Centenary's Weekly Newsletter May 12, 2017
A Message from Centenary
Dear Centenary Family,
Pastor Matt Bates
We are always asking ourselves how we might best bear witness to our faith in the time and place God has placed us. What is the substance of the message we are called to communicate? How is the best way to communicate that message? What responses from those we care about can we anticipate?

Sometimes, our efforts at communication go awry. Or, we do communicate clearly and have to deal with resistance to our message.

In Acts 7:55-60, we read about the first Christian martyr, Stephen. The Greek word for martyr literally means witness.  From the beginning of the Christian movement, we learn that faithfully bearing witness to Jesus Christ might prove to be very costly.

There are several interesting things to me in this text. The first is that though Stephen's witness results in his brutal death, it has a great impact. After his death, Christians begin to scatter, taking the seeds of the good news to those places to which they flee. Sometimes, we let Christ's light and love shine in spite of our fears! Also, a man named Saul is there holding the garments of those hurling stones at Stephen. We know about his dramatic conversion on the Damascus Road. But I can't help but think that witnessing Stephen's execution was a turning point for Saul. How could he not have been moved by Stephen's prayer for his persecutors, "Father, forgive them..."? Who are the people in your life, who without even being conscious of it, made you aware of God's love for you? How do our lives impact others for good, even when we're not necessarily trying to exert a positive influence?

The second thing that is striking here is that Stephen is willing to give up his life for his convictions. I keep asking myself what kind of suffering or even mild discomfort I am willing to endure to serve Christ.

The sermon I'm working on is entitled, "Bearing Witness."

I look forward to worshiping with you Sunday!

This Weekend at Centenary

Sunday, May 14
8:40 am - Informal Worship Service
10:00 am - Sunday School for all ages 
11:00 am - Traditional Worship Service 
Senior Pastor Matt Bates will preach "Bearing Witness" based on the scripture reading John 14:1-14.

Important Notice about Sunday Parking on 4th Street
Please remember that on Sunday mornings if you park on 4th Street in one of the handicapped parking places (right hand side of the street as you head north - see photo below), you must  display a handicapped parking tag or risk being ticketed. 

About Sunday's Music

Stanley(!) Drummond Wolff (1916-2004) was a rather prolific English-born composer, professor and church musician who spent his productive years mainly in Toronto and Montreal but also in Seattle and even Bermuda. We used one of his hymn arrangements this Easter - "Now All the Vault of Heaven Resounds." This Sunday's anthem was published in 1955 although, from its conservative harmonic style, one might think it was from an earlier time.
Mr. Wolff selected several verses from John 14 and created lovely music to set these beautiful words of assurance: "Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" and "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you." To emphasize this, he indicated that the end section was to be performed "Calmly." Sit back this Sunday and allow your soul to be refreshed by this music of calm assurance.

Stan Baker
Director of Music/Organist

A Challenge from Bishop Lewis to Read the Bible with Her in 2017
This week's readings:
May 12:   2 Chronicles 6-8
May 13:   2 Chronicles 9-12
May 14:   2 Chronicles 13-17
May 15:   2 Chronicles 18-20
May 16:   2 Chronicles 21-24
May 17:   2 Chronicles 25-27
May 18:   2 Chronicles 28-31
May 19:   2 Chronicles 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

VUMH Samaritan Program
The Hermitage is part of  Virginia United Methodist Homes, Inc. (VUMH) , a not-for-profit organization that makes a commitment to provide assistance to those who, through no fault of their own, may become unable to meet the financial responsibilities of their residence or care. The Samaritan Program  provides peace of mind to residents who have outlived their financial resources. If you would like to make a contribution to this program, you can do so by going to this website and clicking on the "Gift to the Hermitage Samaritan Program" link at the bottom of the webpage; http://www.hermitage-vumh.com/make-a-difference . If you would like to mail a check or contribution, you can send it to 5101 Cox Road, Suite 225, Glen Allen, 23060 and please write "VUMH Samaritan Program" on the bi-line.

Friday, May 19 and Sunday, May 21:  "Mozart's Requiem" 
The Central Virginia Masterworks Chorale will be performing "Mozart's Requiem," as well as two other Mozart selections, on Friday, May 19, at 7:30 pm at River Road Presbyterian Church (8960 River Road in Richmond) and on Sunday, May 21, at 3:00 pm at Duncan Memorial United Methodist Church (201 Henry Street in Ashland). If you would like to attend, see Nancy or Vic Grand (phone 804-276-5362 or vicgrand@verizon.net). Tickets are also available online at www.cvamc.org or call 800-838-3006.
Sunday, May 21 at 2:30 pm:  Theatre Outing to A Bad Year for Tomatoes
A group from Centenary will be attending a Huguenot Community Players' production of A Bad Year for Tomatoes by John Patrick. Fed up with the pressures and demands of her acting career, the famous Myra Marlowe leases a house in the tiny New England hamlet of Beaver Dam, and settles down to write her autobiography. She is successful in turning aside the offers pressed on to her by her long-time agent, but dealing with her nosy, omnipresent neighbors is a different matter. Huguenot Community Players is located at Huguenot United Methodist Church (10661 Duryea Drive in Richmond). Tickets are $12 each. Sign up on the bulletin board across from the kitchen. 
Sunday, May 21 Deadline:  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! 

