This Week at Centenary
Dear Centenary Family,

In this Covid-19 world, we are always learning!

I, like some of you, find myself struggling, and sometimes getting frustrated, to learn how to use Zoom for meetings and Bible studies and how to move to online giving. I know some of you appreciate our effort to worship online but get frustrated because we’re still amateurs. Truthfully, we weren’t prepared to do that well and have struggled to use the equipment we have, do what we can do now (imperfectly) while learning how to overcome some of limitations and do things better.

But I’ve been so impressed with how resilient and patient so many of you have been. I can’t tell you how much I admire people in their 80’s and beyond trying to learn to connect in this online world! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate some truly deep spiritual conversations I’ve experienced in our Bible Studies, Council meetings, and a visioning process for future ministry Rev. Drew Willson is leading with some of our young adults. 

And we’ll have to continue to learn as we move through this time.

I’m so grateful to our staff as they are all working to help us adapt in this time!
Laura Nealley, in conversation with John Lampe and Mitzi Golod have developed a resource in this newsletter (see below) that we hope will make the process of online giving easier to follow. And Laura has prepared some easy to follow instructions about how to access Zoom in accordance with some new procedures Zoom has established to enhance users’ security online. I hope you will find these materials helpful, and hope that if you have questions about any of this, you will reach out to us.
And as we consider the possibility of re-entering the practice of in-person worship, we have learning to do there. We don’t know exactly when we will be able to return to in person worship, but there is at least the possibility that could be possible on June 14 or sometime soon after that date. I learned in a meeting yesterday some of the steps churches and other organizations need to be taking right now to prepare for that time. We’ll have to keep learning. Our leaders will begin discussing this in more detail this week, but perhaps you can give this some thought as well. For instance what will it be like to gather in worship in a situation where we have to:
  • All wear masks.
  • Have hand sanitizing stations easily available.
  • Maintain social distancing of six feet as we’re seated in worship.
  • Make sure we’re doing a thorough job of sanitizing our facility before and after worship.
  • Consider doing worship without paper or hymnals as some people have suggested.
  • Conduct Holy Communion.
  • Continue to stream worship, improve our technology, and utilize technology more effectively.
  • Envision hybrid meetings to conduct church business or gather for study and spiritual growth where some members are on site and others are present virtually. 
  • Invest in the equipment to do these things effectively.
  • Worship, at least for a time, in one service in a way that respects our longstanding liturgical commitments and speaks to people who’ve appreciated the variety offered in our 8:40 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. services. 
  • Begin to reach out more effectively to our children (now) even when we may not be able to hold Sunday School or offer a nursery for a time because of social distancing guidelines. 
I’m sure there are more things to consider, but as a congregation, we’ll be learning together about how to continue to be the church.

But God will lead us. And we will experience Christ’s presence as we journey together, make mistakes, and discover new ways to be together and serve Christ in the city.
I’m looking forward to worshiping with you Sunday. I’m working on a sermon Sunday based on the Gospel reading, John 10:1-10. My title is, “On the Other Side of the Gate.” This Sunday in the church year is often called “Shepherd Sunday.” I wonder if it should be called “Gate Sunday.” I’ll explain Sunday. The Gospel reading this week ends with this promise from Jesus we all need to claim right now:
“I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
I’m so grateful we’re on this journey together—and for all of you!
Facebook Live
Streaming 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. 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. Matt Bates will be preaching. His sermon, On The Other Side of the Gate, is based on John 10:1-10 . O ur musical leaders will be Stan Baker, Emily Downey, Gabrielle Maes, Todd Minnich, and Sam Cook.
Invite others to join us this Sunday and on the Sundays to come!

Tips for Online Giving
Thank you for continuing to support the ministries of Centenary during this time. We hope these tips will make online giving easier and ensure that your contribution is credited to the proper fund.

When donating online using the Centenary UMC website, please start by clicking "Give" on top of the homepage.
Next, there are several boxes for input. In box #1 enter the dollar amount of the gift. In the box #2 select “Pledged” or “Unpledged.” Any gift shown as Pledged will be credited to the Operating Fund. If the Fund “Unpledged” is selected, then you must make an entry into box #3 (Easter, Memorial IMO J Doe, Spring Flowers, or some other specific designation). Entering the correct gift purpose into the box #3 is important, so that your Contribution Statement will reflect where your gift is credited. If the box #2 is marked “Unpledged” and the box #3is left blank, then your gift will be credited to the Operating Fund. If you want to donate to more than one designation, then you may click on the “Add More” (#4) and repeat the process for the next donation. Finally, type in your email address (#5) and then click on "Continue."
Continue to the next page and fill out your payment information and click on "Give" on the bottom of the page. Your transaction is then finished!
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!
Farewell and Congratulations

As most of you know Miss Jessica Mason has been our graduate student intern since May 2019. She will soon be graduating with her Master’s of Social Work degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. Additionally, she has already accepted a position at Housing Opportunities Made Equal here in Richmond. Congratulations Jessica!!

Jessica has been an exceptional student intern and it has been a real pleasure for me to be able to work with her as her field instructor. She has done a great job with managing the emergency financial assistance program and working with our guests on Fridays. I know there are many members of our church that truly enjoyed getting to know Jessica and she will be missed.

Unfortunately, the pandemic has made it impossible to thank Jessica personally for all her hard work and efforts this past year. But I have great confidence in Jessica and know she will become an excellent social work professional here in the Richmond area. - Joe Speidel

And a note from Jessica:

Members of Centenary,
As my year of graduate school is coming to an end, I have been reflecting on my journey. My internship here at Centenary United Methodist Church has been an integral part of my experience. I am sorry that my time was cut short due to COVID-19, but I am thankful for the many months that I had. I am forever thankful for your kindness and open arms. From my first day, almost a year ago, I was welcomed into the Centenary family graciously. 

My time spent at the free meal program provided me the opportunity to connect with the members of the Richmond community in ways I have never before. I have built relationships with the guests that were reinforced week after week. There is a real community that is fostered through the free meal program, foot-washing ministry, and various agencies and organizations that dedicate their time to serving our guests. 

As I move forward in my journey, I have Centenary to thank for being a placement where I could learn and grow surrounded by those who care. My time was suddenly cut short, so I was unable to say proper goodbyes to everyone. I hope that each of you knows what this placement meant to me. Thank you all for this wonderful opportunity! - Jessica Mason
Celebration Sunday Spring Plants
A variety of spring plants will adorn our sanctuary in celebration of our first Sunday of worship following our closure! 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 or you may pay online using the directions in the article above and put "Spring Plants" in the Optional 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

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 (

Thank you in advance for your willingness to serve!
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 (RMN) homepage on May 5th. You can RSVP here. RS VP Here
Birthdays This Week

May 1 - Billie Davis, Bernice Walter
May 3 - Phyllis Stump, Mary Simpson
May 4 - Pat Shipley
May 5 - Mann Brown, III
R.B. Bennington
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 
Miranda Clayton - in the recent loss of her grandmother
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 Leake - 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 Baker, Stan Baker's husband--hospitalized in Asheville, NC in serious condition with cancer
Neil Shingleton and family - Neil's dad, Roddy, passed away on April 28 in 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