This Week at Centenary
Friday, August 7, 2020
Dear Centenary Family,
 
One word that I’ve seen used a lot recently as we all work our way through this time of pandemic, accompanied with the quest for racial justice and concern over an uncertain economy is the word resilience. 
 
A recent article in Psychology Today described resilience like this:
 
Resilience is the psychological quality that allows some people to be knocked down by the adversities of life and come back at least as strong as before. Rather than letting difficulties, traumatic events, or failure overcome them and drain their resolve, highly resilient people find a way to change course, emotionally heal, and continue moving toward their goals.
 
This article goes on to point out that some of us may have a genetic predisposition toward resilience. Some of us, for instance are more optimistic by nature than others.
 
Resilience has a lot to do with learning to deal with setbacks and disappointments. It also has something to do with having some close, nurturing relationships and finding ways to take care of ourselves—eating right, sleeping, exercising, being patient with ourselves.
 
Churches are being encouraged to learn how to be resilient in this uncertain time. That means adapting to the uncertainty about when we’ll be able to gather in person for worship and fellowship again. It means letting go of old ways of doing things that just won’t work in this time. It means seeing our gifts and successes and building on those.
 
Centenary is a resilient congregation. It’s been through a civil war, two world wars, a depression, who knows how many recessions, shifts in politics and culture, denominational strife, the flight of residents from the city to the suburbs, and their return. This congregation has had to learn to adapt, to bounce back, to change course, to emotionally heal, and keep moving toward its goals.
 
And as individuals, we can draw from that strength present in this congregation to deal with the challenges and what some now call trauma of the current situation. We will not be the same church on the other side of the pandemic, but we will continue to be the church.
 
The next two Sundays, in worship, we will look at the story of Joseph in the Book of Genesis. I confess, it may be my favorite story in the Bible. If you have time over the next couple of weeks, I invite you to read Genesis 37-50. It’s a great story with drama and a lot of layers of meaning. This week, Joseph is a young boy who treats his brothers with arrogance by telling them of his dreams that they’ll bow to him one day. They don’t like his dreams and want to kill him. But instead, they throw him in a pit and them sell him into slavery. 
 
Have you been in the pit? Do you feel like you might be in the pit right now? What’s the view from the pit?
 
It is healthy to acknowledge the difficult realities of our lives and to acknowledge that suffering comes to us all. But for Joseph, the pit is a place that is the beginning of a profound personal transformation. Whatever else we may say about Joseph, we’d have to say that he is a model of resilience. 
 
I believe if Christians would internalize this story, along with the 8th chapter of Romans, we’d find many of the resources we need to face our adversities with resilience. In one way or another, both of these great texts affirm that God is present even when God is hidden, and that God is working to take even our worst experiences and weave them into a beautiful tapestry of goodness. Paul writes, “We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” 
 
I won’t reveal the punch line of Joseph’s story. We won’t get to that until next week in worship. But let’s just say that Joseph discerns that through all his hardships, even in the pit, God was taking all these things others intended for his harm, and turned them to some good purpose.
 
And that’s the source of resilience as the people of God. God is always working for our good—and the world’s even when we can’t see it.
 
God bless you as we journey through this school of resilience together!
 
Peace,
 
Matt
An Invitation to Participate in
Monumental Healing Meditation:
from the heart of the city to the heart of the world
Jim Hill has let us know about an opportunity to join with others in prayer and healing for our City and the world beyond its borders. Participants are encouraged to pray-in-place at home for healing and understanding. If any individual or group would like to participate in person, please get in touch with Jim (jaschrhill@gmail.com) and he will coordinate your attendance with his friend who organized the event, in order to meet public gathering and COVID-19 safety protocols.
 
When: Saturdays, August 8 &15, 2020, 9:00-10:00am EDT, rain or shine.

Where: Monument Ave median from Stuart Circle to the Arthur Ashe statue, Richmond, VA. Or in your home anywhere in the U.S. and around the world.

Who: Healers, meditators, spiritual leaders, clergy, and citizens of the Earth.

Intention: To heal and transform personally and collectively and move into new levels of living and being.

Action: Sitting quietly in contemplative prayer and meditative awareness according to your practice or spiritual tradition.

Motivation: The world is on fire—the earth fevered with global warming, its people and economies reeling. People everywhere are saying that enough is enough and are rightfully demanding change, willing to sacrifice their welfare to do so.
Richmond, Virginia has a history of being an epicenter of division, but it is not the only place that is fractured. Areas around the world are hot spots due to inequities and brutalities that have continued for generations. Atrocities at their core devalue life, and any shrine or system that values one group at the expense of another desecrates and harms all of humanity. Human lives are imperiled, and so too are entire ecosystems. In this period of epic upheaval, we are at a tipping point. The fire of social unrest is destructive, but it is also constructive in seeding beginnings and initiating new ways of being and working together.