Sunday, May 28 at 2:30 pm:  Theatre Outing to When There's a Will
A group from Centenary will be attending a CAT Theatre production of When There's a Will by Richmond playwright Philip Ventrella. This world premiere dark comedy examines the family dynamics when inheritance is on the line. When a family gathers at the command of its matriarch, no one is happy. Grandmother holds the purse strings to the clan's inheritance and makes ludicrous and unreasonable demands on her family. Their responses - sometimes silly, other times horrible - are often the reaction many can relate to (but wouldn't dream of fulfilling). CAT Theatre is located 319 N. Wilkinson Road in Henrico. Tickets are $18 each. Sign up on the bulletin board across from the kitchen. 
Friday, June 2 at 7:30 pm:  Theatre Outing to Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost
A group from Centenary will be attending this Quill Theatre production at historic Agecroft Hall. There are disguises, flirtations, silly dancing, hilarity and heartbreak aplenty as the King of Navarre and his followers vow to devote themselves to the celibate life of scholarship for three years. Their counterparts, the Princess of France and her attendant ladies, are refused entry to the city when they arrive, so they decide to trick the men into breaking their vows. Each man in his turn falls prey to the charms of the ladies - but their happy ending comes with a twist! Tickets will be between $15 and $20,  depending on the size of our group. Please sign up on the bulletin board across from the kitchen. 

Saturday, June 3 at 8:45 am:  Rise Against Hunger Meal Packing Event
We will meet at Centenary to pack meals for Rise Against Hunger! Mark your calendars. Invite family and friends. Have fun while serving a good cause. Read more about it here. 

Wednesday, June 7 at 7 pm:  Performance of Soapbox Sisters 
Please join us at Centenary for a uniquely entertaining and enlightening evening created by Quill Theatre and feel the fervor of 1918 Richmond, when Suffrage Leagues enticed women to leave their wifely tasks at home and fight for the rights of their entire sex! Quill will present two "propaganda plays" and an essay by three of the most forward-thinking women of the early 20th Century-Mary Shaw, Mary Winsor, and Richmond's own Lila Meade Valentine. Mary Winsor's A Suffrage Rummage Sale: The Auction Interrupted is a hilarious spoof of the scattered illogic of those who opposed the movement. In a pamphlet penned and published in Richmond, "Answer to Anti-Suffragists," Lila Meade Valentine--organizer and President of the Equal Suffrage League of Richmond--responds to allegations in the press against the Suffrage Movement. The Parrot Cage by Mary Shaw is an allegory of women's lives in the home as virtual pets.  Living in a gilded cage, fed and provided for - are you privileged or imprisoned?

Sunday, June 11 at 12 noon:  Assembly of School Kits
Join us for a pizza lunch as we assemble school kits for the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). School kits provide children around the world with basic school supplies such as paper, pencils, and other items. To learn more about UMCOR and the need for relief supplies,  read here.
Thursday, June 29:  Centenary Travels Trip to Staunton, VA
The tentative date for our next Centenary Travels Trip is Thursday, June 29, and will be to Staunton, VA. We will leave from Lakeside UMC at 8:00 am, traveling in our own vehicles, and returning around 5:00 pm. We will visit the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library, as well as downtown Staunton. Lunch will take place at Mrs. Rowe's Restaurant - for some good country cooking! Then we will visit the P. Buckley Moss Gallery in Waynesboro, and have refreshments there. A flyer will be posted on the bulletin board across from the kitchen as soon as plans are finalized. 
Please Remember in Prayer

Ryland Bailey, Sr. 
Joe Ciucci Jr.
Bobby Davis (now a patient at Hanover Health and Rehab)
Rebecca Enos, her church and her friend, Marlys Johnson  
Kim Golden
Mary Hazelgrove
Jack Hill (currently at Lucy Corr Rehab)
Grace Hinchman 
Jack & Lois Hinerman
Judy Holland          
Lila Irby
Ginny Jarvis
Joe Kokoszki 
Nikita's (our weekly parking lot attendant) mother
Troy Nelson
John Seyfarth
Neil Shingleton and family (in the loss of his brother, Will Shingleton)
Phyllis Stump
Jim Wickham
P.C. and Carol Yerby (parents of Mary Mismas)
Celebrating Birthdays in May

Bernice Walter
Billie Davis
Phyllis Stump
Mary Simpson
Pat Shipley
Matthew Weaver
Marc Gregory
Earl Moss
Roy Cooke
Joyce Haley
Alice Cooke
David Ashe
Lynn Bailey
Tori Brock
Sally Jordan
Whit Saliba
Charley Webber
Robb Stottlemyer
Louise Smith
Chris Jarvis
Kim Golden
Penny Speidel
Eric Brager

Photo of the Week
The Police Unity Tour Ride in Richmond on Wednesday rode right by Centenary!
Photo Credit:  Mandy Porter
Centenary United Methodist Church | (804) 648-8319 | www.centumc.org 
Visit Us: 411 E. Grace St., Richmond, VA 23219