Centenary's Weekly Newsletter March 3, 2017
A Message from Centenary
Dear Centenary Family,
Pastor Matt Bates
We have several exciting opportunities for growth, fellowship, and service coming up.
In this newsletter, you'll find the details about the next "Remember and Recommit" workshop on March 11 from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. Over the last two years or so, a small group of four people from Centenary and four from Asbury UMC in Church Hill have met for prayer, study, and honest conversation about the connections between our faith and racism. We've also held workshops the past several years open to anyone. These have been very well done by Rev. Jim Melson. This workshop in March and one in April are the final two in this series. If you haven't come to one of these before, I hope you'll try to come to one of these gatherings. Over the last couple of years, this experience with our friends from Asbury has been one of the places I've experienced God's presence most deeply. We still have much work to do to heal old wounds across lines of race, but there is actually great joy in hearing other people's stories of struggle, faith, and forgiveness, and then discerning, as our covenant group has been doing, what God might be calling us to do to continue the process of racial reconciliation. 
Also, I certainly hope you'll come this Sunday to the Chili Cook-off. What better way to enjoy one another's presence than to spend some time sampling chili and voting on your favorite, while raising money to help young people to summer camp?
And I'm really looking forward to our Wednesday night Lenten series that begins on March 15. We'll gather at 6:00 pm in the Chapel for four Wednesdays, hear a great sermon, and share a meal. I hope you'll plan to be part of this time of growth and fellowship.
And the concert on March 19 at 5:00 pm by the Norfolk State University Choir sponsored by our Arts Committee sounds like an event that you won't want to miss. 
I'm working with the Old Testament readings as we move through Lent. I'm drawn to them because they carry an important thread - namely how God makes a covenant with Israel - and keeps it, even when the people are unfaithful. There's much good news in the Hebrew scriptures even before we get to the Gospels. 
This Sunday's text is from Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7. This is a familiar passage to many of us who've grown up in church, but probably strange to the ears of folks who've never heard it. It's a text with a long history of interpretation in the Christian tradition and underpins what we sometimes call the doctrine of original sin. But I wonder if there could be more - or less - to it than that? After all, when was the last time you entered a magic garden and had a conversation with a talking snake? The title I'm working with is How'd We Get in This Mess?
I look forward to worshiping God, serving others, and growing together in faith during this sacred season.

This Weekend at Centenary

Sunday, March 5:  Worship at 8:40 am (informal) and 11:00 am (traditional)
Senior Pastor Matt Bates will preach How'd We Get in This Mess?"  based on the scripture reading from Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7.

Sundays, March 5 and March 12:  Praise Chorus Rehearsals
The Praise Chorus will be practicing on Sunday, March 5, and Sunday, March 12, at 8:00 am. They will be singing the song "You are my All in All" on Sunday, March 12. The song can be found on page 36 in the book Shadow of the Cross in the foyer.

Sunday, March 5 at 12 noon:  Chili Cook-Off
Have you found your winning chili recipe? Prizes will be given for the best red chili, the best white chili, and the best vegetarian chili. Those who don't want to bring chili may bring a salad or dessert to share. And everyone who comes will be the judges! Drinks and condiments (sour cream and shredded cheese) will be provided. This will also be a fundraiser for scholarships for children to attend summer camp at Westview on the James. 
A Challenge from Bishop Lewis to Read the Bible with Her in 2017
This week's readings:
March 3:  Deuteronomy 11-13
March 4: Deuteronomy 14-16
March 5:  Deuteronomy 17-20
March 6:  Deuteronomy 21-23
March 7:  Deuteronomy 24-27
March 8:  Deuteronomy 28-29
March 9:  Deuteronomy 30-31
March 10:  Deuteronomy 32-34

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

Thursday, March 9 at 7:30 pm:  Theatre Outing to Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Join a group from Centenary and attend this production presented by the Jewish Family Theatre at  Weinstein JCC (5403 Monument Ave).  The Biblical saga of Joseph and his coat of many colors comes  to vibrant life in this delightful musical parable. Set to an engaging cornucopia of musical styles, from country-western and calypso to bubble-gum pop and rock 'n' roll,  this Old Testament tale emerges both timely and timeless.  Tickets will be $15 each. Sign up on the bulletin board across from the kitchen.

Saturday, March 11 from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm:  Remember and Recommit Workshop
This next 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 1966. 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. 

