Dear Centenary Family,
This week was momentous for our country. Some people are elated. Others are dejected. As God's people, we are always trying to discern how God is acting in human history. We are sensitive to the ways and places we as human beings are living in opposition to God's saving purposes. We want to celebrate and give thanks for those ways and places God's love and grace are welcomed and nurtured.
I've been thinking a lot about how we might interpret the signs of our times in light of the Gospel reading for this Sunday. This is one Sunday I'd certainly encourage you to read that text, Luke 21:5-19, before coming to worship Sunday. It's a strange text. It is an example of apocalyptic literature, a form of literature written by people who feel that their only hope of salvation rests upon the possibility of God's sudden and dramatic intervention into human history. The question this text puts to us is, "How will you and I respond when things may seem to be falling down all around us?" The promise implicit in this text is, "Even in times of chaos and difficulty, God is already working to bring something new into existence." This text about the destruction of the temple paradoxically invites us to see beyond such moments to a greater future. It might sound like a stretch for a sermon title on this text, but I think this passage is indeed "An Invitation to Hope."
The other thing very much on my mind is what the current environment means for the prospects for racial reconciliation. This is something very much on my heart, as it is on many of your hearts. We have been working on this for many years here at Centenary. In the last 18 months or so, we have been working intentionally with our brothers and sisters at Asbury UMC in Church Hill on a project entitled "Remember and Recommit: Christian Faith and the Modern Civil Rights Movement." This Saturday, November 12, from 10 am to 1 pm we meet again with our leader, Rev. Jim Melson. We'll be taking a look at the Civil Rights movement in 1965. We are prayerfully asking ourselves what God is calling us to do to bring healing to our city and world. If you want to do something to make a positive difference, I hope you'll join us Saturday morning.
And I want to thank our speakers last Sunday, Bob Almond and Susy Meyer, who shared with us their sense of gratitude for Centenary's ministry and mission, and invited us to respond generously as we make our pledges for 2017. I hope to have their messages available for you to read and consider soon. I was truly inspired by what Bob and Susy had to share with us.
And finally, in the midst of the division we are experiencing in our nation at this time, many of us believe God is calling us at Centenary to model for others a different form of communication and relationship. To be a community where reconciliation is at the heart of all we do and try to be means that we learn to listen to others with whom we disagree, affirm our own convictions respectfully, and constantly seek the common ground we share as sinners in need of God's grace and mercy. We don't do it perfectly, but I think that's what draws us all to this wonderful church, and it's the ideal toward which we aspire.
Yours in Christ,
This Weekend at Centenary
Saturday, November 12 from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm: Remember and Recommit Workshop
The next workshop for the series "Remember and Recommit: Christian Faith and the Modern Civil Rights Movement" will be at Asbury United Methodist Church (Church Hill), 324 N 29th Street in Richmond. All are encouraged to attend, even if you haven't been to one of the previous workshops in this series. 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. Some of the events we will highlight include: the assassination of Malcolm X, the Selma Campaign, the Voting Rights Act, and the Watts Riots in LA.
Saturday, November 12 at 7:00 pm: One Voice Chorus Concert
The One Voice Chorus will present their fall vocal concert entitled "War and Peace" at River Road Baptist Church (8000 River Road in Richmond). This will be an aural representation of Franz Joseph Haydn and Zoltan Kodaly's responses to political and social upheaval through their compositions Missa in Angustiis and Missa Brevis. O
ne Voice Chorus was founded in 2002 as an intentionally integrated adult community chorus serving Richmond's diverse population in a special way. "Singing the beauty and power of diversity" is more than a tag-line and is a very real description of the work of this choral group. If you are interested in attending. please contact Centenary Church members Vic or Nancy Grand (home phone 276-5362).
Sunday, November 13 at 10:00 am: New Adult Sunday School Offerings ContinueDean Simpson will lead a study of the book The Tent of Abraham: Stories of Hope and Peace for Jews, Christians, and Muslims by Rabbi Arthur Waskow. The Tent of Abraham is the first book to tell the entire story of Abraham and to reenergize it as a basis for peace. Written by three leaders belonging to different faiths, the book explores in accessible language the mythic quality and the teachings of reconciliation that are embedded in the Torah, the Qur'an, and the Bible.
