Dear Centenary Family,
The Gospel reading for this Sunday is Matthew 4:12-23. It is Matthew's account of Jesus calling his first disciples - Simon, Andrew, James, and John. Jesus calls them to follow him - and they do - immediately.
In the broadest of terms, Jesus calls you and me to follow him. And the fact that we find ourselves in the church suggests that in varying degrees, we have heard that call and are trying to respond.
To follow Jesus means loving God first and loving others as ourselves. It means putting ourselves, our gifts, abilities, and resources at God's disposal. It also means allowing ourselves to realize that before we are called to do something, we are called to be something. We are called to simply be God's child, loved, embraced, accepted, and forgiven.
I have found that my understanding of calling has evolved over time - not the substance of the call - but the form or shape. Our response to God's call may look different depending on the stage of life we are in. Our discipleship may look different at 78 than it looked at 28. We are always trying to work out how we should live out our call in the work we choose to do, in the relationships we are in, and in the covenants we make with others. The shape our calling takes is influenced by our own unique personality traits, biological make-up, and experiences from childhood. The good news for all of us is that in struggling to discern and respond in faithfulness to God's call, we find that our lives count for something greater than ourselves. In fact, if we understand that God is calling all of us into a relationship of love and a life of service, we might begin to think that life truly is a great adventure filled not only with risks and challenges, but holy moments where we sense that God is using us to make his love and grace real to others. Maybe at the end of it all, we will look back and see that in small ways and perhaps large ones, we have worked with God to change the world in some positive way.
Maybe we should put this question to one another with more frequency: "What is God calling you to do?" That question leads naturally to the other question we are always asking as a congregation: "What is God calling us to do in this time and place?"
I look forward to thinking on these things with you Sunday. The sermon I'm working on is entitled A Great Adventure.
This Weekend at Centenary
Sunday, January 22: Worship at 8:40 am (informal) and 11:00 am (traditional)
Senior Pastor Matt Bates will preach
A Great Adventure based on the scripture reading from Matthew 4:12-23.
Sunday, January 22 at 1:00 pm: UMW Holiday Brunch
The UMW Holiday Brunch will be at Brio Tuscan Grill in the Stony Point Fashion Shopping Center.
Everyone will pay for their own meal and it is imperative that we give the restaurant a count of who will be attending. Before Sunday you must call
A.J. Crick at 804-272-8554 or Anne Baughan at 804-794-5026 with your reservation.
2017 Pledge Offering Envelopes
The new 2017 Pledge Offering Envelopes have arrived. Please pick up your numbered box of envelopes in the hallway by the church office.
About Sunday's Music
If you are a fan of English music by accident or by design you should enjoy this Sunday's offertory anthem!
We know the music of Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry (1848-1918) from two fairly famous sources. Most of us remember the movie Chariots of Fire during which you hear the singing of the hymn Jerusalem - "And Did Those Feet in Ancient Time." The poem by William Blake which Parry set to music contains the lines "Bring me my spear! O clouds unfold! Bring me my chariot of fire!"
Another of Parry's choral works, "I Was Glad When They Said unto Me" (from Psalm 122), has been used at every royal coronation in England since it was introduced at the service for King Edward VII in 1902.
The following program notes by Jeremy Dibble are from a Hyperion recording of this piece: "The hymn Dear Lord and Father of Mankind began life as the ballad of Meshullemeth ('Long since in Egypt's plenteous land') in Act I of Judith, his Birmingham oratorio of 1888. It was only after Parry's death that permission was granted by Novello and Parry's estate to allow George Gilbert Stocks, the head of music at Repton School, to adapt the music to the words of John Greenleaf Whittier ("Dear Lord and Father of Mankind") for the school's hymn book, at which time the melody became known as REPTON. The hymn was then taken up with alacrity by Songs of Praise (1931), the English Hymnal in 1933 and the revised version of Hymns Ancient and Modern in 1950. It was also published by Novello in 1941 as a hymn-anthem, with Whittier's words, in an arrangement by H A Chambers in which much of the original music of the aria was restored." This is the beautiful anthem we sing today.
You can find an excellent article on Parry here.
It has further links to all the music I've mentioned above.
