Centenary's Weekly Newsletter November 26, 2016
A Message from Centenary
Dear Centenary Family,
Pastor Matt Bates

I hope you have all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We all have so much to be thankful for!
I want to thank you for your response to our Stewardship Commitment Sunday last Sunday. To date we have received 60 pledges totaling $255,849. If you weren't here Sunday, you can bring or send your pledge card any time.
This Sunday is the First Sunday of Advent. Thanks to Ginny Jarvis for spearheading the effort to decorate the sanctuary for Advent and Christmas - and to everyone who helped!
Advent is a time to prayerfully prepare and intentionally wait for God's presence and power to surprise us in some new, perhaps even startling way. Advent is a time to cultivate the spiritual skill of paying attention to life, being aware that God comes to us through the ordinary and mundane more often than through the dramatic and spectacular.
This Sunday, the sermon I'm working on is from Matthew 24:36-44.  My title is:  "Don't Be Late for Christmas!"
On Sunday, December 4, we celebrate Holy Communion in both services.  My sermon that Sunday will be from Matthew 3:1-12.  The title for that sermon is:  "Don't Let Your Sins Keep You From Christmas!"
On Sunday, December 11, we look forward to our Service of Advent Lessons and Carols at 11 am and also an informal version of that service at 8:40 am. I hope you'll invite someone.  It's one of the highlights of the year here at Centenary!
On Sunday, December 18, the sermon text will be Matthew 1:18-25. "Don't Let Your Family Tree Keep You From Christmas!" (If you have a chance, read all of Matthew chapter 1). 
On Christmas Eve, Saturday, December 24, we will have an informal service at 4 pm for children and families where our children will help us enact the Christmas Story. And our 11 pm service that night, preceded by "Music for the Season" at 10:30 pm, is another high and holy moment for us here at Centenary each year. We'll celebrate Communion at both services. At our 11 pm service that night, the sermon will focus on Luke 2:1-20. My title will be:  "Don't Let Discouragement Keep You From Christmas."
On Christmas Day, Sunday, December 25, we will not have Sunday School that morning, but will gather for one service at 11 am. Worship that morning will be a Service of Christmas Lessons and Carols. We'll hear the great texts and promises of Christmas and sing the great carols that help us receive in a new and fresh way the gift of God's love for us and all the world.
I know this is a busy season. I invite you to join me over the next several weeks as we try to become aware of the ways and places God is trying to become visible and present to us. If we're alert and awake, we just might be very surprised at where and when and through whom God comes to us!
This Weekend at Centenary

Sunday, November 27 at both Worship Services:  First Sunday in Advent

Upcoming Events

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, December 6 and 13 we will offer a short program that will include a dramatic reading for the Advent/Christmas season.

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 Tuesday's Open Sanctuary we will offer a short program that will include a dramatic reading for the Advent/Christmas season.

Wednesday, December 7 at 10:30 am: INFAMY:  Remembering Pearl Harbor 
The first in Quill Theatre's Historical Reading Series, this very special multi-media event will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The fateful day will come alive at the  Virginia Historical Society (428 N Boulevard in Richmond) , moment by moment, through live readings, vintage film clips, and audio recordings, and will unfold the experiences of Virginia citizens, both here in America and in Hawaii. Tickets are $20 each, $16 if you are a VHS member, $12 if you are a veteran. Sign up on the bulletin board across from the kitchen.

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. Sign up on the bulletin board across from the kitchen.
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 cent.umc@verizon.net by Thursday, December 1. 

Tuesday, December 13 at 12 noon:  Advent Dramatic Reading
During Tuesday's Open Sanctuary we will offer a short program that will include a dramatic reading for the Advent/Christmas season.

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. Sign up on the bulletin board across from the kitchen.
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

United Methodist Women
Read the latest news from the Virginia Conference United Methodist Women in the fall issue of their newsletter The LINK. 

Christmas Gifts for our Walk-In Guests
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.
Nancy Cook
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 Hill
Grace Hinchman 
Jack & Lois Hinerman
Judy Holland          
The family of Jean Jones (who passed away on November 1)
Mike Jones
Debbie Kammeter (friend of Leah Hundley) in the loss of her father
Lundi Martin 
Donna Mestre (Betty Brown's sister)
Troy Nelson
Barbara Pierson 
Rives Priddy
John Seyfarth
Kevin Watson (son of Cheryl Owen-Watson)
Ina Wilson (her sister passed away October 3)
Celebrating Birthdays in November

Ginny Jarvis
Mike LaBarre
Roy Lambertson
Todd Minnich
Lisa Miller
Charlotte Vaughn
Herb Young
Keith Hinerman
Sebastien Chasse
Nancy Lee
Jo Anne Berft
Susy Meyer
Aaron Clark
Twyla Kulp
Owen Armstrong
Thomas Stottlemyer
Sandy Armstrong
Lois Hinerman
Richard Steele
Stephanie Webster
Basil Smith 
Photo of the Week
Bring in the Harvest:  Centenary's Thanksgiving tradition has been to give groceries to those who are in need. Last Sunday the altar area was covered with grocery bags filled with food. 
Centenary United Methodist Church | (804) 648-8319 | www.centumc.org 
Visit Us: 411 E. Grace St., Richmond, VA 23219