This Week at Centenary
Dear Centenary Family,
 
What does Easter mean in a Covid-19 world? 
 
These are unsettling times to be sure. Many of us are wrestling with adjusting to a whole new routine. Some of us are working at home alone, or with people we love, trying to figure out how not to drive each other crazy! Many of us are worried about getting sick or making others sick. A lot of us are concerned about the economic impact this is having on us and our world. Some of us are wondering what the world will be like once we’ve passed through this time. Church folks are wondering what the church will look like in the future.
 
It helps me to think back to that first Easter and what Easter meant to Jesus’ followers. The Gospel reading for Sunday is John 20:19-31. It’s the text about “doubting Thomas” we often focus on this time of year. But I’m not sure we treat Thomas fairly. When he said he wouldn’t believe Jesus was alive until he touched his wounds, he was simply asking for the same kind of assurance the other disciples had experienced when they saw Jesus a week earlier. The first part of this text has spoken to me this week. It talks about the gifts Jesus imparts to his disciples as he is preparing to depart from them and go back to God. I want to focus on those gifts this Sunday. They are gifts we need right now. I do want to note, also, that the disciples were in need of those gifts. (Tune in Sunday to find out what they were!) I’ll give you a hint. One of those gifts was peace. “Peace. . .” That is Jesus’ greeting to them. Obviously, he would not offer them his blessing of peace if they didn’t need it. They didn’t yet know what to make of the strange occurrences of the empty tomb and Jesus’ appearances to them. They were still afraid—afraid of the religious leaders and the Roman authorities. They still doubted their own ability to be courageous and faithful followers of one who’d loved them enough to give his life on the cross for them. I expect like many of us right now, they weren’t sleeping well.  They were anxious. And they were grieving the loss of Jesus’ regular physical presence with them as their friend and teacher. And aren’t many of us grieving losses quietly right now? If we haven’t lost loved ones as so many have in this time, we grieve losses like our freedom to move about freely, to gather we friends and family members with ease, or the ability to celebrate major accomplishments like graduation from high school or college.
 
We need this gift of peace right now. It’s one of the fruits of Easter faith! 
 
Yes, our lives will not be the same. The world will not be the same. The church as we’ve experienced it will not be the same. 
 
But the risen Christ is with us, offering us the gifts we need not only to survive and endure this time, but to continue to experience the joy of being loved and claimed by God!
 
Peace to all of you,
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Matt
Facebook Live
Streaming Worship
Join us on Facebook Live for worship this Sunday at 11:00 a.m. For the foreseeable future, that is when and where we will gather for worship. We will also be posting a recorded audio version of the service on our website , usually on Mondays, which you can access any time. 
 
This Sunday, our musical leaders will be Lee Covington, Rev. Drew Willson and our soloist will be Sam Cook.
 
Invite others to join us this Sunday and on the Sundays to come!


Easter Offering 2020
 
Leaders from our Serving Team, Finance Team, and Church Council have taken a hard look at how we can extend our generosity and compassion to people in our city whose lives are being turned upside down by the Covid-19 Pandemic. 
 
After some thorough research, prayer, and deliberation, our Church Council has agreed that our Easter offering this year will go the Community Foundation , which works in conjunction with RVA Strong to help our local businesses and people being adversely impacted by this pandemic. 
 
 You can read more about the Central Virginia Covid-19 Response here.
 
We want to do something to share God’s love with people hurting here in Central Virginia. We want to keep striving to be generous people and a generous congregation even when our inclination is to turn our focus inward and worry about our own needs. 
 
You can make your donation either by mail to the church or online by going to the Give tab in the upper right-hand corner of our homepage at centumc.org . From there click, “Gifts—Unpledged” and in the memo line put “Easter Offering.”
 
Together, we can keep striving, with God’s help, to change the world through love!
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Celebration Sunday Spring Plants
A variety of spring plants will adorn our sanctuary in celebration of our first Sunday of worship following our closure from the COVID-19 pandemic! If you would like to order a plant in memory of or in honor of a loved one, there are two ways to order. Plants are $12.50/each. Checks should be made payable to Centenary UM Church. Please put "Spring Plants" on the memo line.

