Dear Centenary Family,
The Gospel reading this Sunday is another text that deals with money and our relationship to it. More importantly, however, this text deals with the way money impacts our relationships with people. Luke 16:19-31 is the parable Jesus tells about the rich man and Lazarus. The title I'm working with is "Wealth and Poverty: Blessing or Curse." This parable is full of irony because the rich man winds up in torment and the poor man winds up in heaven. The wall that separates them in eternity is a result of a wall that separated them on earth. Lazarus's earthly life in dire poverty was tragic. But I've been thinking that there is a certain tragedy in the rich man's life as well. His tragedy results from his inability to see the poor man before him as his brother and friend. It's easy to criticize the rich man for his apparent insensitivity, but I've realized that it's often the case that we don't know what we're not seeing until someone opens our eyes. I've wondered how often I've not seen a need before me because I was preoccupied with my own problems or worries. Or maybe I've intentionally looked away because I knew that if I looked someone in the eye, I would have to consider them as a fellow child of God. In God's economy, we'd both have to realize we need each other to be complete.
The rich man's problem may have involved greed and self-centeredness and all that is wrong with humanity. But part of his problem may have been that he just never really took time to see Lazarus lying beside his driveway with dogs licking his sores as he drove home from his office with the corner view to enter his beautiful home. Part of following Jesus is learning to see things we never saw before, to see people in ways we've never seen them before, and to see ourselves in new and different ways.
We'll have the opportunity to consider these themes of generosity in Sunday School the next three Sundays as we continue our Defying Gravity study. Robb Stottlemyer will lead us this Sunday. I hope you'll plan to join us for that.
And don't forget that we're having a covered luncheon following our 11:00 am worship service along with an old-fashioned hymn sing. We couldn't get Jerry Lee Lewis or Hank Williams to play - but we've got folks who will be even better lined up to lead us! We'll have a good time.
And please keep praying for our 2020 Committee. Keep dreaming and visioning about our future ministry here in downtown Richmond. What is God's will for Centenary at this time and in this place over the next 4-5 years? The last three Sundays of October during the Sunday School hour, we will be led in dreaming and visioning together by our 2020 Committee, led by Joe Speidel.
I hope to see you Sunday!
This Weekend at Centenary
Sunday, September 25 at 12 noon: Covered Dish Lunch and Old Time Hymn Sing
New Sunday School Offering for Adults Continues This Week
Join us for a covered dish lunch and an old time hymn sing. Suzanne Ray and Pencye Bailey will accompany our singing on the piano, and Matt Bates will join in on his guitar. Amy Bates will play solo sets of hymn arrangements on the piano. Bring a dish to share and stay after worship to enjoy this musical celebration.
About Sunday's Music
Sunday's Chancel Choir anthem at the 11 am Worship Service is a very jazzy setting of the hymn "Fight the Good Fight" which is a paraphrase of part of the 1 Timothy scripture we will hear.
Irish priest John Samuel Bewley Monsell penned the text of the hymn in 1863, several years before his untimely death resulting from falling from the roof of his church!
The choral anthem appeared in 1964 from Englishman John Gardner (1917-2011) and is number five of a set entitled Five Hymns in Popular Style.
You have my permission to tap your foot!
Director of Music/Organist
The called Charge Conference scheduled for Wednesday, September 28 at 7 pm has been cancelled.
Thursday, September 29: Golf Tournament
Join us at the Hollows Golf Course for the 39th Annual Golf Classic. Registration will begin at 11:00 am with a putting contest at 11:30 am, lunch at 11:45 am, and a Golf Tee-Off at 1:00 pm. 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. Visit our website to learn more about Stop Hunger Now.
Sunday, October 2, at 2:30 pm: Theatre Outing to Sylvia
A group from Centenary will be attending a Huguenot Community Players' production of Sylvia by A.R. Gurney at Huguenot United Methodist Church (10661 Duryea Drive). The world of a middle-aged New York couple is turned topsy-turvy when the husband brings home an exceptionally, engaging canine running loose in Central Park. Tickets will be $12 each. Sign up on the bulletin board across from the kitchen.
