Centenary's Weekly Newsletter April 7, 2017
A Message from Centenary
Dear Centenary Family,
Pastor Matt Bates
Palm Sunday is a day filled with so many emotions. We begin worship on this day with the joyful celebration of Jesus' entry into Jerusalem. For a fleeting moment, Jesus is honored and praised by the crowds, professing their hopeful belief that Jesus is the Son of David, the fulfillment of all of God's promises for deliverance and salvation. But the mood quickly changes as we turn to the remembrance of the great suffering Jesus endures.  We leave worship in a different place than where we began - contemplating the significance of the fierce rejection of Jesus and his message.
The Old Testament reading for this Sunday is Isaiah 50:4-9a. It is known by scholars as one of the "suffering servant" passages in Isaiah. There's no real consensus about the identity of the servant in these passages. Some believe it is the nation of Israel while others believe it may be some person within the community. Others believe it points to a future messianic figure. 
As Christians appropriated the Hebrew Scriptures, they saw in texts like Isaiah 50 a foreshadowing of Jesus. When you hear these words you can see why they made that connection:
". . . I gave my body to attackers, and my cheeks to beard pluckers.  I didn't hide my face from insults and spitting. . ." (Isaiah 50:5-6)
New Testament scholars have argued for about 200 years about the true character of the historical Jesus. One thing they all seem to agree on is, as we affirm in the Apostles' Creed, that Jesus "suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried..."
From Palm Sunday through Holy Saturday, I don't find myself asking, "Why did Jesus suffer?" as many Christians do. Formulating that question in that way often presupposes that Jesus' suffering was necessary to facilitate atonement for our sins, or appeasement of God's wrath. While I don't reject the gravity of that line of thinking completely, the questions I wrestle with are:  "What does Jesus' suffering reveal to us about ourselves?" And more importantly, "What does Jesus' suffering reveal to us about God?"
I look forward to walking this path with you beginning this Sunday morning!

This Weekend at Centenary

Saturday, April 8 anytime between 9:00 am and Noon:  Spring Cleaning
Give up a morning for Lent.
Give Centenary a hand. 
Choose your own job and show up with supplies.
O r just come with willing hands.  Let's share in the Lord's dirty work!! 

Sunday, April 9:  Palm Sunday
8:40 am - Informal Worship Service
9 am - Pancake Breakfast in Fellowship Hall
NOTE - No Sunday School This Morning
10:15 am - Special Palm Sunday Celebration at 3rd Street Bethel AME Church 
     (located at 614 N 3rd Street) with other Downtown Community Ministries churches
11:00 am - Traditional Worship Service 
A Challenge from Bishop Lewis to Read the Bible with Her in 2017
This week's readings:
April 7:   2 Samuel 8-12
April 8:   2 Samuel 13-15
April 9:   2 Samuel 16-18
April 10:   2 Samuel 19-21
April 11:   2 Samuel 22-24
April 12:   1 Kings 1-2
April 13:   1 Kings 3-5
April 14:   1 Kings 6-7

You can now register if you are joining Bishop Lewis in her challenge to the Virginia Conference to read the Bible in entirety in 2017. The short poll allows you to add your name as well as district (Richmond) and your home church (Centenary). Register here. 
Upcoming Events

April 11 at 7:00 pm:  Conversations on A Way Forward with Dave Nuckols 
You are invited to a conversation and update on A Way Forward Commission with Dave Nuckols. This  commission is the group of 32 people from around the world trying to figure out where the United Methodist Church is headed in the next few years. Dave Nuckols, an RMN Board Member, Minnesota Conference lay leader and member of the Bishop's A Way Forward Commission, will be in Virginia after a Washington, DC meeting of the commission to offer an update on the commission's work. Nuchols will speak at two locations, one in Alexandria and one here in Richmond at Centenary.  Information on A Way Forward can be found on their website here. 

Thursday, April 13 at 7:30 pm:  Holy Thursday Worship Service
Friday, April 14 at 9:30 am:  Stations of the Cross Walk
We will meet at  Third Street Bethel A.M.E. Church ( 614 North 3rd Street in Richmond). T he Stations of the Cross is a devotion to the Passion of Christ, retelling a series of events at the end of Jesus' life. On Good Friday, we gather in the morning to walk the downtown streets stopping at churches and city hall. At each station, we pause for a couple of minutes to hear that part of the story account, reflection and prayers. In between the stations as we walk, we talk with our neighbors who journey with us. It is a time of reflection, fellowship, and celebration as followers of Jesus Christ. We hope you will consider journeying with us. Wear comfortable shoes and clothes for the walk. Vans will be available for those who are unable to walk to the nine stations. There will be a police escort for our safety.  

