Dear Centenary Family,
It's hard to believe that we're only about two weeks from Easter. We've had a great time during our Wednesday evenings of worship and dinner. Thank you to all who've come - and to all who've prepared delicious meals! I've been inspired and challenged by all our preachers. This Wednesday we hear from Rev. Katie Gooch, the campus minister at VCU. Katie did both her undergraduate work and Divinity School at Duke. And she grew up in Oklahoma! I hope you'll be able to join us Wednesday evening. I have the opportunity to serve on the Pace Center Board and am quite impressed with the gifts Katie brings to this challenging ministry. Several of our members have had opportunities to meet Katie and discuss ways we might be in ministry together as Katie seeks a new vision for that ministry and we think about how we might connect with young adults here in downtown Richmond.
Also, Holy Week will offer several opportunities for us to worship together and to bear witness to our faith. We begin Holy Week with our Palm Sunday processional to Third Street Bethel AME Church to celebrate this day with our sister downtown churches at 10:15 am. (Don't miss the pancake breakfast before that!) On Tuesday, April 11, at 7:00 pm here at Centenary we have the opportunity to hear from David Nuckols, a member of the Commission on the Way Forward (the group working to discern the future of the United Methodist Church). We have our Maundy Thursday service and our Good Friday service that week, both at 7:30 pm.
We are also participating in an ecumenical and inter-racial Stations of the Cross Walk on Good Friday (April 14), beginning from Third Street Bethel AME Church at 9:30 am that morning. This was a very meaningful and inspiring event last year - and more churches are joining us this year.
And of course, Easter Sunday is always inspiring at Centenary. We follow our regular schedule that day with the addition of our ecumenical sunrise service at Chimbarazo Park at 7:00 am.
The Old Testament reading this Sunday is from Ezekiel 37:1-14. It's a familiar image to some of us from this strange, and frankly sometimes bizarre, prophet - the image of dry bones coming to life. It is a foretaste of Easter in that it shows us God's desire to bring life to the people of Israel even at a time when they felt they had no future. If you have ever thought that you'd reached a place without hope or without a future, this passage might speak to you. Or, if you have ever wondered if there is hope for our broken world, this passage might be for you. The title I'm working with is "Never Too Dead for God."
I look forward to seeing you Sunday and making the Holy Week journey with you!
This Weekend at Centenary
Sunday, April 2: Worship at 8:40 am (informal) and 11:00 am (traditional)
Senior Pastor Matt Bates will preach "Never Too Dead for God" based on the scripture reading from Ezekiel 37:1-14.
Easter Plant Orders
Orders for the 2017 Easter Plants are due this Sunday, April 2. Forms can be found in this week's bulletin and once completed, placed in an envelope marked "Easter Plant Order," along with the check for the number of flowers ordered.
Envelopes can be placed in the Sunday offering or left in the office in Mandy Porter's mailbox.
Praying Our Way Forward
From April 2 through 8, the Virginia Conference will participate in a week of intentional prayer for the mission of The United Methodist Church and for the work of the Commission on a Way Forward which began meeting in January. This week of Praying Our Way Forward is an initiative of the Council of Bishops as a part of their larger commitment to lead the church in every part of the world in times of worship, study, discernment, confession and prayer for God's guidance. Read here for more information from the Virginia Conference and Bishop Sharma Lewis. For other resources, read here.
This Sunday we reach back to a much earlier time in sacred music - all the way back to the 1500s in fact. Although one rarely hears of him today, Adrian Willaert was one of the most influential composers of his era, the Renaissance. He was born in the Netherlands, but moved to Italy at an early age, eventually being appointed to the very esteemed position of Master of the Choir at Saint Mark's Cathedral in Venice. His appointment to this post was one of the most significant events in the musical history of the Renaissance era.
The motet being sung Sunday is a wonderful example of
polyphonic writing (independent musical lines moving at different times). Each section of the choir essentially has its own melody and sings it independently of the others. The music is also
imitative, meaning that the sections of the choir have similar melodies sung one after the other.
You can almost think of this particular piece as an enormous arc - it begins and ends quietly but has an incredible crescendo in the middle. It is easy to understand why Willaert was so respected during his lifetime - he knew how to write for the human voice! As the story draws near the part where Jesus is calling loudly, each vocal section's melody gets higher and louder simply by virtue of the way the notes are written. When Jesus is actually calling for Lazarus to "come forth", I'm having the choir sing their melodies
fortissimo. You just might get goose bumps - I do every time I conduct this piece.
