This Week at Centenary
Dear Centenary Family,
 
I hope this finds you safe, well, and not too stir-crazy yet!
 
I don’t know how you are feeling about our sheltering in place, but I’ve heard from some of you and from other clergy that, at least for us church folks, we were approaching these times with a sense of energy and enthusiasm in our initial days of confinement. We wanted to show ourselves we could handle this challenge. Many of us had Easter on our horizon. We were preoccupied with figuring out how to find new ways to worship and care and even serve as we anticipated celebrating Easter together, even if that celebration was online.
 
But the reality that is sinking in for many of us, is that even though there may be the loosening of some restrictions on our moving about, working, and gathering, there is a strong possibility that in some form or fashion, the Coronavirus is going to be causing us to adjust our behavior for anywhere from 12 to 18 months.
 
Now, the question for many of us is, “How do we adjust our thinking and behavior, if that is even a remote possibility?”
 
In the midst of this uncertainty, frustration, impatience, and even fear, I also hear people affirming their conviction that though God is not the cause of our problems at this point in history, God is still with us, guiding us and all creation toward God’s ultimate purpose for all of us.
 
I want to invite each of you to think of yourself as a leader right now—a leader in your family, your sphere of friends and acquaintances, a leader in this congregation. Now, I know we all lead in different ways, some of us verbally and some of us by quiet example.
 
So, if you and I are called to be leaders in this time, what does leadership look like?
 
Many of us think that leaders are people who have answers and give those answers with authority to others who follow. But if we are honest, even the smartest among us do not have all the answers about the future.
 
But there is good news! This is not a new problem.
 
Several months ago, I started (and need to finish) a book by Gil Rendle who is a United Methodist expert on leadership. He’s recently written a book entitled Quietly Courageous: Leading the Church in an Unchanging World.
 
Now, keep in mind, this book was written before the current pandemic. Early in his book Rendle affirms something he’s believed for some years about the church—that the church right now is in the wilderness. He writes: “I still believe that the wilderness changes people for God’s purpose. If we have been in the wilderness in the past, we are in the wilderness once again. If we knew how to manage in the wilderness in the past, we are learning how to do it again. But the wilderness is a curious place for leaders to lead. By definition, one must lead without being sure where one is going. Again, if to be called to lead is a blessing, it is a complicated one.”
 
Rendle goes on to argue that such times call for quietly courageous leaders that acknowledge what they do not know, are open to constantly learning from their experiences and from others, and have an unshakable confidence that God is with them just as God was with the people of Israel as the wandered in the wilderness or lived their lives in a foreign land during the exile.
 
My hope is that we can be a congregation that offers courage to a world in a difficult place by being a place where we help each other to find the way forward, living lives of quiet courage and faithfulness, trusting that God is with us and will guide us through this time.
 
Peace—and Courage,
 
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 Tuesdays, which you can access any time. 

This Sunday, Rev. Drew Willson will be preaching. His sermon, Grace for Easter Grief , is based on Luke 24:13-36. O ur musical leaders will be Drew and Lee Covington.
 
Invite others to join us this Sunday and on the Sundays to come!

Wednesday Morning Bible Study
Join us on Wednesday morning at 10:00 a.m.
for our Bible Study via Zoom. 
Watch for your Zoom invitation to join us on Tuesday!
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!
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. Send the order form & 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. We are using Take Them A Meal to organize the meals. All the information you need to know about diet, address, phone number, etc is provided on the website. Just click the link and you can sign up!

Don't like cooking or can't deliver? Grub Hub gift cards are a good way to provide a meal. If you need help with delivery contact Susy Meyer (susybork@gmail.com)

Thank you in advance for your willingness to serve!
Young Adult Schedule

If you would like information about 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. RS VP Here
Al Richardson's Grandson Drafted Into the NFL
It was an exciting evening last night (Thursday) as Mekhi Becton, Al's grandson, was the #11 National Football League draft pick by the New York Jets. Watch the draft pick here . (This is a 3 minute Youtube video from ESPN of the draft pick and may contain a video commercial before the draft pick video starts) You might even catch a glimpse of Al celebrating with the family. Congratulations to Mekhi, Al and the whole family!
Birthdays
This Week
April 27 - Rachel Tilghman
April 28 - George Thrower
April 29 - Chris Junker


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. 
David Lee - brother of Lorna Leake. Health concerns.
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
Irene Pier --sister of Alfonso Ceja, Stan Baker's husband--hospitalized in Asheville, NC in serious condition with cancer.
Rod Shingleton - Neil Shingleton's dad who has been hospitalized recently in Wilson, NC.
Phyllis Stump - at Lakewood Manor
Wendy Tisdale  - family friend of Agatha and Christina Kidd, diagnosed 
with stage 4 lung cancer
Bernice Walter - medical issues