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check the following for any announcements of delayed openings or closures: your email, Centenary's website, Facebook, Twitter, Channel 6 or Channel 8, or call the church office at 804-648-8319.
Dear Centenary Family,
I hope and pray that 2017 is off to a great start for you! Certainly, when we leave one year behind and begin a new one, we naturally look back to see what we've accomplished. We also look back to remember challenges we've faced, joys we've experienced, and as people of faith, we ask ourselves where we've felt and experienced signs of God's grace and presence in our lives.
God has been at work among us and through us in 2016. We're starting to review our financial standing for 2016 and all initial indications show that your generosity exceeded past years, and that your pledges and commitments for 2016 have increased by at least $15,000. We can also celebrate the completion of the renovation of our kitchen and the installation of our elevator. And we should show a slight net gain in our membership. All of these indicators suggest we are a healthy and hopeful congregation.
But the real substance of our life together consists of our regular worship of God, the fellowship we share as we support one another on the journey of life and faith, the growth in understanding and commitment we experience from one year to another, and the mission we carry out every day here in downtown Richmond. Those are the things that excite me the most.
This week Doug Wilson shared an e-mail from Nancy Adams. Many of you remember Willie Adams who was a member here at one time and for many years worked to collect food for our Walk-In Ministry. Willie's no longer able to do that, but people like Doug, Clint Jones, and others do that faithfully every week. Nancy still does a lot of coordinating of those pickups. She recently shared with the drivers who collect this food:
Feeling tired some days? Could be the great work you do. Last year you all picked up 78 pounds short of 125 TONS! Very conservative dollar value including Panera was $1,010,805.25. I still find it amazing that the price of gas and wear and tear on vehicles turns out to be over a million dollar donation. You are appreciated.
That's putting God's love into action! And it's just a glimpse of the many other things we're doing to demonstrate God's love here in Richmond and around the world.
I'm sure 2017 will provide all of us many opportunities to worship God more deeply, grow in our faith, and put that faith into action through the ministry of this wonderful church and wherever else God has planted us.
I look forward to seeing where God continues to take us.
This Weekend at Centenary
Sunday, January 8: Worship at 8:40 am (informal) and 11:00 am (traditional)
Senior Pastor Matt Bates will preach "The Expanse of Love" based on the scripture reading from Matthew 3:13-17.
Sunday, January 8 at 1:30 pm: District Conference and Leadership Training Event
The Keynote Speaker, Rev. Ben Campbell, will speak on "Your Community is Your Church" Breakout Sessions and Workshops will include: Trustees, Finance, Pastor/Staff-Parish Relations, It All Starts Here: The Role of the Nomination and Leadership Development Committee, Food Justice, Next Stop Social Media Highway, Mission Shift: From Temporary Relief to Lasting Community Transformation, Cross Racial/Cross Cultural Ministry, Local Church Partnerships, Who is my Neighbor? 6 Ways to Reach Them, What if Youth Designed the Church, and Your Community is Your Church Members. The event will be held at Reveille United Methodist Church at 4200 Cary Street Road in Richmond.
About Sunday's Music
This Sunday, January 8, we celebrate the Baptism of Jesus. This liturgical occasion occurs every year on the first Sunday following January 6, the Epiphany of the Lord.
In the anthem there are three elements - one old and two new. The tune, Caithness, first appeared in the Scottish Psalter of 1635. Francis Bland Tucker, a native Virginian and well-known theologian, penned the text of the hymn "Christ, When for Us You Were Baptized" in 1979.
The composer of our choral setting, Kenneth Lowenberg, is another fairly local fellow - he retired in 2006 after 38 years at Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church in Maryland. I met Ken many years ago at a national convention of the American Guild of Organists. We remained acquainted over the years and it was his church that I visited to listen to examples of the electronic 32' organ stops that were given in memory of Billy Stump.
Ken's music for this text and tune is very consonant and "listenable"
yet piques your interest with the organ part's flowing right-hand line, syncopations, and the high soprano-tenor descant in the last verse.
Director of Music/Organist
A Challenge from Bishop Lewis to Read the Bible with Her in 2017
Dear Virginia Annual Conference,
I think you would agree with me that every New Year there are individuals who decide to make a New Year's resolution. I googled "New Year's resolution" to discover that there are several articles written on this popular subject.
All of us have made New Year's resolutions ranging anywhere from losing 10-20 unwanted pounds, starting a new exercise program, paying off our credit cards and giving up a bad habit.
I've always found it interesting that people will go to great lengths to make a New Year's resolution - throwing away food that tempts their cravings, buying expensive exercise equipment with a voice-activated trainer or being the first person to join the gym. Unfortunately, it has been proven that New Year's gym resolutions are normally broken in 90 days, and the gym equipment becomes the new and latest clothes rack in our homes.