Read more about Willaert here.
Director of Music/Organist
A Challenge from Bishop Lewis to Read the Bible with Her in 2017
This week's readings:
1 Samuel 18-20
1 Samuel 21-24
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).
Tuesday, April 4, at 6:30 pm: Free screening of "13th"
You are invited to a free, community-wide screening of "13th," the Oscar-nominated documentary about justice, incarceration, and race in America. This acclaimed film traces the path from the abolition of slavery (the passage of the 13th Amendment) to the other forms of enslavement that followed for African-Americans: lynchings and Jim Crow laws, a war on drugs targeting people of color, a prison-industrial complex which incarcerates African-Americans disproportionately. The film includes interviews with numerous public officials, scholars, and other experts, including lawyer
, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative and author of the New York Times bestseller Just Mercy. This screening, sponsored by Centenary and other congregations in Richmond, takes place at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, 6000 Grove Avenue (corner of Three Chopt Road and Grove Avenue, near the University of Richmond). Refreshments will be served at 6:00 pm before the film begins.
No tickets are required to attend this free event, but registration is helpful to the host church as they prepare for sufficient seating. Please go to ststephensRVA.org/stevenson, or contact Centenary's Senior Pastor
Wednesday, April 5 at 6:00 pm: Lenten Worship Service and Light Supper
Join us for the last Wednesday night during the season of Lent for Worship in the Chapel at 6:00 pm, which will be followed with a light supper in the Fellowship Hall at 6:30 pm. Donations appreciated.
Rev. Katie B. Gooch, who serves as the campus minister to VCU, will be the preacher.
Thursday, April 6: Centenary Travel Group Trip to Brent & Becky's 2017 Spring Garden Tour
Friday, April 7: UMUMR/Shalom Farms 2017 Spring Geraniums Arrive
The 2017 Spring Geranium Sale with UMUMR/Shalom Farms is here! Plants will arrive Friday, April 7. Thanks so much and happy planting!
Sunday, April 9: Palm Sunday
Saturday, April 8 anytime between 9:00 am and Noon: Time For Spring Cleaning
Give up a morning for Lent.
Give Centenary a hand.
Choose your own job and show up with supplies.
r just come with willing hands.
Let's share in the Lord's dirty work!!
You won't want to miss this special day with a Pancake Breakfast starting at 9 am and special Palm Sunday Celebration at 10:15 am 3rd Street Bethel AME Church (located at 614 N 3rd Street) with other Downtown Community Ministries churches.
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
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 Légataire 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!
Outreach and Mission
We Wish to Thank YOU!
For your generous support and contributions with the 2016 Christmas Eve UMFS offering. We received a letter from Angie Williams, the volunteer manager, thanking us for the $2,001.00 donation they received on January 30, 2017. She wished to "thank us for our most recent and all our previous contributions to UMFS. Your continued support helps kids soar above the challenges that confront them."
The treasurer, Roland Fernandes, and Executive Director, Mary Andreolli, at UMCOR sent us a letter on Wednesday, March 1, 2017, thanking us for our recent contribution of $1,471.00. They state, "through the compassion and solidarity of faithful friends like you, UMCOR is able to provide comfort to those impacted by disasters like earthquakes and storms, food for the hungry, and healthcare to those who otherwise would have none. These are just a sampling of the good works that gifts like yours make possible. Thank you for giving so generously."
We also received a thank you from Rev. C. Randall Harlow, the Conference Legislative Network Chairperson. He states, "On behalf of the Virginia Conference Legislative Network, I want to express our appreciation to you for hosting our 25th Anniversary Celebration of UM Day at the General Assembly on Saturday, January 14. Everything was done to perfection. It was only fitting that this observance be held at the site of its beginnings. I felt a link between the past and presence. We are indebted to those who lead the way. We look forward to those who will join our efforts in the future."
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.
John Ford and his father, John C. Ford, Sr. who is seriously ill
Jack & Lois Hinerman
Inez Johnson (friend of Vic and Nancy Grand)
Wendy Tisdale (friend of Agatha and Christina Kidd)
P.C. and Carol Yerby (parents of Mary Mismas)
Celebrating Birthdays in April
Photo of the Week
A hint of blue sky after the storm.
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