This Week at Centenary
Dear Centenary Family,
I love the way the Contemporary English Version translates Colossians 3:13:

Put up with each other, and forgive anyone who does you wrong,
just as Christ has forgiven you.

As we self-quarantine, shelter in place, social distance, work from home, and miss going out freely, it is safe to assume that some of us might be becoming a little anxious, worried, frustrated, or even angry. I’ve read, as I’m sure many of you have, articles about how to keep marriages healthy as spouses are “stuck” at home around the clock with each other and as parents
try to keep children occupied who are now home from school. It is understandable as we continue to social distance over at least the next month, that sometimes we will not always be in the best form. We might become irritable or short-tempered. We might get on each other’s nerves.

And so, Colossians is helpful. “Put up with each other…” Other translations are a little less inelegant. “Bear with one another…” And then, the admonition to forgive others as Christ has forgiven us. In the days ahead, we will all need God’s help and grace. And we need to extend that grace to each other. We can help each other by supporting each other, listening to each
other, being patient with each other, forgiving one another…putting up with each other. This is a time for us to ask God for the grace we need, and to give it freely to others.

Each week, we keep working to make strides to be the church together in this unusual time. This week, Rev. Drew Willson is our preacher. Drew, Stan, Laura, and others have worked hard to plan worship this week. We’re trying something different and we’re not exactly sure how it will go, but we’re hopeful! We’re going to livestream the service on Facebook Live at 10 a.m. Chris Junker has offered to help us with technical support. So, please tune in for that service. Stan, our section leaders, and Drew will lead music. Drew will preach. And you’ll also be able to listen to the sermon from the website as we’ve been posting in previous weeks. (See information below).

Also, this Wednesday at 10 a.m., I want to invite you to join me for a Bible Study online using Zoom. We’ll focus on the Gospel Reading for Sunday, April 5, Palm Sunday. You don’t need to do anything other than show up if you’re interested. We’ll take time to read and prayerfully reflect together on this reading. You’ll receive an email with an invitation and instructions on
how to join in this gathering. We’ll see how this goes and hope to offer other times and opportunities in the weeks ahead.

I’ve wondered if anyone would feel called to lead an online Book Club. We’ve got lots of readers and many good books have already been suggested by some of our members. Let me know if you’d consider leading a group like this.

We continue to be the church. Lunch was served observing social distancing guidelines today. Our Council met to touch base and pray for our congregation. We’ll be meeting at least every other week in this time to chart our course forward. We began working on a system for intentional congregational care during this time. Our Reconciling Task Force convened last night to keep advancing this important work. We heard a great report from Rev. Kathy Talley who recently attended a national gathering of the Reconciling Ministries Network. We touched base on recent developments in our denomination, including the postponement of General
Conference to 2021 and discussed how these things impact our ministry here.

We are working on ways to connect and worship on Palm Sunday, Holy Week, and Easter. As you know, Governor Northam’s policy forbids large gatherings up through the end of April. Our Bishop and Cabinet (District Superintendents from our Conference) are firm in their instructions
to us to observe these policies.

In all these things, we know that God is with us.

And remember, let’s keep “putting up with each other.” God continues to put up with us!

God bless you,

Matt
Worship With Us This Sunday

This Sunday Centenary will experience our first live stream Worship with Facebook Live . You do not need to have a Facebook account to join us.
Our live worship service will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday morning. Just click here to join us. Rev. Drew Willson will be leading the service and section leaders from the choir will provide choral music. Click here to download a copy of the bulletin and scripture for this service.

ALSO ON FACEBOOK - Rev. Drew Willson shares Lenten Lullaby each evening. It is a wonderful and beautiful way to end a stressful day! To join Drew for a wonderful of musical reflection, click here.
The Church Has Left The Building
I attended a service in another city this summer and they had this in their bulletin as a lead-in to their reaching and serving ministries. It resonated with me, but who would ever think it would become our literal scenario?
To protect each other’s health, we are unable to gather to worship, witness and serve.

But that does not mean these activities are not happening. They just aren’t all happening at 411 East Grace Street. Our staff and volunteers have continued ministries, providing hope in these difficult, uncertain times. Pastor Matt and the staff are working on ways we can remain connected even as we are physically apart. Drew has recorded comforting hymns for us. Lunches were provided last Friday for the Walk In Feeding Ministry. And Council and Team Leads held a remote meeting Tuesday afternoon to discuss ways for our church family to cope in the near future.

