Centenary's Weekly Newsletter July 21, 2016
A Message from Centenary
Pastor Matt Bates
Dear Centenary Family,

The Gospel reading for this coming Sunday is Luke 11:1-13. The sermon I'm working on is entitled "Praying Your Way Home." This text contains Luke's version of what we call the Lord's Prayer. If you attend worship regularly, you know the prayer. We may know the words so well that we wonder what new insight, if any, we might gain from hearing yet another sermon on these familiar words.

But there's the distinct possibility that in today's world, there are many people who have not yet heard this prayer or considered the kind of instruction it contains. Put yourself in the shoes of one of those folks. How would the words sound if you were hearing them for the first time?

For one thing, Jesus' words about the kinds of things we should talk to God about might put many of us at ease. Frankly, many of us, even long-time Christians, often feel that our prayer life is inadequate.

But Jesus' prayer, though it begins by addressing the mysterious, transcendent, and holy God, turns immediately to very human concerns. 
"Bring in your kingdom..."  (Things aren't going so well down here, make them better now!)
"Give us bread..."  (That's pretty straightforward, especially if you are among the millions on our planet wondering how they will feed their hungry families.)
"Forgive us our sins..."  (We constantly do and say things that cause problems for us and other people. And when we're not doing that, we often fail to do the right thing when we see it right in front of us.)
"Don't lead us into temptation..."  (Don't take us through trouble that threatens to destroy us!)
So, Jesus' model prayer is an invitation to talk directly and honestly to God about our lives as we find them. It is an invitation to drop the façade of self-reliance and acknowledge our dependence on God for everything!

Yes, there are deeper levels of prayer worth learning about - prayer as deep meditation on Scripture, prayer as contemplation, prayer that strains toward union of our spirits with God's Spirit.  But don't worry if you're not there. Just start talking to God. For in Jesus, we have learned that God is a friend who is always listening.

I look forward to worshiping - and praying with you this Sunday!


This Week at Centenary

Congratulations to our nursery worker Melissa Martinez on the birth of her new baby who was born on July 1. Melissa's daughters Kyria and Karisia are excited to welcome a new baby brother, Edwin Martinez III, to their family!

Important Notice about Sunday Parking on 4th Street
Please re member that on Sunday mornings if you park on 4th Street in one of the handicapped parking places (right hand side of the street as you head north - see photo on the left), you must display a  handicapped parking tag or risk being ticketed. 

Upcoming Events

Tuesday, August 2 at 6 pm:  Discover Downtown Eateries
Join us on for dinner at Pop's Market on Grace right next door to Centenary in the Cokesbury building. This locally-owned restaurant bills itself as a café, delicatessen & bakery with a little bit of everything. Everyone will order from the menu and we will each pay for our own meal. Please sign up by July 31 on the bulletin board outside of the kitchen or call the church office at 804-648-8319.  

Sunday, August 21 at 6 pm:  Summer Movie Night
The featured movie in August is Eddie the Eagle. Cut from the Olympic ski team, British athlete Michael "Eddie" Edwards travels to Germany to test his skills at ski jumping. Fate leads him to Bronson Peary, a former ski jumper who now works as a snowplow driver. Impressed by Edwards' spirit and determination, Peary agrees to train the young underd og. Despite an entire nation counting him out, Eddie's never-say-die attitude takes him all the way to a historic and improbable showing at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Alberta. Rated PG-13.
Please Remember in Prayer

Joe Ciucci
Goldie Craig's niece Morgan 
Ruth Ann Davis
Susan Dobyns (friend of Leah Hundley)
Grace Hinchman 
Jack & Lois Hinerman
Judy Holland          
Jean Jones
Mike Jones
Troy Nelson
Marcus Smith (Suzanne Ray's uncle)
John Seyfarth
Ann Michael Sturgeon's family (A.J. Crick's sister, who recently passed away)
Kevin Watson (upcoming surgery on September 1)
Celebrating Birthdays in July

Bob Almond
Sarah Anzelmo-Steele
Jacob Armstrong 
Ryland Bailey
R.B. Bennington
Reggie Bristow
Bill Brock
Vikki Brock
William Brock
Judy Brown
Laurie Cardoza
Madeleine Chasse
Frank Childrey, Jr.
Nikki Cullather
Les Dobbs
Mary Dobbs
Scottie Estis
John Ford 
Joe Hudgins
Bob Hundley
Kate Hundley
David Jarvis
Suresh Joel
Carter Johnson
Isabel Junker
Edna Knight
George Little
Mary Alice Nesbitt
Jonathan Nuckols
Charlie Petty
Opel Pritchett
Dean Simpson
Sonia Smith
Geraldine Stallings 
Emmeline Steele
Matthew Steele
Olivia Steele
John Stottlemyer
Susan Thomas
Beth Vetrovec
Mary E. Vetrovec
Sylvia Whaley
Phillip Wood
Photo of the Week
New sinks for the kitchen!
Centenary United Methodist Church | (804) 648-8319 | www.centumc.org 
Visit Us: 411 E. Grace St., Richmond, VA 23219