Dear Centenary Family,
It's hard to believe, but we're rapidly moving out of the Easter season. Next Sunday, the Easter season will come to a close as we celebrate the Ascension of Jesus back to heaven.
I realize that most of us don't view time through the lens of the Christian liturgical year. Our calendars are filled with other things - deadlines at work, dates when bills or taxes or due, doctor's appointments, perhaps an occasional wedding or funeral, and our long-awaited vacation. But in the church, we do count time somewhat differently. The Christian year begins, usually in early December with Advent, and then moves us toward Christmas, on to Lent, Easter, and Pentecost. Then from sometime in June until late November, we are in ordinary time, a long stretch without any high, holy days to celebrate. Truthfully, that's where most of our lives are lived, not in moments of intense spiritual ecstasy, but in moments of trying to discern God's presence in the midst of the daily grind.
I know that this way of thinking about time may seem odd. And our rather strict adherence to the Christian year in worship may seem arbitrary or antiquated to some of us. I did not grow up in churches that made a lot of the Christian liturgical calendar. People where I grew up were more likely to look forward to the next revival meeting or church cookout than they were to the beginning of Advent.
But I've grown to appreciate this way of thinking about time. For instance, it may seem to some of us that we're just counting the Sundays between Easter and Pentecost so we can keep track of which Scriptures are to be read and which hymns are most appropriate. But there's more to it than that.
Consider our celebration of Easter Sunday, and the Sundays after. I don't know about you, but Easter is a time I do feel unusually close to God. And the Sundays after Easter build on that feeling. That's how it was for Jesus' earliest disciples. For 40 days after Jesus' resurrection, Jesus continued on earth with them and they experienced God's presence in intense and surprising ways.
But Jesus made it clear that he would not linger on earth forever. He was going to leave. He would return to heaven and no longer be physically present with his disciples. This prospect, as you might imagine, created great anxiety for Jesus' disciples. They were afraid, wondering how they could carry Jesus' mission forward as he'd told them to do. And like many of us, they were also afraid that they couldn't cope with life's challenges - sickness, economic insecurity, broken relationships, and death - without him.
Isn't that where life is lived for many of us? We'd like to linger in the Easter season, clinging to that sense of God's nearness. But Jesus is not physically present with us. We often feel that Jesus is far away from us. We wonder if Jesus really does care about us. We wonder how we'll cope with the difficulties of life.
And so, in preparation for this physical absence, Jesus spends much time reassuring his disciples that even though they cannot see him, he is still with them. I don't know about you, but I need to be reassured of that fairly often.
The Gospel reading this week is from John 14:15-21. In this passage, Jesus is trying to help his disciples understand how they can cope without his physical presence. The title I'm working with is, "Things to Remember While I'm Gone."
I look forward to seeing you Sunday and thinking together about how we can connect with a God we cannot see or touch, and how we can help one another on this journey.
This Weekend at Centenary
Friday, May 19 and Sunday, May 21: "Mozart's Requiem"
The Central Virginia Masterworks Chorale will be performing "Mozart's Requiem," as well as two other Mozart selections, on Friday, May 19, at 7:30 pm at River Road Presbyterian Church (8960 River Road in Richmond) and on Sunday, May 21, at 3:00 pm at Duncan Memorial United Methodist Church (201 Henry Street in Ashland). If you would like to attend, see Nancy or Vic Grand (phone 804-276-5362 or firstname.lastname@example.org). Tickets are also available online at www.cvamc.org or call 800-838-3006.
Sunday, May 21
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 "Things to Remember While I'm Gone"
based on the scripture reading John 14:15-21.
Important Notice about Sunday Parking on 4th Street
Please remember 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 below), you must
display a handicapped parking tag or risk being ticketed.
Sunday, May 21 at 2:30 pm: Theatre Outing to
A Bad Year for Tomatoes
A group from Centenary will be attending a Huguenot Community Players' production of A Bad Year for Tomatoes by John Patrick. Fed up with the pressures and demands of her acting career, the famous Myra Marlowe leases a house in the tiny New England hamlet of Beaver Dam, and settles down to write her autobiography. She is successful in turning aside the offers pressed on to her by her long-time agent, but dealing with her nosy, omnipresent neighbors is a different matter. Huguenot Community Players is located at Huguenot United Methodist Church (10661 Duryea Drive in Richmond). Tickets are $12 each.
Sunday, May 21 Deadline: Attention All Class of 2017 Graduates
If you or someone in your family is planning on graduating from high school or college this spring or summer, please call the church office at (804) 648-8319, or send us an email at email@example.com, by Sunday, May 21, with the following information so that we can announce it in the bulletin.
1. Name (first, middle, and last)
2. Affiliation (child of, grandchild of, etc.)
3. School attended
4. Future plans
Thanks so much and congratulations, graduates!
Poise, balance and control - words one might use to describe a dancer but not usually to describe music. However the anthem this week, "If Ye Love Me", demands all of these and much more from the singers. Any member of the choir can tell you that it is much more difficult to sing well quietly than loudly. Our superb group will demonstrate exactly how this little motet by Thomas Tallis (c. 1505-1585) should be done.
It is generally accepted that music from this era uses less or no vibrato (the wavering sound) when it is performed. This style of singing lends a cohesiveness to the music, especially in homophonic sections (everyone moving together) like the beginning of the anthem.