We are all clearly aware of the economic impacts of the pandemic. This aspect of the crisis is also directly affecting Centenary. At the end of March, our financial secretary anticipates year to date gifts will be $17,000 short of our budgeted amount. This is approximately two weeks of operating expenses, without apportionments. However, to allow us to continue operating as planned for the near term, we are asking for all to prayerfully consider what they might share. We are so grateful for the support already received! Gifts can be mailed in, made online at our website homepage (click on Give at the top) or click on this link . We are researching payment terms on larger bills and other options to help us through the next weeks.
Centenary is blessed with resources; we are striving to preserve those to carry God’s message through the years to come. And we continue to monitor our needs and available resources.

I rejoice in the knowledge that God is with us in this valley, will see us through, and that I am a part of the Centenary family.

Mitzi Golod, Finance Team Leader

Philippians 4:6
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
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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.
REACH TEAM
Our team is excited to share our plans and progress
with you. We welcome
your feedback. 
If you would like to join
our team, just let us know.  

* Coffee & Cider Bar  - Host regular weekly gathering opportunity to welcome guests and provide engagement time for members. 
* Share Sermons for members, guests and future guests.  Big thanks to the Reach team and Laura Nealley for recording the sermons and posting on the website weekly. We hit a record 67 downloads in for the sermon on March 22nd!  
* Measuring Reach Impact -  We are working with Laura to explore a software tool, Realm, to easily track guests and our connections with guests. 
* Centenary Buddies -  Connect members with guests to build relationships and pathways to membership. We will integrate the Coffee Bar, Matt's connections, a database tracking tool and follow up to welcome guests to Centenary.  
* Centenary Signage  - Refresh signage for visitors and members around our Church.   
* Host National Night Out -  Host a National Night Out, Aug 4, on Grace Street with other businesses and churches.   
* Small Groups -  Launch small groups to build stronger relationships between our members and regular guests.      
Reach Team:  Reid Ashe, Rachel Bates, Lynette Bailey, Pencye Bailey, 
Mann Brown, Nathan Grubb, Steve Kraft, Susan Thomas, Anne Kraft

If you would like information about how the Young Adults are staying connected during this time of social distancing, please contact Rev. Drew Willson - drewwillson@vaumc.org
Spring 2020 Geranium Sale to Benefit Shalom Farms.
A little something to brighten your world while social distancing.    

We are selling geraniums in 4” pots at $4.50 each. Available colors are: Orange, red, hot pink, white, and salmon. The flowers will arrive on Friday, April 24.  All orders must be placed by Friday April 17!

Since we are not able to gather at this time, orders along with payment should be sent to:
Pat Shipley
3031 Grayland Ave.
Richmond, VA 23221

You can send an order by email to plsrevdoc@aol.com , but PLEASE also send a check!  Checks should be made out to UMUMR (United Methodist Urban Ministries of Richmond).  Remember, the deadline for orders and checks is Friday April 17, 2020.

If we are not yet gathering together by the delivery date of April 24, 2020 your flowers will be delivered to you at no extra charge so please include your delivery location with your order.

Thanks for your support! Shalom Farms is working hard to continue to provide a source of fresh healthy produce to vulnerable populations in Richmond as well as helping to supply local food distribution centers. Due to the COVID-19 virus they are not able to use the large groups of volunteers that usually play a significant part in the work of the farm, but are relying on the small number of paid staff and a few dedicated individual volunteers. Your support through this sale is especially appreciated in this difficult time.
Birthdays This Week
March 30
Audrey Kane
March 31
Charles Craig
April 1
Vic Grand
Altar Flowers - Although we were not together for the Sundays in March, people had sponsored flowers in honor or memory of their loved ones. Let us take a minute to remember the people celebrated in these dedications.

March 15 - AJ Crick and the Crick Family in celebration of Phil's 90th birthday!
   
March 22 - Anne Baughan in loving memory of Drury Baughan.

March 29 - Centenary United Methodist Women in loving memory of Beth Smethie

Please continue to pray for Nancy Hundley and her family . Services for Nancy's mother, Janice Keller are being held this weekend. 
Read Mrs. Keller's obituary here.
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 - at home
Shannon Conway  - requests prayer for the Charles Sherman, Peter 
Oxborrow, Leon Beale and family
Riley Davin  - Niece of Vic and Nancy
Serena Durst
Les Dobbs
Jeff Hatch
Leah Hundley and family
Lucille Hunt  - at Morningside at Bellegrade
Justin Laman  - nephew of Lucy Hottle, a young father who has cancer
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