Robb Stottlemyer will lead a study of the book
Advent and Christmas Wisdom from Henri J.M. Nouwen: Daily Scripture and Prayers Together with Nouwen's Own Words. The inspiring words of Henri Nouwen guide the faithful on a spiritual journey through the Advent and Christmas season in this book of waiting, hope, anticipation, and celebration. It celebrates the momentous arrival of the Christ Child and the joyous news of our salvation. It is also an ideal book for the individual seeking active participation in the season and a renewal of faith for the start of the liturgical year. Some books will be available on Sunday mornings.
A new young adult study will also begin with Pat Shipley and Dave Jarvis leading a study that starts with the foundation of "Love God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind" (Luke 10:7) titled Dream. Think. Be. Do.
Sunday, November 13 at 5:00 pm: Movie Night
Join us for Movie Night at Centenary featuring the drama Mr. Church,which tells the story of a unique friendship that develops when a little girl and her dying mother retain the services of a talented cook - Henry Joseph Church - played by Eddie Murphy. What begins as a six month arrangement instead spans into fifteen years and creates a family bond that lasts forever. Rated PG-13.
About Sunday's Music
A Little of Everything
Bombastic. Shimmering. Gets your attention. Declamatory. Whispering. T
hese words/phrases could all describe the many and varied parts of this Sunday's anthem by Gilbert M. Martin (b. 1941). The text from Revelation 21 is one of my personal favorite passages - including "I am Alpha and Omega" and "And God shall wipe away all tears." Published in 1975, Mr. Martin inscribed it thus "For Robert Stofer and the Choir of Westminster Presbyterian Church, Dayton, Ohio."
The choir is called upon to sing at the tops of their voices right from the start proclaiming "And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new." After the (first) noisy part, the organ fades to almost nothing at the words "Alpha and Omega". A bass solo interrupts with a stentorian "And I heard a great voice from heaven, saying"
preparing us for the return of the noisy part on the words "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men." After all this drama, the anthem ends quietly with soloists, then choir assuring that "God shall wipe away all tears."
Director of Music/Organist
Thursday, November 17 at 6:00 pm: Charge Conference
Sunday, November 20 at both Worship Services: Stewardship Commitment Sunday
Letters and commitment cards have been mailed. If you did not receive this mailing or need a replacement, please contact the church office. Thank you for your prayerful consideration as you decide on your pledge for 2017 to enable Centenary to continue to be "In the Heart of the City with the City at Heart."
Sunday, November 20 at 2:00 pm: Theatre Outing to Assassins
A group from Centenary will be attending a Quill Theatre production of Assassins at the Firehouse Theatre (located at 1609 W Broad Street). A multiple Tony Award-winning theatrical tour-de- force, this explosive musical examines the lives of those who committed - or attempted to commit- the ultimate crime: the assassination of an American president. Boldly cutting-edge and alarmingly funny, the show freely mixes characters from different periods in a kaleidoscopic, hallucinatory revue. With Stephen Sondheim's signature blend of beautiful music and dazzling lyrics, this show entertains while it examines the sense of entitlement and yearning for fame that motivates an unthinkable act. Tickets will be between $0 and $25, depending on the size of our group. Sign up on the bulletin board across from the kitchen.
Monday, November 28 at 7:30 pm: Final Dress Rehearsal of Hamlet in Fellowship Hall
Come see this preview performance in our Fellowship Hall of the one-hour Hamlet that Quill Theatre will start touring the next day in the Richmond City Schools. Refreshments will be served. No reservations needed. Just come and support these actors who will be sharing their love of Shakespeare with Richmond City children!
Tuesday, November 29 at 12 noon: Advent Dramatic Reading
During Tuesday's Open Sanctuary on November 29 and December 6 we will offer a short program that will include a dramatic reading for the Advent/Christmas season and a prayer.
Saturday, December 3 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm: Christmas Parade Open House
The Evangelism/ Communications Committee is hosting an Open House at the church on the morning of the downtown Christmas Parade. We will be passing out coffee, hot cider and cookies on the sidewalk outside the church as people walk to and from the parade. We will also be offering tours of the sanctuary and the bell tower for those who are interested. If you are able to help by providing cookies or by greeting people on that day, please let Ann Davis, Bob Almond or Susan Thomas know.
Tuesday, December 6 at 12 noon: Advent Dramatic Reading
During Tuesdays' Open Sanctuary we will offer a short program that will include a dramatic reading for the Advent/Christmas season and a prayer.