Friday, April 14 at 7:30 pm:  Good Friday Worship Service
Sunday, April 16:  Easter Sunday
8:40 am (informal) and 11:00 am (traditional) - Worship Services
NOTE - No Sunday School This Morning
10:00 am - Easter Egg Hunt for Children and Youth

EASTER OFFERING 2017:  We are so grateful for the generosity through donations of both monetary gifts and service hours shown throughout the year by our Centenary family and friends. Our Easter Offering this year will start a fund for the replacement of the tile flooring in the Fellowship Hall; with the strikingly impressive recent improvements of our church facilities, this much-used area will benefit greatly with a needed renewal. You may use your Easter Offering envelope or write "Easter Offering" on the memo line of your check. Thank you in advance for your continued support of the church and its mission.
Sunday, April 23 at 2:00 pm:  Theatre Outing to The Heir Apparent
Join a group from Centenary attending this Quill Theatre production at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts' Leslie Cheek Theater (located at 200 North Boulevard in Richmond).
Set in Paris in 1708, this play by David Ives, adapted from Le LĂ©gataire universel by Jean-François Regnard, tells the story of the penniless, but handsome, Eraste and his love for the fair Isabelle. All seems to be going well for the young couple, except one thing; Eraste can't inherit his elderly, miserly Uncle Geronte's fortune until the old man dies - but the old man loves Isabelle, too! The multiple strands of the plot unravel with endlessly fast and funny wit, with contemporary slang thrown in, bringing this vintage 18th century story into the 21st century. This production is directed by the critically acclaimed international director of theatre and film Paolo Emilio Landi. Landi's career has spanned over twenty years, producing shows in Italy, France, Lithuania, Russia, as well as the United States. He comes to Virginia as a guest professor at the University of Richmond teaching "Translation in Context" for the Theatre department, as well as a course on Comedy in the Italian department. Tickets will be between $0 and $25, depending on the size of our group. Sign up on the bulletin board across from the kitchen. 
Thursday, April 27:  Golf Tournament
Join us at the Hollows Golf Course for the 40th Annual Golf Classic. Registration will begin at 11:00 a.m. with a putting contest at 11:30 a.m., lunch at 11:45 a.m., and a Golf Tee-Off at 1:00 p.m. The cost is $75.00/ person, $15.00 for lunch only (firm reservations needed for catered lunch). The proceeds benefit Stop Hunger Now/Operation Sharehouse. Hole sponsorships are also available at $50.00 per sponsor and $10.00 or more for patrons. Gift certificates can also be donated to be given as prizes. Be sure to mark this date on your calendar and don't forget to practice your swing! 

Saturday, April 29 from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm:  Remember and Recommit Workshop
the last workshop in our series "Remember and Recommit: Christian Faith and the Modern Civil Rights Movement," will be held at Centenary and led by Rev. Jim Melson.  All are encouraged to attend, even if you haven't been to one of the previous workshops in this series. The focus of this workshop will be the year 1967. Through a combination of worship, presentations, video clips and small group sharing, we will remember the witness and sacrifice of so many 50 years ago during the Civil Rights Movement and recommit to discerning and following God's ongoing call for racial justice and reconciliation in our time. 

Sunday, April 30 at 12 noon:  5th Sunday Reception
Join us after the 11:00 am worship service this Sunday for a reception. Donations of simple finger foods would be appreciated. There is a sign-up sheet on the bulletin board across from the kitchen.

Attention All Class of 2017 Graduates
If you or someone in your family is planning on graduating from high school or college this spring or summer, please call the church office at (804) 648-8319, or send us an email at cent.umc@verizon.net, by Sunday, May 21, with the following information so that we can announce it in the bulletin.
The individual's:
1. Name (first, middle, and last)
2. Affiliation (child of, grandchild of, etc.)
3. School attended
4. Future plans
Thanks so much and congratulations, graduates! 
Outreach and Mission 

Afghan Refugee Family
Please give generously to support our Afghan family. Our present focus is on raising funds so that the family can purchase a used van, especially for the father's transportation to/from his job. Our hopes are for the family's eventual self-sufficiency and independence. Thank you for your concerns and donations.
Please Remember in Prayer

A sincere "Thank You" for all the calls, cards, and prayers during my recent illness. I can't begin to express how much it has meant to me to know that my Centenary family and friends were (and are) supporting me. Thanks so much. Phyllis Stump

Ryland Bailey, Sr.
Joe Ciucci Jr.
Bobby Davis
Rebecca Enos
John Ford and his father, John C. Ford, Sr. who is seriously ill 
Jack Hill (currently at Lucy Corr Rehab)
Grace Hinchman 
Jack & Lois Hinerman
Judy Holland          
Ginny Jarvis
Inez Johnson (friend of Vic and Nancy Grand)
Agatha Kidd
Joe Kokoszki 
The Family of Julie and Stephen Lee (in the loss of Julie's mother, Judy Brannon) 
John Seyfarth
Phyllis Stump
Wendy Tisdale (friend of Agatha and Christina Kidd)
Jim Wickham
P.C. and Carol Yerby (parents of Mary Mismas)
Celebrating Birthdays in April

Vic Grand
Kevin Cooke
Patsy Wilson
Steven Cooke
Marjorie Landers
Luke Wolfe
Claire Hundley
Doug Wilson
Joe Speidel
Stephen Lee
Vicki Stump
Jessica DeVader
Jim Boice
Rebecca Wyatt
Nancy Cook
Michael Shelton
Kate Stottlemyer
Julie Landsdown
Lori Gregory
Benjamin Armstrong
Jack Hinerman
George Thrower
Chris Jun ker

Photo of the Week
Bob and Leah Hundley enjoying Centenary's trip to Gloucester with a tour of Brent and Becky's.
Centenary United Methodist Church | (804) 648-8319 | www.centumc.org 
Visit Us: 411 E. Grace St., Richmond, VA 23219