.
Sunday, August 27 at 12 noon: 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 the menu and we will each pay for our own meal. Please sign up by August 23 on the bulletin board outside of the kitchen or call the church office at 804-648-8319. Check out their Sunday brunch menu here.
Monday, September 4: New Shoes for Back to School
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 to the Richmond Partnership of Churches Annual Shoe Drive. 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 Centenary staff to purchase needed shoes. Another way you can help is to sign up to volunteer to help with the shoe drive on Labor Day. he 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!
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 no later than Tuesday, August 15.
Please Remember in Prayer
The family of Ryland Bailey, Sr. who passed away June 15
Rev. Bill Brown, Jr. and family (in the loss of his wife, Rev. Judy Brown)
Joe Ciucci Jr.
Bobby Davis (now a patient at Hanover Health and Rehab)
Susan Hill (in the loss of her father, Frank Hill III)
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
Photos of the Week
It was Team Centenary at the Walk-In Lunch today!
Visit Us: 411 E. Grace St., Richmond, VA 23219