Wednesdays, March 15, 22, 29, and April 5 at 6:00 pm:  Lenten Worship Services and Light Supper
Join us for four Wednesday nights during the season of Lent for Worship at 6:00 pm, which will be followed with a light supper at 6:30 pm. Donations appreciated. (Note that Chancel Choir rehearsals will start at 7:15 on these nights.) The message each week will be "If I Had One Sermon to Preach." As some of you know, we are very fortunate here at Centenary to have several retired clergy among us as well as clergy serving in appointments beyond the local church.  Here's the preaching schedule: 
March 15:  Rev. Rita Callis (retired)
March 22:  Rev. Brooke Willson (retired)
March 29:  Rev. Kathy Talley (serving an appointment beyond the local church)
April 5:  Rev. Katie B. Gooch  (serving as the campus minister to VCU)

Sunday, March 19 at 5:00 pm:  Concert featuring the Norfolk State University Choir
The Norfolk State University Choirs have been under the baton of outstanding, talented, and dedicated music educators since their inception. Dr. Carl Haywood, Director of Choral Activities and current conductor of the Concert Choir and Spartan Chorale, has enhanced the reputation of the concert choir and expanded the choral program resplendently under the auspices of the University's motto - Achieving Excellence, Success Beyond Measure. The Concert Choir has received glowing reviews in concerts all over the country. The choir, which performed twice at the White House and at the request of the Governor of Virginia in the executive mansion, is known for the beauty of its choral tone and the ability to render exemplary performances of choral works of the great masters, as well as authentic performances of Negro spirituals, and works by African-American composers.

Thursday, March 23:  UMW 3rd Annual Day of Giving to The Legacy Fund
Join United Methodist Women around the country for part of their five-year 150th anniversary celebration! Each day of giving will be matched dollar for dollar! It's easy to give! Give online at www.unitedmethodistwomen.org/legacyfund; by phone 800-278-7771; or by check to Office of the Treasurer, United Methodist Women, 475 Riverside Drive, New York, NY 10115 (write "The Legacy Fund" on the memo line).

Saturday, April 1:  Bishop's Convocation on Prayer 
Bishop Sharma Lewis will host a Bishop's Convocation on Prayer beginning at 9:30 am 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.  The fee is $10 and registrants will get to choose two workshops to attend. The deadline to register is Monday, March 27. 
Click here to download a brochure  that includes workshops and registration information.

Thursday, April 6:  Centenary Travel Group Trip to Brent & Becky's 2017 Spring Garden Tour
You are invited to join this tour of Brent & Becky's Gloucester Garden, located at 7900 Daffodil Lane in Gloucester, VA. We will have lunch at the Garden Center and then shop in the historical town of Gloucester, VA. All participants will be leaving from Lakeside UMC at 9 am and will travel by cars. (Please arrive by 8:45 am.) We will return to Lakeside UMC around 4 pm. Please indicate on your form if you are willing/able to drive. The trip costs $25 per person and includes garden tour, lecture, lunch, meal tax and gratuity. Information and trip reservation forms are on the bulletin board across from the kitchen. Questions should be directed to Bob Almond, 804-833-3355. Reservations are due by Monday, March 20. All forms and checks to Bob Almond.

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 Storehouse. 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! 
Outreach and Mission Opportunities

Richmond Justice Center
The Outreach Committee will be accepting items for our new project to assist those incarcerated in the Richmond Justice Center. Often when a person finds herself/himself incarcerated, s/he does not have the most basic items for daily existence. We hope to remedy their situation by supplying these items. We will accept donations through Sunday, March 12.
Items for donation: 
F or both men & women - f ull sized, solid antiperspirant, fu ll sized bar soap,  12+ oz. shampoo,  12+ oz. lotion,  12+ oz. toothpaste. 
For just men - w hite t-shirts, u nderwear (all colors and sizes - prefer boxers), w hite long johns. F or just women - w hite t-shirts, w hite long johns, s ports bras (no wires), u nderwear (all colors and sizes), t ampons and sanitary pads.  Other acceptable donations - m onetary contributions, p aperback dictionaries,  Christian paperbacks,  Koran and  Bibles. 
Please place your donations in a marked bag, labeled Outreach and leave them in the church office. Also, please contact Nancy Cook at 804-644-0240 or cook_t8rhill@icloud.com to let her know that a donation is waiting in the office for pick up.  Thank you for your concern and generosity.

UMUMR/Shalom Farms 2017 Spring Geranium Sale
The 2017 Spring Geranium Sale with UMUMR/Shalom Farms is here! 4 1/2" pots are $4.50 each and will come in red, salmon, coral, hot pink, and white. We will take orders for specific colors but cannot guarantee they will be the colors you ordered. Plants will arrive Friday, April 7. Make checks out to UMUMR. Note: We will only be accepting checks this year, no cash or credit card/debit card. Thanks so much and happy planting! 
Please Remember in Prayer

Ryland Bailey, Sr.
Joe Ciucci Jr.
Bobby Davis
Rebecca Enos
Grace Hinchman 
Jack & Lois Hinerman

Rev. Denise Honeycutt (in the loss of her father, Gene Edwin Honeycutt, who passed away February 23.  Condolences may be sent to:  Rev. Denise Honeycutt,  1361 Chalmette Dr NE, Apt 4, Atlanta, GA 30306  jpatdenise@mac.com)  

Judy Holland          
Inez Johnson (friend of Vic and Nancy Grand)
John Seyfarth
Wendy Tisdale (friend of Agatha and Christina Kidd)

Photo of the Week
Vic Grand served as pastry chef today for our Walk-In Lunch Ministry!
Centenary United Methodist Church | (804) 648-8319 | www.centumc.org 
Visit Us: 411 E. Grace St., Richmond, VA 23219