Dear Centenary Family,
As heirs of John Wesley, we are Christians who not only try to develop our inner spiritual lives, but we operate with the conviction that if we don't put our faith into action, ours is not truly a living, authentic faith. Regardless of theological differences among us, most United Methodists I know are eager to feed the hungry and clothe the naked. We often measure the vitality of our churches by the mission trips we go on, the number of cans we collect for food banks, and the missionaries at home and abroad we support.
And that is all wonderful. We show the world the love of Christ in concrete ways.
But sometimes the world not only needs to see Christ's love expressed through our actions of service. The world needs to see in us what it looks like when people's lives are changed by God's presence and grace.
I think this is particularly true in 2017.
This Sunday, we continue hearing Jesus' teaching as Matthew compiles it in the Sermon on the Mount. The text for this Sunday is Matthew 5:13-20. Here, Jesus tells his disciples that they are to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. The function of salt is to add flavor and the function of light is to illuminate. And certainly we are salt and light by our actions of service and love, or as Jesus says, by the "good things you do..." (Matthew 5:16)
But it also strikes me that there is a passive side to being salt and light. Salt could lose its flavor and become useless. Light could be extinguished without fuel or an energy source to keep it shining. So, sometimes, the world needs us to stay close to the source of our savor and light so that we can remind the world, when it forgets, who God is, what God is really like, and what God wants for us and from us.
Let's think about that together this Sunday. How do we stay salty? How do we keep burning brightly?
I am so grateful for all the ways you remind the world daily of God's love for all of God's creation.
This Weekend at Centenary
Sunday, February 5: Worship at 8:40 am (informal) and 11:00 am (traditional)
Senior Pastor Matt Bates will preach
Stay Salty - Shine Brightly based on the scripture reading from Matthew 5:13-20.
Then at noon there will be a Staff Appreciation Reception hosted by the Staff-Parish Relations Committee. Please come and help celebrate this wonderful group of people.
Sunday, February 5 at 10:00 am: New Adult Sunday School Classes Continue
Dean Simpson is leading a study of the book What Do Other Faiths Believe? A Study of World Religions by Paul Stroble. In this study the author interviews leaders in Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and other faiths to explore how the beliefs and practices of these religions are similar to and different from basic Christian beliefs.
is leading a study of R
ichard Rohr's The Naked Now: Learning to See As the Mystics See. For Christians seeking a way of thinking outside of strict dualities, this guide explores methods for letting go of division and living in the present. Drawn from the Gospels, Jesus, Paul, and the great Christian contemplatives, this examination reveals how many of the hidden truths of Christianity have been misunderstood or lost and how to read them with the eyes of the mystics rather than interpreting them through rational thought. Filled with sayings, stories, quotations, and appeals to the heart, specific methods for identifying dualistic thinking are presented with simple practices for stripping away ego and the fear of dwelling in the present. Books will be available in the classroom.
Pat Shipley and Dave Jarvis are leading for Young Adults a study that focuses on the foundation of "Love God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind" (Luke 10:7) titled Dream. Think. Be. Do.
2017 Pledge Offering Envelopes
The new 2017 Pledge Offering Envelopes have arrived. Please pick up your numbered box of envelopes in the hallway by the church office.
About Sunday's Music
Our large, cold neighbor to the North, Canada, has a long, rich history of church music with many different influences, not the least of which was England. Sunday's composer, Barrie Cabena (b. 1933), was born in Australia, studied music in England and then went to Canada where he still lives and is active at the tender age of 83!
He has written almost 500 compositions for various instruments and ensembles. Being an organist, he writes very idiomatically for the instrument (both in a solo capacity and accompanying a choir) and is known for his clean, clear style.
Sunday's anthem was published in 1975 and uses several verses of a text from Matthew 5 "Let Your Light So Shine Before Men." The music for the main text, "Let Your Light So Shine ... ", always has the same melody, but is sung in three varying ways by the choir: in organum at the beginning - eerie sounding parallel 5ths between the sopranos and altos; then in canon between the women and men - the exact same melody sung one measure apart; at the end, this melody is sung in a three-part canon between the men, the sopranos and the altos five notes lower! Mr. Cabena is obviously quite skilled as a composer.
The music and text in the middle of the piece is faster and much more declamatory, making use of ostinato (literally "obstinate") passages (repeated patterns) played by the organ pedals. You will hear the choir sing high and loud in these parts - "A city set on a hill ... " and "And it giveth light ... ".
