Friday, February 12, 2021
Dear Centenary Family,
It’s hard to believe that the season of Lent is upon us. This Wednesday, February 17, is Ash Wednesday. I hope you will join us online at 7:30 p.m. that evening as we livestream our Ash Wednesday Service.
This year’s observance obviously poses several challenges since we are not in person. The heart of this service is the physical act of the imposition of ashes while words like, “Repent and believe the gospel,” or “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return,” are spoken. Lent begins with this solemn reminder of our mortality and our deep need for God’s grace and mercy. That act also implies the gifts God offers—the forgiveness of all our sins, and our deliverance from the grip and power of death through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Since we will not be physically present to observe the imposition of ashes, I want to invite you to prepare for that part of the service beforehand. Here are some ideas: 

  • Simply gather some dirt that you can touch as we remember our mortality.
  • If you have ashes, gather those to use.
  • Gather a couple of note cards or slips of paper. When we come to the point in the service where we’d impose ashes, write down some things you’d like to let go of, be freed from, or be healed of as we enter this season of Lent. If you’d like, find a way to burn that list as a sign of accepting God’s promise of healing and deliverance.
  • On another card or sheet of paper, write down what you intend to do during Lent to make yourself available to God’s grace. Make a note of a practice you’re going to focus on such as being more intentional in daily prayer and devotion, renewing your commitment to participate in worship even if virtually, taking up some form of service, or being more generous in the giving of your time or money. Then expect that through the observance of this means of grace you will encounter the power and presence of God.
I would also note another difference in this year’s Ash Wednesday observance. Most of us need very little reminder of our mortality or the reality of death. Covid-19 has reminded us of the fragile nature of life. Some of us have had Covid. Many of us have loved ones or friends who’ve had the virus. And more than a few of us know someone who has died. So, perhaps this year, as we remember that life is finite and fragile, let’s also remember that the purpose of the somber season of Lent is to prepare us for the joyful reception of the gift of life as we anticipate the celebrate God’s victory over sin, death, and evil on Easter Sunday. Let’s begin Lent anticipating our deliverance, health, and healing. 
I look forward to worshiping with you this Sunday. I also hope you will join us for the Zoom reception mentioned in this week’s newsletter. In the midst of the pandemic, Drew Willson has been leading a group of us to discern a renewed dream for mission. Drew and a group of Centenary young adults and leaders will share this vision, how they were led to it, and invite you to be part of it. Even in these times, God is still calling us to dream.
Livestream Worship
Sundays at 11:00 a.m.

Join us on Church Online Platform or Facebook Live as we gather together
for worship this Sunday at 11:00 a.m.
Invite others to join us this Sunday and on the Sundays to come!

This Sunday Rev. Matt Bates will be preaching.
His sermon is titled Seeing through the Clouds.

UMW - Smethie Circle
The next circle meeting will be Feb. 17 at 4:00 p.m. Barrett Brown will give a synopsis on the first 3 chapters of the book "Richmond’s Unhealed History”. Sharon Steele is also accepting members 2021 pledges.
Zoom Link. -- Meeting ID - 892 1490 8470. -- Passcode: 519402.

Looking Ahead to March
Be thinking of what you learned about yourself in 2020. What has been the worst part of our forced Covid shut down and the best part. Show and Tell About 2020 will be our March program.
How did we get here? 
Please join us for an exploration of Richmond’s history using the Rev. Ben Campbell’s book, Richmond’s Unhealed History.  This study will be guided by Pat Shipley, Karen Daly Junker and Barrett Brown -  with guest appearances by the author. 

 An Online Book Study - Monday Evenings at 7:00 – 8:15 p.m.

To register, please email: Barrett Brown - 
or telephone: 804-651 -1560. 
Weekly Bible Study
Wednesday mornings at 10:00 a.m.
Please join us as we look at the scripture for the upcoming Sunday. We meet together via Zoom for study and fellowship. The Zoom link will be sent via email on Tuesday. We look forward to seeing you there.
Calling all educators, nourishers,
movers, and shakers...

On Sunday, February 14, we are hosting a Zoom reception at 12:00 noon to present our new ministry vision of Richmond as a community where every person is thriving and has access to nutritious food and learning opportunities. 

Not only are you invited, you are already involved! The vision comes from our Dream Like Jesus team, a group of laity and clergy, young and seasoned adults, who spent much of 2020 identifying community needs that came to light last year and congregational gifts in people like YOU.

At the reception, come learn about this vision's deep roots in Jesus's dream of heaven on earth... and how you can take part in our next steps together. Amen, and onward!

Meeting ID - 873 8132 0027
Passcode - 029290
Offering Envelopes
We know you may be wondering about how to get your offering envelopes. If you would like your envelopes, please email the church office or call 804-648-8319 and leave a message. While the office is closed, we are at the church on Thursdays and can make arrangements for you to pick them up. If that is not convenient for you, we will make other arrangements when you contact us. Thank you for your patience while we find new ways to get the business of church done!
The Upper Room available as a PDF
The Upper Room is continuing to support their standing order partners with a PDF of the January/February issue! You may download your copy here.

Upcoming Birthdays

February 18 - Christina Kidd

February 19 - Andy Jordan

Feb. 14 @ 12 p.m. New Ministry Vision Reception
Feb. 15 @ 7 p.m. Richmond's Unreconciled History
Feb. 17 @ 10 a.m. Bible Study
Feb. 17 @ 4:00 p.m. UMW - Smethie Circle
Feb. 17 @ 7:30 p.m. Ash Wednesday Livestream - on Facebook and Church Online Platform

All events are on Zoom unless otherwise noted.
Roxanne Burns - granddaughter of Phyllis Stump, battling Covid-19.
Ka Cheng - friend of Vicki and Phyllis Stump diagnosed with breast cancer.
Ronnie Clements
Shannon Conway - requests prayer for the Charles Sherman, Peter 
Oxborrow, Leon Beale and family.
AJ Crick - recovering from surgery.
Bush Enos - brother of Rebecca Enos - just has a knee replacement and will need at least 6 weeks of recovery time.
Nancy Grand - recovering from knee surgery.
Jeff Hatch
Alex Hundley - as he deals with life in the Army in Korea. Notes and cards would be appreciated. His address is: PFC Alex Hundley, CMR 374, Box 709, APO, AP 96273.
Sally Jordan - recovering from surgery.
Heidi Kara - in the recent loss of her Great Aunt, Marion Oldenburg
Missy - who has Covid-19 and now there is concern about possible heart problems.
Mikey - recovering from surgery to correct some complications from donating a kidney to his Dad.
Patti Oman - health concerns - friend of Beth Hensley.
Wayne Panton - undergoing tests.
Jerry Rodwell - Amy Bates's dad, in assisted living with a recent Covid diagnosis.
Betty Rudasill - in the recent loss of her husband Charles Rudasill. The Rudasill family has a long history at Centenary. If you would like to send a card, Betty's address is: 2306 Cedarfield Pkwy - Apt 4803, Richmond, VA 23233.
John Seyfarth - John is doing well but we think he would appreciate a note or card from his church family. His address: Dr. John Seyfarth, The Hermitage Richmond
Red Bud Section—Room 214, 1600 Westwood Avenue, Richmond, VA 23227.
Rev. Pat Shipley - upcoming surgery - Monday, February 15.
Phyllis Stump - at Lakewood Manor.
Richard Vigil - cousin of Carri Toro, in Colorado, undergoing a lot of tests.
Patsy Marrs Wilson - recent hospitalization.