Dear Centenary Family,
Sometimes the images we use to explain or describe some reality can seem over the top or exaggerated when compared to thing we're trying to describe. "I have a ton of homework..." Or, "My mom was so mad steam was coming out of her ears..."
I think the biblical description of Jesus' ascension into heaven and the new state of affairs we believe exists in the world following this event are like this. The Epistle reading this Sunday is Ephesians 1:15-23. This text is full of grand language as the writer tries to explain the kind of world we live in since Jesus' resurrection and return to heaven. "God put this power [of the resurrection] to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places...And he has put all things under his feet..."
I doubt that the writer is trying to describe a physical reality where Jesus occupies some celestial real estate, sitting on a throne next to God.
But I do think the writer is trying to describe a vision of the scope of God's power and the way that power relates to all other forms of earthly power.
You see as Christians, we have a counter-cultural understanding of power. For one thing, we look at the power of presidents, monarchs, armies, and nations and realize that though any of these entities may impose their will on people for a certain length of time, their power is never absolute or eternal. Only God's power lasts.
More than that, as Christians, we believe that Jesus revealed the nature of divine power to us in ways that completely contradict our conventional ways of viewing power. The kind of power that endures and finally overcomes all other expressions of worldly power is signified in the cross of Jesus. The only power that lasts is the power of love.
That's something to remember whenever you watch the news or pick up the paper and find yourself heartbroken because of another senseless bombing by terrorists, or just disturbed by the behavior of people in places of power. What none of them know is that they are all just crude parodies of real power. The question for us as the people of God is whether we have a faith deep enough to live our lives in ways that show the world how deeply we believe in the superior power of love.
I look forward to seeing you Sunday!
This Weekend at Centenary
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 "Real Power"
based on the Epistle reading Ephesians 1:15-23.
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 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.
High drama! Declamatory is the word of the day ... but ... mysterious too.
Our brief anthem, "God Is Gone Up" by Jack C. Goode (1921-2002), is a veritable tour de force of fabulous compositional wizardry, especially for the organist. The choral parts, while extremely effective, are actually quite easy. The organ part however is not! The organ also gets the first and last "words" with pedal solos. The first thing you hear is a very syncopated descending passage for the feet alone. At the very end the pedals play three very loud, "pointed" notes to cap off this amazing piece.
Not long after the beginning, the choir sings the words "Shout to God with loud songs of joy!" and the organ part actually "laughs" joyfully using jazz harmonies. But then the loud laughter quickly gives way to the first mysterious, awe-filled passage on the words "For the Lord is a terrible god".
The work closes with the words "God has gone up with a shout, and with the sound of the trumpet. Sing praise to God!" I'm going to leave the cat in the bag as to what happens ...
High drama and high praise!
Read Mr. Goode's obituary 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).
Even though we have successfully helped with the purchase of a van for our Afghan family, the mother and children of the family are still in need of assistance running errands and getting to medical appointments. We are in need of someone from Centenary to help with transportation during the month of June, since the regular "car helper" is going on vacation. In order to qualify as a volunteer, you must submit a background check and $45.00. If you would like a sponsor for this fee, see Vic & Nancy Grand, who will be able to provide assistance. You may also contact Vic & Nancy Grand,
, for further information. Thanks to all who help.
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.
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.
Sunday, June 25 at 12 noon: Reception
Join us for this reception
following the 11:00 am Worship Service to wish Dave and Ginny Jarvis well on their move to Winchester, VA.
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.
Outreach Accomplishments 2016-2017
All too often Outreach moves at a hectic pace, and we forget to give thanks for our accomplishments. So, let's take a few moments to enjoy our successes and to give thanks to our generous, caring congregation. The Outreach Committee applauds you!
September 2016 - Donation of four classroom sets of books to Chimborazo Elementary School ($552.68).
September 2016 - Support for our missionaries, Clara Biswas in Cambodia and Pat Watkins in U.S. ($2,000.00 to each).
October 2016 - Support for the Fall Golf Tournament and funds for Stop Hunger Now ($1,600.00).
November 2016 - Stop Hunger Now packaging event ($2,900.00).
November 2016 - Bring in the Harvest Thanksgiving food donations.
December 2016 - Christmas cards for our Walk-In guests for three Fridays;
each Walk-In guest was able to choose two Christmas gifts; also provided a comb, clippers, and razor to each Walk-In guest.
December 2016 - Provided Christmas cards to McGuire VA Medical Center.
December 2016 - Donations received for Gifts that Count Cards ($2,517.00).
December 2016 - Christmas Eve offering given to UMFS ($2,001.00).
March 2017 - Chili Cook-Off to raise funds for scholarship for UMFS camper ($652.00).
April 2017 - Accepted donations of clothing, personal items, and money for the Richmond Justice Center.
April 2017 - Support for the Spring Golf Tournament and funds for Rise Against Hunger ($1,200.00).
April 2017 - Helped our Afghan refugee family purchase a van ($2000.00).
May 2017 - Provide funding for consultant, Dr. John Wimberley, for Strategic Planning ($3,500.00).
May 2017 - Gave additional money to support Afghan family ($2,000.00).
June 3, 2017 - Will package 10,000 meals for Rise Against Hunger (needed: $2,900.00) Join us!
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
Just a few of the new plantings around the church building.
Visit Us: 411 E. Grace St., Richmond, VA 23219