News for the Week of June 11, 2021
you while looking to the future. At Annual Conference next week, Rev. Drew Willson will be appointed full-time as the pastor at Boulevard on Broad UMC. It has been our joy as a congregation to have Drew working and serving among us the past two years. We’re so grateful for Drew’s ministry among our young adults.

Personally, I have valued Drew’s friendship. As clergy, we often learn a great deal from each other as we work together. I’ve learned much from Drew. I’ve especially appreciated his gifts for visioning new forms of ministry and leading others in processes to discern and implement new forms of mission. Drew has worked diligently the last year working with a group of key lay leaders and young adults through a process called “Dream Like Jesus.” That process involved prayer, sharing stories of our spiritual journeys, and asking ourselves what a kingdom-sized dream for ministry would look like for us at this time and place for our church. That dream was to focus not simply on our well-being as a congregation, but on a vision for mission in our city. That dream, we learned, would probably be consistent with our gifts for ministry and have some continuity of things we have felt God calling us to do in the past. This team spent much time praying about this and crafting various versions of this renewed Jesus like dream. The vision they developed is stated like thisRichmond is a community where every person is thriving and has access to nutritious food and learning opportunities.
You’ll be hearing more about this in days and weeks to come. Our Council has affirmed this vision and we’ve had the opportunity to share it in a couple of congregational settings. This vision will be a touchstone as our Post-Covid Re-Entry Group begins their work of discerning what our future ministry will look like as we emerge from the pandemic.
I, as many of you, have greatly appreciated Drew’s role in worship leadership and preaching. His presence has been a great blessing in our worship together, particularly during this season of pandemic as we’ve learned how to worship online and now rejoice to a return to in-person worship.
Drew’s passion for ministry revolves around planting new things and renewing existing forms of Christian community. We rejoice with Drew that circumstances have evolved that make it possible for him to give himself full-time to this effort of seeing what new form of church might emerge as he and Boulevard continue their work of re-envisioning that congregation’s future as one of our sister urban congregations. No doubt we will continue to work as colleagues in ministry and find ways for our congregations to collaborate in mission together.
Another opportunity we have to support and encourage each other this Sunday is in the celebration of the baptism of Arley Catherine Adams. Arley is the daughter of John and Rochelle Adams and the sister of proud brother Elliott. Baptism is such a special time in our congregation. We know that we not only witness the vows Arley’s parents make on her behalf, but we as a congregation renew our own baptismal vows, remember God’s gift and call to us, and pledge ourselves as a congregation to do all in our power to help Arley come to a personal faith in Christ as Lord and Savior.
Finally, we have tried to care for one another during this pandemic by taking precautions to mitigate the spread of the virus. These measures have included things like wearing masks, social distancing, and sanitizing our hands. We are so grateful that now circumstances permit us to begin to relax some of these standards.  And we are grateful for your patience in observing these measures with us.
At our last Council meeting, the Council approved some new protocols. Beginning this Sunday, we will allow those who are speaking in the service and singing to do so unmasked. This accords not only with current state guidelines but also with the updated recommendations of the Virginia Annual Conference. We hope that this will make communication more effective.
We do ask that those who attend worship the next several weeks continue to wear masks. However, beginning on Sunday, July 4, the wearing of masks in worship will become optional for those who are fully vaccinated. We will continue to ask that we observe social distancing of 3 feet. And we will continue to follow an abbreviated order of worship since our Annual Conference continues to recommend limiting the time we spend together in indoor settings. 
Let’s help each other remember that in all these things, God is with us!
Final Sunday for the Food Drive
The Centenary Serving Team has selected a Food Collection Project in support of the district Annual Conference Mission. Centenary will sponsor a food drive to collect packaged/canned non perishable food items to be delivered to one of the eight food pantries in our district. All church members are invited to participate in the food drive by dropping off food donations in the collection box at the first floor entrance opposite the elevator. Sunday, June 13 is the last Sunday for drop off. You may drop off donated food items between 10 and noon on Saturday, June 19 in the church parking lot. What an excellent opportunity to help those in need of food and an opportunity for us to share our blessings with others.
Reopening Information
Reopening Information
Last week, Pastor Matt wrote a wonderful article that detailed the reopening process. The article included what had been done in the past, what is happening now, and how we hope to move ahead for the future. In case you missed it, click on the button below, to catch up on all the details!
New Publication Guidelines
As we start the reopening process and have more events, please also catch up on our
new publication guidelines. If you have an announcement, please take a look for
more information about how best to communicate your announcement
and our new deadlines.
More News
Zoom Book Study
Sunday, June 6
at 9:30 a.m.
Join us for a study of the book
by Heather McGhee.

Contact church office for
more information.
Hey, Graduate!
Do you know a graduate?
If so, we would like to celebrate
with you. Please send the following information to the church office:

  • the graduate's name,
  • the school they graduated from
  • next step plans
  • relationship to church members

We will publish the list in an
upcoming newsletter.
Smethie Circle
The UMW will meet via Zoom on June 16 at 4 pm.
Patsy Wilson will share information
about The Red
Bird Mission that we support.
The next meeting will
be in September
- hopefully in person.
The Upper Room
The Upper Room is
continuing to support
their standing
order partners with
a PDF of the
May/June issue!
June 13 @ 9:30 a.m. - Book Study on Zoom -The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together

June 13 & 19 - Food Drive for Annual Conference Missions

June 16 @ 4 p.m. Smethie Circle

REMINDER - The Wednesday Bible study is off for the summer!
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