Centenary's Weekly Newsletter Friday, September 21, 2018
A Message from Centenary

Dear Centenary Family,

We've had a lot of great things going this month.  Thank you for inviting friends to join you in worship.  And if you were with us for the first time this past Sunday, we're so glad you came!

I hope you'll note other important events coming up:
  • Centenary members attending PrideFest today, September 22.
  • Please remember that the Golf Tournament is this coming Wednesday, September 26 to raise money for Rise Against Hunger.
  • Next Sunday, we have a brief gathering after worship to share new ministry opportunities for lay visitation and to hear from Ben and Carri Toro about the prospect of beginning a drama ministry here at Centenary!
  • And I'm looking forward to this Sunday when we celebrate the ninth anniversary of Centenary becoming a Reconciling congregation.
We prepared a press release and circulated this to all the major news outlets in the area as well as within the Virginia Conference.  So far, the Richmond Free Press and the Virginia Conference have covered this story.  Here's the message we've been sharing with our community.  Please feel free to share with others!
I look forward to all that's ahead for our mission together!

Centenary, Richmond's Downtown United Methodist Church, Celebrates Ninth Anniversary as Reconciling Congregation
On the weekend of September 22-23, Centenary United Methodist Church, will celebrate its ninth anniversary as a Reconciling Congregation. On Saturday, September 22, members from Centenary will staff a booth at PrideFest to extend the church's welcome. On Sunday, September 23, the church will celebrate the church's decision to become a Reconciling Congregation in its services at 8:40 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. A reception will follow the 11:00 a.m. service.
Nine years ago, after months of study and discussion, Centenary declared itself "a Reconciling Congregation, extending hospitality and encouraging full participation of all, regardless of age, race, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, educational or economic background, and physical or mental ability." 
It thereby joined the Reconciling Ministries Network, an unofficial movement within the United Methodist Church, and became the first church in the Virginia Conference to do so.
The Reconciling Ministries Network is dedicated to the inclusion of people of all  sexual orientations and  gender identities in both the policy and practices of the  United Methodist Church. Its stance is in opposition to the denomination's official policy in an issue that continues to divide the denomination.
The Rev. Dr. Pat Shipley, senior minister at the time of the declaration and now retired, will lead worship services to celebrate the anniversary. In describing the significance of Centenary's decision to become a Reconciling Congregation, Rev. Shipley stated, "While Centenary UMC has always been an open and welcoming congregation, in becoming a Reconciling Congregation the people of Centenary have chosen to be up front and out front in declaring that God's love is for ALL, no exceptions." The Rev. Dr. Matt Bates, the church's current pastor said, "Centenary's identity as a Reconciling Congregation is a sign to a world filled with divisions of the way God's love breaks down barriers that separate us from one another."
The path toward becoming a Reconciling Congregation was also led and supported by the laity of the congregation. Jim Hill, a lifelong member said: "I am extremely grateful to have grown up at Centenary. When I came out as a gay man in the early 1990s, I was able to continue to participate fully in the life and ministry of the church surrounded by a loving and supportive church family. Centenary's public profession as a Reconciling Congregation is an important way of letting people know that this is a place where they can worship and serve with a congregation committed to full inclusion and acceptance of all people."

Invitation to Drama Ministry Meeting from Ben and Carri Toro, September 30 Following Worship
COMING SOON to a house (of worship) near you...Centenary UMC presents Theatre on the Mount! Ben and Carri Toro invite you to the first get together of Centenary's new theatre group. We will be showcasing a variety of short presentations later this year, some sacred and some secular, as part of Centenary's great tradition of participation in the arts. Auditions will be coming up soon and all ages and abilities are welcome! Whether you're a seasoned veteran of the stage or if it's just something you've always wanted to try, then here's your chance. Join us in the Fellowship Hall on Sunday, September 30th following regular services to find out what we're all about and what we're planning. See you at the premiere!
Invitation to Lay Visitors to Gather Sunday, September 30
About 20 people have volunteered to serve Centenary as lay visitors.  Phyllis Stump, Lay Leader, and Rev. Dr. Tim Gerde, Coordinator of Older Adult Ministries invite these volunteers and any others interested to join them after worship Sunday, September 30 for a brief organizational meeting.