The choir almost sounds like an organ. The music also demands that each singer listens to everyone else just as much as they watch the conductor. For music of this style, the ears of the singer (listening to the others) are just as important as the eyes (watching the
conductor) which is why we move to the corner - it is easier to listen when singing in a circle.
Director of Music/Organist
A Challenge from Bishop Lewis to Read the Bible with Her in 2017
This week's readings:
2 Chronicles 32-34
2 Chronicles 35-36
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).
VUMH Samaritan Program
The Hermitage is part of
Virginia United Methodist Homes, Inc. (VUMH)
, a not-for-profit organization that makes a commitment to provide assistance to those who, through no fault of their own, may become unable to meet the financial responsibilities of their residence or care.
The Samaritan Program
provides peace of mind to residents who have outlived their financial resources. If you would like to make a contribution to this program, you can do so by going to this website and clicking on the "Gift to the Hermitage Samaritan Program" link at the bottom of the webpage;
. If you would like to mail a check or contribution, you can send it to 5101 Cox Road, Suite 225, Glen Allen, 23060 and please write "VUMH Samaritan Program" on the bi-line.
Sunday, May 28 at 2:30 pm: Theatre Outing to When There's a Will
A group from Centenary will be attending a CAT Theatre production of When There's a Will by Richmond playwright Philip Ventrella. This world premiere dark comedy examines the family dynamics when inheritance is on the line. When a family gathers at the command of its matriarch, no one is happy. Grandmother holds the purse strings to the clan's inheritance and makes ludicrous and unreasonable demands on her family. Their responses - sometimes silly, other times horrible - are often the reaction many can relate to (but wouldn't dream of fulfilling). CAT Theatre is located 319 N. Wilkinson Road in Henrico. Tickets are $18 each. Sign up on the bulletin board across from the kitchen.
Friday, June 2 at 7:30 pm: Theatre Outing to Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost
A group from Centenary will be attending this Quill Theatre production at historic Agecroft Hall. There are
disguises, flirtations, silly dancing, hilarity and heartbreak aplenty as the King of Navarre and his followers vow to devote themselves to the celibate life of scholarship for three years. Their counterparts, the Princess of France and her attendant ladies, are refused entry to the city when they arrive, so they decide to trick the men into breaking their vows. Each man in his turn falls prey to the charms of the ladies - but their happy ending comes with a twist! Tickets will be between $15 and $20,
depending on the size of our group. Please sign up on the bulletin board across from the kitchen.
Saturday, June 3 at 8:45 am: Rise Against Hunger Meal Packing Event
We will meet at Centenary to pack meals for Rise Against Hunger! Mark your calendars. Invite family and friends. Have fun while serving a good cause. Read more about it here.
Wednesday, June 7 at 7 pm: Performance of Soapbox Sisters
Please join us at Centenary for a uniquely entertaining and enlightening evening created by Quill Theatre and feel the fervor of 1918 Richmond, when Suffrage Leagues enticed women to leave their wifely tasks at home and fight for the rights of their entire sex! Quill will present two "propaganda plays" and an essay by three of the most forward-thinking women of the early 20th Century-Mary Shaw, Mary Winsor, and Richmond's own Lila Meade Valentine. Mary Winsor's A Suffrage Rummage Sale: The Auction Interrupted is a hilarious spoof of the scattered illogic of those who opposed the movement. In a pamphlet penned and published in Richmond, "Answer to Anti-Suffragists," Lila Meade Valentine--organizer and President of the Equal Suffrage League of Richmond--responds to allegations in the press against the Suffrage Movement. The Parrot Cage by Mary Shaw is an allegory of women's lives in the home as virtual pets. Living in a gilded cage, fed and provided for - are you privileged or imprisoned?
Sunday, June 11 at 12 noon: Assembly of School Kits
Join us for a pizza lunch as we assemble school kits for the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). School kits provide children around the world with basic school supplies such as paper, pencils, and other items. Watch for an announcement soon about additional supplies that might be needed to complete the kits. To learn more about UMCOR and the need for relief supplies,
Sunday, June 18 at 6 pm: Summer Movie Night
Centenary's Fellowship Hall is being turned into a movie theatre (yes, with popcorn!) one Sunday night each summer month. The featured movie in June is Hidden Figures, about a team of brilliant African-American women who provided NASA with important mathematical data needed to launch the program's first successful space missions. Rated PG.
Thursday, June 29: Centenary Travels - Trip to Staunton, VA
We will leave from Lakeside UMC at 8:00 a.m., traveling in our own vehicles, and returning around 5:00 p.m. We will visit the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library as well as downtown Staunton and Sunspots Studios (for live glass blowing). Lunch will take place at Mrs. Rowe's Restaurant- for some good country cooking! Then, we will visit the P. Buckley Moss Gallery, in Waynesboro, and have refreshments. Check out the bulletin board across from the kitchen for registration forms and additional information about the trip.
Please Remember in Prayer
Ryland Bailey, Sr.
Joe Ciucci Jr.
Bobby Davis (now a patient at Hanover Health and Rehab)
Rebecca Enos, her church and her friend, Marlys Johnson
Jack Hill (currently at Lucy Corr Rehab)
Jack & Lois Hinerman
Nikita's (our weekly parking lot attendant) mother
Neil Shingleton and family (in the loss of his brother, Will Shingleton)
P.C. and Carol Yerby (parents of Mary Mismas)
Celebrating Birthdays in May
Photo of the Week
Ann Davis leads the Children's Chat on Mother's Day.
Photo Credit: Meredith Thrower
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