I've always wondered when individuals are making resolutions if they ever considered making a "Christian resolution." For example, resolving to pray daily for your church, to become an active agent in inviting people to your church or to increase their participation in a ministry in their local church.
As your new bishop, I would like to challenge you to look at this yearly tradition from another perspective.
Let's make a "Christian resolution" by joining me in reading the Bible together this year:
* Choose your own translation to make this experience engaging and exciting.
* Invite others to join you on this journey.
* Commit to sticking to the outlined plan at this link.
Let's become Bible scholars in 2017.
Peace and Blessings,
Bishop Sharma D. Lewis
This week's readings:
Monday, January 9 at 6:30 pm: Outreach Committee Meeting
7:00 pm: Finance Committee Meeting
8:00 pm: Administrative Council Meeting
Thursday, January 12 at 6:00 pm: Evangelism/Communications Committee Meeting at the Red Door Restaurant
Saturday, January 14 at 11:00 am: Anniversary Celebration of United Methodist Day
The Virginia Conference Legislative Committee
is hosting a 25th anniversary
celebration of United Methodist Day
at the General Assembly
The event will start
with registration at 11 a.m., lunch
at noon, followed by a program at 1
p.m. Pre-registration is necessary (the deadline is TODAY, January 6) and
child care will be available. For more
information, email Randy Harlow at
Sunday, January 22 at 1:00 pm: UMW Holiday Brunch
The UMW Holiday Brunch will be at Brio Tuscan Grill in the Stony Point Fashion Shopping Center.
Everyone will pay for their own meal and it is imperative that we give the restaurant a count of who will be attending.
Please call A.J. Crick at 804-272-8554 or Anne Baughan at 804-794-5026 with your reservation.
Monday, January 23 at 12 noon: VMFA Lunch and Guided Tour of the Faberge Exhibit We will meet at the Cafe for lunch before we have a guided tour of the Faberge Exhibit. Everyone pays for their own lunch, but the tour will be free. Sign up on the bulletin board across from the kitchen.
Sunday, January 29 at 2:00 pm: Theatre Outing to The Top of Bravery
Join a group from Centenary attending this Quill Theatre production at Richmond Triangle Players (1300 Altamont Avenue in Richmond). This astonishingly powerful work tells the story of the life of Bert Williams, beloved African American vaudeville star of stage and screen. Starring Jeremy V. Morris, who also wrote the play, this original musical will bring laughter, tears, and rejoicing in the joys and pains of our rich and fertile history. Read more about the production here. Tickets will be between $0 and $25, depending on the size of our group. Sign up on the bulletin board across from the kitchen.
Friday, February 3 at 7:00 pm: Theatre Outing to The Compleat Wrks of Wllm Shkspr
Join a group from Centenary attending this Quill Theatre production at the
Glen Allen Cultural Arts Center
(2880 Mountain Road in Glen Allen).
This is an irreverent, high-speed roller coaster ride through the Bard's plays. Join this madcap trio of ambitious prop-laden
actors as they weave their wacky way through Shakespeare's Comedies, Histories and Tragedies in one wild night that will leave you breathless and helpless with laughter!
Tickets will be between $0 and $25, depending
on the size of our group.
Sign up on the bulletin board across from the kitchen.
Sunday, February 5 at 12 noon: Staff Appreciation Reception
We are blessed at Centenary with a small but caring and dedicated staff. To show the congregation's gratitude, the Staff-Parish Relations Committee is organizing a Staff Appreciation Reception. Soon we will post a sign-up sheet soliciting volunteers to bring various kinds of snacks and finger food. Please direct questions or suggestions to Reid Ashe, 513-7223 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please come and help us celebrate this wonderful group of people.
Saturday, February 11 at 6:00 pm: Gospel Concert
Outreach and Mission Opportunities
The Bless My Sole Foot Washing Ministry is running low on socks and would love any donations that you may be able to provide. Men's and women's tube socks are especially in demand.
United Methodist Pecan Sale
This year's United Methodist Women's Annual Pecan Sale raised almost $1,100.00! Thank you so much for your generous support!
Please Remember in Prayer
Ina Wilson (her sister passed away October 3)
Paul Ailstock (a Centenary bowler)
Ryland Bailey, Sr.
Amy Bates (at St. Mary's recovering from a fractured sternum)
Joe Ciucci Jr.
Jack & Lois Hinerman
Inez Johnson (friend of Vic and Nancy Grand)
Rebecca Odea (friend of Rugby Baker)
Celebrating Birthdays in January
Mary Lou Rosypal
Photo of the Week
This past Saturday our Fellowship Hall was transformed for a wedding reception.
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