Reconciling Anniversary Celebration Tomorrow Sunday, September 23

Join us tomorrow as we remember the anniversary of Centenary becoming a Reconciling Congregation.  Rev. Dr. Pat Shipley will be our preacher at both services.  This will be an important time to remember the steps taken that lead us to this place together and think about how God can use us to welcome others in the future.
A Birthday Celebration--ice cream and cake--follows our 11:00 a.m. service!



This Week at Centenary

Sunday, September 23, The Eighteenth Sunday After Pentecost

8:40 a.m.       Early Service
 10:00 a.m.        Sunday School
      11:00 a.m.       Traditional Worship
Join us for a reception  following the 11:00 a.m. service! 

This week, Rev. Dr. Pat Shipley will preach
Why Reconciling? 

We express our sincere condolences to the family of Richard Steele.  Richard passed away Friday morning, September 14. A Celebration of Life service will be held on Saturday, September 29, at 11 a.m. here at Centenary with a reception following.   

Opportunities to Learn More About the Future of the UMC
1. The Commission on a Way Forward, General Conference 2019 Q&A Event--with Bishop Sharma Lewis, the Rev. Tom Berlin and Martha Stokes, Wednesday, September 26, 7 p.m. at Reveille UMC. See www.vaumc.org/events for more information
2. The Dillard Forum--with Rev. Tom Berlin Sunday and Monday, November 11 and 12 at Trinity UMC, 903 Forest Avenue, Richmond. Watch for more information to follow in the next week or so.

Called Church Conference
Monday, October 8, 6:30 p.m.
A Called Church Conference will be held on Monday, October 8 at 6:30 p.m., led by our District Superintendent, Rev. Dr. Peter Moon.  The purpose of this meeting is to consider releasing money from our Capital Campaign fund to pay for a new cooling tower and the completion of the new floor project in the social hall.  All church members are invited.   

Join us in October as we continue to deepen our understanding of God's reconciling love--and seek ways to put it into practice.  Rev. Dr. Pat Shipley will lead us in study and conversation around the theme Understanding and Combating Racism.  
We will meet on Wednesday evenings, October 10, 17, 24, and 31.  We begin with a light supper at 5:45 p.m. and begin our study and conversation at 6:15 p.m.  (If you would be interested in assisting in preparing a light meal, please let the pastor know).  Here is a description of this opportunity for continued growth:

Racism is intimately entwined with the American story and impacts every aspect of our lives in community.  In this class we will look at the legacy of racism and the state of racism in our nation and community.  We will examine the personal and cultural complexity of racism by looking at racism versus prejudice; individual racism versus cultural and institutional racism; implicit bias; and white privilege.  Finally we will explore ways in which we as individuals and as a congregation can combat racism.


Third Annual Earl Siddons Open
September 26, 2018
(Please note the new date!) 
Location:  The Hollows Golf Course  
Times:  11:00 a.m. Registration
             11:30 a.m. Putting Contest
             11:45 a.m.  Lunch
               1:00 p.m. Golf Tee-Off--Shotgun Start
Benefit:  Rise Against Hunger (formerly Stop Hunger Now)
Cost:  $75/person ($15 Lunch Only)
Note:  Firm reservations needed for catered lunch
Format:  Captain's Choice--Sponsorship Opportunities
Hole Sponsors:  $50 (Any individual(s) may sponsor a hole as well)
Requests:  Gift Certificates or Golf Equipment and Apparel for any of our prizes:  1st, 2nd place finishes, Closest to the pin(s).
Please contact the church office at 804-648-8319 or cent.umc@verizon.net to register. 




New Sunday School Classes will begin on Sunday, September 9, at 10:00 a.m.  Our children's class led by Melissa Martinez will resume then along with two adult classes.
Dr. Dean Simpson, Professor of Classical Studies at the University of Richmond will lead a class on the Theology of Karl Barth, arguably the greatest theologian of the 20th century.  The class will review a chapter about Barth in The Great Theologians and  then move to a study of some of Barth's sermons delivered to prisoners entitled Deliverance to the Captives. Here is the information you need if you would like to order that book:Publisher, Wiph & Stock Publishers; Reprint edition, ISBN-10:1608999521.   

Robb Stottlemyer will lead a class in an in depth study of the parables of Jesus, following up the survey we did this summer.  If you would like to order the book for this class it is titled Short Stories by Jesus by Amy-Jill Levine.  ISBN 978-0-06-156103-0. 