  1. Complete this online order form. Remember, you order is not complete until the church receives your payment.
  2. Print out and complete this order form. The send the order form and your check to:

Centenary United Methodist Church
411 E. Grace Street,
Richmond, 23219

Get your orders in soon! We don't know exactly when we will be back together, but when it happens, it might happen quickly and we will need to order ASAP. So don't miss out!

We will have an insert on Celebration Sunday with our donors listed and plants can be picked up following the 11:00 service.
Dear Centenary Family,

As you may know we have been praying for Ronnie Clements who has been recently been diagnosed with lung cancer. We have a goal of providing meals on Mondays and Thursdays for Ronnie and Luis. Ronnie does have some dietary restrictions. If you click on this link, you will see what kind of food is best for Ronnie and you can volunteer to prepare a meal.  

**PLEASE NOTE THE ADDRESS CHANGE
AND CHANGE IN DIET**

ADDRESS CHANGE - THEY ARE NOW IN CHURCH HILL.
3308 E. Broad St. **Don't go to the door at the front, but go around to the left side, to the door there where you can drop off the meal.

DIET CHANGE
Ronnie is no longer on the keto diet. They will gladly accept and be thankful for any meal you are able to provide.

Grub Hub gift cards are a good way to provide a meal if cooking/delivery aren't options for you.

If you are able to prepare and deliver a meal, we ask that you call ahead and let Ronnie or Luis know you are coming. (Phone: 334-412-9925)

Here is some guidance for health and safety:

1) Be diligent in washing hands.

2) Take care in how the food is handled.


3) You can deliver the food for Ronnie and Luis to pick up without going into their apartment. They can give you information on how to do that.

If you need help with delivery contact Susy Meyer (susybork@gmail.com)

Thank you in advance for your willingness to serve!
Coffee Theology - Open To All Ages!
Friday, April 17 (that's today!)
6:00 pm on Zoom
Zoom Link
Meeting ID - 942-7442-9399
Meeting Password - 415167

If you would like information about other ways the Young Adults are staying connected during this time of social distancing, please contact
Rev. Drew Willson - drewwillson@vaumc.org
Save the Date!
On May 5th, which would have been the start of General Conference 2020, Reconciling Ministry Network is hosting a virtual worship service to celebrate the strength of the Reconciling movement.
Join us at 8pm ET | 5pm PT to relive the phenomenal music of Connection 2020, to receive words of healing and encouragement from a host of Reconciling movement-makers, and to be led in worship by Rev. Kimberly Scott of Cross Roads UMC in Phoenix, AZ.
The service will be live-streamed on Facebook and available to view on our homepage on May 5th. You can RSVP here. RSVP Here
Birthdays
This Week
April 19 - Kate Stottlemyer
April 21 - Julie Landsdown
April 22 - Benjamin Armstrong


R.B. Bennington
Joanne Crick Berft  - daughter of Phil & AJ Crick, asking for prayer for  
recent health issues
Betty Brown  - Bill Glaze, Betty's brother-in-law has been diagnosed with 
pancreatic cancer
Ka Cheng  - friend of Vicki and Phyllis Stump diagnosed with breast 
cancer.
Ronnie Clements - Ronnie is home and Luis has been laid off from work.
Shannon Conway  - requests prayer for the Charles Sherman, Peter 
Oxborrow, Leon Beale and family
Riley Davin  - Niece of Vic and Nancy
Les Dobbs
Serena Durst Edwards
Jeff Hatch
Leah Hundley and family
Justin Laman  - nephew of Lucy Hottle, a young father who has cancer
Lorna Leake - My friend Tate and her daughter Cher have been diagnosed for walking pneumonia.They are going to a tent doctor to be tested for the virus. Her daughter has several health problems and I am very concerned. 
Vincente Lopez  - nephew of Heidi Kara, U.S. Army Infantry, deploying
to Egypt
Megan Mattax -   a friend of Miranda Clayton, pregnant and diagnosed  
with breast cancer
Patti Oman  - health concerns - friend of Beth Hensley
Phyllis Stump - at Lakewood Manor
Wendy Tisdale  - family friend of Agatha and Christina Kidd, diagnosed 
with stage 4 lung cancer
Bernice Walter - medical issues