Director of Music/Organist
A Challenge from Bishop Lewis to Read the Bible with Her in 2017
This week's readings:
We will meet at the Cafe for lunch before we have a guided tour of the Faberge Exhibit. Everyone pays for their own lunch, but the tour will be free. Sign up on the bulletin board across from the kitchen.
Monday, January 23 at 12 noon: VMFA Lunch and Guided Tour of the Faberge Exhibit
Sunday, January 29 at 10:00 am: New Adult Sunday School Offerings Begin
Dean Simpson will lead a study of the book What Do Other Faiths Believe? A Study of World Religions by Paul Stroble. In this study the author interviews leaders in Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and other faiths to explore how the beliefs and practices of these religions are similar to and different from basic Christian beliefs.
For Young Adults, Pat Shipley and Dave Jarvis will continue leading a study that focuses on the foundation of "Love God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind" (Luke 10:7) titled Dream. Think. Be. Do.
Sunday, January 29 at 2:00 pm: Acts of Faith Theatre Outing to The Top of Bravery
Join a group from Centenary attending this Quill Theatre production at Richmond Triangle Players (1300 Altamont Avenue in Richmond). This astonishingly powerful work tells the story of the life of Bert Williams, beloved African American vaudeville star of stage and screen. Starring Jeremy V. Morris, who also wrote the play, this original musical will bring laughter, tears, and rejoicing in the joys and pains of our rich and fertile history. Read more about the production here. Tickets will be between $0 and $25, depending on the size of our group. Sign up on the bulletin board across from the kitchen.
Friday, February 3 at 7:00 pm: Acts of Faith Theatre Outing to The Compleat Wrks of Wllm Shkspr
Join a group from Centenary attending this Quill Theatre production at the
Glen Allen Cultural Arts Center
(2880 Mountain Road in Glen Allen).
This is an irreverent, high-speed roller coaster ride through the Bard's plays. Join this madcap trio of ambitious prop-laden
actors as they weave their wacky way through Shakespeare's Comedies, Histories and Tragedies in one wild night that will leave you breathless and helpless with laughter!
Tickets will be between $0 and $25, depending
on the size of our group.
Sign up on the bulletin board across from the kitchen.
Sunday, February 5 at 12 noon: Staff Appreciation Reception
We are blessed at Centenary with a small but caring and dedicated staff. To show the congregation's gratitude, the Staff-Parish Relations Committee is organizing a Staff Appreciation Reception immediately after the 11 a.m. worship service on February 5. A sign-up sheet, soliciting volunteers to bring various kinds of snacks and finger food, has been posted on the bulletin board across from the kitchen. Please direct questions or suggestions to Reid Ashe, 513-7223 or
. Please come and help us celebrate this wonderful group of people.
Saturday, February 11 at 6:00 pm: Gospel Concert
Saturday, April 1: Bishop's Convocation on Prayer
Bishop Sharma Lewis will host a Bishop's Convocation on Prayer at Trinity United Methodist Church (903 Forest Avenue in Henrico). The Rev. Juanita Rasmus, co-pastor of St. John's United Methodist Church in Houston, Texas, will be the plenary speaker for the convocation.
Workshops on a variety of topics are also being offered.
Outreach and Mission Opportunities
The Bless My Sole Foot Washing Ministry is running low on socks and would love any donations that you may be able to provide. Men's and women's tube socks are especially in demand.
Please Remember in Prayer
Ryland Bailey, Sr.
Amy Bates (at St. Mary's recovering from a fractured sternum)
*(A note from Betty - "
I wish to thank everyone who showed their love and concern with cards and phone calls regarding the death of my sister.
I love each and every one of you and miss you terribly!)
Joe Ciucci Jr.
Dick Fliess (Connie Bennington's brother)
Jack & Lois Hinerman
Inez Johnson (friend of Vic and Nancy Grand)
Rebecca Odea (friend of Rugby Baker)
Rives Priddy( in the loss of her father, Sumpter Priddy, Sr. Read the obituary here.)
Wendy Tisdale (friend of Agatha and Christina Kidd)
Celebrating Birthdays in January
Mary Lou Rosypal
Photo of the Week
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