Everything comes to a beautiful, reposeful close with quiet Alleluias.
Read more about Barrie Cabena here.
Director of Music/Organist
A Challenge from Bishop Lewis to Read the Bible with Her in 2017
This week's readings:
You can now register if you are joining Bishop Lewis in her challenge to the Virginia Conference to read the Bible in entirety in 2017. The short poll allows you to add your name as well as district (Richmond) and your home church (Centenary).
Saturday, February 11 at 6:00 pm: Gospel Concert
Join us in the sanctuary for a night of wonderful music by the Southern Gospel group Trinity Quartet visiting from North Carolina.The concert is free; a love offering will be taken during the concert. You can hear their music on their website here.
Sunday, February 12 at 4 pm: Bishop Lewis' Chat & Chew Conversation
This conversation with the Bishop will be held at Fredericksburg UMC (308 Hanover Street in Fredericksburg). This conversation is being specifically held for Virginia's Reconciling communities and friends. When invited, the bishop was eager to meet with interested churches and members for a time of conversation. Please contact the pastor, Matt Bates at
if you have questions or would like to attend.
Sunday, February 19 at 2:30 pm: Theatre Outing to Love, Loss and What I Wore
A group from Centenary will be attending a Huguenot Community Players' production of Love, Loss and What I Wore by Nora and Delia Ephron. Based on a 1995 book by Ilene Beckerman, this play uses clothing to create a time capsule of a woman's life. We hear stories of friendship, marriage and motherhood, struggles with illness and grief, times of love, hope and faith.Huguenot Community Players is located at Huguenot United Methodist Church (10661 Duryea Drive in Richmond). Tickets are $12 each.
Wednesday, March 1: Ash Wednesday Worship Services at 12 noon and 7:30 pm
Sunday, March 5 at 12 noon: Chili Cook-Off
Mark your calendars and start looking for a winning chili recipe! Prizes will be given for the best red chili, the best white chili, and the best vegetarian chili. Those who don't want to bring chili may bring a salad or dessert to share. And everyone who comes will be the judges! Drinks and condiments (sour cream and shredded cheese) will be provided. This will also be a fundraiser for scholarships for children to attend summer camp at Westview on the James.
Thursday, March 9 at 7:30 pm: Theatre Outing to
Joseph and the Amazing Technocolor Dreamcoat
Wednesdays, March 15, 22, 29, and April 5 at 6:00 pm: Lenten Worship Services and Light Supper
Join a group from Centenary and attend this production presented by the Jewish Family Theatre at
Weinstein JCC (5403 Monument Ave).
The Biblical saga of Joseph and his coat of many colors comes
to vibrant life in this delightful musical parable.
Set to an engaging cornucopia of musical styles, from country-western and calypso to bubble-gum pop and rock 'n' roll,
this Old Testament tale emerges both timely and timeless.
Tickets will be $15 each.
Join us for four Wednesday nights during the season of Lent for Worship, which will be followed with a light supper at 6:30 pm. Donations appreciated. (Note that Chancel Choir rehearsals will start at 7:15 on these nights.)
Saturday, April 1: Bishop's Convocation on Prayer
Bishop Sharma Lewis will host a Bishop's Convocation on Prayer at Trinity United Methodist Church (903 Forest Avenue in Henrico). The Rev. Juanita Rasmus, co-pastor of St. John's United Methodist Church in Houston, Texas, will be the plenary speaker for the convocation.
Workshops on a variety of topics are also being offered.
Thursday, April 27: Golf Tournament
Join us at the Hollows Golf Course for the 40th Annual Golf Classic. Registration will begin at 11:00 a.m. with a putting contest at 11:30 a.m., lunch at 11:45 a.m., and a Golf Tee-Off at 1:00 p.m. The cost is $75.00/ person, $15.00 for lunch only (firm reservations needed for catered lunch). The proceeds benefit Stop Hunger Now/Operation Storehouse. Hole sponsorships are also available at $50.00 per sponsor and $10.00 or more for patrons. Gift certificates can also be donated to be given as prizes. Be sure to mark this date on your calendar and don't forget to practice your swing!
Please Remember in Prayer
Ryland Bailey, Sr.
Joe Ciucci Jr.
Jack & Lois Hinerman
Inez Johnson (friend of Vic and Nancy Grand)
Wendy Tisdale (friend of Agatha and Christina Kidd)
Celebrating Birthdays in February
Photo of the Week
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