Dear Centenary Family,
First, I'd like to thank all of you for your thoughts, prayers, and kindness to us during Amy's recent rough patch. As you may know, she had a sternal fracture on January 5. This last week, she was diagnosed with two more vertebral fractures and will have a procedure on those places Monday called kyphoplasty which should bring her relief. Our family is truly grateful for your support and compassion.
This Sunday's Old Testament reading is from Genesis 12:1-4a. It is the story of God's call to Abraham to leave his home and start on a trip whose destination is only known to God. God promises to bless Abraham with a land and descendants who will become a great nation. As I've meditated on this text this week, it has stood out to me that in some ways Abraham is the opposite of Adam and Eve. The first couple had difficulty trusting God's intention and God's direction in the Garden of Eden and that had disastrous consequences for them. But Abraham was able to trust God, even though God was asking him to make a great change in his old age and to believe that even in their advance years, he and Sarah would have children.
The Christian life is about learning to trust that God wants to bless us with life and joy. It is also about learning to hear God's call and to follow it, even if that takes us into an unknown territory. Opening ourselves to God's call is where the spiritual life gets exciting and risky at the same time.
God calls all kinds of people, and with little regard to their personal holiness, age, or station in life. God called Samuel as a child, Jeremiah as a youth, and Abraham and Sarah in their old age.
During this season of Lent, I'd invite you to find some quiet time and place and ask God, "Are you calling me to do anything new?" And I'd invite us as a congregation to carve out time and space to consider that question as well.
I look forward to worshiping with you this Sunday. The title I'm working with is "Tracking God's Blessing."
This Weekend at Centenary
Saturday, March 11 from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm: Remember and Recommit Workshop
This next workshop in our series, "Remember and Recommit: Christian Faith and the Modern Civil Rights Movement," will be held at Centenary and led by Rev. Jim Melson. All are encouraged to attend, even if you haven't been to one of the previous workshops in this series. The focus of this workshop will be the year 1966. Through a combination of worship, presentations, video clips and small group sharing, we will remember the witness and sacrifice of so many 50 years ago during the Civil Rights Movement and recommit to discerning and following God's ongoing call for racial justice and reconciliation in our time.
Sunday, March 12: Daylight Savings Time begins - don't forget to set your clocks to "spring forward!"
Sunday, March 12: Worship at 8:40 am (informal) and 11:00 am (traditional)
Senior Pastor Matt Bates will preach "
Tracking God's Blessing"
based on the scripture reading from
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).
Wednesdays, March 15, 22, 29, and April 5 at 6:00 pm: Lenten Worship Services and Light Supper
Join us for four Wednesday nights during the season of Lent for Worship at 6:00 pm, 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.) The message each week will be "If I Had One Sermon to Preach." As some of you know, we are very fortunate here at Centenary to have several retired clergy among us as well as clergy serving in appointments beyond the local church. Here's the preaching schedule:
March 15: Rev. Rita Callis (retired)
March 22: Rev. Brooke Willson (retired)
March 29: Rev. Kathy Talley (serving an appointment beyond the local church)
April 5: Rev. Katie B. Gooch (serving as the campus minister to VCU)
Sunday, March 19 at 5 pm: Concert featuring the Norfolk State University Choir
The Norfolk State University Choirs have been under the baton of outstanding, talented, and dedicated music educators since their inception. Dr. Carl Haywood, Director of Choral Activities and current conductor of the Concert Choir and Spartan Chorale, has enhanced the reputation of the concert choir and expanded the choral program resplendently under the auspices of the University's motto- Achieving Excellence, Success Beyond Measure. The Concert Choir has received glowing reviews in concerts all over the country. The choir, which performed twice at the White House and at the request of the Governor of Virginia in the executive mansion, is known for the beauty of its choral tone and the ability to render exemplary performances of choral works of the great masters, as well as authentic performances of Negro spirituals, and works by African-American composers. See the sign-up sheet on the bulletin board across from the kitchen for those who would like to volunteer to bring a heavy hors d'oeuvre for the reception after the concert.
March 30 at 2:30 pm: Free Choral Concert for Senior Citizens at Atlee High School
You are invited to the 2nd Annual Free Choral Concert for Senior Citizens by the Atlee High School Show Choirs at Atlee High School (9414 Atlee Station Road in Mechanicsville). For more information or to RSVP, contact Nancy Hundley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 804-306-9102.
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!
Outreach and Mission Opportunities
Richmond Justice Center
The Outreach Committee will be accepting items for our new project to assist those incarcerated in the Richmond Justice Center. Often when a person finds herself/himself incarcerated, s/he does not have the most basic items for daily existence. We hope to remedy their situation by supplying these items. We will accept donations through Sunday, March 12.
Items for donation:
or both men & women - f
ull sized, solid antiperspirant, fu
ll sized bar soap,
12+ oz. shampoo,
12+ oz. lotion,
12+ oz. toothpaste.
For just men - w
hite t-shirts, u
nderwear (all colors and sizes - prefer boxers), w
hite long johns. F
or just women - w
hite t-shirts, w
hite long johns, s
ports bras (no wires), u
nderwear (all colors and sizes), t
ampons and sanitary pads.
Other acceptable donations - m
onetary contributions, p
Please place your donations in a marked bag, labeled Outreach and leave them in the church office. Also, please contact Nancy Cook at 804-644-0240 or email@example.com to let her know that a donation is waiting in the office for pick up.
Thank you for your concern and generosity.
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 March
Photo of the Week
Congratulations to the winners of last Sunday's Chili Cook-Off:
White Chili - a tie between David Pippin and Steve Gregory; Vegetarian Chili - Pat Shipley; and Red Chili - Connie Bennington. Plus over $650 was raised for the Camp Scholarship Fund!
Visit Us: 411 E. Grace St., Richmond, VA 23219