Saturday, December 10 at 2:30 pm: Theatre Outing to The Gift Exchange
A group from Centenary will be attending a Huguenot Community Players' production of The Gift Exchange by local playwright Philip Ventrella. All Hank wants for Christmas is to get his feuding daughters married and out of the house so he can spend a little more quality time with his wife. When their suitors hear about the romantic way Hank proposed to his frazzled wife, they both try to outdo each other, leading to a holiday mix-up of epic proportions, Throw in a department store Santa who can't stop hitting the bottle and his condescending manager and you get the worst Christmas eve ever! It's a "Gift of the Magi" meets the Marx brothers in this soon to be holiday classic! Huguenot Community Players is located at Huguenot United Methodist Church, 10661 Duryea Drive in Richmond. Tickets are $12 each.
Sunday, December 11: "Chat and Chew" with Bishop Sharma Lewis
You are invited to a gathering with our new Bishop at Woodlake UMC. Clergy will be meeting from 2:00 to 4:00 pm in the afternoon, dinner will be served between 4:30 and 6:00 pm. Laity are invited to attend the dinner, and then to attend a special gathering for Laity with the bishop from 6:15 until 8:15 pm. Those who attend are asked to make a $10 donation to cover the expense of the meal. Checks can be made to the Richmond District, memo: Chat and Chew. Each church is asked to submit a reservation for the number of people attending. If you would like to attend, please make your reservation by calling the church office at 648-8319 or e-mailing the church office at firstname.lastname@example.org by Thursday, December 1.
Wednesday, December 14 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm: Evergreen Centerpiece Workshop
Join us for a fun evening as you create an evergreen centerpiece for your Christmas table. David Pippin will demonstrate the basic techniques and assist as you assemble your own unique arrangement. Participants are asked to bring a bucket of evergreens to share, a water-tight container and a pair of floral clippers/pruners. Floral foam will be available for $2.00/block. Some suggested evergreens: Boxwood, Pine (short needles), Cedar, Magnolia, Aucuba, Holly, Arborvitae and Camellia.
Sunday, December 18 at 12:15 pm: Christmas Luncheon
Mark your calendars for our annual Christmas Luncheon. The church will provide ham, rolls, and beverages. Please bring a large side dish or dessert to share with others. Following the meal, you will be entertained by wonderful storyteller Phyllis Stump.
Outreach and Mission Opportunities
Leftover Halloween Candy?
Need a home for your leftover Halloween Candy? Donate it to the Evangelism Committee for use in the welcome mugs that they give to our first-time visitors at the end of each worship service. The donations of candy can be left in the church office.
Bring in the Harvest
Centenary's Thanksgiving tradition has been to give groceries to those who are in need. If you are able, please take this list to the grocery store and purchase the listed items. If more than one bag is needed, it is not necessary to join them together. If you are unable to buy everything on the list, do what you can. Please bring the bags to the altar on
Sunday, November 20. These items should feed a family of four for a week.
Christmas Gifts for our Walk-In Guests
- 1 box of powdered milk
- 1 large box of cereal
- 1 jar of peanut butter
- 2 packages of dried beans or peas
- 2 cans of tuna or salmon
- 2 cans of fruit
- 2 cans of vegetables
- 1 can of corned beef or beaf stew
- 1 lb. box of spaghetti
- 1 jar of spaghetti sauce
- 3 boxes of macaroni and cheese
- Jello or cake mix
We will be offering gifts to our Walk-In guests to give to their loved ones for Christmas. If you have any items that you would like to donate, you can drop them off at the church office. Some ideas for gifts include gloves, scarves, holiday items found at the dollar tree, or items found in the dollar bin at Target. Here is also a link to the Oriental Trading Company, which is a wonderful way to buy neat items in bulk.
Please Remember in Prayer
Ryland Bailey, Sr.
Joe Ciucci Jr.
Ruth Anne Davis
Sarah and Greg DeKramer (Leah Hundley's niece and her husband)
Rev. Katie B. Gooch, Minister at the Pace Center VCU and her husband Matt (in the death of Matt's father)
Tim Guill (friend of James Durst who is recovering from a car accident)
Jack & Lois Hinerman
The family of Jean Jones (who passed away on November 1)
Debbie Kammeter (friend of Leah Hundley) in the loss of her father
Donna Mestre (Betty Brown's sister)
Kevin Watson (son of Cheryl Owen-Watson)
Ina Wilson (her sister passed away October 3)
Celebrating Birthdays in November
Jo Anne Berft
Photo of the Week
This past Saturday's Stop Hunger Now food packaging event was a great success! More photos are on Centenary's Facebook page.
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