Monumental Healing Meditation creates a collective heart-centered presence and a wave of healing love and intelligence. Through the power of silence and unity, together we will usher in a better future for everyone and the planet.
 
Healers, meditators, spiritual leaders, clergy, and citizens of the Earth are invited to participate in Monumental Healing Meditation to heal and illuminate the heart of our cities and the soul of the world.
Online Worship
Join us on Facebook Live for worship this Sunday at
11:00 a.m. This is the time and place that we gather to worship together. Invite others to join us this Sunday and on the Sundays to come!

This Sunday Rev. Matthew Bates will be preaching.
His sermon is titled The View from the Pit.


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Due to some audio difficulties, last week's service was didn't stream as well as we would have hoped. Thanks to Dan Corcoran, we have another view of the worship service. Here is a link if you would like to watch it!
UMW NEWS

Smethie Circle Meeting
August 18 at 4:00pm

Natalie May from Change the World RVA will be the speaker at our Zoom UMW meeting. Use the Zoom link below to join our meeting!


Pecan Sale
It is that time again! Time for the pecan sale. The nuts will be either delivered to your home or held in a location near you and you can pick them up at your convenience. The order will be sent in mid Sept. Please send your orders asap. The pecans should arrive early November.

Fancy mammoth halves - 16 oz. bag
Fancy medium pieces - 16 oz bag
Chocolate covered - 10 oz bag
Dark chocolate covered - 10 oz bag
Cinnamon glazed - 10 oz bag

Price is still the same. $12.00 for each bag.

To place your order please:
or
phone: 746-9537
Checks made out to Leah Hundley, please.
violin-sm.jpg
Enjoy this article, shared by Stan Baker. He thought it reflected Centenary's congregation and its love of classical music.

Tips for Online Giving
Thank you for continuing to support the ministries of Centenary during this time. Check out these tips that will make online giving easier and ensure that your contribution is credited to the proper fund.
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!
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Tea with Tim
Thursdays at 4:00pm

Join us as we to check in, catch up, and chat a bit. Rev. Tim Gerde will host our time with his usual wit and wisdom! We look forward to delightful conversation as we share our lives together via Zoom. Look for the Zoom invite on Wednesday of next week!
The Upper Room now
available as a PDF
From The Upper Room:

"During this time of anxiety and isolation The Upper Room wants to make it as easy as possible for people to find resources to support spiritual health. We are providing the July/August 2020 issue of The Upper Room magazine, both in English and Spanish, for download at no cost to our standing order partners and subscribers."

Centenary is a standing order partner, and we have permission to share the PDF with you! You may download your copy here.
Birthdays This Week

August 9 - Serena Durst Edwards
August 12 - George Vetrovec


Jayne Baker - Stan's sister-in-law, in rehab recovering from COVID 19.
R.B. Bennington
Betty Brown and family - in the death of Betty's brother-in-law, Bill Glaze who passed away on June 26
Ka Cheng - friend of Vicki and Phyllis Stump diagnosed with breast cancer.
Ronnie Clements
Jack & Denney Collins
Shannon Conway - requests prayer for the Charles Sherman, Peter 
Oxborrow, Leon Beale and family
Charlie Craig Family - Charlie passed away recently. He is father-in-law of
Brooke and Vicki Willson's daughter, Sara, and good friend of Brooke and Vicki. 
Les Dobbs
Serena Durst Edwards
Jeff Hatch
Megan Mattax - a friend of Miranda Clayton, pregnant and diagnosed  
with breast cancer.
David Newsome - husband of Vikki Brock's niece, who is very ill with COVID 19.
Patti Oman - health concerns - friend of Beth Hensley
Earl Siddons
Phyllis Stump - at Lakewood Manor
Wendy Tisdale - family friend of Agatha and Christina Kidd, diagnosed 
with stage 4 lung cancer.
Mike Tonkay - friend of Laura Nealley. Mike is in the ICU with COVID 19.
Ben Toro and family - From Ben: My uncle, Albert Mendoza, 78 and my cousin Veronica Chiquete, 39, are now both battling COVID-19 in Arizona. He is retired but she is a nurse and on the front lines, which is where she likely contacted the virus. The prognosis for both is good but the virus is unpredictable. Prayers from the Centenary family would be appreciated. My family is being hit hard by the virus out there.
Bernice Walter - medical issues
Ally Weaver - youth pastor at Southside Church. She had brain surgery on a cancerous tumor. Prayers for her, her husband and children.