Thursday, October 6, at 7:00 pm: Theatre Outing to Dracula
A group from Centenary will be attending a Quill Theatre production of Dracula at the Libby S. Gottwald Playhouse (600 E. Grace Street). Suspenseful, sultry, and spine-tingling, the classic novel by Bram Stoker (adapted by Stephen Dietz) comes nightmarishly to life in a timeless tale of horror. This is the story that began it all, powerful enough to inspire cults and costumes for more than a hundred years, but told in our own inimitably original way! Note that this play contains violence and may not be suitable for children. 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, October 16 at 5:00 pm: Movie Night
Join us for
Movie Night at Centenary featuring the comedy Shooting the Prodigal, a movie about a church making a movie about the prodigal son. Refreshments will be served and there will be a talk-back discussion following the movie.
Saturday, October 22 at 2:00 pm: Theatre Outing to Hunchback of Notre Dame
A group from Centenary will be attending a performance of the Three-Penny Theatre's Hunchback of Notre Dame, an original adaptation by local playwright Ray Carver of the novel by Victor Hugo. Three-Penny Theatre is located at Gayton Kirk Presbyterian Church (11421 Gayton Road in Henrico). Their productions are "pay what you want" performances; every audience member names their own ticket price. Sign up on the bulletin board across from the kitchen.
Outreach and Mission Opportunities
The annual pansy sale to benefit Shalom Farms is here! The pansies come in multi-colored flats (1 flat is 32 plants). They sell for $20.00/flat. The deadline to place an order is Monday, October 3. The sign-up sheet is on the bulletin board next to the kitchen. Make checks out to UMUMR. Thanks so much and happy planting!
Visit our website to learn more about Shalom Farms.
Support the Hermitage's Bazaar and Bake Sale
Plan to attend the 2016 Country Store Bazaar and Bake Sale at the Hermitage (1600 Westwood Avenue in Richmond) on
October 28 from 10:30 am to 2:30 pm and October 29 from 9:30 am to noon.
Sunday School Teachers and Assistant Teachers Needed
Please, please consider volunteering this school year to teach or assist in our children or youth Sunday School classes for just one Sunday morning a month. The classes meet from 10:00 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. We just need one more assistant with the children's class and two more leaders for the youth class. Please see Ann Davis for more information.
United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR)
The Outreach Committee wants you to be aware of an opportunity to help the struggling people in Louisiana as they overcome destruction from the floods. If you make a check out to Centenary UMC and write UMCOR #901670 on the bottom of the check, it will be sent to help with Louisiana's recovery. If you want your contribution to go to help with buying clean-up buckets for the effort, write UMCOR #901440 on your check. At this time UMCOR doesn't have numbers for the earthquake in Italy or the fires in California. We will keep you updated as we receive this information. Visit the UMCOR website to learn more.
Items for School Kits
With all of the back-to-school sales, this is the ideal time to pick up items for the school kits we will be assembling for the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) this year. The items we really need to complete kits are: pads of wide ruled paper (spiral or top bound pads 150 sheets or less, can also be packages of loose leaf paper 150 sheets or less), pencil sharpeners (handheld - must be at least 1 inch long!), blunt children's scissors (rounded tip only, not ones with plastic blades), 24-count boxes of crayons. We have plenty of pencils, erasers, and rulers left from last year's collection. Visit our website to learn more.
Please Remember in Prayer
Joe Ciucci Jr.
Ruth Anne Davis
Susan Dobyns (friend of Leah Hundley)
Jack & Lois Hinerman
Donna Mestre (Betty Brown's sister)
Marcus Smith (Suzanne Ray's uncle)
Kevin Watson (son of Cheryl Owen-Watson)
Celebrating Birthdays in September
Photo of the Week
Volunteers from churches around Richmond help each Friday with our Walk-In Ministry. This past Friday, under the leadership of Mary E. Vetrovec, a team from Providence United Methodist Church was the first group to prepare lunch in our newly renovated kitchen.
Visit Us: 411 E. Grace St., Richmond, VA 23219