 From the Trustees: Cemetery Lots for Sale  
As a member or friend of Centenary UMC, you are no doubt aware of our real estate holdings in the 400-block of East Grace Street in Downtown Richmond. Fewer people are aware of the church's additional assets in three area cemeteries. For many years now, the Trustees have held title to a number of burial plots and mausoleum crypts that were donated to the church, some as long ago as 1860.
The Trustees are offering these assets for sale this fall, in order that these gifts to the church may more actively support Centenary's mission and ministry. We would like to give our members and friends first consideration for purchase in September/October and then to offer them more widely, if necessary, in November/December. We will consider all earnest offers, with an eye to realizing the fairest benefit to the church.
The plots and crypts are described below, along with an approximate range of fair market value.
Hollywood Cemetery--Burial plots (10)
412 South Cherry Street in Oregon Hill
  • Section I, Lot 72, 4 spaces
  • Section I, Lot 73, 6 spaces
Estimated value:      $4,000-6,000 per plot (Hollywood cemetery website)
Forest Lawn Cemetery--Burial plots (6)
4000 Pilots Lane, near Chamberlayne and Laburnum Avenues
  • Section 3, Lot 931, Spaces 1-6
Estimated value: $2,500-3,000 (Craigslist, LetGo)
Greenwood Memorial Gardens--Mausoleum crypts (4)
12609 Patterson Avenue, just past Lauderdale
  • Section 2, Tier 2, 4 spaces (Nos. 173, 174, 187, 188)
Estimated value:      $2,600 (1990 value)-$4,900 (Craigslist)
Please e-mail me or write me in care of the church if you have any questions or would like to submit an offer. I have a map and walking directions to the Hollywood locations.
Humbly yours,
Jim Hill, Chair of Trustees



A Challenge from Bishop Lewis to Read the Bible with her in 2018

September 23        Amos 6-9 
September 24        Obadiah-Jonah 4  
September 24        Micah 1-7     
September 26        Nahum 1-3     
September 27        Habbakuk-Zephaniah 3 
September 28        Haggai 1-2  
September 29        Zechariah 1-7
Upcoming Events

Pecan Orders:
Our annual pecan sale is here! To order, a sign-up sheet will be posted on the bulletin board across from the kitchen. You may choose from:
  • Whole halves of pecans
  • Large or medium pecan pieces
  • Chocolate covered pecans
  • Dark chocolate covered pecans
  • Cinnamon covered pecans
Please note- we have to order cases of 24 and if we have multiple orders for over 24 bags, we will only be able to fill the first 24 orders. Extra bags of pecans will not be ordered this year so be sure to get in your order.

VA PrideFest 2018:  
On  Saturday, September 22 , Centenary Downtown United Methodist Church will be hosting a booth at the 2018 VA Pridefest on Brown's Island.  We invite you to assist at our booth as we take time to meet and invite our LGBT brothers and sisters to become a part of Centenary.  Please check your calendar and sign up on the 2018 VA Pridefest sheet on the bulletin board across from the kitchen.
We will be sharing information about our Reconciling Congregation that extends hospitality and encourages full participation of ALL regardless of age, race, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, education or economic background, and physical or mental ability.  Please sign up today and work with our team to reach out and welcome new members to our family!


The family of Richard Steele who passed away Friday, September 14
Jim Boice (Recovering from a recent fall)
Mark C. Inge  
Greg deKramer and family (Leah & Bob Hundley's nephew who had a bone marrow transplant in May; transplant seems to be successful and Greg is back at work; please continue to keep him in prayer- especially in the next few months) 
Alicia Webster (Sister of Rachel Hanning, patient again at Henrico Doctors Hospital)
Pat Emory (mother of Alicia Webster and Rachel Hanning--recent hospitalization)
Serena Durst
R.B. Bennington who is recovering at home following a recent fall at our Friday Walk-In Ministry
Rev. Rita Callis recovering from a fall that occurred Thursday, Sept. 20
Ron Davis (friend of Vic & Nancy Grand)
JoAnne Judd (close friend of Sharon Steele's, recovering from a massive brain injury in Boulder, CO)
Charles Davis--heart surgery
Zand Durand--heart surgery

Centenary United Methodist Church | (804) 648-8319 | www.centumc.org 
Visit Us: 411 E. Grace St., Richmond, VA 23219